Cricket October 23, 2011

What makes a good allrounder?

Cricinfo
From Alan and Philip Sutherland, Australia
68

From Alan and Philip Sutherland, Australia

The recent Test series between Sri Lanka and Australia has illustrated the important role of all-rounders in the game. Although Australia’s vice-captain Shane Watson failed with the bat, he took important wickets with his medium-pace. By contrast, Sri Lanka’s vice-captain, Angelo Mathews performed well with the bat, but was unfortunately unable to bowl due to injury. All-rounders (other than wicketkeepers) are expected to bowl.

So, who what are some of the indicators used to define an allrounder? A usual one is the figure of 1000 runs and 100 wickets. This, however, is a little vague as it includes a useful number No.8 (such as Shane Warne) whilst excluding the greatest leg-spinning batsman of all time, Aubrey Faulkner, who only represented South Africa 25 times in the early 20th century. Ideally, allrounders should take at least about one wicket per match. Australia’s Steve Waugh started his career bowling medium pace, but hardly bowled during the bulk of his career, thus not achieving this mark. Another Australian captain, Greg Chappell, finished with a similar record.

One who came very close was the great English batsman, Sir Walter Hammond. With 83 wickets in 85 matches and a glowing report on his wicket-taking ability from none other than his fellow knight, Sir Donald Bradman, Hammond should perhaps have bowled more often. Crucially, Hammond’s batting average is above his bowling average (over 20 runs above to be precise), which is another oft-used criterion for an allrounder status and one that his compatriot Andrew Flintoff couldn’t quite achieve for his entire career.

Sir Richard Hadlee is a prime example of one who could achieve such a feat. Although Hadlee was arguably not as good with the bat as Flintoff was to be later, New Zealand’s greatest player certainly never tired of taking wickets. Indeed, Hadlee took a tick over five wickets per Test.

The only allrounder to surpass this feat was South Africa’s Mike Procter, albeit in an official Test career of just seven matches. Few allrounders take more than three-and-a-half wickets per Test. Two who achieved this feat include Chris Cairns and Jack Gregory. Cairns’ father Lance was a fine swing bowler who often operated first change in the same New Zealand team as Hadlee. Lance swung the bat equally fiercely at No.8 or 9. However, his son, Chris, took his batting to a different level (averaging over 33) whilst remaining effective with the ball.

Like Chris Cairns, Jack Gregory’s abilities made him arguably the second-best non-keeping allrounder his country has ever produced. Long before the Waughs and the Chappells, the Gregory clan was synonymous with Australian cricket. Time, however, has seen Jack and his relations somewhat forgotten. After all, “Kangaroo Jack” Gregory played in the same team as the Chappell’s grandfather, Victor Richardson, who himself was something of an all-round sportsman and fielder if not a Test allrounder.

One whose fielding ability was never in question (nor his batting or bowling) was Sir Garfield Sobers. Many would rate Sobers as the greatest allrounder (indeed, the greatest cricketer) to ever play the game. With two-and-a-half-wickets per match and a batting average over twenty runs higher than his bowling average, it is easy to agree.

However, there is one other allrounder who deserves such lofty consideration – Imran Khan. Not only a great bowler and a fine batsman (achieving the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in just 30 matches), Imran’s captaincy record for Pakistan is also noteworthy. Needless to say, Sri Lanka have obviously earmarked Mathews as a future captain. Equally, they need him fit to bowl more, thus enabling greater flexibility in picking two specialist spinners. It is probably unlikely that Mathews will ever achieve the status of a great allrounder. Yet, for the sake of the team, he must aim for a Hammond-like one wicket per match.

Given the two criteria of a higher batting than bowling average combined with an emphasis on wickets per match, there have been many who rate a mention. A top thirty could be: Imran Khan, Garry Sobers, Aub Faulkner, Mike Procter, Shaun Pollock, Richard Hadlee, Keith Miller, Jacques Kallis, Jack Gregory, Ian Botham, Chris Cairns, Trevor Goddard, Alan Davidson, Tony Greig, Giff Vivian, Colin McCool, Allan Steel, Frank Foster, Kapil Dev, Monty Noble, Roy Kilner, Charles Kelleway, Brian McMillan, Bob Cowper, Frank Worrell, Shane Watson, Wally Hammond, Stanley Jackson, Ed Barlow and Warwick Armstrong.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alan & Philip Sutherland on November 19, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    As regards Shakib Al Hasan, only test matches were used for analysis. Also, this piece was written before the WI tour of Bangladesh. Had it been written afterwards, Shakib would have definitely been in the middle of the group, having scored quite a few test runs and having taken quite a few test wickets. We expect he will move further up with time for he is still young. His absence in no way indicated a lack of respect by the authors for his play or for the country he represents. Nor do we dislike Kallis, we listed him at eight. Had he bowled more he would have been higher, for it is true that he has concentrated on his brilliant batting for much of his career. It is worth noting too, that there are four other South Africans in the top twelve, as well as the SA-raised Grieg just outside. McMillan and Barlow are also considered. South African all-rounders have definitely been a force in the game and Kallis is one of the best.

