The legendary batsman, Sunil Gavaskar is often associated with a very famous and wise tenet, “convert ones into twos”, which he also uses frequently while commentating. Batting in cricket is a glorified art where the significance is laid on not only scoring runs, but the manner of doing it as well. As the game has evolved over the past decade, the number of boundaries being scored per balls has also increased, largely thanks to the T20 format.
However, that hasn’t diminished the importance of the quick singles, converting a single to a double and an occasional third run. Indian cricket has seen the pairs of Sachin Tendulkar-Viredner Sehwag to MS Dhoni-Suresh Raina trouble the opposition and change matches by their quick running between the wickets, along with their exquisite boundary hitting. The batsman wouldn’t want the pressure to build on himself, nor his partner, hence quick rotation of strike is vital while batting.
Here we rank the top five fastest runners in International cricket currently :
5. Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson is, at present, New Zealand’s all-time fourth-highest run-scorer, behind Ross Taylor, Stephen Fleming, and Brendon McCullum. Williamson oozes class with the willow in hand and is a member of the ‘fab four’- a group created by the fans and for the fans- which comprise four of the most elite batsman in world cricket.
Williamson is a quick runner between the wickets and the safest fielder in the Black Caps’ side. The Kiwi skipper is renowned for his late cuts and carefully-measured dabs towards the point and third man region, where he stays on his toes to take the singles and doubles. He is a brilliant fielder in the slips and pulls off sharp throws from the edge of the circle.
The right-hander led the Kiwis to the 2019 World Cup final, where they lost by ‘the barest of margins’ to host England. Williamson was named the Player of the Tournament for scoring 578 runs – most by a New Zealander in the tournament – at an average of 82 and for his shrewd captaincy.
4. Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard is a destructive lower-order batsman and a handy bowler who plies his trade in several T20 leagues around the globe. The big Trinidadian is amongst the most successful T20 players, and his ball-demolishing capabilities are well known. Pollard has his name etched in the history books, as he is only the second player to score over 10,000 runs in professional T20 cricket- the first one being Chris Gayle, obviously.
The right-hander has hit, as of the time of writing, 653 sixes in 452 T20 innings- again only behind the ‘Universe Boss’. As much as Pollard has established himself as a maximum muscling titan, he is also a speedster between the wickets. He stands at 6 feet 5 inches tall, taking giant strides from one end of the pitch to the other.
Apart from hitting boundaries, Pollard can also pace an innings with singles and doubles. He is often seen taking quick singles by tapping the ball in the circle and running hard to turn a single into a couple owing to his big footsteps spacing and athletic body. The 33-year-old is one of the best fielders in the world, whether in terms of taking stunning catches at the boundary line or diving around in the 30-yard circle to save boundaries.
3. Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja was bound to make it into this list, inevitably. Arguably, he is the fastest and the sharpest fielder in the world, and he does all that with a calm head. The left-hander is a productive batsman, accurate bowler, and a gun fielder; he isn’t nicknamed ‘Sir’ for nothing.
He invariably scores above the average rating in the Yo-Yo test, a fitness test which is mandatory to pass for selection in the Indian team, and hits the 19 point mark regularly in it. Last year Virat Kohli put up a tweet in which even the Indian captain is finding it difficult to outrun Jadeja.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) November 25, 2019
The Saurashtra-born all-rounder has a bullet throw from the deep and almost never misses a catch. He has made an indelible mark at the point region and has the penchant of hitting the bulls-eye, even from an angle where he has only one stump to aim at. In between the wickets, the 31-year-old runs like a hare, a skill he has developed over the years, playing with the likes of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.
2. David Warner
David Warner is one of the most attacking batsmen in world cricket and his lethality elevates as his innings progresses. Warner’s career can be divided into two halves; pre and post the one-year ban for his involvement in the ball-tampering saga.
There were changes in Warner’s demeanor post the one-year lay-off. From ‘The Bull’ to the ‘Hum-Bull’, as in humble; from an aggressive beast without a leash to a serene, polite lamb; from celebrating ‘in-your-face’ victories to taking graceful smiling defeats, Warner reformed, and he has also added some dancing moves to his resume during the lockdown.
But what didn’t change was his hunger for scoring runs. In fact, it just grew even larger – he was the second-leading run-scorer in the World Cup last year scoring 647 runs, just one run behind Rohit Sharma. Also, what didn’t change is his pace; his cheetah-esque running between the wickets and his quickness in the outfield.
Opening the innings – for Australia and for Sunrisers Hyderabad – the left-hander has shown that he has lost no speed while taking the quick singles in the powerplay. Last year, against Pakistan in Adelaide, Warner notched up his maiden Test triple hundred, scoring 335* runs while staying at the crease for 418 balls- which is a testament to his fitness and stamina. Out of the 335 runs, only 162 runs were scored in fours and sixes, rest he ran and ran, while running his partner’s runs too.
Arguably, the greatest white-ball player, Virat Kohli has set the standards very high, in batting as well as in the fitness department. He is one of the fittest athlete in the world and has been churning out hundreds without breaking a sweat.
Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, the BCCI introduced the Yo-Yo test for the first time in Indian cricket. The score of 16.1 in the test is considered the cut-off for a selection in the national team, while Kohli clocks the mark of 19-21 in the Yo-Yo test on a regular basis.
In recent years, batting comparisons have been made of Kohli with Rohit Sharma in limited-overs cricket, as both the players have been in tremendous form. However, what separates Kohli from Rohit – and the rest – is his ability to pick up a single and rotate the strike after scoring a boundary.
Kohli is 31, with over 11,000 ODI runs and 43 ODI centuries – closing in on the great Sachin Tendulkar, who himself was a totem of running quick between the wickets – he has accumulated all of it with an astute amalgamation of non-boundary runs with boundary runs.
His marvellous innings of 82* off 51 balls against Australia in the 2016 T20 World Cup epitomises his career; field-threading fours, splendidly timed sixes, and Bolt-like running- with MS Dhoni at the other end, making it memorable, now even more.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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