Picking 500 wickets in Test cricket is one of the greatest achievements for a bowler in the longest form of the game. Such an effort requires longevity, followed along with dedication, and the motivation to do better in the red-ball game. Test cricket, as the name suggests, is indeed the most testing format in the game. The fact that only seven players in the history of Test cricket have managed to breach the 500-wickets mark, is enough an indication for the amount of special skill required to achieve this feat at the highest level.
Stuart Broad, who recently became only the seventh bowler to claim 500 wickets in Test cricket, was also the second Englishmen after teammate James Anderson, to achieve this spectacular feat. However, for someone like Broad, he didn’t have the easiest of starts to his international career. He was pummeled by Yuvraj Singh for 6 sixes in an over in the 2007 T20 World Cup. However, his ability to put aside an awful outing and still play 140 Tests for England, speaks volumes of his calibre, dedication and love for Test cricket.
With Stuart Brad being the latest entrant in the 500-wickets club, we take a look at 5 bowlers from the modern era who can claim 500 wickets in Test cricket:
1. Nathan Lyon (Australia)
With 390 wickets from 96 matches, still only aged 32, it is safe to say that Nathan Lyon will one day capture his 500th Test scalp for Australia. Since 2017, Nathan Lyon has taken 167 wickets and it won’t be a surprise if Lyon is the next player to join the 500-wickets club in the upcoming few years.
Alongside Ashwin and Rangana Herath, he has been the most successful spinner in the past decade. Given the tough conditions to bowl in Australia, Lyon has still managed to carve out a special mention for himself in the Test history of Australian cricket. If Lyon can continue to replicate his success over the next few years, he might well be in contention to go past the magical figure of 500 Test wickets.
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2. Ravichandran Ashwin (India)
An astute thinker of the game, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin became fastest to reach 350 Test wickets no so long ago. He has been incredible in this past decade ending up as the most successful bowler across formats. With 365 Test wickets in just 71 games for India, Ashwin is on his way to emulate the legendary Anil Kumble.
Being a Test specialist and with age on his side, the Indian off-spinner is one of the most promising bowlers who can claim the elusive 500-wickets in Test cricket for India.
3. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
At just 25, Kagiso Rabada is already one of the leading pacers of the modern era. Ever since his debut in 2015, Kagiso Rabada has been one of the most exciting prospects to watch out for. And unsurprisingly, Rabada has delivered to emerge as the spearhead of the Proteas’ fast-bowling attack.
Having already taken close to 200 wickets (197) at such a young age, he may very well be the next fast bowler to breach the 500 wickets barrier in Test cricket. If Rabada can continue to remain fit and injury-free, he will surely be the player to watch out for to achieve this milestone.
4. Pat Cummins (Australia)
Since 2018, Pat Cummins has taken 107 Test wickets which is by far the most for any bowler during the same time span. Ever since making his comeback from injury in 2017, Pat Cummins has been at the peak of his powers. Being the No.1 ranked bowler in the ICC Test match rankings, Cummins has times and again proved his worth as the leader of the pack for Australia. He may have taken only taken 143 wickets so far in his Test career but is better than ever.
Having just turned 27, Cummins has more years of top-level cricket left in him, provided he remains injury-free. It will very heartening to see two of the best fast bowlers in the current (him and Rabada) era going past the 500 Test wickets tally in the near future.
5. Trent Boult (New Zealand)
Trent Boult has been one of the best left-arm pacers in this past decade. He has delivered many match-winning spells for New Zealand. In 67 Tests for Blackcaps, Boult has taken 267 wickets at an average of 27. At 31, he may not be as young as the other two pacers in this list but is the fittest and most injury-free of the trio.
So it might not be surprising to see if Trent Boult does a James Anderson (prolonging career) in near future and takes wicket for fun.