Some batsmen played the game of cricket with such fervour that their exquisite strokes and drives turned it into a work of art. Some played it patiently, picking runs like a run machine, while others used power hitting to obliterate lovely deliveries. The flawless footwork, drives, hooks/pulls, and several other skillful strokes are applauded and admired by the crowd. Greatest batsmen of all time do more than just score runs for themselves; they also contribute to the success of their teams. Because of this, a batsmen’s performance determines whether a team will win or lose a game. Some best batsmen who batted throughout their careers carved out a place for themselves will always be recognised.
Here’s a list of Top 10 Greatest Batsmen of All Time –
1. Don Bradman
Don Bradman will probably still be considered as the greatest batsmen of all time in 100 years. 52 Tests. 6996 Test runs. 29 Test centuries. 99.94 Test batting average. They are Bradman’s numbers. Bradman was an unmatched run machine. Bradman’s Test batting average, built over 20 years, 1928 to 1948, is 99.94. In Test games, he recorded 12 double centuries. On the 1930 tour of England in five Tests, Bradman scored 974 runs – a record that still stands, played world record 334 innings at Leeds at the age of just 21, including 300 runs in one day. In fact, his record is so far ahead of everyone else’s that it’s hard to think one man could be so successful over the course of a 20 years career.
While most players, if not all players, had slumps in performance, he consistently maintained his dominance. That’s what made him stand out the most. Bradman is twice as good as everyone else when it comes to his performances. While other top players in Test cricket average about 50, he scores just under 100. Given that 99.94 percent, if he gets in, he will typically make 200 per match, compared to the best of the others who will only make half that. Australia only lost two of the series he played in. He batted during a period when large, massive runs were required, and he delivered them unlike any other batsman before or since. No one has ever dominated to the same degree or reeled off large scores with such regularity.
2. Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar is one of the greatest batsmen of his or any other generation. Ever since his test debut, aged just 16, Tendulkar stood out as an exceptional talent. When in form he had the ability, along with all the truly great batsmen, to hit even good, well-directed, deliveries to the boundary. Sachin has made a bigger impact on the world stage than any other cricketer, revered throughout India, rich beyond the wildest dreams. Not just the runs or the centuries were important. It was about having a billion people cheering you on every time you took the field to bat. And Sachin Tendulkar managed the pressure and emerged as maybe the most beloved cricket player in the sport’s history.
He made history in 1992 by becoming the youngest player to ever strike a Test century in Australia, forever changing the face of the game. He also made history in 2010 by hitting a double-century in a one-day international cricket match. Also noteworthy is the fact that 20 of the 100 international centuries came against Australia, the top-ranked team in the world. Tendulkar is the only player to reach 200 runs in an ODI and holds the records for the most runs scored, the most hundreds, and the most fifties in Test and ODI matches.
He was a master technician and an absolute genius. He persevered for a very long time, pushing through one milestone after another, and by the time he retired, his record stood as not just unmatched but likely uncatchable. In truth, it was precisely that mental toughness and dedication, that constant desire for the game: 200 Test matches, 15,921 Test runs, 51 Test hundreds; 463 one-day internationals, 18,426 one-day runs, 49 one-day hundreds. All of them are records and proof of consistently high standards under all circumstances.
3. Brian Lara
Brian Lara is recognised as one of the best stroke players of all time. He was able to score so swiftly with rapier-like shots because to impeccable timing and his ability to discover the openings. He was a truly humble champion, greatest and outstanding batsmen in the world. He would have carried the weight of the whole West Indies team on his shoulders for a very long time; if he failed, the West Indies would have failed. Lara played more truly outstanding innings with their technical brilliance. In the 1992/93 series against Australia, he scored 277 at the SCG was a phenomenal innings.
Lara will be best known for twice setting the world Test record, which still stands at 400 against England in Antigua in 2004. He will also be remembered for his 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham in a county championship game, which is still the highest individual score in any first-class match. In Test cricket, he recorded 9 superb double centuries.
