List of Year-Wise Most Wickets in ODI World Cup From 1975

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ODI cricket is never a bowler’s game! Over the years, it has been the batters who have dominated white-ball cricket and hence got paid more than their counterparts.

But some of the bowlers were willy-nilly enough to figure a way out for themselves. Thankfully, in the shortest format of the game, that is, T20, the bowlers started to improvise, and the gap between the batters and the bowlers got reduced drastically.

And this has trickled down to ODI cricket as well, but there have always been certain bowlers who were among the greats of the game, making a name for themselves since they had learned how to bounce back after a few off days.

In this article, we will see some of these names as we take a look at the bowlers who have taken the most wickets in ODI World Cup year-wise.

Bowlers With Most Wickets In ODI World Cup Year-wise from 1975 to 2019

Although Australia’s Glenn McGrath had the most number of wickets in ODI World Cup history, here we will focus on the top wicket takers in a particular edition.

Let’s take a look at these players, one-by-one.

Mitchell Starc (2019 ODI World Cup):

Australia’s Mitchell Starc was the top wicket-taker in the 2019 ODI World Cup. 

  • He accounted for 27 wickets, playing 10 matches and picking up these many wickets with an average of 18.5.
  • This was also the second consecutive time he was the top wicket-taker for Australia in an ODI World Cup.

Mitchell Starc (2015 ODI World Cup):

Four years earlier, he was also the top wicket-taker. 

  • He picked up 22 wickets in the eight matches he played for Australia. 
  • He had an average of 10.18 and a strike rate of 17, which means he picked up wickets every 17 balls!

Shahid Afridi and Zaheer Khan (2011 ODI World Cup):

Interestingly, these two contrasting bowlers from two rivals topped the wicket charts in 2011.

  • India won the trophy, and Khan played his role to perfection as the pace spearhead.
  • He went on to pick up 21 wickets in nine matches with an outstanding average of 18.7. His best figures were 3/20.
  • On the other hand, Afridi was a spinner and provided breakthroughs to the Pakistan side often in the middle overs.
  • He had a flatter trajectory and usually varied his pace on the subcontinent pitch, which offered a turn.
  • He ended up picking the same number of wickets—21 in eight matches—with his best figures of 5/16.

Glenn McGrath (2007 ODI World Cup):

Aussie speedster Glenn McGrath came into his own during the 2007 ODI World Cup, as he went on to pick up 26 wickets in 11 matches.

  • He played the World Cup throughout and wasn’t rested despite being 37 years old.
  • He played his role to perfection as Australia lifted the World Cup for the third time, beating Sri Lanka in an ill-fated final.

Chaminda Vaas (2003 ODI World Cup):

Sri Lankan speedster Vaas went on to pick up 23 wickets in 10 matches with an average of 14.39.

  • His strike rate was 22.9, and his best figures were 6/25, which came against Bangladesh.
  • He would get a hattrick in this match, as Bangladesh would get all out for 124.

 Sri Lanka won the match by ten wickets.

Shane Warne and Geoff Allott (1999 ODI World Cup):

This Kiwi pacer and Aussie spinner topped the wicket charts jointly. 

  • While Warne picked up 20 wickets in 10 matches, Allott was even better, picking up the same number of wickets in nine matches.
  • Although New Zealand doesn’t have fond memories of the tournament, Australia would go on to win the tournament and kick off their victory march, which would see them win three trophies in a row.

Anil Kumble (1996 ODI World Cup):

India’s Anil Kumble was the top wicket-taker in that particular edition.

  • Kumble would go on to pick up 15 wickets in seven matches with an average of 18.73. 
  • His best figures were 3/28, with wickets every 28 balls.

Wasim Akram (1992 ODI World Cup):

Pakistan’s Wasim Akram was the top wicket taker, as his team would go on to win the Cup, beating England at the SCG.

  • Akram accounted for 18 wickets in 10 matches with an economy of 3.76 and a strike rate of 29.88.
  • His best figures were 4/32, which came against New Zealand.

Craig McDermott (1987 ODI World Cup):

Australia’s McDermott was the top wicket-taker for Australia.

  • The Aussies would go on to beat England in the final to lift their first trophy, with McDermott picking up 18 wickets in eight matches.
  • His best figures were 5/44 with an impressive economy of 4.67.

Roger Binny (1983 ODI World Cup):

India won the cup, and their bowler Roger Binny would go on to pick up the most wickets (18).

  • He played eight games for India and went on to pick up these many wickets with an economy of 3.81.
  • Moreover, his best figures were 4/29.

Michael Hendrick (1979 ODI World Cup): 

England seamer Michael Hendrick was the top wicket-taker with 10 wickets in five matches. 

  • He also registered an individual best of 4/15. 
  • Moreover, he had an impressive economy of 2.66.

Gary John Gilmour (1975 ODI World Cup): 

Aussie bowler Gilmour was the highest wicket-taker in the inaugural edition of the ODI World Cup.

He picked up 11 wickets in two matches with an economy of 2.58.

Final Thoughts on Most Wicket in ODI World Cup Year-Wise from 1975 to 2019

Although ODI cricket has evolved to become batter-friendly, underestimate the bowlers at your own peril.

As can be seen, in the new millennium (post-2000), the bowlers started to apply themselves and showed great gumption.

In a batter-heavy ODI game, they would have to take a beating, but they showed immense resilience to come back in the next few matches. A good example could be the likes of Zaheer Khan and Mitchell Starc, who had to evolve in order to stay sharp.

These names adapted with time and became ruthless, never allowing the batters to do all the talking. Even in 1975, guys like Gilmore had applied themselves and went on to pick 11 wickets in just two matches! 

This clearly proves that there is always room for error for the batters, while there is always room for improvement for the bowlers, be they pacers or spinners.

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FAQ

Australia’s Glenn McGrath had the most wickets to his name, with 71.

India’s Zaheer Khan and Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi have that record.

India’s Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, and Roger Binny topped the wicket charts in 1996, 2011, and 1983.