Who are the ten best cricketers of all time?


Christopher Martin-Jenkins recently accepted the thankless (but no doubt rewarding) commission to pick “the top 100 cricketers of all time”). Although he admits “The selection will inevitably offend some”, he has a pretty good stab at things, and if you want to buy the resulting book, it’s £8.99 at Amazon (or it was when I last looked).

Anyway, as a little quiz, here are his choices from 11 to 90, grouped in country/alphabetical order. Your challenge is to see how many of the top ten you can get. Bonus points for getting them in order!

Warwick Armstrong (68)
Richie Benaud (41)
Allan Border (55)
Greg Chappell (38)
Jack Gregory (71)
Clarrie Grimmett (54)
Neil Harvey (87)
Ian Healy (91)
Dennis Lillee (19)
Ray Lindwall (31)
Charlie Macartney (100)
Stan McCabe (65)
Glenn McGrath (12)
Keith Miller (16)
Bill O’Reilly (23)
Bill Ponsford (81)
Ricky Ponting (47)
F.R. Spofforth (27)
Victor Trumper (30)
C.T.B. Turner (95)
Steve Waugh (63)

Les Ames (64)
Ken Barrington (46)
Alec Bedser (29)
Ian Botham (18)
Geoffrey Boycott (53)
Denis Compton (21)
Colin Cowdrey (78)
Ted Dexter (75)
Andrew Flintoff (82)
C.B. Fry (80)
Graham Gooch (44)
David Gower (70)
Len Hutton (17)
Gilbert Jessop (84)
Alan Knott (69)
Jim Laker (33)
Harold Larwood (49)
George Lohmann (50)
Peter May (42)
Kevin Pietersen (60)
K.S. Ranjitsinhji (35)
Wilfred Rhodes (15)
Arthur Shrewsbury (61)
John Snow (66)
Brian Statham (89)
Herbert Sutcliffe (43)
Maurice Tate (77)
Fred Trueman (22)
Hedley Verity (59)
Frank Woolley (40)

Bishan Bedi (62)
Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (94)
Kapil Dev (48)
Rahul Dravid (74)
Sunil Gavaskar (26)
Vinoo Mankad (99)
Vijay Merchant (96)

Martin Donnelly (73)
Richard Hadlee (25)

Zaheer Abbas (86)
Wasim Akram (34)
Imran Khan (14)
Javed Miandad (57)
Abdul Qadir (88)
Waqar Younis (36)

Allan Donald (83)
Jacques Kallis (52)
Graeme Pollock (37)
Shaun Pollock (97)
Barry Richards (28)
Graeme Smith (93)

Sanath Jayasuriya (67)
Mahela Jayawardena (79)
Muttiah Muralitharan (13)
Kumar Sangakkara (58)

Curtly Ambrose (51)
Learie Constantine (56)
Lance Gibbs (90)
Gordon Greenidge (98)
George Headley (20)
Michael Holding (85)
Brian Lara (24)
Clive Lloyd (72)
Malcolm Marshall (11)
Clyde Walcott (45)
Courtney Walsh (92)
Everton Weekes (32)
Frank Worrell (39)

Andy Flower (76)

Oooh, sorry, I nearly forgot. The answers are here. But no peeking before you’ve had a go! Me? I eventually got 7 of them, went “D’oh! How did I forget him?” for two others, and would not have guessed the tenth. There’s a review of the book here but don’t look before you’ve guessed your top 10, because it gives the game away, naturally.

15 replies on “Who are the ten best cricketers of all time?”

The ommission of Rohan Kanhai is unpardonable.There has never been a more talented batsman in the history of the game who as C.L.R.James commented reached regions in batting that even surpassed Bradman. For sheer virtuoisty his 252 against Victoria in 1961 was the ultimate performance and so was his 115 against Australia at Perth in 1971 for Rest of the World. His creative genius is unsurpassed. Batting at one down he averaged 53 and was brilliant against pace bowling. He would have averaged 60 if he did justice to his ability and wished to break records. What went against him was temperament and thus his stastitics do not match Viv Richards, Tendulkar, Sobers, Gavaskar, Hammond, Hutton etc. However surely he was ahead of David Gower, Ted Dexter, Colin Cowdrey, Peter May or even Zaheer Abbas. His test batting average of 47.53 is ahead of Zaheer, Gower and Peter May. He handled pace bowling better than Gower or May and was brilliant in English first class cricket scoring 1000 runs 10 times in a season and involved in 2 record-breaking partnerships of 402 and 465 in 1968 and 1972.

