The Sri Lankan spin wizard, Muttiah Muralitharan is distant first when it comes to picking fivers in Test cricket. He picked 67 5-wicket hauls in 133 Tests. The great Shane Warne is second on the list with 37 5-wicket hauls in 145 Tests. A fiver in Test cricket is equivalent to a century. Bowlers cherish picking up a fiver. In the modern era of Test cricket, picking up five fivers in a whole career itself is considered to be a major milestone.
We look at active bowlers with the most 5-wicket hauls:
#5 Stuart Broad – 19 fivers
He has to be one of the most grossly underrated bowlers in Test cricket. Stuart Broad is infamously famous for conceding most runs in an over in T20Is and in Test cricket. But most tend to forget the fact that he is someone who has picked 555 wickets. In a career spanning 157 Tests, Broad has picked 19 5-wicket hauls. His personal best in an innings came against Australia when he claimed 8-15.
#4 Shakib Al Hasan – 19 fivers
He is the greatest Bangladeshi cricketer of all time. Shakib Al Hasan has won many games on his own. Despite Bangladesh finding their feet in Tests slowly, Hasan continued to remain a force. Bangladesh doesn’t get to play as many Test matches as other leading nations tend to. Hence it comes as a surprise that Hasan has played just 63 Tests so far. He has 19 fivers to his name including a personal best of 7-36.
#3 Nathan Lyon – 20 fivers
His story is inspirational. Nathan Lyon started off being a pitch curator at Adelaide. He now has picked over 400 wickets (438). Lyon has held the fort as Australia’s leading spinner for over a decade now. The finger-spinner continues to thrive with the art of conventional off-spin. Lyon has played 110 Tests so far. He has picked up 20 fivers in the process with his best in an innings being 8-50.
#2 Ravichandran Ashwin – 30 fivers
He has been India’s greatest match winner in Tests since he made his debut in 2011. Ravichandran Ashwin is a T20I product who went on to achieve stellar success in Tests. Ashwin’s ratio of picking fivers is among the best in the game. His numbers are comparable to any spinner across eras. He has played just 86 Tests but has 442 wickets to his name. Ashwin has already picked up 30 fivers in his career.
#1 James Anderson – 32 fivers
He made his debut in 2003. The wily James Anderson continues to lead England’s pace attack even now. He is a tireless legend who keeps getting better every passing year. Anderson along with Broad have been England’s main weapons for over two decades now. He has played 173 Tests so far. In his marathon Test career, Anderson has picked 32 fivers.