Bowling is the critical factor in winning a test match. Just visualize only one bowler sending the whole team back to the pavilion. Test cricket has seen some unbelievable bowling spells that no one can believe. Sometimes spin bowlers showed the magic of their fingers, and occasionally fast bowlers crashed the batting line with a mixture of speed and swing. But, the top 10 list of best bowling figures in test cricket is mainly occupied by spin bowlers; only 3 seam bowlers could make it in this list. This list contains legends who engraved their greatness in the game of Cricket like Jim Laker, Anil Kumble, Abdul Qadir, Muttiah Muralidharan, Richard Hadlee, and so on.
Jim Laker (10/51 Vs Australia 1956)
Jim Laker has the best bowling figure in a test match and a Test inning. In 1956, when Australia was touring England, Jim Laker created history in the 4th Test Played at Manchester Stadium. Australian batters were clueless against Right Arm off Break bowler. Jim Laker set the record for most wickets in a Test match. He took 19 wickets in that match, nine in the first inning and ten in the second inning.
In the 2nd innings of the match, Jim Laker single-handly sends whole Kangaroos batting in the dressing room. It was the first time in cricket history when a bowler took 10 wickets in a single inning. Jim Laker took 10 wickets against 53 runs in 51 overs, with an economy rate of only 1.03. The Australian team scored only 205 runs in the 2nd innings, which ensured England won by an innings and 170 runs.
Anil Kumble (10/74 Vs Pakistan 1999)
In 1999, Pakistan toured India for Test series against India and a tri-series against India and Sri Lanka. In the 2nd test match, which was being played in Delhi, Anil Kumble brought glory to Indian Cricket by doing the best bowling in his Test career. He took 10 wickets against Pakistan in the 2nd inning of the second test match played at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium Dehli.
Pakistan was trying to recover from failure in the first innings, where they bowled out for only 172 runs. Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi provided a solid opening partnership of 100 runs, and Pakistan was hopeful of chasing down 420 runs.
But who knows that Anil Kumble will change this match another way? Kumble took the first wicket as Afridi got out after scoring 41 runs; after that Pakistani team lost 6 wickets for only 27 runs. The batting line included big names like Inzamam, Yusuf, Saeed Anwar, and Salim Malik. In the end, Kumble took 10 wickets for 74 runs in 26 overs, with an economy rate of 2.7. Anil Kumble’s best bowling figures in Test for India helped them to win this match by 212 runs. Anil Kumble has the most 10 wickets hauls in Test cricket for India.
Ajaz Patel (10/119 Vs India 2021)
Ajaz Patel bowled the most fabulous bowling spell of the 21st century against India at Wankhede stadium Mumbai in the second Test match. He took 10 wickets in the first inning by conceding only 119 runs in 48 overs with an economy rate of 2.48. He breaks the record of great Richard Hadlee for best bowling figures in the Test inning for New Zealand. In total, he took 14 wickets for 225 runs.
This was the only good thing that happened to New Zealand in this Test, as Kiwi Batters flopped in both innings in this match. In the first inning, they scored only 67 runs, and in the second innings, India caught them at 167, and New Zealand lost this match by 372 runs.
Jim Laker (9/37 Vs Australia 1956)
This was the first inning of the match where Jim Laker took 10 wickets. Jim Laker destroyed the Aussies’ camp in the first inning, allowing them to score only 84 runs. He set up the stage in the first inning and wrote history in the second.
He bowled 16.4 overs and conceded 37 runs to get 9 wickets. Only Jim Burke could resist his bowling and score 22 runs, then Cowdrey took his catch on Tony Lock’s ball.
Muthiah Muralidaran (9/40 Vs Zimbabwe 2002)
Muralidaran is the highest wicket-taker in Test Cricket. He grabbed 800 wickets in his Test Career. Many times Murali played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s Victory.
Murali took 9 wickets in a single inning of a test match played at Kandy Stadium in 2002 against Zimbabwe. In the first inning of the 2nd test match, he bowled 40 overs and conceded only 51 runs with an economy rate of 1.27. In total, Murali took 13 wickets against 115 runs.
Zimbabwe scored 236 runs in the first innings. In reply, Sri Lanka set a big total of 505 and won this match with one inning and 94 runs.
Richard Hadlee (9/52 Vs Australia 1985)
Richar Hadlee is the first fast bowler on the list of best bowling figures in test Cricket. Sir Richard Hadlee was a complete package with the ability to swing bowls in both directions. It makes it difficult for batters to understand whether they have to cover their wicket or save their bat from an edge.
In 1985, New Zealand played a 3 matches Test series in Australia where the Kiwis beat Australia 2-0. Sir Richard Hadlee played a vital role in New Zealand’s win.
In the first test, He destroyed the strong batting line of Australia by taking nine wickets in only 23 overs. He conceded on 52 runs with an economy rate of 2.19. It Stuck Australia at 179 runs which caused them a defeat of an inning and 41 runs. In this match, he took 15 wickets, the 4th highest at that time.
Abdul Qadir (9/56 Vs England 1987)
Abdul Qadir will be remembered in the history of cricket for his googly and leg-break bowling. He proved that a leg-break bowler is always needed to win a test match. Qadir inspired the next generation with his astonishing bowling abilities.
In 1987, when England played a Test series against Pakistan, Abdul Qadir set the record for best bowling figures for Pakistan in the Test inning. He took 9 wickets for 56 runs in 37 overs with an economy rate of 1.37.
In total, he took 13 wickets and could not break the record of Imran khan for most wickets in a Test match for Pakistan. Pakistan beat England by an inning and 87 runs in this match.
Devon Malcolm (9/57 Vs South Africa 1994)
Although Devon Malcolm played only 40 Test matches for England, he succeeded in making history against South Africa. In 1994 when South Africa faced England at the Oval Cricket ground. Devon Malcolm demolishes the South African batting line with his fast bowling.
He took 9 wickets against 57 runs in 16 overs. England was in trouble in the first inning as they could score only 304 while chasing 332. In the 2nd inning, Devon Malcolm’s brilliant bowling helped the English Team to block Choker’s at 175. England Chased down 205 runs for the loss of two wickets.
Muthiah Muralidaran (9/65 Vs England 1998)
In 1998, Muthiah was at the peak of his bowling career, leading from the front, and the Sri Lankan team was enjoying every game. They played against England, where he did his career-best bowling and took 16 wickets in a Test match.
In the first Inning, England batted first and set a total of 445; in reply, Sri Lanka scored 591 runs and got a lead of 146 runs. Murali took 7 wickets for 155 runs in 59 overs.
The second inning was a bad dream for the English team. English batter failed to understand his bowling, and only Mark Ramprakash succeeded in scoring 42 runs. Murali took 9 wickets in 54 overs and conceded only 65 runs with an economy rate of 1.9. Sri Lanka beat England by10 wickets in this match.
Jasubhai Patel (9/69 Vs Australia 1959)
Jasubhai Patel only played 7 test matches for India and got 29 wickets. That was enough for him to place his marks in Indian Cricket.
Patel’s right arm off spin bowling wins India in a test match played at Kanpur stadium in 1959. He took 14 wickets for 124 runs in this match. He held the record for most wickets for India in a test match for approximately 40 years till Anil Kumble equaled it in 1999 against Pakistan. Eventually, Harbhajan Singh broke this record by taking 15 wickets against Australia in 2001.
In the first inning, he took 9 wickets for 69 runs in 36 runs. Jasubhai Patel holds the record for the highest number of wickets by an Indian bowler in an inning of a test match that Kumble overtook in 1999.