Top 10 All-Time Best Spin Bowlers in Cricket History

Top 10 Greatest Spin Bowlers of All Time

Top 10 Greatest Spin Bowlers of All Time

In spin bowling, the ball reaches the batter significantly more slowly yet it is quite difficult to play. However, they lack speed but they possess a remarkable rotation and trajectory. In cricket, the technique of spin delivery is frequently employed.

The primary objective of Spin bowling is to bowl with rapid rotation, causing the ball to deviate from its normal linear path when it hits the pitch. This will hinder the batsman’s ability to make a precise strike.

To recognize the importance of spin bowling in cricket, we have compiled a list of the best spinners in cricket history. Here is a list of the top 10 greatest spin bowlers of all time.

 

1) Muttiah Muralitharan – Sri Lanka

Muttiah Muralitharan, a legendary retired Sri Lankan Right-arm off-break Bowler, held the number one position in the International Cricket Council’s player rankings for Test bowlers for a record 1,711 days.

Moreover, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack deemed him “the greatest Test match bowler ever” in 2002. From 1992 to 2010, Muralitharan captured 800 wickets in 230 innings across 113 test matches, with the highest bowling performance in an inning being 9/51 and in a single test match being 16/220.

His average in test bowling is 22.72, and his economy rate is 2.50. In test cricket, Muralitharan captured 5 wickets 67 times and 10 wickets 22 times. In addition, he claimed 534 wickets in 350 ODIs between 1993 and 2011, and his highest ODI performance was 7/30.

Muralitharan has a bowling average of 23.08 and an economy rate of 3.80 in ODI and has taken five wickets ten times in limited-over international matches. He is undoubtedly the finest spinner in the history of cricket.

 

2) Shane Warne – Australia

In the 1994 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, legendary Australian right-arm leg-break bowler Shane Keith Warne was selected as one of the Cricketers of the Year. Interestingly, Australian captain Ricky Ponting characterized his retirement from professional cricket as the “end of an era.”

From 1992 to 2007, he claimed 708 wickets in 273 innings across 145 test matches, with the highest bowling performance in an inning being 8/71 and in a single test match being 12/128.

 

His blowing average on the Test is 25.41, and his economy rate is 2. In test cricket, Warne captured 5 wickets 37 times and 10 wickets 10 times. In addition, he claimed 293 wickets in 194 ODI matches between 1993 and 2005, with a top performance of 5/33.

Shane Warne has a bowling average of 25.73 with an economy rate of 4.25 in ODIs and once claimed five wickets in a limited-over international match.

 

3) Anil Kumble – India 

Anil Radhakrishna Kumble, a retired right-arm leg-break bowler and former captain of the Indian cricket team, was one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1996.

In February 2015, he became the fourth Indian cricketer inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. From 1990 to 2008, Anil captured 619 wickets in 236 innings across 132 test matches, with the highest bowling performance in an inning being 10/74 and in a single test match being 14/149.

His average in test bowling is 29.65, and his economy rate is 2.50. In test cricket, Kumble captured 5 wickets 35 times and 10 wickets 8 times. In addition, he claimed 337 wickets in 271 ODIs between 1990 and 2007, and his highest ODI performance was 6/12.

Anil Kumble’s ODI bowling average is 30.89 with an economy rate of 4.02, and he has twice taken five wickets in limited-over international matches.

 

4) Saqlain Mushtaq – Pakistan

Retired Pakistani Right-arm grenade launcher Most notably, bowler Saqlain Mushtaq invented the “doosra.” He was the fastest bowler in the history of One-Day Internationals to attain 100 wickets.

From 1995 to 2004, he claimed 208 wickets in 86 innings across 49 test matches, with a highest bowling performance of 8/164 in an innings and 10/155 in a single test match. In addition, his Test blowing average is 29.83, and his economy rate is 2.50.

In test cricket, Mushtaq took five wickets thirteen times and ten wickets three times. Moreover, he claimed 288 wickets in 169 ODI matches between 1995 and 2003, with a top performance of 5/20.

 

Saqlain has a bowling average of 21.78 and an economy rate of 4.29 in ODIs, and he has taken five wickets six times in limited-over international matches. Saqlain, renowned for posting one of the best bowling figures in tests, merits his position among the greatest spin bowlers ever.

 

5) Daniel Vettori – New Zealand

Daniel Luca Vettori, a pioneering slow left-arm orthodox bowler for the New Zealand cricket team, is the eighth player in Test history to score 3,000 runs and take 300 wickets. Between 2007 and 2011, Vettori served as captain of the New Zealand national soccer team.

From 1997 to 2014, he claimed 362 wickets in 187 innings across 113 test matches, with his highest bowling performance in an innings being 7/87 and in a single test match 12/149.

