Pakistan's 5 highest wicket-takers vs India in ODIs ft. Saqlain Mushtaq

England & Pakistan Net Sessions
Saqlain Mushtaq was one of the match winners for Pakistan in the 90s. Pic: Twitter/@ICC

When India faces Pakistan in the 3rd match of the Asia Cup 2023 in Pallekele on September 2, the cricketing fraternity from around the world will be glued to their TV screens.

India will look to start their Asia Cup campaign on a positive note in a high-octane pressure game against their arch-rivals Pakistan. With the World Cup 2023 on the anvil, the Indians would also look to arrange the puzzles around their ideal playing XI.

However, they will be up against a side that has arguably the strongest bowling attack in the tournament. Also, Pakistan kicked off their Asia Cup 2023 campaign in style, decimating Nepal in their first match of the tournament.

Historically, it's always been the same story in the rivalry between these two Asian giants: Pakistan's bowling versus Indian batting. Whoever comes out on top takes the cherry for their respective sides.

In this article, we are going to have a look at the highest wicket-takers from Pakistan against their arch-rivals India in ODIs, where they used to dominate till the early 2000s.

#5 Shahid Afridi, 38 wickets

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, who played some of his best knocks against India, didn't have the same level of success in his bowling against them.

However, he does find himself in the top 5 list of the highest wicket takers for his side against Men in Blue, with 38 wickets to his name from 60 innings. He averaged 60.53 and had an economy rate of 5.06.

The nemesis of India in the early 2000s, Afridi used to bowl very fast leg breaks and slowly became a more consistent bowler than batsman towards the end of his career. He was among the leading wicket-takers in the 2011 World Cup.

#4 Shoaib Akhtar, 41 wickets

One of the fastest pace bowlers the world has ever seen, Shoaib Akhtar used to be the nightmare of many batsmen during his playing time, and Indian players were no different.

Yes, he might have gone for runs sometimes, but he used to pick up wickets for his side at the same rate as well.

Shoaib has been quite successful against India. In matches against the Indian team, the 'Rawalpindi Express' picked up 41 wickets from 28 innings at a decent average of 26.78.

#3 Aaqib Javed, 54 wickets

One of the workhorses of the Pakistan side, a bowler with a nice smooth run-up and high arm action, Aaqib Javed put in some memorable performances against India.

Who can forget his magical spell of 7/37 against the same side? He became the youngest player to grab an ODI hat-trick in that game when he dismissed Ravi Shastri, Mohammad Azharuddin, and Sachin Tendulkar consecutively.

In just 36 innings, Aaqib Javed picked up 54 wickets against India, averaging 24.64 with an economy of just 4.78.

#2 Saqlain Mushtaq, 57 wickets

If a right-hander today curses himself getting out to an off-spinner, then most of the credit goes to a wily Saqlain Mushtaq from Pakistan. The former Pakistan off-spinner invented a new delivery that used to spin away from right-handers with the off-spin grip, known as the 'doosra'.

Against India also, he gained immense success with his variations. He picked up 57 wickets in just 38 innings against the subcontinental giants, averaging 24.38 at an economy of just 4.28.

#1 Wasim Akram, 60 wickets

As a player who never played first-class cricket before making his international debut, Wasim Akram went on to become the 'King of Swing'. He is universally regarded as one of the greatest bowlers ever to play the game, and certainly, the greatest left-arm seamer.

Akram also enjoyed playing against his team's arch-rivals India, who used to struggle big time against the mastery of swing produced by the duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

In just 47 innings, Akram picked up 60 wickets, which is still the highest number of wickets taken by any bowler in matches between these two teams. He averaged 25.15 against India with a brilliant economy of 3.53.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat
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