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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cricket: 10 Greatest Spin Bowlers of All Time

By: Biplob Kishore Deb

Spin bowling seems to be an art in Cricket. With the help of wrist and fingers bowlers try to deceive the batsman where physical power is less important rather some strategic ideas of bowler can easily be silent hit for a batsman. Some of those greatest artists of this art are given below with a short illustration.

If any of you want to let me know your opinion regarding the article please put it in the comment section.

Shane Warne

Shane Warne, the Australian legendry leg spinner, is though to be one of the best legs spinners in the history of cricket. He is the leading wicket takers in the test cricket. He first took 650 wickets in test cricket. His flipper and accurate line and length make his bowls difficult to the batsmen. He is also I the verge of his 700 test and 300 ODI wickets. He holds the world record for taking highest 976 wickets in a calendar year. He is just a few runs behind from his 3000 test runs and he sis the highest test run corers without making any century. His test career started against India in 1991 but his debut match was and series was a nightmare for him. His famous wicket known as ‘Ball of the Century’ against Mike Gatting in the Ashes series in 1993 is considered as his best delivary where the ball pitching outside of the leg stamp and bouncing a bit made Gatting played on. He is involved in many controversies including his being positive in drug test during the 2003 world cup which resulted his 1 year ban form international cricket, controversy involving women and bookmakers. In spite of theses incidents he is still creating fear to the opponent batsmen and there is no doubt about his greatness.

Image Link: rediff

Muttiah Muralitharan

Muralitharan is the greatest off spinner in the cricket history who is the second leading test wicket taker in test cricket. Despite his controversy with his unorthodox bowling action, he could be able to prove his correctness and continue taking wicket all over the world. He has highest international wickets combining both ODI and test cricket which is more than 1000 wickets. He is the highest number of 5 and 10 wicket taker in an innings in test cricket. He is the only player who took 10 wickets in an innings for the consecutive four test matches. He is the only player who got 50 wickets against every test playing nations.This greatest bowler was born in 17 April, 1972 at Kandy in Sri Lanka.

Image Link: ECB

Jim Laker

James Charles Laker is one of the all time greatest spin bowlers ever seen in the Cricket History. This former English off spinner first introduced the spin bowling as an art to the cricket world. He still holds a tremendous record in the test cricket to take the 19 wickets in a single test match which is second to none. That was the first time a bowler took all of the wickets of an innings of test crickets. This test match is known as ‘Laker’s Match’ in the cricket history which was held in 1956 against Austrailia. In his test career he took 193 wickets with an outstanding average of 21.24 and his first class career record deserves him to be noted as a legend with his 1944 wickets on an average of 18.41. In 1952 he was named as the prestigious “Wisden Crickets of the Year.”

Image Link: Cricinfo

Anil Kumble

Kubmle is the third highest wicket taker in the test cricket with his 533 test wickets and the highest wicket taking spinner for India with his 329 wickets. His notable performance was seen in a test match against Pakistan in Delhi in 1999 where he took all of the ten wickets of the second innings of Pakistan. His strength is his faster flippers which often made opposition batsmen fell in mistiming. This is the second such examples in the history of test cricket after Jim Laker which I mentioned above. He was given the ‘Padma Shri’ award by the Indian Government in 2005.

Image Link: ECB

Lancelot Richard Gibbs

This former West Indian off spinner is regarded as one the legendary figure in the test cricket. He became first spinner to achieve the prestigious 300 wicket milestone. West Indies as a team was well-known for their dangerous pace attacks in the history and their cricket pitch was also known to be the friend to the fast bowlers. Gibbs is some of those rare cricketers who could turn the attention of the cricket world for their outstanding performance in spinning the ball. In his 79 test match appearances he took 309 wickets and he also had 1024 wickets in the first-class cricket. In his life time he played for several county teams in the county cricket of England.

