Most Test Match Wickets For Australia – The Top 5

Shane Warne and Glenn Mcgrath have the most test match wickets for Australia till date

Most Test Match Wickets – The Legends

Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon. Australia is currently blessed to have such a lethal bowling attack. It is likely that all four could make the “most test match wickets for Australia list” by the time they finish playing. Do any of them currently make the list though?

Australia has had some excellent bowlers during its rich history of cricket. Statistically, they are the most successful test match side.

Australia’s win percentage in test matches is 47.34% – comfortably higher than second-placed South Africa, who have a win percentage of 37.58 ( minimum 100 test matches)

But who makes Australia’s list of top 5 highest wicket-takers in tests? 

Shane Warne

Shane Warne has taken the most test match wickets for Australia
Shane Warne of Australia appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of West Indies batsman Carl Hooper during the 5th Test match between Australia and West indies at the WACA, Perth, 2nd February 1997. The wicketkeeper for Australia is Ian Healy. West Indies won the match by 10 wickets. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

The greatest spinner of all time.

Shane Warne played 145 test matches for Australia and took 708 test match wickets. He has taken the most Test match wickets for Australia in their cricketing history. He was an incredibly accurate bowler for a leg-spinner and could bowl in the same area ball after ball. Warne was voted as one of the top 5 cricketers of the 20th century by Wisden in 2000.

His greatest strength apart from his accuracy was his ability to play on batsmen’s minds. Batsmen often admitted that they were playing the man ( Shane Warne) instead of the ball against him. Shane Warne was an amazing character as well and could lift other players to perform much better then they were doing.

His variations were often difficult to pick. His flipper was described by Geoffery Boycott as “a magic ball” and deceived many batsmen through the air and off the pitch. He also had a superb slider and googly.

Best Bowling Spell

  • 8-71 vs England at Brisbane in 1994. The first test of the series in the 1994/95 Ashes. Warne helped Australia win the test match by 184 runs and they went on to win the series.

Glenn McGrath

Glenn Mcgrath has taken the most test match wickets by a fast bowler for Australia
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA: Australian paceman Glenn McGrath (C) is congratulated by teammates Simon Katich (L) and Michael Hussey (R) after dismissing West Indian opener Chris Gayle on the second day of the first test match at the Gabba, in Brisbane, 04 November 2005. Australia scored 435 in their first innings and in reply, West Indies is currently 76-2. AFP PHOTO/William WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

Glenn McGrath is Australia’s most successful fast bowler of all time statistically. He was a superb bowler who took 563 test wickets in 124 test matches for Australia. McGrath made his test debut against New Zealand in 1993 and retired against England in 2007.

He was incredibly accurate as well and made it very difficult for opening batsmen to leave his deliveries. McGrath was also able to extract subtle seam and swing movement which made him deadly on any surfaces. His record all over the world is very strong and he performed very well on the subcontinent as well.

He has the most test match wickets for an Australian fast bowler.

Also, Read – Most Test Match Wickets in Asia By Overseas Fast Bowlers

Best Bowling Spell

  • 8-24 vs Pakistan at the WACA in 2004. Australia won the test match by a mammoth 491 runs.

Nathan Lyon – Most Test Match Wickets By A Current Australian Bowler

Nathan Lyon celebrates taking a wicket in the 2019 Ashes
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 05: Australia bowler Nathan Lyon in action during the fifth day of the 1st Test match between England and Australia at Edgbaston on August 05, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Nathan Lyon is Australia’s most successful off-spin bowler of all time. Despite having few variations, he has managed to build a highly successful test match career for Australia. He has taken 390 wickets in 96 games. His bowling average of 31.58 is very respectable for a spinner in his era – especially given he plays most of his games in Australia.

He has performed exceedingly well all over the world and especially in the subcontinent. His bowling average in India is superior to Shane Warne and he has often troubled the Indian batsmen with his flight and guile.

Lyon forms an integral part of Australia’s current bowling attack. He bowls tightly from one end on the first few days of a test match, allowing the captain to rotate the quick bowlers from the other end. He then comes into his own on days 4 and 5.

Lyon has the most test match wickets by a modern-day bowler, eclipsing Mitchell Johnson by 77.

Also, Read – Picking Australia’s Greatest ODI XI

Best Bowling Spell

  • 8-50 vs India at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2017. On a turning track, he helped bundle out India in a thrilling test match.

Dennis Lillee

Dennis Lille is one of Australia best bowlers of all-time
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 12: Australia bowler Dennis Lillee in action as non striking England batsman Chris Tavare looks on during the opening day of the 1982/83 Ashes series at the WACCA on November 12, 1982 in Perth, Australia. (Photo Allsport/Getty Images)

The legendary DK Lillee.

Dennis Lilee formed a brilliant fast-bowling partnership in the 1970s and 1980s with fellow Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson. They could both bowl upwards of 90 miles per hour and destroy batting line-ups. He began as a tearaway quick but soon focused on bowling line and length and could occasionally ramp up his speed.

Ian Botham describes him as “the greatest fast bowler ever”. In 70 test matches for Australia, he picked up 355 wickets at an average of 23.92. Lilee also took 23 four-wicket hauls, 23 five-wicket hauls and 7 10 wicket-hauls. He was named in both Australia’s test team of the century and the hall of fame.

Dennis Lillee had taken the most test match wickets for Australia comfortably when he retired from test matches. In fact, he was the leading wicket-taker in the world, until he was eclipsed by Ian Botham.

Best Bowling Spell

  • 7-83 vs the West Indies at the MCG in 1981. Australia defeated perhaps one of the strongest West Indies sides ever in that test match by 58 runs.

Mitchell Johnson – Most Test Match Wickets By An Australian left-armer

Mitchell Johnson bowls in the 2015 Ashes series
Mitchell Johnson of Australia bowls to Ian Bell of England during the 2nd Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, 19th July 2015. The umpire is Kumar Dharmasena. Australia won the match by 405 runs. (Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Mitchell Johnson was described by Dennis Lilee as “A once in a generation talent”. His career did not always live up to this billing – especially in the subcontinent but during various times in his Test career, he was a force.

He had one of the best bouncers in the game and caused problems to many batsmen during his time. His performance in the 2013/14 Ashes series in Australia is perhaps one of the greatest ever. He took 40 test match wickets in that series against England and paved the way for Australia to win the series 5-0.

Mitchell Johnson has the most test match wickets for any left-arm bowler to have ever played for Australia. He has taken 313 wickets in just 73 matches.

Best Bowling Spell

  • 8-61 vs South Africa at the WACA in 2008. Despite this, South Africa won the test match and the series to record their first-ever test series win in Australia post-re-admission.

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