Cape Town - Unravelling the mysteries of the two top-ranked T20 bowlers in the world is hard enough in the domestic RAM SLAM T20 competition.
To add to the domestic batsmen’s challenge, both South African spinners in the South African test group, Robin Peterson and Imran Tahir, have recently each added a weapon to their arsenal, and will be using it in the RAM SLAM competition which starts on Sunday, January 5 at Newlands.
Peterson unleashed the so-called carrom ball, by flicking it between the thumb and the middle finger to impart spin into the right-handed Zaheer Khan in the second Test against India at Kingsmead recently. He trapped Khan in front for three.
Claude Henderson, the South African spin consultant, confirmed that Peterson used the carrom delivery, a ball that has been popularised by the Indian off-spinner Ravi Ashwin.
“He will definitely be using it in the T20 competition,” he added.
Tahir has developed a second ‘googly’ which is more difficult to detect than his traditional googly.
Sunil Narine, the top-ranked T20 bowler in the world and a member of the Cape Cobras, became an instant superstar at the Indian Premier League in 2012 when he captured 24 wickets to propel the Kolkata Knight Riders to the title.
Specialists say he is difficult to read as he bowls his off-spinners with a scrambled seam. He also bowls his variations from the front of the hand, which makes it very difficult for batsmen to read his doosra or carrom deliveries.
The doosra is a delivery used by an off-spinner which spins in the opposite direction than his traditional off-break delivery. It will leave the right-handed batsman and if he doesn’t read it and waltzes down the crease in an attempt to hit the off-spinner over the inner ring, he is usually stumped by a proverbial mile.
Talking of the doosra, Saeed Ajmal is the principal sales agent of this mystery delivery in the world, and he gained fame for it as he bamboozled England during a series in the United Arab Emirates in 2012 and captured 24 wickets.
Ajmal is the No-2 ranked T20 bowler in the world and is fourth in the world in Test cricket.
The Pakistani is currently involved in the Test series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates and will miss the first five games of the domestic RAM SLAM competition, according to Henry Davids, the Titans captain in the Momentum One-Day Cup campaign.
Henderson says what makes Ajmal so difficult to read is that he’s almost sure the Pakistani uses two different doosras.
The batsman might read the first one, but the second is extremely difficult to detect.
Daryn Smit, the Dolphins leg-spinner, might add to the batsmen’s misery, as he in the process of developing his ‘googly’. “I have bowled a few Dolphins batsmen in the nets with it, but I’m yet to use it,” he says.
Tahir will join forces with another leg-spinner for the bizhub Highveld Lions, Eddie Leie, whose googly is also camouflaged masterly.