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Most Wickets Taken in ODI: Highest Wicket Taker in ODI

A one-day international (ODI) is a form of limited-overs cricket played between two international teams. Each team is given a set number of overs, which is currently 50.

We can see that the rules of cricket and, more specifically, bowling have changed dramatically over the years. The art of spinning a ball in a reverse swing is slowly dying as a result of the ban on using saliva and the introduction of two new balls. However, some bowlers still can change the entire course of a match with their skills.

Taking 300 or more wickets in your career is considered a significant achievement in One Day International cricket (ODI).

Bowling in limited overs has always been difficult, particularly in ODIs. However, few people have mastered this art and have etched their names in cricketing history books for an epoch. Let’s find out who these cricketers are. 

Cricketers with Most Wickets in ODI

highest wicket taker in odi

Muthiah Muralitharan

Muthiah Muralitharan, the legendary spinner, holds the record for most wickets in ODI with 534 in 350 matches. The spin wizard made his debut for Sri Lanka against India in 1993, taking the wicket of Pravin Amre to help his team win by eight runs. Muralitharan has dismissed 275 different batters in his 18-year ODI career and has the most wickets in ODI taken via stumpings (56). Muthiah Muralitharan became the fastest bowler in history to reach 500 ODI wickets in fifteen years and 165 days.

Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram of Pakistan, on the other hand, was the first bowler to reach 500 ODI wickets. Akram, also known as the Sultan of Swing, is regarded as one of cricket’s pace icons. With the dismissal of Netherlands’ Nick Statham in a 2003 Cricket World Cup match, Pakistan’s great became the first to take 500 ODI wickets. Wasim Akram finished his limited-overs career with 502 wickets in 356 matches, placing him second on the list of most wickets in ODI.

Waqar Younis

Waqar Younis, one of cricket’s finest fast bowlers, holds the record for most right-handed pacer wickets with 416 at an average of 23.84 and a 4.68 economy rate. Waqar has the most five-wicket hauls in one-day internationals, with 13. His best ODI bowling numbers in ODIs are 7/36 against England in Leeds in 2001, which was a Pakistan record for a decade.

Waqar’s ability to reverse-swing the ball at fast speeds gave him the most credibility as a pacer. He was also known for his precise in-swinging yorkers, earning him the moniker “The Toe-Crusher.”

Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram formed one of the most lethal fast bowling combinations in cricket. If Waqar Younis’ career had not been cut short in his early 30s, he could have taken many more wickets, and, who knows, he might have been ranked higher than No.3 on our list.

Chaminda Vaas

Chaminda Vaas, one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time and Sri Lanka’s finest fast bowler ever, has 400 ODI wickets at an average of 27.53 and an economy rate of 4.18, with four five-wicket hauls to his credit. Vaas had the greatest ODI bowling stats of 8/19 against Zimbabwe in 2001. Vaas, known for his excellent line and length, is the youngest bowler to take 300 ODI wickets and the only bowler to have taken a hat-trick in the first three balls of a match, which he did against Bangladesh at the 2003 World Cup, finishing with scores of 6/25.

Vaas finished the tournament with 23 wickets, a record for the most wickets in a single World Cup at the time. He is the fourth-best World Cup wicket-taker with 49 wickets and has been a member of the 1996 World Cup-winning side.

Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s finest all-rounder, has taken the most wickets by a Pakistan spinner, with 395 wickets at an average of 34.51 and an economy rate of 4.62.

Despite his reputation for aggressive hitting, Afridi believes he is a much better bowler. Afridi, who was mostly a leg-spinner, had a variety of deliveries in his arsenal, including off-break and medium-pace deliveries that could reach 130 km/h. ‘Boom-boom’ has nine five-wicket hauls, the second most for a Pakistan bowler and the most for a leg spinner.

Shahid Afridi’s best ODI bowling stats are 7/12 against West Indies in 2013, which is the second-best ODI bowling figure of all time. With 21 wickets, Afridi was the joint highest wicket-taker in the 2011 World Cup.

