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Top 5 mystery spinners of all time

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Timeless

Sunil Narine from West Indies has become a potent all-rounder
Sunil Narine from West Indies has become a potent all-rounder

Mystery spinners have always been in high demand, especially in the shortest format of the game. Varun Chakravarthy, an uncapped player of the same pedigree, was sold to the Kings XI Punjab during the 2019 IPL auction for a mind-boggling ₹ 8.40 crores.

What makes these spinners so attractive is their ability to bowl numerous variations. Be it a googly, a leg break, an off-break, a top spinner, a carrom ball, or for that matter a straight delivery - some of the mystery spinners can manage it all. 

One just can not disagree that there is another level of excitement whenever a mystery spinner comes on to bowl during a match. 

There have been various talented mystery spinners over the years who have bamboozled batsmen with their talent. Many of the finest batsmen are also seen struggling against them and are unable to pick them up. 

While some feel mystery spinners are overrated, many experts are of the opinion that they act as trump cards during a match as they spin their web for batsmen - making batsmen go berserk in order to find out their techniques.

In this article, we do a countdown of the Top 5 most lethal mystery spinners of all time. 


#5 Ajantha Mendis

Ajantha Mendis during Sri Lanka v Netherlands - ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014
Ajantha Mendis during Sri Lanka v Netherlands - ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014

Ajantha Mendis was one of the most feared spin bowlers in his prime. He was the one who stunned batsman with his carrom ball, deceived them with his leg breaks, and astonished them with top spinners. The 33-year-old from Moratuwa was really the complete package.

The Sri Lankan wizard picked up 26 wickets in his debut Test series. Indian legends such as VVS Laxman, Ganguly, and Dravid struggled against him. 

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However, as time progressed the mystery of Mendis unfolded. In the times of super-slow-motion and video analysts, the batsman were able to figure out how to play this once unplayable bowler. Mendis still has a decent career record -- 70 wickets in 19 Tests, 152 wickets in 87 ODIs with best figures of 6/13, and finally 66 wickets in 39 T20Is.

His figures of 6/8 during a T20I match against Zimbabwe remain one of the vintage bowling performances, and he is the only player besides Yuzvendra Chahal to pick up as many as 6 wickets in the shortest format of cricket. The unorthodox spinner also holds the record of being the fastest player to 50 wickets in ODIs. 

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