  • jagadeesh on November 4, 2011, 14:09 GMT

    IN my point of view the best all rounder is not kallis not watson it is SHAKIB AL HASAN. Only the player performing very well in both odi n test matches by both bat n ball. Unfortunately he born in bangladesh. Suppose assume he play for england then the writer will write he was the best

  • Santosh on October 31, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    Kallis definitely deserves more credit than he is given... He is definitely the greatest SA cricketer ever and should be among the top 5 all rounders in the history of cricket

  • Raghav Shete on October 31, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    Imran was surely the greatest by a mile. Sifting the stats a little more, he operated for 2/3 of his career at a batting average of 48.5 and a bowling average of just below 19.5 @ over 4.25 wickets/match. And we are not even talking of his captaincy.

  • shanawaz khan on October 31, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    it is amazing that none of you mentioned shakib al hasan. i guess being the world's top odi allrounder for 2 years and then reclaiming it again from shane watson last week doesn't count for anything. did i mention he has also been in the top 10 test allrounder for the last 3 years. guess that doesn't count either. but go ahead and put in allrounders' (a dozen or so) name who hasn't done anything special for their country.

  • john Avinash Rae on October 31, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    If a reat like Kapil dev is ignored in the writers original list, I believe he should go to sleep. many allroundeds have come and gone, but the best 4 in the century are kapil, Imran, Botham & hadlee. PERIOD.

  • Meety on October 31, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    @Sifter - very good analysis, although I think that there are too many degrees of "allrounder" to cut off a player because his batting average is below his bowling ave. That being said I think what you've done is a good rule of thumb. I don't think anyone would say Hammond is a better allrounder than Botham though (he did play on too long). On IT Figures there was agood graphical analysis on allrounders, that showed whether they batting or bowling dominated or whether they were equal in both disciplines. == == == IMO - the old 1,000 runs 100 wickets or multiples thereof is redundant due to the quantity of matches played. I think that a career analysis doesn't do much, it should be based on how many times a player performed allround deeds in a series, (5 Test series - 300 runs & 15 wickets say)??

  • aman on October 30, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    i would rather go with Jacque Kallis.. he is so underrated...look at his batting avg and wicket count.. much better than imran...

  • Kalyan on October 30, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    I would have liked to see the names of Vinoo Mankad and Dattu Phadkar in the list.Phadkar was considered a good swing bowler and if memory serves me right he score a century against Australia

  • dale on October 30, 2011, 20:13 GMT

    Figures do not ever tell the whole story but consider the following - at the end of his career Sobers was #1 in runs scored in a career #1 in the highest individual score in an inning #2 in centuries scored #3 in catches taken by non wicketkeepers #7 in wickets taken in a career When you take his contributions with bat,ball and catches in individual tests there is no doubt he's the premier achiever among all the grea.t cricketers worthy of consideration

  • Alan & Philip Sutherland on November 19, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    As regards Shakib Al Hasan, only test matches were used for analysis. Also, this piece was written before the WI tour of Bangladesh. Had it been written afterwards, Shakib would have definitely been in the middle of the group, having scored quite a few test runs and having taken quite a few test wickets. We expect he will move further up with time for he is still young. His absence in no way indicated a lack of respect by the authors for his play or for the country he represents. Nor do we dislike Kallis, we listed him at eight. Had he bowled more he would have been higher, for it is true that he has concentrated on his brilliant batting for much of his career. It is worth noting too, that there are four other South Africans in the top twelve, as well as the SA-raised Grieg just outside. McMillan and Barlow are also considered. South African all-rounders have definitely been a force in the game and Kallis is one of the best.

  • jagadeesh on November 4, 2011, 14:09 GMT

    IN my point of view the best all rounder is not kallis not watson it is SHAKIB AL HASAN. Only the player performing very well in both odi n test matches by both bat n ball. Unfortunately he born in bangladesh. Suppose assume he play for england then the writer will write he was the best

  • Santosh on October 31, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    Kallis definitely deserves more credit than he is given... He is definitely the greatest SA cricketer ever and should be among the top 5 all rounders in the history of cricket

  • Raghav Shete on October 31, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    Imran was surely the greatest by a mile. Sifting the stats a little more, he operated for 2/3 of his career at a batting average of 48.5 and a bowling average of just below 19.5 @ over 4.25 wickets/match. And we are not even talking of his captaincy.

  • shanawaz khan on October 31, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    it is amazing that none of you mentioned shakib al hasan. i guess being the world's top odi allrounder for 2 years and then reclaiming it again from shane watson last week doesn't count for anything. did i mention he has also been in the top 10 test allrounder for the last 3 years. guess that doesn't count either. but go ahead and put in allrounders' (a dozen or so) name who hasn't done anything special for their country.

