Ever fancied a bonus? Well, who hasn’t! A bonus is always welcome in any shape, form or colour simply because it’s an add-on. In the world of cricket, a supreme batsman, who apart from scoring an ample amount of runs, has the ability to take a wicket or two is the epitome of the word bonus.
Cricket is a game dominated by numbers! Numbers that grab our attention, numbers that never fail to astonish us. These numbers often help us comprehend the role of a player in a side, but taking a deep look at the numbers game, some surprising statistics are discovered. A few batsmen in the past and present have not only done the damage with the bat but the ball as well.
These men are famously remembered for the massive amount of runs they scored but there is a different aspect to their game which deserves some discussion and appreciation, which is how they managed to a good number of wickets in their career despite being tipped as “Pure Batsmen”.
Here we list down top 10 pure batsmen who’ve taken the most number of ODI wickets:
10. Sourav Ganguly – 100 wickets
Avid followers of the sport will agree to the fact that Dada led the revival of the Indian cricket team with his sheer masterclass in all genres of the game. The Indian stalwart was a nightmare for the opposition bowlers and it won’t be wrong to say that an on-song Sourav Ganguly was a scary sight for even the fiercest bowling units in the world.
Ganguly’s batting and leadership skills were highly appreciated by the critics but that’s not all to his game as there is one more aspect to his legendary career in white-ball cricket which was his medium-pace bowling.
The Prince Of Kolkata must be proud of all the tons he’s scored but it wasn’t just in runs where Ganguly reached the magical number-100 as he also took a total of 100 ODI wickets in his glorious career. A true champion in every sphere!
9. Grant Flower – 104 wickets
Zimbabwe Cricket team enjoyed a decent amount of success in the 90s, thanks to a certain duo, famously known as Flower brothers. Often considered as the backbone of Zimbabwe’s batting lineup, Andy and Grant Flower are one most famous brothers in cricket.
The younger Flower i.e. Grant was a diligent batsman as well as a useful bowler for The Chevrons. His hunger for big scores was often applauded by the fans as well as critics as Flower scored six 100s and forty 50s in his ODI career. While we are at numbers, he also scalped 104 wickets with his tricky left-arm orthodox bowling.
He was a prominent top-order batsman of his era which is why his bowling numbers often go unnoticed, which to be honest were impressive for a part-time bowler.
8. Aravinda de Silva – 106 wickets
Remember Aravinda de Silva? The man who stole the show at the 1996 Cricket World Cup final in Lahore with his brilliant all-round performance as Sri Lanka lifted the World Cup for the very first time.
De Silva followed up his figure of 3-42 in the first innings, with a scintillating knock of 107 in the second as Sri Lanka comfortably chased down Australia’s total to be reckoned as the new champions of the world.
A reliable head in the middle, De Silva scored plenty of runs with the bat and took a good number of 106 wickets in 308 ODIs. In 2003, De Silva produced his finest performance with the ball as he rattled the England batsmen with his masterclass at the SCG and ended the match with the figures of 4/30. Sri Lanka has been home to some fine spinners and De Silva was one of them.
7. Tillakaratne Dilshan – 106 wickets
With more than 10,000 runs to his name in ODI cricket, Tillakaratne Dilshan is a legend of the sport in every sense. Not many men can boast of having a cricketing shot named on them but Dilshan belongs to a rare breed of cricketers courtesy of his invention we all lovingly refer to as “Dilscoop”.
Dilshan, primarily considered a top-order batsman was often given the responsibility to bowl in the middle overs and it’ll be right to say that the Sri Lankan legend did his job quite well as he took a total of 106 wickets in his ODI career.
His tally of 4/4 against Zimbabwe at the 2011 World Cup is still remembered by the avid followers of Sri Lankan Cricket as Zimbabwe’ s batsmen slumped against Dishan’s dexterity. And yes, he even scored a ton in that match. Was there anything this man couldn’t do?
6. Hansie Cronje – 114 wickets
Hansie Cronje was undoubtedly one of the greatest skippers in the history of South African cricket as he made the Proteas a force to be reckoned with. The sturdy South African led his nation in 140 ODIs and reigned victorious on 99 occasions- a remarkable return in the world of cricket.
