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5 Bowlers to take the most number of wickets in a single ODI series

The history of cricket has seen a diverse range of bowlers possessing different actions, speeds and delivery strides. Inspite of visible differences among them, they conjured a similar success throughout their long international career and set a benchmark for the younger generation to emulate. Their consistent performances over an extended period of time is still a mystery for many to unravel, especially considering how the game is shifting in the favour of the batsmen. If someone manages to decode their mantra for success, the disparity which has now arisen between the two departments can be reduced and brought to equilibrium. Bowlers had done exceedingly well in the ODI series with most wickets.

These legendary bowlers have made their way into record books of cricket and the categories which they feature in are endless. One such category includes taking the most number of wickets in a single series and providing the requisite psychological edge to their respective sides. While many such performances resulted in a series win for the side, there were few which couldn’t assist the team in going the distance and the player had to satisfy with the individual glory. That, however, doesn’t take the credit away from the player, who had put his best foot forward in the interest of the team. In the below piece, we look at 5 such bowlers, who took the most number of wickets in a single ODI series:

1. Glenn McGrath (27)

Known for his immaculate lines and lengths, McGrath attains the top spot in this list after delivering the performance of his life in the Carlton and United Series, 1998/99. The lanky seamer picked 27 wickets from 11 games at an average of 15.62 and an economy rate of 4.16 during the series.

His best performance in the series came against Sri Lanka during the 9th game at Adelaide in 1999. Batting first, Australia posted a decent total of 270 on the board, owing to contributions of 57(68) by Mark Waugh and 41(36) by Gilchrist. Vaas was the pick of the bowler for the visitors with a spell of 3-63.

The target was a tricky one and McGrath owing to his destructive spell of 5-40, added to the woes of the Lankans, who were bowled out for 190 in 41.4 overs and handed the hosts a victory by 80 runs.

2. Mitchell Starc (27)

A menacing left-arm quick from Australia, Starc achieved the feat during the ICC World Cup, 2019 in England. The speedster got rid of 27 batsmen from 10 games at an average of 18.59 and economy rate of 5.43.

His best spell in the tournament came against arch-rivals Kiwis during the 37th game at Lord’s, London. Having chosen to bat first, Australia posted a below-par total of 243-9 in their 50 overs where Khawaja and Carey slammed useful knocks of 88(129) and 71(72) respectively while Boult as usual was effective for the Kiwis with a spell of 4-51.

Both Williamson and Taylor with their respective knocks of 40(51) and 30(54) tried to hang around for the side and get them close, but, unfortunately, were restricted from doing so as Starc wreaked havoc with his spell of 5-26 and assisted Australia in clinching the encounter by a massive margin of 86 runs.

3. Glenn McGrath (26)

Yet again, McGrath features in this illustrious list but for a performance pulled off during the ICC World Cup, 2007 in the West Indies. The swing sensation scalped 26 wickets from 11 games at an average of 13.73 and an economy rate of 4.41 during the tournament.

His most memorable spell in the tournament came against Bangladesh during the 29th game at Antigua, as a part of the Super Eight fixtures. In a rain-curtailed encounter, Bangladesh managed 104-6 in allotted 22 overs, where McGrath worked his magic with the ball, finishing with figures of 3-16.

Australia had no trouble whatsoever in chasing the total down as they accomplished the target by 10 wickets and 49 balls to spare on the back of aggressive innings of 59(44) by Gilchrist and 47(39) by Hayden.

4. Dennis Lillee (25)

One of the fastest bowlers of his generation, Lillee hit a purple patch during the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup, 1980/81. The bowling machine accounted for 25 batsmen from 14 games at an average of 14.64 and an economy rate of 3.05.

His most effective spell came against India during the 13th match of the series at Sydney in 1981. Put in to bat first, the hosts posted a competitive total of 242-8 in their 50 overs, courtesy innings of 85(131) by Border. Patil turned out to be a surprise revelation for India with figures of 2-34.

India definitely possessed the resources to chase the total down in the opposition backyard but Lillee with his frightening spell of 4-32, made sure that it didn’t happen as India were restricted to 215-8 in their 50 overs, losing the contest by a convincing margin of 27 runs.

5. Joel Garner (24)

A tall, fiery pacer from the Windies, Garner bounced the batsmen off during the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup, 1981/82. He picked 24 wickets from 14 games at an average of 15.54 and an economy rate of 3.08.

His most demolishing spell came against hosts Australia during the 14th game of the series at Brisbane in 1982. Australia while batting first, could only manage 185-9 in their 40 overs, where Greg Chappell saved a day for them with a knock of 61(43) while Garner was the chief destroyer for the Windies with figures of 4-45.

Winning against Australia in their own backyard is always a daunting task but Windies were certainly up to the challenge this time around as they chased it down by 5 wickets and 8 balls to spare, courtesy knocks of 56(84) by Gomes and 30(28) by Lloyd.

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