Image Link: rediff

Bishan Singh Bedi

Bedi is another outrageous performer of test cricket who deserves to be one of the greatest ever spinner of the cricket history. In the late 60’s to late 70’s he dominated the world cricket with his off spin. His strength was variation in his deliveries which made him the leading wicket taker of his time in test cricket. In his international career he played 67 test matches for India securing 266 wickets with an average of 28.71 and his first class career ended up with taking 1560 wickets on an average of 21.69. This greatest figure in the test history helped India win in many matches. Later he became the coach of the Indian national cricket team.

Richie Benaud

This Australian cricket legend is considered as on e of the greatest cricket personalities in the world. In his career he showed all round performance in both bowling and bating. Though he has over two thousand runs in test cricket with 3 centuries and over ten thousand runs in first-class cricket 23 centuries, he was mostly known for his leg spin bowling. He could take 248 wickets in just 63 test match appearances in the test cricket. You will be in the dark if you do not get introduced with his first-class career record of 945 wickets in an average of 24.73 where he took 5 wickets for 56 times. As a captain of Australia, he was very successful with 12 win and 12 draws in return of just 4 defeats. For his benevolent presence in cricket, he was given the “Order of British Empire’ in 1961.

Bhagwat Chandrasekhar

Bhagwat Subramanya Chandrasekhar is also considered as one of the great leg spinners of all time. He was one of the pioneers of the leg spin who along with Bedi, Prasanna, Venkat dominated the cricket world in 1960’s to 1970’s. He was the great member of this famous spin quartet in the golden era of spin bowling. His googly and flipper were really something those seemed to be threats to the opposition batsmen. He had some inevitable contribution to many of his country India’s early success in the test history which involves India’s first victory in Australia. This leg spin legend played 58 matches for India taking 242 wickets in his career with the average of 29.74. He was named the Wisden cricketer of the Year in1972.

William Joseph "Bill" O'Reilly

Former Australian Leg Braker O’Reilly is another influential spinner in the cricket history. His bowling was little different from others spinners. He could bowl like medium pace with spinning the bowl including leg brake, off brake, googly, top spin etc. He was credited as the finest bowler ever seen by the greatest batsman in test cricket Sir Donald Bradman. He took 144 wickets in just 27 test matches in his career with an amazing average of 22.59. In his first-class career he took 774 wickets with an average of 16.60. He is the member of Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.

Abdul Qadir

Abdul Qadir is the former great spinner of Pakistan who could set himself as a dominant personality in his time in test cricket. He played his debut test match against England in 1977. This talented spinner had an outstanding power of taking wickets. In his 67 matched-test career he took 236 wickets and he has 132 ODI wickets too. His best bowling figure came in the 1987/88 season against England where he took 9 wickets for 54 runs. In his first-class career he took 960 wickets with an average of 23.24.


  1. Paul Corner9:02 AM

    It's a good, well reasoned list. However whilst I think Derek Underwood would not make the top ten I think Hedley Verity would have to be in there. Anybody who can take ten wickets in an innings (twice)has to be given consideration. If not for his tragic loss in the war I am sure that he would have gone on to capture the wickets of many more of the worlds top batsmen!

    1. Anonymous1:09 PM

      It has been noted that Bradman said that Verity was the bowler he least liked to face

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  3. Hi mr I like your article. It is really nice. Carry on. One day you will be best blogger.

  4. Hi Mr
    I like your article. Carry on. I wish you can take number one position among blogger.

  5. Anonymous7:02 AM


    I think your artcile is great maybe one da you will be considered a legnd among bloggers

  6. Nice post. My list will be (1) Muralitharan (2) Grimmett (3) Bill O'Reilly (4) Kumble (5) Hugh Tayfield (6) Shane Warne (7) Lance Gibbs (8) Stuart MacGill (9) Bedi (10) Dilip Doshi.

  7. Vishal1:34 AM

    Mine would be
    1. Shane warne
    2. Clarrie grimmett
    3. Murlitharan
    4. Bill'o relly
    5. Jim laker
    6. Anil kumble
    7. Lance gibbs

  8. Anonymous6:22 AM

    leg spinners:
    o 'reilley

    off spinners:


    1. Anonymous12:46 PM

      great choice, I would also include Graeme swann in the offies list

  9. Anonymous9:34 PM

    Vaibhav Said...

