Leading Wicket Takers in ODI Cricket History
The world of cricket has seen some astonishing bowlers over the period of time. Some bowlers tend to fear the batsmen with pace and swing while others use turn and deception to outfox the batsman and get him out. In world of cricket many bowlers appeared on the scene. But only some of those could maintain their class and fitness. They bowled and bowled for period of decade or more. Let’s check out the list of top 10 leading wicket takers in ODI. The list features 4 spinners and 6 fast bowlers. In top 10 highest wicket takers in ODI list, 3 bowlers are from Pakistan and Sri Lanka, 2 from Australia and 1 from India and South Africa.
#10 Sanath Jayasuriya (323) – Sri Lanka
Sanath Jayasuriya is former Sri Lankan all-rounder. He was reputed for his aggressive batting. But along with his batting he was more than a good slow left arm bowler. He used his experience to the most to outclass many batsmen in world cricket. Sanath Jayasuriya played international ODI cricket from 1989 to 2011. During this period he played 445 matches and picked up 223 wickets. His career bowling average is 36.75 along with the strike rate of 46.0. He picked up 223 wickets at a cost of 4.78 runs per over. Jayasuriya picked up 4 wickets in a match 8 times and 5 wickets 4 times in his career. His best bowling figures are 6 wickets for 29 runs.
#09 Anil Kumble (337) – India
Anil Kumble overcame all odds and became a leg spinner in a land that was ideal for the batsmen. Being a wrist spinner he did not spin the ball very much. But he conquered most batsmen with his varieties. Anil Kumble played from 1990 to 2007. He finds a spot in the top 10 leading wicket takers in ODI with 337 wickets in 271 matches. Kumble picked these wickets with an average of 30.89 and a strike rate of 43.0. Anil Kumble took 4 wickets 8 times and 5 wickets 2 times in a match. His one day international career economy rate is 4.30. His career best bowling figures are 6 wickets for12 runs.
#08 Brett Lee (380) – Australia
Australian fast bowler Brett Lee was the one of the fastest bowlers of his era and probably all time. He maintained and competed his fast bowling reputation in the era where Shoaib Akhtar was at his peak. Brett Lee played international ODI cricket from 2000 to 2012. He played 221 matches in his career and picked up 380 wickets with best bowling figures of 5 wickets for 22 runs. His career bowling average is 23.36. Brett Lee took 380 wickets with a strike rate of 29.4. Brett Lee took 4 wickets in a match 14 times and 5 wickets 9 times. These stats put Brett Lee in list of top 10 leading wicket takers in ODI.
#07 Glenn McGrath (381) – Australia
Aussie pacer is just ahead of his team mate Brett Lee in the number of wickets. The Aussie bowler who molded the forefront of the Australian pace attack ruled world bowling till his retirement in 2007 starting from 1993. He has best bowling figures of 7 wickets for just 15 runs. Glenn McGrath took his wickets at an average of 22.02. His career bowling strike rate is 34.0 with an economy of 3.88. McGrath took 4 wickets 9 times and 5 wickets 7 times in a match.
#06 Shaun Pollock (393) – South Africa
Shaun Pollock is world’s 6th highest wicket taker in ODIs. He has taken 393 wickets and has a best bowling figure of 6 wickets for 35 runs. Another cap in Shaun’s hat is his economy rate, which is the lowest among the top 10 leading wicket takers in ODI at 3.67. Shaun Pollock played from 1996 to 2008 for South Africa. He was a handy batsman too along with his excellent bowling. Pollock took 393 wickets at an average of 24.50 and with a strike rate of 39.9. Shaun Pollock took 4 wickets 12 times and 5 wickets 5 times in a match.
#05 Shahid Afridi (398) – Pakistan
Best known with the name of “BOOM BOOM”, Shahid Khan Afridi is 5th of the top 10 leading wicket takers in ODI. Shahid Afridi is the only player in ODI cricket history to take more than 350 wickets and score more than 5000 runs. Along with his ultra-aggressive batting, he was also very good leg spinner for Pakistan. Shahid Afridi played ODI cricket from 1996 to 2015 and took 398 wickets. Shahid Afridi best bowling figures are 7 wickets for 12 runs. His best bowling figures are 2nd best ever after Sri Lankan pacer Chaminda Vaas. His bowling average is 34.51 with the strike rate of 44.7 and economy rate of 4.62. Shahid Afridi took 4 wickets 4 times and 5 wickets 9 times in a match.
#04 Chaminda Vaas (400) – Sri Lanka
Chaminda Vaas was known for his late in swinger and reverse swinging deliveries. He has collected during his decade long career a total of 400 wickets and has a best bowling figure of 8 wickets for 19 runs, the best ever in ODI cricket history. Chaminda Vaas played ODI cricket from 1994 to 2008. His bowling average is 27.53. His career strike rate is 39.4 with an economy rate of 4.18. Vaas picked up 4 wickets 9 times and 5 wickets 4 times in a match.
#03 Waqar Younis (416) – Pakistan
The master of reverse swing and swinging Yorkers Waqar Younis has picked up third most wickets in ODI. Waqar Younis could reverse the reverse swinging deliveries. He along with Wasim Akram formed the most deadly bowling combination of modern cricket. Waqar Younis played ODI cricket from 1984 to 2003. He picked up a total of 416 wickets in his 262 matches. He took all the wickets at an average of 23.84. His career strike rate was 30.5 runs per wicket with economy rate of 4.68 runs per over. Waqar Younis picked up 4 wickets 14 times and 5 wickets 13 times in a match. He has picked up 4 and 5 wickets in a match most times among the top 10 leading wicket takers in ODI.
#02 Wasim Akram (502) – Pakistan
Best known as “SWING KA SULTAN (Master of Swing)”, the world’s best swing bowler is in the number 2 slot of the leading wicket takers in ODI of all time. Akram with Waqar Younis formed the mostly deadly bowling pair of their era. He has in his ODI career taken 502 wickets with a best bowling figure of 5 wickets for 15 runs. When he was at his best he could swing the ball both ways and combined it with a lethal pace. He also infatuated a slower Yorker in his arsenal which most batsmen found too difficult to handle.
Akram played international ODI cricket from 1984 to 2003. Akram played key role in world cup winning performance of Pakistan team in 1992. In his career Akram took 502 wickets at an average of 23.52. His strike rate was 36.2 with economy rate of 3.89. His best bowling figures are 5 wickets for 15 runs. Akram took 4 wickets 17 times and 5 wickets 6 times in a match.
#01 Muttiah Muralitharan (534) – Sri Lanka
Muttiah Muralitharan has picked up highest number of wickets in ODI. Sri Lankan off spin bowler Muralitharan was a magician with the ball. He could bowl an off spin, an arm ball and a “DOSRA” with the same action. Even world class batsmen found it difficult to pick his spinning deliveries. He leads the wicket takers in ODIs by taking 534 wickets in 350 matches. Muralitharan played ODI cricket from 1993 to 2011 and picked up most wickets in the ODI. He picked his wickets at an average of 23.08 and a strike rate of 35.2.
Muralitharan’s best bowling figures in a match are 7 wickets for 30 runs. He bowled with an economy rate of 3.93. Muralitharan picked up 4 wickets 15 times and 5 wickets 10 times in a match. His long lasting brilliant ODI career put him on number 01 position in Top 10 leading wicket takers in ODI.