Most Wickets In ODI Cricket

most wickets in ODI

The ODI format can prove to be quite challenging for bowlers. They have to manage the pressure of maintaining a decent economy while simultaneously trying to meet wicket-taking expectations. However, many talented players have succeeded in this and have created history. In this blog, we will enlist the 10 highest wicket-takers in One Day Internationals.

Without wasting any time, let’s dive right in!

List of 10 Bowlers With Most Wickets in ODIs

Below is the list of 10 bowlers with the most wickets in ODIs:

Player NameWicketsMatchesAverageEconomyStrike rateBest Bowling Figures5-fers
Muttiah Muralitharan53435023.083.9335.227/3010
Wasim Akram50235623.523.8936.225/156
Waqar Younus41626223.843.8930.527/3613
Chaminda Vaas40032227.534.1839.438/194
Shahid Afridi39839534.514.6244.737/129
Shaun Pollock39330324.53.6739.976/355
Glenn McGrath38125022.023.8834.047/157
Brett Lee38022123.364.7629.435/229
Lasith Malinga22633828.875.3532.356/388
Anil Kumble27133730.894.343.016/122

1. Muttiah Muralitharan

Bowlers with Most Wickets in ODI- Muttiah Muralitharan
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The Sri Lankan legend tops this list with 534 wickets in 350 matches (341 innings). Muralitharan is widely regarded as the best off-spinners in cricket history. His excellent economy in ODIs, which is 3.93, is a testament to this.
The legendary spinner bowled at a stunning average of 23.04 and had 10 five-wicket hauls to his name. He is also the 2nd player in ODI history to take most 4-wicket-hauls in an innings in a career (25). Muttiah holds the record for being the fastest bowler to reach 450 and 500 wickets.

He is also the 2nd fastest bowler to reach 400 wickets in ODIs. He bowled with a fine strike rate of 35.22 and his career-best ODI figures are 7/30 against India.

2. Wasim Akram

Bowlers with Most Wickets in ODI- Wasim Akram
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The Pakistani icon represented his team in ODIs from 1984 to 2003. The left-arm fast bowler took 502 wickets at an average of 23.52. The former speedster showcased his bowling skills in 351 innings and has six 5-wicket-hauls to his name. He was known to be deadly with the ball and has one of the best economies in ODIs (3.89).

Wasim’s best bowling figures in this cricketing format are 5/15 against Zimbabwe in 1993. The former captain also lands in the 6th spot for having the best economy rate in any ODI innings (0.54).

3. Waqar Yonus

Bowlers with Most Wickets in ODI- Waqar Younus
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The right-arm fast bowler made his ODI debut in 1989 and continued to showcase his bowling skills till 2003 when he retired. He took 416 wickets at a strike rate of 30.52. Waqar had thirteen 5-fers in his career and bowled at an average of 23.84.

The former Pakistan captain has multiple ODI records to his name. He holds the record for the most 5-wicket-hauls in an innings in a career (13) as well as the most 4-wicket-hauls as well (27). Waqar’s career-best figures are 7/36 against England in 2001. His superb ODI economy of 3.89 runs per over tells about his legacy in the format.

4. Chaminda Vaas

Bowlers with Most Wickets in ODI- Chaminda Vaas
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The Sri Lankan superstar took 400 wickets in his 14-year career. He bowled with an incredible average of 27.53 and took 4 five-wicket-hauls in his career. Chaminda displayed his outstanding bowling skills in 322 matches and took wickets at a strike rate of 39.43.

He bowled a total of 279 maiden overs in his ODI career, which is a feat in itself. The left-arm fast seamer holds the record for the best bowling figures in an innings of 8/19. He accomplished this feat against Zimbabwe in 2001. His ODI’s economy is 4.18, which is superb for a pacer.

5. Shahid Afridi

Bowlers with Most Wickets in ODI- Shahid Afridi
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The legendary right-handed leg spinner is 5th on the list of bowlers with the most wickets in ODIs. Afridi took 395 wickets at a fairly good economy of 4.62. He bowled with an average of 35.51 and managed to take 9 five-wicket-hauls in his career.

The Pakistani all-rounder is 2nd on the list of bowlers with best figures in an innings (7/12). He achieved this feat against the West Indies in 2013. He was named the Man of the Match for this outstanding performance. The former Pakistan captain also holds the record for most consecutive 4-wicket-hauls in an innings (3).

6. Shaun Pollock

Bowlers with Most Wickets in ODI- Shaun Pollock
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The former South African captain took 393 wickets in his career which lasted from 1996 to 2008. He bowled with an outstanding economy of 3.67 and has five 5-wicket-hauls to his name.

Shaun represented his country in 303 ODI matches and contributed significantly towards his team’s success on numerous occasions. The right-arm fast bowler holds the prestigious record for bowling the maximum number of maiden overs in a career that is 313. His most memorable ODI performance was against West Indies in 1999 (6/35).

7. Glenn McGrath

Bowlers with Most Wickets in ODI- Glenn McGrath
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The Australian icon debuted in the ODI format in 1993 and continued to perform remarkably well throughout his career. He took 381 wickets in 250 matches (248 innings). The right-arm pacer is ranked 3rd on the list of best ODI bowling figures with 7/15.

Glenn bowled at an amazing economy of 3.88 and produced seven 5-wicket-hauls in his 14-year ODI career. He is also the 3rd fastest bowler to achieve 300 wickets. His superb stats also include a marvellous average of 22.02 and a strike rate of 34.04.

8. Brett Lee

Bowlers with Most Wickets in ODI- Brett Lee
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The Australian star was regarded as one of the fastest bowlers in the world and an absolute nightmare for batters. He bagged 380 wickets in his 12-year career. The right-arm fast bowler had an exceptional strike rate of 29.43 and took nine 5-wicket-hauls in his career.

He was known to be lethal in his bowling style and had a fantastic economy of 4.67. His bowling class can be judged on the fact that he topped the ICC Men’s ODI ranking in 2006. Lee is also the fastest bowler to reach 300 and 350 ODI wickets. His career-best ODI figures are 5/22 against South Africa in 2005.

9. Lasith Malinga

Bowlers with Most Wickets in ODI- Lasith Malinga
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The former Sri Lankan pacer picked up 338 wickets at a marvellous average of 28.87. Known for his deadly inswinging yorkers, Malinga bowled at a fair economy of 5.35.

He holds the record for being fourth on the list with the most wickets taken bowled. Lasith has eight 5-wicket-hauls in his career and bowled with a remarkable strike rate of 32.35. Malinga’s most brilliant bowling figures in this cricketing format are 6/38 against Kenya in 2011. His outstanding ODI stats also include 107 maiden overs.

10. Anil Kumble

Bowlers with Most Wickets in ODI- Anil Kumble
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The Indian spin King occupies the last spot on this list of bowlers with the most wickets in an ODI career. Anil took 337 wickets at an average of 30.89.

The Indian star player played 271 ODI matches and bowled with a fabulous economy of 4.30. He has two 5-wicket-hauls in his career and his strike rate was 43.01. Anil produced many brilliant bowling figures in his 17-year career. One of his most famous performances is against the West Indies where he picked up 6 wickets for only 12 runs.


Several legendary bowlers made it to the list of bowlers with the most wickets in ODI cricket. 3 out of 10 top wicket takers are from Pakistan, 3 from Sri Lanka, 2 from Australia, and one each from South Africa and India.

Fast bowlers significantly dominated this list with 7 out of 10 bowlers being pacers with striking averages and economies. With the recent discovery of hidden pace talent in ODI cricket, many new emerging players are expected to make history.

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