Most Test wickets as captain

Australian captain Pat Cummins claimed Daryl Mitchell's valuable wicket to enter record books. He completed 100 Test wickets and became the 9th bowler in the list of 'Most Test wickets as captain'.

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Payal Debnath
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Most Test wickets as captain

Pat cummins became the 9th bowler in the list of 'Most Test wickets as captain'. Image- LatestLY

In the realm of cricket, leadership is not only about guiding the team but also about leading by example. Captaining a team in Test matches adds an extra layer of responsibility, requiring the ability to inspire and strategize while maintaining individual performance. Captains who can inspire their team through their own performances hold a special place in the annals of cricket history. One of the most significant measures of a captain's impact is their ability to take wickets in Test matches, the pinnacle of the sport. Let's explore the elite group of bowlers who have not only captained their sides but have also most Test wickets as captain.

Also Read: Most 5 wicket hauls in Test Cricket

Most Test wickets as captain

1. Imran Khan | 187 Wickets

Imran Khan has the most Test wickets as captain. Image- Daily FT
Imran Khan has the most Test wickets as captain. Image- Daily FT

Imran Khan, a charismatic leader and an exceptional all-rounder has the most Test wickets as captain. He captained Pakistan from the early 1980s to the early 1990s. Imran was a renowned sportsman who not only led Pakistan to a World Cup victory but also set an example of ideals for all youngsters to aspire to. He was one of the finest captains of his time.

Imran Khan has got 187 wickets in 48 Test matches in his 21 years of Test career (1971-1992) as captain. He has a total of 362 Test wickets on his name for Pakistan. Imran Khan has the second-best Test figure in this list of best Test captains. 

2. Richie Benaud | 138 Wickets

Richie Benaud has the second most Test wickets as captain. Image- The Guardian
Richie Benaud has the second most Test wickets as captain. Image- The Guardian

Richie Benaud, who is best remembered as one of Australia's most-imaginative captains, occupies the 2nd spot in terms of taking the most Test wickets as captain, with 138 Test wickets in 28 games. He served as captain of the Australian national team from 1958 to 1963, during which time Australia never lost a Test (international) series.

Benaud first appeared in Test matches in 1951. He developed a reputation as a fine leg-spin bowler as well as an excellent batsman and fielder. He also became known for his intelligent and energetic play.

3. Garfield Sobers | 117 Wickets

Garfield Sobers has the third most Test wickets as captain. Image- Daily News
Garfield Sobers has the third most Test wickets as captain. Image- Daily News

Garfield Sobers aka Sir Garry Sobers is considered to be one of the greatest batsmen after Sir Don Bradman and the greatest All Rounder of all time. Garry took 117 wickets of his 39 Test matches as captain. They are the 3rd most behind Imran Khan's 187 and Richie Benaud's 138. 

Garry Sobers holds the record for bowling most number of balls as a captain in Tests. He bowled 10860 balls as a captain. Only other captain to bowl 10000 or more balls is Richie Benaud who bowled 10720 balls.

Also Read: Most sixes in a Test innings

4. Daniel Vettori | 116 Wickets

Daniel Vettori has the fourth most Test wickets as captain. Image- NewsBytes
Daniel Vettori has the fourth most Test wickets as captain. Image- NewsBytes

Former New Zealand left-arm spinner, Daniel Vettori has the fourth most Test wickets as captain. Vettori made his first appearance in Test cricket in 1997 against England. As captain, Vettori took 116 Test wickets at an average of 33.38, and hit four centuries and nine fifties to aggregate 1917 runs.

Under the left-arm spinner, New Zealand have won just six Tests, with four of them coming against Bangladesh, and one each against England and Pakistan, apart from 18 defeats and 13 draws. In the 13 series that Vettori led, New Zealand lost on nine occasions.