His unbeaten 153 against Australia in Barbados in March 1999, which helped the West Indies to win by one wicket, was arguably his best innings. He scored three successive hundreds for the West Indies in England in 1995: 145 at Old Trafford, 152 at Trent Bridge, and 179 in the final match at The Oval. In 2001, West Indies visited Sri Lanka. Lara had 178 in Galle, 221 in Colombo, and 130 there. He scored 688 runs throughout the series, averaging 114.66, phenomenal figures.
4. Viv Richards
Vivian Richards is the only greatest batsmen to have ever lived who had the ability to frighten his opponents even before receiving a ball. He is also known as the genuine “Master Blaster” game of cricket ever. He was fashionable, strong, and reckless (Richards never wore a helmet).He went to the wicket with a swagger, chewing gum, and a slight smirk on his face. He stood 5 feet 10 inches tall and had the physique of a boxer, with broad shoulders and strong arms. No one has ever been able to replicate his signature whip through midwicket from a delivery outside off stump, and no one has ever struck the ball harder.
He scored 1,281 runs with an average of 55.69 in 14 World Series “Super Tests.” Richards set a record for Test cricket in 1976 against England by scoring 1,710 runs in all, including 232 at Trent Bridge, 135 at Old Trafford, and 291 at The Oval at an average of 118.42. This record held for thirty years. He was even more effective in One Day International with Richards match-winning 138 against England in the 1979 World Cup final, the West Indies successfully defended their title.
Then, in 1984, he set a world record at the time by scoring 189 runs ODI inning without being dismissed that is still regarded as the best of all time, and that performance aided him in earning the greatest batting rating in ODI history according to the ICC. Richards was the last holdout who refused to wear a helmet during a decade in which the fast bowler’s stock ball zipped past the batsman’s nostrils. The cap served as a constant reminder that no bowler, no matter how quick, could challenge his domination.
5. Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar was an outstanding batsmen with a tonne of talent and drive. He possessed excellent skill, balance, and an excellent eye for following and moving the ball. No one in the history of Test cricket has ever had a more remarkable opening series, which began in 1971 against the mighty West Indies and set the tone for the rest of his career. By the time the four games were over, he had scored 774 runs at an average of 154.80, with the last Test at Trinidad yielding scores of 124 and 220. The first greatest batsmen ever to reach 10,000 Test runs and the greatest who overtook brilliant Don Bradman’s record of twenty-nine Test hundreds.
He was a master at both defence and hitting, and his performance against the all conquering West Indian teams of the 1970s and 1980s cemented his place among the greatest. No one has ever scored more runs against the mighty West Indies in a Test match than he did. For the majority of his career, Gavaskar carried the nation’s hopes on his shoulders. The opposition valued his wicket the most, therefore no matter how many runs he made, India would still have hope if he batted all day and was still unbeaten at the end. He nearly achieved a legendary victory with his 221 vs England at The Oval in 1979, and the entire India rejoiced when, on March 7, 1987, he took a quick single against Pakistan to become the first batsman to score 10,000 Test runs.
6. Ricky Ponting
Ponting was a stunning sight to watch as a batsmen. His signature shots included the straight drive down the ground to balls full on off stump and the swivel pull off the front foot. He dominates the bowlers, launching strong, precisely timed strokes to every section of the ground. He was the first greatest batsmen to surpass 1000 Test runs in a calendar year, the most hundreds by an Australian in a year (seven in 2006), the first to do it at four separate grounds, and one of just five players to have scored back-to-back double centuries in Test matches.
He later advanced to skipper, like many of the finest players, and guided his team to victories in both the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. In the 2003 World Cup final against India, he scored an unbeaten and match winning 140 runs. Many consider his match saving 156 at Old Trafford during the 2005 Ashes series to be among the greatest test cricket solo innings ever. At the time of his retirement, he was second on both lists with more than 13,000 runs in both formats, trailing only Sachin Tendulkar (the only player with more international hundreds than Ponting’s 71).
