Most Wickets for South Africa In All Formats (Tests, ODIs, T20s).

Most Wickets for South Africa In All Formats (Tests, ODIs, T20s).

Here is a list of South African bowlers who have picked up the most wickets for South Africa in all formats (Tests, ODIs, T20s). Scoring runs in South Africa is one of the most difficult jobs a batsman can have in cricket. Even the best batsmen in the world are vulnerable on South Africa’s green-clad tracks. The green-top wicket, particularly in South Africa, is nothing short of a graveyard for batsmen. The bounce and movement in the air aided the fast bowlers’ dominance on those surfaces. There aren’t many batsmen outside of South Africa who have a stellar record on the green-top surfaces of South Africa. This is one of the main reasons why South Africa is known for producing world-class fast bowlers.

South Africa has produced some of the best fast bowlers in history over the last two decades. Their pace, bounce, and movement in the air and off the surface have caused problems for the batsmen. To shed some light on them, here are the best South African bowlers who have taken the most wickets for South Africa in all formats (Tests, ODIs, T20s).

Who Has Taken The Most Wickets for South Africa In All Formats.

Only 7 bowlers have taken the most wickets for South Africa in all formats of the game over the last 3 decades (Tests, ODIs, & T20Is). Here is a summary of the records and a list of the top 7 South African bowlers who have taken the most wickets in all formats.

PlayerCareer SpanMatInnsWktsBBIBBMAvgEconSR5w10w
SM Pollock1995-20084145048237/8710/14723.632.9148.6211
DW Steyn2004-20202633406977/5111/6023.383.7837.0295
M Ntini1998-20112833706617/3713/13227.293.6444.8224
AA Donald1991-20032362916028/7112/13922.043.3040.0223
JH Kallis1995-20145135685726/549/9232.163.5554.370
M Morkel2006-20182413125356/239/11026.623.7242.9100
K Rabada2014-2022171*2104017/11213/14424.604.1235.7114
Most Wickets for South Africa

List Of Top 7 South African Bowlers With The Most Wickets For South Africa In Tests, ODIs, & T20s.

1. Shaun Pollock- 823 Wickets (1995-2008).

Shaun Pollock- 823 Wickets for South Africa (1995-2008).
Shaun Pollock Image Source: ESPNcricinfo

Shaun Pollock, a former legendary South African cricketer, was regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders South Africa has ever produced. Shaun Pollock was well-known for his exactitude. He never gave any space to the batsman to play their shots. Furthermore, his ability to get the zip off the surfaces makes him one of the most difficult bowlers to face, particularly in South Africa. Shaun Pollock had a stellar career in cricket across all formats. He currently holds the record for the most wickets by a South African bowler across all formats. Shaun Pollock played 108 Tests for South Africa, taking 421 wickets at an average of 23.11. In addition, he played in 303 one-day internationals and took 393 wickets at an average of 24.50. He played in 12 T20 internationals, taking 15 wickets at an average of 20.6. Shaun Pollock has 823 wickets in total across all formats.

2. Dale Steyn- 697 Wickets (2004-2020).

Dale Steyn- 697 Wickets (2004-2020).
Dale Steyn Image Source: Unknown

Dale Steyn, one of the greatest fast bowlers the world has ever seen, is ranked second on the list. During his prime, the former South African bowler was a sight to behold. He’d bowl at 150 kmph, take the ball away from the right-hander, and leave him stunned. Dale Steyn’s fast pace and ability to swing the ball away from batsmen while pitching at the leg stump made him a lethal force across all formats of the game. Steyn made his Test debut in 2004, but it took him several years to dominate world cricket with his fearsome fast bowling performance. He formed an excellent fast-bowling partnership with Morne Morkel, and the two would frequently annihilate the opposition’s batting unit both at home and away.

Dale Steyn played 93 Tests, 125 ODIs, and 47 T20 internationals in his illustrious career, taking 439, 196, and 64 wickets. In total, he has 697 wickets across all formats, which is the second-most by a South African bowler in cricket history.

