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The story of Indian spin bowling goes as far back as the turn of the twentieth century. In the Bombay Triangular (later, Quadrangular and Pentangular) and in the 1911 tour to England, Palwankar Baloo and his brand of left-arm spin delighted Englishman and Indian alike. Later, in the ’50s, the genius of Subhash Gupte, Vinoo Mankad and Ghulam Ahmed enthralled connoisseurs throughout the cricket-playing world.
But it was truly in the ’60s and ’70s, with the fabled Spin Quartet – Bedi, Prasanna, Chandra and Venkat – who foxed and out-thought the mightiest batsmen, that India began to dominate the world of spin. In the ’80s and ’90s, Sivaramakrishnan, Maninder Singh and Hirwani flattered to deceive before Kumble, Harbhajan and Ashwin re-established India’s reputation as possibly the finest spin nursery in world cricket.
No other skill has contributed more to the country’s cricket – and, arguably, spin bowling is what drove its race to the top. The first comprehensive book on Indian spinners, Wizards is deeply researched, nuanced and richly anecdotal, and fills an important gap in literature on the sport. An essential addition to every cricket lover’s library.