  • john Avinash Rae on October 31, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    If a reat like Kapil dev is ignored in the writers original list, I believe he should go to sleep. many allroundeds have come and gone, but the best 4 in the century are kapil, Imran, Botham & hadlee. PERIOD.

  • Meety on October 31, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    @Sifter - very good analysis, although I think that there are too many degrees of "allrounder" to cut off a player because his batting average is below his bowling ave. That being said I think what you've done is a good rule of thumb. I don't think anyone would say Hammond is a better allrounder than Botham though (he did play on too long). On IT Figures there was agood graphical analysis on allrounders, that showed whether they batting or bowling dominated or whether they were equal in both disciplines. == == == IMO - the old 1,000 runs 100 wickets or multiples thereof is redundant due to the quantity of matches played. I think that a career analysis doesn't do much, it should be based on how many times a player performed allround deeds in a series, (5 Test series - 300 runs & 15 wickets say)??

  • aman on October 30, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    i would rather go with Jacque Kallis.. he is so underrated...look at his batting avg and wicket count.. much better than imran...

  • Kalyan on October 30, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    I would have liked to see the names of Vinoo Mankad and Dattu Phadkar in the list.Phadkar was considered a good swing bowler and if memory serves me right he score a century against Australia

  • dale on October 30, 2011, 20:13 GMT

    Figures do not ever tell the whole story but consider the following - at the end of his career Sobers was #1 in runs scored in a career #1 in the highest individual score in an inning #2 in centuries scored #3 in catches taken by non wicketkeepers #7 in wickets taken in a career When you take his contributions with bat,ball and catches in individual tests there is no doubt he's the premier achiever among all the grea.t cricketers worthy of consideration

  • zan on October 30, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    kallis is rightly not among best allroundrz as statistics does not tell everythng.for sure imran khan is the best.

  • Berry on October 30, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    Sobers is the GREATEST EVER.why? Because he did EVERYTHING on a cricket field with supreme ease and of the highest quality. He never played for himself or stats. He ALWAYS played for the team. His mostly batting so low in the order, and having such a strong line-up ahead of him meant that he did not always get to freely bat , but mostly did what was necessary for the team. The sublime ease with which he batted(see his videos),or for that matter(played the game)frustated ALL who played against him.Bowlers feared him, and batsmen feared his bowling and close fielding skills.As a captain, he always made the game interesting, unlike many of today's captains, who always play it safe and make the game at times, very boring.We were robbed of many more runs and centuries from his bat, because of how he played the game. When he was OUT,he walked, when the opposing batsman was incorrectly given out , he called them back.Not only a great player , but also a gentleman - the greatest player....ever

  • NALINWIJ on October 30, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    Imran and Sobers is at the top of the list and i would add Keith Miller as the only other in the list of 3 greatest allrounders. There are some all rounders under utilised with bat Wasim Akram and Richie Benaud and there were others under utilised as bowlers [Kallis] If captaincy is taken into account Imran goes ahead of the list and Benaud comes into the list as a great allrounder who was a great leg spinner a brilliant fielder and was initially selected as a batsman who has scored a test century and was one of the greatest captains in the history and he is about to retire as the most respected commentator of the game. Statistics are QUANTITATIVE but there is a Qualitative side to greatness!!

  • jayanth on October 30, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    Imran Khan had negelected his batting talent in the first half of his career concentrating on his bowling.Kallis began as a great alrounder,but probably due to injury he stopped bowling for few years in a certain phase of his career and R.Hadlee was not as talented in batting.On the other hand Sobers,Botham,Kapil and Proctor performed consistenlty either with ball or bat in most of the matches they played .Keeping all statistics aside,they are the true great alrounders.

  • Anonymous on October 30, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    I think the ability to turn matches with either bat or ball is important. Also you need to judge people at their peak but also over a reasonable period. say a minimum of 25 Tests or 5 years, whichever is longer. Botham would be judged over 1978-1983, Imran over 1981-87, Sobers over 1961-68, Miller over I'm not sure 46-51 or 51-56, Kapil was pretty level throughout and so is Kallis. Flintoff was very influential but only over 2003-2006. What about Faulkner, Noble. Mankad is a difficult one. His figures don't stack up, bowling average being greater than the batting average.But India was a hopeless fielding side and Mankad wasa spinner. If you consider their batting bowling and fielding at theri best as stated, Sobers must be the best and then there is daylight before Sobers and then Imran. If you add captaincy, Sobers still wins but there is less of a gap before Imran comes as number two an Botham slips.

