The 10 Greatest Batsmen Ever

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Who are the greatest batsmen ever – Part 2 (10-1)?


Continuing off from the Greatest Batsman of all time article, which counted down the best batsmen from 20-11, here are numbers 10-1 in reverse order, with an additional comment at the end for those Test countries not represented in my list:

10. Victor Trumper (Australia) – 48 Tests, 8 100s, 13 50s, Average 39.04, HS 214*

Widely acknowledged as the best Australian batsman before Bradman, Trumper was both stylish and versatile with a penchant for playing match-winning innings on treacherous wet wickets. After scoring 135 not out against England at Lord’s in 1899, Grace gifted Trumper his own bat with the inscription “From the present champion to the future champion.”

9. Herbert Sutcliffe (England) – 54 Tests, 16 100s, 23 50s, Average 60.73, HS 194

Sutcliffe’s name always seems to be inexplicably left on the margins when discussions as to who is the best ever English batsman. Perhaps this is because his he opened the batting with Hobbs and played in the same era as Hammond. Whatever the reasons, Sutcliffe deserves recognition in his own right – the fourth highest Test match batting average of all-time for players with at least 20 innings, a fantastic record against Australia and prodigious run scoring for country and Yorkshire alike.

8. Brian Lara (West Indies) – 131 Tests, 34 100s, 48 50s, Average 52.88, HS 400*

The man with the highest Test and First Class scores of 400 not out and 501 not out respectively, Lara is the fourth of six West Indians on the list. When he started his career, West Indian dominance was on the wane. By the time he finished it, his side was in the doldrums and as a result he spent most of his time trying to keep the West Indies afloat making his record even more impressive. Perhaps his best achievement was in 1999 in the home series against Australia, when he single-handedly won the second and third tests with scores of 213 and 153 not out after his side had been obliterated in the first test. He scored a century too in the fourth and final test, but couldn’t prevent Australia squaring the series.

7. George Headley (West Indies) – 22 Tests, 10 100s, 5 50s, Average 60.83, HS 270*

Like Brian Lara over 60 years later, Headley had to keep a struggling side afloat. He managed this scoring a staggering ten centuries in his 22 Tests with his scoring feats leading to him being dubbed the ‘Black Bradman’. Headley was noted for his phenomenal back foot play and the time he seemed to have to play the ball, with such a shrewd judge as Len Hutton declaring that he had never seen a batsman play the ball later.

6. Ricky Ponting (Australia) – 136* Tests, 38 100s, 48 50s, Average 55.88, HS 257

The outstanding batsman playing the game today, Ponting is widely acknowledged as the best Australian batsman since Bradman – high praise indeed. One of Ponting’s main strengths is his versatility in that he can score quickly, counter-attack or tough it out when the situation demands. Other strengths include his consistency and his habit of playing match winning innings.

5. Vivian Richards (West Indies) – 121 Tests, 24 100s, 45 50s, Average 50.23, HS 291

Regarded by cricket aficionados as probably the most devastating batsman in the history of the game, King Viv was absolutely unstoppable on his day. His style was a mixture of swagger and intimidation and most bowlers seemed to visibly cower when faced with an on-song Richards. It is befitting that he is the scorer of the fastest-ever Test century, from just 56 balls against England in his home island of Antigua during the 1986 tour.

4. Jack Hobbs (England) – 61 Tests, 15 100s, 28 50s, Average 56.94, HS 211

Popularly referred to as ‘The Master’, Hobbs scored more runs (61,760) and more centuries (199) than anyone else in the history of the sport – and but for the Great War these figures could have been more spectacular still. His opening partnership with Herbert Sutcliffe is considered to be the best England and maybe the game has seen. Hobbs made his first class debut against a side captained by W.G.Grace who presciently observed that “He’s goin’ to be a good’un”. Even the learned Doctor could not have realised how ‘good’ Hobbs would become.

3. Walter Hammond (England) – 85 Tests, 22 100s, 24 50s, Average 58.45, HS 336*

Throughout his career, Hammond was often compared to Bradman, which is testament to what a great player he was, and he was included in the Don’s all-time XI. His seven Test double centuries has only been surpassed by Bradman and Brian Lara, and Hammond certainly had an ability to get big scores. His most notable series came on the tour of Australia in 1928-29 when he scored an incredible 905 runs at 113.12 in the five Tests. This has only been surpassed once – by Bradman, of course.

