Few players have ever been regarded weapons with both the ball and the bat in the history of cricket.
Only a small number of players can lay claim to being a part of this exclusive club, and only a small number of these will be remembered as all-time greats.
A true all-rounder, who excels with both the bat and the ball and can contribute to a team as either a bowler or a batter, is even more uncommon.
These athletes will be remembered as being extremely outstanding and remarkable. This ranking aims to include the top ten cricketers who were real all-rounders or came the closest to being one.
Please be aware that, unless otherwise noted, all data utilized relate to test matches and were current at the time of publication.
10. Andrew Flintoff
We start our list with Andrew Flintoff, also known as Freddy Flintoff, who was England’s hero of the 2000s.
He is best renowned for his bravery during the 2005 Ashes series, which helped England defeat the best team in the world and win the Ashes for the first time since the 1986–1987 season.
Flintoff, a fast bowler who could reach speeds of above 140 kph, claimed 226 wickets at an average of 32.78.
He was a competent batsman who could score runs quickly, averaging 31.07, with five hundreds and 26 half-centuries.
However, the numbers don’t accurately reflect Flintoff’s value to his team. If you’re still not convinced of his magnificence, just consider how much of an impact he had on England’s Ashes-winning teams in 2005 and 2009.
In these performances, he would also contribute with both the bat and the ball, solidifying his place among the greatest all-rounders of all time.
9. Tony Greig
Younger readers may recognize Tony Greig as the English commentator who was born in South Africa and now resides in Australia and is a member of the Channel Nine commentary team. In fact, it’s possible that his renown as a pundit has surpassed that of his playing career.
But Grieg was a good all-rounder who played 58 tests for England in the 1970s, for those who do remember.
He was more commonly recognized as a batting all-rounder, scoring eight hundreds and 20 half-centuries on the blade while averaging 40.43, a figure that would put him on many teams just as a batter.
However, he did had a few additional weapons. He was able to bowl right arm off break and medium speed, capturing 141 wickets at 32.20. Few athletes can claim to be able to bowl in two different ways at the level of a test match.
Due to the short duration of his test career (1972 to 1977), he falls down the rankings. He might have appeared higher up if he had played for longer.
But that shouldn’t detract from what he accomplished because ranking among the best ten all-rounders of all time is a very outstanding accomplishment in and of itself.
8. Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev, India’s finest all-rounder and best fast bowler, is the first of the great 1980s all-rounders to be listed on this list.
In his 16-year-long, fruitful test career, he established himself as a reliable bowler and a powerful hitter.
In his final test, he broke Richard Hadlee’s world record to end with 434 wickets at an average of 29.64, becoming just the second bowler in the game’s history to take 400 wickets.
This average may seem high compared to some of the other great all-rounders, but it is important to keep in mind that Dev played the majority of his cricket at home in India on pitches that are much more conducive to spinners and batsmen than they are to seam bowlers, who are more likely to be hindered than helped.
In a career that includes eight centuries and 27 half-centuries, he averaged 31.05 with the bat.
But his most enduring memory is for a One Day inning. This is, of course, referring to his 175 not out against Zimbabwe at the 1983 World Cup, where, following a poor start, Dev entered and prevented India from suffering a major defeat.
Dev was a major player in the competition as India went on to win it in a huge shock over the two-time defending champion West Indies.
Consider this if you still need more evidence of his awesomeness. In the 2002 election for the Indian cricketer of the century, Kapil Dev triumphed against legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar.
7. Shaun Pollock
Shaun Pollock ranking at position seven could surprise some of you. However, when considering the greatest all-arounders of all time, his stellar record is simply too strong to ignore.
Pollock, a bowling all-rounder who was, for a time, one of the most reliable bowlers in the world while also having a bat, is widely regarded as one of the greatest South African cricketers of all time.
He collected 421 wickets at a strike rate of 23.11, but his finest bowling quality was his consistency and economy, which made him typically difficult to get runs off.
He was a good batsman but occasionally struggled to carry on to a significant total as seen by the fact that he only has two hundreds to his credit. He still has a 32.31 average, which is comparable to Andrew Flintoff’s or Kapil Dev’s.
Pollock retired in 2008, but he will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the best all-around players of the modern era.
6. Ian Botham
Ian Botham, the legendary Englishman of the 1980s, played a significant role in bringing back cricket’s dormant lion.
In the 1981 series that came to be known as “Botham’s Ashes,” in which England defeated Australia 3-1, he made the difference between the two teams, earning him the title of “Botham’s Ashes Hero.”
He averaged 33.54 runs per game with the bat over the course of his career, but he occasionally shown his ability to press on and put together a large innings by hitting 14 hundreds and 22 half-centuries.
As evidenced by his high strike rate of 60.71, he had a propensity for hitting hard.
It is not quite accurate to say that Botham was at his best when he averaged 28.40 for 383 wickets as a bowler because, prior to his ability being limited by injury, he was closer to 21. Top 10 All-Rounders.
Botham drops to number six on my list due to durability considerations, despite the fact that he is still unquestionably one of the greatest players in game history.
