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Top 10 Cricket All-Rounders

As world cricket reacts to the retirement of one of the greatest players of all time in Jacques Kallis, takes a look at where he places amongst the best all-rounders ever to grace the game.

10. Tony Greig

The former England captain was involved in his fair share of controversy over his career but he was a fabulous performer with both bat and ball. His record in tests was slightly better with the willow as he averaged over 40 than with the ball which he averaged 32, but both are superb figures from 58 contests.

9. Mike Procter

There is an argument for the South African not to be on this list but if history had been kinder to him then he may well have been much higher up it. Limited to just seven tests due to his country’s ban from the sport, he showed what he could have done in that short time. He took a huge 41 wickets in those seven matches at an average of just 15. His first class record of 1417 wickets is incredible and he scored 48 first class centuries which shows just what a force he would have been.

8. Shaun Pollock

Another South African great, but this one had plenty of opportunity to show his skills as he played 108 tests and 303 ODIs for his country. He may only have scored two centuries but his batting average of 32 shows just how consistent he was. The ball was his strong suit though as he is South Africa’s leading test wicket taker with an enormous 421.

7. Keith Miller

The Victorian played for Australia from 1946 to 1956 and it is fair to say that he made quite an impression over his 55 tests. The fast bowler took 170 wickets at 22 and averaged nearly 37 with the bat in one of the great Australian teams which featured the legendary Don Bradman.

6. Richard Hadlee

The greatest New Zealand cricketer of all time was one of the most feared fast bowlers on the planet throughout the 1970s and ‘80s. At one stage he was the leading test wicket taker in the world with his immense return of 431 at an average of 22.29. This would have been a stunning return alone but considering he scored over 3,000 test runs at 27 he is truly one of the best cricketers ever.

5. Ian Botham

One of the most iconic figures on this list, Beefy was the superstar of the English game throughout his 15-year test career. He was primarily an opening bowler with his ability to swing the ball a large part of why he took 383 test wickets. However, his swashbuckling batting style took him to 5,200 test runs and 14 centuries along the way, an immense return.

4. Kapil Dev

Until a certain Sachin Tendulkar arrived on the scene, Kapil Dev was considered the greatest of all Indian cricketers and was voted the best of the 20th century. He played a huge 131 tests from 1978 to ’94 and impressed in nearly every single one of them. Bowling was his stronger suit as he took 434 test wickets, becoming the all-time leading wicket taker in 1994. His contribution with the bat was enormous as well, though, as his record of 5,248 runs at 31 bears out.

3. Imran Khan

Now much more than a cricketer in his home nation of Pakistan, but during his playing days he was an incredible force with bat and ball but also as the captain of his country, leading them to World Cup glory in 1992. Coming away from 88 tests with a bowling average of 22 is an outstanding achievement, but coupling it with a test batting average of 37 makes him one of the most amazing performers in history.

2. Jacques Kallis

Some will contest Kallis’ place as high on this list but his figures back up his lofty position. Whilst he did not quite join the 300 test wicket club (292) like some others, his batting has been sublime for nearly 20 years. His test average of 55 is rarely seen in the modern age and an obscene 45 centuries is truly remarkable. He seemed to be able to do everything without any effort at all and he deserves all the plaudits he receives.

1. Garry Sobers

There does appear to be only one answer to the question; who is the greatest all-rounder of all-time? That being Garry Sobers. He sees Kallis’ test average and raises it to a mammoth 57.78 which is a phenomenal achievement in the days of uncovered pitches. He took 235 wickets in his 93 tests and the manor of these scalps are almost as impressive as the numbers. The West Indian great could bowl off-spin, leg-spin and medium pace, making him arguably the most talented cricketer ever to step onto a pitch.

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