Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja Image Credit: AFP and Virendra Saklani/Gulf News archives

Dubai: Finger spinners are back in demand ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup. That's what two captains feel.

Speaking to media on Saturday, Indian captain Virat Kohli said he preferred finger spinners Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja over wrist spinners.

The Indian team had relied heavily on wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (leg-spinner) and Kuldeep Yadav (chinaman). However, both of them have been left out for the World Cup in the UAE and Oman, even though Chahal impressed in the UAE-leg of the Indian Premier League.

The accuracy of finger spinners

An injury to Tamil Nadu state-mate Washington Sundar forced the selectors to turn their focus to Ashwin, who returned to Indian white-ball cricket after a four-year gap.

“He [Ashwin] was a regular feature for us back in the day and then fell off a little bit because the wrist spinners were the ones in demand mostly through the middle period, but now the finger spinners with accuracy have come back into the game again. I think we also have to evolve as a team as the game evolves, and Ash and the likes of Jadeja as well [are performing well]. The way he has gone about in the IPL as well — just being a finger spinner and bowling with a lot of courage augurs really well for the team.”

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Even Kieron Pollard, captain of defending champions West Indies, supported the view, saying finger spinners have better control, which could have tilted the scales in their favour.

West Indies have selected two frontline finger spinners in Fabian Allen (left-arm orthodox) and off-spinner Roston Chase. The squad also includes leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr.

“At one point, wrist spinners dominated, but in the recent past, for whatever reason, don’t know if it is conditions or what, fingerspinners are back in favour,” Pollard added. “If you want a guy to consistently bowl to a bigger side of the ground, fingerspinners may have more control. We have a couple of them in our armoury and we can, hopefully, maximise dimensions in whatever spin there is at any given time. Our spinners aren’t the most experienced but sometimes it can work in our favour.”