Best Batsmen Against Spin Bowling

Best Batsmen Against Spin Bowling

Spin bowling, the art of deceiving batsmen on flight, length, and turn is one of the best sights in Cricket.

The best batsman against spin not only keeps the scoreboard ticking, he indirectly helps his partner who may be struggling at the other end.

This article on the Best Batsmen against Spin Bowling is based on extensive internal research from the mid-70s to the current era.

Presented by: Raghunath Nair


Traditionally, batsmen from subcontinental conditions tend to play spinners with some authority. In spinning conditions, the spinners do the role of the attacking bowlers while the pacers have the role of keeping the runs down. This role reverses in seam-friendly conditions.

Over the years, very few batsmen could confidently play spinners in all conditions. spin bowling brings challenges in varied conditions and special skills are required to tackle the same.

The art of playing spin depends on good hand-eye coordination, sound judgment over length and degree of turn expected, and nimble footwork.

In the history of the game, some of the best batsman and greats handled best spin bowling in rank turners with relative ease.

Top Batsmen against Spin


Mahela Jayawardene – Kumar Sangakkara – Sri Lanka Cricket.

shri lankan duo

The Sri Lankan duo played and dominated test cricket in the 2000s. Their supreme batting technique playing in Sri Lankan grounds made them extremely dangerous both in Sri Lanka and on other spin-friendly pitches around the world. They were considered prized wickets for the opposition.

Mahela Jayawardene had brilliant footwork while Kumar Sangakkara was master in reading the spin and bounce. Being behind the wickets for the great Muttiah Muralitharan would have helped.

The Duo took Sri Lanka to many famous victories on spin-friendly conditions in the subcontinent pitches.


Brian Lara- West Indies Cricket

brian lara

Considered one of the best batsmen of all time, Brian Lara was also a master when it came to playing spin. He played in the era of the two best spinners of all time, Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne. He played them better than any batsman of that era.

Brian Lara was not only a great reader of spin; he was extremely aggressive against spin. In one of his interviews, he mentioned that it was a habit from his childhood days to look to dominate the spinners.

Brian only played 14 Test Matches in the subcontinent but he looked the most comfortable while his teammates struggled against spin. Being the best batsman in his team, he scored heavily against spin and was more often than not the top scorer whenever the team toured in the subcontinent.

Zaheer Abbas – Pakistan Cricket

Zaheer Abbas

Not many in the current era would have the ‘Asian Bradman’ on this list. Players who have played with or against this great Pakistani batsman would put him in the list of one of the greatest against Spin bowling.

Known for his prolific run-scoring prowess, most of Zaheer’s century was made on spin-friendly pitches which is testimony to his batting technique.

Zaheer Scored heavily in first-class cricket and was Pakistan’s answer to the best spin bowling Indian Quartet of the 70s and 80s who bamboozled batsmen with their spin bowling. He was also hailed the best batsman in Asia against spin.

Joe Root – England Cricket Team

Joe Root

Joe Root is one of the modern greats from the current England team. He single-handedly won matches for his country on rank-turning pitches in the subcontinent.

Considered the best player against spin in the English team, Joe Root is an excellent judge of length enabling him to play the ball as late as possible with his footwork.

England batsman’s answer to spin in subcontinental conditions has always been to sweep the spinners to negate the spin. While this is a good skill to have, seldom does an English batsman excel in it.

The only exception to this is Joe Root whose ability to sweep regularly makes him a better batsman than any against spin.

With an average of 54.13 in subcontinental conditions, makes Joe Root, the best batsman, England has produced to tackle spin.

Younis Khan – Pakistan Cricket

younis khan

Pakistan Cricketers have traditionally been great players of spin. From the great Javed Miandad to today’s Babar Azam have all shown brilliant skills to play quality spin bowling. One player who stands out amongst these greats has to be Ex-Captain Younis Khan.

Always playing his entire career under the radar, Younis Khan during his playing days was Pakistan’s best player under spin.

Younis Khan surprisingly has one of the best fourth innings average of 60.59. Playing most of his cricket in subcontinental conditions and to have such a high second innings average when the pitch becomes a minefield is testimony to his skill playing spin bowling truly makes him one of the best batsmen of his era.

Kane Williamson – New Zealand Cricket

Joe Root, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson make the Fab 4 in modern cricket.

Having played his cricket in seam-friendly conditions in New Zealand, it is a testimony to his brilliant batting skill that he has successfully scored heavily in all conditions.

Kane Williamson is someone who is regarded as one of the best batsmen New Zealand has ever produced.

When New Zealand tours the subcontinent, Kane has played a major role in New Zealand’s success in the last decade.

Barring Martin Crowe in the 80s, New Zealand never produced a dominant player against spin till the arrival of Kane Williamson who took the mantle as Kiwi’s best batsman against spin.

Kane Williamson has an average of 46.81 with five centuries in subcontinental conditions.

With his footwork, Kane Williamson uses his feet and can play the waiting game even in spinning tracks.


While there have been many Indian greats from Sunil Gavaskar to Rahul Dravid to Rohit Sharma who played and mastered the art of playing against spin bowling, it would be unfair to mention Indian players in this list and hence Indian players have been excluded from this list.

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