Pakistan is one cricketing country in Asia that is known for churning bowlers after bowlers, especially pace bowlers. This is unlike India or Sri Lanka, which have a history of producing batting greats and fantastic spinners generation after generation.

Pakistan also had some of the best spinners in the past years, but their pace battery is something else and is on par with that of Australia or South Africa, which are traditionally known as pace-dominated cricketing countries. They have helped Pakistan succeed, and more so at the ODI level, where they won one World Cup and one Champions Trophy each.

So here we will celebrate the storied history of Pakistan in terms of bowling in ODI cricket by looking at the top 10 wicket-takers for Pakistan in the ODI format.

Most Wickets for Pakistan in ODI

Wasim Akram3515025/1523.526
Waqar Younis2584167/3623.8413
Shahid Afridi3693937/1234.539
Saqlain Mushtaq1652885/2021.786
Abdul Razzaq2252686/3531.533
Shoaib Akhter1572416/1624.704
Saeed Ajmal1121845/2422.722
Imran Khan1531826/1426.611
Aaqib Javed1591827/3731.434
Umar Gul1281795/2729.342

Key insights from the above stats

12: The number of Pakistan bowlers who have taken 150 or more wickets in the ODI format. Apart from the 10 mentioned above, leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed and all-rounder Shoaib Malik are the other bowlers who have taken more than 150 wickets in the format.

21: This number further rises to 21 for the Pakistani bowlers who have taken over 100 wickets. Shaheen Afridi became the latest entrant to the club and the fastest bowler to 100 scalps among Pakistani players, having taken his 100th wicket in the 2023 Cricket World Cup game against Bangladesh.

3: The number of Pakistan bowlers who feature in the top 5 all-time wicket-takers list in ODIs. And they are the legendary pace duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, along with the sensational all-rounder Shahid Afridi.

13: The most number of five-wicket hauls ever taken by a bowler in ODI cricket and it belongs to the former Pakistani pacer Waqar Younis. He took an astonishing 13 fifers in the 258 innings he bowled for his country.

In these games, Waqar had snapped up a whopping 416 wickets at an average of 23.84 and struck a wicket every 30.52 balls in ODI cricket. This makes him one of the best-ever bowlers to have played in this format.

502: This is the total number of wickets taken by the legendary left-arm pacer Wasim Akram in ODI cricket, which makes him the most prolific bowler for Pakistan and the second across ODIs, just behind Muralitharan. The former Pakistan skipper finished with over 500 wickets in just 351 innings at an incredible average of 23.52, taking five-wicket hauls 6 times in the process.

250: Saqlain Mushtaq was the fastest in terms of innings to secure 250 ODI wickets, and he did so only in 138 matches. The off-spinner was unplayable on his day, and a strike rate of 30.45 is a great achievement too for a spinner in ODIs. He eventually ended his career with 288 scalps in the format with a misery average of just under 22, securing 6 five-wicket hauls in the process.

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