Disclosure: Sportshubnet is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More.
In this post, we will check out the top 10 greatest all rounders of all time.
Cricket, often referred to as the “Gentleman’s game,” is a sport that has produced some of the greatest all-rounders of all time.
All-rounders are those players who excel in both batting and bowling, and their contributions to the team are invaluable.
These players can make a significant impact in both Test cricket and the shorter formats of the game, adding a level of versatility that is highly prized by any team.
Over the years, cricket has produced some of the most iconic all-rounders, and their contributions to the game have been immense. These players have left a lasting legacy on the sport, inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.
In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 greatest all-rounders of all time, taking into account their performance, achievements, and impact on the sport.
From Sir Garfield Sobers to Jacques Kallis, these players have etched their names in the history books and continue to inspire cricketers around the world.
Table of contents
Top 10 Greatest All Rounders Of All Time
10 Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes, a cricket sensation, is hailed as one of the game’s greatest all-rounders. In the 2020 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, he claimed the coveted title of Leading Cricketer in the World, a distinction last held by England’s Andrew Flintoff in 2005.
Stokes’ knack for performing under pressure was highlighted during his iconic innings in the 2019 Ashes Test at Headingley, widely deemed one of the sport’s all-time greats. His ability to adapt and steer the ship in dire straits is a testament to his batting prowess.
As a versatile batsman, Stokes displays exceptional judgment and technique, effortlessly switching gears within a Test match.
On the bowling front, he’s taken 197 Test wickets at an impressive 32-average, employing his right-arm fast bowling skills and a unique ability to swing the ball both ways. Stokes’ capacity to snag wickets during pivotal moments is lauded.
In the grand tapestry of cricket history, Ben Stokes has etched his name as an exceptional all-rounder. His cool composure under high-stress situations and his mastery of both bat and ball have rendered him a priceless asset to the England cricket team.
9 Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan, a cornerstone of the Bangladesh cricket team, is hailed as one of cricket’s top 10 all-rounders. His left-handed batting and spin bowling prowess have earned him top ICC rankings across all formats.
Shakib’s exceptional multi-national tournament performances, such as the 2019 World Cup, where he scored 606 runs and claimed 11 wickets, stand as a testament to his extraordinary skills.
Beyond his impressive stats, Shakib’s longevity and consistent contributions have lifted a relatively weaker national side. He’s accounted for 14.37% of the team’s runs and 18.06% of the wickets in matches he’s played, underscoring his vital role.
His batting average of 39.4 and a bowling average of 31.12, a notable 8.27 difference, place him among cricket’s elite all-rounders.
But perhaps Shakib’s greatest impact lies in transforming Bangladesh from an underdog to a formidable competitor. His role in the national team’s rise to prominence cements his place in the upper echelons of cricket’s all-time great all-rounders.
In conclusion, Shakib Al Hasan’s remarkable achievements and influence on the national stage make him a cricketing legend. Shakib is number 9 in our list of top 10 greatest all rounders of all time.
8 Shaun Pollock
Shaun Pollock, the former South African cricket sensation, is celebrated as one of the all-time great all-rounders. Born on July 16, 1973, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Pollock left an indelible mark on the sport.
He formed a formidable partnership with Allan Donald and captained the South African cricket team from 2000 to 2003.
Pollock’s illustrious career boasts numerous highlights, including the record for most test centuries batting at 9 or below, the highest number of ODI wickets for South Africa, and a top-ten ranking for the best bowling averages on the Subcontinent by a foreign bowler.
In 2021, he earned the prestigious induction into the ICC Hall of Fame. His consistency with both bat and ball, combined with the ability to swing it either way, made him a cornerstone in the golden age of Proteas Cricket.
In conclusion, Shaun Pollock’s legacy as one of cricket’s finest all-rounders is beyond dispute. His unwavering contributions and a multitude of records solidify his place among the sport’s top ten greatest all-rounders in history.
7 Andrew Flintoff
Andrew Flintoff, a cricketing icon, is undeniably one of the sport’s top 10 all-rounders. A versatile player, he excelled as a fast bowler, middle-order batsman, and slip fielder, participating in all formats of the game.
In his 79 test matches, Flintoff showcased his prowess, accumulating 3845 runs and claiming 226 wickets. His impressive fast bowling, often clocking over 140 kilometers per hour, came with a stellar average of 32.78.
Not just a bowler, he proved his mettle with the bat, boasting a batting average of 31.07, including five centuries and 26 half-centuries.
But Flintoff’s value transcended statistics. His pivotal contributions to England’s Ashes victories in 2005 and 2009 etched his name among the all-time great all-rounders.
His remarkable performances with both bat and ball made him an indispensable part of those historic moments, cementing his place in cricketing lore. Andrew Flintoff is number 5 in our list of the top 10 greatest all rounders of all time.
6 Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev, an iconic figure in Indian cricket, stands as one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of the sport. His record of 434 wickets and over 5,000 runs in Test cricket is unmatched.
As a fast-medium bowler, he left an indelible mark with 23 five-wicket hauls. In one-day internationals, he took 253 wickets and scored 3,783 runs.
Not just a bowler, Dev was a formidable middle-order batsman, amassing 5,248 runs in Tests, including eight centuries. His leadership further defined his remarkable career as he steered India to an improbable victory in the 1983 World Cup, laying the foundation for the nation’s cricketing aspirations.
His iconic inning under dire circumstances remains etched in ODI history. Accolades and honors have showered Kapil Dev, from being named Indian Cricketer of the Century by Wisden to receiving India’s prestigious civilian awards, the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.
In 2010, he was inducted into the International Cricket Council’s Hall of Fame. Kapil Dev’s legacy as one of the sport’s greatest all-rounders is indisputable, and his contributions to Indian cricket endure in the annals of the game. Kapil Dev is number 6 in our list of best all rounders in cricket history.
