What does a bowler do? He takes wickets. Over the years in ODI cricket, we have seen some of the greatest bowlers in the world showcase their talent. Their bodies kept going on and they filled their career with wickets.
Picking up 100 wickets is a big achievement but managing to capture 200, 300, 400, or even 500 wickets is greatness coupled with fitness. Let’s take a look at the Top 10 wicket-takers in ODI cricket.
#10. Sanath Jayasuriya- 323
Known predominantly for his aggressive batting at the start of the innings, Sanath Jayasuriya established himself as more than just a part-time spinner throughout his 22-year long career as he took 323 wickets - 25 more than Lasith Malinga.
Jayasuriya is the third highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in ODIs with his average being 36.75 and his economy rate being pretty decent at 4.78.
The former Sri Lankan skipper had 4 five-wicket hauls to his name with his maiden five-wicket hauls in ODIs being his best figures in ODI cricket- 6/29 against England at Moratuwa, Colombo in 1993. This was the spell that propelled Arjuna Ranatunga to use Jayasuriya more frequently in the bowling.
#9. Anil Kumble- 337
The third highest wicket-taker in Tests takes 9th spot in ODIs, Jumbo remains one of the best exponents of spin bowling in the world, and the best spinner India ever produced. Beginning his career in 1990, Kumble established himself as a quality spin bowler in Tests in 1992.
However, it wasn’t until 1993 that Kumble proved his mettle in the limited-overs format when he took a breathtaking spell of 6/12 against West Indies at Kolkata in 1993. That spell remained a record for an Indian bowler in ODIs for more than two decades until Stuart Binny broke it in 2014.
Kumble continued to dazzle for India with the ball as he ended his ODI career with 337 wickets at an average of 30.89 and at an economy of 4.30.
Despite taking so many wickets, Kumble had only two five-wicket hauls to his name, with his other five-for coming in 1994 against New Zealand at Wellington which helped India beat the Kiwis by 12 runs. Kumble was also the highest wicket-taker at the 1996 World Cup with 15 wickets at an average of 18.73.
One of Jayasuriya’s finest and most important ODI spells would be his 3/12 against India at Eden Gardens in the 1996 World Cup semi-final where he picked up the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar for 65 that eventually triggered India’s collapse from 98/1 to 120/8.