Cricket is the third most popular sport in the world. It is behind Football and Rugby which are first and second most accepted games across the globe respectively. Among the top 10 bowlers who have the highest number of wickets in all formats of the game (Tests, ODIs and T-20s), three are spinners whereas seven are fast bowlers. If we sort the list according to the country then Sri Lanka, Australia and Pakistan have two players each with other spots being shared by India, South Africa, England and West Indies with each having just one bowler in the top 10.
Lets have a look at the top 10 bowlers with most wickets:
1) Muttiah Muralitharan (1992-2011):
The Sri Lankan off-spinner has played a total of 495 matches in which he took 1347 wickets at an average of 22.86 runs in his nearly two-decade long career career. His best performance in an innings was nine for 51 runs against Zimbawe on June 04, 2002. Muralitharan took five or more than five wickets 77 times. At Test cricket, he took 10 or more wickets on 22 occassions. He is considered as the best off-spinner the world has ever seen.
2) Shane Warne (1992-2007):
Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne played a total of 339 matches, taking 1001 wickets at an average of 25.51. The best bowling figure in his career was in the 1994-95 Ashes in which he took eight wickets for 71 runs in an innings. In an innings, Warne took five or more wicket on 38 occassions. Similarly in the Test format he has taken 10 or more wickets 10 times. A ball of Warne was chosen as the best ball of the century.
3) Anil Kumble (1990-2008):
Indian leg spinner Anil Kumble was the backbone of Indian bowling for more than two decades. Kumble played a total of 403 matches and took 956 wickets at an average of 30.09. Kumble’s best performance in an innings was 10 for 74 runs. He took five or more wickets in an innings for 37 times. At the same time, eight times in the Test match, he managed to take 10 or more wickets.
4) Glenn McGrath (1993-2007):
Australian fast bowler McGrath took 949 wickets in an average of 21.76 in 376 matches. McGrath’s best performance was eight wickets by 24 runs. McGrath took five or more wickets in an innings for 36 times in 36 innings. At the same time three times he took 10 or more wickets in the Test match.
5) Wasim Akram (1984-2003):
Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akram has taken 916 wickets in 460 matches at an average of 23.57. His best performance in an innings was seven for 119 runs. Akram has done 31 times in an innings for taking five or more wickets. At the same time, he took 10 or more wickets in Test cricket five times.
6) Shaun Pollock (1995-2008)
South African Shaun Pollock took 829 wickets in 423 matches at an average of 23.73. His best performance was 87 runs in seven wickets. Pollock took five or more wickets in an innings 21 times. In a Test match, Pollock took 10 wickets in more than this.
7) Waqar Younis (1989-2003):
Pakistani fast bowler Waqar Younis took 789 wickets in an average of 23.70 in 349 matches. His best performance in an innings was seven for 36 runs. Waqar took 5 or more wickets 35 times in one innings. Five times in a Test match he took 10 or more wickets.
8) Chaminda Vaas (1994-2009):
Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vaas has been the opening bowler of his country for a long time. Vaas took a total of 761 wickets in total 439 matches at an average of 28.44. His best performance in an innings was eight runs by 19 runs. Vas took five or more wickets in an innings 16 times. At the same time, he managed to take 10 or more wickets in a Test match.
9) James Anderson (2002-2016):
England pacer James Anderson took 754 wickets in an average of 28.81 in 335 matches. His best performance was 7 for 43 runs. He took five or more wickets in an innings 23 times in an innings. Three times he took 10 or more wickets in a Test.
10) Courtney Walsh (1984-2001):
Courtney Walsh is considered the last of the traditional great fast bowlers of the West Indies. Walsh took 746 wickets at an average of 26.28 in 337 matches. Walsh was the best performence was seven for 37 runs. Walsh took five or more wickets in an innings 23 times. Three times he managed to take 10 or more wickets in a Test match.