The 5 Greatest Australian Spinners of All Time

Over the years, Australia’s fast bowlers have wreaked havoc on the opponent batters with their lethal pace. The likes of Glenn McGrath, Mitchell Johnson, and Mitchell Starc have dealt huge blows to the best of the best batting lineups.

However, among these bowlers, a few prominent spinners made the Aussie bowling attack even more destructive. Now, Shane Warne’s name must’ve popped up in your mind, and hands down, he is the greatest spinner the country has ever produced.

But apart from him, a few notable spinners have done great for Australia while donning the baggy green. So, here are the 5 greatest Australian spinners of all time.

1. Shane Warne

The guy who bowled the ‘Ball of the Century’ has to be the greatest spin bowler, isn’t he? And Shane Warne isn’t just Australia’s best spinner, he’s overall the greatest of all time among other exponents.

Warne’s leg-spin made batters dance to his tune, often leaving them bamboozled. He possessed different leg spin variations like leg break, googly, and flipper, using them to a great extent to trouble the batters.

Warnie bagged 1001 wickets in Tests and ODIs combined in his glorious 15-year career. And there is no doubt there won’t be any spinner of his calibre.

2. Nathan Lyon

Can you imagine a player who once used to be a groundsman going on to grab over 500 wickets in Tests? No, right.

Well, here we have Nathan Lyon, who defeated the norms and went on to become a regular feature in the Australian squad. Gary, as he is fondly called by his teammates, filled the spot left by Warne.

His tight bowling has reaped rewards for him in picking up wickets on difficult tracks at home and abroad. Lyon may not be a mainstay in the limited-overs setup, but he sure is the backbone of Australia in the red ball format.

And that’s visible with his wickets tally soaring over 500 in the Test format, which made Lyon the 8th bowler to breach that mark. That leaves him as one of the greatest spinners from Australia.

3. Clarrie Grimmett

New Zealand-born Clarrie Grimmett finished off his overs in under 1 and a half minutes, snapping past the bowlers with his pin-point accuracy.

He was not someone who tried to spin every ball, rather, he focused more on bowling with precise line and length. Grimmett’s bowling returned him with an astounding tally of 1424 wickets in First-Class cricket and 216 wickets in 37 Tests.

Apart from the traditional leg break, he had other deceptive deliveries like topspinner, googly, and flipper under his sleeve. 

Also Read | What is the difference between a googly and a flipper?

4. Richie Benaud

Everyone knows Richie Benaud as one of the finest commentators, but before he sat with the mike in his hand, his fingers did the magic on the pitch.

Benaud started his cricketing journey as a batter and later went on to transform himself into a spin-bowling all-rounder. His decision to turn into an all-rounder worked wonders for him, as he claimed 248 Test wickets.

Benaud’s disciplined leg spin bowling placed him among the best during his career. And later, he went on to go down in the history books as one of Australia’s finest spinners.

5. Stuart MacGill

Have you ever felt that you are the unluckiest person for some reason? Well, if you ask Stuart MacGill, he might agree with that.

Why so? His international career collided with that of his team-mate and the best tweaker of the ball, Shane Warne.

Since Warne was a regular in the side, MacGill got sparse opportunities. But despite that, he tried to make the most out of those outings, garnering 208 wickets in 44 Tests.

Once Warne retired, he was back in the squad, but it was too late as he had lost his touch by then. Now, one can only wonder where MacGill would have ended up if Warne was not around at that time.

Nonetheless, he makes his presence felt by being one of the best Australian spinners to have played the game.

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