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By a Staff Reporter
Be it Virat Kohli’s cover drive or Steven Smith’s pull. From Kagiso Rabada’s toe-breaker to Rashid Khan’s googly. There is a lot of talent in the modern-day games to look forward to. Cricket has seen generations of talent and every generation has provided us with something different.
As the cricket shifted from Test Cricket to One Dayers in the early 2000s. The next decade saw the rise of Twenty 20. The shortest format is now widely followed around the world but the importance of Test and ODI has not gone unnoticed. The beauty of cricket lies in longer formats while the shorter one is a bit more inclined towards entertainment.
Here, we discuss the players who graced this beautiful game. The top 10 greatest of all time, GOAT cricketers are as follows:
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10. Mahendra Singh MS Dhoni (India)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the most successful captain for India and one of the best leader world cricket has seen. Dhoni is the only captain to win all ICC Tournaments to date. Cool in his head, Dhoni’s leadership skill was backed by his excellent wicketkeeping skills and big-hitting capacity. He is considered one of the best finishers in limited over cricket. Dhoni’s trademark helicopter shot went on to be the title-winning shot in the 2011 world cup further proving his worth.
Dhoni scored 4,876 runs in 90 Tests at an average of 38.09 with a top score of 224. He has 256 catches and 38 stumpings. In 350 ODIs, Dhoni scored 10,773 runs at an excellent average of 50.53. His top score of 183* against Pakistan is still regarded as one of the best in international cricket. In total, he scored 10 centuries and 73 half-centuries. He has 321 catches and 123 stumpings.
9. Jaques Kallis (South Africa)
Consistent and dynamic Jaques Kallis was one of the stalwarts of South African cricket in the modern-day. Equally talented with bat and ball, he went on to redefine the role of an allrounder in world cricket. Kallis was spearheading the pace attack and mainstay in the batting lineup of South Africa in their high days.
Kallis scored 13,289 runs at an astounding average of 55.37 in 166 tests. He scored 45 centuries and 58 half-centuries with a top score of 224. He also got 292 wickets at 32.65. In ODIs, Kallis scored 11,579 runs at 44.36 with 17 centuries and 86 half-centuries. He picked up 273 wickets at 31.79.
8. Brian Lara (West Indies)
When it comes to batting and numbers, Brian Lara stands out with most of the records in his name. A left-handed middle-order batsman whose persistence in the pitch was tough to ask for the opponents to get past. Lara still holds the highest score in Test Cricket and First Class Cricket.
Lara scored 11,953 runs in 131 Tests at an average of 52.88. His top score of 400* against England in 2004 is still the highest score in tests. He broke Matthew Hayden’s score of 380 after the left-handed Australian overtook his score of 375 a few months ago. Lara has 34 centuries and 48 half-centuries to his name.
In first-class cricket, Lara has a top score of 501*, which he scored for Warwickshire in the English county in 1994. He went on to add 22,156 runs in 261 matches at 51.88. He scored 65 centuries and 88 half-centuries. In 299 ODI matches, Lara scored 10,405 runs at 40.48 adding 19 centuries with a top score of 169.
7. Sir Viv Richards (West Indies)
One of the modern-day greats, Sir Vivian Richards is widely regarded as the man who changed batting perception in ODI cricket. He mirrored his numbers from Test to ODIs with immaculate hitting. His performance helped West Indies dominate the game during his period.
Richards scored 8,540 runs at an average of 50.23 in 121 tests. He scored 24 centuries and 45 half-centuries with a top score of 291. In ODIs, he scored 6,721 runs in 187 matches with an impressive average of 47. He top-scored with 189* as he scored 11 centuries and 45 half-centuries.
6. Shane Warne (Australia)
The answer to Australia’s spin woes, Shane Warne went on to establish himself as one of the greatest leg spinners world cricket graced. Having debuted for Australia in 1992, Warne broke all the charts and ended his career as the highest wicket-taker in tests. Muttiah Muralitharan later overtook him.
