The tweakers are on top of the ODI bowlers’ list since November 2012

The spinners have been wringing their hands in despair the last few weeks. They say the new fielding restrictions in One-Day Internationals have made their life difficult. Especially the rule that allows just four fielders in the outfield during non-Powerplay overs.

And the spinners have their captains’ full support. Just hear what some of the leading stars have said recently.

“I have this funny feeling that spinners will not have a role to play in the future,” said Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene. “I am not comfortable with these changes. It’s not the way to go forward.”

Sammy feels sorry

“It is becoming more of a batsman's game,” said Darren Sammy of the West Indies. “Teams were scoring 300-plus with five guys outside the circle. Now it is only four. I feel sorry for the spinners, they have to find an extra way to bowl and be economical.”

Even Indian captain M.S. Dhoni has fought for the spinners’ cause.

“When ODIs started, a lot of experts felt it won’t be good for spinners, they will stop flighting the ball, I don’t see any good reason why, with five fielders inside the circle all the time, they will be tempted to flight the ball,” he said the other day.

But surprise…surprise…it’s the spinners who are leading the world ODI bowlers’ table after the new fielding restrictions came into play at the end of October!

In the 16 matches that have been played from November 1 last year, spinners occupy the top three spots with Bangladesh’s 30-year-old left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak lading with 10 wickets from five matches, followed by West Indies’ off-spinner Sunil Narine and Bangladesh’s 21-year-old Sohag Gazi, both with nine wickets from five matches.

The best fast bowler is Pakistan’s Junaid Khan, who troubled India in the recent one-dayers, but in the fourth spot with eight wickets from five games.

The underdogs

So, have the spinners found quick solution to their problems?

Samit Patel, one of England’s heroes of the team’s splendid victory over India in the Airtel Series opener in Rajkot the other day, said spinners have learned to adapt to the situation quickly.

“Spinners are expected to get hit, we are the underdogs, everybody understands that,” said Patel at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday evening.

“So, we’re always trying to improve and try to surprise batsmen with new things.”

Patel said spinners have a very important role to play in ODIs as well as the T20s.

England spinner James Tredwell’s match-winning four-wicket haul at Rajkot the other day is still fresh in our minds!

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