The higly-anticipated Test series between India and England is all set to get underway from Friday (February 5). Both teams are extremely strong on paper and are coming off valuable Test series wins away from home. India beat Australia 2-1 in a series that saw them get a first-ever Test win at The Gabba in Brisbane whereas Joe Root’s men whitewashed Sri Lanka 2-0 with a less than full strength squad. Both teams would be keen to come out on the winning side in the series and given the sheer quality of players on display from both sides, it is genuinely hard to say which team starts off as favourites.
Here we take a look at the ten highest wicket-takers in Test matches between India and England.
James Anderson – The 38-year old Anderson has taken a stunning 110 wickets against India, making him the highest wicket-taker in these Test matches by some margin. Even though he won’t be bowling in the kind of conditions that favour him the most, don’t be surprised to see him add a few more wickets to his tally in this series.
BS Chandrasekhar – Chandrasekhar’s haul of 95 wickets in 23 matches is the second-best on this list and also makes him the highest Indian wicket-taker in Tests against England. He also took an astounding 8 five-wicket hauls in India-England Test matches – no one else comes close to that.
Anil Kumble – The former India captain and coach always loved performing on the big occasions and Tests against England are among the biggest. He took 92 wickets in 19 Test matches against England and is one of two Indians on this list to have taken 10 wickets in a match against the same opposition.
Bishan Singh Bedi – A prolific left-arm orthodox bowler whose ability to flight and turn the ball was the stuff of a cricket purist’s dreams, Bedi was another who was successful against the English – something that his county stint in Northamptonshire surely contributed to. 85 wickets in 22 Tests against this opposition is nothing to scoff at.
Kapil Dev – No bowling list would ever be complete without Dev’s name in it. The all-rounder took as many wickets against England as Bedi did – although it is worth noting he took 5 more Tests to get the same number. Nevertheless, it doesn’t diminish the feat and it is worth noting that Dev is the only Indian pacer to be in this top 10.
Stuart Broad – The man who for years complimented Anderson in Test cricket, Broad is unsurprisingly England’s second-highest wicket-taker in Tests against India. His 70 wickets in 20 matches make for respectable reading although it is worth noting that he only has two five-wicket hauls in these matches.
Derek Underwood – The first English spinner on this list, Underwood was someone who could wreak havoc on the opposition in the right conditions. Indeed, the left-arm orthodox bowler nicknamed ‘Deady’ by his Kent teammates played 20 Tests against India and took 62 of his 297 wickets against them.
Bob Willis – The right-arm pacer who played 90 Tests for England during the 1970s and 80s, Willis had an excellent record against India – taking 62 wickets in 17 Tests at a phenomenal strike-rate of 47.4.
Ian Botham – The man considered one of the finest all-rounders ever to come out of England always tormented the Indian batsmen. He took 59 wickets in just 14 Tests but what is even more amazing is that he managed six five-wicket hauls during those matches and even took 10 wickets in a single Test once against India.
Ravichandran Ashwin – Ashwin has only played the 15 Tests against England but his record against them will fill him with confidence going into this series. His 56 wickets – including three five-wicket hauls and a ten-wicket match – make him the joint most successful Indian who will be part of this series, the other being Ishant Sharma.