Top 10: Most Wickets by Pacers in ODI – CricIndeed

Rodney P

Pacers play a key role for a bowling side as far as ODI cricket is concerned. They are the ones who usually start the formalities with the ball in this format and, like the openers, set the tempo of the bowling innings.

World-class pacers are either potent at swinging the new ball to great effect when there’s help or use their speed to unsettle the batters. Either way, a pacer has to be skilled to take wickets in this format.

With a bowler having a limit of 10 overs to bowl, a pacer usually operates in 3 different phases of an innings: at the start with the new ball, in the middle overs, and then at the death. In the first 2 phases, a pacer’s role is to take wickets, while in the death overs, it is mostly about curtailing the flow of runs.

So with this, we will take a look at pacers who have been highly successful in ODI cricket in terms of wicket tally. Here are the top 10 pacers with the most wickets in ODIs.

Most Wickets by Pacers in ODI

Wasim Akram (PAK)351502
Waqar Younis (PAK)258416
Chaminda Vaas (SL)320400
Shaun Pollock (SA)297393
Glenn McGrath (AUS)248381
Brett Lee (AUS)217380
Lasith Malinga (SL)220338
Javagal Srinath (IND)227315
Ajit Agarkar (IND)188288
Zaheer Khan (IND)197282

Key Stats

1: Only one fast bowler has taken 500 or more wickets in ODI cricket, and that is former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram. The left-arm pacer accumulated 502 wickets in a career spanning close to 19 years, and it came at a stunning average of 23.52 with the help of 6 five-wicket hauls.

2: Excluding Wasim Akram, only 2 other pacers have taken 400 or more scalps in ODIs, and they are Waqar Younis and Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vaas. The former holds the record for taking the most five-wicket hauls in ODIs (13) at an average of just under 24.

3: There are 3 Indian pacers who make it into the list of the top 10 wicket-takers among fast bowlers in ODI cricket. Traditionally known for their spin bowling prowess, India’s Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, and Ajit Agarkar make the cut. The trio all have an ODI bowling average of less than 30 and have played a key role in many of India’s ODI wins. Apart from them, only Kapil Dev (253) has taken 200 or more ODI wickets for India.

30: Number of fast bowlers who have taken 200 or more ODI wickets. While Allan Donald (272 wickets) has the best ODI bowling average with 21.78, Mitchell Starc of Australia (236) has the least strike rate (26.4). It is worth noting that Dwyane Bravo of the West Indies and Nuwan Kulasekara of Sri Lanka ended their respective ODI careers with 199 wickets.

118: There are 118 fast bowlers who have taken 100 or more wickets in their ODI career, and a grand total of 1096 pacers have at least one ODI wicket.

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