Jasprit-Bumrah-top-five
World Test Championship

World Test Championship (2021-23): Most Test wickets so far

World Test Championship

By Jonathan Healy

Hit For Six!
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We take a look at the top five leading wicket-takers during the current World Test Championship period.

1. Jasprit Bumrah (45 wickets)

It should come as no surprise that Bumrah sits on top of the list given how productive the India pacer has been over the last 12 months.

The right-armer has three five-wicket efforts to his name since the start of the new World Test Championship period, with the trio of hauls arriving during three different series and in three different countries.

Bumrah picked up 5/64 on his way to nine wickets for the match against England in Nottingham last year and then collected 5/42 against South Africa in Cape Town at the start of this year.

The 28-year-old also claimed superb figures of 5/24 against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru during March, before further proving his quality during India's most recent Test match when he helped take a whopping 35 runs from one Stuart Broad over when standing in as Test captain for regular skipper Rohit Sharma against England in Birmingham.

Video cwc19 30 Jun 22
Go behind the scenes of Jasprit Bumrah’s appointment as Test captain | The ICC Review

2. Shaheen Afridi (41 wickets)

The Pakistan ace has been a model of consistency over the last 12 months and is the key member of a potent fast-bowling attack that Babar Azam has at his disposal.

Afridi picked up four wickets in each innings to kickstart Pakistan's World Test Championship campaign with a narrow loss to West Indies last year, before he helped reverse that result in the second Test by collecting his maiden 10-wicket match haul at the same ground in Kingston.

A second five-wicket haul in an innings followed when Afridi picked up 5/32 against Bangladesh in Chattogram and since then the 22-year-old has continued to establish himself as one of the premier fast bowlers in the game.

Afridi again showed his class when he finished as Pakistan's equal leading wicket taker during the historic two-match series at home against Australia in March as he continually troubled the Aussies' top-order with his superb new-ball bowling.

Shaheen Afridi celebrates a wicket against Sri Lanka
Shaheen Afridi celebrates a wicket against Sri Lanka

3. Jimmy Anderson (40 wickets)

The old adage says life begins at 40 and that might just ring true for veteran quick Anderson as the England pacer has been bowling as well as ever in recent times.

But the last 12 months haven't been all rosy for the recently-turned 40-year-old, with Anderson featuring in only three of England's five Ashes Tests in Australia and then dropped for the tour of the Caribbean against West Indies in March.

But Anderson has responded well from the ongoing speculation surrounding any possible retirement and fostered a positive relationship with new England coach Brendon McCullum to show he still has what it takes to perform at the top level.

Anderson was a constant threat during England’s successful series sweep of New Zealand and finished that series with a total of 11 wickets at an average of 18 despite missing the last match of the series in Leeds.

That extra rest proved pivotal for Anderson and England in the one-off rescheduled Test against India, with the right-armer picking up his 32nd five-wicket haul during the first innings of that match.

Video cwc19 21 Jul 22
Ponting goes deep on the ‘Bazball’ phenomenon | ICC Review

4. Nathan Lyon (39 wickets)

The veteran Australian spinner shows no signs of slowing down, if his start to the current World Test Championship period is anything to go by.

Lyon was his usual consistent self during the most recent Australian summer as the 34-year-old collected 16 wickets at an average of just 23.56 during an emphatic Ashes series triumph over England.

But it was on the spinning decks of the sub-continent that the off-spinner really shone, with Lyon leading Australia’s attack with aplomb during consecutive series in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Lyon picked up a five-wicket haul on the final day against Pakistan in Lahore to help Australia clinch their first series victory in Asia since 2011 and then backed up that performance with another five scalps in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Nathan Lyon is showing no signs of slowing down
Nathan Lyon is showing no signs of slowing down

5. Ramesh Mendis (38 wickets)

Perhaps the biggest surprise within the top five, Mendis has been a model of consistency for Sri Lanka since making his Test debut against England at home at the start of last year.

It was Sri Lanka's home series against West Indies at the end of last year that saw Mendis rise to prominence, with the 27-year-old picking up 18 wickets during those two Test matches to be named Player of the Series.

Mendis struggled to back up that effort during Sri Lanka's tour of Bangladesh in May, but bounced back to form when returning home to face Australia and Pakistan during June and July.

Perhaps spurred on by the emergence of fellow spinner Prabath Jayasuriya, Mendis produced his best performance in the second Test against Pakistan in Galle when he collected nine wickets for the match and helped Sri Lanka clinch an impressive 246-run victory over their rivals.

Video cwc19 14 Jul 22
The welcoming Sri Lankan crowd | The ICC Review

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