Most wickets taken by a pace trio in a calendar year in Test cricket
Ishant Sharma scalped the wicket of Nathan Lyon to complete a famous victory for India in the third Test at the MCG, 37 years since they won at the stadium. This wicket also set a unique record by the Indian pacers: the number of wickets taken by a pace trio in a calendar year.
The record is surprising as India has never been considered a pace superpower, with Australia and South Africa grabbing most accolades in the pace department in recent years. India played a lot of exciting Test cricket this year, and there was a lot of scope to achieve this record, playing on pacy tracks in South Africa, England and Australia.
History in away Test series definitely does not favour the Indians, but the pacers have been instrumental in retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
But do they qualify as the top trio in terms of maximum number of wickets in a calendar year? Let's find out.
(5) Morne Morkel / Vernon Philander / Dale Steyn - 108 wickets in 2012
The fearsome trio of Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn amassed 108 wickets in 2012. South Africa reached top spot in the rankings, owing to their excellent away tours in New Zealand, England and Australia, which they held until April 2014.
The pacers played an extremely influential role in achieving the goal, with Vernon Philander grabbing a 10-wicket haul in the lone Test win in New Zealand, Dale Steyn snatching 7 wickets in the victory in Australia, and a combined effort to comfortably win the series in England.
Morne Morkel - 38 wickets at an avg of 30.29
Vernon Philander - 43 wickets at an avg of 21.12
Dale Steyn - 39 wickets at an avg of 29.72
(The cumulative wickets taken were 120, but 108 wickets were taken when they played together as a pace trio)