Best All Rounders in Cricket History – List of the Top 15 Cricketers

They are the men who can change a game of cricket with either the bat or the ball. We’re talking about all-rounders and it’s time now to look at the best in the history of the game.

Top 15 All-Rounders of All Time

Kapil Dev

This list is not in any particular order but there are many who would say that India’s Kapil Dev deserves to be at the very top. One of the criteria that we need to think about here is whether the player was good enough to get into his side as either a batter or a bowler.

The answer in Kapil’s case is a resounding yes. He was one of India’s greatest pace bowlers and he finished his career with 434 wickets. That’s still a record for Indian pacemen and he added 253 victims in ODIs.

Kapil Dev would have also made it as a batsman with over 5,000 test runs. He had a highest score of 163 among eight test hundreds and he also scored 3783 runs in ODIs.

Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev

Shakib Al Hasan

Shakib Al Hasan is certainly the best all rounder that Bangladesh have produced to date and it’s hard to see an argument against that assessment. He’s still an active cricketer at the time of writing so he has time to add to his impressive haul of runs and wickets.

Shakib’s haul of 225 test wickets from his first 63 games is a national record and it’s likely to stand for some time. He’s also third on the list of leading run scorers for Bangladesh so he’s clearly very effective in both departments.

His economical spin and ability to score quick runs has also made Shakib Al Hasan a hot property in T20 franchise cricket.

Shakib Al Hasan, 2010. Bristol

Shaun Pollock

Shaun Pollock was South Africa’s first great all rounder after the team were readmitted into international cricket in the early 1990s. He was a tall bowler with genuine pace and bounce while his contributions with the bat were vital in many games.

Pollock is another example of statistics backing up his quality. His tally of 421 test wickets from 108 matches was a record at the time. It’s since been overtaken by Dale Steyn but it’s still an impressive haul.

Shaun Pollock also finished his career in the top ten of South African batters with 3781 runs including two centuries and a best of 111.

Shane Warne

Should I really be including a man who never made a test century? While it’s true that Shane Warne’s test best was a heartbreaking 99, he was more than useful with the bat and could be very hard to dismiss in Australia’s lower middle order.

Warne’s batting average may have been low but he scored over 4,000 international runs and that 99 was one of 13 half centuries. He also made two hundreds at first class level and, while I know this is a debatable decision, I think he deserves to be here.

Of course, there should be no argument over Shane Warne’s inclusion as a bowler.

Shane Warne
Shane Warne

Andrew Flintoff

The statistics may not quite do justice to his ability. Injury dogged Andrew Flintoff’s career at times but he had a knack of turning important games with bat or ball and that’s a quality that any world class all rounder should have.

Flintoff made his debut for England in 1998 and retired with injury after helping them win the Ashes in 2009. He made 3845 runs in test cricket with five hundreds and a high score of 167. In 79 games he also claimed 226 test wickets.

There will be players with better records on this list but Andrew Flintoff was an England gamechanger and fully deserves to be here.

Andrew Flintoff

Sanath Jayasuriya

Sri Lanka’s only representative on this page is a man who sits in third place on the list of his country’s all time leading run scorers. Sanath Jayasuriya made over 21,000 international runs. That’s an incredible return and includes an exceptional best in tests of 340.

Batting was his stronger suit but his left arm spin bowling was more than useful, particularly in the One Day arena. Jayasuriya claimed exactly 450 international wickets with best figures of 6/29.

Sanath Jayasuriya
Sanath Jayasuriya, 2006, Sri Lanka

Sir Richard Hadlee

Sir Richard Hadlee is a rare cricketing knight and that’s the first endorsement of his quality. He was one of the greatest all rounders of all time and certainly New Zealand’s finest.

Hadlee remains as his country’s leading wicket taker in tests with 431 victims and best figures of 9/52. Batting was also strong and he liked to attack in all forms of the game.

When he retired in 1990, Richard Hadlee had scored almost 5,000 international runs. He scored two centuries in tests and had a highest score of 151 not out.

Sir Richard Hadlee

Ian Botham

England’s greatest all rounder, Ian Botham’s finest moments came in the 1981 series against Australia which became known as Botham’s Ashes. He was devastating with bat and ball in the final four tests but he could turn games throughout his long career.

The man known as Beefy still sits in third place in the list of England’s leading wicket takers. Only James Anderson and Stuart Broad are ahead of him. Ian Botham also scored 5200 test runs with 14 centuries and a best of 208.

