List of Best all-rounders in the world with Career statistics and Best Performances

All-rounders are the magicians of cricket. They can bowl, bat, and field as amazingly well as any specialist. And it is a fact that oftentimes all-rounders are the match winners. So let’s learn about some of the best all-rounders in the history of cricket who blessed the game with their outstanding skills. We have a list of the top 10 best all-rounders of all time below. They are ranked as per their career statistics and contributions to the sport. Bowling and batting stats in both ODI and Test formats have been tabled for the top 10 best all-rounders in cricket. You can click on any player’s name, from the list below, and directly read his profile without having to scroll down.

List of top 10 all-rounders of all time:

PlayersTeam
1. Garfield SobersWest Indies
2. Kapil DevIndia
3. Jacques KallisSouth Africa
4. Chris CairnsNew Zealand
5. Shakib Al HasanBangladesh
6. Imran KhanPakistan
7. Ian BothamEngland
8. Shane WatsonAustralia
9. Shaun PollockSouth Africa
10. Richie BenaudAustralia
List of Top 10 best all-rounders of all time

10. Richie Benaud

Richie Benaud Cricketer
Best Cricket all-rounders: Richie Benaud. Image Credits: The Conversation

Richard Benaud, popularly known as Richie, was an Australian cricketer. But he was not a mere cricketer, but as described by several of his contemporaries — “a student of the game.” Richie arrived in the Australian team in 1952, during a decade of fall for the great cricketing team. Nonetheless, he embraced the game and when given the opportunity to lead, he took his side to new heights. Those were early days of cricketing but Richie was a maestro both with bat and ball. Later on, he became a splendid commentator as well. For his unparalleled contribution to the sport, he was honored with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1961. In 2007, he received the Allan Border Medal and in 2009, he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. After he passed away, the Australian Mint issued a 50-cent coin commemorating Richie in 2017. 

Test Career: Richie blended leg-spin with low-order aggressive batting. In 1963, he became the first cricketer to reach 200 wickets and 2,000 runs in Test cricket. At the start of his career, Richie scored 100 runs against the West Indies in 78 minutes — the third-fastest Test century of all time (in terms of minutes at the crease, not balls faced) and the second-fastest by an Australian. As a captain, he played 28 Test matches, where he won 12, drew 11, tied 1, and lost 4 for his team. Richie ended his Test career with incredible statistics of 248 wickets (the Australia Test record at that time) at 27.03 and 2,201 runs at 24.45.

Test Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1952-196463220112224.4532487/7227.031665
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

Richie Benaud Best Performance

9. Shaun Pollock

Shaun Pollock
Shaun Pollock

A magnificent bowler, an exemplary batsman, a hustling captain — Shaun Pollock’s career has been one of the most underrated careers in the history of cricket. Pollock’s contribution to the sport was remarkable. When South Africa won a series against the West Indies in 2008, the then captain Graeme Smith paid tribute to Pollock, stating “It’s very important that people celebrate what he’s given to South African cricket.” Pollock retired after the series, leaving a legacy behind. In his thirteen-year-long career, Pollock ranked number 1 all-rounder both in Test and ODI formats of the game.

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Test Career: As one of the top 10 all-rounders of all time, Pollock proved medium pace bowling could play magic when expected least. He had taken over 400 wickets in Test. In fact, he is only one of six players in cricket history to score over 3000 runs and take 300 wickets in the longest format of the game. Also, he once ranked number 1 with 909 points in Test bowling. 

Test Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1995-2008108378111132.3124217/8723.111672
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

ODI Career: Playing as a specialist batsman in the 2007 Africa XI v Asia XI, Pollock scored 130 from number 7 in the batting order. It was the highest ever score by an ODI batsman in that position. Such incredible records helped Pollock gain prominence among all-rounders. Not to mention, he is also the bowler to bowl the most number of maiden overs in ODI history — 313.

ODI Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1996-2008303351913026.4513936/3524.505108
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

Shaun Pollock Best Performance

8. Shane Watson

Shane Watson
Shane Watson

Possibly the best all-rounder in recent times — Shane Watson. Ranking 8th among the best all-rounders in the world, Watson has left a legacy behind. His performances in the last two decades marked a global spark among young cricketers to eye the all-rounder role in the playing XI. Watson is considered the last player to retire from Australia’s golden era of the early 2000s. In a wonderful career spanning 14 years, Watson achieved what very few could. He remained the world No. 1 T20I all-rounder for 150 weeks, which included a record of 120 consecutive weeks. At the start of his career in 2002, Watson was named ‘Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year’. More achievements and awards followed this excellent start. He was honored with the Allan Border Medal in 2010 and named the Australian Player of the Year, the following year.