3. Makhaya Ntini- 661 Wickets (1998-2011).

Most Wickets for South Africa  in All Formats: Makhaya Ntini- 661 Wickets (1998-2011).
Image Source: RapidLeaks

Makhaya Ntini, who made his ODI debut against New Zealand in 1998, was the first black player to represent South Africa in international cricket. Makhaya Ntini was known for his unrivaled energy and bowling long spells in Test Cricket. When he found his rhythm, he was unstoppable and would frequently annihilate the opposing batting lineup. He became South Africa’s third Test bowler to reach 300 wickets, joining Shaun Pollock and Alan Donald. During his career, Makhaya Ntini played 101 Tests, 173 ODIs, and 10 T20 internationals, taking 390, 266, and 6 wickets, respectively. He has 661 wickets in all formats, which is the third most for a South African side.

4. Allan Donald- 602 Wickets (1991-2003).

Allan Donald- 602 Wicket (1991-2003).
Allan Donald Image Source: Twitter

Allan Donald, one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, was forever remembered for his outstanding performance for South Africa in the ICC 1992 World Cup. In the tournament, he took 13 wickets at an average of 25.30 and an economy of 4.21. He was known for his quick pace and pinpoint accuracy, which helped him take many wickets across all formats. For the uninitiated, Allan Donald was the first South African bowler to record 300 Test wickets. He finished his international career with 330 wickets and 272 wickets in 72 Tests and 164 One-Day Internationals. In total, he has 602 wickets, which is the fourth-most by a South African cricketer.

5. Jacques Kallis- 572 Wickets (1995-2014).

Jacques Kallis- 572 Wickets (1995-2014).
Jacques Kallis Image Source: Firstsport

Jacques Kallis, the greatest all-rounder South Africa has ever produced, is ranked fifth on the list. In international cricket, there hasn’t been a more talented all-rounder than Jacques Kallis. He bats at number three and also serves as the team’s fifth bowling option. Jacques Kallis’ presence added a lot more balance to the team and helped South Africa become a force to be reckoned with during his playing days. With his fast bowling exploits, Jacques Kallis produced a slew of sensational spells. In 166 Tests, he took 292 wickets, in 328 Tests, he took 273 wickets, and in 25 Tests, he took 12 wickets. Jacques Kallis has 572 Test wickets to his name.

6. Morne Morkel- 535 Wickets (2006-2018).

Most Wickets for South Africa- Morne Morkel- 535 Wickets (2006-2018).
Morne Morkel Image Source: Sky Sports

Morne Morkel, the tall and slim fast bowler, is regarded as one of South Africa’s most successful fast bowlers. Morkel’s pace and bounce caused problems for the opposition batsmen. His height allowed him to extract a lot of bounce off the surface, making him a lethal force, especially in close quarters. Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn formed a lethal fast bowling combination, and the pair would run through the opposition’s batting unit with their pace, bounce, and seam direction. Morne Morkel has 309 wickets in 86 Tests, 188 wickets in 117 ODIs, and 47 wickets in 44 T20 internationals in his 12 years career.

7. Kagiso Rabada- 401 Wickets (2014-2022)*

Most Wickets for South Africa: Kagiso Rabada- 401 Wickets
Kagiso Rabada Image Source: DNA India

The only active cricketer on the list is Kagiso Rabada. He is an important member of South Africa’s fast bowling unit. Kagiso Rabada recently reached 400 wickets for South Africa across all formats in the ongoing second Test against India. On the third day of the second Test, he bowled a crucial spell that precipitated India’s collapse in their second innings. Kagiso Rabada took 3 wickets with the ball, assisting the team in thrashing India for 266 runs. So far in his international career, Kagiso Rabada has 220 wickets in 48 Tests, 126 wickets in 82 ODIs, and 49 wickets in 40 T20 internationals. He has 401 international wickets in all formats.

Also, Check out: Most number of Test matches played by a cricketer in Test cricket history.


This article is based on who has taken the most wickets for South Africa in all formats, and it has been updated with statistics from‘s official 2022 updates. We hope you enjoyed our article; please share your valuable thoughts in the comments section; we appreciate your feedback. The information on this page is subject to change at any time without notice. Our website makes no guarantees about the information’s accuracy.

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