After the boom of T20 cricket, most batsmen around the world tread the attacking route, especially in white-ball cricket. Being innovative in stroke-making has been the way forward for a number of teams. Hence, flurry of fours and sixes could be seen on the ground and the audiences around the globe thoroughly enjoy it.
But those ambitious shots might backfire on pitches tough to bat on. That’s exactly where rotating strike holds importance. On a green-top or turning-tracks where the ball might not come on to the bat very easily, singles and doubles are the only way out unless there’s a loosener from a bowler.
It also demonstrates how fit a cricketer is. A number of cricketers have had to sweat it out on the cricket pitch and show their stamina to eke out one laurel after the other.
In the article, let’s look at the distance covered on the pitch by some of the greats of cricket –
5. Jacques Kallis- 285.457 kms
Jacques Kallis was one of the fulcrums of the South Africa team across formats. He was fit as a fiddle and fast as a gazelle. He was big in stature, but it didn’t affect his fitness by any means. Having scored over 24,000 runs for the Proteas, the Cape Town-born tormented most oppositions.
Moreover, the veteran managed to show patience in the middle and put a price tag on his wicket. The fact that he scored 14,190 runs through running between, translating to over 55 per cent of his career runs, shows that he put in significant amount of energy.
Not to forget the heavy balls he used to bowl. The now 44-year-old churned out 575 wickets, running in day in and day out with equal intensity. It goes without saying that when he retired, it left a massive void in the Proteas lineup.
4. Mahela Jayawardena- 286.081 kms
Mahela Jayawardena is arguably one of the greatest cricketers Sri Lanka have ever produced. The Colombo-born started his career way back in 1997 and played until the 2015 edition of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
He was also a versatile player and had a decent cricketing brain owing to which opponents always remained on their toes whenever he plied his trade in the middle. Like Kallis even Mahela scored 25,000 plus runs in his career, depicting the value he brought to the Lankan unit.
In his career, the right-hander notched around 54.78 per cent of his runs through running between the wickets. He was a busy player and hardly missed out on chances of converting singles into doubles and doubles into triples. The now 43-year-old was an elegant lot with the bat.
3. Ricky Ponting- 299.398 kms
Ricky Ponting has gone down as one of greatest captains the world has ever been a witness to. The century he amassed in the 2003 World Cup final at the Wanderers haunts a number of Indian fans ever after 17 years. Teams knew that if Ponting got going, he could destroy any bowling lineup.
In his 560-match career in international cricket, the Tasmania-born scored over 27,000 runs with 71 tons. The former middle-order batsman scored 54.15 per cent of his career runs through running between the wickets.
Hence, there’s no doubt that he took utmost care of his physical well-being. As far as his overall career was concerned, he won the 1999 World Cup as a player with Australia. Then in 2003 and 2007, Ponting captained them to glory after which in 2011, he led his team to the quarter-finals.
2. Kumar Sangakkara- 301.792 kms
Kumar Sangakkara was an epitome of hard work and perseverance and ever since his retirement, Sri Lanka are still straining to find his apt replacement. In the 2015 World Cup, the left-hander smashed four centuries and showed his class and reliability at the highest level.
It was unfortunate that he couldn’t lead his team to victory in the 2011 World Cup final, losing to MS Dhoni’s India in Mumbai. Sangakkara was about elegance and flair. He believed in hitting boundaries, but he equally relied on running between the wickets as well.
He scored 53.54 of his 28,016 runs through singles and doubles. There was hardly a dull moment when the 42-year-old was in rhythm. Needless to say, that he was a once-in-a-generation player and Lanka need time to find someone, who can fill his boots.
1. Sachin Tendulkar- 331.303 kms
Sachin Tendulkar was a fearless character in the first half of his career. He didn’t mind taking on the best of bowling attacks and even the likes of Shane Warne used to take a pounding. But as his career progressed, he became more circumspect and played according to the situation.
As much as he preferred to play the big shots, he didn’t undermine the importance of singles, double and triples. In the list, he has scored the most runs through running between the wickets, 16,469, translating to almost 48 percent of the 34,357 runs he scored in his career.
He is the first man on the planet to score an ODI double century and the only player with as many as 100 centuries at the highest level. Even after seven years following his retirement, a number of his records remain unscathed.
*(Disclaimer – Runs came through Leg-byes, byes and runner are not considered)
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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