When it comes to cricket, all rounders play a vital role behind the success of a team. If you do not know that much about cricket, then let me explain to you what is an all-rounder in cricket. According to Wikipedia:
“An all-rounder is a cricket player who excels at both batting and bowling. Although all bowlers must bat, and most batsmen end up bowling occasionally, most players are skilled in only one of the two disciplines. Wicket-keepers who are also very good batsmen (such as Adam Gilchrist) are considered by some to be all-rounders.”
Here, I have made a list of the ten greatest all rounders of all time in test cricket. They played decisive role in the success of their teams. Some of them also captained their respective teams.
If you feel that any other name should come in this list, let me know in the comment section.
Jacques Henry Kallis is undoubtedly the best all rounder at present in the cricket world. This charismatic cricketer has showed his talent in both one day and test cricket with both his bowl and bat. This year he has achieved a prestigious milestone which is unique in the history of cricket. This South African cricketer has been the first cricketer in the history who has more then 8000 runs and 200 wickets in both types of cricket. He has made 8033 runs in test cricket with an excellent average of 55.78. In his career he could reach in three figure runs for 24 times. In one day cricket, he scored 8327 runs yet with a modest average of 43.59 along with 14 centuries. With bowl, he took 200 wickets in test cricket and 218 wickets in One day cricket. His bowling average is 31.71 and 31.31 in Test and ODI cricket respectively. He started his career as a test cricketer and debut match was against England in 1995. He is also a good slip fielder and made outstanding performance in this position of fielding. Regarding his cricketing potential and excellence, I am quoting some lines from safrica.info:
“As a fast-medium bowler he has the ability to surprise batsmen with his pace. His stock ball is the outswinger, and he can also bowl a vicious bouncer capable of unsettling the best of players. Besides his ability with both bat and ball, Kallis is also a top-class slip fielder, reminding one of Brian McMillan, who used to be such a star for South Africa in the slip cordon.”
This benevolent cricketer has already made some history in the history of cricket and now is going towards the highest pick to be another legend of this game.
Haryana Hurricane nicknamed this Indian cricketer is considered as one of the best all rounders in the history of cricket. Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj is the only test cricketer who has over 4000 runs and over 400 wickets. With this unique record he is dubbed as the greatest fast bowler ever seen in India. With his 434 test wickets, he became the highest wicket taker in test cricket in 1994 which he could hold till 1999 before West Indain fast bowler Courtney Walsh broke it. This outstanding cricketer made 8 centuries in the way of scoring 5248 with an average of 31.05 in test cricket. Kapil Dev is considered as one of the best captains of Indian cricket team and became the first and only Indian captain who lifted World Cup trophy in 1983. He made his only ODI century in that tournament saving his team form a tarnishing defeat to the then new comer Zimbabwe. At times the Indian scoreboard was 17 for 5, after coming in such a crucial situation, Kapil made a smashing 175 not out which gave a healthy appearance to the Indian scoreboard resulting a close victory of India in group match. He scored 3783 runs and got 253 wickets in ODI cricket. In a test match against Egland in 1990, Kapil made four consecutive sixes, while India needed 24 runs to avoid follow on and that was India’s last wicket. Surprisingly, in the very over, his partner, the 11th batsmen was out without scoring a further single run. Regarding this legendary cricketer Cricinfo says:
“It was the stamina of the marathon runner that took him finally to 431 wickets and only a yard beyond. He might not have been quite the bowling equal of Imran, Hadlee or Botham at his best, and his strike rate was less than four wickets per Test. But he was still outstanding in his accuracy and ability to swing the ball, usually away from right-handers. And he could hit a ball even more brilliantly than he bowled it, with uncomplicated flai”
Kapil Dev was born at Haryana in Chandigarh, India in 1959. He is now living his post retirement life and also involved with administration in Cricekt.
Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi is another legendary figure in the history of cricket and known as a bowling all rounder. This former Pakistani captain has an outstanding performance both in Test and ODI cricket. Pakistan won their first and only world cup trophy under his captaincy in 1992. He scored 3807 runs in test cricket and 3709 in ODI cricket. He made 6 Test and 1 ODI century in his glorious career. He got 362 and 182 wickets in test and ODI cricket respectively. Statistics can not show his fullest potential and talent in cricket. His fire-some bowling was considered as one of the toughest challenges for the contemporary batsmen. His reverse swing was the constant threat for the then batsmen of the cricket world. Cricinfo says:
“Thousands, if not millions, who had never dreamt of bowling fast on heartless baked mud suddenly wanted to emulate Imran and his lithe bounding run, his leap and his reverse-swinging yorker. He also made himself into an allrounder worth a place for his batting alone, and captained Pakistan as well as anyone, rounding off his career with the 1992 World Cup.”
This great all rounder was born in Lahore in 1952. He was educated in Kebel College, Oxford in Economics. Now, he is involved with politics.
Sir Richard John Hadlee is dubbed as one of the greatest al rounders in the history of cricket. This New Zealander is the first bowler who crossed the 400 wicket milestone in test cricket and once became the highest wicket taker in test cricket. He has over three thousand runs in test cricket with as average of 27.16 and got 431 wickets with the average of 22.29 in test cricket. Hadlee was right arm fast bowler but in batting he was a left handed middle order batsman. With his brilliant outswinger, he made some of the picturesque delivery which was hard enough to throw a challenge to his contemporary batsmen. He was an aggressive batsman in character.
