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Top 5 wicket takers for India in World Cups

Manjor Prabhakar is India's 5th leading wicket-taker in World Cups with 24 wickets
Manjor
Prabhakar is India's 5th leading wicket-taker in World Cups with 24 wickets
Alby Issac

The 2019 World Cup is scheduled to begin on May 30 at England & Wales. The 12th edition of World Cup is sure to be a thriller, as the teams have already begun their preparations for the tournament. The cricket boards have focused on scheduling their matches in a way that helps the players get ready for the cup.

Australia, who won their fifth World Cup in 2015 will have to put up a great effort to retain it in the English soil. The competition will get spicier when other big guns like India, South Africa and New Zealand join the race. It would be tough to predict a winner, at a time as early as this. However, the team making the best use of the few months left will have the major advantage going into the tournament.

Indian team, who recently made a visit to England, had to return home disappointed. They lost the test series 4-1 and the ODI series 2-1. However, there were some notable performances from Virat Kohli and Kuldeep Yadav.

India have had some good outings at the World Cup right from the beginning. While the Men in Blue disappointed on some occasions they managed to bring home the cup in 1983 and 2011.

The bowlers have always played a great role in the wins for India. They have contributed their part well supporting the men with the bat. Here, we take a look at the Top 5 wicket takers for India in World Cups.

#5 Manoj Prabhakar - 24 Wickets

Manoj Prabhakar was a right-arm medium pacer and lower order batsman, who represented India in three world cups - 1987, 1992 and 1996. He used to be the captain's favourite with the new ball and has opened both batting and bowling on numerous occasions. Prabhakar featured in 19 World Cup matches for India and bagged 24 wickets at an economy rate of 4.40.

However, the Uttar Pradesh-born player couldn't utilize the maximum of his potential. He played his last ODI against Sri Lanka in the 1996 World Cup, which was a poor outing and forced the selectors to drop him from the squad. Eventually, he announced retirement from the game and was later seen as a coach at few domestic teams. Prabhakar played 130 matches for India where he picked 157 wickets.

#4 Kapil Dev - 28 Wickets

Kapil Dev, one of India's finest all-rounders have 28 World Cup wickets against his name.
Kapil Dev, one of India's finest all-rounders have 28 World Cup wickets against his name.

The name is not new to any cricket fan in the country. When Kapil's Devils lifted the World Cup in 1983, Indian cricket entered into a new path. Kapil Dev represented India in four World Cups between 1979 and 1992. During this span, he played 26 World Cup matches picking 28 wickets at a spectacular economy rate of 3.76.

Kapil, often viewed as one of the greatest all-rounders to play the game, had been the most vital player for the team prior to his retirement in 1994. He played 225 ODI matches for India and scored 3783 runs along 253 wickets.

He was a key part of the team both with bat and ball. The crucial contributions made by Kapil Dev to Indian cricket is still remembered by the fans. After retirement, he joined the national side as head coach in 1999 but had to resign after a few big losses.

#3 Anil Kumble - 31 Wickets

Anil Kumble is 3rd on the list with a total of 31 wickets.
Anil Kumble is 3rd on the list with a total of 31 wickets.

Anil Kumble is yet another legend who Indian cricket owes a lot. Kumble featured for India in four World Cups - 1996, 1999, 2003 and lastly in 2007. From his 18 World Cup matches, he picked 31 wickets to be India's 3rd highest wicket-taker in World Cups. The right-arm leg spin bowler was one of India's most important players in the big tournaments.

Kumble was a spin-bowler who made use of pace and bounce more than turn. This helped him form good combinations with Harbhajan Singh. The Srinath-Kumble duo of pace and spin troubled the batsmen a lot in the 2000-03 period. The 6ft 1in man made his ODI debut for India in 1990 and continued to offer his services till the 2007 World Cup. He appeared for India in 271 One-day Internationals and picked up 337 wickets.

#2 Javagal Srinath - 44 Wickets

Javagal Srinath has picked 44 wickets for India in World Cup matches.
Javagal Srinath has picked 44 wickets for India in World Cup matches.

Javagal Srinath, one of India's fastest bowler was the spearhead of Indian bowling attack during his peak years. From his 34 World Cup matches between 1992 and 2003, Srinath managed to pick 44 wickets for his team. He also held an economy rate of 4.32 along with a bowling average of 27.81. The 49-year old also holds the record of being India's fastest player to pick 200, 250 and 300 limited over wickets.

Srinath made 229 ODI appearances for India and took 315 wickets, before his retirement in 2003. The Karnataka-born pacer's career was at many times overshadowed by other players who gave tough competition to the 3rd pacer spot in the XI. He also had to face a number of injuries in his career. Post-retirement Javagal Srinath became an ICC match referee.

#1 Zaheer Khan - 44 Wickets

Zaheer Khan is India's leading wicket-taker at World Cups with 44 wickets.
Zaheer Khan is India's leading wicket-taker at World Cups with 44 wickets.

Zaheer Khan is India's leading wicket-taker at the World Cup. During his World Cup days in 2003, 2007 and 2011, he managed to grab 44 wickets from 23 matches at an economy rate of 4.47 and an average of 20.22. He was the joint-leading wicket taker with 21 wickets in the 2011 World Cup, where India emerged champions.

Zaheer Khan, without any doubt, was one of India's finest bowlers. The left-arm fast medium bowler made his ODI debut in 2000 against Kenya. From there on, 'Zak' was seen in the Indian colours in 200 matches where he picked 282 wickets. The Mumbai-born player was well-known for his ability to swing the ball in both ways.

However, Zaheer last played an international match for India in 2014 and later missed calls to the national team due to injuries and tough competitions from the youngsters. He later announced retirement from international cricket in 2015.

Edited by Vignesh Ananthasubramanian

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