Cricket has seen some incredible players take to the field in the 21st century, with each one leaving their mark on the game. From Sachin Tendulkar to Steve Smith, these players have been able to dominate the sport with their unique skills and talents. In this list of the top 10 greatest cricketers of the 21st century, we will explore the careers of some of the most legendary players to have ever played the game, both in terms of their statistics and their impact on the sport all-in-all.
1. Sachin Tendulkar
India's "Little Master" needs no introduction. He is the highest run-scorer in Test and ODI cricket, with 15,921 and 18,426 runs. Tendulkar's skill and longevity make him one of the greatest cricketers in history. He has scored 100 international centuries and has been an inspiration to countless young cricketers around the world.
2. Steve Smith
The Australian captain has been a prolific run-scorer. His unique batting style, unorthodox technique, and incredible consistency make him a standout player of the 21st century. Smith has an average of over 60 in Test cricket and has scored over 7,000 runs in just 77 matches.
3. Virat Kohli
The current Indian captain is one of the most dynamic batsmen in the world. With his exceptional batting skills and impeccable leadership, he has led the Indian cricket team to numerous victories across all formats. Kohli has amassed 12,000 plus runs in One Day Internationals and has an average of over 50 in Test cricket. His ability to perform consistently in high-pressure situations makes him a true legend of the game.
4. AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers is a South African cricketer widely regarded as one of the greatest of his generation. He is known for his innovative stroke play and ability to dominate bowlers. De Villiers holds numerous records, including the fastest century in One Day Internationals. He has also been a reliable fielder and occasional wicketkeeper. His skill and versatility make him a true legend of the game.
5. Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting is considered one of the greatest cricketers of the 21st century, known for his exceptional batting skills and outstanding captaincy. The former Australian captain led his team to two World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007. Ponting scored 13,000 plus runs in Test cricket and over 13,000 in Day Internationals. His aggressive approach to the game and ability to dominate opposition bowlers make him a true legend of the sport.
6. Kumar Sangakkara
The Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman is one of the most elegant and consistent players of the 21st century. Sangakkara scored 28,016 runs in international cricket and is considered one of the greatest cricketers in his country. He was also an exceptional wicketkeeper, taking over 500 catches and effecting more than 100 stumpings.
7. Jacques Kallis
The South African all-rounder was a master of both bat and ball. Kallis scored over 13,000 runs and took 292 wickets in Test cricket, making him one of the most versatile players of the modern era. Kallis was a vital member of the South African team for many years and was often the backbone of their batting line-up.
8. Shane Warne
The Australian leg-spinner, the cricketing world widely regards him as the greatest spin bowler in history. Warne took 708 wickets in Test cricket and was a key member of Australia's dominant team in the 1990s and 2000s. Warne's exceptional bowling abilities and knack for outsmarting batters with his deceptive variations made him a true cricketing legend.
9. Glenn McGrath
Glenn McGrath is one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time and a vital member of Australia's dominant team of the 1990s and 2000s. He took 563 wickets in Test cricket with his incredible accuracy and ability to swing the ball both ways, making him a true legend of cricket.
10. Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan is considered the greatest spin bowler of all time, with 800 Test wickets. The Sri Lankan was a vital member of his team for over a decade, and his unique bowling action and incredible ability to spin the ball both ways made him a true legend of the game. Muralitharan is one of the top 10 greatest cricketers of the 21st century.