List of bowlers who have taken more than 500 wickets in Test cricket
Only nine bowlers have picked up more than 500 wickets in test cricket.
In the prestigious world of test cricket, a special set of outstanding bowlers have made history by achieving an impressive feat, taking more than 500 wickets. This distinguished group of players has left a lasting impact on the sport, showcasing unmatched skill and mastery in their bowling abilities. These bowlers aren’t just good, they’re exceptional and have gained recognition for their excellence in international cricket.
Now let’s delve into the list of bowlers who have taken more than 500 wickets in test cricket.
1. Courtney Walsh:
Courtney Walsh, a cricketing icon from West Indies, graced the field from 1984 to 2001, leaving an enduring impact. On 17 March, 2001, Walsh became first ever bowler to take 500 wickets in test cricket. He achieved the feat in 129th match of his test career.
In an illustrious career spanning for 132 matches, Walsh showcased his bowling skills, securing a remarkable 519 wickets at an average of 24.44. One of the highlights of his career was a memorable performance where he claimed figures of 7/37 in a single innings. Throughout his cricketing journey, Walsh achieved the feat of taking 22 five-wicket hauls in an innings and in three instances he picked up ten wickets in a single match.
2. Shane Warne:
Late Shane Warne, the legendary Australian cricketer, played test cricket from 1992 to 2007, leaving an indelible mark. In his career’s 108th test match, Warne became first ever Australian, first ever spin bowler and overall second bowler to pick 500 wickets in test cricket.
In a stellar career comprising 145 matches, Warne showcased his spin wizardry by claiming an astounding 708 wickets at an average of 25.41. Renowned for his economical bowling, he maintained an impressive economy rate of 2.65, with a career-best figures of 8/71. Warne in 37 instances picked up five wickets in an innings and ten times achieved ten wickets in a single match.
Sadly, Warne passed away on 4th March, 2022 in Koh Samui, Thailand aged only 53.
3. Muttiah Muralitharan:
Muttiah Muralitharan, a cricketing maestro from Sri Lanka, made his mark from 1992 to 2010. Just eight days after Warne completed 500 wickets, Muralitharan too entered the elite list of bowlers with 500 or more wickets in test cricket. On 16 March, 2004, Muralitharan became third bowler overall to complete 500 wickets in the longest format of the game. He achieved the feat in just 87 tests, which is still the fastest among all nine bowlers to achieve this milestone.
In a brilliant test career spanning 133 matches, he etched his name in history by claiming a staggering 800 wickets at an outstanding average of 22.72. Known for his economic bowling, Muralitharan maintained an impressive economy rate of 2.47, achieving a career-best figures of 9/51. His bowling brilliance is further highlighted by picking five wickets in an innings 67 times and ten times securing ten wickets in a single match.
4. Glenn McGrath:
Glenn McGrath, Australian cricket legend, played between 1993 to 2007, having an impressive record of 124 matches and securing 563 wickets at an exceptional average of 21.64. On 21 July, 2005, McGrath became fourth bowler to complete 500 wickets in test cricket. He became second fast bowler and second Australian to achieve this feat in the longest format of the game.
His career included a remarkable best figures of 8/24. Additionally, McGrath demonstrated his bowling capabilities by achieving the feat of taking 29 five-wicket hauls in an innings and three times taking ten wickets in a single match.
5. Anil Kumble:
Anil Kumble, who represented India from 1990 to 2008, left an indelible mark in the cricketing world. On 9 March, 2006, Anil Kumble entered the elite list of bowlers with 500 or more wickets in test cricket. He became first ever Indian bowler to achieve this milestone.
Over the course of 132 matches, he picked up a remarkable 619 wickets at an average of 29.65 and an economical bowling style reflected in his economy rate of 2.69. Kumble’s career includes extraordinary best figures of 10/74 in a single innings. Notably, he achieved the feat of taking 35 five-wicket hauls in an innings and eight times picking up ten wickets in a single match, underscoring his exceptional skill and impact on the game.
6. James Anderson:
After Anil Kumble entering the elusive list, it took 11 years for another bowler to join the 500-wicket club in test cricket. On 7 September, 2017, James Anderson became first ever England bowler and overall sixth bowler to complete 500 wickets in test cricket.
James Anderson, the seasoned English cricketer, has been a stalwart since 2003. Over the course of his illustrious career spanning 186 matches, he has impressively claimed 698 wickets at an average of 26.50. Anderson’s career highlights includes his best bowling figures of 7/42. Furthermore, he has showcased his bowling capabilities with an impressive record of 32 five-wicket hauls in an innings and achieving the feat of ten wickets in a match three times.
7. Stuart Broad:
Anderson’s partner-in-crime with the ball, Stuart Broad, on 24 July, 2020, became second England bowler and overall seventh bowler to complete 500 wickets in test cricket. Broad is slowest among all bowlers to reach the milestone, he took 140 matches to complete 500 wickets in the longest format of the game.
Stuart Broad, a key figure in English cricket from 2007 to 2023, had an illustrious career with 167 matches to his name. Displaying remarkable bowling skills, he has claimed an impressive 604 wickets at an average of 27.68, with a standout performance featuring the best figures of 8/15. His career highlights included a notable record of 20 five-wicket hauls in an innings and three times picking ten wickets in a single match, underscoring his consistency and significant impact on the game.
8. Nathan Lyon:
14 December, 2023, Australia’s Nathan Lyon joined his fellow countrymen Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath in the elusive list of bowlers with 500 or more wickets in test cricket. Lyon became third Australian and overall eighth bowler to reach the landmark in the longest format of the game.
Since he started playing in 2011, Lyon has participated in 127 tests, securing 517 wickets. This impressive tally includes 23 instances of taking five wickets in a single innings and four instances of claiming 10 wickets in a match.
9. Ravichandran Ashwin – 500 wickets:
On 15 February, 2024, Ravi Ashwin became second Indian and overall ninth bowler to pick 500 wickets in the longest format of the game. Ashwin took only 98 games to achieve this feat, which is fastest by an Indian bowler to reach the landmark, while it is the second fastest overall – in terms of matches taken.
Since making his test debut in 2011, Ashwin has so far played in 99 matches, accumulating a total of 507 wickets. This notable accomplishment includes 35 instances of capturing five wickets in a single innings and eight instances of claiming 10 wickets in a match.
(All stats updated till 25th February, 2024)
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