Top 5 spin bowling all-rounders of all time
A look at five of the best spinners who excelled with both bat and ball.
Cricket is a sport of bat against ball. But more often than not, the art of spin bowling gets relegated to secondary status when compared to fast bowling.
Fortunately, stats don't lie and the fact the top three wicket-takers in Test cricket history are all spin bowlers lends credibility to the impact created by them.
Spinners can generally be classified as off spin and leg spin bowlers but the underlying subtle variations mean that there are many further sub-classifications that in turn adds to their mystery and importance in the squad.
The leading wicket-taker in the world in both Tests and ODIs, Muttiah Muralitharan was an off-spinner - a genius at that. However, he could do little with the bat.
There have been many good spinners who could bat well too and let us now take a look at the top 5 spin bowling all-rounders in the history of the game across all formats.
#5 Ravichandran Ashwin (India)
Ravichandran Ashwin started off as a bowler but the way he has worked on his batting and improved to the tune of scoring 4 Test centuries is simply amazing.
The Indian off-spinner may be out of contention from the shorter versions of the game as of now. However, his tally of 150 wickets from 111 ODIs and 52 wickets from 46 T20Is at an economy rate of under seven are figures any bowler would be proud of.
Undoubtedly, Ashwin has been the backbone of the Indian Test bowling attack for a number of years now. He is rapidly proving to be one of their biggest ever match-winners with the ball whilst also making meaningful contributions with the bat.
The 31-year-old has an astounding seven Man-of-the-Series awards in Tests from just 52 matches and is a serious threat to Muralitharan's record tally of 11.