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Why spinners are thriving in T20 matches but struggling in Tests

Tim Wigmore of The Telegraph used CricViz data to analyse why spinners are having so much more joy in the shortest form than in Test cricket

Ahead of T20 Finals Day in England, Tim Wigmore took a look at the rise of spinners in T20 cricket and considered how it contrasts with the relative decline of their counterparts in red ball cricket. Wigmore pointed out that the top nine ranked bowlers in T20Is are all spinners, whereas there are no spinners in the top ten Test bowlers. Wigmore noted that, in T20s, spinners have historically been more economical than seamers in every over of the innings.

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Wigmore also pointed out that the prevalence of spinners bowling at each end of the innings has increased in recent years, with captains trusting their slow bowlers to deliver both in the Powerplay and at the death far more readily than before.

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Finally, Wigmore used CricViz data to explain the different skills needed to excel as a spinner in the different formats, noting how distinct the talents of Sunil Narine and Nathan Lyon are from one another.

Wigmore writes, “A contrast between Sunil Narine and Nathan Lyon, perhaps the best off spinners in T20 and Tests respectively, illustrates the different demands of the formats. In T20, Narine’s average delivery pitches 5.7 metres from the stumps – over a metre shorter than Lyon’s average ball in Tests. 

This method sacrifices a spinner’s traditional gifts in the longer format – prodigious turn – in favour of control.

“But the Narine template does not translate readily to Tests. His favourite back of a length deliveries average 18 in T20s, conceding only 6.2 an over – but the same back of a length deliveries are innocuous in Tests, averaging 36. Even short deliveries from spinners in T20 are often effective, averaging 30 and conceding 7.4 an over; such deliveries are egregious in Tests, averaging 80.” 

Read the original article here.

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