There was a time when test cricket used to be played multiple times a year unless today when a test series is conducted in a cycle. It has occurred mainly due to the addition of T20 cricket. Every great cricketer takes pride in playing the test format and puts their heart and soul into it to thrive. But performing throughout a particular year includes class, discipline, and consistency. Many amazing bowlers have enjoyed test cricket but there have been a few who have racked up the most test wickets in a calendar year.
The 2nd highest-wicket taker in test cricket history, legendary Shane Warne has got the most test wickets in a calendar year. The late spin wizard was called the “King of Spin” for his mind-boggling ball-turning ability. Warne played 15 test matches in 2005 and claimed 96 wickets at a commendable average of 22.02 and strike rate of 45.1. The ace bowler grabbed 6 fifers and 2 ten-fers to create this stupendous record.
The greatest spinner of all time, Muttiah Muralitharan finds himself in 2nd place on the premium list of most test wickets in a calendar year. In his 18 (1992-2010) years of glorious test career, 2006 holds a special place in his heart, taking 90 wickets in 11 matches at an impressive strike rate of 39.2. The magician bagged 9 five-wicket hauls and 5 ten-wicket hauls in that year, with a best bowling figure of 8/70 against England in Nottingham. Murali was such a special bowler that he became the highest test wicket-taker in a year 6 times.
Former Australian lanky fast bowler, Dennie Lillee gets the 3rd spot in terms of scalping the most test wickets in a calendar year. Lillee was the contemporary highest wicket-taker (355) in the longest format of the game with his raw pace and aggressive attitude. Just one year prior to his retirement in 1981, Lillee wreaked havoc in tests. In just 13 matches, the right-hand fast bowler collected 85 wickets at a healthy average of 20.95. The veteran crossed the 5-wicket mark five times and claimed 2 ten-wicket hauls.
One of the sensational fast bowlers who rattles every batting lineup in the 90s with his electrifying pace and unplayable swing, Allan Donald cements a place on the honorable chart of most test wickets in a calendar year. With 80 wickets in 14 matches in 1998, Donald made the year of his own. His magnificent wickets tally includes 7 fifers with a best of 6 for 55.
Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan is once again featured on the elite most test wickets in a calendar year tally. It is needless to say that every year of his outing in test cricket was outstanding as he ended his career with 800 scalps. But in 2001, the veteran off-break bowler was top of his form due to his impeccable and unimaginable spin, grabbing 80 wickets in 12 matches at a decent average of 21.23 and a strike rate of 58.6. Muralitharan took 7 five-wicket hauls to achieve this feat.
|S Warne (AUS)||2005||15||4336||96||22.02||45.1||6/46||6||2|
|M Muralitharan (SL)||2006||11||3532||90||16.90||39.2||8/70||9||5|
|D Lillee (AUS)||1981||13||3710||85||20.95||43.6||7/83||5||2|
|A Donald (SA)||1998||14||3232||80||19.63||40.4||6/88||7||0|
|M Muralitharan (SL)||2001||12||4688||80||21.23||58.6||8/87||7||4|
|J Garner (WI)||1984||15||3590||77||20.83||46.6||6/60||4||0|
|M Muralitharan (SL)||2000||10||3740||75||19.50||49.8||7/84||7||3|
Shane Warne bagged the most test wickets in a calendar year (96 wickets in 2005).
Kapil Dev has taken the most test wickets in a calendar year among Indians (74 wickets in 1983).
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