Yasir Shah became the fastest – in terms of number of Tests played – to pick 200 Test wickets in the game’s history on Day 4 of the third and final Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi. He achieved the feat in his third over of the day when he trapped William Somerville leg before wicket.
Yasir reached the landmark in just 33 Tests breaking an 82-year-old record held by another leggie, Clarrie Grimmett from Australia, who had bagged 200 Test wickets in 36 Tests.
Yasir had picked 14 wickets in the second Test in Dubai, annihilating the New Zealand batting, to spin Pakistan to an innings win, thereby helping them level the three-match series 1-1.
Yasir’s match-figures of 14/184 in this match were the second-best for a Pakistani bowler in their Test history after Imran Khan’s 14-116 against Sri Lanka in Lahore in 1982.
Yasir has 10 more wickets than Waqar Younis (second-highest number of wickets) after 33 Tests. He betters R Ashwin’s 183 wickets after 33 Tests – by 17 wickets.
Just for perspective, Warne had tallied 159 wickets after 33 Tests whereas Muralitharan aggregated 135.
Yasir has been a sensational wicket-taker for Pakistan. His bowling strike rate of 55.4 is the best for a Pakistani spinner in Test cricket (min. 100 wickets). Just for perspective, Saeed Ajmal had a strike rate of 65.1, Saqlain Mushtaq 67.6, Mushtaq Ahmed 67.7, Danish Kaneria 67.8 and Abdul Qadir 72.5.
In fact, his strike rate is the sixth-best in Pakistan’s bowling history after Waqar, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Imran and Wasim Akram.
Yasir, on an average, has picked 3.125 wickets every innings he has bowled for Pakistan. This is the best wickets per innings ratio for his country (min. 100 wickets). He is followed by Ajmal (2.66), Fazal Mahmood (2.62), Imran (2.55) and Waqar (2.42).
His bowling average of 28.43 is the third-best for a Pakistani spinner after Ajmal (28.10) and Iqbal Qasim (28.11). It is better than spin legends like Saqlain, Qadir, Mushtaq and Kaneria.
Yasir has picked 16 fifers in 64 innings – i.e. one fifer every 4 innings. This is the best frequency for a fifer in Pakistan’s Test history.