    Icki

  • Steve on October 30, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    I can see where they are coming from not including allrounders who don't bowl much. However, in regards to Kallis, only recently has he become more of a part time bowler. Remember there was a time when he used to open the bowling and regularly take wickets - I think when he was in his 20s, he was averaging mid 40s with the bat and late 20s with the ball, which is just outstanding. He has still been getting out great batsman such as Ponting (5 times), Tendulkar (3 times), Hayden (5 times), Gilcrest (6 times), both Waugh brother (3 times each), Bell (twice), Pietersen (twice), Lara (twice). Note that he has 48 wickets against the greatest team of the generation, Australia, of which over 35 of them have been against top order batsman. So certainly a joke that he is not included in this list.

  • Barry de Klerk on October 29, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    Another typical result for Kallis - the guy who gets man of the series scored 77% of Kallis's runs and took 0% of his wickets. The guy who gets man of the match scored fewer runs, did not take any wickets (Kallis took 2)and was more expensive. I suppose it is all his fault that the batsmen after him on Friday were useless.

  • arun on October 29, 2011, 2:08 GMT

    1.Garry Sobers 2.Imran Khan 3.Kallis 4.Kapil Dev 5.botham 6.Andrew flintoff 7.Dwayne Bravo 8.Angelo Mathews 9.Shane watson 10.Lance klusner 11.Chris Cairns 12.Abdul Razzaq 13.Albie Morkel

  • Glenford Prescott on October 28, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    I agree that Jacques Kallis should and must be included on any list of allrounders........

    I also support the sentiments without any biases that Sir Garry Sobers is the best allrounder ever when you take his bowling dimensions into consideration...his ability to deal with any time of bowling in any condition......his reading of the game......and his fielding at any position.......

    We must admit that with all the new things added to cricket now that if Sir Garry had been afforded the privilege to bat ninety overs in a day he would have scored loser to twenty thousand runs in test..and taken a possible five hundred wickets.....

  • barry de klerk on October 28, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    Ah well, I'll just continue watching the world's greatest active cricketer - Sunday in person in PE and otherwise on TV, and wonder what the hell Kallis has to do for cricket of the decade voters and others to recognize his continueing achievements.

  • AusRob on October 28, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    My criteria would be to have a higher batting average than bowling average, with a qualifier of scoring at least 1,000 runs and taking at least 50 wickets. I do like Chinar's idea of batting avg/bowling avg as well, although batting avg-bowling avg also works. The greatest of the modern game should be Kallis, although Sobers would rank among the top of the all-time list.

  • metman on October 27, 2011, 22:53 GMT

    Garry Sobers is the only complete ALL -ROUNDER in the history of cricket.He is the ONLY cricketer,who has open with the new ball,come back later and bowl wrist spin or orthodox left arm spin,and still find the energy to score 26 test centuries,at an av.of 57.78,including a top score of 365 n.o.An ALL-ROUNDER in my opinion,is one who can do the most on a cricket field.Sobers is so far ahead of the others, that I would have to give him the nos.1,2,and 3 positions,with Imran Khan,Botham and Kapil Dev jostling for position no.4

  • Sturgeon Martin on October 27, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    There should be no dispute the Great keith Miller says Garfield Sobers is the greatest cricketer that ever grace planet earth Batting from opener to no8 he made runs he aklso opened the biowling many times and bowl right through with his different varieties of executing the ball, and he was one of the greatest slip fielders ever, So heis the Greatest all rounder that ever played the game with Jacues Kallis a close second ,if sobers had played the amount of cricket that thes guys played he would have more centuries than even tendulker

  • Kartikeya Singh on October 27, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    I can't say anything about Sobers but a lot of people who saw him rate him the best. In my view if he was a better allrounder than Imran Khan then he probably deserves to be rated the greatest cricketer off all time, period.

    I don't think I've seen a better allrounder than Imran purely based on his achievements with the bat and ball. When you factor in his captaincy and the inspirational effect he had on his team he leads the pack by a country mile.

  • Sean on October 27, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    How come this article missed Sanath Jayasuriya? Stats were taken into consideration very lightly. If Shane Watson is good enough to be mentioned because of hard hitting batting and pace bowling how come a true great like Sanath is missed? Kapil Dev is missing too. People need to know cricketers beyond who they think are great. If not such articles will only present one's ignorance. Players like Sanath Jayasuriya made the modern era of cricket entertaining the way it is. If not for them we would not see Shahid Afridi, Gilchrist, Yuvraj, Shevag, even Watson. It should be narrowed down to 10,000 runs and 300 wickets to see the real list. Come out of the hole please.

  • santosh on October 27, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Here is my criteria for the true allrounder in test. (1) at least 50 runs per match in tests - average above 50 (2) at least 2 wickets per test (3) batting average - bowling average greater than 25 (4) at least one century every 4 tests (6) at least one catch every match (7) above 11000 runs in tests (8) above 250 wickets in tests

    I believe only Jacques Kallis ticks all boxes. He has shown this in all formats of cricket

  • farhan on October 27, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    i guess it is just an article on a very common debate on a bit different perspectives but not necessarily the standard to measure the likes of kallis or kapil. didnt watch neither imran's nor faulkner's nor even sobber's classics but one thing i believe from my heart...they were transcendentals in their respective times. if you ask straight statistics, they will fool you by putting faulkner far behind kallis. sometimes you cannot just provide statistical establishments to judge one's greatness (or should i say to bring diversities in a ever long debate?)a performer must be judged by his ability to cope with demands of his era;how well he executes his plan to do his exact role.

