Top 10 Leading wicket-takers in ODIs in 2016

Adam Zampa vs Sri Lanka
Australian cricketer Adam Zampa. (Photo by ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

The year 2016 in nutshell was a quite successful for the bowlers around the world. With the dynamics of the game shifting towards the batsmen, bowlers usually have a tough time getting an upper hand over their counterparts. However, a few figure out to deal with challenge and come out as the dominant ones.

The 50 overs format does not allow any shortcuts for the bowlers to succeed and while bowling a 10-over spell they have to plan their attack for different situations, from the opening charge to the middle overs and the last onslaught. Here we list the leading wicket-takers in ODIs in 2016.


 10. Kagiso Rabada – 22 wickets:

Kagiso Rabada
South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

The young quick has been a revelation for South Africa. The Proteas should perhaps feel lucky about his successful transition from the age-level cricket to emerging as one of the hottest pacers at the top level; the reason being the ageing Dale Steyn. Injuries have crept in his career and he is no longer young enough to steam in with the same intensity with which he used to bowl previously.

Rabada, who made his international debut last year against Bangladesh at Dhaka, made it a memorable appearance with a five-wicket haul. In 2016, he played 15 matches and managed 22 wickets at an average of 29.77. The 4/45 against England at Johannesburg was his best bowling performances this year.

9. Rashid Khan – 22 wickets:

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan of Afghanistan. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Rashid Khan, the Afghanistan leg spinner, is the most promising and exciting addition to the list. The 18-year-old, who idolises Shahid Afridi and has his action modelled like the Pakistani legend, is currently the most exciting talent in Afghanistan. He bowls at a nippy pace and smartly mixes his googlies to surprise and get better of the batsman.

So far, his tactics have earned him a great reputation. talking about 2016, he played only 12 matches in which he snapped 22 wickets with best bowling figures of 4/21 which came against Ireland at Belfast. His rise is surely helping his team achieve good success while symbolising the rise of Afghanistan as a cricketing nation at the same time.

8. James Faulkner – 24 wickets:

James Faulkner
Australian cricketer James Faulkner. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

James Faulkner is perhaps the most brainy and cunning seamer in the list, the left-arm fast bowlers with his disguised cutters remains Australia’s most preferred limited overs bowler despite being ignored for Tests. He should be happy however as he finishes yet another satisfying year with 24 wickets in 17 matches.

While Faulkner gave appreciable performance all-round the year, his performance against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka was the most attractive. With 10 wickets in 5 matches, he played a key role in the series win over the hosts having lost to them badly in the preceding Test series.

7. Trent Boult – 25 wickets:

Trent Boult fast bowlers
Trent Boult of New Zealand. (Photo by Scott Barbour-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

The Black Caps bowling spearhead enjoyed yet another productive year. The left-arm fast bowler, in suitable conditions, can test you with 140 plus clocked swinging deliveries which sometimes are completely unplayable. He has been consistent throughout the year, starting it off with numbers of 3/43 against Sri Lanka and 4/40, his best of the year, against Pakistan. Both the performances came at home.

He later, faced a downtime as New Zealand travelled to India for three Tests and 5 ODIs. The series was unsuccessful for the Black Caps as well as the bowlers himself. However, Boult regained his touch in the away series against Australia where he grabbed 6 wickets in 3 games. In all, he ends 2016 with 25 wickets in 12 matches.

6. Josh Hazlewood – 26 wickets:

Josh Hazlewood
Australian cricketer Josh Hazlewood (L) celebrates with teammate George Bailey. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Would it be wrong if we call Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc’s fast bowling partner, as a slow poison? Definitely not! He doesn’t come running in very quick, nor does he possess a whippy action or an intimidating look on the face but he still is as effective as his new ball partner Starc who has all the over mentioned qualities.

Hazlewood comes from the ‘Glenn McGrath’ school of bowling and relies more on accuracy and nagging line and length to undo the batsman than physically threaten him. Josh is easily one of the most reliable bowlers round and like Starc had a wonderful 2016 season which saw him snap 26 wickets in 16 matches apart to compliment his much better Test numbers.

