Spin bowlers are extremely fascinating to watch. Spinners play a crucial role in a cricket team. All cricket fans throughout the world find it fascinating to see the ball curve, confound the batters, and strike the stumps. The best spin bowlers are those who can deflect the ball from the batsmen. They come in a variety of forms, including the traditional leg-spin, googly, flipper, leg break, and others. With magnificent displays of the “art of spin,” some spinners have firmly established their dominance in the game. They will always be remembered for their phenomenal performances with the ball.
Here’s a list of Top 10 Best Spin Bowlers of All Time –
1. Shane Warne
Shane Warne is by far the best spinner in the world and is also widely regarded as the “King of Spin.” Beyond the amazing number of wickets he took for Australia, Shane Warne’s impact as a cricketer is considerable. Warne is a master artisan with a variety of skills and a smart cricketing mind. He easily mastered the leg-spinner, googly top-spinner, and flipper versions of the traditional wrist-spinner. Many spin bowlers who went on to play Test cricket in the future claimed that watching Shane Warne inspired them. It is simple to overlook exactly how extraordinary Warne’s abilities were since there was so much to the complete Warne package.
Early on, he had the ability to bowl huge leg-breaks that also managed to swerve through the air; this was what made Mike Gatting’s “Ball of the Century” at Old Trafford in 1993. Warne was an essential member of the Australian team that won the 1999 World Cup. He finished with 20 wickets in the tournament and was named “Player of the Match” in both the semifinal and the world cup final match. His statistics may be second best, but they are quite incredible: 708 wickets in 145 Tests at an average of 25.41. No bowler has ever taken more wickets against a single nation than he did in his 36 Test matches against England alone (195) wickets.
2. Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan is the top wicket-taker in test cricket ever. He is one of the best spinners in the world who bowled off breaks; he was a great innovator. With no indication of the world records to come, his international career got off to a somewhat modest start. But his flexible wrists, bent elbow, and quick shoulder rotation quickly rendered him unplayable. His totals of five and ten wickets are also records that are unlikely to be surpassed. Murali has been a nightmare for elite batters everywhere he has played.
At the Oval in 1998, where he took 16 wickets in the match and nearly single-handedly led Sri Lanka to their first-ever Test victory in England. His records for both Test match and one day international wickets, as well as the number of five-wicket hauls in a Test innings (67, nearly double the 37 of his closest competitor Shane Warne), and ten-wicket hauls in a match (22, compared to Warne’s ten), are unmatched and most likely uncatchable. With a wicket off his final ball, he completed his Test career in style and became the first player reach 800 test wickets. He has also taken fabulous 534 wickets in one day internationals.
3. Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble, who departed as India’s greatest ever Test wicket taker, stands out among the best spinners of all time that India has produced in terms of total wickets. He stands out among current spinners because he bowls it flatter and faster than anyone else, and he has an arsenal that includes googlies, a type of flipper that keeps low and skids on, and a best spinner that bounces. He has incredible statistics to back up his claim that he is India’s greatest match winner since Kapil Dev. He has taken wickets on a variety of surfaces all over the world, and he is out on his own in front of the four players from the golden age.
Kumble bowled out Pakistan at Delhi in February 1999, recording his best figures of 10 for 74. He also displayed uncommon bravery by bowling against the West Indies in Antigua in May 2002 despite having a fractured jaw. In August 2007,Kumble surpassed Glenn McGrath’s 563 wicket total at The Oval. With 10 wickets in a match eight times and five in an innings 35 times, he is by far the most successful Indian bowler ever even regarded one of the best spinners in the world. He is third in the all time list of wicket takers behind Shane Warne and Muralitharan.
4. Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq was another special kind of cricketer who had changed spin bowling. Saqlain’s ball was doosra. He invented this ball in the mid-90s. He was a master at it, an off-spinner-style delivery that was bowled with the same action but spun the other way, gave spinners a new tool in their toolbox. Even though he was a consistent performer in Test cricket, it was his One Day International performances that garnered the most attention.
He set a record for the most ODI wickets in a calendar year during his first full season with the team, and he then improved on it the following year, setting a record that is still in use. Because of his enormous influence, he became the first spin bowler to ever take 100 ODI wickets in the shortest amount of time. To this day, no one else has done it. Since no other bowler has ever achieved the milestone of 100 ODI wickets in less than two years.
He took two hat-tricks in one day international cricket, and in 1999, at The Oval, he dismissed three consecutive Zimbabweans to become the first player from Pakistan to accomplish the feat in a World Cup match. He was one of the first spin bowlers to specialise in bowling the final overs of a one-day innings thanks to his exceptional control throughout. He was a great inventor when it came to spin bowling thanks to his contribution.
5. Daniel Vettori
Daniel Vettori made his debut in 1997 at the age of 18, the youngest New Zealand player ever. Since then, he has worked hard to establish himself as one of the best spin bowlers in cricket, showing excellent control and subtle variations in flight. He became the youngest player to 100 Test wickets at age 21. He became the first Kiwi to take 12 wickets in a home Test in March 2000 against Australia in Auckland with five for 62 and seven for 87. Being the best left arm spinner in the world is an honour.
During the 2009 tour of Sri Lanka by New Zealand, Vettori captured his 300th Test wicket. He joined Richard Hadlee as the second New Zealander to accomplish this. He captured total 362 Test wickets in 113 matches. Vettori is New Zealand’s top wicket-taker in One Day Internationals with 305 dismissals. As a left-arm spinner, he was the first to record more than 300 wickets in both Test and One Day Internationals. In Test matches, he recorded 20 five-wicket hauls, three of which included ten wickets in a single game. And without a shadow of a doubt, this makes him the best spinner has ever produced by New Zealand in the world cricket.
