Top 10 Best Spin Bowlers of All Time

Looking for the best spin bowlers in cricket? Look no further than this list of the top 10 spin bowlers in the world, featuring some of the best players from around the globe.

In cricket, spin bowling is a technique that is frequently used. Typically, spin bowling is characterized by rapid rotation, which causes the ball to deviate from the normal straight path when it bounces on the pitch. 

The batsman will have a difficult time making a clean hit due to this. Speed of the ball when it reaches the batsman is much slower with spin bowling than with fast bowling. A list of the top 10 spin bowlers of all time has been compiled to recognize the contribution of spin bowling to the game of cricket.

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It may be possible to divide this style of bowling into four categories depending on the physical technique being used, including off-spin, left-arm orthodox spin, leg break, and left-arm unorthodox spin. There can either be a dominant wrist motion or a finger motion used by the bowler depending on their technique. Let’s take a look at this.

1. Muttiah Muralitharan

Muttiah Muralitharan

According to the International Cricket Council’s player rankings, former Sri Lankan right-arm offbreak bowler Muttiah Muralitharan held the top spot for a record period of 1,711 days.

Furthermore, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack named him as “the greatest Test match bowler ever”. In 113 test matches Muralitharan played from 1992 to 2010, he took 800 wickets in 230 innings and had his best bowling performance in an innings of 9/51 and a single test match of 16/220.

Test bowlers, on average, average 22.72 and have an economy rate of 2.47. Furthermore, Muralitharan took 5 wickets 67 times and 10 wickets 22 times during his career. A total of 534 wickets were taken by him in 350 one-day internationals he played between 1993 and 2011; his best ODI performance was 7/30.

During his career, Muralitharan has bowled an average of 23.08 with an economy rate of 3.93 in one-day internationals, as well as taken five wickets on 10 occasions during international limited over matches. As one of the greatest spin bowlers of all time, he definitely deserves to be ranked at the top.

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2. Shane Warne

best spin bowlers

As recognized in the 1994 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, Shane Keith Warne was named one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year.

It is of interest to note that the Australian captain Ricky Ponting described his retirement from professional cricket as the “end of an era”. From 1992 to 2007, he participated in 145 test matches, taking 708 wickets in 273 innings, with his best bowling performance being 8/71 and 12/128.

With an economy rate of 2.65, he has a test blowing average of 25.41 and a test economy rate of 25.41. He has also taken five wickets 37 times and ten wickets ten times in test cricket. Throughout his 194 ODI appearances, he took 293 wickets and achieved his best ODI performance of 5/33.

He has a bowling average of 25.73 in ODIs with an economy rate of 4.25, and he took five wickets in a limited overs match when he represented Australia. In the history of spin bowling, Warne is unquestionably one of the best.

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3. Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble

One of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1996 was retired right-arm leg-break bowler and former Indian cricket captain Anil Radhakrishna Kumble, fifth on the list of best spin bowlers of all time.

Moreover, he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in February 2015 as the fourth Indian cricketer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. During his 132 test matches from 1990 to 2008, Anil took 619 wickets in 236 innings, with the best bowling performance occurring in an innings of 10/74 and a single test match of 14/149.

He bowled 29.65 test wickets with an economy rate of 2.69. During his test career, Kumble took 35 wickets, eight of which were for ten runs. As well as playing 271 ODI matches between 1990 and 2007, he also took 337 wickets, with his best performance being 6/12.

There are two instances where Kumble took five wickets in international limited over matches. He averages 30.89 in ODI cricket with an economy rate of 4.30, and he took five wickets twice in one-day cricket.

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4. Saqlain Mushtaq

Saqlain Mushtaq

In addition to inventing the “doosra”, retired Pakistani right-arm off-break bowler Saqlain Mushtaq is also well known for his achievements in cricket. As far as the history of One Day Internationals is concerned, he is the fastest bowler to reach 100 wickets.

From 1995 to 2004, he participated in 49 test matches, taking 208 wickets in 86 innings. His best bowling performance came in an innings where he took 8/164 and in a single test match where he took 10/155. The test blowing average of his performance is 29.83 with an economy rate of 2.64.

There were 13 times when Mushtaq took five wickets and three times when he took ten wickets in test cricket. Between 1995 and 2003, he took 288 wickets in 169 one-day internationals, including five wickets in his best ODI performance of 5/20.

In Over-the-Counter cricket, Saqlain has an average of 21.78 with an economy rate of 4.29, and he has also taken five wickets on six occasions in international limited overs cricket. With one of the most impressive bowling figures in test cricket, Saqlain deserves a place among the top spin bowlers of all time.

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5. Daniel Vettori

Daniel Vettori

Luca Vettori is one of the most significant slow left-arm left-orthodox bowlers in the history of the New Zealand cricket team. He has scored 3,000 runs and taken 300 wickets in Test cricket. Between 2007 and 2011, Vettori served as the captain of the New Zealand national football team.

In 113 test matches he played from 1997 to 2014, he took 362 wickets in 187 innings, with his best performance being 7/87 in an innings and 12/149 in one test match.

A 34.36 average and a 2.59 economy rate were recorded in his test bowling career. Additionally, Vettori has taken five wickets in test cricket 20 times and ten wickets three times. During his career of 289 One-Day Internationals between 1997 and 2015, he took 296 wickets and achieved his best performance of 5/7 in his best ODI performance.

The bowling average for Vettori in one-day internationals is 31.90 and his economy rate is 4.11. Moreover, he has taken five wickets twice in limited over matches at the international level. The best bowling spell Vettori has ever produced in an ODI has firmly established him among the top 10 spin bowlers.

