Spinners rule the roost when it comes to taking wickets across formats at the international level. The top 3 on the list are all spinners. The top fast bowler has taken only 70% of the wickets taken by the best spinner. Narrowing down the list to just spinners, India has 3 of the top 6 highest wicket-takers in international cricket.
A total of 6 Indian bowlers have picked over 500 wickets each across formats and three of them are spinners. The tweakers in question are Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, and Ravichandran Ashwin. Let’s have a look at their careers and who their favorite opposition was over the years.
1) Anil Kumble – The engineer-turned-cricketer from Karnataka is the greatest leg-spinner ever produced by India. He is also the highest wicket-taker for the country in Tests, ODIs and in overall international cricket picking 619, 337, and 953 wickets respectively. He is the second bowler to take 10 wickets in a Test innings after he wreaked havoc against Pakistan. Kumble has also taken the most five-wicket hauls by an Indian in Tests (35) and overall international cricket (37).
He has taken 142 wickets against Australia, which is the most for an Indian against a particular opposition. In 67 innings against them, he has picked 10 fifers and a couple of 10-wicket hauls. Kumble’s 10/74 against Pakistan is the best bowling figures in the world after Jim Laker’s 10/53.
Keep checking Live cricket score to watch India’s gen-next bowlers make their way up this list!
2) Harbhajan Singh – The off-spinner made his international debut as an 18-year-old in 1998 and by 2001, he had impressed a lot of cricket fans with his antics against Australia. The boy from Punjab is the first Indian cricketer to take a Test hat-trick and to that against the mighty Australians is a splendid job.
Harbhajan has picked up 707 international wickets with 417 of them coming in the Test format. He is the second-highest wicket-taker for India in the longest format of the game. He has also been a major part of the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup victories for India and his career took a downwards route after the latter. He continues to play in the IPL and is the joint-third-highest wicket-taker in the league with 150 wickets for the two most successful teams over the years, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
He is the only Indian spinner to pick up over 100 wickets in a calendar year with 102 scalps in 2002.
3) Ravichandran Ashwin – Ashwin is the only other Indian spinner apart from the aforementioned players to pick up 500 international wickets. He was known to be the off-spinning version of Anil Kumble as he is also an engineer and is an insightful cricketer. Ashwin’s variation of the carrom ball did wonders for him as he went on to pick 184 wickets in 2015 and 2016.
He has picked up 365 Test wickets, 150 ODI wickets, and 52 T20I wickets with a combined bowling average of 27.18 and a total of 27 five-wicket haul to his name. He was a part of the 2011 ODI World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy wins.