The top ten highest wicket-takers in the history of Test cricket

The top ten highest wicket-takers in the history of Test cricket

The top ten highest wicket-takers in the history of Test cricket 

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 are gonna take a gaze at the top ten highest wicket-takers in the history of cricket, who have dominated the game in their time across all formats. 

Test Cricket

The top ten highest wicket-takers in the history of Test cricket 


Muttiah Muralitharan made his test debut for Sri Lanka against Australia in 1992. He had a unique bowling action among all spinners of the world. Muralitharan has played test cricket for 18 years (1992-2010). He played his last game against India at Galle and bagged 8 wickets in his farewell match. Muralitharan is the highest wicket-taker in the history of test cricket. He has taken 800 test wickets in 133 test matches including 67 fifers. Yes, you heard it right he has 67 fifers, which is the most by any bowler in the history of test cricket. He had success against almost all the batsmen in the world.

2. Shane Warne

Shane Warne is probably the best leg spinner the world has ever seen. His stats say it all, how he troubled all the batsmen of the world with his variations. He had even turned the ball from 3rd leg stump to the off stump. He was the man who could make the ball talk everywhere in this 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. He bagged 2 wickets in his last test match. Warne’s test cricket stat is jaw-dropping. He has grabbed 708 wickets in 145 test matches with 37 5-for. Shane Warne is the second-highest taker in test cricket and the record is held by him for 13 years now.

3. James Anderson

English fast bowler James Anderson is the third-highest wicket-taker in the history of test cricket. James Anderson made his first appearance in test cricket in 2003 against Zimbabwe. He is known for his ability to swing the ball. He is called “Swing King”, who can swing the ball both ways and make batsmen dance at a decent pace (135 km/hr). He has taken 690 wickets in 183 matches so far with 32 fifers. He is the only pace bowler to take 600 test wickets. Anderson is currently 40 years old & probably will play for a couple of more years.  

4. Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble is the highest wicket-taker for India in Test cricket 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. Kumble made his Test debut in 1990 against England. He has played test cricket for India for 18 years. His last match was against Australia in 2008. Kumble holds the record of the best bowling figure by a bowler in an inning in Test cricket 10/74, which came off against Pakistan in 1999 in Delhi. Anil would not spin the ball much and bowl with a bit of pace over 100 km/hr, it took batsmen 16-17 years to know he didn’t spin the ball. 

5. Stuart Broad

The English paceman Stuart Broad made his test debut in 2007 against Sri Lanka. The Nottingham-born player has represented England in 167 matches so far and taken 604 wickets consisting of 20 fifers. He is the fifth-highest wicket-taker in test cricket, 8 for 15 in the 2015 Ashes against Australia is his best show.


The Aussie legend has played 14 years of test cricket (1993-2007). Glenn made his test debut in 1993 against New Zealand. Mcgrath is the highest wicket-taker among the pace bowlers of Australia. Mcgrath is known for his line, length, and swing. He has taken wickets in all places he has played. McGrath has bagged 563 wickets in 124 test matches, while he crossed the mark of 5 wickets 29 times in test cricket. He has the best bowling average (21.6) among the top 10 highest wicket-takers. 

7. Courtney Walsh

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. He is the first bowler to take 500 wickets in the history of test cricket. 

8. Nathan Lyon

The greatest off-spinner to ever play for Australia, Nathan Lyon claimed the 8th spot in getting the most wickets in test history. Having represented Australia in 122 games in the longest format, Lyon has 496 scalps in his name. The spin wizard has got 23 five-wicket hauls so far while registering 4 ten-fers in his red ball career.

9. Ravichandran Ashwin

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. Maintaining a decent average of 23.65, Ashwin has bagged 34 fifers to date.

10. Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn is the only South African bowler to be on this list, the 10-highest wicket-taker overall. The African legend is probably the best fast bowler of this decade. He has got 439 wickets in 93 matches in his 15 years of test career (2004-2019). His cricketing journey has been full of injuries. But till the end of his Test career, he has 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 has been in the number one place in the test ranking for 6 consecutive years (2008-2014). 

11. Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev is one of the greatest all-rounders to ever play the game. He is the only Indian fast bowler on the elite list most wickets in tests. The 1983 world cup winner appeared in 131 test matches for India between (1978-1994) and amazed everyone with his sensational outswinger. He has 434 wickets in the test, which is the highest among Indian fast bowlers. Kapil Dev is the eleventh-highest wicket-taker in test cricket. He has also scored 5248 runs in tests. 

PlayerMatch InningsWicketsAverageStrike RateBestFifer10-wicket haul a match
M Muralitharan (SL)13323080022.7255.009/516722
S Warne (AUS)14527370825.4157.48/713710
J Anderson (ENG)18334169026.4256.837/42323
A Kumble (IND)13223661929.6565.910/74358
S Broad (ENG)16730960427.6855.798/15203
G Mcgrath (AUS)12424356321.6451.98/24293
C Walsh (WI)13224251924.4457.87/37223
N Lyon (AUS)12222849631.0063.358/50234
R Ashwin (IND)9417848923.6551.357/59347
D Steyn (SA)9317143922.9542.37/51265
K Dev (IND)13122743463.963.99/83232
R Herath (SL)9317043328.0760.039/127349
SR Hadlee (NZ)8615043122.2950.859/52369
Which bowler has the most test wickets?

Muttiah Muralitharan has the most test wickets (800).

Who took the fastest 600 test wickets?

Muralitharan took the fastest 600 test wickets in just 101 matches.

Who has the most Test wickets for India?

Anil Kumble has the most Test wickets for India (619).

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