2. Garfield Sobers (West Indies) – 93 Tests, 26 100s, 30 50s, Average 57.78, HS 365*

Widely regarded as Cricket’s greatest all-rounder, Sobers was so good with the bat that he also ranks behind only the immortal Bradman on this list. Sobers mixed elegance with power and for a long time held the record for the highest Test score until he was usurped by his fellow West Indian Brian Lara. Perhaps his best innings though came for the Rest of the World against Australia in 1972 when Sobers played an innings of 254 which was described by Bradman as “probably the greatest exhibition of batting ever seen in Australia”.

1. Donald Bradman (Australia) – 52 Tests, 29 100s, 13 50s, Average 99.94, HS 334

Who else? No self-respecting list of the greatest batsmen ever could have anyone else at its head. Has anyone dominated their sport as much as Bradman? It almost defies belief that his average of 99.94 is almost 40 runs higher than the second best for 20 completed innings (Graeme Pollock at 60.97). Of his many staggering batting feats, here are three examples. First, his consecutive triple centuries at Headingley in the Ashes tests of 1930 and 1934. Second, his 974 runs in five tests during the 1930 Ashes series in England including three double centuries – both records. Finally, his second innings knock of 270 during the Third Test at Melbourne during the Ashes series of 1936/37, which was rated by Wisden as the best test match innings of all time in 2001. It enabled Australia, who were two down in the series, to win the match and they completed a remarkable turnaround by winning the fourth (Bradman making 212) and fifth (Bradman, 169) tests – still the only time a team has come back from two down to win a test match rubber, and Bradman was the captain of course.

So, there we have it. Six West Indians, six who represented England, four Australians, two Indians and one each from South Africa and Pakistan. Obviously, a number of great players failed to make the cut and as I said yesterday it was an agonising process to get down to the final 20. Indians, South Africans and Pakistanis may feel aggrieved that their nations do not have a higher representation. Rest assured that Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Dudley Nourse, Barry Richards (ruled out by the virtue of having only played four tests), Zaheer Abbas and Inzamam-ul-Haq were all there or thereabouts.

From England, no place could be found for Denis Compton, Peter May, Ted Dexter or David Gower. On the other side of the World in Australia, Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Neil Harvey, Stan McCabe and Adam Gilchrist all failed to make the cut. And those swashbuckling West Indians Frank Worrell, Gordon Greenidge and Clive Lloyd also deserve a mention.

For those countries not represented, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Aravinda da Silva were all considered from Sri Lanka, as was Andy Flower from Zimbabwe and Martin Crowe, Martin Donnelly, Glenn Turner and Bert Sutcliffe from New Zealand. Bangladesh have yet to produce a great batsman, but undoubtedly they will as they continue to improve in the Test match arena.

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  1. says

    my top 10 are
    1. Sachin Tandulkar
    2. Don Bradman
    3. Brain Lara
    4. Sunil Gavaskar
    5. Garfield Sobers
    6. Jack Kallis
    7. Vevin Richards
    8. Rick Pointing
    9. Rahul Dravid
    10. Walter Hammond

  2. mark says

    Tendulkar, brilliant, but number one, certainly not, now days they have protective gear, batsmen have more over a bowler than before. Bradman may have played less matches than Tendulkar but with no helmet or other items available today and also had less match time to score more runs. Every list on every website will differ, they are all good, but Bradman remains number one

  3. Sachin the Dinasor says

    Other than sachin being a dinasor, there is nothing special about him. Jack Kallis and Sangakkara are better than the dinasor because they both have a higher avg than the dinasor, but also can bowl and wicketkeep respectively

  4. Sachin the Dinasor says

    Dont call any human being as God. Only god is God – and no one else.

    If he was really the God of cricket, he should be getting centuries in every innings he plays and never gets out.
    Instead your god always chokes under pressure.

    When the media came up with this 100 hundreds hype (since when is a ODI century = Test century), your dinasor is huffing and puffing…..

  5. Sachin the Dinasor says

    Just compare Lara’s average when he played against a team comprising of McGrath and/or Warne or Waqar Younis and/or Wasim Akram or Shaun Pollock and/or Allan Donald or Muthiah Muralitharan.

