England vs West Indies: The leading all-time Test wicket-takers

Among all bowlers in the ongoing Test series, Anderson leads the charts in career wickets; he has 587 wickets, the fourth-most overall.

Published : Jul 18, 2020 12:42 IST

James Anderson, the leading English Test wicket-taker.
James Anderson, the leading English Test wicket-taker.

James Anderson, the leading English Test wicket-taker.

The ongoing Test series between England and West Indies features some excellent fast bowlers on both sides, including the seasoned James Anderson and Kemar Roach, both of whom have played Test cricket for more than a decade.

Among all bowlers in the series, Anderson leads the charts in career wickets; he has 587 wickets, the fourth-most overall. Stuart Broad, also in the England Test squad, has 485 wickets.

From among the members of the West Indian squad, Kemar Roach has the most wickets - 193.

Here are the all-time leading wicket-takers from both teams:

1. James Anderson : Anderson played his first Test in May, 2003, and is the oldest participant in the Test series. He can be considered one of the all-time fast-bowling giants of English cricket, having been a regular feature in the England pace attack for many years now. With 33 more wickets, he will surpass Anil Kumble to become the third-highest wicket-taker of all time.

2. Stuart Broad : Broad made his Test debut in December, 2007, three months after being hit for six sixes in an over by Yuvraj Singh in an ICC World T20 game in Durban. Among his best spells have been 8 for 15 against Australia in Nottingham in 2015, and 7 for 44 against New Zealand at Lord’s in 2013. Broad, who was dropped for the first Test in Southampton, needs 13 more wickets to reach 500.

3. Courtney Walsh : Walsh was part of the West Indies team at its peak, in the 1980s, and witnessed the slow decline in the 1990s. Along with Curtley Ambrose, he formed a formidable pace unit. In March, 2001, he became the first bowler to take 500 wickets in Test cricket. He retired in April, 2001, after claiming 519 wickets.

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4. Curtley Ambrose : Ambrose was capable to blowing away the opposition line-up, as he demonstrated well against England in March, 1994, when he precipitated an almighty collapse to have England bowled out for 46, and in 1991-92, when he took five wickets for one run in a devastating spell against Australia in Perth. Ambrose was one half of a potent combination - Walsh forming the other half.

Ambrose, who played his last Test against England in 2000, has 405 Test wickets.

5. Ian Botham : Botham was a renowned England all-rounder in the 1980s and early 1990s, known for his capacity to turn contests around with both bat and ball, most famously in the 1981 Ashes series in England. Having played 102 Tests in his career, Botham has 383 Test wickets and 5,200 runs under his belt. He was for a long time England’s leading Test wicket-taker, before Anderson broke his record in the Caribbean in 2015.

6. Malcolm Marshall : The late Malcom Marshall was an atypical West Indian fast bowler - he was short and skiddy. But he was an excellent craftsman and turned out to be one of the greats of West Indies cricket. Among his best spells are 7 for 22 against England in June, 1988, and 7 for 53, also against England, in July, 1984. He took 376 wickets before retiring after 81 Tests in 1991. He died of cancer eight years later.

Bob Willis celebrates after dismissing an Australian batsman during the Headingley Test in 1981. - THE HINDU ARCHIVES

7. Bob Willis : The lanky Willis bowled England to victory in one of its greatest Test wins, against England at Headingley in 1981. The turnaround was scripted by Botham but Willis finished it off; Australia, chasing 130 to win, was bowled out for 111, Willis taking 8 for 43. It remained his best-ever Test performance. Willis took 325 Test wickets. He died aged 70 in December, 2019.

8. Lance Gibbs : The only off-spinner in this list, Gibbs played 79 Tests for the West Indies, taking 309 wickets in a career that spanned 18 years. He became only the second bowler, after Fred Truman of England, to reach the landmark of 300 wickets. His best Test performance came against India, in March 1962, when he took 8 for 38.

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9. Fred Trueman : Trueman, who died aged 75 in 2006, was the first bowler to reach the landmark of 300 Test wickets in 1964 in the Ashes series against Australia. Trueman had a flowing, whippy bowling action and lots of pace and heart. He finished with 307 wickets.

10. Derek Underwood : Underwood, a left-arm spinner, took 297 Test wickets in 86 Tests. Among his best performances were 8 for 51 against Pakistan at Lord’s in August, 1974, and 7 for 32 against New Zealand, also at Lord’s, in 1969. He was known for being difficult to play on wet pitches.


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