The best all-rounders Test XI in the modern era
How do we define an all-rounder? Players who can bat and bowl with consummate ease and lend balance to the team with their dual skills.
Quality all-rounders are a rare breed out of the 4000+ cricketers who have played Test cricket. Whenever we think about quality all-rounders, we remember the great Sir Garfield Sobers, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Sir Ian Botham, and Richard Hadlee.
It is always hard to develop an all-rounder. All great all-rounders first got into the team due to their primary skills which were either their batting or bowling; later it was discovered that they were good in both skills.
In the modern era, there have been a few who are gifted with both the ball and bat. Only a few players can be a part of this exclusive group.
The parameters considered here are:
A Test batting average in the high 30's with a minimum of 3500 Test runs and a 100-wicket haul with a bowling average around 30 for a batting all-rounder with a few exceptions.
A bowling average in the '20s with a minimum of 300 Test wickets and 2000 Test runs with the bat with an average of '20s for a bowling all-rounder.
Openers: Sanath Jayasuriya and Shane Watson
Sanath Jayasuriya was a giant during his days and one of the most influential figures in Sri Lankan cricket. The man from Matara can be regarded as one of the most underrated all-rounders in Test cricket. He was one of the best spin-bowling all-rounders the world has seen.
Jayasuriya was an attacking opening batsman who scored hundreds in Australia and England.
Out of his 14 test hundreds, six of them were scored on overseas shores. He was a potent left-arm spinner and played a supporting role in a spin-heavy Sri Lankan attack. By the time he retired, Jayasuriya finished with 98 wickets in tests.
Career Statistics: Sanath Jayasuriya - Left-hand bat and Left-arm spin
Matches: 110 Innings: 188 Runs: 6973 HS: 340 Average: 40.1 100's: 14 50's: 31
Innings: 140 Wickets: 98 BB: 5/34 Average: 34.3 4W: 6 5W: 2
Shane Watson was one of the most destructive all-rounders in the modern era. He always played under the shadows of Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting. One of the richest cricketers in the world, Watson had a major impact in ODI's and T20's.
Watson particularly played his best cricket from 2009 - 2014, where he scored quite a few runs in the sub-continent and the Ashes. He was also a very good slip-fielder and bucketed many catches in the slip cordon.
Brought up on the bouncy pitches of Tasmania, he was a medium-fast bowler capable of bowling some quiet overs; Watson had a potent bouncer which he would use it as a surprise.
Career Statistics: Shane Watson - Right hand bat and Right arm medium fast
Matches: 59 Innings: 109 Runs: 3731 HS: 176 Average: 35.2 100's: 4 50's: 24
Innings: 93 Wickets: 75 BB: 6/33 Average: 33.7 4W: 3 5W: 1