Unveiling the Best Bowling Figures in Test Cricket History


The bowler is an important player in the game of cricket. In the test format of the game, the bowler is responsible for bowling over a set number of deliveries to the batsman. The best bowlers in test cricket can take wickets quickly, and often play a crucial role in their team’s victory.

Here is a list of the best bowling figures in Test Cricket history according to recent cricket news.

Introduction to Test Cricket and Bowling Figures

Test Cricket is often considered the pinnacle of the sport of cricket. It is the longest form of the sport, played over five days, and is seen as a true test of a player’s ability.

In Test Cricket, the bowler is allowed to bowl a maximum of 120 overs (60 maidens) and must bowl at least one over. The bowler’s figures are the total number of runs conceded from all the overs bowled, with wickets (batsmen dismissed) and maidens (overs where no runs are scored) deducted.

This list takes into account all bowlers who have bowled at least 50 overs in Test Cricket.

CL Walcott’s Historic 14 for 99 Against England in 1957

CL Walcott’s figure of 14 for 99 against England in 1957 is the best bowling figure in Test Cricket history.

Walcott’s record is all the more impressive when you consider that it was set at the Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds, England—a notoriously difficult batting venue. His figures are also the second-highest innings return in Test Cricket history.

Jim Laker’s Unforgettable 19 for 90 at Old Trafford

Jim Laker is perhaps the most famous offspinner in Test cricket history. And his record-breaking bowling performance at Old Trafford in 1956 is still talked about to this day.

Laker took 19 wickets for 90 runs, which is still the best bowling figure in Test cricket history. His astonishing performance helped England win the match by an inning and 149 runs, and gave him a place in the record books.

Muttiah Muralitharan’s Brilliant 8 for 70 at the Oval

At number three on the list is Muttiah Muralitharan’s impressive 8 for 70 against England at The Oval. The Sri Lankan off-spinner produced a magical performance in the final Test match of the 1998 series, taking eight wickets for just 70 runs in 32.5 overs. He bowled with immense accuracy and skill to dismiss the likes of Michael Atherton, Alec Stewart, and Nasser Hussain. After his brilliant performance, Sri Lanka won that match by 126 runs, thus winning their first series against England. It was an unforgettable moment, as Muralitharan was ordained as one of cricket’s best-ever spinners.

Imran Khan’s Inspired 8 for 58 Versus Australia in Melbourne

Next, let’s take a look at one of the most inspiring bowling performances in Test cricket history – Imran Khan’s 8 for 58 against Australia in Melbourne. Khan, who was playing for Pakistan at the time, single-handedly turned the match around and completely shattered Australia’s batting line-up. He took all eight wickets in just 22.2 overs, and ended up with an incredible economy rate of 2.60 runs per over! This is not only one of the best bowling figures ever recorded in Test cricket, but it was also a major factor in delivering a big win for Pakistan that day.

The great Imran Khan also has the distinction of being one of the few bowlers to ever take a Test match hat-trick as three of his victims were bowled. This was one of the most inspiring feats ever witnessed in Test cricket and it proved that even a single individual can heavily influence the outcome of a match. The performance was even more impressive considering that Australia had scored a massive 574 runs in the first innings of the match, which made a Pakistani victory seem highly unlikely. Imran Khan proved them all wrong, though, and delivered a brilliant performance that will always be remembered in cricketing history.

Richard Hadlee’s Remarkable 9 for 52 Versus Australia

Coming in at number six on our list is New Zealand’s Richard Hadlee, with his remarkable 9 for 52 against Australia in 1985. This record-breaking performance was one of the most prolific bowling displays in Test cricket history. Hadlee bowled with pinpoint accuracy, consistently targeting the stumps and deceiving the batsmen with his variation in line and length.

His performance set a new mark for wickets taken by a bowler in a single inning and remained unbeaten for 34 years. He also became only the second person to take nine wickets in a single match—a feat that has since been accomplished by 18 other bowlers. To this day, Hadlee is widely considered one of the greatest bowlers ever to have stepped onto the pitch.

Shane Warne’s Maiden 10 Wicket Haul Against Pakistan

Shane Warne’s place in the all-time greats of the sport is assured, and his spell against Pakistan at the MCG in 1999 is nothing short of legendary. On a surface offering some assistance to spinners, Warne bowled a staggering 68.2 overs, taking an amazing 10 wickets for just 132 runs. His performance included two five-wicket hauls—7/94 and 3/38—as he became just the 10th player in history to take ten wickets in a single inning. He ended Pakistan’s first innings with 7 for 94 and then took 3 for 38 as Pakistan was bowled out twice on the same day.

It was also Warne’s first ten-wicket haul in Tests, and definitely, one of his most memorable performances as it helped Australia win by an inning and 99 runs. A truly heroic effort from one of cricket’s greatest bowlers!


In compiling this list of the top ten bowlers in Test cricket history, we have considered only those players who have taken 100 or more wickets. This is to ensure that only the greatest of bowlers are featured in this list.

We have used the wicket-taking average as the main criterion for ranking the players. This statistic takes into account the number of wickets taken per innings bowled.