5 greatest all-rounders of all time
One of the most valuable members of a cricket team is an all-rounder. Every team tries to achieve that optimal team balance by choosing an all-rounder in their side. However, as much as it is desirable to have an all-rounder in your side, a good, reliable all-rounder is a rare breed. In fact, they are so rare that only a handful of all-rounders have succeeded in having a meaningful impact on their team's fortunes.
Cricket in the last two decades has evolved to become a more flashy and fast-moving sport designed to keep a short-attention-span audience glued to their TV screens. All-rounders have become an even more sought-after commodity that teams go to great lengths to find in their domestic talent pool. Oddly, though, apart from a couple of notables, one has to dig deep down memory lane into the realm of nostalgia to come up with names deserving to be called the greatest all-rounders of all time.
Great all-rounders are not necessarily remembered because of their fantastic batting or bowling averages. But, rather, they are remembered for the disproportionate impact they have had on the fortunes of their team. Some of these all-time great all-rounders played such a major role in the success of their teams that it's inconceivable that their teams would have achieved the landmarks they did or gained historic notoriety were it not for their contributions.
So, here are the 5 greatest all-rounders of all time.
#5 Jacques Kallis
It's hard to believe that Kallis retired more than four years ago. Instinctively, even today, one searches for his name in the South African team roster when their Test or ODI squad is announced. Kallis batted as a proper top-order batsman as opposed to a traditional fast bowling all-rounder who bats in the lower middle order. His Test average of 57 merits comparisons with the best batsmen of all time.
What is remarkably unique about Kallis is that despite being such a big superstar, he was disciplined like a work-horse who just delivered for his team consistently in every game that he played. He was not known for a flashy innings here or a last-ball wicket there. He just took it upon his shoulders to carry a big chunk of the team's burden, without complaining. It's no wonder that four years after his retirement, South Africa is still struggling to replace him.