  • Umesh on October 27, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    About Angelo Mathews this says "it is probably unlikely that Mathews will ever achieve the status of a great allrounder." My question is why cannot he? Is it because of his past injury? But people are not always injured. He should get through. This "not so high standard" article should make him more determined to be a great allrounder one day.

  • Vijeth on October 27, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Forget the stats... a true allrounder is a person who could be picked up in the side either as a batsman or a bowler alone despite being able to do well in both departments. This may be a bit harsh on wicket-keepers, but they ought to bat decently to be picked up.

    In numerical terms - anybody who has a bowling average of say less than 35 (preferably below 30) and a batting average of over 35 (this was a good average in the older days) would be best termed as all-rounders.

    Based on the above criteria, there aren't many apart from Sobers, Kallis, & Imran Khan (in the latter part of his career), you wouldn't find many who would fit the bill. My personal pick is Imran Khan at the top.

    Yet, people like Hadlee, Botham, & Kapil were all-rounders for what value they could bring to the team - they could slot in the lower middle-order as a batsman and do their duty as a bowler - even though they may not meet the statistical criteria.

  • Muhamamd Mustafa on October 27, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    Kapil Dav, Ian Botham and Jacques Kallis are good all rounders but there is no match with Imran Khan. In there last 48 match in which he was captain of Pakistan he Averages more then 52 with bat and 20 with boll. As compare to other he played less test matches as wall. Jacques Kallis played 145 test, Ian Botham played 102 matches and Kapil Dav played 131 matches as compared to Imran,s 88 matches. So none of them are nearer to Imran. He is the best All rounder world been ever produced.

  • Kimbo on October 26, 2011, 23:28 GMT

    Kiran - Kapil Dev is in the list :)

  • Rishi on October 26, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    If Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman of this generation then, according to me the greatest allrounder/cricketer of this generation, if not of all time, is Jacques Kallis. He is by far one of the most underrated cricketers I have come across and it is down right disgusting that this man does not get the credit he so rightly deserves. Kallis is the cornerstone around which the South African team is built and is the most integral part of any team that he has played in over the last 15 years. He bats 1 or 2 down, plays all three formats with utmost of ease & has outstanding records in all formats, is an excellent fielder and bowls whenever required - PACE not spin. Any other cricketer who did all these roles for such a long time would have retired long ago. True, age has caught up with him and he does not open the bowling anymore, but he is still the most hardworking cricketer and the best ambassador of South African cricket.

  • Jahid Russel on October 26, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    Kiran Kapil is in the list . (he is on the 3rd line). Others Even though he was in discussion, Flintoff was not in the list. 5/10 years from now, in similar discussion, you will include Sakib Al Hasan.

  • Andrew on October 26, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    Interesting article, however I must point a factual inaccuracy. Walter Hammond was never knighted. I have read that as a bowler, he was only slightly behind his England contemporary Maurice Tate who was rated as one of the great medium fast bowlers of the 20s & early 30s.

  • Nasir Ali Khan on October 26, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    I think a reasonable list, guys like Sachin,Jayasuria are definitely not all rounders they are more like batsman who can bowl which doesn't qualify as all rounder. My Top three all rounders are Imran Khan/Gary Sobers and Jacques Kallis, Kallis and Imran I think didnt get much accolades as other got.. Kallis a complete batsman, bowler and immaculate fielder who took so many catches 3 in 1 player.. same goes with Imran his batting/bowling/catching and on top of all captaincy makes him on top of my list.

  • Shahid on October 26, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    First,Not including Kapil in the list is a sin. He was one of the two greatest allrounders of all time in subcontinent. It must be a innocent mistake on writers part. Second, Averages of mid 30s by Imran and Kapil are simply equal to mid 40s of present era if one considers the standard of wickets and bowling abilities available in 80s and now.Third, In a romantic cricket history, every one would like to have a fast bowling allrounder at the top of the list.

  • Dutchy on October 26, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    All rounders can damage a side - the search for an all rounder wrecked English cricket in the 80s and 90s and continually picking Flintoff after 2005 as a number six when his batting wasn't up to scratch held England back. The crucial thing is an all rounder needs a day job - something they have to do eg Jacques Kallis' day job is to score runs and the wickets are a bonus. Otherwise they call into a never-never land of bits and pieces players,

  • Sifter on October 26, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    You can combine both measures by doing something like this: (Bat Avg. - Bowl Avg.) x Wkts/Match

    The formula automatically eliminates anyone with a bowling average that's higher than their batting average (eg. Flintoff, Benaud), and automatically penalises anyone who took less than 1 wicket per game.

