Spinners are bowlers who can change the game on a good pitch and make life really difficult for opposition batsmen with their turn. However, to do so, they need to extract this turn on pitches that allow them to do so.
Here are the five most popular turning pitches in the world.
Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo:
One of the most iconic stadiums in Asia, The SSC in Colombo has been the venue for some epic matches featuring Sri Lanka and a many of the world’s oppositions. One of the other reasons that it is so popular is due to the amount of turn spinners can extract from its pitch.
Muralitharan was one Sri Lankan bowler who wreaked havoc on these pitches thanks to his fantastic off-spinning abilities. The legendary bowler scalped 166 wickets in just 24 Test matches at the famous venue in the capital.
Green Park stadium, Kanpur:
While most pitches in India offer enough spin for the bowlers, one such stadium that does so on an even elevated level is the Green Park Stadium at Kanpur. The stadium was once popular for being the ground where Jashubhai Patel picked 9 for 69 before Kumble’s best bowling figures for an Indian took over.
Harbhajan Singh and Kumble have managed to pick up many wickets at the ground, and they have managed 41 wickets in just 7 games at the venue overall.
Dubai International Stadium, Dubai:
One of the more modern pitches in world cricket, the Dubai International Stadium is a beautiful cauldron where some brilliant matches have been played over the past decade or so. The pitch too, offers bowlers some brilliant turn for them to exploit.
Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan has picked up 37 wickets in 6 Tests, the likes of Yasir Shah have picked 22 in just 3 games here. Even Monty Panesar has taken 7 here and Imran Tahir of South Africa has gotten 8 at the venue.
Galle International Stadium, Galle:
Another popular venue where spin bowlers have managed to pick up wickets at will, Galle is another place where Muralitharan and co. have shown that spin bowling is strongest on a good turning pitch. It is arguably the most turning pitches in the world.
Muralitharan managed to get a mind-boggling 111 wickets in just 15 games. It also served as the venue for his 800th wicket. Other bowlers who have prospered here include Shane Warne, who got 13 wickets in 2 games here and Rangana Herath with 84 in 15 games.
Ferozeshah Kotla, Delhi:
Surely had to feature in this list, the Ferozeshah Kotla has been a happy hunting ground for the Indian team, especially the spinners because of the massive turn and assistance that they can extract from the ground. It was the venue where Anil Kumble picked up 10 wickets in an innings against the Pakistanis back in 1999. Feroz Shah Kotla has been historically known as one of the most turning pitches in the world.
Ashwin and Jadeja too have picked up 5-wicket hauls each in one game against the South Africans, steering the team to a huge 337 run victory.
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By Rohit Nair