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The Top 10 Highest Wicket-Takers in Test Cricket History

By Akanksha - June 24, 2023 - Last updated on Jun 24, 2023 05:58 PM
The Top 10 Highest Wicket-Takers in Test Cricket History

Cricket is a game that encompasses various facets, and bowlers hold a significant role in determining the outcome of matches. Over the years, several exceptional bowlers have left an indelible mark on the sport by taking wickets consistently and making crucial contributions to their teams. In this blog, we will delve into the top ten highest wicket-takers in the history of Test cricket, showcasing their remarkable achievements and their impact on the game.

Rank Player Country Matches Wickets Five-Wicket Hauls
1 Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka 133 800 67
2 Shane Warne Australia 145 708 37
3 James Anderson England 180 686 32
4 Anil Kumble India 132 619 35
5 Stuart Broad England 163 587 20
6 Glenn McGrath Australia 124 563 -
7 Courtney Walsh West Indies 132 519 -
8 Nathan Lyon Australia 121 495 23
9 Ravichandran Ashwin India 92 473 32
10 Dale Steyn South Africa 93 439 -

1. Muttiah Muralitharan - The Spin Wizard:

Muttiah Muralitharan

Image Source: Twitter

Muttiah Muralitharan, with his unique bowling action, tops the list as the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket history. Making his debut for Sri Lanka in 1992, Muralitharan played for 18 illustrious years, leaving an indomitable legacy. With a staggering 800 wickets in just 133 matches, including an astonishing 67 five-wicket hauls, he etched his name in the annals of cricket history. Muralitharan's unparalleled success against batsmen from all around the world solidified his reputation as one of the greatest spin bowlers of all time.

2. Shane Warne - The Magician:

Shane Warne

Image Source: Twitter

Shane Warne, considered the best leg-spinner in cricket history, mesmerized batsmen with his remarkable variations. Making his Test debut in 1992 for Australia, Warne possessed an uncanny ability to turn the ball prodigiously, even from the most improbable angles. His 708 wickets in 145 matches attest to his mastery over the art of leg spin. With 37 five-wicket hauls to his name, Warne's impact on the game is undeniable, and he held the record as the highest wicket-taker for 13 years.

3. James Anderson - The Swing King:

James Anderson

Image Source: Twitter

James Anderson, the premier fast bowler from England, is revered for his skill in swinging the ball both ways. Aptly known as the "Swing King," Anderson made his Test debut in 2003 and has since become a vital asset for his team. With 686 wickets in 180 matches, including 32 five-wicket hauls, Anderson is the highest wicket-taker among pacers and the only fast bowler to surpass 600 wickets in Test cricket. Despite reaching the twilight of his career at the age of 40, Anderson continues to showcase his expertise and is expected to contribute for a few more years.

4. Anil Kumble - The Indian Maestro:

Anil Kumble

Image Source: Twitter

Anil Kumble, India's highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, claimed 619 wickets in 132 matches during his illustrious career. Making his Test debut in 1990, Kumble's leg spin, combined with subtle variations, bamboozled batsmen worldwide. Known for his incredible accuracy, Kumble's best bowling figures of 10/74 in an innings against Pakistan in 1999 remain a testament to his extraordinary talent. With 35 five-wicket hauls, Kumble's contributions played a pivotal role in India's success on numerous occasions.

5. Stuart Broad- The Versatile Paceman:

Stuart Broad

Image Source: Twitter

Stuart Broad, the skillful paceman from England, burst onto the Test scene in 2007 and has become a vital asset for his team. Known for his ability to generate steep bounce and swing, Broad has claimed 587 wickets in 163 matches, which includes 20 five-wicket hauls. His remarkable performance of 8 for 15 against Australia in the 2015 Ashes is etched in cricketing history as one of the most devastating spells of fast bowling.

6. Glenn McGrath - The Line and Length Specialist:

Glenn McGrath

Image Source: Twitter

Glenn McGrath, the Australian pace legend, showcased unparalleled consistency throughout his career. Making his Test debut in 1993, McGrath's mastery over line, length, and swing brought him 563 wickets in 124 matches. With an outstanding bowling average of 21.6, he stands as the best among the top ten highest wicket-takers. McGrath's ability to excel on any surface and his persistent accuracy made him a nightmare for batsmen around the world.

7. Courtney Walsh - The West Indies' Finest:

Courtney Walsh

Image Source: Twitter

Courtney Walsh, the only representative from the Caribbean on this list, is hailed as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. Having debuted in 1984, Walsh held the record for the most Test wickets by a fast bowler until his retirement with 519 wickets in 132 matches. He became the first bowler to reach the milestone of 500 wickets in Test cricket, leaving an indelible mark on the West Indies cricketing legacy.

8. Nathan Lyon - Australia's Off-Spin Wizard:

Nathan Lyon

Image Source: Twitter

Nathan Lyon, the renowned Australian off-spinner, holds the eighth spot in the list of highest Test wicket-takers. Having represented Australia in 121 matches, Lyon has claimed 495 wickets, including 23 five-wicket hauls and four ten-wicket hauls. With his exceptional control and ability to extract turn and bounce, Lyon has proven to be a vital cog in Australia's bowling attack.

9. Ravichandran Ashwin - India's Premier Spinner:

Ravichandran Ashwin

Image Source: Twitter

Ravichandran Ashwin, the esteemed Indian spinner, occupies the ninth position on this illustrious list. With 473 wickets in just 92 matches, Ashwin has made a significant impact on the game. Known for his subtle variations and astute control, Ashwin recently surpassed Kapil Dev to become India's second-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. His impressive tally includes 32 five-wicket hauls, making him a force to be reckoned with.

10. Dale Steyn - South Africa's Spearhead:

Dale Steyn

Image Source: Twitter

Dale Steyn, the only South African bowler on this list, is widely regarded as the best fast bowler of his generation. With 439 wickets in 93 matches during his 15-year Test career, Steyn epitomized speed, skill, and relentless aggression. He holds the record for taking five wickets against every test-playing nation during his prime and dominated the number one spot in the Test rankings for six consecutive years.


The top ten highest wicket-takers in Test cricket history have left an indelible mark on the game through their skill, determination, and ability to consistently take wickets. From spin wizards to fast bowling maestros, these bowlers have shaped the course of matches and inspired generations of cricketers. Their remarkable achievements will be remembered for years to come, symbolizing their immense contribution to the sport of cricket.

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