To me Gundappa Vishwanath should have just made it. He is the best match-winning Indian batsman of all and posessed more creative genius than any Indian batsman. He superbly handled the West Indian and Australian pace attacks, winning matches against those countries. Martin Crowe also was unfairly left out. At his best his prowess matched the best of batsman in the class of Lara and Tendulkar (Wasim Akram rates him the best batsman he has bowled to). Statistics never did justice to Andy Roberts who in his day was 2nd only to Lillee. He was the most verstile West Indian paceman of all and was close to Marshall.

Dennis Lillee should have been rated above McGrath and Tendulkar above Viv Richards. The greatest Cricketer to me was still Sir Garfield Sobers who could change the complexion of a match in all departments of the game and turn a losing cause into a winning one.

Gary Sobers is the greatest Cricketer of all time.No Cricketer ever could change the complexion of a game as a batsman,bowler and a fielder,.Above all he was a great match-winner.He could bowl pace,spin and china man.His peformance in the 1970 English season for Rest Of the Word has never been equalled and his performance in the kingston test against England in 1968 after his team was down and out when he scored a century and took 8 wickets is unforgettable.Imran Khan was the greatest captain amongst the great all-rounders who led his team to the title of unofficial test champion snad official one day champions.He is the best fast bolwing allrounder but as a cricketer not on the same pedestal as Gary.Imran is neck to neck with Botham who at his peak had greater match-winning ability with bat and ball combined.

Bradman nor Tendulkar were greater match-winners than Sobers.Infact Viv Richards changed a complexion of a game more with the bat than Sachin or Lara and played pace bowling better than Bradman.
No batsman ever destroyed fast bolwing with such authority as Sir Viv Richards who played Lillee like a spinner at his peak and combated fast bolwing better than Bradman.From 1976-1980 his performances were better than Tendulkar or Lara.However he has not equalled Tendulkar’s consistency or faced the same pressure as him.Nor has he equalled Brian Lara’s brilliance in a crisis.

Brian Lara is the greatest test match batsman of the modern era posessing more creative genius than any modern great with the extraordinary ability to innovate.His batting posessed the grace of lara’s theme.
Lara has been the best modern day test batsman in a crisis bearing the brunt of one of the weakest batting sides and scoring the highest average percentage score of a team’s total by any batsman since Sir George Headley.No batsman ever has compiled such a series of mammoth scores including a quadruple and a triple hundred amongst 9 200+scores.He has 3 double hundreds against Australia and one against South Africa.Lara has the best strike rate of any modern great of 60+ and in full flow was more dangerous than a Sachin Tendulkar.Lara’s epic match-winning 153 not out in 1999 against Australia at Barbados was amongst the top 3 best test innings of all time and the best ever in a run chase.Infact in that series he turned the fate of 2 tset matches and the series like no great batsman has done,Lara has a superior 4th innings average to Tendulkar.At his best his individual innings and test series performances were better than Ponting or Tendulkar,and he could turn the complexion of agame more than any modern great.
Had Brian played for a champion West Indian team he would have been the best of all West Indian batsman,overshadowing Sovers and Viv Richards.Inconsistency in Lara’s career is what overall placed Sachin ahead,but in pure test cricket Lara was a better batsman in a crisis.Remember until August 2009 in 2 ratings analysis on cricinfo Lara was the best test batsman after Bradman.


Tendulkar’s combined one day and Test Record is the greatest by any batsman,even overshadowing Bradman.Where Tendulkar stands out it that he is the most complete batsman of the modern age.He is brilliantly consistent, has great technique,great temperament,can adapt to all kinds of pitches ,can combat all types of bowling attacks and can win matches and above all perform outstandingly in acrisis.He may not have the match-winning prowess of Viv Richards or Brian Lara’s ability to compile mammoth scores but he has been more consistent than any great batsman.Scoring 30,000 International runs and 95 International Hundreds makes him statistically the greatest combined batsman,.