    Brian Lara played 230 TEST+ODI innings against these 7 bowlers, scored 9913 runs with 26 centuries at an average of 46.32 runs per innings.
    Brian Lara played 285 TEST+ODI innings NOT against these 7 bowlers, scored 12347 runs with 27 centuries at an average of 46.94 runs per innings.

    Sachin Tendulkar played 246 TEST+ODI innings against these 7 bowlers, scored 9344 runs with 28 centuries at an average of 40.10 runs per innings.
    Sachin Tendulkar played 457 TEST+ODI innings NOT against these 7 bowlers, scored 21711 runs with 65 centuries at an average of 54.27 runs per innings. (also includes 1 T20 innings, 10 runs)

    In Tests+ODIs, while playing against the weaker bowlers (i.e., Not the 7 great bowlers), Lara scored at a Test+ODI average of 46.94. Lara was still able to score at almost the same average 46.32 against the great bowlers also.

    In Tests+ODIs, while playing against the weaker bowlers (i.e., Not the 7 great bowlers), Tendulkar scored at a Test+ODI average of 54.27. But the same Tendulkar was struggling to score runs against the 7 great bowlers and averaged only 40.10.


  6. Sachin the Dinasor says

    You are right on the money.

    Sachin pads up his runs against the weaker bowlers.

    Look at the stats of Lara and the dinasor vs McGrath and/or Warne or Allan Donald and/or Shaun Pollock or Waqar Younis and/or Wasim Akram or Muthiah Muralitharan.

    In Tests+ODIs, while playing against the weaker bowlers (i.e., Not the 7 great bowlers), Lara scored at a Test+ODI average of 46.94. Lara was still able to score at almost the same average 46.32 against the great bowlers also.

    In Tests+ODIs, while playing against the weaker bowlers (i.e., Not the 7 great bowlers), Tendulkar scored at a Test+ODI average of 54.27. But the same Tendulkar was struggling to score runs against the 7 great bowlers and averaged only 40.10.

    As most have already said by selecting (Batsman A or Batsman D) Lara in your answers, statistics clearly prove Tendulkar ranks lesser than Lara.


    Sachin clearly pads his stats whenever he faces non premier bowlers.

  7. Sachin the Dinasor says

    Yeah rite. He holds the record for the most number of defeats. Counting 250+. No man in the history of cricket has had more defeats than your dinasor.

  8. Sachin the Dinasor says

    No Pressure!! You are a moron. He had the whole country’s pressure on him everytime he batted, not to mention the captaincy a type of pressure Tendulkar couldn’t handle. He also had to face fast bowlers without protective gears on under prepared pitches. There were no limits on the number of bouncers that can be bowled in a single over. Nor had sachin dealth with something like a body line series.

    The dinasor is the biggest CHOKER in the history of the game. Just see this 100th century drama, soon the media is going to say oh that guy, he will never be able to score a 100.

  9. SIDDHARTHA says

    Author mite b drunked while preparing the report of the best batsman of all times.
    Don bradman averages 99 dats y he rated him the best.But the greatest bowlors came after 1980’s which wasnt don’s era.He hasnt faced ambrose,walsh,wasim akram,waqar younis,anil kumble,shane warne,murlitharan,shane bond,bret lee,shoib akhtar the way sachin faced….So no 1 batsman of all time is sachin followed by Rahul dravid ,the best technically sound batsman and who plays his best in pressure situations.

  10. God says

    I kinda like the list, but I reckon the author is being a bit biased towards English players but I’m glad he included victor trumper. I would think that trumper might be even higher though, like 2nd or 3rd. Tendulkar too should be higher but I probably wpuldnt put him in the top 5.

  11. AFGHAN says


  12. amar says

    i think after reading don’s career in wiki,he is probably the best.To maintain three figures in each test following even agaisnt average bowling is not easy.To me sachin did great things as a youngster but one has to agree towards the ageing career he is probably not the same.But he did show some fine innings at regular intervals.This is what don achieved ,consistency.He maintened his streak of centuries,one after another.This is inhuman.don’s achiement was greatest than any other sportperson have achieved in any other sport. So tendulkar should be rated as second or third best bastmen of all time.But sachin should probably be on the list.

