Spinners are the masters of deception in cricket. They are an asset for whichever team they play. While fast bowling relies on strength and speed, spinners have to be more technical and clever in tactics. Spin-bowling has been developed as art since its creation. There are various techniques a spinner can follow. Primarily, there are four categories- Off-spin, leg-break, orthodox left-arm, and unorthodox left-arm. In tribute to this ever-evolving art, we have made a list of the top 10 best spinner in the world of all time.
List of top 10 best spinner in the world
|Player||International Matches||Wickets||Bowling Style|
|Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)||483||1,334||Right-arm off-break|
|Shane Warne (Australia)||339||1,001||Right-arm leg-break|
|Anil Kumble (India)||403||956||Leg Break|
|Ravichandran Ashwin (India)||243||638||Right-arm off-break|
|Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan)||218||496||Right-arm off-break|
|Harbhajan Singh (India)||339||711||Right-arm offbreak|
|Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)||135||277||Right-arm legbreak|
|Graeme Swann (England)||178||410||Right-arm offbreak|
|Jim Laker (England)||46||193||Right-arm offbreak|
|Nathan Lyon (Australia)||132||433||Right-arm offbreak|
Muttiah Muralitharan: Best Spinner of All Time
The greatest spinner of all time, Muttiah Muralitharan was truly a sight to behold. His success had been unbelievable, not only in Asia’s spin-friendly pitches but also on foreign soil.
Surprisingly enough, most of Muralitharan’s wickets came in pitches, which were considered a graveyard for spinners. He took wickets, not only in India and Sri Lanka but also in England and Australia.
The magician of spin bowling, Muralitharan, once held the ICC No.1 spot for 1,711 days. An intimidating record on its own.
Murali finished his international career with 1,334 wickets, a record that seems unlikely to be ever broken. When it comes to spin-bowling, Muttiah Muralitharan will always be considered the best of all time.
Shane Warne: Best Leg-Spinner in the World
The legend of Shane Warne precedes even Warne himself. A monster at his art, Shane Warne gave cricket some of its greatest defining moments. ‘The ball of the century is just one such example of such moments.
Warne’s leg-spin and flipper were particularly lethal, and he ended up taking more than 1000 wickets in his international career.
Shane Warne will be remembered for his ability to perform in big matches. The 1999 World Cup semi-final is probably the best example of that.
Warner has 708 wickets in 705 tests and 293 ODI wickets in 194 matches. With such records, he will certainly be remembered as the best spinner in the world.
Anil Kumble: Best Indian Spinner
India has a history of great spinners and Kumble is probably the best among those. With 619 wickets in the test and 337 wickets in ODI, Kumble stands above all Indian bowlers.
Kumble didn’t have the action of Muralitharan or the turn of Warne, instead, he used his height cleverly to generate extra bounce from the wicket. His accuracy and intelligence made him a lethal danger for his opponents.
In a match against arch-rivals Pakistan, Kumble equalled Jim Laker’s record of ten wickets in an innings. In 2015, he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.
Kumble had 956 wickets in total in his career and is counted among the best spinners of all time.
Ravichandran Ashwin: Best Spinner in the World Today
The best spinner in the world today, Ravi Ashwin has taken 427 test wickets in only 81 matches. Often compared to Anil Kumble, some wonder whether Ashwin will end up breaking the legend’s record.
For a long time, Ashwin was a home bully and failed overseas continuously. But as time went on, the off-spinner matured, and today he can take wickets at almost any pitch.
From using too many variations to now bowling with great discipline, Ashwin has come a long way in his career. Ashwin’s performance in Australia proved the spinner’s mastery of his art.
With 638 wickets in his international career, Ashwin is one of the best spinners of all time.
Saqlain Mushtaq: Best Spinner in the World
While Saqlain Mushtaq might not have taken as many wickets as the others on the list, he truly changed the entire game with his game.
Saqlain is famous for the creation of the popular ‘Doosra’.
At the time of Saqlain Mushtaq’s arrival, the era of off-spinners was at its lowest, and leg-spin as art was on the rise. But then, Saqlain revolutionized off-spin bowling with the introduction of his ‘doosra’ and made off-spin popular again.
Saqlain has 496 international wickets to his name, out of which 208 were in ODI and 288 in tests.
Harbhajan Singh: The Turbanator
One of the greatest Indian Spinners, Harbhajan Singh was famous for his ability to tear through an opponent’s team’s defense.
Nicknamed as ‘The Turbanator’, Bhajji popularized the ‘doosra’ in world cricket. He also became the first bowler to take a hat-trick in test cricket.
Harbhajan Singh made his test debut in 1998 and made his first series, one of the many highlights of his career. He took 711 wickets in 339 international matches, 417 out of which came in 103 tests.
Rashid Khan: Best Spinner in the World Right Now
An associate player whose talent can match the best in the world, Rashid Khan has made himself a household name. With a dozen different variations in his toolbox, the Afghan spinner is almost unplayable.
Often referred to as the best spinner in the world by critics and fans alike, Rashid has played many t20 leagues all over the world.
In international cricket, he has played 135 matches and has taken 277 wickets, most of which have come from T20I and ODI cricket.
As of now, Rashid is undoubtedly the best spinner in the world.
One of England’s best spinners to date, Graeme Swann was one of the best off-spinners of his time. Swann became particularly famous for inventing the “flying saucer ball”, and was the prime English spinner of his time.
Swann has a total of 410 international wickets in 178 international matches and surely deserves a spot on the list for best spinners in the world.
If Graeme Swann was the best modern-era spinner for England, Jim Laker has to be probably the best ever spinner for England.
Particularly famous for taking 10 wickets in a test inning, a feat only two others have achieved, Laker was incredibly dangerous as a bowler. Jim ended up taking 19 wickets in that match.
Laker was one of the most frequent contributors to the strong England side. He is surely among the best spinners in the world. Laker took 193 wickets in only 46 matches.
Recently making his way into the 400 test wickets club, Nathan Lyon is one of the best spinners in the world today. Lyon has 433 international wickets in 132 matches.
Once considered a weak spot in the Australian bowling attack, Lyon has truly proved himself over time. His ability to make the ball turn in dry Australian pitches is a talent very few can claim to possess.
This was a list of some of the best spinners in the world who have impressed everyone over the years. Cricket fans will surely remember them forever.