Considering he scored 197 first-class centuries and scored 12 centuries agaisnt Australia,I place Jack Hobbs as the closest to Bradman,He was better batsman than the Don on wet pitches,just like Sir George Headley.Infact had Headley played today he may well have overshadowed Sachin and Lara.Considering he set records against the greatest bolwing attacks Sunil Gavasakar is very close to Hobbs.

I would rank Dennis Lille as a better f ast bolwer than Glen Mcgrath as he was more complete,agressive and versatile Remember Lillee captured 5 wickets per tset and if you addPacker cricket he captured 428 wickets.He has also taken 5 wickets pe rtest and captured ten wickets 7 times ,which is better than Mcgrath.

In the modern era Imran Khan was the best match-winning cricketer of all who led his team to historic wins in India,England and the West Indies in test Cricket and to afamous World Cup win in 1992.Imran was one of the greatset match-winning fastbolwers in history and from 1982 and 1987 was the worlds best all-rounder.His performances in 1982 -83and 1987-88 were extraordinary.Though Ian Botham was greater match-winner with both ball and bat at his peak it was Imran who was the more consistent.

Overall I rate Sobers,Bradman W,G.Grace,Jack Hobbs and Imran Khan as the 5 best cricketers of all.My best in order are Sobers,Bradman,Grace,Imran,Hobbs,Warne,Tendulkar,Viv Richards, Lara,Murlitharan,Malcolm Marshall,Richard Hadlee , Ian Botham Dennis Lillee and Sunil Gavaskar.

The greatest cricketer of modern times or the modern era after the retirement of Sir Garfield Sobers is Imran Khan.No cricketer in his era could turn the complexion of a match more than Imran Khan ,who from 1981-1988 was the best all-rounder in the World.Above all Imran was one of the greatset captains ever in the history of the game,leading his team to historic series wins in India and England ,the historic 1992 World Cup triumph,and a historic drawn rubber in the Carribean where Pakistan came within the skin of their teeth in clinching the unofficial test championship.It was Imran’s 12 wicket scalp in Sydney in 1976-77 that gave Pakistan it’s first win on Australian soil and their first ever drawn rubber down under.Later his 10-77 at Leeds in 1987 was instrumental in Pakistan winning their first rubber in England ,while his consistent batting played a major role in lifting his teams score to win the final match-deciding thriller in Bangalore.In the Carribean in 1999 Imran;s 23 wickets almost enabled his taem to become the first to dethrone the unofficial tset champions,the West Indies.His 11 wickets in the 1st test at Georgetwon.won the match .In the 1992 World Cup Imran;s batting was revelation,which played amajor part in their eventual triumph.At his best in 1982-83 Imran captured 40 wickets in a6 tset series at 14 runs apiece,on flat sub-continent tracks in Pakistan.In England that year hescored 318 runs with the bat averaging 53 run swith the bat and captured 21 wickets at 18 runs apiece.,to defeat Ian Botham and Kapil Dev for the title of the best allrounder.As a pure fast bowler certain rankings like by Ananth Narayana of cricinfo place him just a nose breadth below Hadlee and Lillee.Imran’s only weakness is that he did not silmuntaneously champion the cause with the bat and ball ,becoming a great btasman later in his career.

No Cricketer did so much in the modern era to so much to change the face of the game of his country as Imran Khan.Whatever Tendulkar’s phenomenal achievements he has not equalled the impact of the Pakistani colossus.Imran reminded you of a great political leader and on the field resembled agreat militray commander.The greatest fastbowling allrounder of all nad the best match-winning cricketer of the modern era.Imran ought to be rated above Marshall and Mcgrath and only behind Bradman,Sobers and Grace.

