Top 10: Indian Fast Bowlers with Most Wickets in Test Cricket

India is long known to produce high-class batsmen in the world of cricket, and most of the renowned cricketers from countries across the world used to be mostly batters. As India plays most of its cricket on the Subcontinent tracks, which are highly suitable for spin bowling, spinners are the type of bowlers that are found in abundance.

In fact, in India, a number of aspiring cricketers would like to become spinners than pace bowlers. This is due to the contrasting amount of success one can great in the long run, especially while playing at home.

As a result, generation after generation, just like batsmen, India produced many world-beating spinners in the form of Bishen Singh Bedi, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, to name a few.

The fast bowlers would fall under the shadow while playing at home, and it used to be very rare if India were to find a seamer who could wreak havoc. A weakened pace battery was one of the reasons why India didn’t do well away from home. But at the same time, India did find fighting pace bowlers who could be match-winners in their own right despite their limitations while playing in India.

Here we will list the top 10 highest wicket-takers in India among the pace bowlers.

Indian Fast Bowlers with Most Wickets in Test Cricket

Name of the bowlerMatchesWicketsAverageBest Bowling (Innings)Best Bowling (Match)5W/10W
Kapil Dev13143429.649/8311/14623/2
Zaheer Khan9231132.947/8710/14911/1
Ishant Sharma10531132.407/7410/10811/1
Javagal Srinath6723630.498/8613/13210/1
Mohammad Shami6422927.716/569/1186/0
Umesh Yadav5717030.956/8810/1333/1
Jasprit Bumrah3615920.696/279/8610/0
Kasrsan Ghavri3910933.545/337/1204/0
Irfan Pathan2910032.267/5912/1267/2
Venkatesh Prasad339635.006/3310/1537/1

Key insights from the above statistics

434: The number of wickets taken by Kapil Dev, the former Indian captain, in Test cricket. This remains the most wickets taken by an Indian pacer in the longest format of the game. Kapil Dev, at one point in time, became the leading wicket-taker in Tests overall, but over time, his tally was surpassed by the upcoming generation of bowlers. The legendary Indian player now stands in the 11th position among all-time wicket-takers in Test cricket.

131: Number of matches played by Kapil Dev in Test cricket, the most by any Indian pacer in this format. He stands in the 5th position in most Tests played by an Indian, behind Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, and VVS Laxman.

23: This is the number of 5-wicket hauls taken by the World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev in Test cricket. He is joint 7th in terms of the number of 5-wicket hauls by a pacer in Test cricket and the 4th most by any Indian bowler in Tests.

219: Wickets were taken by Kapil Dev in India, where the pitches are known to favour the spinners more than pacers. He averages 26.50 at home and 32.86 overseas.

5: Only 5 Indian pacers have taken more than 100 Test wickets in India. They are Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammad Shami. Among them, Umesh Yadav is the fastest to achieve the feat.

2: Number of pacers from India who have taken two 10-wicket hauls in Test match cricket. 10-fers in a match are quite rare, and an Indian fast bowler taking that in a single match is quite an achievement in itself as the pitches back home are rarely conducive for pace bowling.

2: The number of pacers from India to have played over 100 Test matches. They are Kapil Dev and Ishant Sharma, who have played 131 and 105 Test matches, respectively. Zaheer Khan missed out on joining this incredible list by a mere 8 matches as his later career was marred by injuries.

6: Number of pacers from India to have over 50 Tests. Apart from the three mentioned above, Javagal Srinath, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammad Shami have played 50-plus red-ball games for India.

9: Number of Indian pacers who have taken over 100 wickets for the country in Test cricket. Except for Venkatesh Prasad, who is 10th on the list of highest Indian wicket-takers in Tests, all the others have taken over 100 Test scalps for Team India.

3: Number of pacers from India to have taken over 300 Test wickets for India. This includes legendary names like those of the former Indian skipper Kapil Dev, Ishant Sharma, and left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan. It is sensational that pacers from India, who largely play on spinning tracks back home, have over 300 Test wickets.

5: Apart from the three pacers mentioned above, only 2 other Indian pacers have taken over 200 Test wickets. They are Mohammad Shami and Javagal Srinath. The former is still going great guns with 229 Test scalps, and it won’t be a surprise if he goes up the ladder quite quickly.

2: Only 2 Indian pacers have taken a hat-trick in Test match cricket, and they both feature in the list. Irfan Pathan, the left-arm medium-pace bowler, was the first Indian quickie to capture a hat-trick. He did it against Pakistan in a 2006 Test match in Karachi, whereas Jasprit Bumrah did the same against the West Indies in 2019.

311: If we notice the list carefully, we can see Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan, who played so many Test matches together, have had a similar career trajectory. Both veterans have the same number of Test wickets (311), have taken 11 five-wicket hauls, and a solitary ten-wicket haul each.

109: Test wickets that were taken by the left-arm medium pacer Karsan Ghavri at an average of just under 34, but the thing is, he has reportedly bowled his left-arm spinners on many occasions. We don’t know how many wickets he has taken as a left-arm spinner.

21.99: Jasprit Bumrah has the lowest bowling average amongst the Indian fast bowlers who have taken over 100 Test wickets. This includes 8 five-wicket hauls, and he has yet to take a 10-wicket match haul in Tests.

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