Every cricketer’s dream is to play Test cricket for his country and perform well for his country. Everybody doesn’t get that opportunity as playing Test cricket at the highest level is not an easy task. Talking about representing their country and performing well, recently, India’s R Ashwin reached the milestone of 400 Test wickets. Picking up 400 Test wickets for your country is a huge achievement and very few bowlers have managed to do that.
Only three Indians apart from R Ashwin have reached the milestone of 400 Test wickets and Ashwin is the 16th bowler in the world to reach this milestone. But one thing which everybody would love to look at is who is the fastest to this milestone? Is Ashwin the fastest to 400 Test wickets? So, let’s have a look at five bowlers who were the fastest to 400 Test wickets.
5. Rangana Herath – 84 Tests
Rangana Herath is one of those bowlers who didn’t get many opportunities due to the presence of mighty Muttiah Muralitharan. Having said that he blossomed ins his career after his retirement and he took his game to a different level after that. Herath is the only left-arm spinner to reach this milestone and he has done it in just 84 Tests.
Herath who is one of the finest spinners to have played the game retired with 433 Test wickets and 34 five-wicket-hauls in just 93 Tests. His consistency with the ball was at a different level and that has helped him get so many wickets.
4. Dale Steyn – 80 Tests
Dale Steyn who is probably the best fast bowler of this generation reached the milestone of 400 Test wickets in just 80 Tests. Despite all the injuries and setbacks, he never gave up and finished his Test career with 439 wickets in 93 Tests at an average of 22.95 and a staggering strike-rate of 42.3
Very few fast bowlers have a strike-rate less than 50 and Steyn is one of them. Steyn has 26 five-wicket-hauls to his name. Anybody who can swing the ball at that speed is going to be dangerous and Steyn was really dangerous at his prime.
3. Sir Richard Hadlee – 80 Tests
Sir Richard Hadlee is tied with Dale Steyn at 80 Test matches. Sir Hadlee who played 86 Test matches picked up 431 Test wickets at an average of 22.29 and a strike-rate of 50.8. He has 36 five-wicket-hauls to his name.
He was also a good batsman and one of the finest all-rounders to have played the game. The right-arm fast bowler from New Zealand was not only the first Kiwi bowler but he was also the first bowler in the world to reach the milestone of 400 Test wickets.
2. Ravichandran Ashwin – 77 Tests
The Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is the latest player to reach this milestone and he is also the second quickest as he got there in just 77 Test matches. Ashwin has 401 Test wickets at an average of 24.95 with 29 five-wicket hauls to his name.
Ashwin took a five-wicket haul on his Test debut and since then he hasn’t looked back. He is India’s premier off-spinner in the longest format and has won many matches for India. He still has a lot of cricket left in him and he is on his way to breaking many more records in his Test career.
1. Muttiah Muralitharan – 72 Tests
The might Muttiah Muralitharan is the fastest to 400 Test wickets as he reached the milestone in just 72 Test matches. The Sri Lankan off-spinner finished his Test career with 800 Test wickets in just 133 Test matches at an average of 22.72 and a strike-rate of 55.
He has 67 five-wicket-hauls to his name which is the most in Test cricket. Picking up 800 Test wickets is an unimaginable task for most bowlers and it is a huge achievement from the Sri Lankan off-spinner to reach the milestone. There is no doubt that Muttiah Muralitharan is the finest off-spinner to have played the game.