In the last year Sachin Tendulkar’s performances have been phenomenal.I don’t think they will ever be equalled in the whole history of the game.To score 51 test match hundreds and be on the verge of becoming the only player to score 100 International Centuries is the feat of the equivalent of an Allah or Christ to Cricket.Since the book was written from 2010 to 2011- Tendulkar has made the greatest ever comeback to the game ,better than a Muhammad Ali.Imagine scoring 12 hundreds in the last year at a 90+average.Above all he conquered the great bowler Daryl Steyn on South African wickets.Sachin has proved that he can conquer the best of pace and spin bowelrs ,in any conditions.He can perform outsandingly in a crisis,can win matches,has perfect tecnique and innovative ability ,and posesses phenomenal temperament.No batsman since Bradman has posessed such a combination of ingredients to produce the perfect batsman.Nor has any great batsman played under so much pressure.People question why Sachin did not win matches and why Rahul Dravid orV.V.S.laxman at one stage more consistently won games.Remember at his peak from 1996-2001,Sachin hardly got support from the bowling attack or other batsman and literally played the role of acrusader in a losing war.Still he won some brilliant one day games and tests against Australai in 1998 and 2001.In the last series agaisnt South Africa he proved he could conquer the best pace bowlers on their own tracks.With his houdini comeback Tendulkar has proved that he is the best test match batsman of the modern era ,ahead of Brian Lara.Lara may have had more creative genius ,greater destructive ability and performed better in innings and series at his peak but could not match Sachin’s consistency in all types of Conditions.Infact Cristopher Martin Jenkins gave judicious judgement placing Tendulkar ahead of Lara as far back as 2009.

The most debated question is does Tendulkar rate the best cricketer after Gary Sobers,Don Bradman and W.G Grace.?Viv Richards,Jack Hobbs,Shane Warne,Imran Khan etc are his greatset rivals.Putting it in another way should we rate the graetallrounders like Botham and Imran ahead of the likes of batsman like Sachin Hobbs and Viv or bowlers like Lillee ,Marshall or Mcgrath.Some experts place Imran at 4 like Geoff Armstrong.Jenkin splaces him at 12 below batsmen like Viv and Sachin nad bowlesr like Barnes and Marshall or even Mcgrath.With the outstanding impact he has made Sachin to me could very well make top 6 if not the top4.

When I re-analyse great batsman overall Sir Vivian Richards is at the top of the tree,with the exception of Bradman and Hobbs.No batsman has ever been as destructive against great pace bowling in both test and one day Cricket or made a greater impact.In full flow Viv Richards treated the best fast bowlers like cattle walking to a slaughterhouse and when walking to the crease literally resembled emperor Alexander carrying asword setting out to conquer every territory possible.

Sadly his Packer stats have not been counted,where he scored 1281 runs at a 55 run average per innings.From 1976-81 Richards dominated pace bowling more than Bradman ,and since the Don no batsman was as merciless .In his first season in 1977-78 in World Series Cricket he scored 862 runs at 86.2 including averaging 100 runs agaisnt the World 11.In England in 1976 his batting reached Bradmanesque proportions scoring 829 runs at 118.42 average.He may not have posessed the grace of Worrel or the technique of Sobers but no batsman equalled him for sheer ferocity.Lara or Tendulkar have never equalled Viv’s performances in the 1976 English season and his first year in Packer Cricket in Australia.

In 1979-80 in Austrlia he butchered the likes of Lillee in a one-day game at Melbourne scoring 153 not out treating the bowling like an executioner beheading a convict.In 1979-80 season in Australia Viv Dominated both the test and one day arena like no batsman ever averaging 96.5 in the tests and 85 in the one-day games.

Viv played for a champion team but remember he combated the likes of Imran,Lillee,and Hadlee like a champion ,with greater authority than Lara or Tendulakr played the likes of Glen Mcgrath or Wasim Akram,in recent times.Viv may not have posessed the creative genius and mammoth run scoring of Brian Lara ,or the technical excellence and consistency of Sachin Tendulkar ,but in full flow would have outplayed both of them.Imagine Viv batting on the placid pitches of today ,where the bolwing atacks are weaker.Since 2000 many more batsmen have avergaed over 50 runs,than in previous periods as the pitches have become slower.True Tendulkar and Lara faced graeter pressure,but remember they wore helmets and played in an era where there was a restriction of 2 bouncers per over.In the modern era Richards would have played many more games and had opportunities agaisnt Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.From 1976-1988 Viv average 55 runs ,which wasabove the likes of great players like Greg Chappell,Sunil Gavaskar and Javed Miandad.In his era the number of batsman who averaged above 50 were three times less than today,or in the last decade.

Richardsbest years were between 1976 and 1988. In 92 Tests during this period he scored 22 hundreds and was the only batsman to average more than 55 (among those who scored more than 4000). That was an era when several all-time greats were around – Greg Chappell, Allan Border, Sunil Gavaskar and Javed Miandad – but Richards’ average was marginally higher than theirs (though he obviously didn’t have to face his own bowlers, who were easily the most fearsome attack during that period). He averaged more than 50 in 13 out of the 23 series he played during this period.
Of the 29 series he played, 14 times he averaged more than 50, and less than 30 on just seven occasions, most of them coming either during the early years or at the end.

