10 Best International Batsmen in Cricket History
Since its inception towards the end of the 18th century, the sport of cricket has grown immensely. For a sport to survive centuries is impressive, not to mention something that is worth learning more about. Any cricket fan knows that the sport is one of the most popular in the world, following right after football and beating out basketball. Unlike the other sporting events, the game of cricket comes in various formats, thus making the game even more complex than other sports being played. Due to its popularity in England, Australia, the West Indies, and Asia, the sport has spawned countless tournaments over the years. Along with it, teams have started cropping up everywhere and with it a slew of talented and highly skilled bowlers and cricket batsmen.
A Rundown on The Best Batsman in the History of Cricket
Aside from having talent, cricket players or any sportsman for that matter must have perseverance and determination. This is so that they are well equipped to play the game, and in the process enjoy a fruitful career in the sport of cricket. When it comes to the top batsmen, these cricketers top the list.
1. Rahul Dravid
Like many successful cricket players, Rahul started playing at a young age. At 12-years old, he was already representing his team in the under 15, 17, and 19 cricket levels. Nicknamed “The Wall”, “The Great Wall”, “Mr. Dependable”, and “Jammy”, this athlete has received many commendations in the course of his career. Among them are the Player of the Year award, Best Five Cricketers of the Year, and Test Player of the Year. Born in Bangalore, Rahul comes from a Marathi family (an ethnolinguistic group in India). Now retired, this former captain of the Indian cricket team, his primary role is batsman but he has been known to occasionally play as a wicket-keeper. Rahul uses his right arm for both plays. This top batsman has played all the game formats and has performed in both international and local matches. Currently, he has taken on the role of Cricket Operations Director for the National Cricket Academy in his native Bangalore.
2. Don Bradman
International Aussie cricket star Don was a right-handed batsman and sometimes bowler. Also affectionately known as “The Don”, “White Headley”, and “The Boy from Bowral Braddles”, the late Don Bradman has an awe-inspiring batting average of 99.94 in his Test career. Born in 1908, Bradman passed away at the age of 92, whose health is said to have declined after the passing of his wife in1997. His cricketing fame started out with his inclusion in bushcricket games to a transition to the Test team of Australia. His stardom was almost overnight, as he managed to achieve professional fame in as little as two years. The Don played consistently in a twenty-year career that would inspire future generations. He was at the prime of his athletic profession when he was forced to retire during World War II. Nonetheless, he made an amazing comeback that led to a chart-busting cricket tour in England that was unbeaten. He is dubbed as the “greatest living Australian”, nearly fifty years after retiring. After his death, he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame amongst the ranks of the world’s most amazing cricketers.
3. Wally Hammond
English first-class cricketer Walter Reginald Hammond was born in Gloucestershire in 1903 just a few years after the game itself was invented. It’s no surprise that Wally at the age of 17 was heavily into cricket given how widely played the game was during his childhood. His career spanned a little over 30 years with Wally starting out as a professional before later becoming an amateur player status. In first-class cricket, attaining an amateur level is an honor that many aspire to attain. This England cricket team captain was recognized as one of the greatest English batsmen at the time. Wally had a batting average of 56.0 in his premier league career, and 58.45 as a Test match cricketer. Walter, who was a middle-order cricket batsman, racked a total of 85 matches where he scored over 80 wickets and had over 7,000 runs. His most notable recognition comes from scoring an impressive number of centuries during his prime. Unfortunately, he wasn’t well liked by teammates and opponents. Upon retirement, he attempted to start a business but this ended in failure.
4. Ricky Ponting
Now aged 46, Ricky Ponting, a former well-renowned batsman in the world of cricket now spends his time as a coach and as a commentator for his beloved sport. Once a captain of Australia’s national team, he was a fixture in many One Day International cricket matches, as well as in Test cricket games. During the peak era of the sport in his native Australia (2004 to 2011), Ricky was a highly acclaimed captain with a career in international cricket that was highly successful. At the time he managed to bag nearly 70% victories (220 to be exact) out of the over 300 matches that he participated in. By the 20th century, Ponting was awarded one of the highest honors to be given in the last fifty years all thanks to his amazing achievements as a batsman for Test matches. As of December of 2017, Ricky ranks second after Sachin Tendulkar as a cricket player to have attained an amazing number of centuries to be scored in international matches. On the domestic cricket circuit, Ponting was a member of his Tasmanian home team the Hobart Hurricanes. Aside from competing in Big Bash Leagues, he was also an active cricketer for T20 competitions. A prolific figure in the world of cricket, Ricky was active in various formats before his retirement.