    24 players make the list (1000 runs/75 wkt cutoff) with a top 10 of: Imran Khan - 61.21 Sir Garfield Sobers - 60.03 Jacques Kallis - 47.33 Aubrey Faulkner - 46.61 Keith Miller - 43.27 Shaun Pollock - 35.86 Trevor Goddard - 24.72 Sir Richard Hadlee - 24.41 Jack Gregory - 20.58 Sir Walter Hammond - 20.16

    Sir Ian Botham finishes 12th with 19.30 - he really just played for too long past his best. Retire earlier and his career numbers would look much better.

  • vipul khemka on October 25, 2011, 21:54 GMT

    Why the emphasis has been given only on the fast bowling all rounders, whereas there have been many spin bowling all rounders as well, Sanath Jayasuriya from Sri Lanka is the leading example in this case....

  • Rishi on October 25, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    If Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman of this generation then, according to me the greatest allrounder/cricketer of this generation is Jacques Kallis. It’s strange that he does not get a mention in most articles. This guy has been the cornerstone around which the South African team is built and is by far the most integral part of any team that he has played in over the last 15 years. He bats 1 or 2 down, plays all three formats with utmost of ease & has outstanding records in all formats, is an excellent fielder and bowls whenever required - PACE not spin. Any other cricketer who did all these roles for such a long time would have retired long ago. True, age has caught up with him and he does not open the bowling anymore, but he is still the most hardworking cricketer and the best ambassador of South African cricket. A Salute to the legend that is Jacques Kallis.

  • Rishi on October 25, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    If Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman of this generation then, according to me the greatest allrounder/cricketer of this generation is Jacques Kallis. It’s strange that he does not get a mention in most articles. This guy has been the cornerstone around which the South African team is built and is by far the most integral part of any team that he has played in over the last 15 years. He bats 1 or 2 down, plays all three formats with utmost of ease & has outstanding records in all formats, is an excellent fielder and bowls whenever required - PACE not spin. Any other cricketer who did all these roles for such a long time would have retired long ago. True, age has caught up with him and he does not open the bowling anymore, but he is still the most hardworking cricketer and the best ambassador of South African cricket.

  • Sumeet Singh on October 25, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    Anybody remember Neil Johnson ????? Used to open both batting and bowling for zimbabwe. Great player...

  • Ali Khan on October 25, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    My criteria as alrounder based on i) how they perfrom against the mightest team ever, i.e, the great West Indian team of 1980's, and (ii) how they perform agiants each other in the top form in the era of 4-great alrounders: Imran, Kapil, Botham and Hadlee. First, Against WI, it was only Imran who came on top, and square 3-consequetive test series agianst them, often due to his own inspirational performace with bowling, bat and also as captain. Both Kapil and botham lost comprehesnively aginst WI. I m not sure about Headlee. Second, Against England in 1982-1983, in England, Imran was mano of the series , not Botham. Against, India, in 1982-1983 and 1985-1986, Imran was Man of the series not Kapil. I do not know, whether IMran and Hadlee played against each other in a series. In any case above data sum up, the greatest alrounder ever was Imran Khan. No arguments.

  • D.J.Victor on October 25, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    Cant believe that Kallis gets no specific mention, he may not be the absolute best - but he is close to it. I remember a superb article on Cricinfo when he overtook, statistically, Garry Sobers' figures . I suppose that the debate will continue...

  • Dr. Talha on October 25, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    Fabulous article!!Absolutely agree that Imran was the best. You should also consider the performance against the best team of that era. Imran had an outstanding record against the mighty windies, both in batting and bowling. While kallis is pretty ordinary against australia. Same goes for players like Botham and kapil, their record against windies is not impressive.Imran also has the best record, if we talk about the Man of the Series. He has won 8 man of the series awards in the 28 series that he has played in, which is the best percentage. Hadlee is the second best, 8 in 33 series. Plus Imran was never a liability on the team, while Kapil and Botham at the end of their careers did not deserved a position in the playing 11.

  • Nasir Ali Khan on October 25, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    I think a reasonable list, guys like Sachin,Jayasuria are definitely not all rounders they are more like batsman who can bowl which doesn't qualify as all rounder. My Top three all rounders are Imran Khan/Gary Sobers and Jacques Kallis, Kallis and Imran I think didnt get much accolades as other got.. Kallis a complete batsman, bowler and immaculate fielder who took so many catches 3 in 1 player.. same goes with Imran his batting/bowling/catching and on top of all captaincy makes him on top of my list.

  • Critek on October 24, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    What's with the Knightood fascination ?? Imperial folks, this is the 21st century, wake up!

    @Kiran, read carefully: Kapil Dev is included in the list. Surprising omission is Vinoo Mankad.. one of the best in his times.

