Top 50 Highest Test Wicket Takers in Cricket History

Muttiah Muralitharan holds the record for the most wickets in Test Cricket, having secured a total of 800 dismissals. Check out the full list.

Umaima Saeed
Umaima Saeed

Last Updated: 2023-11-15

Dillip Mohanty

Test cricket is the oldest and purest form of cricket, and being among the top 50 wicket-takers of all-time in this format is no mean feat. The bowlers on the list, spanning different eras, have left an enduring impact on the sport with their ability to dismantle batting line-ups. Muttiah Muralitharan holds the record for the most wickets in Test Cricket, having secured a total of 800 dismissals. Check out the full list below.

Top 50 Highest Test Wicket Takers

Full List

Sr no.PlayerMatWktsBBIAveEconSR
1Muttiah Muralitharan (SL)1338009/5122.722.4755.04
2Shane Warne (AUS)1457088/7125.412.6557.49
3James Anderson (ENG)1836907/4225.992.7956.83
4Anil Kumble (IND)13261910/7429.652.6965.99
5Stuart Broad (ENG)1676048/1527.682.9555.79
6Glenn McGrath (AUS)1245638/2421.642.4951.95
7Courtney Walsh (WI)1325197/3724.442.5357.84
8Nathan Lyon (AUS)1224968/5031.002.9363.35
9Ravichandran Ashwin (IND)974897/5923.652.7651.8
10Dale Steyn (SA)934397/5122.953.2442.38
11Kapil Dev (IND)1314349/8329.642.7863.91
12Rangana Herath (SL)934339/12728.072.8060.03
13Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ)864319/5222.292.6350.85
14Shaun Pollock (SA)1084217/8723.112.3957.84
15Harbhajan Singh (IND)1034178/8432.462.8468.53
16Wasim Akram (PAK)1044147/11923.622.5954.65
17Curtly Ambrose (WI)984058/4520.992.3054.57
18Makhaya Ntini (SA)1013907/3728.823.2353.42
19Ian Botham (ENG)1023838/3428.42.9956.95
20Malcolm Marshall (WI)813767/2220.942.6846.76
21Waqar Younis (PAK)873737/7623.563.2543.49
22Tim Southee (NZ)943707/6428.982.9758.40
23Imran Khan (PAK)883628/5822.812.5453.75
24Daniel Vettori (ICC/NZ)1133627/8734.362.5979.59
25Dennis Lillee (AUS)703557/8323.922.7552.01
26Chaminda Vaas (SL)1113557/7129.582.6866.02
27Mitchell Starc (AUS)823336/5027.603.3948.77
28Allan Donald (SA)723308/7122.252.8347.02
29Bob Willis (ENG)903258/4325.202.8353.40
30Trent Boult (NZ)783176/3027.493.0054.94
31Mitchell Johnson (AUS)733138/6128.43.3351.12
32Ishant Sharma (IND)1053117/7432.43.1561.60
33Zaheer Khan (IND)923117/8732.943.2760.40
34Brett Lee (AUS)763105/3030.813.4653.32
35Morne Morkel (SA)863096/2327.663.1053.39
36Lance Gibbs (WI)793098/3829.091.9887.75
37FS Trueman (ENG)673078/3121.572.6149.43
38DL Underwood (ENG)862978/5125.832.1073.60
39Jacques Kallis (ICC/SA)1662926/5432.652.8269.28
40Craig McDermott (AUS)712918/9728.633.0156.99
41Kagiso Rabada (SA)602807/11222.343.3739.70
42Ravindra Jadeja (IND)672757/4224.072.4259.46
43Bishan Singh Bedi (IND)672667/9828.712.1480.31
44Kemar Roach (WI)792656/4827.783.1053.69
45Danish Kaneria (PAK)612617/7734.793.0767.80
46Joel Garner (WI)582596/5620.972.4750.84
47Jason Gillespie (AUS)712597/3726.132.8554.95
48Neil Wagner (NZ)632587/3927.53.1352.63
49Graeme Swann (ENG)602556/6529.962.9860.19
50Brian Statham (ENG)702527/3924.842.3363.71
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Top 10 wicket-takers in Test history

Muttiah Muralitharan – 800

Muttiah Muralitharan, who was sometimes involved in controversies due to his unconventional bowling action, holds the record for the highest number of wickets in Test cricket, amassing a total of 800. Muralitharan boasts an impressive tally of 67 five-wicket hauls and 22 10-wicket hauls. Not just in Tests, Muralitharan is also the leading wicket-taker of all-time in ODIs, with 534 wickets in 350 matches.

