Shane Warne has left the earth to make his way into the heavens. The records he has left with us in cricket will stay for lifelong. He has taken 708 test wickets and was magical throughout his career. His record of 95 test wickets in a calendar year in 2005 is one of the unbreakable Shane Warne records. In his memory, we present you the Top 5 bowlers with the most test wickets in a calendar.
Warne was always magical. He had the hunger, attitude and skill to take wickets in any period of the game. In the early 2000s, he was quite unplayable under Ricky Ponting at the fag end of his career. In 2015, Warne played only 15 test matches and took a record 96 test wickets that calendar year. Actually, in the 2005 Ashes, he took 40 wickets against the England team in England which is still remembered as one of the greatest Ashes series of all time. This is one of the most Shane Warne records that will quite close to impossible to break in future. Warne features on top of the list of bowlers with most test wickets in a calendar year.
The competition between two one of the greatest bowlers in test history was always on. Warne did it in 2005, Murali chased him in 2006. Only he was six wickets short of the record of his fellow competitor. The Sri Lankan spin wizard took 90 wickets in just 11 test matches. If he would have played more tests, Shane Warne's record could have been in danger.
Murali averaged 16.9 with the ball and had a strike rate of 39.2 in 2006. Although, five of those 11 tests were in the subcontinent.
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The Australian legend was the first test player to cross 80 test wickets in a calendar year. Moreover, he is also the only pacer to have more than 80 wickets in a calendar year. Known for his share pace, aggression and hostility, Lille took 85 test wickets in 1981 with a bowling average of 20.95 in just 13 tests that year.
Among those 85 wickets, Lillee took 39 wickets in the 1981-82 Ashes series to rip through the English batting order. Even the Indian team could not handle him well as well as he finished the Indian series with 21 wickets in just three tests.
The white-lighting from South Africa is the only pacer along with Lillee to touch the 80 test wickets mark in a calendar year. In 1998 Donald had matured as a pacer and was in his prime. That year he took 80 wickets at an astonishing average of 19.6 and strike rate of 40.4 balls per wicket. Although Donald had played only 14 test matches that year, he was able to claim 7 five-wicket hauls that year.
Sri Lanka, England and the West Indies found it very hard to face the hard length and fiery pace from the African legend that year.
One can not take 800 test wickets in a career with just one great year. In fact, Murali took more than fifty test wickets in a calendar year on a record six occasions. His 80 test wickets in a calendar year came in 2001 when he played 12 tests for the Srilankan team. In addition, he took ten wickets in a match 4 times that year and also had seven five-wicket hauls against his name.
Murali had played 11 out of those 12 test wickets in the home conditions of Sri Lanka that year.