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Top 10 Wicket-Takers in ICC ODI World Cup History

Discover the top 10 wicket-takers in the history of the ICC ODI World Cup. From legendary bowlers to remarkable performances, explore the records set in this prestigious cricket tournament.

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Zaheer

Zaheer Khan, the Star for India in World Cup 2011

The ICC ODI World Cup is the pinnacle of international cricket, showcasing the best players from around the globe. While the batsmen often steal the limelight with their blistering centuries and towering sixes, it is the bowlers who play a crucial role in shaping the outcome of matches. In this article, we will dive into the record books and explore the top 10 wicket-takers in the history of the ICC ODI World Cup.

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Glenn McGrath

Wickets: 71 | Average: 18.19 | Strike Rate: 27.5 | Best Bowling Figures: 7/15

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Glenn McGrath, the Australian pace legend, tops the list of the highest wicket-takers in the ICC ODI World Cup. Known for his impeccable line and length, McGrath was a nightmare for batsmen around the world. He showcased his brilliance in World Cups, winning three of the four tournaments he played in. McGrath's best performance came in the 2007 World Cup final against Sri Lanka, where he claimed 7/15, the best figures in World Cup history.


Muttiah Muralitharan

Wickets: 68 | Average: 19.63 | Strike Rate: 30.3 | Best Bowling Figures: 4/19

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Muttiah Muralitharan, the Sri Lankan spin wizard, is widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers of all time. His unique bowling action and unparalleled mastery of spin made him a nightmare for batsmen. Muralitharan played a crucial role in Sri Lanka's success in the 1996 World Cup. Although he never took a five-wicket haul in the tournament, his economy rate and consistency were unmatched.

 

Wasim Akram

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Wickets: 55 | Average: 23.83 | Strike Rate: 35.4 | Best Bowling Figures: 5/28

Wasim Akram, the Pakistani left-arm pace maestro, was a true match-winner with both bat and ball. Akram featured in five World Cups, from 1987 to 2003, and played a pivotal role in Pakistan's victory in the 1992 edition. Known for his lethal swing and reverse swing, Akram often bamboozled batsmen with his ability to move the ball both ways. His ability to perform in high-pressure situations made him a standout performer in World Cups.

 

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Chaminda Vaas

Wickets: 49 | Average: 21.22 | Strike Rate: 32.0 | Best Bowling Figures: 6/25

Chaminda Vaas, the Sri Lankan left-arm fast-medium bowler, was a key figure in Sri Lanka's formidable bowling attack. Known for his accuracy and swing, Vaas formed a deadly partnership with Muttiah Muralitharan. Vaas played in four World Cups and had his most successful tournament in 2003, where he took 23 wickets at an average of 14.39. His ability to strike early blows and control the flow of runs made him a valuable asset for Sri Lanka.

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Lasith Malinga

Wickets: 56 | Average: 21.50 | Strike Rate: 22.87 | Best Bowling Figures: 6/38

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Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lankan slinging fast bowler, revolutionized limited-overs cricket with his unorthodox bowling action and deadly yorkers. Malinga's ability to consistently pick wickets with his unique variations made him a force to be reckoned with. His best World Cup performance came in 2011, where he took 13 wickets at an average of 20.76. Malinga is the only player on this list who has not yet retired from international cricket, and his wicket-taking ability continues to inspire young bowlers.

Javagal Srinath

Wickets: 44 | Average: 27.81 | Strike Rate: 38.6 | Best Bowling Figures: 4/30

Javagal Srinath, the Indian pace spearhead of the 90s, was a relentless and accurate bowler. Srinath holds the distinction of being the only Indian fast bowler to feature in four World Cups, from 1992 to 2003. Despite India's disappointing campaign in the 2003 World Cup, Srinath emerged as their leading wicket-taker in the tournament, claiming 16 wickets. His ability to generate pace and movement made him a formidable opponent for batsmen.

 

Zaheer Khan

Wickets: 44 | Average: 20.22 | Strike Rate: 27.1 | Best Bowling Figures: 4/42

Zaheer Khan, the left-arm swing bowler from India, was a vital cog in India's bowling attack in the 2011 World Cup, where they emerged as champions. Known for his ability to swing the ball late, Zaheer troubled batsmen with his variations in pace and movement. His crucial wickets at crucial moments played a significant role in India's success. Zaheer's ability to perform under pressure made him an asset to the team.

 

Imran Tahir

Wickets: 37 | Average: 19.21 | Strike Rate: 26.4 | Best Bowling Figures: 5/45

Imran Tahir, the South African leg-spinner, brought a different dimension to the game with his crafty spin and deceptive googlies. Tahir's ability to take wickets in the middle overs made him a crucial component of the South African bowling attack. His best World Cup performance came in 2015, where he claimed a five-wicket haul against the West Indies. Tahir's infectious enthusiasm and never-say-die attitude made him a fan favorite.

 

Trent Boult

Wickets: 39 | Average: 21.79 | Strike Rate: 28.3 | Best Bowling Figures: 5/27

Trent Boult, the New Zealand left-arm swing bowler, has established himself as one of the finest seamers in world cricket. Boult's ability to swing the ball prodigiously in the early overs has made him a nightmare for opening batsmen. Despite New Zealand's heartbreak in the 2019 World Cup final, Boult was exceptional throughout the tournament, finishing with 39 wickets at an average of 21.79. His ability to strike early blows and create pressure sets him apart.

 

Mitchell Starc

Wickets: 49 | Average: 14.81 | Strike Rate: 19.1 | Best Bowling Figures: 6/28

Mitchell Starc, the Australian left-arm fast bowler, possesses one of the most lethal yorkers in modern-day cricket. Starc has a remarkable record in World Cups, picking up 49 wickets in just 18 matches across 2015 and 2019. His standout performance came in the 2015 World Cup, where he was named the Player of the Series for his 22 wickets at an astonishing average of 10.18. Starc's ability to deliver in high-pressure situations makes him a valuable asset for Australia.

In conclusion, the ICC ODI World Cup has witnessed some extraordinary bowling performances over the years. The top 10 wicket-takers on this list have left an indelible mark on the tournament, showcasing their skill, determination, and ability to perform under pressure. As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the next edition of the World Cup, one can only wonder who will etch their name in history as the next great wicket-taker in this prestigious tournament.

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