Legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble has picked the most wickets for India in ODIs. Kumble, who is also India’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket, took 334 wickets in the 50-overs format during his career that spanned from 1990 to 2007.
Kumble made his ODI debut for India on April 25, 1990, against Sri Lanka in the first match of the Austral-Asia Cup. The leg-spinner picked a wicket while conceding 42 runs in his 10 overs as India lost the match by three wickets.
Between April and December 1990, Kumble appeared in seven ODIs for India and took five wickets during the time. After a brief absence from the senior national team, he returned in October 1991 with a bang, picking a four-wicket haul against West Indies in a match that helped India to a 19-run win.
With that in mind, it must be noted that wickets were few and far between for the legendary spinner during the initial stage of his ODI career. All that, however, changed in November 1993 in the Hero Cup final against West Indies in Kolkata.
Defending a total of 225, Kumble went on to pick six wickets for 12 runs, which is his best bowling figures in the 50-overs cricket. During his 17-year career, Kumble played 271 ODIs where he maintained a respectable economy of 4.30.
After Kumble, former pacer Javagal Srinath has scalped most wickets for India in ODIs. The fast bowler, who made his ODI debut a little over a year after Kumble played his first 50-over match, picked 315 wickets between 1991-2003. He registered seven four-wicket hauls and three five-wicket hauls during that time.
Kumble and Srinath are the only Indian bowlers to have breached the 300-wicket landmark in ODI cricket, with Ajit Agarkar occupying the third spot after picking 288 wickets in 191 ODIs. He is the only Indian bowler to have taken 10 four-wicket hauls in the format.
Following Agarkar are two Indian World Cup winners in Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh. The left-arm pacer, who played 194 ODIs for India took 269 wickets while Harbhajan ended his career with 265 scalps in 234 matches.
Most wickets for India in ODIs
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Featured photo: AFP / Gianluigi Guercia