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Fastest 200 Wickets in Test Cricket

Suresh Iyer
January 20, 2022, 9:10
156
Fastest 200 Wickets in Test Cricket

In this article, we look at a list of bowlers who were the fastest to reach 200 Test wickets. The record is held by Pakistan’s Yasir Shah who achieved the feat in his 33rd match recently, on 13 December 2018. In the process, Shah broke the long-standing record set by former Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who achieved the feat in 36 matches, way back in 1936.

Yasir Shah (33 Matches)

Pakistan leg spinner Yasir Shah who is currently active in international cricket set the record for the fastest 200 Test wickets in 2018. Shah achieved the mark in 33 matches, breaking the then existing mark of 36 matches set by Australia’s CV Grimmett in 1936. Yasir made his Test debut in 2014 and got off to a great start with 27 wickets from five Test matches in his first year in the format. Thus far, Shah has played 46 matches in which he has taken 235 wickets at 31.08, with a best innings haul of 8/41. He has registered 16 five-wickets hauls as well as 3 10-wicket hauls.

CV Grimmett (36 Matches)

Former Australia leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett became the first Test bowler to take 200 wickets when he achieved the mark in 1936. It is a testament to the greatness of the achievement that it took 82 years for the record to be broken. Grimmett who began his Test career in 1925 played only one more match after getting to 200 Test wickets. In all, Grimmett took 216 wickets from 37 matches at 24.21, including a best innings-haul of 7/40. In the course of his career, Grimmett took 5 wickets in an innings on 21 occasions, while grabbing 10 wickets in a match on 7 occasions.

R Ashwin (37 Matches)

Indian off-spinner R Ashwin who played his first Test match in 2010 achieved 200 Test wickets in his 37th match. When he accomplished the feat, he was the second-fastest to the milestone.

Ashwin has so far played in 84 Tests and taken 430 wickets at 24.38, including a best innings haul of 7/59. He has registered 5 wickets in an innings on 30 occasions, while taking 10 wickets in a match 7 times.

DK Lillee (38 Matches)

Former Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee played his first Test match in January 1971. He achieved 200 Test wickets in 38 matches. In all, Lillee played 70 Test matches in which he took 355 wickets at 23.92, with best innings haul of 7/83. He took five wickets in an innings on 23 separate occasions, in addition to 10-wicket match hauls on 7 occasions.

Waqar Younis (38 Matches)

Former Pakistan paceman Waqar Younis played his first Test match in 1989. Younis also took 38 matches to reach the 200-wicket mark. By the time he ended his career in 2003, he had played 87 matches in which he took 373 wickets at 23.56, with a best innings haul of 7/76. Younis registered five-wicket hauls in an innings on 22 occasions while achieving 10-wicket match hauls 5 times.

DW Steyn (39 Matches)

Former South Africa paceman Dale Steyn, who played Test cricket between 2004 and 2019, got to 200 Test wickets in 39 matches. When Steyn retired from Test cricket, he had played 93 matches in which he took 439 wickets at 22.95, with a best innings haul of 7/51. Steyn took five wickets in an innings 26 times while achieving 10-wicket match hauls on 5 occasions.

IT Botham (41 Matches)

Former England allrounder Ian Botham made his Test debut in 1977 and played until 1992. The swing bowler achieved 200 Test wickets in 41 matches. Overall, Botham played 102 matches in which he took 383 wickets at 28.40, including a best innings haul of 8/34. He took 5 wicket hauls on 27 occasions, while grabbing 10 wickets in a match four times during his Test career.

SCG MacGill (41 Matches)

Former Australia leg spinner Stuart MacGill began playing Test cricket in January 1998. MacGill got to the 200-wicket milestone in 41 matches. When he retired from the game in May 2008, the bowler had played 44 matches in which he took 208 wickets at 29.02, with a best innings haul of 8/108. He registered five-wicket hauls on 12 occasions, while taking 10 wickets in a match on two occasions.

Summary

Can Yasir Shah’s record be broken? We definitely think so. And the best candidate for the job is New Zealand paceman Kyle Jamieson who has taken 60 wickets in 12 matches. However, to set a new mark, Jamieson will have to substantially improve his rate of wickets per match.

Player Team Match # Match Date Rival Team Venue
Yasir Shah Pakistan 33 3 December 2018 New Zealand Abu Dhabi
CV Grimmett Australia 36 15 February 1936 South Africa Johannesburg
R Ashwin India 37 22 September 2016 New Zealand Kanpur
DK Lillee Australia 38 1 February 1980 England Melbourne
Waqar Younis Pakistan 38 8 December 1995 New Zealand Christchurch
DW Steyn South Africa 39 10 June 2010 West Indies Port of Spain
IT Botham England 41 27 August 1981 Australia The Oval
SCG MacGill Australia 41 8 November 2007 Sri Lanka Brisbane
MD Marshall West Indies 42 7 March 1986 England Port of Spain
SK Warne Australia 42 8 December 1995 Sri Lanka Perth
AA Donald South Africa 42 27 March 1998 Sri Lanka Centurion
M Muralitharan Sri Lanka 42 27 August 1998 England The Oval
AV Bedser England 44 25 August 1983 Australia Lord’s
RJ Hadlee New Zealand 44 25 August 1983 England Nottingham
J Garner West Indies 44 23 November 1984 Australia Brisbane
RA Jadeja India 44 2 October 2019 South Africa Vishakhapatnam
K Rabada South Africa 44 26 January 2021 Pakistan Karachi

 

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