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WC: Most Wickets Among Active Cricketers

Wicket-takers in the ODI World Cup among active bowlers: Glenn McGrath became the first-ever bowler to win the Player of the World Cup (MOS) award in 2007. It was the World Cup that brought the best out of him. He finished his World Cup career on high with Australia’s treble and the MOS award. His tally of 71 World Cup wickets has since then been a benchmark for many bowlers.

With the game increasingly favouring the batsmen with every passing edition that number might keep getting tougher. We look at bowlers who could challenge the golden number this edition.

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The top 5 wicket-takers in the ODI World Cup among active bowlers:

#5 Mohammad Shami – 31

There are very few bowlers especially Indian bowlers who have such outstanding numbers in ODI World Cups. Mohammad Shami knows how to take a wicket in a World Cup game. He was part of India’s 3-pacers strategy in the 2015 World Cup wherein he played a dominant role. Shami was used sparingly yet effectively in the 2019 World Cup wherein he ended up picking a hat trick against Afghanistan. 

The IPL purple cap winner of 2023 can get on a roll if he picks up wickets early in the tournament. Don’t rule out Shami crossing the 50 World Cup wickets milestone this edition. He has picked up 31 wickets in just 11 games at an outstanding average of 15.70 and a top strike rate of 18.61.

#4 Shakib Al Hasan – 34

It is absolutely magnificent to see his name crop up in both the batsmen and the bowlers’ lists. This just reiterates the fact that there are very few genuine all-rounders in the modern game who come anywhere close to Shakib Al Hasan. He has picked up 34 wickets so far in 29 games with a best of 5-29. Hasan has been largely economical conceding just 5.11 runs per over. He has picked a wicket every 42.14 balls. His average of 35.94 is definitely on the higher side though. He will look to add to his tally in this edition.

#3 Tim Southee – 34

He is another underrated bowler who goes about his business in an unassuming manner. Tim Southee is one of the finest swing bowlers in the game. His numbers across both Tests and ODI validate that claim. There are few in the business who could cannily use the conditions to their aid as Southee does. He is tied on 34 wickets with Hasan. But Southee has picked those wickets in far fewer games (18). He averages 25.11 and his strike rate of 28.64 sums up Southee’s career; good but not entirely spectacular!

#2 Trent Boult – 39

Occupying the number two spot is Southee’s partner-in-crime, Trent Boult. He has been New Zealand’s best bowler in the last two editions of the World Cup. Boult’s wicket-taking abilities, especially with the new ball helped New Zealand largely to make it to both the World Cup finals. Now available as a non-contracted player, Boult will look to finish his World Cup career on a major high. He currently has 39 World Cup scalps to his name in 19 games at an average of 21.79 and a strike rate of 28.30.

#1 Mitchell Starc – 49

Similar to his Australian predecessor there is something about the ODI World Cups that unleashes the beast in Mitchell Starc. He became the second bowler to win the MOS in 2015 for his wicket-taking exploits. Starc has been the top wicket-taker in the last two editions of the ODI World Cup. 

He showed how dangerous he could be even in Indian conditions in the ODI series at the start of the year. Starc looks highly likely to break McGrath’s record this edition. He has already pocketed 49 wickets in just 18 games at a staggering average of 14.81 and a brilliant strike rate of 19.12.

Vignesh Rajagopal
Vignesh Rajagopalhttps://stumpsandbails.com/
I am a passionate cricket lover, who likes to express his views on the beautiful game and share insights and analysis about the finer aspects of the sport.

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