Best Bowling Figures by Indians in ODIs

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ODI cricket started back in 1971. It is altogether a different beast. The format was designed to maximize fan pleasure, which means big hitters got their way. Then came Kerry Packer, an Australian businessman who organized the World Series in 1977. The tournament gave ODI cricket the impetus that it was looking for. From this point on, the ODI format stood on its own. 

It was unconventional; playing under lights and white balls were used. There was a restriction on the fielders in the first 15 overs, which helped the batters. At this juncture, the bowlers started to improvise and got the worst of the batters. And there were a few Indians, too, who shone with the white ball.

List of the Best Bowling Figures by Indians in ODIs

Indian bowlers have delivered some scintillating performances. Many players have taken a six-wicket haul in the 50-over format, which turned out to be a match-winning performance. Let us look at the top five best bowling figures by Indians in 50-over cricket. 

Stuart Binny

It was the second ODI between India and Bangladesh in Mirpur, and the Indian batting was not up to mark. Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed had picked up a fifer, which ensured India were all out for just 105. But since it was raining, the conditions were perfect for swing, and this is where Stuart Binny, son of 1983 World Cup winner Roger Binny, came into play.

He picked terrific figures of 6/4 – the best from an Indian in white-ball cricket – as Bangladesh were all out for a paltry 58. No surprises; he was named Man of the Match for this performance. 

Anil Kumble

It was the final of the Hero Cup, and India had batted first at the iconic Eden Gardens. India was restricted to 225/7. The West Indies had a good line-up and were expected to chase it down. Nevertheless, it was time for Anil Kumble’s magic. He ripped apart the West Indies middle-order, claiming 6/12 in the process. India won the Hero Cup, and Kumble won the Player of the Match award.

Jasprit Bumrah

India’s pace sensation, Jasprit Bumrah, was at his finest at the Oval. It was the first fixture in the three-match ODIs between England and India. The hosts had won the toss and opted to bat first, and Bumrah let the ball do all the talking. He removed opener Jason Roy and then accounted for Joe Root with the extra bounce on offer.

Ben Stokes was next in line, who failed to gauge the late swing. Liam Livingstone was looking to counter-attack, but that ploy backfired as Bumrah bowled him around his legs to pick his fourth wicket. Bumrah returned for his second spell, removing both tail-enders and registering figures of 6/19, which means India chased just 111 for a win. India easily won the match, and Bumrah was awarded Man of the Match.

Mohammed Siraj

Mohammed Siraj’s 6/21 came against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded Asia Cup. It was the final, and this Indian seamer had reserved his best for last. The match had started a bit late due to the rain delay, and the conditions were perfect for seam and swing at Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Siraj saw Bumrah take the wicket of opener Kusal Perera for a duck, but after this point, he took over. He removed Pathum Nissanka and got rid of Sadeera Samarawickrama just a few balls later. Siraj continued to pick wickets, removing Charith Asalanka for a duck, reducing Sri Lanka to 8/4. His final push came when he had Dhananjaya de Silva with a perfect outswinger and completed his five-wicket haul as he cleaned up skipper Dasun Shanaka.

Such fierce was the Hyderabadi that he took just 16 balls to complete his five-wicket haul. He would take one more and register the fourth-best figure by an Indian in ODI cricket – 6/21. Eventually, Sri Lanka would get all out for 51 as India chased down the match with ten wickets to spare. 

Ashish Nehra

Nehra picked up spectacular figures of 6/23 against England at Durban during the 2003 ODI World Cup. India had won the toss, and despite a fifty from Sachin Tendulkar and 62 from Rahul Dravid, India were all out for 250. 

It needed some stopping, and Nehra was ready with the ball. He claimed the prized wickets of Michael Vaughan, Nasser Hussein, Alex Stewart, Paul Collingwood, Craig White, and Ronny Irani. England would eventually get all out for 168, losing the match by 82 runs in the process. 

Here are the top ten bowling figures registered by Indian bowlers in ODI cricket: 

YearPlayerOpponentBowling Figures
2014Stuart BinnyBangladesh6/4
1993Anil KumbleWest Indies6/12
2022Jasprit BumrahEngland6/19
2023Mohammed SirajSri Lanka6/21
2003Ashish NehraEngland6/23
2018Kuldeep YadavEngland6/25
2007Murali KartikAustralia6/27
2004Ajit AgarkarAustralia6/42
2019Yuzvendra ChahalAustralia6/42
2013Amit MishraZimbabwe6/48

Concluding Thoughts

As we can see from the above observations, only one was a spinner among the five bowlers. The rest of the four performances came after 2000, when the game of cricket had undergone much change.

Looking at these performances, India, not known to produce good fast bowlers, has finally bucked the trend. Also, these performances are a testament to the fact that India’s better days with respect to fast bowling are still ahead of us.

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FAQs about Best Bowling Figures by Indians in ODIs

No Indian bowler has taken a seven-wicket haul in ODIs

Anil Kumble was the first Indian bowler to take six wickets in an ODI. He took 6/12 vs West Indies in the 1993 Hero Cup final.

A total of 11 Indian bowlers have claimed a six-wicket haul in ODIs.