Top 10: Most Dot Balls Bowled by a Bowler in Test Cricket

In Test cricket, a match moves at a slow pace, and unlike limited-overs cricket, batters don’t rush to score runs quickly. They tend to take time to settle on the pitch, as protecting their wicket is more precious than slogging every ball.

That’s one reason bowlers earn more dot balls and maiden overs in their spells. However, dot balls can be used as a tactic to create pressure on batters to tempt them into playing a wrong shot.

This article lists the top 10 bowlers with the most dot balls in Test cricket.

Most Dots Balls Bowled in Tests

PlayerInningsDot Balls Bowled
James Anderson (ENG)34831420
Stuart Broad (ENG)30926158
Nathan Lyon (AUS)24224276
Harbhajan Singh (IND)17920214
Muthiah Muralidaran (IND)14219866
Ravichandran Ashwin (IND)18919640
Rangana Herath (SL)16918961
Daniel Vettori (NZ)15017753
Tim Southee (NZ)19017534
Anil Kumble (IND)13517505

(Note: The stats are based on matches where ball-by-ball data is available.)

Key Stats

James Anderson holds the record for bowling the most dot balls in Test cricket. The veteran English pacer has sent down 31400+ dot balls in his illustrious career.

Over 15 bowlers have delivered more than 14000 dot balls throughout their international red-ball careers.

139.90 is the average number of dot balls bowled by Muthiah Muralidaran per Test innings. This is the highest number of dot balls delivered by a bowler per innings (minimum 14000 dot balls).

Also Read | A Complete List of Muttiah Muralitharan Records

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Zimbabwe’s Ray Price bowled the most dot balls in a Test innings. He didn’t concede a single run on 368 legal deliveries out of the 468 he sent down against South Africa in 2001.

If we consider 2 combined innings of a match, Muthiah Muralidaran tops it by delivering 507 dot balls against England in 2003. And he is the only bowler to bowl 500+ dots in a Test match.

Anderson has the highest dot ball percentage (78.79) among the bowlers who have sent down 18400+ balls in Tests.

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