7. Javed Miandad
Javed Miandad has demonstrated his exceptional talent as a natural athlete after facing only one or two balls. He was able to successfully mix his thirst for a battle with an aggressive playing style. He played his maiden Test at Lahore, defeating New Zealand with a score of 163. He then followed this up with 206 and 85 in the third and final Test in Karachi, becoming the youngest player to have smash a Test double-hundred at the age of 19 years and four months. Miandad’s Test batting average never fell below 50, and it was 52.57 when he eventually called it quits at the end of 1993.
His remarkable total of 8,832 runs at an average of 52.57 is the result of his ability to score large runs when he entered the field. Nine of his 23 hundreds were worth more than 150, with the highest at 271 against New Zealand in 1989-90 and the greatest domestically being 280 not out against India in 1982-83. He was also the first Pakistani batsman since Hanif Mohammad, who scored 104 and 103 not out against New Zealand in 1984–85, to score a century in each of the two innings of a Test match. He was also very successful in one day international cricket, becoming the first player to compete in six World Cups. It is improbable that his record of nine consecutive ODI fifties will ever be broken.
8. Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara is one of the all time quality batsmen who is exceptional, has improved as more responsibility has been placed on him while batting higher up the order. He is a left handed batsmen with the skill to score runs in every situation and in any format as well as the focus to be one of the greatest accumulators. He became the most prolific run scorer the game had ever seen, effortlessly producing double hundreds with each swing of his bat. Even while he undoubtedly is one on a large scale, he is more than simply a run scorer. More than anyone other than Don Bradman, he has scored 11 double century in Test cricket.
By April 2008, he had played 90 Test matches, scoring 6,127 runs at an average of 55.19. Only Bradman (68), Sobers (111), and Hammond (114) have surpassed 6,000 Test runs in less innings than he did. Few Asian batsmen can match his record of more than 5,000 Test runs at an average well over 50 recorded outside Sri Lanka. Sangakkara and Jayawardene collaborated on a number of significant stands, including one against South Africa in Colombo that set a world record partnership of 624 runs. He set a new record by reeling off four consecutive centuries in the 2015 World Cup while only being 37 years old.
9. Jack Hobbs
Jack Hobbs is widely regarded as the best greatest opening batsmen of all time. Additionally, Hobbs was the first batsman to truly defeat the new googly bowlers that appeared in Test cricket during the first decade of the 20th century. Against south africa, he scored 539 runs in five Test matches in 1909–10 at an average of 67.37, more than double the average of England’s next four top run scorers. In 1920-21 five Test matches, he scored 662 runs vs Australia with 50.50 average in which no other England batsmen exceeded 40. Overall Hobbs had an outstanding record against Australia, scoring 3,636 runs with 12 centuries.
Only a select few batsmen have managed to surpass his average of 56.94, and he was the first batsmen to reach 5,000 runs in Test cricket. In terms of talent and temperament, he was the most well suited player on any kind of pitch against any calibre of opponent. It is understandable why he was knighted, becoming the first cricketer to receive such an honour. Cricket has given us nicknames like “Master Blaster” and “Little Master,” but up until this point, only Hobbs has been called to as “The Master.”
10. Wally Hammond
Without a doubt, Hammond was the more imposing, aggressive, and powerful batsman. He was the first greatest batsmen to reach 6,000 and then 7,000 Test runs. When Hammond hit 22 centuries in test cricket, England never lost. This mark stood until Alastair Cook surpassed it in 2012. In Test cricket, he recorded seven double centuries. Hammond scored a then-record 905 runs during England’s 4-1 victory over Australia during the 1928–1929 tour. He made 119 in the first innings and 177 in the second in Adelaide, 200 in Melbourne, 251 and 177 in Sydney.
Before Len Hutton’s 364 in 1938, his fabulous 336 not out against New Zealand in Auckland in 1933 held the world Test record. From 1927 until 1947, he played in 85 Tests, score 7,249 at an average of 58.45. From 1937 to 1970, he held the Test run scoring record. Of the 39 batsmen who have scored more Test runs as of 1 January 2015, only Sangakkara has done it at a higher average.
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