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World cricket has seen some of the best spinners over the years. In this post, we will talk about the top 10 best off-spinners of all time.
Spin bowling has been one of the most crucial weapons in a cricket team’s arsenal for decades. It’s the art of deceiving batsmen with variations in flight, spin, and speed.
Spinners have always played a crucial role in cricket, and the history of the sport is studded with legends of off-spinners who have mesmerized batsmen with their guile and accuracy.
Over the years, many off-spinners have taken the cricketing world by storm with their talent, and it’s difficult to choose the best among them.
However, we have compiled a list of the top 10 best off spinners of all time based on their performance, longevity, and impact on the game.
Table of contents
Top 10 Best off Spinners of All Time
1 Muttiah Muralitharan
Muralitharan is rated as the greatest off-spinner of all time. There is no better spinner than him in the history of the game.
His stats prove that he is the most successful off-spinner to ever play the game. He is one of the best wrist spinners the world has ever seen.
His most lethal skill was using Doosra, which makes it players very difficult to understand the variation of the ball.
Muralitharan is an equally effective bowler in all formats of the game. Muttiah Muralitharan is the all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket as well as in ODI.
He had a total of 800 test wickets in 133 matches. In ODI he has taken 534 wickets in 350 matches. He is the fastest bowler to reach 400 and 500 Test wickets.
One of the most interesting facts is that Murali has a 10-wicket haul against every Test-playing nation. The spin wizard finished his career with some of the best averages in both tests (22.7) and ODI(23.1).
2 Ravichandran Ashwin
One word to describe Ashwin is spectacular. He is the modern-day great in cricket. When it comes to off-spin bowling nobody is better than him in this modern era.
He had a lot of variation in his bowling. He can make life difficult for any world-class batsman around the world. Ashwin is the quickest Indian bowler to reach 100 wickets in test cricket. He has achieved this feat in just 18 matches.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s stats are unreal he had played a total of 78 Tests and took 409 wickets which involve 30 five-wicket hauls.
He has a part of the India team for 111 ODIs and has taken 150 wickets. Ashwin is also an outstanding bowler in T20 and IPL.
In T20I he had played 46 matches and taken 52 wickets while in IPL he had taken a total of 138 wickets with an average of 26.8.
Ravichandran Ashwin is one of the Indian gems that never fail to shine. He is currently one of the best off-spinners in test cricket.
The way Ashwin is going he could break several records in test cricket. Ashwin is a very conducive player in his team’s victory on several occasions. Ravichandran Ashwin is number 2 in our list of best off spin bowlers in history.
3 Jim Laker
Jim Laker the English prodigy and one of the best off-spinners the cricket has come across. He is the first bowler and second overall to take all ten wickets in a Test inning. Anil Kumble was the only player to replicate his feat in the history of the game.
In the short span of his career, he had achieved a level of greatness. He had played a total of 46 test matches in which the Englishmen have taken 193 wickets with an economy rate of 2.04.
In 1956, he achieved a world record that is still unbroken. He took nineteen (of a maximum of twenty) wickets in a Test match which was held at Old Trafford in Manchester, allowing England to overcome Australia, and the match was later known as “Laker’s Match”.
4. Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh is India’s biggest match-winner in all forms of the game. He is rated as one of the best off-spinners India has ever produced.
Harbhajan came into the Indian team in 1998 but his career-defining moment came in 2001 when Anil Kumble got injured and Sourav Ganguly called him for the upcoming Border Gavaskar trophy.
Harbhajan proved himself as the best spinner by taking 32 wickets and became the first Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in Test cricket.
He is the third-highest wicket-taker for India however there is a high possibility that Ashwin can replace him very soon in Test.
Harbhajan took 417 wickets in 103 Tests with an average of 32.46. In ODI he has played 236 ODIs and has taken 269 wickets with an economy of 4.31. Harbhajan Singh is number 4 on our list of the top 10 greatest off spinners ever.
