Ashwin, Chahal, and Zampa Royals’ three-card trick pays off despite the risk

July 5, 2023

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has always been known for bringing together some of the world’s top cricketers and creating dream teams that fans could only imagine in their wildest dreams. This year, one such dream team has flown under the radar, with not much fanfare, despite their incredible talent and experience.

We’re talking about the spin trio of Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, and Adam Zampa, who have come together to form one of the most lethal spin attacks in the history of the IPL. Between the three of them, Chahal, Ashwin, and Zampa have 874 T20 wickets, which is an impressive feat, to say the least. No other team in the IPL has ever fielded such a prolific spin attack, making the Rajasthan Royals’ spin trio one to watch this season. While other teams have tried to bring together spinners in the past, none have managed to put together a trio with as much pedigree, skill, body of work, and experience as the Royals have.

Ashwin, who is the most experienced of the three, has reimagined himself as a spinner and dismantled the bowler we knew, putting himself back together to become one of the most effective spinners in white-ball cricket. He has been told that there is no place for fingerspinners in limited-overs cricket, but he has proven the critics wrong time and again. Zampa, on the other hand, is a quicker legspinner who doesn’t give up the stumps and hardly ever gets lofted down the ground. He has been one of the most consistent performers for Australia in limited-overs cricket and has been a vital cog in the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s spin attack in the past. Chahal, the youngest of the trio, is a mix of both Ashwin and Zampa. He still targets the stumps, but he relies more on the sideways turn that he gets, making him a tough nut to crack for any batsman. He has been one of the most consistent performers for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, and his ability to pick wickets in the middle overs has been one of the main reasons for his success.

In the match against the Gujarat Titans, the Royals decided to field first and therefore included all three spinners in their starting XI. However, having two leg-spinners turned out to be a disadvantage for them as Hardik Pandya managed to dismiss Zampa during the powerplay but fell prey to Chahal later on. In the game, the spin trio bowled a total of 12 overs and conceded 105 runs, while Rashid Khan, who also played, gave away 46 runs. Despite this, the spinners continued to bowl during the powerplay and at the death, bowling four overs in both phases of the game. What makes this spin trio so lethal is their ability to work in tandem and put pressure on the batsmen from both ends. Among the three spinners in the Royals squad, Ashwin is considered the most reliable as he is a banker who doesn’t try to take unnecessary risks to get wickets. He has a good track record of maintaining a low economy rate and rarely concedes more than ten runs in his four overs. On the other hand, Zampa is a leg-spinner with a faster delivery, who is skilled at keeping the ball away from the stumps and preventing the opposition from hitting him down the ground. Chahal is the perfect mix of both, who can bowl both attacking and defensive lines, depending on the situation.

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