One horse for this course
It is not easy being a spinner in New Zealand. Neither the weather nor the pitches are conducive to spin bowling, which makes it a brave decision to try and make a living through spin. Until Daniel Vettori surfaced - the most successful spinner from New Zealand and the most successful left-arm orthodox overall - their job too was limited to being support cast to the fast bowlers. As expected, only one man from before the seventies makes it - Tom Burtt, who played 10 Tests in the forties and the fifties.
There must be something about left-arm spin in New Zealand: four of the five on this shortlist bowled slow left-arm orthodox. Wrist-spinners are expectedly conspicuous by their absence; perhaps New Zealand just isn't the place for them. The only right-arm contender here is offspinner John Bracewell, whose 41-Test career saw him achieve the double of 100 wickets and 1000 runs. The numbers, the stature, and the impact, though, all make one man on this list the clear favourite, and he also happens to be one of New Zealand's most powerful captains.
Tom Burtt Stockily built, Burtt's biggest strength was the ability to keep hitting the same length with smart variations of flight. He was unorthodox in the sense that he used his middle finger to impart spin as opposed to the forefinger as orthodox left-armers do. His 408 first-class wickets at 22 were a New Zealand record before Richard Hadlee went past him.
Stephen Boock Boock had the prime virtue of a left-arm spinner, control, but his career coincided with the emergence of limited-overs cricket, and thus less respect for the spinners. In 30 Tests he managed 74 wickets at 34.64.
We'll be publishing an all-time New Zealand XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To vote for your top New Zealand spinner click here
Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo