Top 5 spinners in New Zealand's Test history
In tune with their lush outfields and seam-friendly pitches, the core of New Zealand's bowling attack has always revolved around their effervescent fast bowlers. With seam and swing taking center stage, the role of a spinner has largely been relegated to containment when conditions become less responsive for the protagonists.
However, during the last couple of days of Test matches at home, spinners have chipped in crucial contributions on several occasions. Whenever the Blackcaps embarked on a subcontinental sojourn, their slow bowlers have seamlessly managed to usurp the mantle from the pacers.
Also Read: Top 10 New Zealand cricketers of all time
Even though the seamers usually walk away with the plaudits, New Zealand have managed to produce quite a few impressive spinners. In order of quality, here are five of the greatest spinners to represent the Blackcaps in Test cricket.
#5 John Reid
Much like his peers in the days of yore, John Reid was a man of many talents. Apart from being a dynamic stroke-maker with the bat, he was an adept fielder across vast swathes and a versatile bowler. His skills with the ball traversed a wide range of the spectrum. The right-armer combined off-breaks with vicious seam-up from closer quarters and accumulated 85 wickets in his Test career.
After making a mark as a genuinely quick bowler in his early years, Reid metamorphosed into an off-spinner capable of extracting sharp turn as his career progressed. His trademark side-on action made him extremely hard to read for opposition batsmen. Adding his occasional wicket-keeping to the mix, he was the quintessential all-rounder. Under his tactful leadership, New Zealand registered their first win in the Test arena - both home and away.
1949 to 1965
85 wickets from 58 Tests at an average of 33.35 and strike-rate of 90.8 with one five-wicket haul