Who are the best left-arm spinners in test history?
The category of best left-arm spinners in the history of test cricket will be incomplete without the likes of all-time greats Rangana Herath, Daniel Vettori, Derek Underwood and Bishan Singh Bedi. Add to this mix, a few Generation Y players, and we have the list of top southpaw spin bowlers. Let us find out what the statistics have to say.
Ranagna Herath takes the top spot
Rangana Herath, the tireless Sri Lankan bowler, is the most successful left-arm spinner of all time with 389 wickets in 83 Tests. He has an average of 28.25. The 39-year-old also has the most five and ten wicket hauls, 31 and 8 respectively, for a left-arm spinner. Further he is only second to Wasim Akram (414) in terms of wickets, among all left-arm bowlers.
Only bowlers with more 5-fers than Herath
Only Muttiah Muralitharan (67), Shane Warne (37), Richard Hadlee (36), and Anil Kumble (35), have more five-wickets than Herath in test cricket.
Daniel Vettori, the Kiwi wizard
While Herath continues to rule the roost, the former Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori, with figures of 362 wickets in 113 matches, is the next best left-arm spinner in the history of test cricket. His average is 34.36, and has 20 five-wicket hauls, and 3 ten-wicket hauls. His best figures of 7-87 came against the Aussies in March 2000, at Auckland.
Derek 'deadly' Underwood
Derek Underwood, the England's bowler was not nicknamed 'deadly' for nothing. He was a nightmare for batsmen on a sticky wicket. He has 297 wickets in 86 matches, an average of 25.83, 17 five-wicket hauls and 6 ten-wicket hauls. Having claimed 54 wickets, Derek is the most successful visiting test spinner in India, ahead of the likes of Muralitharan (40) and Shane Warne (34).
Bishan Singh Bedi
Bishan Singh Bedi, the master of deception, is among the top 5 left-arm spinners of all time. Bedi who was part of India's spin quarter alongside Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, has to his credit 266 wickets in 67 matches. At an average of 28.71, his best figures of 7-98 came against Australia, in Dec 1969, at Kolkata.
Where do Shakib Al Hasan and Ravindra Jadeja stand?
Shakib Al Hasan and Ravindra Jadeja, the current generation's best all-rounders, also figure among the top 10 left-arm spinners of all time. With 188 wickets in 51 matches, Shakib is just behind BS Bedi in the list, while Jadeja takes the 10th spot with 155 wickets in just 32 matches. While the Bangladesh's bowler has 32.37 average, Jadeja averages at 23.60.
Shakib vs Jadeja stats
The best match figures for Shakib and Jadeja are 10/124 and 10/154, respectively. Shakib has 17 5-fers and two 10-wicket hauls, while the Indian has 9 five-wicket and one 10-wicket hauls.