In one day Cricket Viv posessed a phenomenal strike rate and great batting average,and in full flow he literally set thunder on the cricket field.His vaege of 47 runs paeks for itself as well as the impact of his 50”s and centuries.Viv Topped the averages in 2 World Cups in 1979 and 1987 and was very close to the top in 1983.

In the cricinfo anlaysis Viv is rated 7th and adding Packers stats he edged out Jacques Kallis,taking into account Kallis”s stats upto June 2009.However I still don”t rate Tendulkar,Lara or Ponting better.It becomes a difficult equation.True it would have been easier for Lara to play for Clive Lloyd”s team or Tendulkar playing for a top team of the 1970”s ,but would they have combated the best pace bolwing without ahelmet,like Sir Viv Richards.I doubt it.Yes,agaisnt great spinbolwing they would have outscored Viv .Vice-versa had Viv Played for the recent West Indian team he wouldhave faced much more pressure but it may have made him deploy his talents further.Playing for a champion team is sometimes a disdavantage.No stats analysis can do justice for Viv Richards.In a stats analyis analysing all factors Sachin would definitely win scoring 51 test Centuries and almost 100 International Centuries.Morally,inspite of Tendulkar’s recent herculean efforts I rate Viv Richards ahead,who resembled a gladiator walking to a stadium.Tenatatively only Sobers,Bradman,Grace and Hobbs may rate above Viv in the all-time great list.

Below I wish to reproduce some stats of Alticain,a blogger from cricweb

” I can’t recall a single full Test series of Sachin where his performance was similar to Richard\’s performance against Imran Khan & co. in Pakistan in 1980-81 (Windies batting total never crossed 300 in the entire series and Richards scored 350 runs at an average of 70 , more than twice the average (and runs) of the next best batsman, no other top-order West Indian batsman averaged above 30 in that series! The team\’s batting hung almost entirely on Richard\’s shoulders). And yet Sachin is hyped to have had no batting support whatsoever for a major part of his career, while Richards succeeded only because of the support of Haynes and Greenidge. What an irony.

Contrastingly, Richards averages a healthy 47.61 in Tests against Dennis Lillee and Imran Khan (so much for Lillee-Imran effect on him). If you include Hadlee too, Richards averages a very decent 46.8. Interestingly Richards has scored more runs, at a better average against these bowlers (Imran,Lillee,Hadlee) than Gavaskar. Here is the link to the stats:
Batsmen stats against Lillee, Imran and Hadlee

Richards, at least, had a couple of towering away” series against both Imran (at his peak in 1980-81) and Lillee (in 1978-79). Even his performances against peak Lillee Thommo in 75-76 after he was asked to open the batting in Test match cricket (elevated from batting position 5 or 6) facing the fast bowlers when they were at their freshest and fastest, and the ball was its most new, were very good. He has had at least one high scoring series (300 runs) with a 50 average against each of Imran, Lillee and Hadlee.

Bradman’s greatest rival for the supremacy of the best batsman was Sir Jack Hobbs.No batsman ever was so consistent on wet pitches and remember he scored half of his first -class centuries on treacherous wet pitches.Scoring 117 centuries after the war was phenomenal effort and Hobbs displayed greater consistency than Gavaskar or Tendulkar.His first class stas were stagering scoring 197 centuries and 61,237 runs.Scoring 12 centuries against Australia with the majority being match-winning efforts speaks for itself.It would have been fascinating watching Hobbs in the 1970?s or in the last decade with the changes in the game.His centuries at the Oval and Melbourne on sticky wickets at the Oval and Melbourne in 1926 and 1929-30 are amongst the best centuries ever scored in the history of the game.I don’t think Sachin Tendulkar posessed as graet temperament as Hobbs or abilty to be as prolific on bad wickets .I applaud Martin -Jenkins ranking Hobbs as high as he has done,ahead of Tendulkar and Viv Richards.

