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Top wicket takers in Test cricket

It’s no surprise that three spinners top the top wicket takers in Test list since they sometimes bowl even 50 overs in an innings.  You can see the list below and notice that only one player is still active in the international arena.

BowlerMatchesInningsWicketsBest Figures in an InningsBest Figures in an MatchAverage5 Wicket Inns10 Wicket Matches
M Muralitharan1332308009/5116/22022.726722
SK Warne1452737088/7112/12825.413710
A Kumble13223661910/7414/14929.65358
GD McGrath1242435638/2410/2721.64293
CA Walsh1322425197/3713/5524.44223
N Kapil Dev1312274349/8311/14629.64232
Sir RJ Hadlee861504319/5215/12322.29369
SM Pollock1082024217/8710/14723.11161
Wasim Akram1041814147/11911/11023.62255
Harbhajan Singh1011864138/8415/21732.37255
top wicket takers in test

Muttiah Muralitharan – The Smiling Assassin

1. Muttiah Muralitharan: Besides being the leading wicket-taker with a staggering 800 wickets, Muttiah Muralitharan is one of the greatest players to play this gentlemen’s game. The ever-charming bowler has played to the spirit of cricket in every match he represented his country. He achieved the magic figure of 800 wickets, when Pragyan Ojha edged a length delivery to Jayawardene at slip. He went on to dominate the cricketing world for nearly two decades, after being no-balled for ‘chucking’ by Umpire Darrell Hair in 1995 Melbourne Test.

2. Shane Warne: The legendary leg-spinner who is Australia’s leading wicket-taker, announced his arrival with the “<Ball of the Century” when he clean bowled Mike Gatting. The way he set up Alec Stewart with a flipper was just magnificent. And, THAT ball to Andrew Strauss which turned two and half feet from outside off-stump to take on the leg-stump is always a treat to watch.

3. Anil Kumble: There cannot be any other incident to demonstrate the grit or courage this bowler from Karnataka had, when he turned himself to bowl 14 consecutive overs with a broken jaw in a Test match played at Antigua in 2002. He is the second bowler to scalp all 10 wickets in an innings during the famous match played at Feroz Shah Kotla against Pakistan.

4. Glenn McGrath: This New South Wales fast bowler, nick-named Pigeon, is known for his consistency in line and length. Australians had nine slips in a match and you can imagine how consistent this lad from Australia is. He has claimed the wicket of Michael Atherton 19 times, the most by any Test bowler against a batsman.

5. Courtney Walsh: Walsh eclipsed the record held by Kapil Dev in 2000 to rewrite history to become the leading wicket-taker then. The Brothers in arms – Walsh and Ambrose – took 421 wickets between them in just 42 Test matches. This has to be one of the greatest bowling partnerships ever in the game of cricket.

6. Kapil Dev: The World Cup winning captain, nicknamed Haryana Hurricane – never missed a Test match because of injury or fitness in his career of 131 Test matches in a span of 16 years. He was one of the best out-swing bowlers from India. It has been two decades since he retired and India is still in hunt for the next Kapil Dev.

7. Richard Hadlee: One of the finest cricketers New Zealand ever produced. Hadlee was a master of rhythm and swing. He was the first player to take 400 Test wickets. He was also an aggressive batsman and has 14 first class centuries under his belt.

8. Shaun Pollock: Coming from a family which produced five cricketers, Pollock went on to become one of the finest, if not the finest bowling all-rounders of all time. He took over the captaincy after Hansie Cronje and led the bowling attack after Alan Donald’s retirement.

9. Wasim Akram: King of Swing. Well-known for his yorkers, he is perhaps the best left-arm bowler the world has ever seen. Akram was very skillful and sometimes moved the ball both ways in a single delivery!

10. Harbhajan Singh: The first bowler from India to take a Test Hat-trick. Bhajji, who scalped 32 wickets in a series against Australia in 2001, established himself as India’s leading spinner after Anil Kumble. He eventually lost his place to Ravichandran Ashwin in the recent years and his comeback to international cricket is not going to be easy!

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