Cronje was often appreciated for the way he took responsibility for his side and his numbers support the argument to perfection. 5585 runs, 114 wickets in 188 ODIs- the numbers of a champion whose influence alongside Bob Woolmer was instrumental in South Africa’s rise.
The man from Bloemfontein once scalped 5 wickets in a match against India in 1992 as the Indian batsmen found Cronje’s discipline with the white ball too hard to contain.
5. Sir Viv Richards – 118 wickets
Having scored 6721 runs in 187 ODIs at an impressive strike-rate of 90.2, Sir Vivian Richards is often considered as one of the most destructive batsmen of all-time. Capable of snatching the game away from the opposition with a mere moment of genius, Richards was an instrumental figure in the historic West Indies side which ruled the world in the 70s.
The swashbuckling Caribbean legend with all his batting prowess was an efficient bowler as well. The West Indies possessed a fearsome bowling unit at that time and Richards, who was a mainstay in the side for his batting, didn’t get many opportunities with the ball but when he did, it was pure magic at times. He took a total of 118 ODI wickets.
For a man who oozed aggressiveness with his batting, Richards’ bowling contradicted his personality a bit. A slow tactical bowler, Richards would’ve gone on to take a lot more wickets had he been in a different era.
4. Sachin Tendulkar – 154 wickets
Every time the question surrounding the greatest batsmen of all-time arises, there is one name which makes a lot of rounds and that name is of Sachin Tendulkar. The Master Blaster has a plethora of batting records to his name, ranging from all-time leading run-scorer to most centuries in the limited-overs format of the game.
Tendulkar’s numbers on the bowling front aren’t that bad either as the Little Master took 154 wickets in white-ball cricket. A leg spinner in his time, Tendulkar was uncannily brilliant at times and often assisted his team in the grueling middle-overs.
Sachin Tendulkar inflicted a lot of misery upon his opponent with a bat in his hand but it seems like the Master Blaster was capable of doing some serious damage with the ball as well. Greatness personified!
3. Chris Gayle – 167 wickets
Chris Gayle and his exploits with the bat have revolutionized the shorter format of the game. A fearsome opener who’s left traces of greatness in every format, Gayle has enthralled the cricket enthusiasts all around the globe with his high-octane performances.
Be it bat or ball, the vibrant West Indian has used both as a destructive weapon. Gayle’s numbers in LOI cricket are nothing short of spectacular as he has amassed 10,480 runs in his ODI career as well as took a total of 167 wickets.
Gayle may not be the best fielder or the fastest of runners but is a genuine entertainer of the game. The Universal Boss has never failed to mesmerize us!
2. Steve Waugh – 195 wickets
In 1999, Steve Waugh led a vibrant Australian side to World Cup glory on English soil to become only the second Australian skipper to have lifted the majestic cup. An efficient middle-order batsman, Waugh is famously remembered for his tactical approach which helped him prosper as the captain of the Australian cricket team.
While his batting and captaincy are often being discussed, the same can’t be said about his bowling which, in fact, was quite impressive at times. Waugh was a decent medium-pace bowler of his time and with 195 ODI wickets to his name, the former Australian skipper was quite handy with the ball. Predominantly recognized as an out-and-out batsman, Waugh’s wicket tally is often underappreciated.
1. Sanath Jayasuriya – 323 wickets
Sanath Jayasuriya was a sort of an enigma! A man who once became synonymous to carnage and unpredictability at the same time, Jayasuriya was the sort of player who kept the opposition captains always on their toes. The Sri Lankan southpaw swayed numerous encounters in Sri Lanka’s favour and it will be just about right to say that the southpaw is one of the most dynamic cricketers of all-time.
From his enthralling batting to his astounding bowling, Sri Lankan cricket has benefitted tremendously from the Jayasuriya’s skill set. He grabbed the headlines on one too many occasions for his mysteriously hard-to-score left-arm off-spin, something which helped him scalp 323 wickets in 445 ODIs.
A fearsome batsman, a wicket-taking bowler and an absolute blessing for any captain, Sanath Jayasuriya is one of the most proficient men to have ever played the beautiful game.
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