10 Players with Most Wickets in ODI Cricket History

List of Players with Most Wickets in ODI Cricket History

One-Day International (ODI) cricket has witnessed some of the most lethal and skilled bowlers in the history of the game. From the fiery pace of express fast bowlers to the guile and deception of master spinners, these wicket-taking titans have left an indelible mark on the sport. In this article, we are going to mention the Top 10 Players with the most wickets in ODI cricket history that the world will remember for a long time.

List of Players with Most Wickets in ODI Cricket History

The world of cricket has witnessed the emergence of bowling titans whose exploits have transcended mere statistics and records. These legendary figures have captivated audiences not only with their unparalleled skill and artistry but also with their ability to shape the outcomes of countless matches through sheer individual brilliance.

From the mesmerizing swing of the new ball to the guile and deception of spin, these bowlers have wielded their craft with a mastery that has left batters spellbound and spectators in awe. Their longevity, consistency, and unwavering ability to perform under immense pressure have elevated them to the realm of cricketing legends, etching their names indelibly into the annals of the sport’s illustrious history.

Time and again, these bowling greats have single-handedly turned the tide in their team’s favor, defying the odds and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Their impact extends far beyond mere statistics, as they have inspired generations of aspiring cricketers to emulate their unwavering determination, relentless pursuit of excellence, and unwavering passion for the game.

As we delve into the records of ODI cricket, a look at the highest wicket-takers reveals a pantheon of bowling greats who have carved their names into the record books with their remarkable achievements.

Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka):

The legendary Sri Lankan off-spinner holds the record for most wickets in both Test (800) and ODI (534 in 350 matches between 1993 and 2011) cricket. His unorthodox action, which included the controversial ‘doosra’ delivery, coupled with his variations in speed and flight, made him a nightmare for batsmen.

Muralitharan was a master of spin bowling, capable of extracting prodigious turns and bounces from any surface, and his accuracy and consistency were unparalleled. He was instrumental in Sri Lanka’s rise as a cricketing force, leading them to numerous victories on the international stage.

Wasim Akram (Pakistan):

The left-arm fast bowler from Pakistan is second on the list of highest ODI wicket-takers with 502 wickets in 356 matches from 1989 to 2003. Akram was a complete bowler, possessing the ability to swing the ball both ways at a brisk pace, and his mastery of the yorker made him a formidable opponent.

His exceptional control and variations in line and length allowed him to trouble the best of batters. Akram was also a handy lower-order batsman and an outstanding fielder, making him a true all-rounder. He spearheaded Pakistan’s bowling attack for over a decade, leading them to numerous victories, including the 1992 World Cup triumph.

Shaun Pollock (South Africa):

The South African all-rounder sits at number three on the list with 373 wickets in 303 ODI matches from 1996 to 2008. Pollock was a versatile cricketer, combining his medium-pace bowling with his useful batting abilities. As a bowler, he relied on accuracy, movement off the seam, and subtle variations in pace to outfox batters.

His ability to swing the ball made him a potent force, particularly in favorable conditions. Pollock was also a tenacious lower-order batsman, capable of playing crucial innings for his team. His all-round skills and leadership qualities made him a vital cog in the South African team’s success during his era.

Glenn McGrath (Australia):

The Australian pace legend took 381 wickets in 256 ODI matches from 1993 to 2007. McGrath was renowned for his impeccable line and length, coupled with his ability to move the ball both ways off the pitch. His accuracy and consistency were unmatched, making him a constant threat to the opposition.

McGrath’s strength lay in his ability to maintain a relentless, probing line and length, often resulting in batters’s dismissals through plays and misses or edges behind. He formed a formidable partnership with fellow Australian fast bowler Brett Lee, leading the team’s bowling attack for over a decade and contributing significantly to their dominance in world cricket.

Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka):

Another Sri Lankan legend, Vaas, was a left-arm fast bowler who picked up 355 wickets in 302 ODI matches from 1994 to 2011. He was a master of swing bowling, capable of extracting movement both in the air and off the pitch.

Vaas’s ability to bowl accurate yorkers at the death made him a valuable asset in limited-overs cricket. His consistency and ability to move the ball both ways made him a handful for batters, even on unresponsive surfaces. Vaas formed a lethal partnership with Muralitharan, and their combined efforts played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s success in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Waqar Younis (Pakistan):

This right-arm fast bowler from Pakistan is known for his express pace and lethal yorkers. He took 416 wickets in 262 ODI matches from 1989 to 2003. Waqar was a fearsome fast bowler, capable of generating blistering pace and extracting disconcerting bounce from the pitch.

His signature delivery was the toe-crushing yorker, which he deployed with pinpoint accuracy, often dismantling the stumps of unsuspecting batters. Waqar formed a formidable partnership with Wasim Akram, and their combination of pace and swing made them one of the most feared bowling attacks in world cricket during their prime.

Shahid Afridi (Pakistan):

The flamboyant all-rounder from Pakistan is a legend for his aggressive batting and his leg-spin bowling. He has 395 wickets in 398 ODI matches from 1996 to 2016. Afridi was a true entertainer on the cricket field, known for his explosive batting and his ability to turn matches single-handedly.

As a leg-spinner, he possessed a potent arsenal of googlies and top-spinners, which he used to great effect, often bamboozling batters with his variations. Afridi’s fearless approach and never-say-die attitude made him a fan favorite, and he played a crucial role in Pakistan’s success in limited-overs cricket for over two decades.

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Anil Kumble (India):

The legendary Indian leg-spinner is known for his accuracy and ability to take wickets on any surface. He has 337 wickets in 271 ODI matches from 1990 to 2007. Kumble was a master of his craft, possessing a well-disguised googly and an immaculate line and length.

His relentless accuracy and ability to extract turn and bounce from even the flattest of pitches made him a formidable opponent. Kumble’s determination and never-say-die attitude were his hallmarks, and he played a pivotal role in India’s success in both Test and ODI cricket during his illustrious career.

Shane Warne (Australia):

This Australian spin wizard is considered one of the greatest bowlers of all time. His leg-break and googly deceived many batters, and he has 315 wickets in 194 ODI matches from 1993 to 2003.

Warne was a true master of leg-spin bowling, possessing a well-disguised googly and the ability to impart prodigious turn and bounce on any surface. His accuracy and variations in flight and pace made him a constant threat to the opposition, and he often single-handedly turned matches in Australia’s favor. Warne’s competitiveness and never-say-die attitude made him a legendary figure in the sport, and his impact on cricket during his era was unparalleled.

Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka):

The Sri Lankan right-arm fast bowler is known for his yorkers and slinky action. He has 338 wickets in 226 ODI matches from 2004 to 2019. Malinga’s unique round-arm action and his ability to bowl well-disguised slower balls made him a nightmare for batters. His lethal yorkers, delivered with pinpoint accuracy, were his trademark, and he often used them to devastating effect in the deathovers.

Malinga’s unusual action and subtle variations made him a challenging proposition for even the best batters, and he played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s success in limited-overs cricket during his career.

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