Spin bowling is an art and amid the growing trend of pace bowlers on the sub-continent, there is still something rather mesmerising about a tense battle between spin bowlers and batters.
Typically, batters have this disarming arrogance that they can take on any spin bowler and when the opportunity allows itself, launch the ball back over their head for six.
But in India, the spin maestros have been revolutionising the traditional concept of spin and they have been befuddling batters with googlies and flippers.
India has spawned many great spin bowlers over the years and we have ranked five of the best in this guide. We have largely based our analysis on their records at Test level, so let’s see who features in our carefully curated list.
Anil Kumble (1990-2008)
In a career that spanned nearly two decades, Anil Kumble was perhaps the greatest spinner to have represented India. Yes, his statistics speak for themselves and they are staggering figures – he amassed over 600 wickets from 132 matches at an average of just shy of 30 runs per wicket.
He tended to bowl quite flat, but his speed was deceptive and he often left batsmen biting the dust. Kumble – who is one of three men to pick up all 10 wickets in a single Test innings – also claimed 337 wickets in 271 ODIs, so he showed his versatility across multiple formats of the game.
Ravichandran Ashwin (2011-2022)
After making his Test debut against the West Indies in 2011, Ravichandran Ashwin announced himself in the second innings of the match with extraordinary figures of 6 for 47, and with his height, he managed to extract some
He is also happy to try out lots of different variations and he remains an integral figure for his country. While he is currently on 442 Test wickets and has a way to go to overtake Kumble, there’s no reason why he can’t reach 500 Test wickets.
Indeed, India’s Test and ODI progress is closely followed by their loyal legion of fans as well as by the plethora of reputable online betting operators that exist, which includes bet365, where you can stream live cricket as well as wager on a range of lines for Test and ODI matches, such as ‘Player to pick up the most wickets in an innings’ or ‘Player to score the most boundaries’.
Harbhajan Singh (1998-2015)
As an of spinner, Harbhajan Singh had everything in his locker, and usually, he made batsmen look stupid. 417 Test wicket pays testament to the impact he had at international level and his best figures were 8 for 84.
Singh also had a great doosra in his bag of tricks and he relied a lot on pace to confuse batsmen. One of his career highlights was when India toured Australia in 2007/08, and he dismissed the Australian captain Ricky Ponting on three occasions, prompting debate about Ponting’s failings against spin bowlers.
Ravindra Jadeja (2012-2022)
Ravindra Jadeja is a captain’s dream and he has 242 Test wickets to his name and counting. He may be rather unconventional as he is left arm unorthodox and although he’s often overlooked in favour of Ashwin, Jadeja can push the ball through the air quickly.
Aside from his undoubted talent at Test level, this has also transpired into the ODI arena, as he has claimed 234 victims from 223 limited overs internationals.
Bishan Singh Bedi (1966-1979)
Many younger fans reading this probably will never have heard of Bishan Singh Bendi. Despite that, Bendi was a spin meister and he is one of the best left-arm spinners that has graced India.
Most of the time with Bendi it just seemed effortless as he would glide up to the crease before bowling, and he managed to impart plenty of spin too.
Although he could be economical at ODI level, Bedi was better suited to Test cricket and he took 266 wickets in just 67 matches, which shows how prolific he was.