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Top 10: Most Wickets by Pacers in Tests

Here is the most challenging format of them all, Test cricket, as the name suggests. It takes a huge toll on the body for everyone involved, more so for the pacers. It is because they have to bowl long spells, and thus the endurance and stamina of their body come into play apart from the skill set.

Pacers need to strike with the new ball, and as the day progresses, they may need to bowl longer spells. They need to maintain peak fitness for a considerable time to have a long career, which is a big challenge for a fast bowler.

Also, they should adapt to different bowling conditions; for instance, pitches in SENA nations and the West Indies offer assistance for pacers more than the subcontinent. So their strategies might have to differ according to the place they play the Test match.

So here we will have a sneak peek at the pacers who have revolutionised fast bowling in the longest format of the game. Here are the top 10 pacers with the most wickets in Tests.

Most Wickets by Pacers in Tests

PlayerInningsWickets
James Anderson (ENG)348700
Stuart Broad (ENG)309604
Glenn McGrath (AUS)243563
Courtney Walsh (WI)242519
Dale Steyn (SA)171439
Kapil Dev (IND)227434
Sir Richard Hadlee (NZ)150431
Shaun Pollock (SA)202421
Wasim Akram (PAK)181414
Curtly Ambrose (WI)179405

Key Stats

2: Pacers in Test history who have taken 600 or more wickets. The English pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad played 180+ and 167 Test matches, respectively, to claim 680+ and 604 scalps. And only 2 other fast bowlers have picked over 500 Test wickets, and they are Australia’s Glenn McGrath and West Indies Courtney Walsh.

1039: Anderson and Broad have picked up 1039 wickets while bowling in tandem. This is the most wickets taken by a bowling pair in the Test format.

10: Apart from the 10 legends on the list, no other pacer has 400 or more Test wickets. While there are 18 pacers who fall into the category of taking more than 300 but less than 400 Test scalps.

2: There are 2 fast bowlers from South Africa, the West Indies, and England in this top Test wicket-takers list. Proteas duo Shaun Pollock and Dale Steyn feature in the list, while long-time opening bowlers for West Indies Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh also make the cut.

28: Number of fast bowlers who have breached the coveted 300 Test wicket milestone, and this rises to 58 when we take into account bowlers with 200 scalps.

36: Sir Richard Hadlee of New Zealand leads the pack with a whopping 36 five-wicket hauls among pacers, and he has taken 9 ten-wicket hauls, which is again a record.

Also Read | Most 5-Wicket & 10-Wicket Hauls in Test Cricket

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20.94: The Test bowling average of West Indies great pacer Malcolm Marshall, and this is the lowest among pacers who have taken at least 200 wickets. He took 376 wickets from just 81 games, with 22 five-wicket hauls to his name.

39.2: Similarly, Kagiso Rabada of South Africa has the lowest bowling strike rate among pacers, with more than 200 wickets. He has taken over 290 wickets at an average of just over 22, which is incredible.

10.75 & 34.1: If we reduce the limit to a minimum of 100 wickets, then England’s George Lohmann’s (112 wickets at 10.75) bowling average and his strike rate of 34.1 are also the lowest.

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