Bowling in an obtuse Test cricket environment may appear to be a simple task, but it’s not. Bowlers need to display utmost patience and resilience to pick up wickets while simultaneously limiting the run conceded. However, many great bowlers in the past and present have achieved outstanding feats in this cricketing format. The blog will feature the 10 bowlers with the most wickets in Test cricket.
Without wasting any more time, let’s start.
List of 10 Bowlers With the Most Wickets In Test Cricket
Below is the list of 10 bowlers with the most wickets in Test Cricket.
|Player Name||Matches||Wickets||Average||Economy||Strike Rate||Best Figures||5Ws||10Ws|
1. Muttiah Muralithan
The Sri Lankan legend tops this esteemed list with 800 wickets in 133 matches (230 innings). He bowled at a brilliant economy of 2.47 and on average conceded 22.72 runs per wicket.
Muralitharan is regarded as the best off spinner of his era as can be judged by his multiple records. He has bowled an astonishing 1794 maiden overs in his career, the maximum by any bowler. Muttiah also holds the record for most 5-wicket-hauls (67) and most 10-wicket-hauls (22) by a bowler in a career.
The Sri Lankan star was also the 1st bowler to reach 350, 400,450, 500, 600, 700, 750 and 800 Test wickets. He enjoys the record for most wickets taken bowled (167) and most wickets taken stumped (47).
2. Shane Warne
The Australian leg spinner picked up 708 wickets in his 15-year Test career. He bowled at an economy of 2.65 and took a wicket for every 57.49 balls he bowled.
Shane is 2nd on the list for most 5-fers (37) and 10-fers(10) taken in a Test career. He also holds the records for being the 3rd for most wickets taken bowled (116), taken caught (418), and taken lbw (138).
Warne’s career-best figures were against England in 1994. He snaffled 8 wickets in that match for only 71 runs. The right-arm spinner is also the 2nd fastest bowler to reach 700 wickets.
3. James Anderson
James, often called “Jimmy” finds himself in 3rd position on the list of bowlers with most wickets in Test cricket. Anderson has bagged 690 wickets in 183 matches (341 innings) in his career so far. He bowls consistently at an economy of 2.78 and an average of 26.42.
The English pacer enjoys the record for being the 1st for most wickets taken caught (460). The right-arm fast bowler took more than 5 wickets in Test cricket 32 times. His career’s best spell figures were 7/42 against West Indies in 2017.
4. Anil Kumble
The former Indian skipper took 619 wickets in his career which lasted from 1990 to 2008. Anil is known as the greatest Indian spinner as can be highlighted by his superb stats.
He bowled at an economy of 2.69 and on average conceded 29.65 runs per wicket. Kumble has thirty-five 5-wicket-hauls and eight 10-wicket-hauls to his name. He has the 2nd best figures in an innings (10/74). He made this record against Pakistan in 1999. The leg spinner is also the 2nd fastest bowler to reach 500 and 600 wickets.
5. Stuart Broad
The classy English bowler has picked up 604 wickets in his 16-year career. Broad represented his team in 167 matches (309 innings) and bowled consistently at an average of 27.68.
The right-arm pacer has twenty 5-wicket-hauls and three 10-wicket-hauls to his name. Broad bowled at an economy of 2.97 and took a wicket after every 55.79 balls. His career-best figures were 8/15 against Australia in 2015. He also topped the ICC Men’s Test Bowling ranking in 2016.
6. Glenn McGrath
The former Australian icon succeeded in taking 563 wickets at an economy of 2.49. Glenn is regarded as one of the most destructive bowlers of his time. He has twenty-nine 5-fers and three 10-fers to his name.
McGrath participated in 124 Test matches and took a wicket for every 21.64 runs that he conceded. His career’s best figures of 8/24 were against Pakistan in 2004. He also holds the record for being the 2nd for most wickets taken caught by a wicketkeeper (152).
7. Courtney Walsh
The West Indian speedster represented his team from 1984 to 2001 and snaffled 519 wickets in his career. Walsh bowled at an average of 22.44 and conceded 2.53 runs per every over he bowled.
The right-arm fast bowler picked up twenty-two 5-wicket-hauls and three 10-wicket-hauls in his 17-year career. He bowled with a strike rate of 57.84 and contributed towards his team’s triumph on numerous occasions. His career’s best figures of 7/37 were against New Zealand in 1995.
8. Nathan Lyon
The Australian star is considered as one of the greatest spinners of recent times. Nathan has taken 496 wickets in his career that commenced in 2011. Nathan has represented Australia in 122 matches (228 innings).
He has picked up more than 5 wickets 23 times in his career. Nathan’s career-best figures were 8/50 against India in 2017. Lyon achieved his career-best ranking of 6th on ICC Men’s Test Bowling earlier this year on 10th June. His splendid stats include an average of 31.00, an economy of 2.93, and a strike rate of 63.35.
9. Ravichandran Ashwin
The right-arm off-spinner has bagged 489 wickets in his 12-year career. Ashwin has represented India since 2011 and bowls at an economy of 2.76. Ashwin, the current king of ICC Test Men’s Bowling ranking has thirty-four 5-fers and seven 10-fers in his career so far.
He bowls at an average of 23.65 and takes a wicket in every 51.35 balls. He enjoys the record for being the 5th with most 5-wicket-hauls (34) and 10-wicket-hauls (8). Ravichandran is also the fastest Test bowler to reach 250, 300 and 350 wickets. Ashwin’s career-best figures were 7/59 against New Zealand in 2016.
10. Dale Steyn
The former South African gun pacer concludes this list of bowlers with the most wickets in Test cricket. Steyn took 439 wickets in his career which lasted from 2004 to 2019. With ten 10-wicket-hauls and twenty-six 5-wicket-hauls in his bag, Steyn has proven himself as one of the greatest (probably the greatest) fast bowlers of his time.
He holds the prestigious record for spending the most days (2343) at #1 on the ICC Men’s Test Bowling ranking. He bowled at an average of 22.95 and conceded 3.24 runs per over. Dale also has the 7th best bowling strike rate of 42.38. His 7/51 against India in 2010 was his career-best figure.
Several famous names made it to the list of bowlers with the most wickets in Test cricket. 3 out of 10 bowlers are from Australia, 2 from England, 2 from India, and 1 each from South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies. The list includes 5 fast bowlers and 5 spinners.
Despite producing great bowlers for a long time, it’s surprising that no representatives from big teams like Pakistan and New Zealand were found on this prestigious list.