5. Kapil Dev | 111 Wickets

Kapil Dev  was the first Indian Captain who won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1983. Image- Cricket Addictor
Kapil Dev was the first Indian Captain who won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1983. Image- Cricket Addictor

Kapil Dev occupies the 5th spot in terms of taking the most Test wickets as captain. He was the first Indian Captain who won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1983. Kapil is one of the legendary cricketers India have ever produced. Before Kapil Dev's era, cricket was a low-profile game in India with a limited audience. He brought a revolution in Indian cricket through his captaincy.

Kapil Dev led the Indian Test team in 34 matches where he picked 111 Test wickets. He also has overall 434 Test wickets to his name in just 131 Test Matches for India. Every Indian cricket fan was impressed with the one-man show skill that Kapil presented through his bowling, batting, and captaincy. His services as one of the best all-rounders in cricket would be remembered forever.

6. Wasim Akram | 107 Wickets

Wasim Akram was the hero of the 1992 world cup final.  Image- The Cricket Monthly
Wasim Akram was the hero of the 1992 world cup final. Image- The Cricket Monthly

We all know how good of a player Wasim Akram was during his cricketing days. One of the greatest bowlers of his generation and some say he was the greatest left-arm fast bowler in the history of cricket. The Sultan of swing, the king of reverse swing, and the hero of the 1992 world cup final, Wasim Akram was a trademark fast bowler throughout his career.

Wasim Akram took over the Test captaincy from Javed Miandad in 1993. He captained Pakistan in 25 Tests and took 107 wickets at an average of 23.36. Wasim was also known as a very aggressive and confrontational captain on the field.

7. Bishan Singh Bedi | 106 Wickets

Bishan Singh Bedi is famous for his outstanding accuracy and spin bowling. Image- Wisden
Bishan Singh Bedi is famous for his outstanding accuracy and spin bowling. Image- Wisden

Known for his outspokenness, late cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi occupies the 7th spot in terms of taking the most Test wickets as captain. Bedi was widely known as one of the greatest spinners produced by India who played international cricket.

Bedi, famous for his outstanding accuracy and spin bowling, picked up 266 wickets in Test cricket at an average of 28.71 with 14 five-wicket hauls. The left-arm spinner also claimed seven wickets in the 50-over format. Out of the 266 Test wickets, Bedi bagged 106 of those as captain, having led the Indian team in 22 Tests.

8. Shaun Pollock | 103 Wickets

Shaun Pollock is the first South African to take 400 wickets. Image- Cricket Addictor
Shaun Pollock is the first South African to take 400 wickets. Image- Cricket Addictor

South Africa has produced some magnificent talents in world cricket's history. Among those superb talents, there was another such diamond that waited for its turn to shine, Shaun Pollock. Pollock is the first South African to take 400 wickets. Even the greatest of all time Sachin Tendulkar went cautious while facing him.

Pollock was the captain when South Africa suffered an ignominious exit from the 2003 World Cup, which was held in their country. Pollock played 82 Tests as a player, taking 318 wickets at an average of 23.68, with 12 five-wicket hauls and a best of 7/87. While Pollock played 26 Tests as captain, taking 103 wickets at an average of 21.36, with 4 five-wicket hauls and a best of 6/30.

Also Read: Fastest to 500 Test Wickets

9. Pat Cummins | 100* Wickets

Pat Cummins has now taken 100 wickets in 27 Test matches as captain. Image- Cricket Addictor
Pat Cummins has now taken 100 wickets in 27 Test matches as captain. Image- Cricket Addictor

Pat Cummins joined the elite list of most Test wickets as captain. He has also joined Richie Benaud to become just the second Australia captain to pick 100 Test wickets. Cummins reached the milestone in Australia's first Test against New Zealand in Wellington.

Cummins has now taken 100 wickets so far in 27 Test matches as captain at an impressive average of 23.84 with seven five-wicket hauls. The World Cup-winning captain also became the first-ever cricketer to take 100 Test wickets as a captain in the ICC World Test Championship history. Cummins has taken 264 Test wickets at an average of 22.44 so far and is Australia's highest-ranked bowler in the ICC Test bowling standings.

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Wasim Akram Pat Cummins Kapil Dev Test Cricket Imran Khan Cricket Records Test Captains Bishan Singh Bedi