Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

The technique of spin bowling is used in cricket very often. The main purpose of Spin bowling is to bowl with a rapid rotation, to make it deviate from the normal straight path when it bounces on the pitch. This will make it difficult for the batsman to make a clean hit. It case of spin bowling, the speed at which the ball reaches the batsman is much slower than in case of fast bowling.

Depending on the physical technique being used, this style of bowling can be divided into four categories, i.e. off-spin, left-arm orthodox spin, leg break and left-arm unorthodox spin. Depending on the technique, the bowler may use either finger motion or predominant wrist motion. Let us take a look at the Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time.

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

 

 

 10. Rangana Herath

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

Sri Lankan slow left arm orthodox bowler Rangana Herath is currently ranked as the number three Test match bowler in the cricket world. He was stated as Sri Lanka’s No. 1 bowler after the retirement of Muralitharan by former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene. He took 261 wickets in 105 innings out of 58 test matches he participated from 1999 to 2015, with a best bowling performance in an innings of 9/127 and in a single test match of 14/184. Rangana Herath’s test bowling average is 29.56 with an economy rate of 2.75. Herath took 5 wickets 21 times and 10 wickets 4 times in test cricket. He also took 73 wickets in 69 ODI matches he played between 2004 and 2015 and achieved his best ODI performance of 4/20. Rangana Herath has a bowling average of 31.28 with an economy rate of 4.35 in international limited over matches.

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9. Graeme Swann

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

Retired English Right-arm off break Bowler Graeme Peter Swann was the first modern era English off-spinner to take 10 wickets in a match since Jim Laker. He is also noted for pioneering the unique “flying saucer ball”. He took 255 wickets in 109 innings out of 60 test matches he participated from 2008 to 2013, with a best bowling performance in an innings of 6/65 and in a single test match of 10/132. His test bowling average is 29.96 with an economy rate of 2.98. Graeme took 5 wickets 17 times and 10 wickets thrice in test cricket. He also took 104 wickets in 79 ODI matches he played between 2000 and 2013 and achieved his best ODI performance of 5/28. Graeme Swann has a bowling average of 27.76 with an economy rate of 4.54 in ODI, and also took 5 wickets once in international limited over matches.

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8. Abdul Qadir

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

At number 8 of Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time, Retired Pakistani Right-arm leg spin Bowler Abdul Qadir is widely regarded as he “mastered the googlies, the flippers, the leg-breaks and the topspins” according to Yahoo! Cricket. Former English captain Graham Gooch once stated that “Qadir was even finer than Shane Warne.” He took 236 wickets in 111 innings out of 67 test matches he participated from 1977 to 1990, with a best bowling performance in an innings of 9/56 and in a single test match of 13/101.

His test bowling average is 32.80 with an economy rate of 2.71. Abdul Qadir took 5 wickets 15 times and 10 wicket 5 times in test cricket. He also took 132 wickets in 104 ODI matches he played between 1983 and 1993 and achieved his best ODI performance of 5/44. Qadir has a bowling average of 26.16 with an economy rate of 4.06 in ODI, and also took 5 wickets twice in international limited over matches.

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7. Harbhajan Singh

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

At number 7 of Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time, Indian Right-arm off break bowler and former captain of IPL team Mumbai Indians Harbhajan Singh Plaha has the second-highest Number of Test wickets by an off spinner. He is also the first Indian bowler to achieve a hat trick in Test cricket. He took 413 wickets in 186 innings out of 101 test matches he participated from 1998 to 2013, with a best bowling performance in an innings of 8/84 and in a single test match of 15/217.

His test bowling average is 32.37 with an economy rate of 2.83. Harbhajan took 5 wickets 25 times and 10 wicket 5 times in test cricket. He also took 259 wickets in 229 ODI matches he played between 1998 and 2011 and achieved his best ODI performance of 5/31. Harbhajan has a bowling average of 33.40 with an economy rate of 4.30 in ODI, and also took 5 wickets thrice in international limited over matches.

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6. Shahid Afridi

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

At number 6 of Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time, Pakistani Right arm leg spin Bowler Shahid Afridi, nicknamed by his fans as “Boom Boom Afridi”, has played more ODI matches than any other cricket player from Pakistan. Afridi is noted for his ability to throw a bouncer to batsmen which is very rare for a spin bowler. He took 48 wickets in 47 innings out of 27 test matches he participated from 1998 to 2010, with a best bowling performance in an innings of 5/52 and in a single test match of 5/43.

His test bowling average is 35.60 with an economy rate of 3.21. Afridi took 5 wickets once in test cricket. He also took 393 wickets in 393 ODI matches he played between 1996 and 2015 and achieved his best ODI performance of 7/12. Shahid Afridi has a bowling average of 34.21 with an economy rate of 4.62 in ODI, and also took 5 wickets 9 times in international limited over matches.

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5. Daniel Vettori

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

At number 5 of Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time, Pioneer slow left-arm orthodox bowler of New Zealand cricket team Daniel Luca Vettori is the eighth player in Test history to score 3,000 runs besides taking 300 wickets. Vettori served as the captain of the New Zealand team between 2007 and 2011. He took 362 wickets in 187 innings out of 113 test matches he participated from 1997 to 2014, with a best bowling performance in an innings of 7/87 and in a single test match of 12/149.

