India’s Finest in World Cup History: Unveiling the Top 5 Wicket-takers in Indian Cricket Team

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Zaheer Khan leads the list with an impressive tally of 44 wickets across 3 ODI World Cup editions. We take a look at the top 5 Indian wicket-takers in the history of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup.


‘Runs win you matches, bowlers win you titles’ is a widely used adage in cricketing circles. And it will be no different this time when India hosts the 2023 ODI World Cup and will look at the galaxy of stars the team boasts of.

However, in this article we won’t be focussing on the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj. Today, we are taking a look at the top 5 wicket takers for India in the history of ODI World Cups who have shone in the biggest stage of the game.

Zaheer Khan – 44 wickets (2003-2011)

‘Zak’ was the leader of the Indian fast-bowling pack in the mid 2000s, taking over from Javagal Srinath. It is only poetic that the left-handed fast bowler leads this list alongside Srinath. Zaheer Khan picked up 44 wickets across 3 World Cup editions with his best figures coming against New Zealand in the 2003 edition, his debut in ODI World Cups.

  • ODI WC Record: Innings: 23, Wickets: 44, Best Figures: 4/42, Average: 20.22, Economy Rate: 4.47

Javagal Srinath – 44 wickets (1992-2003)

One of India’s fastest-ever bowlers, Javagal Srinath heralded a period of awakening for pace bowling in the country after Kapil Dev’s swing had fired popular imagination. And when he retired from international cricket after 11 years in 2003, Srinath was second only to Kapil in the number of Test wickets by an Indian paceman.

His ODI World Cup record is just as impressive, having snapped 44 scalps across 4 editions. The right-handed quick from Mysuru’s best figures came in his swansong appearance in World Cups, when he snapped 4/30 against the Netherlands in 2003.

  • ODI WC Record: Innings: 34, Wickets: 44, Best Figures: 4/30, Average: 27.81, Economy Rate: 4.32

Mohammed Shami – 31 wickets (2015-2019)

Mohammed Shami was India’s leading fast bowler in the 2015 World Cup in Australia, which India lost in the semifinals against the eventual champions Australia. Shami’s strengths lie in the pace he can generate while also maintaining accuracy. The right-hand fast bowler’s skill in moving the ball – both old and new – is what makes him special. He will be key to India’s chances at this year’s ODI World Cup.

  • ODI WC Record: Innings: 11, Wickets: 31, Best Figures: 5/69, Average: 15.70, Economy Rate: 5.06

Anil Kumble – 31 wickets (1996-2007)

One of India’s greatest match winners in Test cricket, Anil Kumble is one of the most underrated bowlers in white ball cricket for India. The leggie is the only spinner on the list and although his career in white ball cricket pales in comparison to his legendary status in Test cricket, he can still boast a bag full of wickets he picked across 4 editions.

  • ODI WC Record: Innings: 18, Wickets: 31, Best Figures: 4/32, Average: 22.83, Economy Rate: 4.08

Kapil Dev – 28 wickets (1979-1992)

The legendary Kapil Dev wraps up this list. The iconic fast-bowling all-rounder needs no introduction as India’s ‘Cricketer of the Century’ inspired an entire generation of cricketers when he lifted the ODI World Cup trophy at the Lord’s balcony in 1983.

Dev represented India in 4 World Cup editions

  • ODI WC Record: Innings: 25, Wickets: 28, Best Figures: 5/43, Average: 31.85, Economy Rate: 3.76

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