The bowlers are an indispensable part of cricket, without them the game is incomplete. There are instances in cricket where bowlers have proved their worth by winning matches single-handedly. The game has seen some great bowlers since the day it started. So today we will gaze at the players with the Most Wickets in Test Cricket, who have dominated the game in their time across all formats.
Dale Steyn is the only South African bowler on this list, the 10th-highest wicket-taker overall. The African legend is probably the best fast bowler of his era. He has got 439 wickets in 93 test matches in his 15 years of test career (2004-2019).
Dale Steyn's cricketing journey was full of injuries. But till the end of his Test career, he always bowled with everything he got. He is the only bowler to take five wickets against each test-playing cricket nation in his time. He is the highest wicket-taker for South Africa in Test cricket and was the No.1 ranked ICC Test bowler for 6 consecutive years (2008-2014).
Steyn has the record for best bowling strike rate among the bowlers with most test wickets. He took a wicket in every 42.3 balls in test cricket.
Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin occupies the 9th spot in terms of taking the most test wickets, with 489* wickets in 94 games. The spin wizard recently surpassed Kapil Dev to become India's 2nd highest wicket-taker.
Ashwin by far has been the most successful test bowler for India in last decade and one of the greatest match-winners for his country in the longest format of the game. Currently with, 34 five-wicket hauls, he is only one five-wicket haul behind the great Anil Kumble to break his record for most five-fors in test cricket for India. It would be interesting to see how many more matches the off-spinner plays for India and whether he will be able to break Kumble's record for most test wickets by any Indian or not.
Well, one simply does not get the name of the "G.O.AT" by his teammates unless and until someone does some great things for his country. Nathan Lyon, as an off-spinner, playing on the Australian wickets, has now taken 501 test wickets in his career. His record has been incredibly outstanding as a finger spinner without any mystery balls like his other contemporaries.
Against Pakistan, in the 2023-24 test series, Nathan Lyon finally broke into the 500-club and became only the third Aussie to achieve the mark. The Aussie spinner took only 123 test matches to achieve the feat.
Courtney Walsh is the only Caribbean player on the list. He is one of the best fast bowlers of all time and especially of the 19th century. Walsh played his first test match in 1984 against Australia and ended his career as the highest wicket-taker of the West Indies with 519 wickets in 132 matches.
He was also the highest wicket-taker among pacers in test cricket at the end of his career. Walsh was the first bowler to take 500 wickets in the history of test cricket.
The Aussie legend played 14 years of test cricket (1993-2007) and is still regarded as one of the best bowlers to play the game. Glenn made his test debut in 1993 against New Zealand and started making marks from his first test.
Throughout his career, Mcgrath troubled every batter in the world with his line, length, and accuracy. His consistency and ability to bowl at the right place was the most annoying thing for a batter during his time.
McGrath bagged 563 wickets in 124 test matches, while taking a five-wicket haul 29 times in test cricket. Along with that he has the best bowling average (21.6) among the top 10 highest wicket-takers.
The recently retired pace bowler from England, came through some tough times in his career to become only the second bowler from his country to get pass the 500 and 600 mark in test cricket. Along with his partner in crime James Anderson, both Jimmy and Broad ran through opponent batting lineups during their time.
The English paceman made his test debut in 2007 against Sri Lanka. The Nottingham-born player represented England in 166 matches and taken 604 wickets including 20 five-fors.
He is the fifth-highest wicket-taker in test cricket history. His 8 for 15 in the 2015 Ashes against Australia was one of the most terrific spells in test cricket history.
Anil Kumble is the highest wicket-taker for India in Test cricket history and the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the history of test cricket with 619 wickets in 132 test matches. He has taken 35 five-wicket hauls in the longest format of the game, which is also a record among the Indian bowlers.
Kumble made his Test debut in 1990 against England. Since then he played test cricket for India for a long 18 years. His last test match was against Australia in 2008.
Kumble holds the record for best bowling figure by a bowler in an innings in Test cricket 10/74, which came off against Pakistan in 1999 in Delhi.
English fast bowler James Anderson is the third-highest wicket-taker in the history of test cricket. Anderson made his first appearance in test cricket in 2003 against Zimbabwe. Known for his ability to swing the ball, James Anderson has been a prime example of longevity and passion for the game.
As a pace bowler, Anderson has already featured in 183 test matches which is a record itself. He was the first bowler in test history to play 150 games.
Jimmy has taken 690 test wickets in 183 matches so far with 32 five-fors against his name. With the way he is still going at 41 years of age, Anderson would surely be the first pacer to cross 700-mark in test cricket history.
The King, Shane Warne is probably the best leg spinner or player the world has ever seen. His stats say it all, how he troubled all the batsmen of the world with his variations. Warne even turned the ball from 3rd leg stump to off stump to bamboozle the batters. Moreover, he was the man for the all weather and could turn things around for his team at any time anywhere in the world.
Shane Warne played his first test in 1992 against India. In his debut match, he took only one cricket. But no one knew this man had the potential to pick up more than 700 wickets at the end of his career.
Warne played his last test against England in 2007. Before calling it a day, he had grabbed 708 wickets in 145 test matches with 37 five-wicket hauls. Shane Warne is the second-highest taker in test cricket and the record is held by him for 13 years now.
Muttiah Muralitharan was born to massacre batting lineups and shatter records at will. The Sri Lankan off-spinner is the greatest bowler in cricket history with 800 test wickets against his name. Along with that, his 67 five-wicket haul in tests, is a record that might not be broken ever in cricket history.
With one of the most unique bowling actions, Muttiah Muralitharan made his test debut for Sri Lanka against Australia in 1992. Post that, Muralitharan played test cricket for 18 long years (1992-2010).
He played his last game against India at Galle and bagged 8 wickets in his farewell match. Not only that, with the last wicket in his last test match, he reached the milestone of 800 test wickets.