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Top 10 bowlers with most wickets in international cricket

Published at :February 4, 2024 at 10:06 PM
Modified at :February 4, 2024 at 10:07 PM
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Saurabh Anand

Only two bowlers have taken over 1000 wickets in international cricket.

The 90s era predominantly belonged to the bowlers in world cricket. This was the era where so many records in bowling were broken. Kapil Dev’s magic number of 434 test wickets was broken. A new benchmark was set for the future which will be unthinkable to cross for any bowlers in future. Similarly in ODI cricket, a new generation kicked in.

This era brought lot of changes into the game and also several legendary bowlers started their careers. Only two bowlers have so far managed to cross the four digit mark and pick up more than 1000 wickets in international. Third one is just a few wickets away from the milestone. Let’s have a look at top 10 bowlers with most wickets in international cricket.

10. Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka) – 761 wickets :

Chaminda Vaas
Chaminda Vaas. (Image Source: Twitter)

Former Sri Lankan bowler Chaminda Vaas played 111 tests, 322 ODIs and six T20I games (439 international matches) for his country. Vaas picked up 761 wickets in international cricket. Vaas picked up 355 wickets in tests, 400 wickets in ODIs and six wickets in T20I cricket. He represented Sri Lanka for 15 years. Chaminda Vaas was also part of the 1996 World Cup winning Sri Lankan team.

9. Waqar Younis (Pakistan) – 789 wickets :

Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis. (Image Source: Twitter)

Legendary Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis made a deadly duo with Wasim Akram. Right arm pacer Waqar Younis made his international debut for Pakistan in 1989 against India. He went on to play 87 tests and 262 ODIs (349 international matches) for Pakistan before retiring in mid 2003. Waqar Younis scalped 789 International wickets in his career with 373 coming in test cricket and 416 in ODI cricket.

8. Shaun Pollock (South Africa) – 829 wickets :

Shaun Pollock
Shaun Pollock. (Image Source: Twitter)

Former South African skipper Shaun Pollock had one of the most impressive cricketing careers. Right-arm medium-pacer Pollock was known for moving the ball both ways and discomfort top-class batters with his bowling throughout his career. He played 423 International matches (108 tests, 303 ODIs and 12 T20Is) for South Africa and picked up 829 international wickets. Pollock picked up 421 wickets in tests, 393 in ODIs and 15 in T20Is.

7. Stuart Broad (England) – 847 wickets :

Stuart Broad, Tom Latham
Stuart Broad. (Image Source: Twitter)

English pace bowler Stuart Broad retired from international cricket in 2023. Broad’s last international match was in the Ashes against Australia in 2023. He retired as one of the leading wicket-takers in international cricket. Stuart Broad picked up 847 international cricket in 344 games (167 tests, 121 ODIs and 56 T20Is). Broad’s most number of wickets came in test cricket. He picked up 604 wickets in tests, 178 in ODIs and 65 in T20I in his career.

6. Wasim Akram (Pakistan) – 916 wickets :

Wasim-Akram. (Image Source: Twitter)

Legendary Pakistan opening bowler Wasim Akram was the highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket for a long time. He retired from ODIs in March 2003 with 502 wickets to his name. The record was broken by Muttiah Muralitharan six lears later in 2009. Sultan of Swing picked up 916 wickets in his international cricket career. Akram played 460 international matches for Pakistan. Akram played 104 test matches and 356 ODI games for his national side. He took 414 wickets in test cricket and he finished with 502 wickets in ODIs.

5. Glenn McGrath (Australia) – 949 wickets :

Glenn McGrath
Glenn McGrath. (Image Source: Twitter)

Former Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath also had a successful cricket career for his national side and picked up 949 international wickets. McGrath played 376 international matches (124 tests, 250 ODIs and two T20Is) for Australia and picked up 949 wickets. Right-arm pacer McGrath took 563 wickets in tests, 381 wickets in ODIs and only five wickets in T20I cricket.

4. Anil Kumble (India) – 956 wickets :

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble (Image Source: PTI)

Fondly known as ‘Jumbo,’ Anil Kumble is India’s leading wicket-taker in test and ODI cricket. During his playing career from 1990 to 2008, Anil Kumble picked up 956 wickets in international cricket. Anil Kumble is India’s leading wicket-taker in test cricket with 619 wickets. He is also leading the list of wicket-takers for India in ODI cricket with 337 wickets in 271 matches. Kumble played 132 matches in test cricket.

3. James Anderson (England) – 982 wickets :

James Anderson
James Anderson. (Image Source: BCCI)

England’s leading pace bowler James Anderson is still going strong for his side even after going past 40. James Anderson is England’s leading wicket-taker in test and ODI cricket. Anderson has so far picked up 982 wickets in international cricket in 397 matches for England (184 tests, 194 ODIs, and 19 T20Is). He has picked 695 wickets in test cricket and 269 in ODIs. Anderson played only 19 T20I matches for England and managed to pick 18 scalps in those games for his nation.

2. Shane Warne (Australia) – 1001 wickets :

Shane Warne
Shane Warne (Image Source: Getty)

Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne is Australia’s leading wicket-taker in international cricket. Shane Warne was the first ever bowler to breach the 700-mark in test cricket. Shane Warne played 339 international matches for Australia (145 tests, 194 ODIs) and picked up 1001 wickets in his international cricketing career. Warne picked up 708 test wickets and 293 ODI wickets in his career. Sadly, Warne passed away aged 52 in March 2022.

1. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka) – 1347 wickets :

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan. (Image Source :Getty)

Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is leading the tally with an outstanding number of 1347 wickets. This will be extremely difficult to cross for any bowler in the world. Muttiah Muralitharan played 495 international matches for Sri Lanka (133 tests, 350 ODIs, 12 T20Is). Muralitharan is leading wicket-taker in test and ODI cricket with 800 and 534 wickets, respectively. He has also picked 13 wickets in T20I cricket.

(All stats updated till 4th February, 2024)

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