StatsIndeed

Top 10: Most Wickets as a Captain in Test Cricket

Leading a side in cricket is never an easy job in any given format, and it is even more difficult if one is a bowler. This is because a captain needs to take care of various things while the team is bowling, like the field settings or thinking about strategies on the field.

So if a bowler does lead the side, it would be hard for him/her to focus on their own primary skill. Hence, we rarely see a bowler lead a side, especially in Test cricket, where a captain has a lot on his/her plate to ponder upon.

But we have seen in red-ball cricket where a bowler has successfully led their side, not just on a one-off occasion but over the course of time. Here is the list of bowlers who have taken the most wickets while leading their side in Test cricket.

Most Wickets as a Captain in Test

PlayerInningsWickets as CaptainBBIAverage
Imran Khan (PAK)711878/6020.26
Richie Benaud (AUS)561386/7025.78
Garry Sobers (WI)691176/7334.00
Daniel Vettori (NZ)541166/5633.38
Kapil Dev (IND)581119/83 26.35
Wasim Akram (PAK)461076/4823.35
Bishen Singh Bedi (IND)391066/7124.82
Pat Cummins (AUS)501056/9124.31
Shaun Pollock (SA)501036/3021.36
Jason Holder (WI)631006/42 26.76

(Check out the bowlers with the most wickets as a captain across formats here.)

Key Insights

10: The number of bowlers who have taken 100 or more wickets in Tests while leading their side. This number increases to 20 when we consider players with at least 50 wickets when at the helm in Tests.

Only Imran Khan (187) has taken more than 150 Test scalps as captain, and as many as 300 players have opened their wicket account (at least 1) while being the skipper in Tests.

17 captains have taken at least 1 ten-wicket haul in Tests, and only 2 of them have done it multiple times. They are Imran Khan (4) and Intikhab Alam (2) of Pakistan.

Also Read | The Ten Best Pakistani Fast Bowlers of All Time

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47 players have taken at least a five-wicket haul in an innings while being the captain of their side. Yet again, Imran Khan leads the pack with 12 five-wicket hauls, while Richie Benaud comes in second with 9 fifers.

20.26 is the lowest average for a bowler who has taken at least 50 wickets as Test captain, and Imran Khan of Pakistan is the proud holder of this amazing record. The captain with the next lowest average is Shaun Pollock, who gave away only 21.36 runs per wicket.

Buster Nupen of South Africa took five-wicket hauls in both innings in the only Test match he captained back in 1930.

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