Team India’s top five wicket takers in ICC World Cup
Batsmen have always ruled the roost for India but bowlers too made a huge impact in the two successful campaigns and even in those where India reached the business end of the tournament. Roger Binny ended the successful 1983 campaign as the tournament’s highest wicket-taker and the feat was repeated in 1996, when Anil Kumble was top of the list. India made it to the semi-final on that occasion.Updated: Jun 15, 2020, 14:15 IST
The Indian cricket team has been the second most successful team in the history of the 50-over World Cup. They have won the title twice as compared to the five titles of Australia, who have been the dominant force in world cricket. While India are tied with West Indies with two titles, they have made it to another final and reached the semi-final stage on four more occasions.
Batsmen have always ruled the roost for India but bowlers too made a huge impact in the two successful campaigns and even in those where India reached the business end of the tournament. Roger Binny ended the successful 1983 campaign as the tournament’s highest wicket-taker and the feat was repeated in 1996, when Anil Kumble was top of the list. India made it to the semi-final on that occasion.
Similarly, the 2011 campaign saw Zaheer Khan end the tournament as joint-top wicket taker.
Here is the list of top five Indian wicket takers for India in the global event:
5) Kapil Dev - 28 wickets in 26 matches @ 31.85
The man who led India to the 1983 title. Kapil Dev was India’s first genuine fast bowler and he went on to inspire an entire generation of Indians to take up fast bowling. He played in four World Cups from 1979 to 1992 and while he could never light up a tournament by picking a huge number of wickets, his consistency was the key to India’s bowling attack in all these competitions.
4) Anil Kumble - 31 wickets in 18 matches @ 22.83
The Indian leg spin great was the highest wicket taker of the 1996 competitions. While he played in the 2003 tournament also, off spinner Harbhajan Singh was favoured over him. Kumble was modestly successful in the World Cup and often the go to bowler when the team was in crisis in the 90s.
3) Mohammed Shami - 31 wickets in 11 matches @ 15.70
This skiddy fast bowler has had two fabulous campaigns in 2015 and 2019. Unfortunately India lost in the semi-finals on both occasions. Shami’s rise was a key factor for India as they reached the business end of the 2015 tournament, despite being poor form on their way to the event. He was part of a four man pace bowling attack that lit up the tournament.
Four years later in England, Shami returned to take hat-trick as he guided the team to a crucial win over Afghanistan in a tricky encounter. The fact that he didn’t play all the matches in the campaign shows how much more effective he could have been.
2) Javagal Srinath - 44 wickets in 34 matches @ 27.81
A tireless soldier who carried the burden of India’s fast bowling attack in three World Cups. At the 1992 event, Srinath rose as a lightening quick youngster. By 1996 he had remodelled his action and was the guiding force in India’s fast bowling group. He came into his own in the 2003 tournament but a forgetful display in the final against Australia ended what had been a remarkable career for India in one of its toughest phases in international cricket.
1) Zaheer Khan - 44 wickets in 23 matches @ 20.22
Life doesn’t give every player a second chance at greatness. But Zaheer Khan got that chance and he made the most of it. As a youngster in 2003, Zaheer had impressed all and sundry. But just like the other bowlers, Zaheer too had fluffed his lines in the final. But he wasn’t going to let that happen in 2011. He was the leader of India’s attack in 2011 and looked every bit in control. It was his guile and trickery that helped India tie a crucial encounter against England and he produced the goods in the final too, ending the tournament as the joint-highest wicket taker to write his name in the annals of cricketing history forever.