Top 5 All-Rounders in Cricket History
In cricket, all-rounders are players that are adept in both skills – batting and bowling. Over the years, cricketing nations have produced some of the greatest all-rounders, who are blessed with the ability to make plays with a bat or a ball — or both.
Once marked as the bits and pieces cricketer, now represent the best of cricket. But all-rounders are a scarce commodity and only a few can truly fit the elite group of genuine all-rounders.
This list by Nitrogen Sports Blog features five of the best cricket all-rounders in the history of the game, having showed their elite talent throughout their respective careers.
The greatest cricket all-rounders of all time
Jacques Kallis is unquestionably the greatest all-rounder in cricket history. The Protea star was a bank of skill, endurance, and temperament — a key for any all-rounder. The batting all-rounder is the highest run-scorer for South Africa in one-day internationals.
He has scored over 11,500 runs and remains the only South African to cross the 10,000 run milestone in ODI’s.
Kallis, also known as Woogie among fans, astonished the world of cricket with his displays of bat and ball. Beyond his effortless batting performances, Kallis was also a proficient fast-medium bowler. He took 273 wickets in ODI and 292 in tests.
The South African was highly praised for his consistent performance with bat and ball in all forms of the game. His ability to single-handedly win matches makes him one of the best all-rounders of all time.
Sanath Jayasuriya or as the fans call him, Matara Hurricane, is a fantastic all-rounder. Starting his cricketing journey as a left-arm spinner, it didn’t take him much time to show his batting skills.
Jayasuriya grew into an exceptional pinch-hitter that made him a nightmare for bowlers over his cricketing career that spanned 22 years.
Jayasuriya made many batsmen dance to his spin and ranks fourth on the list of highest ever wicket take for Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan has taken 323 wickets in ODI internationals and scored over 13,000 runs, making him the only all-rounder to this day to achieve the feat of taking more than 300 wickets and scoring 10,000 plus runs in ODI’s.
Jayasuriya was simply a sensational player, easily one of the best cricket all-rounders the game has ever seen.
Shaun Pollock is by far the finest talent South Africa has given to the world of cricket. Polly, as he is fondly known, had a stellar 13-year career, during which he had accumulated incredible stats.
The bowling all-rounder has impressive bowling records of 393 ODI-international and 421 Test wickets to his name. Pollock holds the title for the highest wicket-taker for Proteas.
While Pollock gained plenty of fame and success with the ball, it is unfair to credit his batting ability. He has scored centuries in both the formats of the game – ODI and Test and his total run tallies to over 7,000. Polly has been remarkable with the bat and holds a unique test cricket record of scoring two tons batting at number 9.
Pollock’s calm and respectful demeanor earned him respect from the cricketing fraternity. Polly holds the sixth rank in ICC’s (International Cricket Council) all-time great all-rounders list.
Kapil Dev is one of the best cricket all-rounders the world has witnessed. Dev’s numbers do not jump out of the paper,, but he has proven to be the most prolific with bat and ball. The Indian bowling all-rounder is the only player in the history of cricket to have scored over 5,000 runs and picked more than 400 wickets in Test cricket.
He also was the first player to take 200 wickets in One Day Internationals. His greatness is such that he was inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Shakib al Hasan
Bangladesh’s all-time star player Shakib al Hasan is the finest all-rounder of the 21st century. Al Hasan is an ideal all-rounder who has turned heads with his ability with bat and ball in all formats of the game.
Further proof of his greatness lies in the fact that he is the only player in the history of cricket to be ranked No.1 all-rounder in est, Twenty20 and One Day Internationals by ICC. He is also the only all-rounder on our list that still has a long playing career.
Al Hassan joined the elite group of all-rounders recently by being the quickest to cross the milestone of scoring 5,000 runs and taking over 250 wickets in ODI. With more years to play, Al Hasan is likely to break many more records.
All-rounders are the most valuable arsenal in a team and there have been more than our list of top five all-rounders such as Chris Cairns, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Richard Hadlee, Sir Ian Botham, Keith Miller, and more.
Our list highlights players that have carved their names as the greatest all-rounders of all time into the memory and hearts of every cricket fan.
Cricket isn’t big in North America, but it certainly is in many parts of the globe. Great players of this game are assured of their status as icons who transcend the boundaries of the sport, and the best cricket all-rounders we’ve just discussed above are certainly enjoying that kind of status.
Interested to learn more about this beautiful sport? Go ahead and explore our page for pieces about it, including one that takes on the topic of how to play cricket.