  13. David says

    Graeme Pollock had a better test average than Tendulkar. So did Barry Richards. People forget about them because of apartheid.

  14. David says

    Tendulkar does not have as high a batting average as Jacques Kallis. Kallis is probably the world’s best all rounder now.

  15. DM says

    I think the author just DELETED Sachin to induce this debate…………… everyone knows sachin is in the top two off all time greats

  16. says

    If it was so easy to make runs at bradmans time then dude tell me why is the second best batsman of his time soooo fat from him at almost 50 avg and also so less centuries. Making 29 Centuries, two triple hundreds excluding the 299 not out. in just 52 matches is something which seems impossible. Sachin has played so many matches and he also sgot early chance in cricket in just 16 years age. I am sure If bradman would have got a chance to play more matches he would have made 100 centuries in no time. Bradman is the greatest cricket of all time.

  17. dinasor says

    If god can only average less than ASHWIN during the CB series, I suppose he is very much fallible and puthetic

  18. dinasor says

    Y was India kicked out of ASIA Cup ???? Becos DINASOR was busy collecting his 100th century against (Way to Go) Bungladish. Not W.I at home, Not England in England, not Aus in Aus, not SL in Aus, but a minnow team. And he toook a million balls to score his Ton thereby restricting India to 289. Had Dinasor not been so greedy or selfish for his stupid records, India would have easily scored 360+ and there’s no way Bungladish wcould have stolen a win. But hey, who gives a damn….let’s all celebrate the meaningless 100s.


  19. BlackHat says

    thank goodness that SACHINs name is not in the list. No one can compare the GOD of cricket with these mere mortal kids. Dont ever compare the great sachin with bradman coz its a shame for sachin. SACHIN IS THE FATHER OF CRICKET

  20. Ricardo Dhada says

    Any batsman playing consistently against England can get a a high batting average. He only played 52 tests. Brahman is good but no the best because you have to consider career length. Satchin is by far the best. He played in an era where Oz’s dominated International cricket. He is GOD. This list is a joke.

  21. says

    Sachin should be here in this list for atleast top2 on greatest batsman rankings. Since the author had kept ponting in the list most probably he is an Australian

  22. prakash says

    thank u for not comparing the little master with these top ten. (he can’t be compared to anyone)

  23. Sunny says

    Sachin is by far the greatest batsman world will eve see.Bradman did not play in the modern era where through technology bowlers can find the mistakes which batsman often tend to make.Sachin has been ruling(dominating) the world cricket from a very long time.None of the batsman in the list can match Sachin’s brilliance.

  24. kumar j says

    sachin is the best batsman because he faced best bowlers in cricket like wasim akram,akthar,murali,warne,mcgrath modern cricket a batsman technique is watchable in videos so bowlers can easily understands the weakness in batsmen technique.also sachin scored runs consistently against all countries against best bowlers in the world.but lara though he playe dsome best innings ever but he is not consistent in scoring runs.bradman in australian team scored runs mostly against England b’se most of the international cricket was played between england vs australia and few with south africa.if vaerage only decides a best batsman then vinod kambli score 2 double and 2 single hundreds in his first 6 tests with batting average above 100 will he be the best , sachin is no.1

  25. fact says

    Sachin is great, there’s no doubt about it, but heres the facts, Don played over 50 years ago, there were no helmets and the pads, gloves, bats, were not very good, heavy lumps of wood, heavy and un-protective gear, and the pitches were no where near as well maintenance as they are today. Back then, it was a bowlers game, Don made runs on poor pitches against bowlers in bowlers conditions, just look at he’s records, he has more centuries as he has 50’s, he’s average is 99.94, and he made a number of double and triple centuries, Sachin has made many of he’s runs against weaker sides like Bangladesh, and even Pakistan, it’s only now thats he’s making runs against Australia, when they loose their greats. Sachin is great, but it’s seriously ignorant to suggest that you can best the Don, he was by far the greatest. For serious reasons.

  26. SAURAV says


  27. Jonny Boy Jnr says

    Why the Indians feel they must drown the world wide web with this hot air about Sachin being the better than Bradman is really just bringing this fantastic game into repute and is an insult to not only fans but the game of cricket itself.