6. Lance Gibbs
Lance Gibbs was tall, with long fingers, a lively movement, and he finished his overs swiftly. He used the crease skillfully, clever variations in flight, and spun the bowl a lot. Ironically, a tall off-spinner who bounced his way to the wicket rather than one of their renowned speed merchants was the first West Indian to hold the record for most Test wickets taken. Lance Gibbs is still by far the best West Indian spinner more than sixty years after his debut. He had 17 wickets at 23 apiece in Pakistan in 1957-58 when he was only 23 years old, 19 wickets at 20.78 in three Test matches in Australia in 1960-1961 and 26 wickets at 21.3 in England in 1963.
He ruled the decade, routinely bowling the West Indies to victory, most notably in 1962 at Barbados against India with an eight-wicket haul for six runs in 15.3 overs. He got 6-29 in the first innings in 1965, and the following year, at Old Trafford, he helped his team beat England by an innings with five wickets in each innings. With two wickets in the final Test match against Australia in 1975–76, Lance Gibbs broke Fred Trueman’s previous record, concluding his 79th Test with 309 wickets at 29.09.
7. Abdul Qadir
Abdul Qadir was largely recognised as one of history’s best leg spin bowlers. Qadir possessed a wide range of googlies, a lethal flipper, and a sneaky topspin. He is also well recognised for inspiring the following generations of spinners around the world. Shane Warne, a legend recalled how Qadir inspired him while he was watching him on television in the 1980s. The only spinner who consistently won games for his nation was Abdul Qadir. In the 1980s, Qadir played a key role in Pakistan’s most successful teams.
He was incredibly effective on the dry fields of his home country, and no one has taken more Test wickets for Pakistan at home than he took—168 wickets at an average of 26.82 each from 40 matches. Under Imran’s leadership, he put on some of his greatest performances, including 9 for 56 in one test against the West Indies in Faisalabad. In 1982–83 series against Australia, Abdul Qadir captured 22 wickets.
He annihilated England in 1987-88, helping Pakistan defeat England by an innings and 87 runs in the first Test at Lahore with nine for 56 in the first innings and four for 45. With terrific 236 Test wickets at the end of his career and 132 ODI wickets. Due to his outstanding cricket career, he is a great cricket legend and will always be remembered.
8. Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon has excellent variations and maximises the benefits of the pitch’s pace and bounce. He’s undoubtedly among the cricket’s all-time best spin bowlers. After Shane Warne, Nathan Lyon became the second non Asian spinner to reach the milestone of 400 Test wickets. In Test cricket, Lyon joined as the eighth best spinner in the world to reach the 400 Club. In 53 Test matches in Australia, Lyon has taken 204 wickets at an average of 32.87 and a strike rate of 66.9. In 24 Ashes Test matches, he had taken 89 wickets with an average of 30.41 and a strike rate of 65.8.
In the Ashes, Lyon has a higher bowling strike rate than legends like Swann, Grimmett, Derek Underwood, Richie Benaud, and others. He returned to the 2017 home series, which Australia won 4-0, with 21 wickets. It is absolutely stunning that he has a better bowling strike rate (64.3) than Harbhajan Singh (68.5) and other greats like Saeed Ajmal, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, Grimmett and Erapalli Prasanna. Lyon has an outstanding record against India, both at home and away. At an average of 34.75 and a strike rate of 66.3 against them, he has taken 94 wickets in 22 games.
9. Rashid khan
Rashid Khan, a seasoned spinner who was born on September 20, 1998. Many batsmen across the world have been disturbed by his right-arm leg spin thus far. He was the youngest player to hold the top spot in the ICC Player Rankings for bowlers in ODIs in February 2018. He even topped the ICC Player Rankings for bowlers in the shortest format the same month. After his outstanding performance in the 2018 Asia Cup, he rose to the top of the ICC’s all-rounder rankings in September 2018. Rashid Khan broke Mitchell Starc’s previous record of 52 games by becoming the quickest and youngest bowler to 100 wickets in ODIs. He accomplished this achievement in just 44 games.
He also broke the record for the fastest bowler to 50 wickets in the shortest format in June 2018. In addition, he accomplished the feat in two years and 220 days. This was not the end, though, as in October 2021, after only 53 games, he set a record for the fastest bowler to record 100 wickets in T20I cricket. He took a hattrick in the third Twenty20 International match against Ireland in February 2019. His 5 for 3 is the best bowling line-up by an Afghanistan bowler in a T20I, and his numbers are tied for fourth best ever. In a T20I encounter, he also made history by taking a wicket in two overs.
10. Derek Underwood
Derek Underwood is one of the best spin bowlers England has ever produced. He was accurate and awkward on the most of pitches, but was practically unplayable on wet or drying surfaces. He was a left-arm spinner who could flight the ball if necessary, but he typically bowled at a tempo that was more pace to medium, making it difficult for batsmen to attack him with their feet.
In 1968 at the Oval against Australia, Derek Underwood had his most remarkable performance, finishing with seven for 50. In the 1972 match at Headingley against Australia, Underwood wreaked havoc with 10 for 82. The figures making him without a doubt England’s best spinner during a period of 20 years. He finished his Test career with 297 wickets at 25.83, the most of any England spinner, taking 13-71 against Pakistan in 1974.