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5 Greatest New Zealand Spinners of all time 

New Zealand always possessed a spinner of the highest quality.

New Zealand are one of the top-tier teams in international cricket. They are one of the very few teams that makes use of the available resources and bring better results. They have a rich history in the sport. Although they might not have achieved a great deal of success as some of the big nations, they did make a telling impact with their memorable performances, talented cricketers and competitive spirit.

For the record, New Zealand cricket has not been historically known for developing quality spinners. History suggests that the cricketing nation has emphasized more on the pacers and seamers owing to the nature of the wicket in New Zealand. Traditionally, the conditions and the pitch offer a great deal of assistance to the fast bowlers.


Needless to say, that doesn’t actually mean that the Black Caps haven’t produced any top-tier spinners. There have been a few notable spinners from the country who went on to chip in with important contributions to the game. Let’s take a glimpse at the five best spinners in the history of New Zealand cricket.

5. Stephen Boock

Stephen Boock operated as a slow left-arm orthodox spinner for the New Zealand cricket team during his playing days. He made his Test debut against England at Wellington in 1977-78, where his team beat the Three Lions for the first time.


Stephen Boock’s bowling yielded him results in Test cricket compared to the limited-overs format. He played a substantial role in taking crucial wickets for the team. Boock was part of New Zealand’s historic Test series win over England in 1983-84.

On the other hand, he registered his best innings bowling figures of 7/87 and his best match bowling figures read 8/156. Notably, he bagged 4 five-wicket hauls in Tests. Overall, he played 30 Tests and 14 ODIs for the country wherein he took 74 and 15 wickets respectively.


4. Dipak Patel

Dipak Patel operated as a middle-order batsman and a right-arm off-break bowler for the New Zealand cricket team. The Kenyan-born former New Zealand cricketer was involved in the sport for a decade from 1987-97.

He is best remembered by many cricket fanatics for bowling the opening spells in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 1992 against Australia where he kept the opposition batting line-up in check with effective bowling spells.

Overall, he played 37 Tests and 75 ODIs in international cricket, taking 75 and 45 wickets in the respective formats. He bagged 3 fifers and 3 four-wicket-hauls in Tests, registering his best Test bowling figures of 6/50. He registered best ODI bowling figures of 3/22.

3. Hedley Howarth

Hedley Howarth represented the New Zealand cricket team in 30 Tests and 9 ODIs. Howarth operated as a slow left-arm orthodox spinner for the country. The former New Zealand cricketer played the sport between 1969 and 1977.

It is worth mentioning here that his match-winning bowling spell helped New Zealand register their first-ever Test win against India in the sub-continent with his spectacular fifer at Nagpur in 1968. He has bagged two five-wicket hauls and 5 four-wicket hauls in Tests

Hedley Howarth holds the record for the most overs bowled by a New Zealander in a Test innings. He bowled 74 overs, 24 maidens and registered 2/138 against the West Indies in Bridgetown in 1972. Overall, he took 86 wickets in Tests and 11 wickets in ODIs.

2. John Bracewell

John Bracewell can take pride in the fact that he is one of only two New Zealand spinners to take more than 100 wickets in the purest format of the game. He was best known for his high-arm bowling action, he imparted flight and get rid of the opposition batters.

Bracewell operated as the most effective off-spinner during the heydays of his career. It is worth mentioning here that his impressive ten-wicket match haul steered the New Zealand cricket team to a series-sealing win against Australia in 1986.

The Auckland-born played 41 Tests between 1980 and 1990 including 53 ODIs. Notably, he was the second New Zealand cricketer to garner 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in Tests. He took 102 wickets in Tests including 4 fifers whereas he took 33 wickets in ODIs.

1. Daniel Vettori

Daniel Vettori is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest spinners of all time. Apart from his bowling credentials, he was a handy lower-order batsman who was capable of scoring crucial runs for the team in 113 Tests and 295 One Day Internationals.

The Auckland-born represented the country across all three formats of the game. The former slow left-arm orthodox spinner is best known for his accuracy, flight and guile which helped him take 362 wickets in Tests including 20 fifers and 305 wickets in ODIs including 2 fifers.

On the other hand, he took 38 wickets in 34 T20Is at an economy of 5.70. He scored 4531 runs in Tests including six centuries and 23 fifties. He scored 2253 runs in ODIs including 4 fifties whereas he scored 205 runs in Twenty20 Internationals.

Read More: Top 10 greatest Indian spinners of all time

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