Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, and Shane Warne, three of the best
Lara and Tendulkar will feature in the Road Safety World Series
Three Australians make the Top 10 unforgettable cricketers
The game of cricket is much more than just a game for many. In India, it is a way of life. Some fans also consider it as a religion of their own and idolize their favorite players. In India, young kids are often influenced by the actions of their favorite cricket icon.
Sometimes it was mimicking their batting or bowling style, to even copying the way they carry themselves on and off the field. That’s what you call ardent fans of the gentleman’s game.
Over the years a lot of cricketers have come and gone and left footprints on the pages of history. Starting from W Grace to Don Bradman and coming to more recent stars like Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, fans have chosen their favorites over each period of time.
Here are the ten most unforgettable cricketers who have left the maximum impact on cricket fans-
One of the most deadly bowlers of the more recent generation. While people may have contrasting opinions about the maestro, he retired as the highest wicket-taker in Test and ODI cricket which proves his impact as a bowler for Sri Lanka.
Renowned as Murali by the whole cricket fraternity, the off-spinner is the only bowler to take 800 wickets in Test cricket and also had a dismissal in the last delivery of his career.
That Test innings at Antigua against England where he broke Matthew Hayden’s record of highest individual score proved his hunger for runs. 400 not out still stands as the milestone in Test cricket and it is all because of this elegant southpaw who redefined West Indian cricket.
Lara finished his career with 11953 runs in Test cricket which had 34 100s, nine double centuries and 48 fifties. Coming to limited-overs format, Lara scored 10405 runs which had staggering 63 fifties and 19 centuries in total. His elegance in his drives will remain etched in the hearts of true cricket fans forever.
Some all-rounders can bowl better than they can bat and vice versa but looking at Jacques Kallis one could not tell whether the South African was mainly a bowler or a batsman.
A very under-rated player, who shared the limelight with generational talents like Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar and others, was blessed with his own set of special skills and grace with the willow. However, when things did not go as per plans with the bat he would often compensate with the ball.
There were criticisms with his slow strike rate but his textbook technique and poise while being at the crease, made young kids watch and learn from one of the best.
With 13289 runs and 292 wickets in Test cricket, Kallis has to be the first of his kind in the list of all-rounders who were equally good at both departments.
In One -day Internationals also he was one of the pillars for the Proteas, as he ended his career with 11579 runs and 273 wickets.
Renowned as the ‘Sultan Of Swing’ for his exceptional ability to whip the ball both ways and bamboozle the batsmen during the 1990s.
Akram is the only left-arm pacer to take 400 plus wickets in Test cricket coupled with 502 wickets in ODIs. Akram changed the course of pace bowling which was early used as a weapon of intimidation.
He had a certain Imran Khan to guide his way in that Pakistani side and also paired up with Waqar Younis to create havoc for the opposition batsmen.
Later Shoaib Akhtar also joined the duo and Pakistan undoubtedly had the best pace bowling attack during that time.
Kapil Dev is that man who made India believe that they could compete in this sport at the world level and even be the best. The lad from Haryana came onto the scene when the new ball was shared by veterans of the team, before going to the four spinners which India had.
Fast bowlers weren’t India’s forte but Kapil changed a lot of things and laid the stepping stones for a generation from which pacers currently have emerged from India among Top 10 unforgettable cricketers
Kapil Dev’s heroics at the 1983 World Cup will live forever, as long as the sport is alive in this country. With the ball, the Haryana Hurricane was tidy and in Indian slow and low pitches, he managed 434 scalps, while in ODIs he had around 253 wickets.
With the willow he was devastating at times, scoring more than 5000 runs in Test cricket, coming down the order. This is a commendable feat and it was coupled with around 4000 runs in ODI cricket. Kapil Dev’s career has taken Indian cricket to a new high in front of the world.
The spin wizard for the Aussies changed the course of leg-spin bowling for the modern-day generation of spinners. He was a crucial part of the Australian side which ruled the cricketing world in all formats for years.
He made his flipper his primary weapon and continued the Australian leg-spin legacy.
Warnie managed a whopping 709 scalps in Test cricket coupled with 293 wickets in ODIs. His round the leg dismissal made the headlines and it was acknowledged as the ball of the century and left a long-lasting impact on the minds of innumerable cricket fans.
Wicket-keepers before him were known to bat at around seven or eight and hang in there, holding an end up. However, Gilchrist changed the whole scenario and assumptions that people had about wicket-keeper batsmen.
He paved the way for players who could do both the jobs with equal dedication and panache. His flamboyant batting style and ability to strike all around the ground made life difficult for bowlers, especially in the limited-overs format.
In Test cricket, he came in as a traditional lower down-the-order batsman and still scored a lot of runs for the Kangaroos. He mustered 5570 runs in Tests with an average of 47.
In ODIs he finished a little short of ten thousand runs, finishing with 9619 runs including a staggering 16 centuries and 55 half-centuries. His elegance and multi-tasking attitude changed the course for wicket-keeper batsmen who followed his footsteps.
Sir Viv Richards
Sir Viv was one unique batsman which the cricket fraternity has not had the pleasure to witness again. His arm slinging swagger often caught the opposition bowlers off guard.
Before the era of modern batsmen, there was this man from Antigua who would hit the ball a really long way.
It is known that Richards single-handedly made Antigua famous to the whole world. His onside whip to a ball just outside the line of off-stump became his trademark shot.
His aura was so large that Indian captain Virat Kohli was compared to him for his care-free attitude and ability to turn each and every game with his willow.
The Carribean great scored 8540 runs in Test cricket which had 24 centuries and 45 half-centuries. In the limited-overs format, he mustered 6721 runs with a mammoth best score of 189*, coupled with 118 wickets with his orthodox off-break bowling.
The heart of Indian cricket, Sachin’s greatness is not the number of runs that he has scored in his career but it was the ability to deliver under pressure of a billion fans. His calm attitude and dedication towards the sport were second to none.
With no predominant weakness in his batting, Sachin soon became the nightmare for opposition bowlers. The youngster had the ability to shoulder responsibilities from an early stage in his career and went on breaking most records and setting up new ones with his willow.
Considered as the greatest of all time by Indians and also around the world, cricket still misses the Master Blaster’s elegant on-drive.
Tendulkar finished his career with 200 Test matches scoring 15921 runs, which had 51 centuries and 68 fifties. In ODIs, he was equally sensational with 18426 runs, which had 49 centuries and 96 fifties.
Even today whenever he comes out to bat for any charity event or exhibition matches the excitement among the fans is unmatched.
Considered the greatest ever to grace the gentleman’s game, Sir Don Bradman ended his career with a batting average of 99.94, which may look like a misprint.
In a sport associated with statistics all over, this number has to be the most remarkable number.
He batted only 80 times in Test cricket to achieve that feat. While one may raise questions about the flatness of the wickets, weakened bowling attacks and even timeless Test matches, we should also remember all he had to protect himself was only a cap while the runs were scored in uncovered wickets.
There is no denying the greatness of this Australian legend who will live on for an eternity until the sport cricket is alive in the hearts of cricket fans.
Luckily, we will get to see Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and a few other top stars in the Road Safety World Series next month.
Writing has been my brother-in-arms for a while now. While it was first a love for story-writing, I’m now planning to do so in a more helpful way. I wish to use my skills to spread out information in a creative yet detailed way. Other than that, I have deep love for photography and art as well.