Top 5 Bowlers fastest to 50 ODI wickets

These 5 bowlers took the least amount of matches to reach 50 wickets in ODIs.

Ajit Agarkar reached 50 ODI wickets in just 182 days post his debut in 1998 | Getty

Initially, bowlers in ODI matches used to be on the top, thanks to no restrictions on field placings, no limit on bouncers in an over and overall slow pace of the game. As the game evolved, bowlers started to get emasculated, as the powers of the game gave viewers what they wanted, big sixes and longer batting innings.

Bowlers kept getting hit from right and left, as field restrictions, two new balls from each end and restrictions on bouncers with smaller boundaries means that batsmen have been scoring at their will. But bowlers have also had some success, with some bowlers creating records of fastest to reach a certain milestone, getting an upper hand on batsmen.

We bring to you, the top 5 bowlers who took least amount of matches to reach 50 wickets in ODI cricket.


SHANE WARNE (AUS) - 25 matches

Shane Warne reached the 50 wicket mark in 25 ODIs | Getty

Shane Warne made his ODI debut in March 1993 against New Zealand and picked up two wickets of Andrew Jones and Jeff Wilson. Warne took 1 year and 173 days to take his 50th wicket in his 25th ODI in the Singer World series in 1994 at Colombo.

Shane Warne is often credited with reviving the skill and art of leg spin in limited overs cricket. Warne is often known as the first bowler to take 700 wickets in Tests, but even in ODIs, he took 293 wickets in 194 ODIs. His ODI career came to an end in 2003, just before the World Cup in South Africa, as he was banned for doping and was handed a one year ban. Warne, instead, decided to retire from the format.

DENNIS LILLEE (AUS) - 24 matches

Dennis Lillee took the first 5-fer in ODI cricket | Getty

Dennis Lillee is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers ever to play the game. He was someone who would not only dominated with the ball, but would also play mind games with the batsmen via intimidation.

Lillee was the first bowler in One Day cricket to take a five wicket haul. He was also the first bowler to hold the record for most wickets in ODIs and Tests at the same time at the time of his retirement. However, in an era, where ODIs were rarely played, Lillee took his 50th ODI wicket in just 24 matches, but it took him a total of 8 years and 116 days to do it.

Lillee made his ODI debut on 24 August 1972 and took his 50th ODI wicket on 18th Dec, 1980.

MITCHELL MCCLENAGHAN (NZ) – 23 matchesMitchell McClenaghan took his 50th ODI wicket in his 23rd match | Getty

New Zealand’s left arm quick Mitchell McClenaghan features in this list, as he took his 50th ODI wicket in his 23rd match. 31 year old McClenaghan, recently gave up his New Zealand contract in order to free himself for T20 league cricket all around the world. He has played 48 ODIs for the Kiwis and took 82 wickets.

McClenaghan made his debut against South Africa on Jan 19, 2013 and took his 50th ODI wicket in his 23rd match on 24 Oct, 2014 against South Africa. McClenaghan has played an important role in the Mumbai Indians team in IPL recently.

AJIT AGARKAR (IND) – 23 matches

Ajit Agarkar had a dream debut season in ODI cricket Ajit Agarkar was one of the most sensational bowlers during the late 90s and early 2000s in ODI cricket for India. He could bowl fast and swing the ball at that speed. Though he gave away runs, Agarkar had the knack of picking up wickets in a bunch and at the start of his career, he held the record of fastest bowler to take 50 wickets in ODIs.

Agarkar made his debut for India on April 1, 1998 against Australia and took 1 wicket for India, however he reached the 50 wicket mark in just 23 matches against Zimbabwe on 28th Sept, 1998 in just 182 days after his debut.  

AJANTHA MENDIS (SL) – 19 matches

Ajantha Mendis took his 50th ODI wicket in just his 19th match | Getty

Ajantha Mendis broke Ajit Agarkar’s record by taking his 50th ODI wicket in just his 19th ODI match.

Mendis came onto the international cricket scene with a bang against India in Tests in 2008, as he wiped out the famed Indian batting lineup in both Test series and the following Asia Cup tournament. Mendis, since his brilliant debut, fell off the radar, as technology unfurled his mystery and batsmen took him apart. He has taken 152 wickets in 87 ODIs and is the only bowler with 2 six wicket hauls in T20Is.



By Jatin Sharma - 21 Sep, 2017

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