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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.