  • Xolile on October 24, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Why is everyone focussing on Wickets per Test, rather than Runs per Test? If you take a balanced approach Kallis tops Sobers every time.

  • Babu Mohan on October 24, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    Where is Noel David? Surprise to see the allrounders list without Noel's name... Ha..Ha..Ha?

  • Aditya on October 24, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    Kallis is the greatest all rounder to have ever played the game. Period. He would fit into any team of any era purely as a batsman or as a bowler; him being an all rounder is just a brilliant bonus!

  • Talha Khan on October 24, 2011, 11:11 GMT

    Jacques is obviously the best as not only his awesome stats, but also his perfect technique (having brought up among the hostile bowling friendly pitches having really high bounce). Also his adaptability to the shorter formats. His game has totally changed since the 2009 ipl and he is obviously the best player of 2000s

  • Manivannan P on October 24, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    If statistics is the sole criteria for classifying all-rounder’s, I firmly believe that Daniel Vettori also has to figure in this list. He is one of the few cricketers who has captured more than 300 test wickets and scored in excess of 4000 test runs. But would one be tempted to call him an all-rounder? I wouldn't stiff my neck out for him to be classified as a genuine all-rounder. I've been witnessing this game for the past 3.5 decades and with due respects to the people whom I've not witnessed like (Gary Sobers, Keith Miller, Eddie Barlow, Clive Rice, Mike Procter, Vinoo Mankad, others) - my estimate of an all-rounder is one who can single-handedly turn the course of a match either thru' his batting or bowling exploits be it a test match or an ODI. In this regard - my list would be Kapil, Imran, Botham/Hadlee (although reluctantly on account of their inability to peak in the ODI's), Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Andrew Flintoff, Chris Cairns - though not in the same order.

  • baldarash2011 on October 24, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    while i would love to see an Indian allrounder worthy of Kapil Dev heights in modern day cricket only one player in the present era can command a place in the side either as a speialist batsman or a specialist bowler in all forms of the game - Shakib AlHasan of Bangladesh. Those who doubt this are simply ignorant. The guy plays against the strongest teams and the toughest players but is always performing. Look at his stats. Whoever wrote this article doesn't follow international cricket very well it seems. Would Kallis be an automatic choice solely as a bowler in the South Africa team? I don't think so. That is where Shakib is different...if only he was born in India!

  • Kiran on October 24, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    where is Kapil Dev??? it shows the ignorance of the writer that he hasn't inluded Kapil in the best 30 allrounders list as well...

  • Chinar on October 24, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    I believe a better criteria than the difference between batting and bowling averages would be to consider the ratio of the two, i.e. batting avg/bowling avg. IMO Sobers is probably the greatest cricketer ever, however I feel Imran is not too behind in terms of being a complete allrounder. Among the famous quartet, Botham was probably the best in the initial part of his career, but if we look at overall figures Imran is untouchable. Hadlee and Kapil are not even close.

  • shankar on October 24, 2011, 8:43 GMT

    According to me Jaques Kallis of S.A. is almost near the greatest allrounder Sir Garry. His figures speak for themselves. About 12000 test runs, 41 test centuries, >250 test wickets > 150 test catches About 11000 ODI runs, 20 ODI centuries, >280 ODI wickets, 150 ODI catches In T 20/IPL/ twenty20 also his record is fantastic including strike rate and sixes. What more can you ask of an all rounder. None of those names mentioned by the other have achieved any where near these figures

  • Ross Done on October 24, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    While there is no doubt that Imran was a great all-rounder (probably the best 'bowling' all-rounder, stats-wise), Sober's plaudits come from more than just his stats. Those who saw him play, or played with or against him will rate him as the greatest cricketer ever because it all came so naturally to him. Batting anywhere in the order, bowling pace or spin, fielding at any position - he made it all look easy, and always excelled.

  • Mustafa on October 24, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    I don't agree with the above article as it does not include Abdul Razzaq. Even Steve Waugh, Sanath Jayasuria should also be included in the list.

  • Susil Weeratunga on October 24, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    Here is my criteria for the true allrounder.

    (1) at least 50 runs per match (2) at least 3 wickets per match (3) batting average - bowling average greater than 10 (4) at least one century every 10 matches (5) at least one five-for every 10 matches (6) at least one catch every two matches

    I believe only Keith Miller ticks all boxes.

  • Springbokkie on October 24, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    Wow, an article on All Rounders and Jacques Kallis gets a mention as a footnote. The only player in the history of the game to have over 10000 runs and 250 wickets in ODI and Test cricket and he is mentioned as a footnote.