In 145 test matches, he picked up 708 scalps at an average of 25.41. He had 37 5-wickets hauls and took 10 wickets in a match 10 times. His best bowling figure in an inning stood 8/71. He also contributed 3,154 runs with a top score of 99. In 194 ODIs, he picked 293 wickets at 25.73 with just a single -wicket haul of 5/33.
5. Sir Ian Botham (England)
Still considered as the best cricketer to have graced English cricket, Sir Ian Botham debuted for the national team in 1976. A lanky fast bowler equally capable of batting, he went on to establish his name as one of the finest allrounders in the game.
In 102 tests, Botham scored 5,200 runs at an average of 33.54 with 14 centuries and 22 half-centuries. He also added 383 wickets in the process at 28.40. Botham in between 1986-88 was the leading wicket-taker in tests. Botham had 27 5 wicket hauls and took 10-wicket in a match four times. In 116 ODI matches, he took 145 wickets at 28.54 and scored 2,113 runs at 23.21.
4. Imran Khan (Pakistan)
The current prime minister of Pakistan is first known in the cricket fraternity as the captain of the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistan side. A utility allrounder who was equally good with the bat and ball, it was Khan’s leadership skills that stood out. Which with time drove him from leading the nation’s cricket team to leading the nation as a whole.
The cricketing Nation has modern day players like Babar Azam, however he is considered as the GOAT in the Pakistan cricket history.
In 88 tests, Khan scored 3,807 at an average of 37.69 and chipped in with 362 wickets at 22.81. In 175 ODIs, Khan maintained his average at 33.41 runs totaling 3,709 runs. He also took 182 wickets at 26.21 with the best bowling figures of 6/14.
3. Sir Garfield Sobers (West Indies)
West Indies cricket has revitalized its identity in the modern period with big names in limited-overs cricket. But in West Indies cricket’s early days, Sir Garfield Sobers was one who stood out. Debuting at the age of 16 in 1954, Sobers went on to play for 20 years appearing in 93 tests. A left-handed batsman equally capable of playing as a first-choice spinner, his number speaks for his quality.
Sobers scored 8,032 runs at an average of 57.78 with the then world record score of 365* against Pakistan in 1958. The record stood for 36 years until fellow West Indian Brian Lara scored 375. Sobers scored 26 centuries and 30 half-centuries. With the ball, Sobers picked up 235 wickets at an average of 34.03. He had 6 5-wicket hauls with the best bowling figures of 6/73.
2. Sachin Tendulkar (India)
Sachin Tendulkar is often referred to as the ‘God of Cricket’ in India and the subcontinent. His playing style and unmatched records meant he established himself as cricket’s modern-day greats. For someone who wanted to be a fast bowler, Tendulkar ended his career rewriting batting history in cricket. And in line putting himself in the elite list of Greatest of All Time.
After getting out for a duck in his Debut vs Pakistan in 1989, Tendulkar went on to add 15,921 runs in 200 test matches averaging 53.78. His top score of 248* was part of 51 centuries scored in a 24-year long test career. Tendulkar ended his ODI career in 2012, a year after he won World Cup with India in his hometown. Sachin scored 18,426 runs in 463 matches with a rare feat of scoring a double ton. He amassed 29 centuries and 96 half-centuries in the process.
1. Sir Don Bradman (Australia)
99.94, the iconic number that defines the career of Sir Don Bradman. Australian batsman averaged 99.94 in his career with 6996 runs in total. Playing with Baggy Green for nearly 22 years, his farewell match did not fall along the same line as his career did. Bradman started the final match on average of 101.39 but was out for a duck. England’s poor batting display meant he didn’t get to bat again and failed to attain an average of 100.
Bradman played 52 tests and made 29 centuries and 13 half-centuries. His top score was 334. In domestic cricket, he started in 1927 with New South Wales and shifted to South Australia 8 years later. Before calling it a day in 1949, he amassed 28,067 runs in 234 first-class matches averaging 95.14 runs. He scored 117 centuries and 69 half-centuries throughout. In 1930, He top-scored with 452* against Queensland at the SCG.