By now, it is a well-established phenomenon that cricket is a game of partnerships. These can be partnerships between batsmen, bowlers and even between bowlers and fielders.
But one of the lesser-known yet pivotal partnerships is that of a captain and the strike bowler. Whenever a captain is under the pump, he or she looks up to his bowler to get breakthroughs.
However, some of the bowlers have absolutely thrived under the captaincy of specific personnel. This is partially due to the space provided by captains to bowlers, giving freedom of setting plans and field. Today, let’s have look at the top five wicket-takers under a specific captain.
5. Muttiah Muralitharan – 230 wickets under Sanath Jayasuriya
For many years, Muttiah Muralitharan was Sanath Jayasuriya’s strike-bowler in the dusty pitches of Sri Lanka.
Murali, who is the leading wicket-taker in all internationals, has scalped 230 wickets under the influential captaincy of Sanath Jayasuriya, with a bowling average of 20.22.
This is the fifth most in the list of most wickets under a specific captain.
4. Craig McDermott – 231 wickets under Allan Border
McDermott flourished under the captaincy of Allan Border claiming 231 scalps, at an average of 28.97. The Queenslander’s tally is the fourth most in the charts of most wickets under a captain.
3. Ravichandran Ashwin – 242 wickets under Virat Kohli
Under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, Ashwin has picked up 242 wickets across all-formats, at an impressive average of 23.7.
Most of these dismissals have come during Test matches in India, where Ashwin, more often than not, has been on a wicket-taking spree. The Test specialist’s tally is the third most in the list.
2. Makhaya Ntini – 280 wickets under Graeme Smith
Under the talismanic captaincy of Graeme Smith, the South African pacer has picked up 280 wickets across all formats, second-most in the list.
1. Dale Steyn – 347 wickets under Graeme Smith
Smith knew exactly how to marshall his troops with the likes of Dale Steyn and Ntini topping the charts of the list as mentioned earlier. Steyn picked up 347 wickets at an average of 22.73 across all formats under Smith. Thereby forging the best partnership between a captain and strike bowler.
The reason why Smith is highly rated as captain is due to his tendency to make his players perform out of their skins at home as well as tours abroad.