Toby Batchelor |
Assessing the top cricket players globally can be quite the puzzle, given the multitude of formats and their gruelling schedules. The ICC rankings offer some insight, but they don’t reveal the full story.
Creating this list required a delicate balance between T20 specialists and established Test veterans, as well as between current form and past achievements. The question arises: Do all-rounders enjoy an inherent advantage in this discussion? How do we compare multi-format stars with red-ball maestros or short-form specialists? Constructing a top 10 list like this is no straightforward task.
Despite having many statistics at our disposal to analyse modern cricketers, such a list remains subjective. Every cricket enthusiast will have their unique take on who should make the cut and in what order.
Knowing more about the best of the best cricketers will make you appreciate the game better as a fan. Furthermore, digging deeper and knowing the different cricketers’ stats, strengths, and weaknesses will help people who intend to bet on cricket at Lottoland Sports.
So, without further ado, Cricketweb.net presents a ranking of the current 10 best cricketers in the world:
10. Shaheen Shah Afridi
Shaheen Shah Afridi burst onto the international cricket scene for Pakistan as a young talent. Standing tall at 6 feet 6 inches, Afridi can generate tricky bounce even on the flattest of pitches in Pakistan and the UAE. He’s a versatile bowler, effective in all three formats. In Tests, his control and swing keep the batsmen under pressure, while in white-ball cricket, his mix of yorkers and short deliveries makes him a challenging opponent.
9. Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav, a T20 sensation with the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, is a player hard to rank. Although he’s considered the best T20 batsman globally, his limited ODI experience and absence from Test cricket complicate the evaluation. SKY’s rise to prominence came relatively late in his career, but once he gets going, he’s a 360-degree hitter and a nightmare for bowlers.
8. Steve Smith
Steve Smith’s track record speaks volumes, particularly in Test cricket, where he averages over 60. While his white-ball prowess is somewhat limited, his ODI record remains impressive. Smith’s success spans all playing surfaces, securing his place among the 21st century’s batting greats.
7. Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada, like Afridi, burst onto the international scene early and has consistently excelled in all formats. His pace and bounce pose challenges on various surfaces, even those not conducive to fast bowlers. Rabada boasts outstanding numbers, including a remarkable Test match strike rate as the leader of the South African bowling attack.
6. Babar Azam
Initially known for his white-ball prowess, Babar Azam has evolved into one of Pakistan’s finest-ever batsmen. His impressive statistics in Tests, ODIs, and T20s reflect his ability to handle immense pressure in a subpar Pakistan batting lineup. Drawing comparisons to the Fab Four, Azam is on track to join the ranks of Pakistani legends like Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, and Mohammad Yousuf.
5. Joe Root
Joe Root’s averages may not be as eye-catching as some of his peers, partly due to his exposure to challenging English pitches. Nevertheless, he is one of his generation’s best and possibly England’s greatest batsman. While he’s not part of England’s white-ball squads, this is more a testament to the competition for places than his skill.
4. Jasprit Bumrah
When fit, Jasprit Bumrah is the epitome of a modern fast bowler. His unique, jerky action makes it difficult for batsmen to read him, and he can swing and seam the red ball effectively. With the white ball, his hostile bouncers and variations make him a formidable bowler. Bumrah may be unorthodox, but his diverse skill set makes him a quintessential pace bowler for the modern era.
3. Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan’s career has been marked by being an underrated all-rounder. His batting average surpasses his bowling average in Tests, ODIs, and T20s. He holds the top ICC rankings for all-rounders in T20Is and ODIs, along with a third-place ranking in Tests. Controversy may have followed him, but Shakib remains Bangladesh’s standout performer.
2. Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan’s leg-spin may not produce significant turn, but it has become a potent weapon in white-ball cricket. His red-ball career is also off to a strong start, with Afghanistan gaining Test status. Accurate and armed with a tricky googly, Rashid Khan has excelled in various short-format leagues and contributed vital runs with the bat.
1. Ben Stokes
Who else but Ben Stokes? While not statistically the best batsman or bowler, Stokes is the go-to player when the stakes are high. His two World Cup triumphs and his legendary performance at Headingley in 2019 are etched in cricket history. In 2022, he took over as Test captain, transforming England from underachievers to an unstoppable force and redefining the five-day game.
Stokes’s numbers may not be flashy, and he’s stepped away from ODIs, but his match-winning abilities across formats and his impact as a captain make him an unparalleled force in cricket. He’s not just the best cricketer; he’s a cricket giant.
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