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Top 5 Indian Off Spinners of all time

Santosh Kumar
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 15:19 IST

Second Test - South Africa v India: Day Two
Bhajji was India's top off-spinner for a long time

What constitutes a truly national tradition? Probably, the universal practice of an art form that cuts across regions and social classes in a country.

If we apply this yardstick to off-spin bowling, we are not far off from the truth if we say that it is truly one of the Great traditions Indian cricket.

Scores of off-spinners have plied their trade and passed on the necessary craft knowledge to the next generation.

From Ghulam Ahmed to Washington Sundar, there is an endless line of exceptional off-spinners who not only practiced this art but, in their unique way contributed towards expanding the grammar of this form of slow bowling.

We look at top five exceptional practitioners of off-spin bowling who played for India.

#5 Ghulam Ahmed

First great off spinner from India
Ahmed was the first true great off-spinner for India

The decade of the 50s bore witness to the formation of India's first great spin triumvirate of Mankad, Ahmed and Gupte. Tall and slim, Ghulam Ahmed had a nice side on action.

His height prevented him from giving excess loop but his sharp spin off the wicket spelled doom for many a batsman.

He also bowled a well concealed straighter one and a leg cutter.


Accurate and steady on normal wickets, Ahmed became deadly on slightly helpful wickets. At Calcutta(now Kolkata) 1956 against a touring Australian side, he captured seven wickets for 49 runs in the first innings and ended the test with 10 for 130. His contributions in the English summer of 1952 read: 15 wickets at 24.73 a piece in four tests.

He captured 68 wickets in a total of 22 test matches he played at an average of 30.17. He also captained India in three tests, one against New Zealand in 1955-56 and twice against the Windies in his last series as an Indian Cricketer in 1958-59.

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Published 23 Mar 2018, 06:47 IST
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