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Test Career: Although Watson had a dormant Test career, playing only 59 matches, he managed to leave an impressive stint. With over 20 half-centuries and four centuries, Watson proved himself to be a worthy part of the Australian Test XI. He almost neared a double hundred but fell short of twenty-four runs. Watson’s best bowling performance came against Pakistan in 2010, where he took 6 wickets, conceding 33 runs in an innings.

Test Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
2005-201559373117635.194756/3333.68345
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

ODI Career: Watson shone in the ODI format of the game. After all, he is the first Australian to take 150 wickets and score 5000 runs in the format. Once called the Master of Run-chase, Watson became the highest scoring Australian of the format. Add to that, he also holds the record for most sixes by an Australian in an ODI inning. His ODI career-best score came against Bangladesh in 2011 — 185* In the total of 190 ODI matches that Watson played, he amassed more than 5,500 runs at an average over 40 — sensational for an all-rounder! No wonder why Watson finds a spot amongst the top 10 all-rounders of all time. In fact, in this list of best cricket all-rounders of all time, Watson is the most successful T20 all-rounder.

ODI Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
2002-20151905757185*40.5491684/3631.79064
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

Shane Watson Best Performance

7. Ian Botham

Ian Botham
Ian Botham

Featuring 7th on the list of top 10 all-rounders of all time is Ian Botham. Hailed as of the greatest all-rounders to ever play the sport, Botham showcased his top-notch batting and bowling skills, playing for England in both Test and ODI formats. Aggressive batting style and right-arm medium-fast swing bowling made Botham one of a kind in his team. He was an indispensable member of England playing XI and played over 100 matches in both formats. In 1978, Wisden named Botham ‘Cricketer of the Year’, describing him as — “a determined character who knows where he is aiming, and who will, quite naturally and fiercely, address himself to the interesting view that he is overrated.” To mark his legacy, The Richards–Botham Trophy is set to replace the Wisden Trophy for winners of the West Indies–England Test series. He was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.

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TEST Career: Botham had a remarkable Test career. He amassed fourteen centuries and from 1986 to 1988, held the world record for most Test wickets. Every cricket enthusiast loved watching Botham play, especially his bowling. After all, he had a way with taking wickets — he took 5-wicket hauls 27 times and 10-wicket hauls 4 times. In 1980, he achieved a rare feat in Test history. He became the “match double” of scoring 100 runs and taking 10 wickets in the same match. During England’s 1000th Test in August 2018, Botham was named the country’s greatest Test XI by the ECB. 

Test Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1977-1992102520020833.54143838/3428.4027120
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

ODI Career: Botham’s Test successes did not translate well in the ODI format, where he posted a career-best of 79. Nonetheless, he performed consistently in three World Cups. Botham’s performance in the international tournament was notable as he twice supported his side to reach the finals. In the 1992 World Cup edition, Botham managed to achieve two ‘Man of the Match’ awards — a feat he did not achieve in the previous editions. Throughout this edition, Botham bowled at a superb economy below 4 and batted moderately. However, his performance couldn’t lead his team to raise the cup. 

ODI Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1976-199211621137923.2101454/3128.54036
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

Ian Botham Best Performance

6. Imran Khan

Imran Khan
Imran Khan

The current Prime Minister of Pakistan was once the greatest all-rounder who astonished the cricketing world with both his batting and bowling. The sixth on the list of best all-rounders of all time is Imran Khan. At the peak of his career in the ’80s, Khan was named the Wisden Cricketer in the Year 1983. For his impeccable achievements, Khan received the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, the second-highest civilian honor of Pakistan. And later on, he was also honored with the President’s Pride of Performance award. A cricketing legend in every aspect, he retired in 1992 after a long and glorious career where he built the Pakistan team as a force to be reckoned with. 

Test Career: In 1971, Khan made his debut at Edgbaston against England. In a short while, he grew to become a magnificent bowler — some argued him to be the fastest at the time. Nonetheless, Khan reached his level-best in 1982. In just 9 Test matches, he took 62 wickets at 13.29 each. It was the lowest average of any bowler in Test history. Although ICC Rankings didn’t exist with current standards, he had a Test bowling rating of 922 points, making him the third-best bowler of all time. Khan secured 3000 runs and 300 wickets and thus achieved the all-rounder’s triple in 75 Tests. This was a record – the second-fastest record behind Ian Botham’s 72. Around the same time, he attained the second-highest all-time batting average of 61.86 for a Test batsman playing at position 6 in the batting order.