George Headley,too could have overshadowed the likes of Tendulkar in the modern era with his outstanding consistency on wet tracks and his brilliant statistical record.Morally,he was better player than Bradman on wet tracks but the question is whether he would have matched the strike rate of the modern greats.In a crisis he may have ben the best of the modern times but would he have been as consistent a match-winner or dominated the bowling to the extent of Viv Richards,Sachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara.?Historically,Headley was responsible for the first ever series victory for West Indies in 1934-35 and drawn rubber in 1928-29.His average percentage score of the team’s total is better than any modern great.Walter Hammond who is on par with Headley proved his ability to pulverise bowling and tore the best attacks of his day like a tiger tearing the flesh of his prey.No pre-war batsman played as mich like Viv Richards and Sehwag and Hammond was unfortunate to play in the era of Bradman.On pure stats had Headley had a full career he could have been Bradman’s greatset rival and the greatset ever West Indian batsman but remember that he never proved his ability to tear apart great bowling.

After strong thinking I made my tentative top 100 list. I am sure it can be debated particularly the palce of allrounders v great batsmen or bowlers. I have favoured the allrounders.

1.Gary Sobers
2.Don Bradman
4.Jack Hobbs
5.Imran Khan
6.Viv Richards
7.Sachin Tendulkar
8.Shane Warne
9.Ian Botham
10.Adam Gilchrist
11.Keith Miller .
12. Walter Hammond
13. Jacques Kallis
14. Murlitharan
15. Malcolm Marshall
16. Dennis Lillee
17 Sydney Barnes
18. Richard Hadlee
19 Kapil Dev
20…Brian Lara
21. Glen Mcgrath
22. Graeme Pollock
23 George Headley
24. Wasim Akram
25 Sunil Gavaskar
26. Len Hutton
27. Barry Richards
28 Victor Trumper
29… Greg Chappell
30 Ricky Ponting
31. Alan Border
32. Herbert Sutcliffe
33. Steve Waugh
34. Javed Miandad
35. Frank Worrell
36.Vinoo Mankad
37. Rahul Dravid
38. Andy Roberts
39. Curtly Ambrose
40. Ken Barrington
41 Everton Weekes
42. Ian Chappell
43. Fred Trueman.
44 Denis Compton
45.. Ray Lindwall
46. Ranjitsinghji
47 Arthur Morris
48. Michael Holding
49 Waqar Younus
50.Rohan Kanhai
51 Stan Mcabe
52.Virendra Sehwag
53; Anil Kumble
54. Clive Lloyd
55. Clyde Walcott
56 Harold Larwood
57.. Brian Statham
58. Alan Knott
59. Alan Donald
60.Frank Woolley
61.Derek Underwood
62. Graham Gooch
63 . Colin Cowdrey
64. Gordon Greenidge
65. Subhash Gupte
66 Clarrie Grimmet
67 John Snow
68. Mike Procter
69.Wilfred Rhodes
70. Tony Greig
71. Joel Garner
72. Alan Davidson
73. Wes Hall
74. Stan Mcabe
75. Shaun Pollock
76 Chris Carns
77. Peter May
78. Ted Dexter
79. David Gower.
80.. Geoff Boycott
81 Zaheer Abbas
82. Inzamam ul Haq
83 Hanif Mohammad
84 Glenn Turner
85. Bishen Bedi
86. Gundappa Vishwanath
87 Mark Waugh
88. Martin Crowe
89 Abdul Qadir
90 Courtney Walsh
91. Jeff Thomson
92… Mohamma d Azharuddin
93 Saed Anwar
94.Andrew Flintoff
95. Mushtaq Muhammad
96. David Boon
97. Vijay Merchant
98..Vijay Hazare
99. Lindsay Hasset
100. Mark Taylor

All in all a great effort. Though this is naturally a subjective topic and people will always disagree. Its very hard to judge the likes of bradman, grace and hobbs because it is mainly from statistics as opposed to the modern era whose presence is felt even by those who were not in the stadium.

I particularly liked your appraisal of Viv Richards and agree with you that he faced much better bowlers and handled them a lot better. Even the great imran said Viv was the one who gave nightmares.

