Top 5 Most Wickets In Test Matches For England

Stuart Broad and James Anderson have taken the most wickets in test matches for England Cricket as of 2020.

Most Wickets In Test

Who are the top 5 players that have taken the most wickets in test matches for England?

England Cricket has had some outstanding test match bowlers. Be it from Alec Bedser and Brian Statham to Andrew Flintoff and Darren Gough. In recent times, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran have both proved their worth to England Cricket.

England has played test match cricket so far from 1877-2020 and therefore it is inevitable that some great names miss out.

But who misses out on this illustrious list?


James Anderson – #1 most wickets in test

James Anderson has the most wickets in Test matches for England till 2020.
LEEDS, ENGLAND – AUGUST 26: England bowler James Anderson celebrates dismissing Kyle Hope during day two of the 2nd Investec Test match between England and West Indies at Headingley on August 26, 2017 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The “King of Swing”

James Anderson has taken the most wickets in test matches for England Cricket. He has been prolific since he made his test debut in 2003 against Zimbabwe. Remember the cool youngster with coloured hair? It is probably fair to say that he has changed a lot since then.

Anderson has played 151 test matches and taken 584 wickets – a record for any fast bowler in test history. His bowling average of 26.83 is also very strong and he often bowls tightly at one end – signalled by his excellent economy rate of 2.86.

He has taken an extraordinary 27 four-wicket hauls and 28 five-wicket hauls. Plus, he has three 10 wicket-hauls. His best bowling figures remain the 7-43 that he picked up against New Zealand in 2008 at Trent Bridge. He has evolved significantly as a bowler since then. His ability to swing the ball both ways is unmatched in English and perhaps world cricket.

Best Bowling Spells

His five-wicket haul against India in 2018 at Lords was a masterclass of swing and seam bowling on a lively pitch. Anderson’s 10 wickets at Trent Bridge in 2013 helped England to win the first Ashes test, en-route to a 3-0 series victory over Australia.

However, his 6 wickets in the Kolkata Test of 2012 was perhaps his greatest spell on the subcontinent. He exploited reverse swing beautifully and helped England to win both the test match and the series in India for the first time in 27 years.

His deliveries to remove both Clarke and Ponting in the Adelaide test of 2010/11 also call for special mention because they helped England win the test and win The Ashes down under in Australia for the first time since 1986/87.

He is without a doubt one of England’s greatest ever bowlers and perhaps their greatest ever.


Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad has taken the second most wickets in test matches for England as of 2020.
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 08: Stuart Broad of England clebrates winning the Ashes during day three of the 4th Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Trent Bridge on August 8, 2015 in Nottingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The baby-faced assassin.

Stuart Broad‘s partnership with Jimmy Anderson is arguably England’s greatest test bowling partnership of all-time. He has played 138 test matches and interestingly scored over 3000 runs for England, including a career-best score of 169 against Pakistan at Lords in 2010.

Broad has taken 485 test wickets in 138 test matches for England. This includes 21 four-wicket hauls and 17 five-wicket hauls. Plus, he has 2 ten-wicket hauls. His economy rate is only 2.95 – meaning he is economical.

Best Bowling Spell

Stuart Broad is synonymous for the 8-15 he took against Australia at Trent Bridge in 2015. Jimmy Anderson missed that test match through injury but Broad stepped up to help England regain The Ashes in 2015. He helped bowled Australia out for just 60 in their first innings.

Also, Read – Top 5 run-scorers for England in Test Matches


Ian Botham – All-Rounder with most wickets in test

Ian Botham bowling for England vs West Indies 1991
Ian Botham bowling for England during the 1st Texaco Trophy One Day International between England and West Indies at Edgbaston, Birmingham, 23rd May 1991. The batsman for West Indies is Viv Richards and the umpire is Mervyn Kitchen. England won the match by 1 wicket. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

The only All-Rounder on this list.

Ian Botham was such a special player for England that he scored over 5000 test runs and still manages to feature on this list. He has taken the third most wickets in test matches for England Cricket. He was often known for dismissing top-quality batsman with poor deliveries.

Ian Botham took 383 test match wickets in 102 games. His bowling average is a very respectable 28.40. His economy rate of 2.99 is also very strong. He took 17 four-wicket hauls and 27 five-wicket hauls. Ian Botham often saved his best cricket for The Ashes and has a terrific record against Australia.

Best Bowling Spell

Ian Botham took 5-1 in a single spell against Australia at Edgbaston in 1981. That entire Ashes series is now known as “Botham’s Ashes” due to his heroics in that specific series. In his prime, he was a brilliant fast bowler who could move the ball both ways.

England’s greatest ever all-rounder.


Bob Willis

Bob Willis bowling for EnglBob Willis bowling for England in 1978 vs New Zealand
Bob Willis bowling for England during the 3rd Test match between England and New Zealand at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, 24th August 1978. The umpire is Barrie Meyer. England won the match by 7 wickets. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Headingley Hero.

Ian Botham is widely known for his 149* against Australia in the 1981 Ashes test match. However, Bob Willis took 8-43 in Australia’s second innings to complete the famous turn-around.

Bob Willis played 90 test matches for England and took 325 wickets. His bowling average is a very good 25.20. His economy rate of 2.83 also outlines his ability to contain batsmen. Bob Willis picked up 12 four-wicket hauls and 16 five-wicket hauls.

Best Bowling Spell

Definitely the 8-43 against Australia. England had odds of 500-1 to win the test match when Ian Botham started batting. By the time Bob Willis had bowled Australia out, the miracle was complete.


Fred Trueman

Fred Trueman bowling for Yorkshire 1965
Fred Trueman preparing to bowl for Yorkshire during the County Championship match between Yorkshire and Middlesex at North Marine Road, Scarborough, 21st July 1965. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Fiery Fred.

Fred Trueman has the best bowling average for any England bowler on this list. He played 67 test matches and picked up 307 wickets at a bowling average of 21.57. His economy rate of 2.61 is also the best on this list.

Trueman picked up 19 four-wicket hauls and 17 five-wicket hauls. Also, he has 3 10-wicket hauls. He was perhaps England’s second greatest fast bowler ever – only behind James Anderson.

Best Bowling Spell

He reduced India to 0-4 on his test debut and also picked up 8-31 against the same opposition in his third game against them. A fast bowler with pace and tenacity, he also formed a fantastic bowling partnership with Brian Statham.

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