5. Viv Richards
Richards, also known as Sir Isaac Vivian Richards is of Antiguan descent. Before he retired he represented the West Indies in many international Test matches. Regarded as an excellent One Day International batsman, he was awarded this honor by Wisden. Not only is he mentioned in ODI games, but he also nabbed the title of the third greatest batsman in the Test format. Throughout his career in cricket, he displayed consistency and determination, this led to him achieving twenty commendations in the history of ODI – the Man of the Match awards. In his Test match profession, he has totaled over 8,000 runs with more than 20 centuries and a game average of 50.23. During his Test match captaincy, he was part of 50 games, close to 30 of which he won. His title comes from his knighthood, a commendation for his astounding contributions to the gentleman’s game. Sir Richard still enjoys the occasional cricket matches at age 69, his voice is also often heard as a game commentator and as a mentor to teams.
6. Jacques Kallis
No longer an active cricket player, this former athlete now spends his time as a coach for the South African team. Jacques, a highly thought-of player, was touted as one of the top all-rounders at the time of his career. Right-armed cricketer Jacques is even regarded as South Africa’s best batsman of all time. Not only was he a skilled batsman, but he was also well regarded for his fast-medium swing bowling abilities. Born in October of 1975, Jacques Henry Kallis is to date the only cricket athlete in the sport’s narrative to have taken high scores in both Test and ODI matches. For these two formats, he holds the record of more than 250 wickets and over 10,000 runs. Similarly, he was also able to showcase his near 150 score in catches in the ODI match. In the duration of his career as a Test match cricketer his stats show an impressive 200 catches, nearly 300 wickets scored, and over 13,000 runs. More importantly, Jacques has an amazing tally of 5 centuries which he managed in several Test matches he competed in.
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7. Garfield Sobers
Barbados in the Caribbean is home to former cricket star for the West Indies team, Garfield “Gary” Sobers. Born in 1936, he was a cricket batsman for the West Indies for 20 years. Aggressive and extremely skilled as a bowler, fielder, and batsman, this all-rounder was said to be one of the greatest players to have entered the sport. Garfield who debuted as part of the cricket team of Barbados in his mid-teens was eventually signed to play for the West Indies just a year after entering the sport professionally. During his prime, he held the highest record for an individual score in a cricket inning. Some years into playing, he was soon named captain of the team, a position he held from 1965 all the way to 1972. All in all, Sobers was a participant in nearly 100 Test games. His average is 57.78 in runs, while his wickets average at 34.03 for a score of 235. With so many runs under his belt, he is listed as fifth highest in Test cricket batting averages. To add to his already impressive accomplishments, in 1975 he was knighted for his cricket services by Queen Elizabeth. A dual citizen of Australia and Barbados, he sits in the National Heroes hall of fame in his home, Barbados.
8. Sachin Tendulkar
A cricketer that requires no introduction, Sachin who is now almost 50-years old is already retired in the professional cricketing arena. But at the time of his athletic career, he was assigned as captain of the national cricket team of India. His most significant accolade is scoring one hundred centuries as well as being the first-ever cricket batsman to have scored a double century while playing a One Day International match. He is also a record holder for having one of the most numbers of completed runs in two formats. Additionally, Sachin was one of the few Indian cricket athletes to have an international cricket run of over 30,000. His inclusion in the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac for its 150th anniversary also brought a lot of media attention since he was the only Indian national to have been included in it. Nicknamed by his fans as “Master Blaster” or “Little Master”, Sachin got into the sport at an early age and made his debut in Test cricket in ‘89. He was at the time age 16, and the match was played against Pakistan. From there he was drafted to play domestically and internationally for India. Not even midway through his career the almanac Wisden Cricketers had named him as an all-time best cricketer in the Test batsman category. His professional career also included participation in the 2011 World Cup, this participation would become his first-ever victory in all six World Cup tournaments that India joined.
9. Jack Hobbs
As many fans know, cricket was developed in the 18th century, and by the time the 19th century had rolled in, the sport had become increasingly popular. Many gentlemen at the time were eager to get into the profession, one such lucky individual is Jack Hobbs. He debuted in what is now attributed as the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in a match between his home team – England and rival team Australia. His total of nearly 100 runs during the match’s first inning is believed to have helped England attain its final score. From then on, this legendary batsman incurred a strike rate of close to 100, just a few points shy of Don Bradman. Right-handed Hobbs has 15 centuries in his name, at the time this was a very rare achievement and only a handful of batsmen held the same title.
10. Brian Lara
Former cricketer Brian was born in Trinidad in 1969. This crowd favorite, former cricket player and top batsman, Brian sits on the rankings of the best Test cricket batsmen of all time. In fact, Brian holds multiple records playing cricket. This former first-class cricketer held the highest individual score in a match where he was able to achieve a total of 501, the single quintuple historically recorded. In a 2004 Test match with England, Brian held the most runs to be completed in a single Test match over. Even his peers have lauded Brian’s aggressive and exemplary skills as a batsman. Lara is known to bat with his left and bowl with his right. He comes from a brood of 11 children, and with a family that big it was only a matter of time for someone to take up the mantle. Former cricket batsman happens to be the uncle of 32-year old West Indies cricketer Darren Bravo, his nephew. Although, Brian is now retired continues to make headlines through his philanthropic work via the Pearl and Bunty Lara Foundation where he raises awareness on health care and social welfare issues.
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