5. Mitchell Starc – 26 wickets:

Australia’s Mitchell Starc celebrates after he dismissed Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilsha. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Had injuries not caused hindrance, he would have easily ended up as the leading wicket-taker of the year. It’s an absolutely unarguable fact and the one who would stand with argument can only do so if they choose to complete ignore the impact his mere presence has in a match. From being tagged as a ‘soft’ bowler to becoming a dreaded face in the cricketing world, Starc has been a product of complete hard work and mental toughness apart from the natural ability to bowl fast. His searing yorkers remain his most potent weapon other than his fast swinging deliveries. He has performed regardless of what the conditions and venue. He missed a chunk of cricketing action due to his troublesome ankle but still played 13 matches where grabbed 26 wickets at an average 19.69.

His searing yorkers remain his most potent weapon other than his fast swinging deliveries. He has performed regardless of what the conditions and venue. He missed a chunk of cricketing action due to his troublesome ankle but still played 13 matches where grabbed 26 wickets at an average 19.69.

4. Imran Tahir – 27 wickets:

South Africa Imran Tahir
South African bowler Imran Tahir celebrates after dismissing West Indies cricketer Sulieman Benn. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

It was a mixed year for Imran Tahir. The leg-spinner lost his spot in the Test setup and is now in competition with his protégé Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj as South Africa look for younger options keeping the future in mind. However, his position as the leading spinner in the ODI cricket is yet to be challenged owing to his consistent show in the coloured jersey.

The year began on an unstable note where he played two-wicket games in the home series against England. However, later on he got into his rhythm and picked wicket regularly. His most memorable performances of the year also happened to be the best of the year – the brilliant 7/45 against West Indies in Basseterre. Tahir, overall, snapped 27 wickets in 15 games at an average of 25.

3. Adil Rashid – 29 wickets:

England cricketers congratulate Adil Rashid. / AFP / – (Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images)

England’s long search for a frontline wrist spinner came to an end with Adil Rashid. The Yorkshire man’s addition to the team was a refreshing one. The leg-spinner eased up the spin bowling burden from Moeen Ali with great success, finishing as the highest wicket-taker for his side. He was one of the most talked about spinner in the world at the time he earned his debut in 2015.

His versatility, control and well-disguised googly are his assets. The very qualities separate a normal leg break bowler from an exceptional one. His success in the T20 competition justifies the claims mentioned here. The promise he showed with the ball got him the Test call-up. Thus far, he is the top spinner of his country by a distance. In all, the bearded magician played 17 matches and took 29 wickets with best bowling figures of 4/43.

2. John Hastings – 29 wickets:

Australia's John Hastings
Australia’s John Hastings (2L) celebrates with his teammates. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Australia had a year marred by injuries. James Pattinson, James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Marsh – all these pacers apart from being devastating bowlers also find their name in the list of injury prone bowlers this year. In the absence of these bowlers, Australia had tough time managing the pace attack.

John Hasting flourished as an ODI option during this time. The burly fast bowler got ample of chances and most of them, snapping 29 wickets in 15 ODIs this year. His contributions during the Tri-series in West Indies and in the away series against South Africa were appreciable. His excellence with the ball not only saw him seal his reputation as the Australia’s crisis man but also end as the second highest wicket-taker of 2016.

1. Adam Zampa – 30 wickets:

Adam Zampa vs Sri Lanka
Australian cricketer Adam Zampa. (Photo by ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Adam Zampa, the Aussie leg-spinner, stamped a reputation of being a highly economical bowling and has solidified his position of being a reliable limited-overs spinner in the Australian ODI bowling setup. With 30 wickets in 19 ODIs, Zampa ends the 2016 season as the highest wicket taker in ODIs for Australia as well in the overall list.

The upcoming cricket season will be crucial for the young spinner who is now by far the best leg-spinner in country. Given the way he has performed this season, he may be in the radar of the selectors and a Test call may be around the corner as Australia prepare for the tour of India.