His test bowling average is 34.36 with an economy rate of 2.59. Vettori took 5 wickets 20 times and 10 wicket 3 times in test cricket. He also took 296 wickets in 289 ODI matches he played between 1997 and 2015 and achieved his best ODI performance of 5/7. Vettori has a bowling average of 31.90 with an economy rate of 4.11 in ODI, and also took 5 wickets twice in international limited over matches.

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4. Saqlain Mushtaq

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

At number 4 of Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time, Retired Pakistani Right arm off break Bowler Saqlain Mushtaq is best known for inventing the “doosra”. He was the quickest bowler to reach 100 wickets in the history of One Day Internationals.

He took 208 wickets in 86 innings out of 49 test matches he participated from 1995 to 2004, with a best bowling performance in an innings of 8/164 and in a single test match of 10/155. His test blowing average is 29.83 with an economy rate of 2.64. Mushtaq took 5 wickets 13 times and 10 wickets thrice in test cricket. He also took 288 wickets in 169 ODI matches he played between 1995 and 2003 and achieved his best ODI performance of 5/20. Saqlain has a bowling average of 21.78 with an economy rate of 4.29 in ODI, and also took 5 wickets 6 times in international limited over matches.

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3. Anil Kumble

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

At number 3 of Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time ,Retired Right-arm leg break bowler and former captain of the Indian cricket team Anil Radhakrishna Kumble was one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1996. He became the fourth Indian cricketer to be inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame in February 2015. Anil took 619 wickets in 236 innings out of 132 test matches he participated from 1990 to 2008, with a best bowling performance in an innings of 10/74 and in a single test match of 14/149.

His test bowling average is 29.65 with an economy rate of 2.69. Kumble took 5 wickets 35 times and 10 wicket 8 times in test cricket. He also took 337 wickets in 271 ODI matches he played between 1990 and 2007 and achieved his best ODI performance of 6/12. Kumble has a bowling average of 30.89 with an economy rate of 4.30 in ODI, and also took 5 wickets twice in international limited over matches.

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2. Shane Warne

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

Number 2 on Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time, Legendary retired Australian Right-arm leg break Bowler Shane Keith Warne was named one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in the 1994 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. His retirement from professional cricket was described by the Australian captain Ricky Ponting as the “end of an era”. He took 708 wickets in 273 innings out of 145 test matches he participated from 1992 to 2007, with a best bowling performance in an innings of 8/71 and in a single test match of 12/128.

His test blowing average is 25.41 with an economy rate of 2.65. Warne took 5 wickets 37 times and 10 wicket 10 times in test cricket. He also took 293 wickets in 194 ODI matches he played between 1993 and 2005 and achieved his best ODI performance of 5/33. Warne has a bowling average of 25.73 with an economy rate of 4.25 in ODI, and also took 5 wickets once in international limited over matches.

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1. Muttiah Muralitharan

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

Next on Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time, Legendary retired Sri Lankan Right-arm off break Bowler Muttiah Muralitharan held the number one spot for Test bowlers for a record period of 1,711 days in the International Cricket Council’s player rankings. He was named “the greatest Test match bowler ever” by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack in 2002. Muralitharan took 800 wickets in 230 innings out of 113 test matches he participated from 1992 to 2010, with a best bowling performance in an innings of 9/51 and in a single test match of 16/220.

His test bowling average is 22.72 with an economy rate of 2.47. Muralitharan took 5 wickets 67 times and 10 wicket 22 times in test cricket. He also took 534 wickets in 350 ODI matches he played between 1993 and 2011 and achieved his best ODI performance of 7/30. Muralitharan has a bowling average of 23.08 with an economy rate of 3.93 in ODI, and also took 5 wickets 10 times in international limited over matches.

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Honorable Mentions:

Some of the honorable mentions, without whom the list will be a complete misery, are as follows. Pakistani former cricketer and the current spin bowling coach of the Pakistan cricket team Mushtaq Ahmed Malik took 185 wickets in 52 test matches and 161 wickets in 144 ODI matches. Former West Indies cricketer Lancelot Richard Gibbs achieved 309 wickets in 79 international test matches and 2 wickets in 3 ODIs he played. Indian slow left-arm orthodox bowler Bishan Singh Bedi bagged 266 test wickets in 67 matches and 7 more in 10 ODI matches he contested. Former Australian right-arm leg spin bowler Stuart Charles MacGill took 208 wickets in 44 test matches and 6 wickets in 3 ODI matches.

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Speaking of Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time, It takes special skill on the part of the bowler to master the craft of spin bowling. His job is exceedingly important for the team, as his style can completely change the direction of the ball at the bounce, and bewilder the batsman, especially an inexperienced one. Spin bowlers take to the pitch later on in the game when the pitch starts to crack and crumble, and use old balls that grip the pitch better, to intimidate batsmen.

Top 10 Spin Bowlers of All Time

1. Muttiah Muralitharan
2. Shane Warne
3. Anil Kumble
4. Saqlain Mushtaq
5. Daniel Vettori
6. Shahid Afridi
7. Harbhajan Singh
8. Abdul Qadir
9. Graeme Swann
10. Rangana Herath

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  • Tanveer Ahmad

    Where is Saeed Ajmal ?

  • Taffbanjo

    Utterly ridiculous – Wilfred Rhodes, Hedley Verity, Johnny Wardle, etc.?
    The compiler is obviously very young and knows little about cricket’s history.