For his excellent performance and contribution to cricket he was honored with Knight in 1990. This legendary cricketer is now the chairman of New Zealand board of selectors.
Ian Bothan is another benevolent all rounder of cricket. This English cricketer made some outstanding performance in both test and ODI cricket. He has 5200 runs with an average of 33.54 and got 383 wickets in an average of 28.54. He played lowest number of matches to reach at some all round doubles including ‘1000 runs and 100 wickets’, ‘2000 runs and 200 wickets’, and ‘3000 runs and 300 wickets’. He became the first player to make 5000 runs along with 300 wickets in test cricket. He is the firs test cricketer who could make a century and take 10 wickets in a test match. These records can not well-prove his all round talent and outstanding skill in both bowling and batting. This former England captain is best known for his outstanding performance in the 1981 Ashes Series. In the third test of that series, England got a remarkable victory, even being fallen into follow on. The main contribution in that victory was of Botham with his unbeaten 149 in the second innings and total 7 wickets in that test. Regarding this great all rounder of the test cricket, Cricinfo says:
“His batting was based on sound principles and phenomenal strength; his bowling seemed by then to be more run-in-and-hope, but batsmen remained intimidated by his early reputation to the end. His apres-cricket activities were always turbulent, and often semi-public, yet his marriage to Kath has lasted 25 years-plus at odds that seemed greater of 500 to 1. Almost as improbably, he has settled into a calm-ish middle age as a TV commentator of some wit and sagacity.”
Botham played 102 test and 116 ODI matches in his 15 –year long cricket career. The glory of his career has been a part of the cricket history.
Sir Garfield Sobers is another living legend in the history of cricket. He has more than 8000 runs and 200 wickets in test cricket which easily made his the best of this category of cricket. With an average of 57.78, he made 8032 runs in test cricket for which he is easily considered as one of the best batsmen in test cricket. Regarding this West Indian great Cricinfo says:
“ cricketing genius, Garry Sobers excelled at all aspects of the game, and few would argue his claim as the finest allround player in modern cricket. His exceptional Test batting average tells little about the manner in which he made the runs, his elegant yet powerful style marked by all the shots, but memorably his off-side play. As a batsman he was great, as a bowler, merely superb, but would have made the West Indies side as a bowler alone. He was remarkably versatile with the ball, bowling two styles of spin - left-arm orthodox and wrist spin, but was also a fine fast-medium opening bowler.”
He was born in 1936 in Barbados. He was also good at golf, football, basketball, table tennis.
Keith Ross Miller was another legendary cricketer. This Australian benevolent cricket player showed his talent with both bowl and bat. He got 170 wickets with an average of 22.97 and made 2958 runs with an average of 36.97. TO many, he is the best all round performer in the mid of the last century. Regarding this legend Cricinfo says:
“But "Nugget" Miller was more than a cricketer: along with his English soulmate Denis Compton he embodied the idea that there was more to life than cricket. Miller, who was named after two pioneer Australian pilots - Keith and Ross Smith - was a fighter pilot himself in the Second World War, and after some extremely close shaves was well aware of the importance of life.”
Miller was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1919. He was the earliest all round performer of cricket.
Shaun Maclean Pollock is another leading all round performer of present day cricket world. This former South African captain has some excelling record in both test and ODI cricket with both bowl and bat. He has 3515 runs and 395 wickets in test cricket. Moreover, his ODI career is not less eventful than that of his test. Pollock got 2935 runs and 364 wickets in ODI cricket. He has ability to swing the bowl in both ways and his accuracy in bowling makes him dangerous to any batsmen in the world. He is used to batting at lower order and with his pinch hitting character he served his team a lot of useful runs.
Christopher Lance Cairns is one of the greatest cricketers ever seen from New Zealand. This legendary figure of both test and one day cricket is best known for his outstanding all round performance with both bowl and bat. Though injuries sometimes came to his glorious career as an obstacle, he could sustain his performance and career with some of his memorable performance. Cairns captained New Zealand for seven times specially on the absence of Stephen Fleming. He took 218 wickets with an average of 29.40 and got 3320 runs with an average of 33.53 in test cricket. In his successful career he just played 62 test matches due to injuries for several times. In ODI cricket, he also showed his talent and skill with his hard hitting batting and also proved himself as an effective fast-medium bowler. He got 201 wickets and 4950 runs in 215 ODI matches. This benevolent figure of world cricket, cricinfo said:
One of the more colourful characters in the New Zealand side, Chris Cairns has developed from something of a rebel to a more senior statesman, especially after the part he played in ending the players' strike in 2002. However, his genuine ability has been seen in only fleeting glimpses due to an inordinate number of injuries at crucial stages.
Cairns became one of the five Wisden cricketers of the year in 2000.
Fintof is a great bowler who can bat with great skill. He is an Englishman and has emerged as one of the most influential all rounders in cricket in the last 2 years. He plays County cricket for Lancashire. His batting average of 32.47 in test cricket is a great one for a bowler who can bat. He has scored over 3000 runs and he is near to capturing 200 wickets. This is a combination that very few players in cricket history have achieved so far in the last more than one hundred years of test cricket history. What is amazing about Flintoff is that he can bowl and bat aggressively.
He can use his height (6' 4") while bowling. He can also use his strength while batting. Watching him to bat is a sheer entertainment for the crowd. He has some few years left and he would become one of the greatest all rounders of all time with great stats.