Top 5 Test bowlers with most wickets in winning cause
Here are five of the greatest match-winners in the illustrious history of Test cricket.
The importance of a reliable and versatile bowling attack can never be understated in Test cricket. Howsoever does a team's batting lineup pile on the runs, Test matches are usually never won without procuring those 20 necessary wickets. Consequently, the presence of match-winning bowlers becomes extremely tantamount to any team's cause in the premier format of the game.
Let us take a close look at the top five bowlers with the most number of wickets in Tests won by their respective teams. These are some of the greatest match-winners in the long and illustrious history of the format.
While Australia have two representatives in the top five, the likes of India, South Africa and Sri Lanka have one produced one such prolific bowler. Interestingly, only one active cricketer features in this distinguished segment. England's seasoned spearhead James Anderson needs five more wickets in a victorious Test to displace Anil Kumble at the fifth spot. All statistics are accurate as of 4th January, 2018.
#5 Anil Kumble - 288 wickets from 43 Tests
During the latter part of his memorable career, Anil Kumble played alongside some of the biggest batting icons produced by India. That he managed to carve a niche for himself in a country obsessed with batting speaks volumes about his legacy in the game. Right throughout the 1990s, the legendary leg-spinner turned India into an impenetrable fortress at home. As his career evolved, he proceeded to make an impression away from his comfort zone as well.
India won 43 of the 132 Tests which Kumble played between 1990 and 2008. From those victorious matches, the wrist-spinner picked 288 wickets at an impressive average of 18.75 and splendid strike-rate of 44.4. As many as 20 of his 35 five-wicket hauls and 5 out of his 8 ten-wicket match hauls came in winning cause. His scarcely believable 10/74 in the fourth-innings of the 1999 Delhi Test against arch-rivals Pakistan ranks among the finest bowling spells of all time.