His average in test bowling is 34.36, and his economy rate is 2.59. In addition, Vettori has taken five wickets 20 times and ten-wet three times in test cricket. He took 296 wickets in 289 ODI matches between 1997 and 2015, and his highest ODI performance was 5 wickets for 7 runs.

Vettori’s ODI bowling average is 31.90 with an economy rate of 4.02, and he has twice taken five wickets in limited-over international matches.

 

  1. Shahid Afridi – Pakistan

Pakistani Right-arm leg spinner Shahid Afridi, whose supporters call him “Boom Boom Afridi,” has played more ODI matches than any other Pakistani cricket player. Afridi is renowned for his uncommon ability as a spin bowler to deliver batters a delivery.

From 1998 to 2010, he took 48 wickets in 47 innings across 27 test matches, with a highest bowling performance of 5/52 in an innings and 5/43 in a single test match. As one of the finest all-rounders in the world, Afridi has earned his position among the greatest spinners in cricket history.

His average in test bowling is 35.60, and his economy rate is 3. Once in test cricket, Afridi claimed five wickets. In addition, he claimed 393 wickets in 393 ODI matches between 1996 and 2015, with a top performance of 7/12.

In addition, Shahid Afridi has a bowling average of 34.21 and an economy rate of 4.60 in ODIs, and he has taken five wickets nine times in international limited-over matches.

 

7) Harbhajan Singh – India

Harbhajan Singh Plaha, an Indian right-arm off-break bowler and former captain of the IPL team Mumbai Indians, has the second-most Test wickets by an off-spinner. In addition, he is the first Indian bowler to complete a hat-trick in Test cricket.

From 1998 to 2013, he captured 413 wickets in 186 innings across 101 test matches, with the highest bowling performance in an inning being 8/84 and in a single test match being 15/217.

His average in test bowling is 32.37, and his economy rate is 2.80. In test cricket, Harbhajan took five wickets 25 times and ten wickets five times. In 229 ODI matches he played between 1998 and 2011, he claimed 259 wickets and had a top performance of 5/31.

Harbhajan’s ODI bowling average is 33.40 with an economy rate of 4.20, and he has taken five wickets three times in limited-over international matches.

 

  1. Abdul Qadir – Pakistan 

Late retired Pakistani right-arm leg spinner According to Yahoo! Cricket, bowler Abdul Qadir is widely regarded as a maestro of googlies, flippers, leg-breaks, and topspins. Graham Gooch, a former English captain, once stated that Qadir was even more talented than Shane Warne.

From 1977 to 1990, he claimed 236 wickets in 111 innings across 67 test matches, with the highest bowling performance in an innings being 9/56 and in a single test match being 13/101.

His average in test bowling is 32.80, and his economy rate is 2.50. Abdul Qadir took 5 wickets 15 times and 10 wickets 5 times in test cricket. In addition, he claimed 132 wickets in 104 ODI matches between 1983 and 1993, with a best performance of 5/44.

Qadir’s ODI bowling average is 26.16 with an economy rate of 4.02, and he has twice taken five wickets in limited-over international matches.

 

9) Graeme Swann – England

English Right-arm retirement break Graeme Peter Swann was the first English off-spinner in the modern era to capture 10 wickets in a match since Jim Laker. He is also credited with inventing the “flying saucer ball.”

From 2008 to 2013, he captured 255 wickets in 109 innings across 60 test matches, with the highest bowling performance in an innings being 6/65 and in a single test match being 10/132. His average in test bowling is 29.96, and his economy rate is 2.80.

 

In test cricket, Graeme took 5 wickets 17 times and 10 wickets three times. Furthermore, he claimed 104 wickets in 79 ODIs between 2000 and 2013, and his highest ODI performance was 5/28. In limited-over internationals, Graeme Swann has a bowling average of 27.76 with an economy rate of 4.60, and he has taken five wickets once.

 

10) Rangana Herath – Sri Lanka

Rangana Herath, a former Sri Lankan spinner, represented his nation in all formats of cricket. In addition, he captained the team on multiple occasions. In addition to being one of the greatest spinners of all time, Herath is widely regarded as one of the finest left-arm bowlers ever to play cricket.

He is the only left-handed spinner with 433 test wickets. From 1999 to 2018, he lead the Sri Lankan national team to victory in multiple international tournaments. Herath participated in 93 tests for his country and took 433 wickets.

In his Test career, he also claimed 10 wickets nine times and five wickets 34 times. Also, he participated in 71 ODIs for his country and took 74 wickets. In addition, he participated in 17 T20 International matches for Sri Lanka. He had 18 dismissals in his T20 tenure.

 


 

Also Read: Greatest Indian Cricketers of All Time

 

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