Cricket is a sport that requires immense skill and endurance, with players needing to excel both with the bat and the ball to make an impact on the game. The history of cricket has seen a very few all-rounders, who have managed to achieve the incredible feat of scoring more than 5000 runs and taking over 500 wickets across all formats of the game.
Such players are considered one of the most valuable assets to a team as they bring perfect balance to the team. A point to note is that only 10 players have achieved this feat shows the capabilities of the players’ list that follows.
In this article, we will focus on players who have achieved this double feat of scoring 5000 runs and 500 wickets in International cricket with all formats combined.
Wasim Akram (PAK) – 6615 Runs and 916 Wickets
Wasim Akram is one of the best swing bowlers to have graced the game of cricket. His bowling action was really simple; one would not think upon seeing him bowl that such a player would be able to hit 150s quite regularly as he used to. He had an upright seam, a high release point, and a firm wrist which made him successful. Only 5 players are ahead of Wasim in the list of bowlers with the most wickets in International cricket.
Apart from his bowling legacy, Akram is a handy batter as well. He made around 6615 runs across the formats in his international career. One of the stand-out innings of his career surely has to be the one against Zimbabwe, where he made 257* still the highest-ever score by a number 8 batsman.
Shaun Pollock (SA) – 7386 Runs and 829 Wickets
Shaun Pollock had been a highly talented all-rounder. He was known for his accuracy and consistency with the ball. His mastery of perfect line and length and the ability to move the ball both ways made him a constant threat to the opposition batters. He could extract that extra bounce and seam movement from the pitch, which made him a dangerous proposition on any surface.
With the bat, he was equally skilled. He is a solid middle-order batsman who could adjust his game according to the situation, whether defensive or attacking cricket. He had 111 as his highest score in Test cricket. This rare combination of solid batting and great bowling made Pollock a great asset to the team.
Chaminda Vaas (SL) – 5147 Runs and 761 Wickets
Chaminda Vaas is one of the finest left-arm medium-fast pacers and lower-order batters, who retired from all formats of the game in 2009. He could swing the ball either way, helping him to perform well in the early powerplay overs. Especially, this particular record which he holds as a new ball bowler tells a lot about how good he has been with new white ball. The Sri Lankan is among the few bowlers with a hat-trick in a world cup and still holds the record for the best bowling spell in an ODI match.
Apart from his bowling heroics, Vaas had also been a contributor with the bat. In Test cricket, he scored 3089 runs with an average of 24.32. Vaas holds the record for the highest 10th-wicket partnership of 240 runs with Hashan Thilakarathne. In the same match, he recorded his highest individual score of 100 in Test cricket.
Daniel Vettori (NZ) – 6989 Runs and 705 Wickets
Daniel Vettori is regarded as a player with one of the best cricketing minds. He is considered one of the best bowlers to have ever played cricket. Flight and subtle variations helped this left-arm spinner to run through batting lineups.
Besides being a great bowler for the side, the Kiwi legend scored 4531 runs in Test cricket, the 9th highest for a New Zealand batsman, which says all about his batting talent. Vettori had the personal best of 140 in Test cricket and six hundreds in total.
Kapil Dev (IND) – 9031 runs and 687 wickets
Arguably the best all-rounder to have ever played for India, Kapil Dev was a very good batsman and averaged 31.05 in Test cricket, amassing over 5248 runs. He had 9 centuries and 41 half-centuries across the formats. One can not forget his innings of 175* in the 1983 World Cup; and also this.
Kapil was also a formidable bowler too; his fast bowling helped India many times, and he always provided those breakthroughs occasionally. He still holds the record for best figures in one innings in Test cricket as a captain with a 9-wicket haul against West Indies. Also, he is among the few players with 250 runs scored and 20 wickets in the same Test series.
Shakib Al Hasan (BAN) – 13445 Runs and 653 Wickets
Next, up on the list is left-handed all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan hailing from Bangladesh. He is the current leading wicket-taker in the shortest format of the game and is considered the backbone of the Bangladesh team for his consistent contributions throughout the years.
Shakib has the highest number of wickets in every format of the game for Bangladesh. He was an integral contributor in Bangladesh’s first-ever win against England in Test cricket, wherein he scored 84 runs and took 10 wickets in the match. Another significant contribution he made was in the 2015 World Cup, where he was named the player of the tournament.
Jacques Kallis (SA) – 25534 Runs and 577 Wickets
A talented bloke, Jacques Kallis was a rare player who could do nothing wrong on the field. He was a solid batsman, an awesome bowler, and a gun fielder. To name it all, he could do everything. The high backlift made hitting those elegant cover drives and powerful pull shots easier for him. He was a great asset with the bat as he amassed over 13 thousand runs with an average of 55.37.
With the ball, he deceived many batters with the help of change in variations; being a medium-fast bowler, Kallis used to have that awesome bouncer, cutters, and perfect seam movement to both sides, making it hard for the batters to score runs against him. The most significant contribution of his career was when he was the key figure in leading South Africa to their first-ever Test series win against Australia in 2008.
Imran Khan (PAK) – 7516 Runs and 544 Wickets
Imran Khan, the legendary right-handed all-rounder, made it to this list convincingly. He was known for his elegant stroke play and ability to score runs quickly; having that textbook technique made him quite successful in various conditions with the bat. He scored over 3500 runs in both ODIs and Tests – one of the top ten Pakistani run scorer in international cricket.
On the other hand, Imran was a great fast bowler; he had a smooth run-up and high-arm action. He could generate significant pace and movement off the pitch. He was particularly effective with the new ball and was known for his ability to take wickets early in the innings. He was the player of the tournament in the 1992 World Cup because of the valuable contributions he made.
Shahid Afridi (PAK) – 11196 Runs and 541 Wickets
Shahid Afridi’s aggressive batting and effective leg spin made him a match-winner for Pakistan on many occasions. He had been instrumental in turning the game around in a few years with his batting and always known for his effectiveness in limited overs format and big-hitting ability.
Bowling-wise, Afridi was known for the accuracy and variations he had. He could turn the ball sharply and control his line and length, making him a valuable asset for the team. He was a key member of the 2009 Pakistan team that won the T20 World Cup and an integral part of the 2017 Champions Trophy winning team.
Ian Botham (ENG) – 7313 Runs and 528 Wickets
Yet another power-hitter, Ian Botham, gets his much-deserved spot on the list. He had been a great player of front foot shots, and his game of playing down the ground with a great force made him a batsman to watch always. He remained part of England’s most memorable Test victories, and thereby part of our all-time greatest England Test XI.
From the bowling perspective, Botham was a skilled seam bowler who could move the ball both ways. Just like his batting, he was talented and aggressive with the ball in hand. His intimidating short balls were a treat to watch. Overall he was able to take 528 wickets across all the formats.
Check: Elite list of Players with 2500 Runs and 250 Wickets in Test Cricket