During the squad build-up, the IPL franchises try to create a strong Indian core and then rely on the overseas options to fulfill their remaining needs. India has been a dominant spin-producing country as far as the bowling is concerned and the franchises have always bagged them in bulk.
Big names like Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, R. Ashwin, Anil Kumble, Pragyan Ojha, and many others have always led their respective spin attack over the years and relying on a foreign spinner has been very rare.
Here are the three teams though that depend on the overseas spinner in the forthcoing edition of IPL.
#3 Sunrisers Hyderabad - Rashid Khan
Since making his debut, Rashid Khan has become the backbone of the Sunrisers Hyderabad's spin attack. There have been certain spinners like Bipul Sharma and Shahbaz Nadeem but the Afghan leggie has been the leader for three seasons now.
Even if they have required an extra spin-bowling option, SRH again turned to foreign resources like Mohammed Nabi and Shakib Al Hasan. It is the quality that Rashid Khan brings to the table which has made him the mainstay for the 2016 champions. In a total of 46 IPL matches for the Hyderabad-based franchise, the 21-year-old cricketer has picked 55 wickets at a measly economy rate of 6.55 and he has crossed the 17-wicket barrier in every season, thereby making him the most consistent performer for the SRH.
SRH has managed to sign a quality Indian fast bowling group led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the support of Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma, and Basil Thampi and allowed themselves to rely on the Afghanistan sensation. Coming to IPL 2020, SRH will continue to bank upon the foreign spinner, who will once again be the spearhead of their spin attack.
Note: All statistics as of January 24, 2020
#2 Chennai Super Kings - Imran Tahir
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are always known for their lethal spin web over the years and their home conditions at Chepauk have supported them enormously. Indian spinners like Ravichandran Ashwin, Shadab Jakati, Ravindra Jadeja, and Harbhajan Singh have always been the lead spinners and seldom have we witnessed them relying on a foreign spinner.
But for the past couple of seasons, Imran Tahir has been the go to man for MS Dhoni. Tahir to his credit has responded positively every time he has been summoned. Representing the yellows since 2018, the South African spinner has scalped 32 wickets from 23 matches and went on to win the purple cap in the last season.
Since the inception of the Indian Premier League, CSK has always been led by an Indian spinner throughout but the departure of R. Ashwin changed the concept. As Jadeja has always played a supporting role, CSK had to turn to the 40-year-old to lead their spin web.
In the upcoming season of IPL, even after an expensive signing in Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir will be their number 1 spinner and their most dependable option.
#1 Kolkata Knight Riders - Sunil Narine
Since his arrival in the IPL back in 2012, Sunil Narine has been a part of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and has never been set free by them. The West Indian spinner has always been a difficult customer for the batsmen with an air of mystery attached to his bowling. He has successfully picked wickets while drying the flow of runs simultaneously.
In a total of 110 matches for KKR, the 31-year-old has picked 122 wickets at an economy rate of 6.67, including a five-wicket haul in his debut season. In his journey, Narine has led the KKR spin-attack to help them clinch the IPL title twice - 2012 and 2014. Though there has been the presence of Indian spinners in the camp, the chief has always been Sunil Narine.
Coming to IPL 2020, KKR has one of the best wrist spinners in the country, Kuldeep Yadav, who has failed to perform for them. As a result, Narine will remain as their lead spinner and skipper Dinesh Karthik's go-to option.