Top 5 wicket-takers of World Test Championship: Only one Indian bowler in the list
India and New Zealand – the two heavyweights of world cricket are gearing up to lock horns in the final of the ICC World Test Championship, starting June 18 in Southampton. The tournament had tested the calibre of all the top Test-playing nations over a period of two years. And now, it’s time to witness the two most consistent teams in Test cricket battle for the ultimate title.
Indian topped the points table after defeating Australia in their own backyard and then outfoxing England in a home series. New Zealand, on the other hand, cruised into the finale after a terrific season at home.
Ahead of the high-voltage contest at the Ageas Bowl on June 18, let’s have a look at the top 5 wicket-takers in the WTC. The list comprises an Indian and a New Zealander, however, only one of them have a clear chance of finishing the tournament with most scalps to his credit.
1) Pat Cummins (AUS) - M: 14, Wkts: 70, SR: 47.6, Avg: 21.02
The Aussie Test vice-captain's reputation as the world's leading paceman in the longest format has been established by his stellar performance both on home soil and away from it. His variety and guile make him a great asset to have for any captain.
2) Stuart Broad (ENG) - M: 17, Wkts: 69, SR: 43.4, Avg: 20.08
Just like his new-ball partner for years, Jimmy Anderson, Broad too has aged like fine wine, producing great spells and picking up wickets when it mattered the most for his team. England's rotation policy for seamers has left him looking for rhythm from time to time but he has delivered most often. His return to the playing XI is what helped England come back from Test down at home against West Indies and win the series.
3) R Ashwin (IND) - M: 13, Wkts: 67, SR: 46.9, Avg: 20.88
India's biggest match-winner with the ball silenced his critics with a stellar performance with both bat and ball in Australia and rediscovered his mojo as a serious all-rounder in the home series against England. He will again be the man to look out for in the WTC final and is perhaps the only bowler who still has the chance to go past Cummins in this list.
4) Nathan Lyon (AUS) - M: 14, Wkts: 56, SR: 67.5, Avg: 31.37
Lyon has produced some great spells over the years to cement his place as Australia's second-best spinner ever, after the legendary Shane Warne. But he was overshadowed by Ashwin in the crucial series down under and Indian batsmen found a way to keep him at bay in crucial situations.
5) Tim Southee (NZ) - M: 10, Wkts: 51, SR: 45.9, Avg: 20.66
The best Kiwi bowler in the show in the WTC so far. Southee's swing bowling is perfectly suited for conditions in New Zealand and he will be a handful in England too. He forms a deadly partnership with Trent Boult and the addition of Kyle Jamieson in the attack has given the Kiwis more teeth. He and his pack will be crucial against a strong Indian batting line-up in the final.