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England cricketer James Anderson owns the record for the most wickets in international cricket among pacers.

Since making his international debut against arch-rivals Australia in a One-Day International (ODI) match at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in 2002, James Anderson has bagged 951 wickets in 387 matches at an average of 27.18. He has registered 34 five-wicket hauls and three 10-wicket hauls in his international cricket career so far.

Considered to be one of the greatest swing bowlers in cricket’s history, Anderson is currently the leading active wicket-taker in Test cricket. The right-arm fast bowler has claimed 664 Test wickets in 174 matches at an average of 26.26 and an economy of 2.80. He has recorded 32 five-wicket hauls and three five-wicket hauls since donning the England jersey for the first time in the longest format against Zimbabwe at Lord’s in 2003.

The legendary pacer has also played 19 T20Is, scalping 18 wickets at an average of 23.44 and an economy of 7.85.

Anderson has surpassed the previous record held by Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath

Between 1993 and 2007, Glenn McGrath picked 949 international wickets in 376 matches at an average of 21.76 and an economy of 2.93.

McGrath made his international debut against trans-Tasman rival New Zealand in a Test match in Perth in 1993. He ended his legendary Test career as the fifth-highest wicket-taker with 563 scalps in 124 matches at an average of 21.64. McGrath registered 29 five-wicket hauls and three 10-wicket hauls in his Test career.

The Australian speedster also featured in 250 ODIs, scalping 381 wickets at an average of 22.02 and an economy of 3.88. He also bagged five T20I wickets in two matches he played for the Men in Yellow.

Meanwhile, former Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram is third on the list for the most wickets in international cricket among pacers. 

Having made his international debut against New Zealand at Iqbal Stadium in 1984, Wasim claimed 916 wickets in 460 matches at an average of 23.57 including 31 five-wicket hauls and five 10-wicket hauls.

Akram finished as the second highest wicket-taker in the ODI format, having picked 502 wickets in 302 matches at an average of 23.53 and an economy of just 3.89. He recorded 17 four-wicket hauls and six-wicket hauls. In the longest format, the Pakistan fast bowler claimed 414 wickets in 104 matches at an average of 23.62. 

South Africa’s Shaun Pollock and Stuart Broad of England complete the top five list.

While Pollock has claimed 829 international wickets in 423 matches, Broad has already bagged 802 wickets in 335 matches.

Most wickets in international cricket among pacers

Player Span Matches Wickets Average  Economy 5w 10w
James Anderson 2002-2022 387 951 27.18 3.27 34 3
Glenn McGrath 1993-2007 376 949 21.76 2.93 36 3
Wasim Akram 1984-2003 460 916 23.57 3.17 31 5
Shaun Pollock 1995-2008 423 829 23.73 2.92 21 1
Stuart Broad 2006-2022 335 802 28.04 3.44 20 3

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Featured photo: Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

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