    You can limply argue that the uncovered wickets of Bradman’s era – which were also set up by the opposition to purposely try and nullify Bradman’s influence on a series as well as inventing now banned strategies to try and get him out can be compared to better fielding and tactical analysis. Then you add the fact that Bradman probably lost the peak of his career during WW2 and the arguments start to fall apart.

    This guy averaged against some sensational bowlers an average not much less than twice what the next best could muster.

    India have produced some sensational cricketers and should be proud of them judged on merit without personal bias and a desperate need to believe that other countries would care over who was Number 1.

    There is absolutely no contest.

  28. richard says

    I am an Austrailian and i believe that Don is far superior batsman than any.
    But having said that i cant ignore Sachin. Such a prolific batsman who played 20+ years continously.
    Remember , what ponting said : If I played 20 years, probably i will be batiing in a wheel chair.
    U morons dont even faced a single international ball and say about sachin??
    What most of the comments said is true. Sachin is not included in the list!! Its a respect for him.
    Sachin is the greatest batsmen in the history of the Cricket!! and then the debate starts.

  29. Don, the dinasor says

    what a joke!! Don is not a batsman.. In my street there is a player who plays for state. He scores 100 every match. But when he exposed to much higher cricket he failed.. And our dinasor.. ha Don! he played against kids and scored.
    Its shame that the list doesnt have Sachin as Number One. These kangaroos cant digest the greatness of sachin and feel greedy about him and sick.
    Shame upon you. Even don, if present feel the same. Actually i doubt to undo tendulkar greatness they created this old character dinasor.. Wow thats cool is n’t?

  30. sanjay dattani says

    This list is absolutely pathetic, what’s even more pathetic is the comments of people comparing averages of batsmen. NEVER compare the greatness of a player by his averages that’s just disrespecting all cricketers and batsmen especially. Sachin Tendulkar is for a fact the second greatest batsmen to ever play the game, only behind the great Don Bradman. Lara was one of the all time greats as well, why is he only 8th? this is just stupid to follow this list, it’s a joke. So are half the people commenting on here, i’d rather listen to the words of Bradman who himself claimed he felt sachin was the closest to him out of everyone, and after bradman is the greatest batsman ever. People who doubt it can go ask Donald Bradman himself.

  31. Aabhas Kumar says

    1.Sachin Tendulkar
    2.Sir Donald Bradman
    3.Rahul Dravid
    4.Brian Lara
    5.Sir Vivian Richards
    6.Sunil Gavaskar
    7.Alan Border
    8.Ricky Ponting
    9.Wally Hammond
    10.Jaques Kallis

  32. sachin the god says

    hahaha….cant stop laughing!!!! sachin at 11..!!! The article is damn funny and outrightly rejected!!!! man cant believe this nonense….get urself checked man!!!!

  33. king Commander says

    mr Lizard ,,, . may be you think Sachin is nothing in the world cricket. and i read your one word ,, he is trying to make his records only. he did not try for team. i can say to you,
    you did not saw his batting. if you see that may be you will change your all comment against to him.
    my friend check his batting .. and try to understand what is batting……..
    He is the Master of Cricket, God of Cricket and He is the roll model of cricket……..

  34. jats says

    i think ricky ponting is better then lara and tendulkar because he scored more then 13000 runs with burden of captaincy of aus.for a decade and two world cup winning caption with an avg.of 51.86.

  35. says

    Sehwag must have been included,undoubtingly.hes the fastest cricketer int he world,no one can achieve anything as quick as he has, I bet.Viru is the bowlers nightmare,team destroyer and India’s hero!

  36. john says

    Ponting ! Are you serious?

    The greatest Australian batsman since bradman is universally acknowledged to be G Chappell

    In the mix
    1. bradman
    2. BA Richards
    thn in no particular order: Hammond, Sobers, lara, gavaskar, Hobbs, Sutcliffe, Graeme Pollock, IVA Richards

  37. saijith says

    well u cant compare diff batsmen under diff conditionss u cant compare them just in other words no man is greater than the gameeeeeeeeee itself . i had never seen any legends except sachin tendulkar live on television so i hav a lot of respect for him and for me his the best cricketer i hav seen bcos he loved cric more than everything

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