5 Imran Khan
Imran Khan, a prominent figure in Pakistani history, boasts a multi-faceted legacy. Born into a privileged Pashtun family, his educational journey took him to elite institutions in Pakistan and the UK.
Cricket ran deep in his blood, with influential family members who had captained the national team. Imran began his cricket career in his teens, and after graduating from Oxford in 1976, he secured a permanent spot on the Pakistani national team.
Khan’s cricketing prowess is legendary. He’s ranked third among all-time great all-rounders, achieving the remarkable “all-rounder’s triple” of 3000 runs and 300 wickets in just 75 Tests.
His batting average of 61.86 at position 6 is the second-highest ever. However, his crowning moment arrived as captain in 1992 when he led Pakistan to victory in the Cricket World Cup.
Beyond cricket, Imran Khan’s charisma made him a celebrity in both Pakistan and England. His philanthropic work, including the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, reflects his commitment to social causes.
4 Richard Hadlee
Sir Richard Hadlee, a cricketing luminary, is unequivocally one of the sport’s top 10 all-rounders. New Zealand’s cricketing titan, he transformed his nation from underdogs to world-beaters during his remarkable career.
As a bowler, Hadlee’s world record of 431 wickets at an astonishing average of 22.29 places him among the greatest of all time. His ability to move the ball, perfected as he matured, is unparalleled.
Hadlee wasn’t just a bowling maestro; he wielded his bat with gusto, amassing runs at a rapid pace, boasting an average of 27.16. His contributions and records, including the unique feat of scoring 1000 runs and taking 100 wickets in a calendar year, attest to his all-round brilliance.
Sir Richard Hadlee’s indomitable presence, both with the ball and the bat, firmly secures his place among the pantheon of the greatest all-rounders in cricket history. His legacy, knighted in 1990, remains etched in the annals of the sport.
3 Ian Botham
Sir Ian Botham, a cricketing legend, is widely hailed as one of the top 10 all-rounders in the sport’s history. Instrumental in rekindling cricket’s glory in the 1980s, he’s best remembered for his Ashes heroics.
With 5,200 runs at an average of 33.54, including 14 centuries and 22 half-centuries, and 383 wickets at 28.40, Botham’s prowess with the bat and ball was unmatched. His robust style, typified by a high strike rate of 60.71, earned him a lasting legacy.
Notably, Botham’s Ashes exploits in 1981, in the series dubbed ‘Botham’s Ashes,’ stand out. His incredible contribution of 399 runs and 34 wickets highlighted his impact. In 1985, he took 31 wickets in the Ashes series. He holds the distinction of being the first all-rounder to achieve the milestone of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in Test cricket.
While his remarkable statistics place him at number six on the list of all-time great all-rounders, Botham’s status as an all-time great remains undisputed.
His insights on the DNA of a great all-rounder and the impact of fame provide a window into his illustrious career. In sum, Sir Ian Botham’s contributions have etched his name in the annals of cricket history as one of the sport’s greatest players.
2 Jacques Kallis
Jacques Kallis, a cricketing legend, is widely celebrated as one of the greatest cricketers of all time and a premier all-rounder. His multifaceted skills encompassed being a right-handed batsman, a right-arm fast-medium swing bowler, and a remarkably safe slip fielder.
Kallis set the bar high with several statistical milestones, standing alone as the only player to achieve the remarkable double of 10,000 runs and 200 wickets in both Test and ODI cricket.
His illustrious career was adorned with accolades, including being named the “Leading Cricketer in the World” by Wisden in 2008, and the “ICC Test Player of the Year” and ICC Player of the Year in 2005.
Revered by fellow cricketers like Kevin Pietersen and Daryll Cullinan, Kallis is often hailed as the greatest to ever grace the game. Notably, he is among the select few Test all-rounders with a batting average exceeding 50 and a bowling average greater by 20 or more.
Kallis’ extensive list of achievements includes winning the most Player of the Match awards in Test cricket, marked by memorable performances, such as his twin centuries against Pakistan in Karachi in 2007.
In his final Test innings in 2013, he notched his 45th Test century, further solidifying his status. With almost 25,000 international runs and 565 wickets, Kallis is not just one of the top 10 all-rounders in cricket history but one of the top three test batsmen ever, distinguished by his matchless all-round abilities.
1 Sir Garfield Sobers
Sir Garfield Sobers, a cricketing legend, stands as one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of the sport. Hailing from Bridgetown, Barbados, he made his mark in first-class cricket at just 16.
Sobers was a versatile cricketer, excelling as a bowler, batsman, and fielder. He etched his name in history by scoring a record-breaking 365 not out in a single Test innings, a feat that remained unmatched until 1994.
His remarkable skills transcended boundaries as he could bowl in every style, from medium pace to left-arm spin. Sobers’ leadership qualities saw him captain the West Indies 39 times and the Nottinghamshire English county team from 1968 to 1974.
His outstanding batting record of 8,032 runs and 26 centuries in Test matches set records and earned him the distinction of being named one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the century in 2000. Beyond his cricketing prowess, Sobers penned several books on the sport, showcasing his multifaceted talents.
Sir Garfield Sobers’ legacy in cricket remains unrivaled, as he’s hailed as one of the most gifted all-round players in history. He holds the distinction of being the first to hit six sixes in a first-class game and held the world record for the highest individual Test score for 36 years.
His monumental contributions continue to inspire aspiring cricketers across the globe. In the hearts of cricket enthusiasts worldwide, Sir Garfield Sobers remains an enduring icon of the sport.
Inbox looking a bit bland?
Better sign up to our blog to cram it full of trending Sports, Gaming & Tech updates.