I disagree with the low ratings given to the likes of Holding, Ambrose, Wasim and Waqar and Dravid – I think they deserved to be higher up the list. Though Kallis is statistically a giant and probably unmatched I think Dravid and Lara to be better cricketers. Dravid suffers most due to his laid back persona and his lack of in your face modern star attitude. Though in terms of a test batsman he has always been exemplary. Tendulkar has also been brilliant in the last 12 months – though it begs the question would he have been as good had he faced the likes of imran, botham ambrose holding etc in the current era? One outstanding feature of contemporary cricket is the dying breed of fast intimidating bowler. With Shoaib Akhtar gone there isnt really an out and out super fast bowler. The likes of Lee and Tait are the nearest we have. Im surprised actually that Akhtar didnt make your list as on his day he was an awesome performer.

A good list by Mr. Martin Jenkins, however if the premis of this exercise is to list the greatest Test players of all time, it would be difficult to justify Mr. Grace, who though a pioneer of the game and the creator of modern batting, played most of his cricket prior to the advent of Tests. That being said he is worthy of a place on the list, just not sure if it is at No. 2.

The top ten as usual for such lists are dominated by Batsmen, but in my humble estimation, its the bowlers who are the match winners and deserve greater recognition. To that point my top ten would also include in my opinion the greatest fast bomler of all time, Malcolm Marshall, with McGrath and Imran not too far behind. Lara and Lillee seem a bit low, while Kallis, Ponting and Ambrose are disrespected by their ratings.

My top 25
Don Bradman, Gary Sobers, Malcolm Marshall, Jack Hobbs, Shane Warne, Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Len Hutton, Imran Khan, Adam Gilchrist, George Headley, Brian Lara, Glenn McGrath, Wally Hammond, Muttiah Muralitharan, Keith Miller,Sunil Gavaskar, Fred Trueman, Dennis Lillee, Greg Chappell, Syd Barnes, Richard Hadlee, Curtly Ambrose, Bill O’Reilly and Ian Botham. Graeme Pollock and Jacques Kallis just miss out and deseve to be there as well.

well coming straight to the point of all time great test cricketers my list of all time greatest 25 cricketers would be……il divide it into 1st 11 vs 2nd 11………n as i havent seen earlier era il use their stats…n i also would not go on arguments of wet wickets n without helmet n all as ur suppose to give results as a cricketer n not show heroic so for ex wen u start at say 10 yrs age n u start using helmet against bowlers in net tats wat u continue to do so….n ur playing in conditions n oppositions provided to you…..1st 11 openers jack hobbs 2 sunil gavaskar,3 don bradman 4 sachin tendulkar 5 viv richards 6 gary sobers 7 adam gilchrist 8 imran khan 9 shane warne 10 malcolm marshall 11 dennis lillie….if on sub continental wickets murli tharan…instead of one fast bowler……my 2nd 11 1 len hutton 2 barry richards 3 ricky ponting 4 brian lara 5 jaques kallis 6 alan knott 7 richard hadlee 8 wasim akram,9 syd barnes,10 glen mcgrath 11 mutthaih murlitharan………..apart frm them the few i would like to toy aroundwen i have to replace them could be,greg chappel,rahul dravid,steve waugh,allan border,javed miandad,sangkara,curtley ambrose,waquar younis,keith miller,ian botham,andy roberts,michael holding,larwood,martin crowe,dale steyn,george hadlee ,rohan kanhai n kapil dev……it kinda sums up a list of all test cricketers i have felt r grt n brought glory to tis game……may b old timers may add jim laker,fred trueman n likes but for me these playersacross era n timespan left their undeniable mark even for future generations…..where didnt need to doubt bout any arguement bout them…..

I have made the following all time cricket elevens in the history of test cricket.

1st xi
1.Jack Hobbs
2. Barry Richards
3.Don Bradman
4.George Headley
5. Sachin Tendulkar
6.Garfield Sobers
7.Adam Gilchrist
8.Malcolm Marshall
9.Shane Warne
10.Dennis Lillee
11.Sydney Barnes

2nd xi
1.Len Hutton
2.Sunil Gavaskar
3.Viv Richards
4.Walter Hammond
5.Brian Lara
6.Jacques Kallis
7.Imran Khan
8.Alan Knott
9.Wasim Akram
10.Glen Mcgrath
11.Muthiah Murlitharan

3rd xi
1.Arthur Morris
2.Herbert Sutcliffe
3.Ricky Ponting
4.Greg Chappell
5.Graeme Pollock
7.Keith Miller
8.Richard Hadlee
9.Ray Lindwall
10.Curtly Ambrose
11.Subhash Gupte

