The one-day international format is a 50-over format in cricket. The first ever 50-over World Cup was played in 1975, which was won by the West Indies, and the last one was held in 2019, which was won by England. Before 1975, the ODI format comprised 60 overs in an innings. There has been a drastic change in the format. Earlier, 200-220 used to be a good total for a team. Nowadays, any target is gettable. The bowling has always defined the status of the team and is considered the backbone of any team. This article will inform our readers about the top 10 captains with the most wickets in ODI history.
1. Wasim Akram
The former left-arm fast bowler for Pakistan was born in Lahore in 1966. The bowler was known for his deadly reverse-swingers and equally good in-and-out swingers. He made his ODI debut against New Zealand in 1985. He was appointed as the captain in the ODI format in 1993 and led the team in 109 matches until 2000. As captain, he took 158 wickets, including two five-wicket hauls, and had the best bowling figures of 5/15. The player announced his ODI retirement in 2003.
2. Imran Khan
Imran Khan, the former right-arm fast bowler and more than a handy batter down the order was born in Lahore in 1952. The all-rounder made his ODI debut in 1974 against England. He was given the captaincy in the ODI format in 1982 and led the team for the next ten years in 139. As captain, the fast bowler took 131 wickets. His best figures as captain were 4/27 before the player announced his retirement in 1992 after gifting his nation an ODI World Cup in the same year.
3. Shaun Pollock
Shaun Pollock was a right-arm medium-fast bowler for South Africa who was born in Port Elizabeth in 1973. He was also a handy batter down the order and made his ODI debut against England in 1996. He was named as the captain in 2000 and led the team in 92 matches until 2005. As captain, he took 129 ODI wickets with best bowling figures of 5/20. He had a fifer to his name as captain in the ODI format and the bowler took retirement from international cricket in 2008.
4. Mashrafe Mortaza
Mashrafe Mortaza was a former right-arm medium-fast bowler for Bangladesh. He was popularly known as the "Narail Express. After establishing himself in the test series, he first played an ODI match against Zimbabwe in 2001. He played 88 ODI matches and took 102 wickets, with his best bowling figures of 4/60. He was also a handy batter down the order and was famous for his ability to hit the ball long. The former skipper for Bangladesh across formats announced his ODI retirement in 2020.
5. Jason Holder
The bowling all-rounder for the West Indies was born in Barbados in 1991. He is a right-arm medium-fast bowler and a handy batter down the order. The player made his ODI debut against Australia in 2013. He was appointed as the captain of the ODIs in 2015 and led the team in 37 matches until 2019. As captain, he took 100 wickets in format with best bowling figures of 5/27. He also scalped 2 five-wicket hauls as the skipper in ODI.
6. Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis was a former right-handed fast bowler for Pakistan. He was born in Punjab in 1971 and made his ODI debut against the West Indies in 1989. He was named as the ODI captain in 1993 and led the team in 62 matches until 2003. His ability to reverse swing the ball at a deadly pace allowed him to become one of the greatest fast bowlers in the world of cricket. He took 97 wickets as captain in the ODI including 3 fifers. His best bowling figures were 7/36 and he announced retirement from ODI cricket in 2003.
7. Daniel Vettori
The former left-arm orthodox spinner and a handy left-handed batter down the order from New Zealand was born in Auckland in 1979. He made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in 1997. He was one of the key bowlers in the squads across formats. The orthodox bowler led his team in 82 matches from 2004 to 2011. In matches as captain, he took 95 wickets. His best figures in an ODI match as captain were 5/7. The Kiwi retired from the longest format in 2015.
8. Sanath Jayasuriya
Sanath Jayasuriya was a former left-handed batter and a left-arm orthodox bowler for Sri Lanka. He made his ODI debut against Australia at the MCG. He was appointed as the captain in the ODI format in 1998 and led the team in 117 matches until 2003. He was known for his deadly opening batting. He took 92 wickets as captain in the ODI including one fifer. His best bowling figures during his captaincy tenure were 5/17. The player announced his ODI retirement in 2011.
9. Kapil Dev
The icon of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, Kapil Dev, was born in 1959 in Chandigarh. The right-arm fast-medium bowler and an impressive batter down the order made his ODI debut against Pakistan in 1978. He was popularly known as the “Haryana Hurricane.” Chosen for the captaincy role in 1982, he led the team in 74 matches until 1987. As captain, Kapil took 91 wickets in the format including a fifer and the best bowling figures of 5/43. The Indian legend retired from ODI cricket in 1994.
10. Heath Streak
Heath Streak was a former right-arm fast-medium bowler for Zimbabwe. He made his ODI debut against South Africa in 1993 and was appointed as the captain in the same format in 2000 and led the team 68 matches until 2004. As captain, he took 89 wickets in the ODIs with best figures of 4/8. The player announced his retirement from the ODIs in 2005. Unfortunately, the 49-year-old died recently in 2023.