The ICC Cricket World Cup is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the cricketing world. It occurs every four years and features the top ODI teams battling it out for the ultimate crown. For Indian cricketers, the World Cup holds special significance.
India has participated in every World Cup edition since the beginning of 1975. The Men in Blue emerged victorious in 1983 and 2011, much to the delight of their passionate fans.
Indian bowlers have played a crucial role in the country’s World Cup successes over the years. Their skilful bowling spells have won many memorable matches for India on cricket’s biggest stage.
Let’s look at the leading 5 Indian bowlers with the most World Cup wickets in ODI history:
1. Zaheer Khan – The Hero of India’s 2011 World Cup Triumph
With 44 wickets in 23 matches, former left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan heads the list of Indian bowlers with the most World Cup scalps. His extraordinary bowling was instrumental in India’s 2011 World Cup win on home soil.
Zaheer was the joint-highest wicket-taker of the 2011 tournament, claiming 21 wickets at a stunning average of just 18.76. His impactful spells throughout the event are etched in Indian cricket folklore.
2. Javagal Srinath – India’s Leading Fast Bowler in the 90s
Right-arm quick Javagal Srinath sits second on the list with 44 World Cup wickets in 34 matches. He played in four World Cups from 1992 to 2003 and was India’s pace spearhead during that period.
Though Srinath’s average of 27.81 was higher than Zaheer’s, his economy rate of 4.32 highlights his ability to build pressure. Srinath’s stellar bowling laid the platform for many famous Indian wins.
3. Mohammed Shami – India’s Hat-Trick Hero in 2019
The currently active Mohammed Shami occupies the third spot with 31 wickets in just 11 World Cup matches. His strike rate of 18.6 underlines his reputation as a wicket-taking bowler.
Shami etched his name in the record books in 2019 by becoming only the second Indian to take a World Cup hat-trick, achieving the feat against Afghanistan. His exploits make him one to watch in future World Cups.
4. Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble, who represented India from 1996 to 2007, demonstrated his leg-spin prowess by taking 31 wickets in 18 matches at an average of 22.83. With a strike rate of 33.5 and best figures of 4/32, he was a key figure in the team’s success.
5. Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev, the legendary all-rounder, played for India from 1979 to 1992, amassing 28 wickets in 26 matches. Although his bowling average of 31.85 might seem relatively high, his ability to take crucial wickets and his memorable 5/43 performance make him an iconic figure in Indian cricket history.
6. Manoj Prabhakar
Manoj Prabhakar, who played from 1987 to 1996, contributed with 24 wickets in 19 matches, maintaining an average of 26.66. His versatility as a medium-paced bowler, with a best of 4/19, added depth to the team’s bowling attack.
7. Madan Lal
Madan Lal, who graced the cricket field from 1975 to 1983, secured 22 wickets in 11 matches, displaying a remarkable average of 19.36. His best figures of 4/20 reflect his effectiveness as a bowler.
8. Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh, known for his all-round skills, represented India from 2003 to 2011, taking 20 wickets in 23 matches. With an average of 23.10 and a memorable 5/31 performance, he showcased his ability to contribute with both bat and ball for the team.
These cricketers have left an indelible mark on Indian cricket history, each contributing in their unique way to the team’s success over the years.