The 5 Greatest ODI All-Rounders of All Time

A cricketer who is dependable in both the batting and bowling departments is an asset for any team. Known as all-rounders, such players offer balance to the playing XI.

Having all-rounders in the squad is a must in limited-overs cricket, considering the formats demand players to contribute in more than one way.

ODI cricket has witnessed a plethora of all-rounders dazzle the field. But only a handful have been able to leave a lasting impression in the history books.

In this article, we’ll list the 5 greatest all-rounders of all time in ODI cricket.

Jacques Kallis | South Africa

Jacques Kallis is not just the best all-rounder in ODIs but is one of the greatest all-rounders in international cricket. He was the mainstay of South Africa’s batting lineup and an able bowler who gave breakthroughs at crucial points.

Kallis used his pure and classy batting technique to fetch 11579 runs at an impressive average of 44.36. To go along with that, he brought up 17 centuries and 86 fifties in 314 batting innings.

With the ball, he used to extract pace and swing, often surprising batters. Kallis bowled in 283 innings, scalping 273 wickets at an average of 31.79 and 2 five-wicket hauls.

Sanath Jayasuriya | Sri Lanka

When Sanath Jayasuriya started his career, everyone thought of him as a bowler who could be handy with the bat. But once he bowed out of ODI cricket, he had proven everyone wrong.

The Sri Lankan bemused batters with his slow left-arm spin bowling and thrashed bowlers without showing any mercy. When bowling, he relied more on pace variation than turning the ball, and while batting, he could access almost every part of the field.

In 445 ODI appearances, Jayasuriya garnered 13430 runs at an average of 32.36, including 28 hundreds and 68 half-centuries. In the bowling department, he grabbed 323 wickets at an average of 36.75, including 4 fifers.

Shahid Afridi | Pakistan

Shahid Afridi was an important cog of Pakistan’s ODI squad in his heyday. He showcased his powerful batting skills in what was his first batting innings.

Afridi smashed a 37-ball hundred against Sri Lanka in 1996, then the fastest century in ODIs and a record he held for almost 18 years. That was enough to show what he could do with the bat.

His explosive batting exploits were well-complimented by his lethal leg spin. He had many variations up his sleeve, like the leg break and googly.

Afridi donned the Pakistani jersey in 398 ODIs, scoring 8064 runs at an average of 23.57 and taking 395 wickets at an average of 34.51.

Shakib Al Hasan | Bangladesh

Shakib Al Hasan is unarguably the greatest player Bangladesh has ever produced in its cricketing history. The all-rounder has stood up on many occasions, driving his team home with double delight.

Shakib is an astute left-arm spinner with consistency and accuracy in his bowling. As a batter, he has the temperament to take on bowlers with the wide range of shots in his repertoire.

The deadly combination of batting and bowling has helped him occupy the number 1 all-rounder ranking for a long time. In his close to 250 ODIs, Shakib has amassed 7500+ runs and 300+ wickets.

Also Read | Players who Achieved No. 1 ICC Rankings in All Three Formats

Kapil Dev | India

Kapil Dev, the 1983 World Cup-winning captain, hogged the limelight with his all-round brilliance when such players were a rarity in ODI cricket. He was so good that India has failed to find someone of his stature in modern-day cricket.

He was a consistent pace-bowling all-rounder who could swing the ball and effortlessly smash the ball with the bat. Dev produced some brilliant bowling and batting performances, often tilting the matches in favour of India.

The Haryana Hurricane accumulated 3783 runs at an average of 23.79 and took 253 wickets at an average of 27.45 in 225 ODIs. And no one can forget his blitzkrieg (175 not out) against Zimbabwe in the 1893 World Cup.

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