The year 2018 has seen some splendid bowling performances across formats. The balance between the bat and ball has been pretty good this entire year. From Vernon Philander rattling India out in the first Test of the series in January to Mehidy Hasan’s 12-for leading Bangladesh to their first-ever innings victory in Test cricket, 2018 has seen the bowlers jump up to occasions. 12 bowlers have crossed the 50-wicket mark this year and four bowlers have taken over 70 wickets.
Here, we have a look at the Top 15 wicket-takers of 2018 across all three formats:
#15. Mustafizur Rahman (BAN)
Mustafizur Rahman has picked 47 wickets in the year 2018. ‘Fizz’ scalped seven wickets in the five matches he played in the Tri-Nation ODI series involving Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in Dhaka. Only twice did he complete his quota of ten overs. He added six wickets to his tally in a couple of Tests against Sri Lanka. Nidahas trophy succeeded the Test series. He took another eight wickets in seven matches. In the T20I series against the Windies in July, the left-arm pacer took 8 wickets in just three matches. His best performance came in the Asia Cup against Pakistan when he recorded the figures of 4/43.
Mustafizur is currently ranked 10th in ODIs.
#14. Mujeeb Ur Rahman (AFG)
Mujeeb Ur Rahman has picked 47 wickets in 2018. The Afghanistan spinner took 12 wickets in the 5-match ODI series against Zimbabwe in February. He took his best figures of 5/50 in this series. The 17-year-old impressed one and all taking 16 wickets in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. He also picked 5 wickets in the T20I series against Ireland. He took the wickets of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli that shot him to fame.
Mujeeb has currently been ranked 8th in ODIs.
#13. Yuzvendra Chahal (IND)
Yuzvendra Chahal has also picked 47 wickets in 2018. Chahal started his year with a brilliant performance in the six-match ODI series in South Africa. He picked 16 wickets in the series. The leg-spinner has performed consistently in the ODIs as well as T20Is both home and away. His best figures are 5/22 in the 2nd ODI against South Africa in January.
Chahal is currently ranked 5th in ODIs.
#12. Hasan Ali (PAK)
Hasan Ali has picked 52 wickets in 2018. The Pakistan pacer picked 6 wickets in two matches in the Test series against England. He has already picked up 12 wickets in the ongoing Test series against New Zealand in Dubai. His best figures were 5/45 in the first Test match of the New Zealand Test series.
#11. Mehidy Hasan (BAN)
Mehidy Hasan has picked 54 wickets in 2018. The offie from Bangladesh spun a web around the Windies batsmen as he took 10 wickets in just 3 Test innings against them in the Caribbean. Since November, he is on a roll taking 11 wickets in 2 tests against Zimbabwe and 15 wickets in 2 tests against Windies. He has picked up four 5-wicket hauls and a 10-wicket innings in the year. His best figures of 7/58 came against Windies in the first innings of the second Test enabling Bangladesh to achieve their first-ever innings victory in Tests as he picked 5 more wickets in the second innings.
#10. Jason Holder (WIN)
Jason Holder has picked 54 wickets in 2018. The Windies captain started his year taking 15 wickets in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. He then picked 12 wickets in three wickets against a depleted Sri Lanka. He continued his form in the two tests against Bangladesh picking 16 wickets. He managed to pick up a five-wicket haul in the first innings of the only Test he played against India. His best figures of 6/59 came against Bangladesh in the second Test match at Kingston.
Holder has the best bowling average in Tests in 2018. He is currently ranked 10th in Tests.
#9. Trent Boult (NZ)
Trent Boult has picked 55 wickets in 2018. The left-arm pacer picked 9 wickets in four ODIs against Pakistan in January. He also picked 9 more wickets in five ODIs against England later in the year. Boult catalysed England’s ‘great collapse’ as they bundled out for mere 58 runs in a Test inning out of which Boult had picked 6. At one stage, England were 27/9. These were the 29-year-old pacer’s best figures in 2018.
