India has always been peddled as the land of batsmen. It has always been the batsman upon whom the layman Indian fan has placed his bet. It would not be an aberration to claim that Indian batsmen have won more matches for the team than the bowlers. This is especially true in the limited overs format, where stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, and Virat Kohli have set the stage on fire with their prowess.
However, while laurels about Indian batting, it is perilous to underestimate the capabilities of India's bowlers, who are often given scanty coverage when it comes to showering accolades on Indian cricketing giants. Indian fans and critics alike, often tend to have a proclivity towards the batsmen while having a serious discussion on Indian cricket, despite our bowlers' records.
India has produced some terrific bowling talents in ODI Cricket. Here we have a look at four world records held by Indian bowlers in ODIs.
1. Kuldeep Yadav - Most wickets by a spinner in an ODI series in South Africa
Kuldeep Yadav had a dream tour of South Africa in 2018 where he, along with Yuzvendra Chahal hunted in pairs and bamboozled the South African batsmen. En-route their brilliant performances in the ODI series, they managed to appropriate several ODI records.
Kuldeep, with 17 scalps in the six-match ODI series, broke the record for the most wickets by a spinner in an ODI series on South African soil, surpassing the previous record of 14 wickets held by Muttiah Muralitharan in the1998 tri-series that featured Pakistan as the third team. With 16 wickets, his compatriot Chahal holds the second spot on the coveted list.
Kuldeep also broke the record for the most wickets by an overseas spinner in a bilateral ODI series on South African soil, going past the tally of 12 wickets by West Indian Keith Arthurton in the 1998 seven-match ODI series. Interestingly, Chahal holds the second spot on this list too.
2. Narendra Hirwani - Most consecutive four-wickets-in-an-innings
Narendra Hirwani, though not a household name amongst Indian fans, made a splash upon his debut in international cricket in both formats of the game. His exploits in his short Test career are well known where he still holds the record for the best match figures on debut.
Hirwani made his presence felt even in the 50 over format. He holds the record for the most consecutive four-wicket haul in ODIs (three). His feat was equalled by several bowlers, later on, however, Hirwani was the one to achieve the feat first, back in the 1980's.
In the second match between India and New Zealand in the March 1988 tri-series that also involved Sri Lanka, he picked up four wickets for 43 runs. In the final, he excelled with figures of 4 for 46 that helped India clinch the title. He followed it up with figures of 4 for 50 against West Indies in the opening game of the 1988 Champions Trophy in Sharjah.
Agonizingly, his ODI career was cut short and he ended up playing only 18 ODIs as other tweakers like Kumble and Venkatapathy Raju grabbed his spot.
3. Javagal Srinath and Amit Mishra - Most wickets in a bilateral ODI series
Javagal Srinath was indisputably the fastest and one of the most lethal pace bowlers produced by India. The 'Mysore Express', as he was fondly called by Indian fans, carried the burden of India's pace bowling responsibilities on his shoulders for a large part of the 1990's, ever since Kapil Dev hung up his boots.
Srinath holds the record for the most wickets by a bowler in a bilateral ODI series, ever since he claimed 18 wickets in the seven-match ODI series in New Zealand. Even though India had a disastrous tour, losing both the Test and ODI series, Srinath was the lone bright spot for India with sensational bowling performance.
This feat was equalled by wrist spinner Amit Mishra when he claimed 18 wickets in the ODI series against Zimbabwe in 2013 comprising of 5 matches. Interestingly, Mishra required just 5 matches to equal the feat while Srinath took 7 matches.
4. Ajit Agarkar - Fastest to 50 ODI wickets by a pace bowler
Mumbai paceman Ajit Agarkar was one the brightest bowling talents produced by India in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Though often criticized by fans for his tendency to leak runs, his ability to pick wickets at crucial moments stands out as he ended up with 288 wickets from 191 ODIs.
Agarkar holds the record for being the quickest to 50 ODI wickets by a pace bowler. He reached the tally in just his 23rd ODI, going past the previous record held by Australian legend DK Lillee. Interestingly, this record was emulated by Kiwi paceman Mitchell McClenaghan who also achieved the feat in his 23rd ODI.
Incidentally, Agarkar was the fastest to 50 ODI wickets by any bowler (both pace and spin) until Sri Lankan mystery tweaker Ajantha Mendis broke his record by reaching the 50 wicket mark in just 19 ODIs. Agarkar held this record for 10 years before Mendis went past him