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Stats: Leading wicket-takers for each country in Test cricket

Dale Steyn’s wait of becoming the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket for South Africa came close as the pacer levelled Shaun Pollock’s tally.

Dale Steyn of South Africa
Dale Steyn of South Africa. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Dale Steyn’s wait for becoming the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket for South Africa came to a close as the pacer levelled Shaun Pollock’s tally of 421 wickets in the Galle Test match. The first of the 2-match series in Sri Lanka saw South Africa bag many unwanted records and created new lows for themselves since readmission. However, the game will be remembered for a couple of achievements by their mainstay pacers Steyn and Kagiso Rabada.

The 23-year-old has completed 150 wickets in Test cricket in less than three years from his debut. Thus, Rabada became the youngest player to complete 150 wickets. Steyn levelled up with Pollock with his lone wicket in the 2nd innings. He completed 400 wickets way back in 2015 but played very few matches due to injuries and as a result, he managed to take only 21 wickets in these three years.

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Among the first ten Test-playing countries only three teams currently have their leading wicket-taker still playing including Dale Steyn for Proteas. James Anderson is leading the list for England with 540 wickets while Shakib Al Hasan has 196 wickets for Bangladesh after his 6-wicket haul against the Windies in the recent Test match. Muttiah Muralitharan is the leading wicket-taker in the format and also for his national team Sri Lanka. He took 795 wickets for his country and five while playing ICC World XI.

One of the most respected fast bowlers Glenn McGrath, who bagged 563 wickets in his Test career, stands at No.4 in the all-time list but isn’t his country’s top bowler. Shane Warne has outclassed him with 708 wickets from among the Aussies. Heath Streak has 216 wickets for Zimbabwe while no player from his country took more than 100 wickets. Tim Murtagh and Yamin Ahmadzai are the leading bowlers for Ireland and Afghanistan respectively with six and three wickets in their country’s inaugural Test.

Andrew Flintoff is the leading wicket-taker for ICC World XI as he took seven wickets for them in the only Test played by the combined team. Other than Steyn, no active player poses a threat or is nearing to become the country’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket.

Highest wicket-takers for each team in Test cricket:

(Stats as on July 14, 2018 at end of SL-SA Test)

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