Shaun Pollock

Shaun Pollock, one of the game’s top all-rounders, is the leading wicket-taker in ODI for South Africa with 393 wickets at an average of 24.50 and an amazing economy rate of 3.67, the lowest for any bowler with more than 250 ODI wickets. Pollock has five five-wicket hauls to his record, including a best ODI spell of 6/35 against West Indies in 1999. He forged a devastating fast-bowling combo with Allan Donald in the mid-1990s, and then with Makhaya Ntini later in his career, which helped South Africa become a powerful bowling outfit. Pollock is also South Africa’s second highest World Cup wicket-taker, trailing only Allan Donald with 31.

Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath, one of the best fast bowlers of all time, is the biggest Australian wicket-taker in ODI cricket, with 381 wickets at an average of 22.02 (the lowest on this list) and an economy rate of 3.88. McGrath, like his old partner Brett Lee, was never a fast bowler. Instead, his bowling was built on accurate line and length, making him both an economical and wicket-taking bowler. The tall bowler was a key reason Australia was such a powerful side in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and his relationship with Brett Lee strengthened Australia’s bowling unit. McGrath had seven five-wicket hauls to his credit. From 1999 through 2007, ‘Pidge,’ as he was called, played a key role in all three of Australia’s World Cup victories. With 18 wickets in the 1999 tournament, he was the second top wicket-taker, and with 21 wickets in the 2003 World Cup, he was the third best wicket-taker.

Most ODI Wickets for India: Who’s the best Indian Wicket Taker?

wicket taker

In one-day international cricket, India was not known for its bowling. Initially, Indian bowlers were unable to bowl well as a team against tough opponents. However, new generation bowlers who can take wickets in any condition have emerged since the beginning of 2010. Few bowlers, such as Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev, Zaheer Khan, and others, have given batsmen nightmares with their outstanding bowling. However, only two Indian bowlers have more than 300 ODI wickets. Let’s look at the bowlers who have taken the most ODI wickets for India.

Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble, India’s legendary leggie, is the top wicket-taker in ODI  (337). With over 150 wickets, he has the best bowling figures among Indian bowlers. Kumble has also played the most matches (269) for India as a bowler, with a commendable economy of 4.29.

Ajit Agarkar

Former Indian seamer Ajit Agarkar has the third-highest wicket-taker in ODI (288) for India. Agarkar also has the second-best bowling average (27.85) among Indians with over 100 matches. Ajit has also taken the most four-fers (10) of any Indian bowler.  

 Zaheer Khan

Former Indian left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan has taken India’s fourth-most wickets in ODI cricket (269). Zaheer has contributed significantly to India’s victory in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup by being the highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets.

Dev Kapil

Kapil Dev, India’s World Cup-winning captain in 1983, has the sixth-most scalps (253) in the ODI format. Kapil is one of the best all-rounders in history. He is the only fast-bowling all-rounder on India’s top ten ODI wicket-takers list. Kapil was known for bowling unplayable out swinging deliveries. He even has the highest bowling average (27.45) among the top ten leading wicket-takers in ODI. Along with his wickets, he has 3783 runs in ODIs.

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja, the current Indian all-rounder, has taken the eighth top wicket-taker in ODI (188) for India. So far in ODI cricket (since 2009), Jadeja has done well, taking wickets at an admirable average of 37.36. He has also scored 1954 runs at a 36.18 average. He is also one of the best fielders in the history of the sport. Jadeja has also taken 7 four-wicket hauls in ODIs. In the 2013 Champions Trophy, Ravindra Jadeja received the Golden Ball award.

Irfan Pathan

Former left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan has the ninth-highest wickets in ODI (173) for India. Irfan had previously held the record for the quickest Indian to 100 ODI wickets in 59 games before Mohammad Shami beat it in 2019 with 100 in just 56 games. Pathan was well-known for swinging the ball in both directions. His ODI career lasted nine years (2004-2012).


In this article, we read about most bowlers’ wickets taken in the ODI series. We also saw Indian bowlers who achieved a great feat in the ODI series and the future generations of bowlers who have the potential to establish their name in the top list of highest wicket-takers in ODI.