Just like a century for a batsman, a five-wicket haul is a testament to a bowler’s dominance over the opponent. Test cricket has witnessed a few bowlers who have managed to cross the landmark figure on more than a dozen occasions.
Only seven bowlers have taken a fifer more than 30 times in Test match cricket, of which two are Indians - Anil Kumble and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Here we look at five bowlers who have the most five-wicket hauls in Test cricket.
1. Muttiah Muralitharan - 67
Muttiah Muralitharan crossed the five-wicket haul in Test cricket a record 67 times. Muralitharan is also the all-time highest wicket-taker in Tests with 800 scalps. The Sri Lankan spin wizard picked up the most number of fifers against South Africa and Bangladesh (11 times each) in the game’s longest format.
On average, Muttiah Muralitharan picked up a fifer in every second Test he played (1.98 to be exact) and was so prolific that the next best in the list has 30 fewer five-wicket hauls.
2. Shane Warne - 37
Leg-spinner Shane Warne is second on the list of most five-wicket hauls in Tests with 37. Warne picked up 708 wickets for Australia in Tests at an average of 25.41.
3. Sir Richard Hadlee - 36
Sir Richard Hadlee has the most five-wicket hauls among fast bowlers with 36. The New Zealand legend has 431 Test wickets in a career spanning 17 years.
England’s James Anderson, also a pacer, with 31 five-wicket hauls in Tests is the leading bowler among active cricketers.
4. Anil Kumble - 35
India’s Anil Kumble has 35 fifers to his name. Jumbo, as he was fondly called, is India’s leading wicket-taker across formats. Kumble, along with Jim Laker, is the only bowler to clinch all 10 wickets in a Test match innings.
5. Rangana Herath - 34
Rangana Herath of Sri Lanka has 34 fifers in his illustrious career. The left-arm spinner has 433 Test wickets to his tally making him the top wicket-taker amongst all left-arm bowlers.
Featured Photo: Ian Kington / AFP