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Progression of world record

Murali on threshold of history Leading wicket-takers down the years With Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan all set to become the highest wicket-taker in Tests during the forthcoming series against Zimbabwe which begins on Thursday, here is a look into the current and previous four world record holders, from different countries, for the most Test victims when they accomplished that landmark:

Jamaica's favourite cricketer became Test cricket's leading wicket-taker in front of several thousand ecstatic countrymen. In his 16th international season and 114th Test, Courtney Walsh reached the magic mark of 435 at 5.12 pm on March 27, 2000 when Zimbabwe's last man, Henry Olonga pushed a lifting ball to short leg fielder Wavell Hinds. The catch took Walsh past India's Kapil Dev who has taken 434 wickets in 131 matches. Walsh since then, took 85 more wickets and is holding the record for over four years now.

All rounder Kapil Dev accomplished long-awaited world record on the opening day, February 8, 1994, of the Ahmedabad Test against Sri Lanka. With most of India at standstill, monitoring his progress, he reached the milestone after 64 minutes of play when Hashan Tillekeratne was taken at short leg to become his 432nd victim and 217th in India. His feat was saluted by 432 balloons and a minute's standing ovation from a crowd of 6000. He held the record for six years and 49 days.

With the first ball of his third third over on the opening day, November 12, 1988, of his 75th Test, Richard Hadlee found the edge of Arun Lal's bat and leapt high in jubilation as victim number 374 was caught at third slip by Chris Kuggleijn, whose own Test career was just 18 minutes old. Hadlee, playing against India at Bangalore, had waited 318 days since equalling Ian Botham's world record to become the leading wicket-taker in test cricket in his own right. He held the landmark for five years and 89 days.

With the first and 12th balls since his suspension from test cricket, Ian Botham equalled and passed Dennis Lillee's world record of 355 test wickets while playing against New Zealand at the Oval on August 21, 1986. Botham's 355 wickets came from 19212 balls in 85 tests played over nine years. He held the record first single - handedly and then jointly with Hadlee for a short period of two years and 84 days.

At 2.55 pm on December 27, 1981, while against West Indies at Melbourne, Dennis Lillee induced an edge stroke from Larry Gomes to overhaul the world test record of 309 wickets held by Lance Gibbs for almost six years. He gained the record on the very ground where Gibbs had claimed it from Fred Trueman, and just four days after Geoff Boycott had broken its batting counterpart. He held this record for four years and 238 days.

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  Spot The Difference
1 AustraliaAustralia 118
2 IndiaIndia 112
3 cricketPakistan 111
4 EnglandEngland 108
5 AustraliaNew Zealand 98
6 SouthSouth Africa 92
7 sri LankaSri Lanka 85
8 West IndiesWest Indies 65
9 BangladeshBangladesh 57
10 ZimbabweZimbabwe 48
1 AustraliaAustralia 123
2 new ZealandNew Zealand 113
3 ZimbabweIndia 110
4 South AfricaSouth Africa 110
5 EnglandEngland 106
6 sri LankaSri Lanka 102
7 BangladeshBangladesh 98
8 countryWest Indies 94
9 cricket Pakistan 87
10 AfghanistanAfghanistan 49
1 New ZealandNew Zealand 132
2 IndiaIndia 128
3 west IndiesWest Indies 122
4 AfricaSouth Africa 119
5 EnglandEngland 116
6 AustraliaAustralia 110
7 Pakistan Pakistan 104
8 sri LankaSri Lanka 96
9 AfghanistanAfghanistan 78
10 BangladeshBangladesh 74
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