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Rediff.com  » Cricket » 500 Wickets Club Welcomes Ashwin

500 Wickets Club Welcomes Ashwin

By REDIFF CRICKET
February 16, 2024 15:47 IST
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Ravichandran Ashwin

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates dismissing Zak Crawley to achieve 500 Test wickets on Day 2 of the third Test against England on Friday, February 16, 2024. Photograph: BCCI

In cricket, while batters often steal the spotlight, bowlers have made an indelible mark, enhancing the sport with their relentless performances.

The exclusive club of bowlers with over 500 Test wickets is a testament to their exceptional prowess, a rare privilege achieved by only eight players in cricket history.

West Indies pace legend Courtney Walsh etched his name in cricket history as the inaugural bowler to surpass the monumental milestone of 500 Test wickets. Shane Warne proudly secured the distinction as the premier spinner to achieve this historic feat.

 

Ravichandran Ashwin joined this elite group, reaching the milestone on Day 2 of the third Test against England at the Niranjan Shah stadium in Rajkot on Friday, February 16, 2024.

Ashwin scalped the wicket of England opener Zak Crawley to reach this significant landmark.

Overall, he is the ninth bowler and fifth spinner to complete the feat. Anil Kumble was the first Indian bowler to take 500 wickets, having claimed 619 wickets in 132 Tests.

Ashwin got to the landmark of 500 wickets in his 98th Test at an average of 23, with 34 five-wicket hauls.

As we celebrate his historic accomplishment, let's take a quick look at the 500 wicket club in Test cricket:

1. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), 800 wickets

Muttiah Muralitharan

IMAGE: Muttiah Muralitharan etched his name in history by claiming an unparalleled 800 wickets. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

The Sri Lankan spin maestro dominated the cricketing scene from 1992 to 2010. In a stellar Test career spanning 133 matches, he etched his name in history by claiming an unparalleled 800 wickets at an exceptional average of 22.72.

Renowned for his economic bowling, Murali maintained an impressive economy rate of 2.47, achieving a career-best figure of 9/51.

His bowling brilliance is further underscored by an astonishing 67 five-wicket hauls and 22 ten-wicket hauls, solidifying his status as one of the greatest bowlers in cricket history.

2. Shane Warne (Australia), 708 wickets

Shane Warne

IMAGE: Shane Warne, the greatest leg-spinner of all time. Photograph: Ian Hodgson/Reuters

The legendary Australian graced Test cricket from 1992 to 2007, leaving an indelible mark.

In an illustrious career spanning 145 Tests, Warne showcased his spin wizardry, claiming an astounding 708 wickets at an average of 25.41.

He maintained an impressive economy rate of 2.65, with a career-best figure of 8/71. Warne achieved 37 five-wicket hauls and ten ten-wicket hauls in a match. Tragically, Warne passed away on March 4, 2022, in Koh Samui, Thailand, at the age of 53.

The Australia vs Sri Lanka Test series is aptly named the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy, immortalising the rivalry between these two bowling legends.

3. James Anderson (England), 696 wickets

James Anderson

IMAGE: James Anderson boasts an impressive record of 32 five-wicket hauls and has achieved the feat of ten wickets in a match three times. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

Across 184 Tests, he has impressively claimed 696 wickets at an average of 26.34. His best bowling figures? 7/42.

Additionally, he boasts 32 five-wicket hauls and has taken ten wickets in a match three times.

As the 41 year old paces towards the coveted 700-wicket milestone, his enduring prowess among fast bowlers remains a testament to his remarkable skill and longevity in the sport. He began playing Test cricket in 2003.

4. Anil Kumble (India), 619 wickets

Anil Kumble

IMAGE: Anil Kumble celebrates taking all 10 Pakistan wickets in the second innings to equal Jim Laker's world record for most wickets in an innings at the Ferozshah Kotla, New Delhi, February 1999. Photograph: Reuters

Over 132 Tests, he picked up a remarkable 619 wickets at an average of 29.65; his economical bowling style reflected in his rate of 2.69.

Kumble's career includes the extraordinary 10/74 in a single innings. Notably, he achieved the feat of taking 35 five wicket hauls and eight times picking up ten wickets in a single match, underscoring his exceptional skill and impact on the game.

5. Stuart Broad (England), 604 wickets

Stuart Broad

IMAGE: Stuart Broad achieved the milestone of 600 wickets during England's Test series in 2020. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

A stalwart in English cricket from 2007 to 2023, he concluded his illustrious career during the Ashes series in the summer of 2023. In 167 matches, he showcased remarkable bowling skills, claiming an impressive 604 wickets.

Broad's standout performance featured the best figures of 8/15. His career highlights include 20 five-wicket hauls in an innings and three instances of picking ten wickets in a match, emphasising his consistency and significant impact on the game.

Notably, he achieved the milestone of 600 wickets in 2020 during England's Test series at home against the West Indies, becoming the fourth fastest bowler to enter the elite list.

6. Glenn McGrath (Australia), 563 wickets

Glenn McGrath

IMAGE: Glenn McGrath boasts an impressive record with 563 wickets in 124 matches.

His career featured remarkable best figures of 8/24, along with 29 five-wicket hauls in an innings and three instances of ten wickets in a single match.

McGrath achieved the milestone of 500 wickets during an Ashes Test series in his 110th match, becoming the second-fastest fast bowler to reach this feat.

7. Courtney Walsh (West Indies), 519 wickets

Courtney  Walsh

The cricketing icon from the West Indies (1984-2001), left an enduring impact on the game. In an illustrious career spanning 132 Tests, Walsh showcased his bowling skills, securing a remarkable 519 wickets.

One of the highlights of his career was a memorable 7/37 in a single innings. Walsh had 22 five-wicket hauls and three instances of ten wickets in a single match, solidifying his status as one of the most feared bowlers of his era.

8. Nathan Lyon, 517 wickets

Nathan Lyon

IMAGE: Nathan Lyon holds the record for the most Test wickets by an off-spin bowler. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Nathan Lyon, Australia's off-spin maestro, recently joined the elite 500 wicket club in Test cricket.

Since his debut in 2011, Lyon has played 127 Tests, achieving the milestone with 23 five-wicket hauls and four ten-wicket matches.

Lyon, who holds the record for the most Test wickets by an off-spin bowler, played a crucial role in Australia's ICC World Test Championship win in 2023 under Pat Cummins' leadership.

A consistent performer, he has been named in the ICC Test Team of the Year three times (2018, 2019, 2022) and was honored as the Australian Men's Test Player of the Year in 2019.

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