    1 Anil Kumble
    2 Harbhajan Singh
    3 Murlitharan
    4 Shane Warne
    5 Danial Vettori
    6 Saqlain Mustaq
    7 Greem Swaan
    8 Abdul Qadir
    9 Ajantha Mendis
    10 Abdur Razzaq

    1. Anonymous7:28 AM

      Abdur Razzak a spinner? That too in top 10. Are you kidding? Or do you really know what Cricket is?

    2. Naman Gupta3:54 AM

      They did a mistake . It's Abdul Quadir

    3. Anonymous2:57 PM

      Harbhajan kahan sa agia?
      Saeed ajmal yasir shah aur mushtaq ahmad kahan pa hain
      the great spinners

    4. Anonymous2:58 PM

      Afridi the great where?

  10. Anonymous6:18 AM

    i would like to ask why isnt afridi, mushtaq ahmed or sqlain mushtaq up there?

  11. Anonymous1:50 AM

    1) Clarrie Grinnet
    2) Bishen Bedi
    3) Warne
    4) Murali
    5) Kumble
    6) Macgil
    7) Vettori
    8) Chandrashekar
    9) Jim Laker
    10) A Qadir

  12. Anonymous6:58 PM

    where is shahid afridi

  13. Anonymous7:05 PM

    where is shahid afridi

    1. Anonymous12:32 PM

      If you ask for afridi .... They must include Ashwin.... No wonder if they add sir ravindra jadeja

  14. Murali is the best spinner of all time

    1. Anonymous11:12 PM

      Murali has taken heaps of wickets against B'desh; they have test status but they are not of test standard. Murali 'chucked' the ball. and b4 u accuse me of bias, B. Lee, when he goes over 150kph, also chucks the ball

  15. Anonymous1:18 AM

    Hi, although Saqlain Mushtaq couldnt last long for different reasons but he was fastest to reach 250 test wickets. Not only that he invented famous modern day ball called "Doosra", which happened to be the most lethal wicket taking ball today. I hope he gets more credit for what he brought to cricket.

  16. vijay pal singh10:56 PM

    I think saqlain mustaq should be in top ten spin bowlers.

    murlidhern should be on top & shane warne should be on no. 2

  17. Anonymous7:56 AM

    hey harbhajan is better than afridi

  18. Anonymous8:51 PM

    What about Graeme Swann or Dan Vettori?

  19. Bobby9:00 PM

    my list
    1. Murali
    2. Warny
    3. Jim Laker
    4. Kumble
    5. Tiger O'relly
    6. Grimmet
    7. Tayfield
    8. Bedi
    8. Hedley Verity
    9. Richie Beruad
    10 Shahid Afridi

    and what the hell are some of you thinking putting stuart macgill in your top 10 he didn't acheive anything in his time

  20. Ahmed1:24 PM

    My World Fastest Spin Bowler is Shahid Afridi And My World Fastest Bowler is Shohaib Akhtar.

  21. Anonymous11:58 PM

    A re bacche ki o laad, inventor of "doosra" and "jalebi" Saqi bhai kaha gaya re?

  22. Anonymous10:18 AM

    Lolx how easily u r neglecting Saqlain mushtaq...who really brought reform in off spinning.....

  23. Anonymous1:29 AM

    Wilfred Rhodes - 4204 wickets

  24. Anonymous3:48 AM

    clarrie grimmitt should in front of some of those bowlers

  25. Anonymous3:56 AM

    Grimmet was the fastest to reach 200-37 tests. One of only 2, who have made their debut after their 30th b'day, to take 100 wickets. He did it at time when there was much less cricket played. Murali has to be discounted bcos many of his wickets were against B'desh; a team any Sheffield Shield state team would beat. He also was a 'chucker' but so are S Aktar and B. Lee when they go over 150kph. Mallet was arguably best Anglo finger spinner. No Prassanna or Underwood?

  26. Anonymous7:09 AM

    Where Stuart Macgill

  27. Anonymous6:56 PM

    3.Pradeep Mathew.
    4.Jim Laker.
    9.Lance Gibs.
    10.Richie Beruad.

