HomeSportsCricketThe Fastest Routes to 500 Test Wickets in Cricket History: Milestone Achieved
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The Fastest Routes to 500 Test Wickets in Cricket History: Milestone Achieved

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In the oldest and most respected form of cricket, called test cricket, only a handful of bowlers have reached the milestone of taking over 500 wickets in their careers. Throughout the history of test cricket, just nine bowlers have accomplished this feat, with four being fast bowlers and four being spinners. Among these bowlers, three are from Australia, two each from England and India, and one each from Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

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Shane Warne, a legendary Australian cricketer, was the first to achieve the milestone of 500 test wickets on March 8, 2004. Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka followed suit just eight days later, on March 16, 2004. But who managed to reach this milestone in the fewest number of matches?

Let’s delve into the list of the top nine bowlers who reached 500 test wickets in the shortest span of matches.

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Bowlers to Reach 500 Test Wickets the Fastest

Sr.no Player  Country  Matches 
1 Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka  87
2 Ravichandran Ashwin India  98
3 Anil Kumble India  105
4 Shane Warne Australia  108
5 Glenn McGrath Australia  110
6 Nathan Lyon  Australia  123
7 Courtney Walsh Windies  129
8 James Anderson England  129
9 Stuart Broad England  140

Muttiah Muralitharan (87 matches)

Muttiah Muralitharan - The Fastest Routes to 500 Test Wickets in Cricket History | KreedOn
Image Source: The Independent

Muttiah Muralitharan, a skilled spinner, achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the fastest bowler ever to reach 500 test wickets. It took him only 87 test matches to accomplish this, a milestone that seems almost impossible for others to match. He reached this milestone during a match against Australia in Kandy in 2004, nearly 12 years after making his test debut against the same team in Colombo in 1992. Muralitharan is not only the quickest to 500 wickets but also the highest wicket-taker in test cricket history, with a staggering 800 wickets in 133 games. His achievements in the world of cricket are truly outstanding.


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Ravichandran Ashwin (98 matches)

Ravichandran Ashwin - The Fastest Routes to 500 Test Wickets in Cricket History | KreedOn
Image Source: erojunews.com

On February 16, 2024, Ravichandran Ashwin achieved a remarkable milestone in cricket. He became only the ninth bowler ever to reach the prestigious 500-wicket mark in test cricket. This historic moment occurred during the third match of the five-match test series between India and England in Rajkot, when Ashwin dismissed Zak Crawley to claim his 500th wicket. Ashwin’s achievement makes him the second Indian bowler to achieve this feat in Test cricket. What’s even more impressive is that Ravichandran Ashwin accomplished this milestone in just 98 matches, making him the second fastest bowler in history to reach 500 test wickets and the fastest among Indian bowlers.

Anil Kumble (105 matches)

Anil Kumble - The Fastest Routes to 500 Test Wickets in Cricket History | KreedOn
Image Source: sportscraazy.com

Affectionately called “Jumbo,” Anil Kumble is still India’s top wicket-taker in test cricket, with a whopping 619 wickets under his belt. He achieved a remarkable feat in 2006 by becoming the third spinner and fifth bowler overall to reach 500 wickets in test cricket. His 500th wicket came during a match against England in Mohali, marking his 105th career match. Kumble made his test debut against England at Old Trafford in 1990 and continued to play for India until 2008, appearing in a total of 132 matches. He was widely regarded as one of India’s greatest match-winners in the longest format of the game.

Shane Warne (108 matches)

Shane Warne - The Fastest Routes to 500 Test Wickets in Cricket History | KreedOn
Image Source: caughtatpoint.com

Shane Warne was the first spin bowler ever to get more than 500 wickets in Test cricket matches. Even though he played most of his games on hard and bouncy Australian pitches, Warne was really good at getting wickets with his amazing leg-spin. He reached his 500th wicket milestone in his 108th game against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2004. In total, Warne ended his career with 708 wickets in 145 games. He started playing Test cricket against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1992. Sadly, Warne passed away in March 2022, when he was 52 years old.

Glenn McGrath (110 matches)

Glenn McGrath | KreedOn
Image Source: bharatstories.com

Glenn McGrath was a famous cricket player known for being really good at throwing the ball fast and accurately. He played for Australia in test cricket, which is a kind of long cricket match. He was very tall—1.95 meters! Because he was tall and good at aiming, he managed to get 563 players out during his career in 124 games. One of his most special moments was when he got his 500th player out during an important game against England in 2005. It took him 110 games to achieve this. He started playing test cricket in 1993 against New Zealand in Perth.


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Nathan Lyon (123 matches)

Nathan Lyon - The Fastest Routes to 500 Test Wickets in Cricket History | KreedOn
Image Source: The Cricket Lounge

Nathan Lyon, an Australian cricketer, started his career as a groundman and worked his way up to become an amazing off-spinner. He recently achieved a remarkable milestone by becoming the eighth bowler in cricket history to take 500 wickets in test matches. Lyon reached this milestone during a match against Pakistan at Optus Stadium in Perth on December 14, 2023. It took him 123 test matches to achieve this feat. Lyon began his test cricket journey in 2011 against Sri Lanka in Galle. He is now the third Australian bowler to achieve the impressive feat of taking more than 500 test wickets.

Courtney Walsh (129 matches)

Courtney Walsh | KreedOn
Image Source: statsensei.com

Courtney Walsh, a fast bowler from the West Indies, became the first bowler ever to take 500 or more wickets in test cricket. He reached this milestone during a match against South Africa in Port of Spain in 2001. It took him 129 matches to achieve this feat in test cricket, which is the longest format of the game. Throughout his test career, spanning from 1984 to 2001, Walsh played 132 matches for the West Indies and took a total of 519 wickets.

James Anderson (129 matches)

James Anderson | KreedOn
Image Source: Hindustan Times

James Anderson, a famous fast bowler, ranks third in terms of the most wickets taken in test cricket matches. Over his career of more than 21 years, he has been really good at getting players out for the English team. In September 2017, he became only the sixth bowler ever and the third fast bowler to reach 500 wickets in test cricket. He achieved this milestone during a match against the West Indies at Lord’s on September 7th, 2017. It took him 129 matches to reach this mark. Anderson started his test career against Zimbabwe in 2003 at Lord’s.

Stuart Broad (140 matches)

Stuart Broad 500 Test Wickets | KreedOn
Image Source: crickyupdates.com

Stuart Broad started playing test cricket for England in 2007 against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Throughout his career, spanning from 2007 to 2023, he played a total of 167 test matches. During this time, he took an impressive 604 wickets for his country. In 2020, Broad achieved a significant milestone by becoming the seventh bowler in history to reach 500 test wickets. It took him 140 matches to accomplish this feat, and he achieved it against the West Indies at Old Trafford in July 2020. After watching the Ashes series at home in 2023, Stuart Broad decided to retire from international.


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