5 Saeed Ajmal
Ajmal is one of the top off-spinners of his time. Despite his age, he helped Pakistan to win so many matches.
He played his first test match at the age of 32. In spite of his late debut in the test match, he achieved the unachievable. He became the fastest Pakistani bowler to reach 100 Test wickets for Pakistan.
Ajmal became one of the most effective bowlers for Pakistan in spite of his short test cricket. He had played a total of 35 Test matches for Pakistan and took 178 wickets with an economy of 2.59.
In ODIs, he has finished his career with 184 wickets in 113 matches. Ajmal is equally effective in T20Is taking 85 wickets in 64 matches with an exceptional economy of 6.36. He was signed by Adelaide Strikers for the 2012 Big Bash League which was held in Australia.
6 Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon is one of the best off-spinners Australian cricket has produced. Australia is known for its fast bowling lineup however the presence of Lyon in the team gives the Australian an edge on the pitches where spin works so well.
Lyon holds the record for the most Test wickets taken by an Australian off-spin bowler, breaking Hugh Trumble’s tally of 141 wickets in 2015.
Nathan Lyon has played 100 Tests and took 399 wickets with an economy of 2.99. He had 18 5-wicket hauls and 3 10-wicket hauls in his career.
Lyon had their ups and downs in their cricketing career however he always came back stronger and became the most valuable player for the team. Nathan Lyon will be looking to extend his tally of wickets in the near future. Nathan Lyon is number 6 in our list of top-rated off spinners in history.
7 Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq introduced himself as the off-spinner. He was the one who introduced Doosra to the cricketing world. He was the fastest to reach the milestones of 200 and 250 wickets in ODIs.
Saqlain played 49 Test matches and 169 One Day Internationals during his career for Pakistan and took 208 Test and 288 ODI wickets.
He is equally impressive in test cricket. Across all formats, Saqlain had a total of 19 5-wicket hauls and 3 10-wicket hauls.
Saqlain has the second-most number of wickets for a Pakistani spinner. He is just behind the legendary all-rounder Shahid Afridi. Saqlain Mushtaq is number 7 on our list of greatest off spinners of all time.
8 EAS Prasanna
EAS Prasanna is the first spinner who came to the limelight in the Indian team. He is the pioneer of spin bowling in India.
He has shown some amazing performances throughout his career. Prasanna was the record holder as the fastest player to reach 100 test wickets until R Ashwin broke that record.
India was the reckoning force in the bowling lineup with the stars like Prasanna, Bishen Singh Bedi, Bhagwat Chandrashekar, and S. Venkatraghavan during the 1960s and 70s. He had played a total of 49 matches for India and took 189 wickets with an economy rate of 2.54.
9 Hugh Tayfield
Hugh Joseph Tayfield was a South African spinner known for his brilliance. He played a total of 37 Test matches for South Africa and was rated as one of the best off-spinners the world has ever seen.
Tayfield was holding the record as the fastest South African bowler to take 100 wickets in Tests but then Dale Steyn came and shattered the record in March 2008. He was also elected as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1956.
During his career between 1949-50 and 1960, he took a total of 170 wickets in Tests at an economy of 2.38. Tayfield was identified as the best bowler in terms of accuracy. Hugh Joseph Tayfield is number 9 in our list of the top 10 best off spinners of all time.
10 Sonny Ramadhin
Sonny Ramadhin is one of the greatest off-spinners in West Indies cricket history. He is the first player of Indian origin to represent West Indies cricket at the international level. He was one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1951.
Ramadhin finished his Test career with some impressive stats. He took 158 wickets in just 43 Tests with an economy of 2.05.
His economy rate of 2.05 is one of the best by any West Indian bowler. He was known as one of the best spinners of all time in the history of West Indies Cricket. Sonny Ramadhan is number 10 in our list of the top 10 best off spinners of all time.
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