Spinners are always an integral part of any cricket team, but when the venue is Australia, they are unlikely to have great success. Australia is traditionally a great place for the pace bowlers. They have produced many great pacers, but don't have as many spinners.
Despite this tradition, here are some great spinners who did well on Australian soil. Yuzvendra Chahal, the Indian spinner, set the latest example of a spinner doing well in Australia as he bagged six wickets in the third ODI on Friday against the hosts. This is the first and only instance till the date of a spinner taking six wickets in an ODI in Australia.
In the history of ODI cricket in Australia, there are only five spinners who took five or more wickets in an innings. Three of them are Asian, and among the other two, one is from South Africa and the other from Australia. Let us have a look to five best bowling of spinners in the soil of Australia in ODIs.
#5 Abdul Qadir (5 for 53 against Australia, Melbourne)
The Pakistani legendary spinner Abdul Qadir was the first man to prove that taking five wickets in the ODIs in Australia is not an impossible task. In 1984, Qadir scalped five Australian batsmen at Melbourne and created history.
In the first innings of that match, Australia posted 209 runs for 8 wickets in 50 overs. Qadir took five wickets conceding 53 runs with a maiden over. Kim Hughes, who was the captain of Australia at that point in time, was the Qadir's first prey.
After taking the first wicket, Qadir scalped Kepler Wessels, Steve Smith, Rod Marsh, David Hookes and Rodney Hogg.
Despite this historic performance, Qadir ended the match with the losing side. While replying to Australia’s 209, Pakistan managed only 166 and eventually lost the match by 43 runs. Javed Miandad, the Pakistani batting legend, was the only man to offer some resistance, scoring 56.
#4 Imran Tahir (5 for 45 against West Indies, Sydney)
Imran Tahir, a Pakistan-born South African spinner, took five wickets for 45 runs in the 2015 World Cup which is the fourth-best bowling performance by a spinner in Australia in ODIs. Tahir helped South Africa earn a big win with his tremendous efforts with the ball.
In the first innings of the match, South Africa posted a mammoth total of 408 runs thanks to AB de Villiers’ unbeaten 162. The South Africans were hoping an easy win after posting that challenging total on the board. Imran Tahir made it easier with a great show of spin at Sydney.
The West Indies were wrapped for 151/10 in 33.1 overs, and South Africa won the match by a big margin of 257 runs which is the second highest victory in the history of World Cup.
While replying South Africa’s 408, West Indies lost their first three wickets to Kyle Abbott (2) and Morne Morkel (1). Imran Tahir first scalp was Dwayne Smith, who departed for 31. After that, he took the wickets of Lendl Simmons, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell and Denesh Ramdin.
#3 Shane Warne (5 for 33 against West Indies, Sydney)
Shane Warne, the best spinner that Australia has ever produced, took five wickets for 33 runs at Sydney in 1996 against the West Indies, which is the best ODI bowling performance by an Australian spinner in Australia.
West Indies batted in the first innings of the match and they managed only 161 in 48.3 overs. Paul Reiffel (2), Tom Moody (1) and Greg Blewett (2) took the first five wickets for Australia, and then, Shane Warne took care of last five.
The legendary leg-spinner started hunting with Roland Holder, and after him, Warne scalped Nixon McLean, Junior Murray, Kenny Benjamin and Courtney Walsh respectively.
While replying to the West Indies’ 161, Australia finished the match in 42 overs. Mark Waugh struck an unbeaten 83 to seal the match. At the end of the match, Warne was adjudged man of the match award for his excellent spin show. This was Shane Warne’s only five-wicket haul in his 194-match career.
#2 Saqlain Mushtaq (5 for 29 against Australia, Adelaide)
Saqlain Mushtaq is the second Pakistani star to record a five-wicket haul in ODIs in Australia. He bamboozled the hosts Australia in the year of 1996 and helped his team to win the game by 12 runs.
In the first innings of the match, Pakistan scored 223 in 49.5 overs. Aamir Sohail, the left-handed opener, scored 67 for Pakistan which was their highest individual innings in the match.
While chasing the target of 224, Australia was dismissed for 211 in 47.5 overs. Steve Waugh struck 57, but his effort was not enough for Australia to avoid defeat.
Waqar Younis, the left-arm pace bowling superstar of Pakistan, took the first wicket in the match for Pakistan. Saqlain started taking wickets by sending Mark Taylor back to the pavilion. After that, he took the wickets of Steve Waugh, Tom Moody, Shane Warne and Ian Healy. He recorded six five-wicket hauls in his 169-match ODI career.
#1 Yuzvendra Chahal (6 for 42 against Australia, Melbourne)
Yuzvendra Chahal, the leg-break bowler from India, registered the best ODI bowling figures by a spinner in Australia this past Friday to helped his team to a historic ODI series triumph against the hosts. Before coming to this match, the series was leveled at 1-1.
India won the toss in the match and opted to bowl first. Australia tumbled for 230 in the first innings in 48.4 overs. Peter Handscomb scored 58 for the hosts but that was not enough for them to set a challenging total for the world’s best batting side..
Chahal came to bowl in the 24th over as the fifth bowler of the team. In the second ball of his first over, Chahal tricked Shaun Marsh into a stumping, in spite of the ball being a wide delivery. After that, he took the wickets of Usman Khawaja, Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson, Peter Handscomb and Adam Zampa.
This bowling performance from Chahal set the stage for India for another historical series win over the Australians. MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav ensured a big win by seven wickets with a 121-run partnership.