He is currently ranked 8th in Tests and 7th in ODIs.
#8. Shadab Khan (PAK)
Shadab Khan has picked 58 wickets in 2018. The leg-spinner scalped 9 wickets in the five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe in July. His another notable performance came against New Zealand when he took 5 wickets in two ODIs in November. His best figures of 4/28 came against Zimbabwe in the 4th ODI at Bulawayo.
Shadab is currently ranked 2nd in T20Is.
#7. Jasprit Bumrah (IND)
Jasprit Bumrah has picked 58 wickets in 2018. The Indian pacer made his Test debut in South Africa and displayed his bowling mettle by capturing 14 wickets in his first 3 Tests. In the next away tour in England, he again picked 14 wickets in three Test matches. His best figures of 5/54 in his third Test against South Africa at Johannesburg.
Bumrah is currently ranked 1st in ODIs.
#6. Akila Dananjaya (SL)
AkilaDananjaya has picked 62 wickets in 2018. Akila picked 8 wickets in the only Test against Bangladesh in February. He added 7 more wickets to his tally in the lone Test against South Africa in July. South African batsmen had no clue to his mystery spin as he scalped 14 wickets in five ODIs against them. His best figures of 6/29 came in the 5th ODI at Colombo (RPS). He tangled 10 England batsmen in 2 Tests in November.
He has currently been reported for suspect action.
#5. Moeen Ali (ENG)
Moeen Ali has picked 62 wickets in 2018. Ali scalped 12 wickets in 5 ODIs against Australia. He also managed to get 12 wickets in 2 Tests against India at home in August-September. He rocked the three-Test series against Sri Lanka picking 18 wickets. His best figures of 5/63 came in a Test match against India at Southampton.
He is currently ranked 7th in Tests and 6th in ODIs in the all-rounders’ rankings.
#4. Kagiso Rabada (SA)
Kagiso Rabada has picked 71 wickets in 2018. The tall Proteas fast bowler started his year with a bang capturing 15 wickets in 3 Tests against India. He played 4 Tests against Australia and managed to take a whopping tally of 23 wickets. His best figures of 6/54 came in the second Test at Port Elizabeth. He rocked Australia once again as he took 7 wickets in the three-match ODI series in November.
Rabada is currently ranked 1st in Tests and 4th in ODIs.
#3. Rashid Khan (AFG/ICC)
Rashid Khan has picked 72 wickets in 2018. The Afghanistan superstar took 16 wickets in 5 ODIs against Zimbabwe at Sharjah. He managed to scalp 14 wickets in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers. He played a T20I for the ICC World XI against the Windies at Lord’s where he took 2/48. His best figures of 5/24 came in an ODI against Zimbabwe at Sharjah.
He is currently ranked 2nd in ODIs and 1st in T20Is.
#2. Adil Rashid (ENG)
Adil Rashid has picked 76 wickets in 2018. The leg-spinner took 10 wickets against Australia in five ODIs in January. In June, he managed to take 12 more wickets in five ODIs against the same opposition. Sri Lankan batsmen could not manage to hold Rashid for long as he picked 12 wickets in three Test in November. His best figures of 5/49 in the third Test of the series in Colombo (SSC).
He is currently ranked 6th in ODIs and 4th in T20Is.
#1. Kuldeep Yadav (IND)
Kuldeep Yadav tops the list for the best bowlers in 2018 as he picked 76 wickets since January this year. The chinaman bowler has been India’s go-to bowler, especially in the limited overs formats. He started the year brilliantly putting 17 wickets under his belt in six ODIs against South Africa. He took a fifer in the first T20I against England in Manchester. He then picked 9 wickets in the three ODIs against the same opposition. His best figures of 6/25 came in the first ODI at Nottingham. He took 10 wickets in two Test matches against the Windies in October.
Kuldeep is currently ranked 3rd in ODIs and 3rd in T20Is.