Is Viv Richards the greatest ODI batsman that the game has ever seen or does Sachin Tendulkar's book of records seal the deal in his favor? Is Sir Don Bradman the greatest batsman of all-time or is there anyone who can compete with the Don? Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan or one of the West Indian fast bowling quartet, who is the greatest bowler of all-time?
All of those are mere questions but they can be answered by taking a look at the International Cricket Council ranking. As far as the five-time World Cup-winning Australia team is concerned of the dominant West Indies side of the 70s and 80s, the ICC team rankings give a better picture of just how good they were.
A measure of that is the ICC ranking, which helps to gauge just how good a certain player or team has been as it takes into account a variety of factors. Rankings in cricket is nothing new but the ICC cricket ranking does a great job of highlighting just how good a player or team is and can also be used to find out how good a certain player or team is as it goes back to the beginning to rank all performances across all formats.
As far as the ICC player ranking goes, the highest rating point ever achieved by a batsman in Tests belongs to Sir Don Bradman. His tally of 961 achieved following the Test against India in 1948 remains the all-time best by a batsman in the longest format of the game and he is also the only one to breach the 950 mark. In the ICC Bowler Rankings, the all-time best rating is held by England's Syd Barnes, whose tally of 932 after a Test against South Africa in 1914 remains unbroken a century later.
Although ODIs came much later than Tests and the first World Cup was not until 1975, the format has seen plenty of records being broken in the last 15 years. However, one record that has stood the test of time has been the highest rating point by a batsman in the ICC player ranking for ODIs. West Indies' Viv Richards amassed 935 points in December 1985 and in the three decades since, no one has even managed to come close.
In the same year that Viv Richards set the ICC ranking milestone that hasn't been broken yet, his teammate Joel Garner recorded the all-time best rating in the ICC Bowler Rankings in ODIs. Garner had a rating point of 940 and a mark of just how incredible his feat can be ascertained from the fact that only five bowlers have ever managed to cross the 900 mark.