Cricket. Cricket is an emotion. For lovers of the game it is almost as important as their morning coffee. It energizes them, refreshes them. Here we discuss 15 of the greatest cricketers of all time according to us.
21. Anil Kumble
For Anil Kumble, his hard work paid off in gold as he rose to have his name celebrated by the cricketing world as one of the best spinners in the world. Coming as a tailender, he also has a test century to his name, along with a rare 10 wicket haul against Pakistan. Anil Kumble has also captained Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, leading the team to the finals.
20. Rahul Dravid
Another batsman whose immense patience is celebrated all over the world is Rahul Dravid, nicknamed The Wall or Mr. Dependable for his impenetrable defence technique, and remarkable consistency. He provided a stability to the team, repeatedly digging it out of a rut when everyone failed. Rahul Dravid will go down in history as one of the greatest cricketers of all time.
19. Dennis Lillee
Described as one of the most complete fast bowlers, Dennis Lillee wreaked havoc on the opposition with his pace. His comeback with a modified action after injury impressed fans all around the globe, and he came to be regarded as arguably the most feared pacer of all time.
18. Virat Kohli
Modern day cricket is synonymous with this name, Virat Kohli. He is a giant on the cricket field, and along with his counterparts from Australia (Steve Smith), New Zealand (Kane Williamson), and England (Joe Root), Virat Kohli looms large on the fates of all opposition bowlers who dream of getting somewhere and face him on the way.
17. Adam Gilchrist
A true game-changer, Gilchrist’s superlative batting skills paired with his terrific keeping against both pace and spin earned him a place among the legends of the sport. Along with Matthew Hayden, his bold strokeplay made him one of the most coveted players of his era. He adapted to the T20 format and the glamour of IPL easily, and led Deccan Chargers to the title once. His consistent performances make him one of the greatest cricketers of all time.
16. Chris Gayle
If T20 cricket has a face, it’s this man, The Universe Boss, Chris Gayle. The sixers never seem to dry out when the big man walks into the crease, wielding the willow. His confidence in himself, and reaffirming it by his performances make him one of the greats of the game.
15. AB de Villiers
Mr. 360. That’s what AB De Villiers is called. And rightly so, considering his records against all kinds of bowlers, playing any shot at will with equal accuracy, modern day cricket is blessed to have seen AB De Villiers in his full form. His batting, keeping, and agile fielding has led him to be listed with honour on this list.
16. Glenn McGrath
The most lethal weapon in Glenn McGrath’s arsenal was not his pace, but his ability to deliver consistently with machine-like precision, that earned him the wickets of numerous stars, including Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar.
15. Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting can be rightly described as a bully in every way. His chatter tormented the minds of the opposition team, while his habit of toying with the bowler from the first ball itself, coupled with his desperation to emerge victorious in all situations enabled him as well as his team Australia to reach their peaks soon under his leadership.
14. Shoaib Akhtar
The Rawalpindi Express from Pakistan was one of the most fiery pacers to have graced this game, terrorizing batsmen with his speed and the undying flame in his eyes that refused to be defeated even by batsmen of the likes of Tendulkar or Lara.
11. Jonty Rhodes
A rare occurrence, Jonty Rhodes made his place in the South African team principally thanks to his excellent fielding prowess. His fielding is still celebrated around the world. Although the world tends to forget that, Jonty also worked on his batting technique and averaged over 35 in Tests.
10. Kane Williamson
Watching Kane Williamson bat is like listening to classical music. It’s pure, and polished. He is currently the top ranked batsman in the world. His gentlemanlike disposition, and sportsmanship spirit has propelled him to the top, added to his exemplary skills.
Muttiah Muralitharan was a nightmare to any batsman facing him. With deceptive spin confused the best in the game and forced them to give their wickets to him. Muralitharan received unprecedented success, and inspired generations of spinners after him to learn from his tricks and prepare themselves.
A vicious leg-spinner who flummoxed batsmen throughout his career with the wide variations in his action that never let them settle. Warne’s batting down the order was an important asset to the team, as can be seen by his record of having the most Test runs without a century, and his fielding skills were also superlative. Warne was and continues to be a gargantuan figure in the game who has inspired many to come.
7. Brian Lara
Brian Lara was the man who made dreams happen. The only batsman ever to have made a 400 in Tests, holding the record of the highest first class score of 501, and a century against every Test playing nation, Brian Lara is a true Caribbean star.
6. Sir Vivian Richards
Sir Vivian Richards, rightly named in the 5 Wisden cricketers of the century in 2000, exuded style and confidence as he destroyed bowlers in a time when aggressive batting was still unheard of. He holds the record for the fastest Test ton scored in 56 balls. Sir Vivian Richards brought to the cricketing world a wonder that still amazes people.
5. Sir Garfield Sobers
Sir Garry Sobers with his fairytale all-round capabilities made Sir Don Bradman himself describe him as a “five-in-one cricketer”. His skills with the bat, on the field, and the magic bowling where he could deliver left arm orthodox, left arm swing, and left arm wrist spin singlehandedly, made him one of the most sought after cricketers around the world. He also hit six sixers in an over off Welsh bowler Malcolm Nash.
4. Allan Border
Having come into the team principally as a batsman, Allan Border was soon given the responsibility of leading the team, and under his captaincy Australia reached the pinnacle of success. He was also an able all-rounder, and refused to coddle his teammates, encouraging them to perform instead.
3. Sir Alastair Cook
Sir Alastair Cook is a relatively modern era batsman. Cook’s statistics speak for themselves, with him holding the record of the highest number of centuries by an English batsman. His skills overpowered the Australian and Indian challenges, and Sir Alastair Cook made it to the list of the greatest cricketers of all time.
2. Sachin Tendulkar
The God of Cricket, the Little Master, the Master Blaster! Sachin Tendulkar has all sorts of nicknames that a man of his capabilities deserves. Sachin Tendulkar, with his calm, soft-spoken nature, conquered every corner of the world, terrorizes every bowler with the swing of his willow. His unbelievable statistics still amaze cricket lovers around the world. The highest number of runs in tests and odis, the highest number of international centuries (100), and a plethora of other batting records that may sound like fantasy mark the legend of this great man.
1. Sir Donald Bradman
Test average? 99.94! It has been almost a hundred years since this giant walked on the crease, rendering the bowlers helpless against the storm that was called Don Bradman, and yet, he is still considered the best there has ever been in the game. Playing at No. 3, the Don achieved feats unknown to man before. With his immense popularity, Sir Don Bradman is synonymous with the name of cricket itself. He is one of the greatest cricketers of all time, if not the greatest.
The list misses out on other giants who reigned on the cricketing world at different periods of history, including the likes of Jacques Kallis, Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, or the modern day greats Joe Root, Steve Smith, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah. Let us know who you think deserves a place in the list of the greatest cricketers of all time.