“It is far more than a game, this cricket,” said Neville Cardus. Cricket is a sport that has numerous fans to its name. A game that has built friendship, leadership and brought together countries on the same ground. It is a game that has emotions running parallel every time it’s played. . Cricket is played with two opposing teams consisting of eleven players. It is also known as the bat and ball game. Today, we have different ranges of cricket, like the T20, ODIs, Test Matches, and many forms. Cricket has paved a way for new dreams for people. The first game of cricket was played in the mid-16th century in South East England. An essential part of cricket is a baller. Ballers play a crucial role in defending their team. Today, we have a string of best ballers around the world who continue to inspire aspiring ballers. Bowling is broadly classified into two- fast and slow bowling. Within these two categories, there are different variations like a spinner, swing, yorker, off-cutter, bouncer, and many more. Amidst these variations, the off-spinners have left behind a tremendous mark in cricket history. To know them, here are the top 10 off-spinners of cricket history.
1. Muttiah Muralitharan
When you talk about spinners, you should never miss M Muralitharan. Amongst the cricket world, Muralitharan is one of the most successful off-spinners. He is known for his ability to confuse the batsman while twisting the ball on his wrist. In his later career, he also included the skill of Doosra. Most of the reviews always possessed ambiguity about Muralitharan’s game. However, the checks on his bowling style always kept him under pure light.
2. Saeed Ajmal
Pakistan’s name in international cricket matches was raised by terrifying bowler Saeed Ajmal. He made it through the list of best bowlers around the world with his impactful performance. He became a threat to the batsman by only playing his first test match aged 32. He has to his credit 178 dismissals in 35 matches and 85 wickets in 64 matches of T20.
3. Harbhajan Singh
Our Bhajji or Harbhajan Singh is one of the most influential figures in the cricket world. He is well known for his Doosara on the field and has to his credit one hat-trick in test matches. He is best known for his debut series. He is ranked third amongst the list of highest wicket-takers for India in test matches. He is also the 10th Indian player to have played 100 test matches.
4. Ravichandran Ashwin
If there is one bowler who the batsman fears in today’s time, it is Ravichandran Ashwin. Known for his strategic playing, Ashwin is the fastest bowler to acquire 100 wickets in only 18 test cricket matches. He has 365 wickets in 71 test matches. Apart from this, Ashwin has 4 test centuries and 11 half-centuries to his name.
5. Nathan Lyon
Australia’s Nathon Lyon is a front-line spinner for his country. He is known for his neat landing and variation in flight and pace. He has a record for taking the highest number of Test wickets by an Australian off-spinner. It happened after his 141 wickets in the 2015 game. He is also known as the Test Specialist.
6. E.A.S Prasanna
He amazed the crowd with his astonishing balling performances. E.A.S Prasanna is known to be the off-spin magician in India. He first played for India in 1968. He held the record of getting the fastest 100 test wickets in only 20 games until R Ashwin shattered the record.
7. Jim Laker
One of the best spinners that the world has come across, Jim Laker played for England. He is known for taking all ten wickets in a Test inning. His cricket career was short but that couldn’t stop him from beingat the pinnacle of glory. He played a total of 46 test matches, taking 193 wickets. He has to him an unbroken world record to date. He took nineteen wickets in the match against Australia, and then the match was known as Laker’s match.
8. Hugh Tayfield
Hugh Joseph Tayfield was an off-spinner who played for South Africa. Rated amongst the best off-spinners around the world, Tayfield played 37 matches in total. Tayfield held the record of fastest South African off-spinner to take 100 test wickets. It was later broken by Dale Steyn. He is the best bowler amongst accuracy and has taken 170 test wickets in his whole cricket career.
9. Sonny Ramadhin
The greatest off-spinner of the West Indies, Sonny Ramadhin is an Indian origin player but represented the West Indies in international matches. He has taken 158 wickets in 43 test matches and is the best-off spinner for West Indies. He was also one amongst five Wisden Cricketers of the Year, in 1951.
10. Saqlain Mushtaq
The pioneer of Doosra, Saqlain Mushtaq was the fastest off-spinner to reach the range of 200 to 250 wickets in ODIs. he played 49 test matches and 169 ODIs, taking 208 test and 288 ODI wickets. He is the second-highest spinner to take the most number of wickets for Pakistan, after the legendary Shahid Afridi.
These are the best off-spinners that the world has. There are so many footsteps behind these legends. Today, the cricket world is all about learning and growing and these magnificent figures have already been drawn away for the learners.