The spinners of this World Cup

Who lines up best and worst with tweakers at this tournament.

Who are the best spinners in this World Cup? And why is it Dhananjaya De Silva. No, obviously not.

This is a tournament where spin will play a huge part. But how good are the spinners that have turned up? Or how bad or middling as well. We decided to put them into tiers. These are the best spinners of the Cricket World Cup.

Well, this is all spinners by average and economy since the last World Cup. The size of the circle is how many wickets they have. Let’s do a quick tour of the board, shall we?

First, worth saying that Adam Zampa not only has the most wickets but also a fantastic average. I have said this before, but the man needs to hire Adil Rashid’s PR team. Remember Ashton Agar is now injured, but Australia were already planning on Glenn Maxwell in their starting XI, so he’s no longer their backup. You can see him on the good side of the part-time cluster. But on limited usage.

Bangladesh have three options, of which two can bat - Mehidy Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan. But I want to point out Nasum Ahmed who has the best economy of any player coming in. They would love a wrist spinner, but they are illegal in Bangladesh.

South Africa is a team I have talked a lot about in teams of spin. Partly because it’s a lovely combo. Shamsi attacks and goes for runs, and Maharaj doesn’t take many and doesn’t go for many if you will. Would be better if one of them could really bat.

Pakistan’s two spinners are not ideal. Mohammad Nawaz is going okay, but Shadab Khan isn’t getting any wickets at all. I should point out that against World Cup teams, Nawaz has two wickets in his last six matches. But Pakistan are doing better than New Zealand, who are terrible.

Mitch Santner has the second-worst average in this period. And while his economy is okay, it is not that much of a plus. He will be matched up with either Rachin Ravindra, who is just hanging on to the second-worst economy, or Ish Sodhi, who used to be out near Santner until he took a sneaky six-for against Bangladesh. This is bad. I know there is this feeling that everything will come together on the night, but a lot has to go right.

India is really interesting because Kuldeep doesn’t look good, but remember some of this was in the middle of his funk. If we looked at the last two years, he’d be incredible. You can see Chahal was doing very well, but going for runs, which is kind of his job, is very much a wrist spinners cluster. Jadeja looks horrible here, but most of this was after the World Cup, and last two years he would be closer to where Mehidy Hasan is. R Ashwin is not on this, but he’s good too.

Sri Lanka are obviously now without Hasaranga. But they still have Theekshana, who is incredible. Wellalage as well, who is obviously untested, but I think we have seen enough of him to know he can play. And Dhananjaya de Silva, who for a bloke who can bat, has an incredible record. Yeah, he doesn’t get wickets, but no one can hit him.

What about the Netherlands? They have the spinner with the worst average and the one with the worst economy. They also have like 22 other part-timers and stuff in their squad, plus Roelof van der Merwe will bowl a lot more.

How much better does England look on this? Like outside of Liam Livingstone burgling a few from low usage, the two guys that are going to be the most important are not in great form. Adil Rashid is not the spinner he was in the last World Cup. Moeen has always been more of a sixth bowler who works better with another option.

And then we have Afghanistan, who have a great lineup. No one can hit their spinners at all. But before we get too excited, there is something I want to do now.

This is all the spinners against the other qualified teams.

The Afghanistan bowlers hold up. But they don’t play as many of the good teams. But I didn’t just show you this for them.

Adil Rashid is really notable, especially because of how much he has played. He doesn’t take the wickets he used to, and he’s really struggling when it comes to runs. Adam Zampa struggles a bit when compared to the better teams. As someone who has seen his entire career, I think it’s fair to say while he’s often really good, he’s never quite elite. Shakib al Hasan holds up completely. If he can bowl this tournament, he’ll be good at it. Dhananjaya de Silva, still a star. But yeah, we need to talk about these guys at the end.

Jadeja comes in somewhere closer to Mehidy Hasan or Mohammad Nawaz if you just look at the last two years. So that is less of an issue. Shadab Khan is a real worry, I have said for ages he profiles more like a finger spinner than a leggie, but this is profiling like a shit finger spinner. And Mitch Santner is an obvious concern here too. He is the only New Zealand spinner who is guaranteed to play. He’s obviously a clever player and experienced inside India. But this is very bad.

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So now we have done all these, how do we rate these spinners? It’s probably better to have them in tiers.

Kuldeep Yadav, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahesh Theekshana are tier one. The Sri Lankan hasn’t played as many ODIs, but he can bowl anywhere from the first to 45th over. His flexibility is incredible.

Tier two is Adam Zampa, Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj, R Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja, Mehidy Hasan, and Mohammad Nawaz. The South Africans speak for themselves. I think Zampa has been fantastic since the last World Cup, but I can’t see a way to promote him to tier one. Ashwin on record should be lower, but I don’t feel good dropping him down. Jadeja’s record is very similar to Mehidy - who I really like - in the last two years, and I feel icky about dropping him. I was on the fence about Mohammad Nawaz, but I can see him as a low member of this group.

Tier three we have Wellalage and Mujeeb. I don’t know where to put either of these guys. Mujeeb against better players who can milk him worries me. We just need to see more of Wellalage.

Tier four is Dhanajaya de Silva, Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali, Mohammad Nabi, Glenn Maxwell, Shadab Khan, Roelof van der Merwe and Mitch Santner. Adil and Santner are the two who could outperform this, but they’re not here by accident. Roelof basically doesn’t bowl in one-day cricket any more, he is a part-timer in T20 and he’s been getting some tap.

Tier five is Liam Livingstone, Rachin Ravindran, Joe Root, Aiden Markram, Iftikhar Ahmed, Aryan Dutt and Shariz Ahmad. These are your part-timers and sixth bowlers. So not a great sign the Dutch have their two spinners in this list. Anyone here can be handy but would struggle to give you plus overs if they have to deliver five overs or more consistently.

Teams like England and New Zealand are going to struggle unless one of their spinners really steps up. Australia now only have Glenn Maxwell or whatever is left of Travis Head as their second spinner, a hell of a place to be. India will be hoping I am right about Jadeja’s recent form. And Sri Lanka has perhaps the best replacement for Hasraranga you can find.