The 10 Greatest Batsmen of Modern Times (II)
The modern era of cricket began with the first Cricket World Cup in 1975. After that one day cricket began to take off in parallel with test cricket. Therefore 1975 is the starting point for analysing who are the greatest batsmen of the modern era. They must be prolific – with a minimum of 15,000 runs at international level – and match winning too, and versatile with it, able to adapt to the demands of a fast evolving game. Here begins a countdown to the top three batsmen of modern times.
10. Rahul Dravid: 24208 runs average 45.41
9. Ricky Ponting 27483 runs average 45.95
8. Brian Lara: 22358 runs average 46.28
(131 tests 34 hundreds average 52.88)
A virtuoso batsman who often played amazing solo innings while there was chaos all around him. His undefeated 153 seeing West Indies to a one-wicket test victory against the immense Australian side of the late 1990s is one of the greatest innings ever played. Had a very high backlift, very fast hands, rasping offside shots and an insatiable appetite. Always exciting to watch. Brilliant player of spin. Murali couldn’t bowl to him and Warne often struggled. A batting genius who, of course holds the record individual first class and test score, but was unlucky to play in a declining West indies side. Maintained a simple batting philosophy – the ball was there to be scored off. So score off it.
7. Kumar Sangakkara: 28016 runs average 46.77
(tests 134 38 hundreds ave 57.40 )
Second only to Sachin Tendulkar in terms of international runs made, all the more remarkable because he also kept wicket in 75% of the matches he played in. A forensic accumulator of runs derived from meticulous preparation and a very thorough understanding of the game. Able to adapt his method to any condition and situation – equally successful away as at home. Each shot was carefully thought out and almost laser guided to a precise spot. He manipulated bowlers and fields expertly with wristy dexterity and superb placement. A master craftsman. Has the best test average of any modern player. There is more about his the diligent way he planned and executed his innings here:-