Even though the T20I format has taken over the sport since its inception, Test cricket still holds its place as an elite format. With this elite format, a lot of dedication and consistency come into the picture, which every bowler looks to achieve.

One crucial aspect of the Test format is grabbing wickets consistently and pushing the opposition on the back foot. Many notable bowlers have done this year after year, scalping plenty of wickets with the red ball. 

And here are the top 10 instances of bowlers with the most wickets in a calendar year in Tests.

Most Wickets in a Calendar Year in Test

Shane Warne (AUS)30962005
Muthiah Muralidaran (SL)21902006
Dennis Lillee (AUS)25851981
Allan Donald (SA)26801998
Muthiah Muralidaran (SL)23802001
Joel Garner (WI)29791984
Kapil Dev (IND)25751983
Muthiah Muralidaran (SL)17752000
Kapil Dev (IND)29741979
Anil Kumble (IND)23742004

Key Insights

96: Australia’s Shane Warne picked up the most wickets in a calendar year in Tests. The spin-bowling stalwart racked up 96 wickets in 30 innings in 2005. And it’s unlikely any modern-day bowler is even going to come close to Warne’s tally.

2: The other spinner who troubled the batters with his bowling was Muthiah Muralidaran. The Sri Lankan off spinner grabbed 90 wickets in 2006 in 21 innings. And had he played a couple of innings more, without a doubt, he would have gone past Warne’s record. Moreover, he and Warne are the only 2 bowlers who have scalped 90 or more Test wickets in a calendar year.

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17: There are over 17 instances of bowlers picking up 70+ wickets, with 4 belonging to Warne, 3 to Muralidaran, and 2 to India’s former skipper Kapil Dev.

2001: This year was super special for Muralidaran as he bagged the highest wickets in a single year across formats. He signed off 2001 with a staggering tally of 136 wickets.

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