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Cricket news - Bangladesh gear up for the Hasaranga challenge

Hasaranga's googlies are going to be a major challenge for the Bangladesh batsmen.

Hasaranga's googlies are going to be a major challenge for the Bangladesh batsmen.

How will Bangladesh cope with the threat of Wanindu Hasaranga's googly in the upcoming ODIs, given that leg spinners still remain an outcast in Bangladesh's cricketing landscape?

Bangladesh's batsmen have been troubled by leg spinners more often than not, and one of the major reasons behind their downfall is considered to be the lack of leg spinners in the domestic scene. And Sri Lanka will be looking to exploit the same weakness through Hasaranga, who is an aggressive middle-order batsman and more than useful with his legbreak as well.

Hasaranga, who was drafted straight from Sri Lanka's U-19 setup into the national side, has been developing as an integral part of their ODI set-up since making a dream start to his international career. He's the first legspinner and only the third debutant to register a hat-trick on debut, against Zimbabwe in June 2017. What makes Hasaranga special is his googly as that is difficult to pick and looks quite similar to Rashid Khan's and Adam Zampa's as they all use their middle finger to impart turn.

When a leg spinner is coming up with a traditional googly, the batsmen don't get a glimpse of the ball much as it is known to be coming from the back of the hand. So, instead of watching the ball, the batsman tries to play by watching the back of the hand as it comes from the index, middle and thumb grip. However, in Hasaranga's case, the googly ball is visible for the batsman as he doesn't bowl this delivery from the back of the hand. Instead, he uses his middle finger to impart the turn.

Bangladesh's video analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaran admitted that they need to be careful against Hasaranga as he has the ability to change the game with his bowling. "Obviously he is a threat," Shrinivas told Cricbuzz.

"Hasaranga, Zampa and Rashid are almost the same and this is a new way in which the leggies bowl googlies these days," said Shrinivas, who has observed Rashid from close quarters during his time at Sunrisers Hyderabad.

"If we don't pick him from hand the best is to play as a googly bowler for a right-handed batsman because that's what gives him most wickets. If we don't give him wickets this series we will keep posting good totals. If you don't pick from the hand, then rotation of the ball is the next thing, and if you still don't pick that then play as a googly bowler and you are taking two modes of dismissal out of the equation as a right-hander."

Shrinivas, who is currently in India and hasn't joined the squad in Dhaka following the postponement of IPL 2021, has already been working with the players with specific drills in the nets to counter the Hasaranga threat.

Bangladesh take on Sri Lanka in three ODIs, scheduled at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on May 23, 25 and 28.