5. Richard Hadlee
Richard Hadlee, by a wide margin New Zealand’s best cricketer, frequently made the difference during his reign at the top between New Zealand being a pushover or world beaters.
He is primarily known for his bowling, when he set a world record by taking 431 wickets at an average of 22.29, at the time. He started out as a fast opening bowler, but as he got better, he reduced his run-up and put more of an emphasis on moving the ball, a skill that he is perhaps the best bowler of all time.
In his prime, he occasionally appeared to have the ball on a thread; his 9/52 performance against Australia epitomizes this.
He had a good average of 27.16, which includes two centuries and 15 half-centuries. He was a useful lower-order batsman who would come in and fling his bat at the ball.
This demonstrated that, despite being unquestionably an all-around bowler, he was also a competent hitter who could contribute significant runs closer to the conclusion of an innings.
Impressive numbers, but as Graham Gooch puts it best, “Richard Hadlee at one end, Ilford seconds at the other,” puts Hadlee’s talent in context. Top 10 All-Rounders.
Few players can say that they were so obviously vital to their team’s success, which justifies Hadlee’s spot among the game’s best all-arounders.
4. Keith Miller
Keith Miller, a legendary Australian all-rounder of the post-World War II era, was the first real all-rounder in test cricket.
He is probably most known for his work as a quick opening bowler who teamed up with Ray Lindwall to form one of the greatest test-match opening bowling partnerships.
He would have likely taken many more wickets had his career not been constrained by the absence of play during World War II, thus his 170 total does not accurately reflect his quality. His average of 22.97 is a more accurate reflection of his accomplishments.
He amassed 2958 runs at an average of 36.97 when batting, including seven hundreds and 13 half-centuries. He is remembered as a traditional batsman with a variety of shots, but he was also capable of winning a match by quickly outplaying the opposition. Top 10 All-Rounders.
You will receive different responses if you ask different individuals whether they thought of Miller as a batting all-rounder or a bowling all-rounder. And this sums up Miller the best.
He had the same impact with the ball and the bat. He was a real all-arounder and a fairly excellent one at that, which may be the answer to the question.
3. Imran Khan
Imran Khan, a true warrior and unquestionably Pakistan’s greatest cricketer ever, comes in at No. 3 on the list of all-time great all-rounders. Top 10 All-Rounders.
He is best known for his bowling, having taken 362 test wickets at an average of 22.81. He was a true fast who opened the bowling for Pakistan for many years; any bowler from any era would rank higher than him.
His batting became more and more important as his career went on and he started to suffer more injuries, to the point where by the end of his career he was only in the team as a hitter. This demonstrated that he was capable of making the team as a bowler and a batsman.
He concluded his test career with an average of 37.69, six hundreds, and 18 half-centuries. He was one of just eight players to record 300 wickets and 3000 runs, or the “all-rounders triple.”
Khan is one of the few leaders of his caliber, and it was his foresight and planning that allowed his Pakistani teams to reach their full potential. Top 10 All-Rounders.
As he continued to hold numerous high-profile posts in different political and social service organizations, this trait remained with him.
He retired at the age of 39, having helped Pakistan win the 1992 World Cup.
2. Jacques Kallis
Unquestionably the greatest all-around player of the current era, Jacques Kallis also ranks highly among all-time greats.
Few batsmen have averages as high as Kallis’ 57.02, which includes 41 centuries and 55 half-centuries.
This player’s average is the greatest of any active player, surpassing that of other modern legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, and Rahul Dravid. Top 10 All-Rounders.
Unlike the majority of all-rounders, Kallis is a skilled batsman. Most all-rounders have a tendency to score runs in an unconventional manner, but Kallis brings a highly classical style, playing a variety of controlled strokes. There aren’t many opponents that are harder to defeat than Kallis.
Kallis, a fast-medium bowler as well, has 274 wickets at a 32.51 average. Although this may not be as amazing as his hitting record, it is still impressive, and he is good enough to be selected for several international bowling teams.
1. Garfield Sobers
Few would disagree that Garfield Sobers is the best all-around player of all time, even how excellent the other players on this list were.
He was a true all-rounder, posing a threat with both the bat and the ball, like Kallis, Miller, and Khan. The fact that Sobers was virtually three players in one, as opposed to the two most all-around players, is what really sets him apart from the competition.
He was proficient at both fast-medium and spin bowling. But Sobers was initially selected for the West Indies side as a spin bowler, frequently batting low in the order. He would eventually amass 235 dismissals at a 34.03 average.
But as his career progressed, he continued to enhance his batting, and as a result, he is now regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time.
With the exception of the legendary Sir Donald Bradman, his batting average of 57.78 ranks as the 10th highest of all time and is comparable to all other batsmen in the annals of the sport.
He recorded 30 half-centuries and 26 centuries. But his 365 not out score against Pakistan in 1958 is still his most illustrious achievement.
This was a world record at the time and remained unbroken until Brian Lara beat it in 1994. It remains the fifth-highest score in test cricket history. Top 10 All-Rounders.
He was also a great fielder and captained the West Indies for a long time to go along with this.
Sir Garry Sobers is regarded as the finest all-around player of all time for these reasons. Top 10 All-Rounders.
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