Top 11 cricketing legends

Our all-time cricket dream team

Choosing this all-time cricket 11 was hard; there are so many considerations that need factoring in when comparing one player to another that some of the contests were almost too close to call. We were brave and called them anyway and so here it is - realbuzz’s cricket dream team. Enjoy.

1. Jack Hobbs (ENG)

Sir Jack Hobbs scored more runs than any other batman before or since in his long career. Known as “the Master” Hobbs accumulated 61,237 first-class runs and 197 centuries, a feat which is inflated by the fact that his career was partially curtailed by world war one. One of the first cricketing legends and the first cricketer to be knighted Hobbs will feature in most people cricketing dream teams.

2. Sunil Gavaskar (IND)

Until it was broken by Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar Sunil Gavaskar was the record test run scorer and the first man to pass 10,000 runs which, considering his career coincided with the heydays of some of cricket’s greatest ever fast bowlers, is a feat unto itself. Gavaskar was a battler with an iron defence and the ability to confound the deadliest of bowlers on the most unplayable of pitches, his patience and stoke play became a sporting symbol for a developing and maturing Indian nation.

3. Don Bradman (AUS)

99.93 does not tell the full story despite the fact that it really should be all you need to know about Sir Donald Bradman. Unchallengeable as the best batsman in cricket history, it took a bowling system that’s ignominy has gone down in history to loosen his Australian team’s dominance of the Ashes and reduce his average to a measly 56 for the 1932-33 series! Extraordinary concentration and incredible reflexes - a true pioneer of the game.

4. Sachin Tendulkar (IND)

Sachin Tendulkar is a modern day genius of the cricketing world and in his lengthy career he has grabbed practically every batting record it is possible to grab. Tendulkar is a master of his art, a genius who has consistently scored runs in every corner of the world and all over the pitch, with practically every cricket shot it is possible to play. Sir Donald Bradman once remarked that Tendulkar reminded him of himself – perhaps the most impressive honour of all –  but arguably Tendulkar has a more polished technique than even the Don himself.

5. Viv Richards (WIN)

Sir Vivienne Richards was possibly the most devastating batsman to ever lift a cricket bat. With his trademark swagger, galling stare and the cavernous strides he would take to meet the ball Sir Viv was a player who bowlers feared. If you failed to get the upper hand from the moment Richards came to the crease he was capable of blasting a century before you had time catch your breath and did so frequently – he also holds the record for the fastest ever test century scored from 56 balls against England in 1986.

6. Adam Gilchrist (AUS)

One of the game’s most effective wicketkeeper batsmen with 5570 runs in tests, 9119 in ODIs and 796 catches across the two formats. Gilchrist is not the best wicketkeeper to have graced a cricket pitch and was capable of the occasional error, however as a batman he was often unplayable and retired with strike rate even higher than our chosen number five. He scored the second quickest century in test history (this time losing out to Sir Viv by one ball) and was responsible for some of the most breath taking innings in modern cricket - his game winning 149 not out against Pakistan in Hobart being one among many.

7. Garfield Sobers (WIN)

93 tests, 8032 runs and 235 wickets, Garry Sobers was the original all-rounder and an all-rounder in the purest sense of the word. He batted with an aggressive flair combined with superb technique, was able to bowl fast, medium pace as well as spin, and was also an incredibly audacious and agile fielder.

8. Richard Hadlee (NZ)

The second all-rounder on this list and the first player to surpass 400 test wickets a feat only over-shadowed by the fact Sir Richard Hadlee did it in a remarkable 79 tests. Combine these bowling figures with 3124 test runs and this deadly exponent of new ball bowling can be considered one of the finest all-rounders in the history of the game and without doubt the best cricketer New Zealand has produced.

9. Muttiah Muralitharan (SRI)

It is one of the great debates in modern cricket: who would you have as your spin bowler, Warne or Murali? During the production of this team we rotated both players numerous times as we ummed and erred. The two are almost inseparable statistically but we’ve plumped for Murali because of the fact that he dismissed more top order batsmen than Warne on average but even this statistic has its pitfalls. We had to pick one but we’re sure many will cite some of several statistics to argue against our inclusion of the Sri Lankan spin king. Do so in the comments below!

10. Malcolm Marshall (WIN)

An integral cog in the most deadly pace attack ever assembled and a master tactician of a fast bowler -  Malcolm Marshall ripped batting line-ups apart regardless of conditions or pitches. His strike rate of 46.7 in tests is phenomenal and pays testament to his unpredictability and his capacity to release every kind of delivery in the fast bowling armoury.

11. Dennis Lillee (AUS)

So we come to the end of our all-time cricketer 11. The final came down to a tossup between two Aussie legends. Dennis Lillee beats Glen Mcgrath out of this team mainly because of his pace and aggression – in Marshall we already have one thinking bowler in the team. Lillee also averaged slightly more test wickets per match than McGrath with 5.07 to 4.5 in favour of the hirsute quick, though once again we’re sure they’ll be plenty who disagree with the choice.

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