Shane Warne Test.jpeg

Shane Warne – 708

Shane Warne, widely regarded as one of the greatest spin bowlers in the history of the sport, played a pivotal role in the success of the Australian cricket team in his 15-year-long Test career. Throughout his career, Warne set numerous records, with one of the most notable being his achievement as the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket at the time of his retirement in 2007, with 708 wickets. This included 37 fifers and 10 instances of taking 10 wickets in a game.

James Anderson Test 3.jpeg

James Anderson - 690

James Anderson holds the record for the most Test wickets by a pace bowler, and the most wickets by an Australian with the red ball. Despite the physical demands of fast bowling, he has consistently maintained a high level of fitness, allowing him to play 183 Test matches to date, from which he has 690 wickets. His ability to recover from injuries and stay competitive well into his 40s is a testament to his dedication to the game.

Anil Kumble Test.jpeg

Anil Kumble – 619

Anil Kumble had an illustrious cricket career that spanned over 17 years. A leg-spinner known for his accuracy and consistency, Kumble is the highest wicket-taker for India in Test cricket, with 619 wickets. He is one of only two bowlers (the other being Jim Laker) to have taken all ten wickets in a Test innings. This historic feat came against Pakistan in Delhi in 1999.

Stuart Broad Celebration Test.jpeg

Stuart Broad – 604

Stuart Broad has been a mainstay in England's Test bowling attack, forming a formidable partnership with James Anderson. With 604 wickets, which includes 20 fifers and three 10-wicket hauls, he is England’s second-highest wicket-taker in Tests. His best spell of 8-15 came at Trent Bridge in 2015.

Glenn McGrath Test.jpeg

Glenn McGrath – 563

Glenn McGrath played a crucial role in Australia's dominance in international cricket during the late 1990s and early 2000s. At the time of retirement, he had the most wickets by a pace bowler in Test cricket – 563. McGrath took 29 fifers and three 10-wicket hauls. He had a remarkable record at the Brisbane Cricket Ground, where he took 65 Test wickets in his career.

Courtney Walsh Test.jpeg

Courtney Walsh – 519

One of the most legendary fast bowlers ever, Courtney Walsh played a total of 132 Test matches for the West Indies from 1984 to 2001. He holds the distinction of being the first bowler to take 500 wickets in Test cricket, achieving this milestone in 2001. At the time of his retirement, he was the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket with 519 scalps. 
Walsh, along with Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner, Michael Holding and Curtly Ambrose formed one of the most fearsome bowling attacks in cricket history. The partnership between Walsh and Ambrose was particularly impressive – they took 421 Test wickets between them in just 42 matches.

Nathan Lyon Test.jpeg

Nathan Lyon – 496

One of the most successful off-spinners in Australia, Nathan Lyon made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2011 and has since been a consistent performer in the longest format of the game. He reached the milestone of 400 Test wickets during the Test series against India in 2020-2021, and is now only four wickets away from reaching the 500 mark.

Ravi Ashwin in Test Match.jpeg

Ravichandran Ashwin – 489

The ninth-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket history is Ravichandran Ashwin with 489 wickets from 94 matches. This includes 34 five-wicket hauls and eight 10-wicket hauls. He has won the second-most Player of the Series awards in Test cricket history, and was the fastest bowler to reach 250, 300 and 350 Test wickets. 

Dale Steyn Test 1.jpeg

Dale Steyn – 439

With 439 wickets, Dale Steyn is the 10th-highest wicket-taker in Test history. Known for his express pace, Steyn reached the milestone of 400 Test wickets in 2015. He spent a considerable amount of time as the world's top-ranked Test bowler, a testament to his consistency and dominance in the longest format of the game. 

Umaima Saeed
Umaima SaeedSports Writer

Umaima Saeed is a professional sports writer whose articles have been featured in several leading websites. She writes long-form content on sports, particularly cricket. She has a penchant for telling human-interest stories. Umaima has contributed articles on cricket to more than a dozen publications, both in print and online.