Ian Botham
Ian Botham

Imran Khan

Pakistan’s Imran Khan was an excellent batsman, a brilliant fast bowler and he was also a great leader of the Pakistan team. As skipper of the national side, he was in charge when Pakistan claimed their first major trophy at the 1992 World Cup in Australia.

He claimed 362 wickets in 88 tests. That was a record for Pakistan at the time and Imran remains in third place in the present day, behind only Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. An additional 182 wickets came in 175 One Day Internationals.

Some may feel that batting was a weakness but the figures show that this wasn’t the case. Imran Khan averaged nearly 38 in test matches with 3807 runs, six centuries and a best of 136.

If you take into account his inspirational captaincy, there is a case for listing Imran as cricket’s best ever all rounder.

Imran Khan, 1992, Australia

Sir Garry Sobers

There is an argument that Sir Garry Sobers of the West Indies was the greatest ever cricketer. That’s an opinion shared by the incomparable Don Bradman who declared that Sobers was the best all-round player he had ever seen.

Sobers was known for setting the highest individual test score at the time of 365 which he made against Pakistan at Jamaica in 1958. He made 8,032 test runs and that’s enough to keep him in fourth place on West Indies’ all time list, nearly forty years after he retired.

Sobers was a left arm bowler who could bowl medium pace, orthodox spin or wrist spin. He claimed 235 test wickets with best innings figures of 6/73.

Sir Garry Sobers
Sir Garry Sobers

Jacques Kallis

If we look at the pure statistics, Jacques Kallis is the greatest all rounder that the game has ever seen. Taking both categories as separate entities, we would be talking about him in terms of a world class batter or bowler.

If we look at his batting first, his tally of 13,206 test runs is a national record and is almost 4,000 more than Hashim Amla in second place. Kallis is also in sixth place on the list of bowlers with 291 victims.

That tally of runs puts him in third place in the overall list. Jacques Kallis is therefore one of the best batters of all time and he’s certainly the greatest all rounder of the modern era.

Jacques Kallis
Jacques Kallis

Viv Richards

This will be another debatable decision. There’s no doubt that Viv Richards was one of the greatest batsmen that cricket has ever seen but is his bowling good enough? I think he was underrated as a bowler and he was particularly strong in the one day arena where his off spin could be effectively economical.

Richards only took 32 test wickets but he claimed 118 victims in ODIs. Those 118 wickets included best figures of 6/41 and I think they underline his claim to be a great all rounder.

Viv Richards, West Indies

Ravindra Jadeja

As I write this article in August 2022, India’s Ravindra Jadeja is ranked number 1 in the ICC list of test all rounders. Not every player to hit the top of those lists will stay the course but the left arm spinner and powerful left handed batter has enjoyed a long career at the top of his game.

He’s eighth on India’s all time test wicket taking list as of August 2022 with 242 victims and has time left to climb higher. It was a close call between him and R Ashwin but I think that his batting is better. Ravindra Jadeja has scored first class triple hundreds and has made over 2,500 test runs with a best of 175.

ravindra jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja

Steve Waugh

Like Imran Khan and some of the other players on this list, Steve Waugh was an inspirational skipper as well as a brilliant all rounder. He led Australia through their dominant years of the 1990s and into the early part of the new century.

In a career lasting from 1985 to 2005, Waugh scored 10,927 test runs which puts him in third place in Australia’s all time list. That total includes no fewer than 32 centuries and a best of 200 while he also added over 7,500 runs in One Day Internationals.

Steve Waugh cut down his bowling after he was made captain but his medium pace remained useful at times. In 493 games across two formats, he took 287 international wickets with a best of 5/28.

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh

Tony Greig

His involvement in Kerry Packer’s World Series meant that Tony Greig was a very divisive figure but there’s no denying his qualities as a great all-rounder. Like Garry Sobers, Greig was a very versatile bowler, capable of bowling off spin or some lively medium pace.

He claimed 141 wickets in just 58 tests and had exceptional best figures in an innings of 8/86. Tony Greig could also be a powerful, attacking batter and was one of the few Englishmen to stand up to the Australian quicks of 1974/75. He made over 3,500 test runs with eight centuries and a best of 148.


Like all lists of this kind, there will be some debate over this one. The players here have either retired or are at the very ends of their career. In time, maybe the likes of Ben Stokes and Mitchell Marsh will also be included but we can judge them as they start to reach the final stages of their playing days.

Just as a final point to note, it’s worth remembering that we have only included all rounders who combine batting and bowling. Wicket keepers such as Adam Gilchrist have not been considered but maybe that will be for another time.