Test Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1971-199288380713637.6963628/5822.812328
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

ODI Career: In the ODI format, Khan reigned as a champ. In fact, Khan is the first and only captain to win the World Cup for Pakistan. In his career, Khan played 175 matches and scored over 3,500 runs at an average of 33.41. His career-best score was 102 not out. His best ODI bowling figures were 6 wickets for 14 runs. It was an uncanny record for the best bowling figures by any bowler in an ODI inning in a losing cause.

ODI Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1974-19921753709102*33.4111826/1426.61136
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

Imran Khan Best Performance

5. Shakib Al Hasan

Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan

Nicknamed Moyna, Shakib Al Hasan is arguably the most famous and successful cricketer in Bangladesh’s history. Not only did Shakib revolutionized the role of all-rounders but also laid the foundation stone for his national side. Featuring in multiple tournaments all over the world, he brought pride and fame to his nation. Shakib’s aggressive batting style and slow-arm orthodox bowling made him a perfect fit in all sorts of teams. In 2015, Shakib became the first and only cricketer in history to be ranked the ‘No.1 all-rounder’ by ICC. Adding to his cricketing success is Shakib’s philanthropy aspirations. In 2020, he auctioned his 2019 ICC World Cup bat for COVID-19 relief. 

Test Career: Shakib made his debut against India in 2007. Although he didn’t have a good start, Shakib grew impressively successful in the years to follow. In 2008, he achieved the best bowling figures by a Bangladesh player in Tests — 7 wickets for 36 runs. Soon, he grew into a world cricketing star, matching records set by international all-rounders. Then, he became the fastest all-rounder to score 3000 runs and pick 200 wickets in 54 Test matches. In fact, he is the first Bangladeshi bowler to cross the 200-wicket mark. 

Test Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haul
2007-202158393321739.3352157/3631.061825
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

ODI Career: In the ODI format, Shakib did better than most of his international counterparts at the time. He debuted against Zimbabwe in 2006. And soon he became the fastest all-rounder to score 5000 ODI runs and take 250 ODI wickets. Amongst the top cadre of cricket all-rounders of the prominent teams appears Shakib Al Hasan. After all, he is currently the only all-rounder to be ranked in the top 3 of ICC Player Rankings across every format of international cricket.

ODI Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
2006-20212126455134*37.5292695/2929.87251
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

Shakib Al Hasan Best Performance

4. Chris Cairns

Chris Cairns
Chris Cairns

The fourth best all-rounder of all time is Christopher Lance Cairns, the former captain of the New Zealand cricket team. Born to a former New Zealand cricketer Lance Cairns, Chris always received the necessary exposure to the game. Rising through the domestic championships, Chris eventually found himself in the national team — in the role of an all-rounder. He bolstered his side with destructive batting and intelligent bowling. So much so, he became an integral part of the team and soon took the leadership position. In 2000, he was named as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year. The New Zealand Order of Merit was bestowed upon Chris for excellent contributions to the game.

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Test Career: Cairns once held the world record for most sixes in Tests (87). His exemplary cricketing skills boosted the performance of Kiwis in every Test series they played. During a Test in Wellington in 2000, Cairns single-handedly knocked Shane Warne out of Australia’s bowling attack. However, injuries plagued Cairns throughout his career. He could only play 62 Tests and failed to reap the returns of his extraordinary all-rounder proficiency. 

Test Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1989-200462332015833.5352187/2729.401314
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

ODI Career: Cairns proved why he deserves a spot among the best all-rounders in cricket history through his impressive ODI performances. For a time being, he held a New Zealand record for the fastest ODI century. Cairns picked over 200 wickets in a total of 215 ODI matches he played throughout his international career. His most notable performance came in the 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy. Cairns scored 102 in the finals against India to win the first major ICC title for his side. Therefore, he finds a worthy mention on the list of cricket all-rounders who transformed the sport.

ODI Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1991-2006215495011529.4642015/4232.80166
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

Chris Cairns Best Performance

3. Jacques Kallis

Best all rounder in the world: Jacques Kallis
Jacques Kallis

Jacques Henry Kallis, fondly known as the Woogie, is the 3rd best all-rounder in the world. The former South African cricketer is a right-handed batsman and bowled right-arm fast-medium swing. As of 2021, he remains the only cricketer in history to score over 10,000 runs and take more than 250 wickets, in both Test and ODI formats. He was named Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2008 Wisden. On 30 July 2014, Kallis retired from all forms of international cricket – marking the end of an epic era in South African cricket. 

