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Top 5 Indian leg-spinners of all time

Santosh Kumar
Top 5 / Top 10

India is a land where brain has always been given precedence over brawn. A rich history of spin bowling might just be a reflection of that social belief. Hot and humid climatic conditions have always given the bowlers who give it a tweak a better opportunity to shine than the faster breed.

Scanning through the history of Indian cricket we find a plethora of finger spinners - both left arm and right arm. Successful leg spinners are conspicuous by their absence. Only a handful of leg spinners have had successful Test careers.

We look at the top 5 leg spinners in Indian cricket history:

#5 Narendra Deepchand Hirwani

Hirwani had a memorable debut series
Hirwani had a memorable debut series

Bespectacled and wearing a headband, Narendra Hirwani made a record-breaking debut against the mighty West Indies on their 1988 tour of India. He took 16 wickets on a turner at the Wankhede on his Test debut. He added another 20 wickets in the next three Tests. He was set for a bright future.

The fizz and guile of his bowling which he displayed in his debut series never appeared on unhelpful pitches away from the subcontinent. He last played a Test in 1996 when India were busy swooping opposition on helpful Indian pitches. He took 66 wickets in the 17 Tests that he played, out of which 45 wickets came in home conditions while only 21 came away.

The emergence of Anil Kumble largely restricted him to the confines of domestic cricket. He captured 732 first class victims in 167 matches largely playing for his home state of Madhya Pradesh. He retired from first-class cricket in 2006.

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