    1. yah..I think murali is better than arne

  28. Anonymous7:51 AM

    my top spinners
    jim laker
    lance gibbs
    abdul qadir
    saqlain musthaq

  29. Anonymous10:13 PM

    According to me(Abhay)..
    1.Shane Warne
    2.Muttaih Murlitharan
    3.Anil Kumble
    4.Jim Laker
    5.Bill O'Reilly
    6.Lance Gibbs
    7.Bishen Singh Bedi
    8.BS Chandrasekhar
    9.Richie Benaud/Vinoo Mankad
    10.Saqlin Mushtaq/Daniel Vettori

  30. Anonymous12:18 PM

    Ohy lulx where are afridi harbajan and ajmal?

    My top ten spin bowlers are
    1. Murli,
    2. S.worn
    3. A.qadir,
    4. Kumbly,
    5. Ajmal,
    6. A.mendis
    7. Afridi,
    8. Harbajan,
    9. Saqlain,
    10. G.swan

    1. Anonymous12:36 PM

      A.Mendis....⁉ remember tell him to remember raina once... And...lyon is a good choice if you take Swann.... Where Is mystery man Sunil narine

  31. Anonymous5:51 AM

    hmm... Saeed ajmal "teesra"

    1. at present no one can match the calibre of saeed ajmal.... thats sure

  32. Anonymous3:29 PM

    That was totally sick titties I learent a lot from this article

  33. Anonymous9:19 AM

    Shahid Afridi is a fantastic limited overs bowler for sure but this is about Test Cricket. Saqlain should be in there but not Mushtaq. Stuart MacGill was a better bowler than Mushtaq

  34. Anonymous4:25 AM

    Bowlers like Prasanna are excluded from the list. He was termed as the best spinner ever faced by Ian Chappel - a great batsmen. Pras was known for setting up a batsman and with the poor standard in in Indian fielding then, he couldnot get more wickets

  35. Anonymous1:15 PM

    Sunil narine is #1

  36. Anonymous11:12 AM

    Murali is the best of all time. There is no doubt about that...! Don't forget Shane Warne is a drug cheat like Lance Armstrong and Ben Johnson so he wouldn't count..!

  37. Anonymous9:59 PM

    Carrom mendis

  38. Are u guys are mad Pradeep Mathews is the greatest spin bowler

  39. are you kidding me! the list without saqlain mushtaq! u gotta be joking.....he introduced the 'doosra' ( the other one) delivery in cricket....and inclusion of kumble is a JOKE in the list...

    1. Anonymous12:39 PM

      JOKE...kumble took 10 wickets except jim...remember that.....Kumble is the greatest of all times

  40. Anonymous12:26 PM

    Warne is number 1 without question.

  41. Anonymous9:50 AM

    Warne was not a drug cheat (cheating indicates gaining an advantage) - he took a banned substance which in no way improved his playing ability. Whilst Warne may have been a womaniser and a scoundrel off the field - he certainly was not a cheat. Many would argue otherwise regarding Murali. I mean having the rules changed especially for one player is a bit odd isn't it. The ICC knows the value of the subcontinent to international cricket and so made moves to smooth the temper. Warne played in a team of great bowlers (McGrath, Gillespie, Lee, and had a player who would have been know as great spinner in any other time in MacGill). Murali bowled the majority of overs for his team - the only other bowler even regarded as decent was Vaas! Additionally Murali got a high amount of wickets against the lowly Bangladesh. No doubt Warne is the greatest spin bowler of all time - if not greatest bowler of all time.

  42. What about Subash Gupte?

  43. What about Subash Gupte?

  44. Anonymous1:18 PM

    Mine would be
    Saqlain Mushtaq
    Saeed Ajmal
    Sunil Narine
    Shane warne
    Mushtaq Ahmed
    Agintha Mendis
    Abdul Qadir
    Shahid Afridi
    Anil kumble

  45. Find top 10 all time bowler at http://www.toptentop.com/sports/top-10-all-time-cricket-bowlers/