Test Career: Kallis played over 160 Test matches and maintained a batting average of 55 runs per innings. He once made a mind-blowing record — scoring five centuries in four Test matches between October to December 2007. In January 2011, he surpassed former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, an all-time legendary batsman, to become the second-highest scorer of Test centuries. In a rare feat, Kallis ended his Test career, being only one of three ever, to average over 50 in batting and a bowling average crossing 20 or more. 

Test Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1995-20131661328922455.37452926/5432.655200
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

ODI Career: Described as the greatest cricketer of all time by cricketing pros such as Kevin Pieterson, Kallis left a remarkable legacy in ODI cricket as well. He made his ODI debut against England in 1996. Two years later, Kallis led his side to the ICC Champions Trophy title. Playing over 300 matches, he amassed over 11,000 runs and 273 wickets. After consistent best performances, he was included in the ICC World ODI XI. On July 30, 2014, Kallis retired from all formats of cricket. Post-six years, he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in August 2020.

ODI Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage 5-wicket haulCatches
1996-20143281157913944.36172735/3031.792131
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

Jaques Kallis Best Performance

2. Kapil Dev

best all rounder Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev Ramlal Nikhanj, fondly known as the Haryana Hurricane is the 2nd best all-rounder in the world. The former Indian cricketer was a fast-medium bowler and an exceptional middle-order batsman. Not only is he regarded as the best all-rounder of all time but also one of the best captains of all time. His commendable captaincy led India to win its first Cricket World Cup title in 1983. In 2002, Wisden named Kapil Dev the Indian Cricketer of the Century. 

Test Career: When Kapil Dev retired in 1994, he held the world record for the greatest number of wickets taken in Test cricket. The record was broken 6 years later by West Indies strike bowler Courtney Walsh. Kapil Dev is the only player in cricket history to have taken more than 400 wickets and scored more than 5000 runs in Tests. And that makes him one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. 

Test Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverage CenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1978-1994131524816331.0584349/8329.642364
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

ODI Career: Kapil Dev made a mild debut against Pakistan in 1978. The format didn’t suit him perfectly until he was chosen captain of the Indian team. As regular captain, his first assignment was the tour of the West Indies. A single ODI victory – where Dev (72) and Gavaskar (90) led India to a huge score of 282/5 in 47 overs. And, Dev’s 2 wickets aided India to restrict West Indies for 255. This victory gave Indian cricketers the confidence to face the West Indies team in the 1983 Cricket World Cup, which they eventually won – creating a historic moment for the nation. Dev was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2010.

ODI Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1978-19942253783175*23.7912535/4327.45171
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

Kapil Dev Best Performance

1. Garry Sobers

best all rounder Garry Sobers
Best all rounder in Cricket: Garry Sobers

Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers, better known as Garry Sobers, is the best all-rounder in the world. The former West Indies cricketer had a brilliant career from 1954 to 1974. A proficient bowler, astounding batsman, and extraordinary fielder – Sobers is the perfect example of a cricketing all-rounder. In 1975, Queen Elizabeth II knighted Sobers for his services to cricket. A  Parliament Act in 1998 named Sobers as one of the ten National Heroes of Barbados.

Test Career: Sobers made his Test debut for the West Indies in 1954. He played as a bowler initially, however, his impressive batting skills helped him climb the batting order. Sobers scored his maiden Test century against Pakistan in 1958. He progressed to 365 not out and established a new record for the highest individual score in an innings.

Sobers was named captain of the West Indies in 1965. As he grew in stature, Sobers went on to captain a Rest of the World XI during their 1970 tour of England. In total, Sobers played 93 Tests for the West Indies, scoring 8032 runs at an average of 57.78, and taking 235 wickets at an average of 34.03.

The best all-rounder in cricket history has the fifth-highest batting average in Test cricket in the list of cricketers with more than 5,000 runs. Sobers was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.

Test Career Statistics

Career SpanMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageCenturiesWicketsBest BowlingAverage5-wicket haulCatches
1954-1974938032365*57.78262356/7334.036109
SOURCE: ESPNCricinfo

Garry Sobers Best Performance

Debojeet Chakravarty

I'm a first year grad student and have been exposed to the world of writing for over two years now. Though I'm new to the professional field of writing, I'm confident of finding myself in a suitable position that complements my style, very soon enough.

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