International cricket has seen a lot of leg-spinners. They are usually widely found in all formats. White ball cricket has seen a rise in the threat posed by leg-spinners, in recent times. Leg-spinners are considered a potent attacking option. In ODI history, there have been various leg-spinners who have piled upon the wickets. They have won their team a lot of matches. We will now look at the leg-spinners with the most ODI wickets.
1. Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi was a bowling all-rounder from Pakistan. The aspect forever associated with him was his batting, which was exciting but inconsistent. However, bowling was where he shined. His flippers were pretty lethal. He was known to bowl at a high pace, as the speed of his deliveries rivaled that of medium pacers. His bowling was a vital part of the Pakistani ODI line-up in the 2000s. Shahid Afridi took 395 wickets in his ODI career.
2. Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble was an Indian leg-spinner. He was one of the greatest Indian bowlers in test cricket. However, Kumble was a vital part of the Indian line-up in ODIs too. He is the leading wicket-taker in ODIs for India, which looks like a record that will never be broken. Kumble had two five-wicket hauls in his ODI career, with his best figures being 6-12. Anil Kumble took 337 wickets in his ODI career.
3. Shane Warne
Shane Warne was a leg-spinner from Australia. He was an exciting player who always made it to the headlines. Warne inspired a generation of kids across the world to take up leg-spin. That was the extent to which he excited the audience. Shane Warne took 293 wickets in his ODI career.
4. Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir was a leg-spinner from South Africa. He was a terrific bowler in both white-ball formats. Tahir was known for his celebration after every wicket, where he would run across the ground in joy. He made his ODI debut in the 2011 World Cup and finished as the second-highest wicket-taker from South Africa. Imran Tahir took 173 wickets in his ODI career.
5. Adil Rashid
Adil Rashid is a leg-spinner from England. The English team has usually been lacking in the leg-spin department, but Rashid has set it right. He has a powerful googly. He was an important reason why England won the 2019 World Cup. Adil Rashid has taken 166 wickets in his ODI career.
6. Mushtaq Ahmed
Mushtaq Ahmed was a leg-spinner from Pakistan. He made his ODI debut in 1989. By 1992, Ahmed was a crucial component in Pakistan’s World Cup triumph. By the 2000s, he was also a proficient player in the county cricket setup, bagging wickets for the county teams there. Ahmed had an effective googly, which helped him with many wickets. Mushtaq Ahmed took 161 wickets in his ODI career.
7. Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan is a T20 superstar. However, he made his mark in ODIs too. The Afghanistan cricket team rapidly rose through the ranks in the early 2010s. In the latter half of the 2010s, they had a duty to maintain their quality, and Khan played a vital role in executing it successfully. Batsmen worldwide tend to see through his overs and attack the other bowlers. Rashid Khan has taken 158 wickets in his ODI career.
8. Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar was one of the greatest batsmen of all-time in ODIs. What gets overlooked is that he used to be a handy spinner too. In the early stages of his career, Tendulkar was a handy part-time bowling option. One could almost say he was a batting all-rounder. He had two five-wicket hauls in his ODI career. One of the best bowling performances from Tendulkar in ODIs was in the semi-final of the 1993 Hero Cup. South Africa needed just six runs to win off the final over. Tendulkar bowled the last over and conceded just three runs. Throughout his career, injuries forced him to reduce his bowling. Sachin Tendulkar took 154 wickets in his ODI career.
9. Upul Chandana
Upul Chandana was a Sri Lankan leg-spinner. He made his debut in 1994. In the early 2000s, he started becoming a vital component of the Sri Lankan bowling unit. He made his presence felt in the 2004 Asia Cup. Later on, he slowly started fizzling away and played his last ODI in 2007. Upul Chandana took 151 wickets in his ODI career.
10. Abdul Qadir
Abdul Qadir was a leg-spinner from Pakistan. He kept alive the art of leg-spin in the 1980s. His primary exploits were all in test cricket. It was the format where he made a name for himself. However, he was an excellent spinner in ODIs too. Abdul Qadir took 132 wickets in his ODI career.