The best batsmen to play the game of cricket
Over the decades, there have been a number of batsmen from across the globe that could easily be regarded as one of the best of all time. Almost every top level nation has produced at least one batsman that can be considered a great.
This list will look at the best players to ever pick up a bat, and their remarkable records and stats that have helped etch their names into the annals of history. You can bet on new batsmen trying to reach the heights of these greats.
William Gilbert Grace is most likely a name you haven’t heard before, but he is regarded as a pioneer of the game, and one of the best players of all time. Within his staggering 44 season career, playing between 1865 to 1908, Grace captained England, Gloucestershire, the Gentlemen, Marylebone Cricket Club, and the United South of England Eleven.
He played over 800 first class games, and scored over 55,000 runs. He also pioneered the role of the all-rounder, being quite handy with the ball in hand too. Even though his record isn’t great compared to players of the recent decades, Grace is still easily regarded as one of the best ever.
There are many great players to come out of the sub-continent over the years, and Kumar Sangakkara is most definitely one of them. The Sri Lankan slugger is easily one of the best players to come out of the country, and he has the stats to prove it.
He is the second highest run-getter in ODI’s, and the sixth highest in Tests. He is also the only player to score four consecutive ODI 100’s, and he did it at a World Cup. he also boasts a 57.80 average, madness for a player who, at his peak, was facing some of the best bowlers the game has ever seen.
The South African all-rounder may be a surprise addition to this list, but he really shouldn’t be. Even though he was a bowler, as well as a pretty handy fielder, Kallis shone with a bat in hand. The all-rounder is in the Top 10 for most runs in both ODI’s and Test matches.
Kallis scored 45 Test centuries, putting him right up there with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, as well as amassing an impressive 23 Man of the Match awards in Test series. Kallis also scored 5 centuries in 5 consecutive Test matches, second to Donald Bradman who scored 6 centuries in 6 Test matches.
When Jack Hobbs played his last Test match in 1930, he was the highest run-getter in Test match history, nearly 2000 runs ahead of second place, and he also retired with an incredible 56.94 batting average.
Jack Hobbs is also the oldest player to score a century, scoring 149 against Australia in Melbourne in 1929, at the age of 46 years and 82 days old. The former England opener also ended his career with a staggering 199 first class centuries to his name.
Big Viv was every bowlers nightmare. He was a maestro with the bat in hand and you would have to bowl the best ball of the year to get him out. In the 70’s and 80’s, he had an ODI average of 90, while most batters were hitting at a 60 or 70.
In 1976, Richards scored an incredible 1,710 runs, at an average of 90, with 7 centuries in 11 tests, a feat barely challenged nowadays. Plus, for 40 years he held the record for the fastest century, reaching 100 runs in 56 balls, an accomplishment only beaten in 2015 by Brendon McCullum.
Of course Sachin was going to be on this list. The “God of Cricket” made his debut at the age of 16 against Pakistan. Sachin is widely regarded as the best player out of India, as well as the best batsman of all time, right next to Don Bradman.
Sachin amassed 100 international centuries, and also holds the record for the most runs scored at a World Cup, with 2,278. Sachin will always be remembered as the player you turned to when you needed a century, a solid knock, or to win a game, no matter what position you were in.
Obviously Don Bradman is the best batsman to play the game. The Australian holds the record for the highest test average, a mind-blowing and almost unbeatable 99.94, no player has got anywhere close to that number, let alone surpassed it.
In his last match, he just needed a few runs to finish his career with a 110 average, but was bowled out by Eric Hollies. He scored 6 centuries in 6 consecutive matches, and also scored 974 runs in a single test series, at an average of 139.14, against England in the Ashes in 1930. Bradman will always be regarded as the best player with bat in hand, and his records are unlikely to ever be broken.
There you have it, a list of the best batsmen to ever play the game of cricket. They were and are not only legends in their countries, but legends across the world and across generations. These are the batsmen players look up to, and strive to be like, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.
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