Best West Indies Spin Bowlers
The Windies have been known traditionally for their fast bowling prowess, with the likes of Michael Holding and Joel Garner being amongst the very best ever in cricket. In the 1980s, when they dominated, the West Indies were the best test team in the world. Naturally, the best West Indies spin bowlers have been scattered throughout different eras.
West Indies have had a variety of quality spinners – from leg spinners and off spinners to ambidextrous and left-arm spinners.
But who are the best West Indies spin bowlers of all-time?
Lance Gibbs was the first spinner to take 300 wickets in test match cricket. He was a tall off-spinner, who had excellent control. His economy rate is below 2.
In 79 tests, Gibbs picked up 309 wickets at a bowling average of 29. This included 18 five-wicket hauls. He was especially deadly in the subcontinent, averaging less than 25 in both India and Pakistan.
Undoubtedly, the Windies best spinner to have played test match cricket, statistically. He had all the required skills to trouble batsmen.
Perhaps more known for his batting prowess, Gary Sobers is a bit of a surprising name on this list. He only bowled spin on occasions. Despite this, in 93 tests, he picked up 235 wickets at a bowling average of 34.
Sobers bowled both left-arm orthodox and left-arm wrist spin. Like Gibbs, he was very successful in India, picking up 59 wickets at a bowling average of under 26.
One half of the greatest spin-bowling partnership that the West Indies probably ever had. In 43 tests, he picked up 158 wickets at a bowling average of 29. Sonny Ramadhin was a right-arm off-break bowler.
Along with Sonny Ramadhin, he revolutionised spin bowling in partnerships for the West Indies. In just 36 tests, Alf Valentine picked up 139 wickets at a bowling average of 30. He bowled left-arm orthodox.
Lance Gibbs, Gary Sobers, Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine all are part of our list of “Best West Indies spin bowlers.” in the past in tests.
In 36 test matches, Devendra Bishoo has taken 117 wickets at a bowling average of 37. He is statistically the best test spinner that the West Indies currently have.
Bishoo has performed really well in Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. He averages 24, 26 and 26 in those countries respectively.
In 37 tests, Chase has picked up 71 wickets for the West Indies. He primarily acts as the main spinner when West Indies play in conditions that suit fast bowlers. He has done a commendable job.
His highlights include a five-wicket haul vs India at Sabina Park in 2016 and an eight-wicket haul vs England at the Kensington Oval in 2019. He probably needs to improve his bowling average and wickets per game though, if he wants to become a constant threat in test cricket.
Devendra Bishoo and Roston Chase are part of our list of “Best West Indies spin bowlers.” currently in tests.
In 227 ODI’s, Carl Hooper picked up 193 wickets for the West Indies at a bowling average of 36. He bowled right-arm off spin. He picked up four-wicket hauls against Pakistan, South Africa and India.
Though considered by many to be the greatest batsman in West Indies history, Sir Vivian Richards was also a very handy off-spinner in limited-overs cricket. In 187 ODI’s, he picked up 118 wickets at a bowling average of 36.
This included two four-wicket hauls against India and one against New Zealand.
Carl Hooper and Viv Richards are part of our list of “Best West Indies spin bowlers.” in the past in limited-overs.
Sunil Narine has been excellent in both ODI’s and T20I’s for the West Indies. In 65 ODI’s, Sunil Narine has picked up 92 wickets at a bowling average of 27. This includes a four-wicket haul against every major opposition except India.
His T20I record is even stronger, with his economy rate being just over 6. This means that he ties up an end beautifully and doesn’t allow the opposition to get on top of him, thereby restricting runs. Narine’s mystery spin has bamboozled many a batsman in the past.
That he doesn’t play enough cricket for the West Indies is a mystery. Ideally, the WICB would like to come to an agreement with Sunil Narine, in order to ensure that they get the most out of his talents and availability.
Despite being arguably the greatest T20 batsman, he has also been a very good off-spinner in the past for the West Indies in the format. Chris Gayle has only taken 17 wickets internationally but his economy rate of 7.09 is pretty healthy.
In ODI’s, Gayle’s bowling has had more success – picking up 167 wickets in 300 ODI’s. This at a bowling average of 35.
Sunil Narine and Chris Gayle are part of our list of “Best West Indies spin bowlers.” currently in limited-overs.
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