4th xi
1.Gordon Greenidge
2.Graham Gooch
3.Rahul Dravid
4.Everton Weekes
5.Denis Compton
6.Alan Border
7.Ian Botham
8.Rodney Marsh
9.Waqar Younus
10.Fred Trueman
11.Bishen Bedi

5th xi

1.Virendra Sehwag
2.Hanif Mohammad
3.Rohan Kanhai
4.Neil Harvey
5.Ken Barrington
6.Javed Miandad
7.Kapil Dev
8.Ian Healy
9.Alan Donald
10.Michael Holding
11.Abdul Qadir.

Bradman had a phenomenal statistical record averaging 99.94.Lillee and Marshall were more complete than any pace bowlers of all combining swing,cut,pace,control and agression more than any paceman.Viv Richards ability to change the complexion of a game surpassed both Lara and Tendulkar and from 1976-81 he was the best after Bradman.However he lacked the consistency of Tendulkarand did not prove himself as much as a crisis as George Headley.Headley is counted as often even Bradman was compared to Headley and called the ‘white Headley.’Averaging over 60 runs ,playing for the weakest of batting sides was an unparalleled feat.Shane Warne was simply the best spinner of all.Sydney Barnes figures make him the best bowler ever taking 189 wickets in 27 test matches.Gary Sobers was the greatest ever allrounder and no cricketer could ever turn the complexion of a game more than Gary. Jack Hobbs phenomenal record on wet pitches and 197 first class hundreds wins him the vote. Adam Gilchrist was the greatset match-winner of his era could turn the course of a match in spectacular fashion.Wasim Akram’sposessed more natural talent and variations than any great paceman and his left arm variety would be an asset.,and just missed out in the 1st team.Sunil Gavaskar’s test record speaks for itself,and the fact that he scored heavily against the best bowling attacks.However Barry Richards was the most talented opening batsman ever and although he never proved himself at the test level, he was the best batsman in World series cricket ,topping the averages.In pure batting prowess he was arguably the most perfect batsman ever with Bradman and Tendulkar.Tendulkar is arguably the best batsman ever in combined cricket dominating the game at the top for 22 years scoring 100 centuries which will probably never be equalled .Brian Lara is arguably the best West Indian test batsman ever and best left -hander of all.At their best Lara and Viv Richards were better than Tendulkar but fell short in terms of consistency compared to the little master.
The decisive elements in the 1st 11 would be Sobers and Bradman.

I think that Denis Compton was a far better player then Kevin Peterson also a much greater sportsman . Compton’s record was phenomenal. , Remember like Hutton and Miller he lost 6 years because of the war.. He was a genius who played with fun . At one period between 1946 and 1950 he scored over 20000 runs and 60 centuries 11 of them test centuries . with a average of over 76 . He also took around 400 wickets . He played with a light bat not the heavy bat that that’s results in defensive shot going for 4 . He played on uncovered wickets . What would he have done today and indeed what would he have done had it not been for the war . He also was a brilliant footballer playing for the Arsenal and England during the war at outside left .. As a batsman he was a instinctive generous who could destroy any attack when he was on song . He was quick on his feet had a very good eye . He played on uncovered wickets against attacks that were far superior to anything today . County cricket was at a far higher standard during the 30 s and 40 s . Bothem was without doubt England’s best all rounder , but a lot of his cricket was played against very weak teams apart from the west Indies, who he did not do very well against .His over all average is not very good in either bowling or batting . Trueman and Larwood also were much better bowlers than Anderson .. Again look at their averages and stike rate . Modern Cricketers and commentators need to get a sense of history which lacking. They seem to think that cricket started around 1977. Bothem was not a real great player despite his record .. |He lacked charm and had very poor judgement in many areas . The true greats were humble and modest. Compton was a charming man to all who knew him . As was the great Keith Miller a far great all rounder than Bothem . Sobers and Jack Kallis were also up there . Sobers being the greatest all rounder of all time .

I’m afraid that much as I enjoyed watching Viv Richards bat against fast bowling, the fact remains that he was absolutely hopeless against spin. Remember Bob Holland?

As for kallis, I’m not sure he’s a good enough bowler to be considered a genuine all-rounder like Sobers, Procter, Miller and Botham

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