  • rahul dev on October 24, 2011, 3:36 GMT

    Its a surprise that,there is no mention about Jacques Kallis and Kapil Dev

  • sarath on October 24, 2011, 0:45 GMT

    yes iam also agree that imran khan was one of the greatest allrounder. Present shane watson amd kallis are two best allrounders

  • wayne on October 23, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    One thing I think that separates all-rounders like Imran & Botham (and others, too, mind) from the rest of the pack, is the pairing of the ability to turn a match with bat or ball, with that hard-to-quantify ability to lift their side simply by playing. And these two abilities (qualities?) are what make some players so irresitible to watch.

  • jaytirth on October 23, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    Kapil Dev has taken more than 400 test wickets, scored more than 5000 test runs and was the captain of the victorious Indian team in 1983 world cup.

  • Muzammil on October 23, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Actually things change from time to time. Now kallis will complain the idea of 1000 runs and 100 wickets because he has taken much much more. I think the idea is: that how much an all rounder has contributed in the teams winning and performance. In this regard, Imran's name is certainly in top 3 (if not at the top). Now why he is so much under rated? Its just that people now love Sehwag and Dhoni type cricketers more and Kepil Dev type cricketers less.

  • bleu on October 23, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    The fact the this article does not speak anything about Jacques Kallis, in my humble opinion, makes it a very not-upto-the-cricinfo.com-standard article. Jacques Kallis has had such high quality and consistent track record with both the bat and the ball. On top of that he was a good fielder as well. He was literally the guy on from who you can reasonable expect a century and 5 wicket haul in the same match. Why? Because he could reliably open the batting and the bowling for SA. I am shocked to see such a gem of an all-rounder not being talked about when talking about All-Rounders. Or maybe we should redefine all rounder as on who is good with batting and bowling, but not world class in both, because frankly speaking, Jacques is a cut about most of the other mentioned.

  • Arpit Mohanty on October 23, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    I am really not sure why an excellent all rounder like Vinoo Mankad is not in the list..

  • Faisal Sami Qadir on October 23, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    So does that mean Imran is the greatest cricketer ever, or at least is in the top 5 greatest cricketer ever.. Given imran's stature and achievement, I dont know y has he been such an underrated cricketer, by this i mean he deserves more accolades and appreciation than he still receives currently..

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  • Faisal Sami Qadir on October 23, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    So does that mean Imran is the greatest cricketer ever, or at least is in the top 5 greatest cricketer ever.. Given imran's stature and achievement, I dont know y has he been such an underrated cricketer, by this i mean he deserves more accolades and appreciation than he still receives currently..

  • Arpit Mohanty on October 23, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    I am really not sure why an excellent all rounder like Vinoo Mankad is not in the list..

  • bleu on October 23, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    The fact the this article does not speak anything about Jacques Kallis, in my humble opinion, makes it a very not-upto-the-cricinfo.com-standard article. Jacques Kallis has had such high quality and consistent track record with both the bat and the ball. On top of that he was a good fielder as well. He was literally the guy on from who you can reasonable expect a century and 5 wicket haul in the same match. Why? Because he could reliably open the batting and the bowling for SA. I am shocked to see such a gem of an all-rounder not being talked about when talking about All-Rounders. Or maybe we should redefine all rounder as on who is good with batting and bowling, but not world class in both, because frankly speaking, Jacques is a cut about most of the other mentioned.

  • Muzammil on October 23, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Actually things change from time to time. Now kallis will complain the idea of 1000 runs and 100 wickets because he has taken much much more. I think the idea is: that how much an all rounder has contributed in the teams winning and performance. In this regard, Imran's name is certainly in top 3 (if not at the top). Now why he is so much under rated? Its just that people now love Sehwag and Dhoni type cricketers more and Kepil Dev type cricketers less.

  • jaytirth on October 23, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    Kapil Dev has taken more than 400 test wickets, scored more than 5000 test runs and was the captain of the victorious Indian team in 1983 world cup.

  • wayne on October 23, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    One thing I think that separates all-rounders like Imran & Botham (and others, too, mind) from the rest of the pack, is the pairing of the ability to turn a match with bat or ball, with that hard-to-quantify ability to lift their side simply by playing. And these two abilities (qualities?) are what make some players so irresitible to watch.

  • sarath on October 24, 2011, 0:45 GMT

    yes iam also agree that imran khan was one of the greatest allrounder. Present shane watson amd kallis are two best allrounders

  • rahul dev on October 24, 2011, 3:36 GMT

    Its a surprise that,there is no mention about Jacques Kallis and Kapil Dev

  • Springbokkie on October 24, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    Wow, an article on All Rounders and Jacques Kallis gets a mention as a footnote. The only player in the history of the game to have over 10000 runs and 250 wickets in ODI and Test cricket and he is mentioned as a footnote.

  • Susil Weeratunga on October 24, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    Here is my criteria for the true allrounder.

    (1) at least 50 runs per match (2) at least 3 wickets per match (3) batting average - bowling average greater than 10 (4) at least one century every 10 matches (5) at least one five-for every 10 matches (6) at least one catch every two matches

    I believe only Keith Miller ticks all boxes.