Top 10: Most Wickets by Spinners in Tests

Spin bowling is an art, and it has great significance in the longest format of the game. i.e., Test cricket. When a team needs someone to bowl longer spells, wants to keep things tight at one end, needs a chunk of wickets, or wants to keep pacers fresh for their next spells, the go-to bowler for a captain would be a spinner.

With the game spreading over 5 days, there will be lots of natural wear and tear on the surface, and in subcontinent conditions, it is a no-brainer that surfaces aid spin, sometimes from day 1. So as a spinner, you should have a lot of patience to go with the skill to achieve greatness, which the gentlemen down below in the lists have done over generations.

Here we will look at the top 10 wicket-takers among spinners in Test cricket.

Most Wickets by Spinners in Tests

Muthiah Muralidaran (SL) 230800
Shane Warne (AUS)273708
Anil Kumble (IND)236619
Nathan Lyon (AUS)242530
Ravichandran Ashwin (IND)189516
Rangana Herath (SL)170433
Harbhajan Singh (IND)190417
Daniel Vettori (NZ)187362
Lance Gibbs (WI)148309
Derek Underwood (ENG)151297

Key insights from the above stats

800: Sri Lankan great Muthiah Muralidaran holds the record for taking the most wickets in Test cricket. He took his last and 800th wicket in a Test against India back in 2010, and the record still remains intact. The second-best is Shane Warne, who has 709, and none of the modern-day bowlers stands a chance to go past them at present.

70: In Tests, over 70 spinners have taken 100 or more wickets, and the number reduces to 23 when we take into account spinners who have accounted for 200 or more Test wickets. While 9 of them have crossed 300 wickets, only 4 have made it past the 500-wicket club.

3: Traditionally known to produce quality spinners, India has 3 of its tweakers in this elite club. Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, and Ravi Ashwin are the ones finding a place here, while Australia and Sri Lanka have 2 spinners each in the top 10. India’s Ravindra Jadeja, with 275 wickets in Tests, is most likely to enter the top 10 sooner rather than later.

22.72: Muralidaran has the lowest bowling average for any spinner with 200 wickets or more. And for a bowler with more than 100 wickets, England’s Bobby Peel has an extraordinary bowling average of 16.98, which is the least for any spinner.

51.3: Ashwin strikes every 51.3 balls in Test cricket on average, and this is the lowest strike rate in the format (min. 101 wickets).

67 & 22: Muralidaran has grabbed 67 five-wicket hauls and 22 ten-wicket hauls, which is the most by any bowler in Tests. And he is the only bowler with 50+ fifers and 10+ ten-wicket hauls.

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