Melbourne – Did you follow the recently concluded Afghanistan v Namibia in ICC Intercontinental Cup at Greater Noida in India? Spin attack was the key to success against Namibia for Afghanistan team, isn’t it ?
Namibia struggled to cope up with Afghanistan’s off-break bowler – Mohammad Nabi, in the first inning and collapsed for 172 runs in 62.1 overs. Nabi grabbed the five-for in his 20.1 overs giving way just 25 runs with 8 maidens (20.1-8-25-5). Similarly, Chinaman bowler – Zahir Khan clinched three wickets in his 10 overs alongside the Legbreak googly, Rahmat Shah, who had one scalp to his name. In total, nine wickets went to spin in the first inning for Afghanistan in the slow turning pitch in Greater Noida.
In the second innings, Namibia once again struggled the Wear and tear wicket and bundled out for 126 runs and lost the game by an innings and 36 runs. Zahir Khan was the pick up the bowler as he clinched five wickets (8-0-31-5). Nabi also grabbed two wickets as well.
All these scenario makes Nepal team to think about their bowling strategy against the Namibians, although its not a red cherry match. But, we have to admit that, Namibia will struggle against Spin bowling.
Nepal team has picked up U19 Legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane, Left arm orthodox Shakti Gauchan, Offspinner Basant Regmi, left arm orthodox Sushan Bhari, Sagar Pun off-spin allrounder and Prem Tamang to their side but the team management will have a hard decision to pick their Playing XI during the match.
Everyone knows T.U. Cricket Ground is a spin friendly ground and is slow in nature. The winter has finished in Nepal and is warmer during the days. It all gives Nepal the upper hand in terms of bowling in these two matches against Namibia. The pitch prepared for these two matches has no contrast at all and will be spin friendly.
Sandeep Lamichhane who is just 15 years and bowls the leg spin is likely to get his debut in the senior team. He has already impressed the world in the recently concluded ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh. The Nepali version of Shane Warne might have a crucial spell at T.U. Ground.
Sushan Bhari, 21, is another upcoming star bowler who has a similar bowling style like Shakti Gauchan, will also be key bowler, if he gets a chance in the playing XI.
The current squad looks impressive and balanced with both experienced and upcoming stars in the bowling department.
Nepal are currently placed at the bottom of the table without any win in four matches they have played. Spin bowling will create more chances for them but batting is also a concern same time for them.
Nepal team has not played competitive cricket since ICC WCL Championship against Papua New Guinea in November 2015. They had lost two of their matches in the spin friendly pitches in Abu Dhabi as well.
In overall, whatever the batting form Nepalese batsmen or the medium pacers are in, will also effect the outcome of the match, but the key to success to win these two matches will be definitely Spin bowling at the other end.