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6. Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi

In ODI matches, Shahid Afridi has played more than any other cricketer from Pakistan. He is nicknamed “Boom Boom Afridi” by his fans. In addition to his ability to bowl bouncers to batsmen, Afridi is known for his ability to throw a bouncer to batsmen at will.

His best bowling performance was 5/52 in an innings and 5/43 in one test match out of 27 matches he played from 1998 to 2010. Afridi deserves a place among the best spin bowlers, despite being one of the best all-rounders in the world.

As a test bowler, he averages 35.60 with an economy rate of 3.21. During his test career, he captured five wickets once. As well as taking 393 wickets in 393 ODI matches, he reached his best ODI performance of 7/12 in 393 matches between 1996 and 2015.

The bowling average for Shahid Afridi is 34.21 with an economy rate of 4.62 in ODIs. In limited overs matches, he has also taken 5 wickets 9 times.

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7. Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh

Among off-spinners, Harbhajan Singh Plaha, former captain of Mumbai Indians in the IPL, holds the second-highest number of Test wickets. In addition, he is also the first Indian to achieve a hat-trick in Test cricket.

A total of 413 wickets were taken by him in 186 innings out of 101 test matches in which he played between 1998 and 2013. His best bowling performances were 8/84 in an innings and 15/217 in a single test match.

Test bowling average for Harbhajan is 32.37 with an economy rate of 2.83. In test cricket, Harbhajan has taken five wickets 25 times and ten wickets five times. A total of 259 wickets were taken by him in 229 ODI matches he played between 1998 and 2011, with 5/31 being his best performance in ODI matches between 1998 and 2011.

During Harbhajan’s ODI career, he has bowled an average of 33.40 with an economy rate of 4.30, and he has also taken five wickets thrice during his limited-overs career. In the pantheon of the greatest spin bowlers of all time, there is no doubt that he deserves to be included.

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8. Abdul Qadir

Abdul Qadir

According to Yahoo! Cricket, former Pakistani right-arm leg spinner Abdul Qadir mastered a variety of styles, including googlies, flippers, leg-breaks, and topspins. It was once stated by Graham Gooch of the English team that “Qadir was even better than Shane Warne.”.

A total of 236 wickets were taken by him out of 67 test matches from 1977 to 1990, with his best bowling performances occurring in innings of 9/56 and in a single test match of 13/101.

According to his test bowling average, he has an economy rate of 2.71 and a strike rate of 32.80 in test cricket. Moreover, Abdul Qadir was a wicket-taker 15 times and a wicket-taker 10 times in test cricket. Also between 1983 and 1993, he recorded 132 wickets in 104 One Day Internationals, with his best performance being 5/44 in an ODI.

It is worth noting that Qadir has a bowling average of 26.16 with an economy rate of 4.06 in ODI matches. Qadir has also taken five wickets twice in international limited overs matches. It is for this reason that he deserves a place among the most famous spin bowlers of all time.

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9. Graeme Swann

English off-spinner Graeme Peter Swann retired after taking a record ten wickets in a match for the first time since Jim Laker. In addition, he is noted for having invented the flying saucer ball, which is a unique invention.

From 2008 to 2013, he participated in 60 test matches, taking 255 wickets in 109 innings with the best bowling performance in an innings of 6/65 and a single test match of 10/132. During his test bowling career, he has an average of 29.96 with an economy rate of 2.98.

There were 17 occasions when Graeme took five wickets and three times when he took ten wickets in test cricket. As well as taking 104 wickets in 79 ODIs between 2000 and 2013, he achieved his best performance in ODI cricket by taking 5/28.

In one-day internationals, Graeme Swann averages 27.76 and has an economy rate of 4.54; he also has five wickets in one limited over international match. It is no surprise that Swann is regarded as one of the greatest spin bowlers of all time for the number of wickets he took in ODI cricket.

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10. Rangana Herath

Rangana Herath

Rangana Herath was a former Sri Lankan spinner who played in all formats of the game for his country. Furthermore, he has also served as a captain of the team on a number of occasions. Aside from being regarded by many as one of the greatest spinners of all time, Herath is also considered to be one of the greatest left-arm bowlers of all time.

His record of 433 wickets in test cricket is the only one among left-arm spinners. A number of international tournaments were won by his Sri Lankan team during his career, which extended from 1999 to 2018.

It is estimated that Herath played 93 test matches for his country and took 433 wickets during that time. His Test career also included nine wickets taken by him and 36 wickets taken by him.

Besides playing 71 ODI matches and taking 74 wickets for his country, he also competed in 71 Tests for his country. He also played 17 T20 International matches for the Sri Lankan national team. A total of 18 wickets were taken by him during his T20 career.

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Honorable Mentions

The following are some honorable mentions, without whom the list would be a complete failure. The former Pakistani cricketer Mushtaq Ahmed Malik, who is currently the spin bowling coach for the Pakistan cricket team, took 185 wickets in 52 test matches and 161 wickets in 144 One Day Internationals. During his career, Lancelot Richard Gibbs took 309 wickets in 79 international test matches and two wickets in three one-day international matches.

It has been reported that Indian left-arm orthodox bowler Bishan Singh Bedi has taken 266 test wickets in 67 matches, and seven more in ten one-day international matches. Stuart Charles MacGill was a right-arm leg-spin bowler who played 44 tests and six one-day internationals during his career.


Mastering the art of spin bowling requires a great deal of skill on the part of the bowler. It is exceedingly important for the team that he performs this role since his style can change the direction of a ball at the bounce and bewilder a batsman, especially an inexperienced one.

A spin bowler uses old balls that grip the pitch better later in the game to intimidate batsmen when the pitch is beginning to crack and crumble. Out of all the best spin bowlers of all time, which one do you consider to be your favorite?

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