An all-rounder today is an indispensable element for an ODI team which aims for success at the highest level. Cricket has been blessed with the likes of Sir Gary Sobers, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Sir Ian Botham among many others who dominated the first era of ODI cricket with bat and ball alike. They were amongst the very best to have ever played the game. Then came the era of Jayasuriya, Klusener, Flintoff, Kallis and Afridi, followed by the current era of Mathews, Stokes, Pandya and Shakib.
Let us now look at the top 10 modern day ODI all-rounders. Since we are considering modern day all-rounders only, we have taken into account the players who have continued to play post 2000. Also, since we are selecting the very best, we set a cut-off of 2500 runs and 150 wickets.
These factors have been taken into account.
- Total runs
- Total wickets
- No.of 100s
- No.of 50s
- No.of 5 wicket hauls
- No.of 3 wicket hauls
- Batting impact factor (average × strike rate)
- Bowling impact factor (strike rate × economy)
- How often one gets to bat/ bowl
- Man of the Match (MOM) awards
Each factor was normalised and then categorised to give the final batting, bowling and MOM indices. Here are the top 10 impactful ODI all-rounders of the modern era.
#1 Jacques Kallis
Jacques Kallis, a veteran of 328 ODIs, is an all-time ODI great. He is among the two players to have the distinction of scoring 10000+ ODI runs and taking 250+ wickets. Scoring an aggregate of 11579 runs at an average of 44.36 with 17 hundreds and 86 fifties, he is South Africa's leading run-scorer.
His 273 wickets came at an average of 31.79 and an economy of 4.84, with 2 five wicket hauls. He is also the 3rd highest wicket taker for South Africa, only behind Shaun Pollock and Alan Donald. His 33 Man of the Match awards are a testimony to the impact he had and his contribution to South African cricket.
#2 Sanath Jayasuriya
Starting as a spinner who could bat a bit, Sanath Jayasuriya became the first Sri Lankan to score 10,000 ODI runs. The trend of openers attacking the bowlers in the first 15 overs when the field is not spread out, was started by Jayasuriya. He had his average on comparatively lower side, but his amazing strike rate of 91.22 was what made him an impact player. He had 28 hundreds and 68 fifties to his name.
With 323 wickets, he is Sri Lanka's 2nd highest wicket taker among spinners, with 4 five-fors at an average of 36.75. His tally of 48 MOM awards is only behind Tendulkar (62).
#3 Shaun Pollock
The former captain is South Africa's highest wicket taker, with 393 wickets to his name at an average of 24.51 and economy of 3.68. Shaun Pollock spearheaded the South African attack along with Allan Donald and struck once every 39 balls.
Pollock has 3519 runs to his name, with 1 hundred and 14 fifties. Unlike Kallis and Jayasuriya, Pollock was a lower order batsman and had an impressive strike rate of 86.7. With 22 MOMs to his name, Pollock ranks third in this list of modern day all-rounders.
#4 Shahid Afridi
Holding the record of scoring the fastest ODI century for almost 17 years, Shahid Afridi scored above 8000 runs and struck at 117 runs per 100 balls. His strike rate is one of the highest in ODI cricket. He has 6 centuries and 39 fifties to his name.
With 395 wickets, including 9 five-fors, Afridi is an all time great for Pakistan. His tally of 33 MOM awards is the highest for Pakistan shows his match-winning abilities.
#5 Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan is probably the best cricketer to play for Bangladesh. The underrated left arm spinner has 244 wickets to his name and still counting. With an economy of 4.46 and average of 29.63, he is Bangladesh's best bowler in all conditions.
He is the premier batsman for his nation too, with 5482 runs at an average of 34.92. He has 7 hundreds and 39 fifties under his belt. His tally of 16 MOM awards is incredible, considering that Bangladesh do not win as much as other top teams.
#6 Shane Watson
Shane Watson, with his monstrous hitting, is one of the most dangerous ODI batsman. He has 5757 runs to his name, at an average of 40.54, striking at 90.45. He opened the innings for most of his career and had a devastating impact more often than not.
His 168 wickets might not seem great but his economy of 4.96 and average of 31.8 is too impressive. Watson has a tally of 17 MOM awards under his belt. Had he not been so injury-prone, he might have added a few more feathers to his cap.
#7 Lance Klusener
Lance Klusener is a name which reminds of the heartbreaking scenes of 1999 World Cup semifinals. Regarded as one of the greatest finishers in ODI cricket, along with Bevan and Dhoni, Klusener aggregated 3576 runs, at an average of 41.1 and an impressive strike rate of 89.92. The combination of his average and strike rate was deadly.
He has 192 wickets to his name, at an average of 29.95 at an economy of 4.7. His 6 five-fors prove how he complemented and sometimes outclassed the likes of Pollock and Donald. His tally of 19 MOMs in just 171 matches is mighty impressive.
#8 Andrew Flintoff
Andrew Flintoff, the 2005 Ashes hero, was one of the finest all-rounders for England after Sir Ian Botham. With 3394 runs at an impressive strike rate of 88.82, Flintoff was more of an impact player in ODIs.
His bowling average of 24.38 is even better than the likes of Shaun Pollock. With an impressive economy of 4.4, Flintoff has 169 wickets under his belt. He has 14 MOMs in 141 ODIs.
#9 Chris Cairns
Chris Cairns scored 4950 runs in ODIs with a strike rate of 84.27. He was the Man of the Match in the final of 2000 Champions Trophy, the only ICC trophy ever won by New Zealand. He picked 201 wickets at an average of 32.81 and economy-rate of 4.84. Cairns was awarded MOM 9 times in his career.
#10 Abdul Razzaq
Abdul Razzaq aggregated 5080 runs at an average of 29.72 and strike rate of 81.25. He played the finisher role for Pakistan and used the long handle to good effect.
He has 269 wickets under his belt at an average of 31.84 and economy of 4.7. He has got 3 five-fors to his name. Razzaq won the MOM award 18 times.
Here is a complete statistical summary of all the top ODI all-rounders of the modern era.
Total points = Batting Index + Bowling Index + 0.1*MOM Index