HomeCricket10 Leading Wicket Takers in Test Cricket

10 Leading Wicket Takers in Test Cricket

Test cricket, often described as the ultimate test of skill and endurance, has seen some of the greatest bowlers in the history of the sport. These bowlers have claimed plenty of wickets with and have made space for themselves in some of Test cricket’s esteemed record lists. Let’s delve into the careers of the top 10 highest wicket takers in Test cricket.

Top 10 Leading Wicket Takers in Test Cricket

Muttiah Muralitharan1338009/5122.722.4755.044567
Shane Warne1457088/7125.412.6557.494837
James Anderson1877007/4226.522.7956.963232
Anil Kumble13261910/7429.652.6965.993135
Stuart Broad1676048/1527.682.9755.792820
Glenn McGrath1245638/2421.642.4951.952829
Nathan Lyon129*5278/5030.392.9362.042424
Courtney Walsh1325197/3724.442.5357.843222
Ravichandran Ashwin1005167/5923.752.8150.72536
Dale Steyn934397/5122.953.2442.382726

1. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)

Muttiah Muralitharan, the magician from Sri Lanka, tops the list with an astonishing 800 Test wickets. His unorthodox bowling action and unparalleled spin bowling skills made him a nightmare for batsmen worldwide.

Muralitharan’s ability to turn the ball sharply both ways baffled even the most seasoned players. In 133 Test matches, he maintained an impressive average of 22.72, cementing his status as one of the greatest bowlers of all time.

Muralitharan bid farewell to Test cricket in 2010, concluding a legendary career spanning over 18 years. His retirement marked the end of an era for Sri Lankan cricket. 

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2. Shane Warne (Australia)

Shane Warne, the best leg spinner of all time from Australia, revolutionized the art of leg-spin bowling. With 708 Test wickets in 145 matches, Warne’s lethal deliveries and impeccable control made him a true cricketing icon.

His famous ‘Ball of the Century’ to dismiss Mike Gatting in 1993 remains one of the most memorable moments in cricket history. Warne’s average of 25.41 reflects his dominance and influence on the game. Warner retired from Test cricket in 2007, and passed away in 2022. 

3. James Anderson (England)

England’s swing maestro, James Anderson is renowned for his longevity in the game. With 700 Test wickets and counting, Anderson’s ability to move the ball both ways at pace has troubled batsmen from around the globe.

These 700 wickets also make him the highest wicket-taker in Tests among pace bowlers. Anderson has picked up 32 four-wicket hauls and as many five-wicket hauls, with his best bowling figure being 7/42. He has played the most Test matches for England, and the second-most in Test cricket history, behind Sachin Tendulkar.

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4. Anil Kumble (India)

Anil Kumble, India’s legendary leg-spinner, was a true stalwart of the game, is the fourth-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 619 Test wickets to his credit. Kumble’s accuracy and subtle variations made him a nightmare for opposition batsmen.

Hailing from Karnataka, Kumble’s career spanned 132 Test matches, where he averages 29.65. In 1999, during a match against Pakistan, Kumble achieved the rare feat of dismissing all ten batsmen in a Test match innings, becoming the second player after England’s Jim Laker to do so.

5. Stuart Broad (England)

Stuart Broad, England’s prolific fast bowler, stands fifth on the list with 604 Test wickets and counting from 167 Tests. With his ability to seam and swing the ball prodigiously, Broad has been a constant threat to opposition batsmen.

He has picked up 20 five-wicket hauls and has an average of 24.44. During the fourth Test of the 2015 Ashes series, Broad delivered his career-best performance, claiming figures of 8/15 in the Australian first innings, leading to their dismissal for just 60 runs. 

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6. Glenn McGrath (Australia)

Glenn McGrath occupies the sixth spot with 563 Test wickets. In 124 Test matches, he terrorized opposition batsmen with his relentless accuracy and subtle variations, finishing his career with an average of 21.64.

He’s also secured the seventh-highest tally of ODI wickets, totalling 381 dismissals. Additionally, he holds the record for the most wickets in the Cricket World Cup, with an impressive 71 scalps. McGrath retired from Test cricket in 2006, drawing the curtains on a remarkable career that spanned over 12 years. 

7. Nathan Lyon (Australia)

Nathan Lyon, Australia’s premier off-spinner, holds the seventh spot with 530 Test wickets in 129 matches at an average of 30.28. Lyon’s ability to extract turn and bounce on any surface has made him a constant threat to opposition batsmen.

With 24 four-wicket hauls and 24 five-wicket hauls, Lyon has been instrumental in many Australian victories. His consistent performances and match-winning abilities make him a vital cog in the Australian bowling arsenal.

8. Courtney Walsh (West Indies)

Courtney Walsh, the towering West Indian fast bowler, ranks eighth on the list with 519 Test wickets in 132 matches. With his raw pace and unrelenting aggression, Walsh struck fear into the hearts of batsmen worldwide. With an average of 24.44, Walsh’s legacy continues to inspire future generations of fast bowlers. He retired in the year 2001. 

9. Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

Ravichandran Ashwin, the modern-day spin king, occupies the ninth spot with 516 Test wickets in 100 matches. Known for his crafty off-spin and astute cricketing brain, Ashwin has bamboozled batsmen with his variations and control. With an average of 23.75, he has been a key contributor to India’s success in Test cricket, boasting an impressive tally of 25 four-wicket hauls and 36 five-wicket hauls.

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10. Dale Steyn (South Africa)

Dale Steyn, South Africa’s lethal fast bowler, completes the top 10 with 439 Test wickets. Renowned for his express pace, Steyn was a nightmare for batsmen around the world. In 93 matches, he displayed his ability to dismantle batting line-ups with sheer pace and aggression. Steyn’s career could have been much longer if not for injuries.

In December 2015, during the Durban Test against England, he suffered a shoulder injury, which marked the beginning of a decline in his performances as it was followed by several other injuries.

FAQs about Highest Wicket Takers in Test Cricket

Q) Who is the leading wicket taker in Tests?

A) The leading wicket-taker in Tests is Muttiah Muralitharan from Sri Lanka, with 800 wickets.

Q) Who is the leading wicket taker in Tests for India?

A) The leading wicket-taker in Tests for India is Anil Kumble, with 619 wickets.

Q) Who is the leading wicket taker in Tests for West Indies?

A) The leading wicket-taker in Tests for West Indies is Courtney Walsh, with 519 wickets.



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