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When There Were Kings

Athlai

Not Terrible
Today I was thinking that the top 3 batsman in 2021 might just be one of the more competitive of all time. So I decided to use the ICC Test Rankings to have a look at this historically. Now while the ICC rankings are by no means a perfect metric, they do give a good snapshot of who was the best at that time and how high they were flying.

For the purpose of this exercise I've chosen 20th April as the date for each year (except 2021 which is set to today).There would no doubt be huge movement if this was set to after the English summer I suspect (Warne who barely makes an appearance here somehow, would no doubt be right up there).

I've attached the complete document but for a fun little stats bite I'll throw in the top 10 batting/bowling and allrounder peaks, as well as the bottom 10.
 

Attachments

Athlai

Not Terrible
Batting
YearNo 1RatingNo 2RatingNo 3RatingOverall
1945​
Don Bradman
952​
George Headley
902​
Wally Hammond
870​
2724​
2007​
Ricky Ponting
936​
Mohammad Yousuf
915​
Kevin Pietersen
870​
2721​
1953​
Neil Harvey
921​
Len Hutton
917​
Everton Weekes
880​
2718​
2019​
Virat Kohli
922​
Kane Williamson
913​
Cheteshwar Pujara
881​
2716​
1956​
Everton Weekes
907​
Neil Harvey
906​
Clyde Walcott
901​
2714​
1946​
Don Bradman
942​
George Headley
902​
Wally Hammond
870​
2714​
2018​
Steve Smith
929​
Virat Kohli
912​
Joe Root
867​
2708​
2015​
Kumar Sangakkara
909​
AB de Villiers
908​
Hashim Amla
891​
2708​
1955​
Clyde Walcott
923​
Everton Weekes
893​
Neil Harvey
891​
2707​
2008​
Mike Hussey
912​
Ricky Ponting
899​
Kumar Sangakkara
893​
2704​
 

Athlai

Not Terrible
Bowling
YearNo 1RatingNo 2RatingNo 3RatingOverall
2002​
Muttiah Muralitharan
915​
Glenn McGrath
900​
Shaun Pollock
871​
2686​
1994​
Curtly Ambrose
903​
Waqar Younis
897​
Shane Warne
877​
2677​
2014​
Vernon Philander
909​
Dale Steyn
901​
Ryan Harris
866​
2676​
2000​
Shaun Pollock
904​
Glenn McGrath
893​
Allan Donald
873​
2670​
1986​
Richard Hadlee
903​
Malcolm Marshall
900​
Joel Garner
845​
2648​
2018​
Kagiso Rabada
897​
James Anderson
891​
Vernon Philander
845​
2633​
1999​
Allan Donald
885​
Glenn McGrath
874​
Shaun Pollock
870​
2629​
2013​
Dale Steyn
905​
Vernon Philander
890​
Rangana Herath
831​
2626​
2003​
Glenn McGrath
893​
Muttiah Muralitharan
869​
Shaun Pollock
861​
2623​
2008​
Muttiah Muralitharan
897​
Dale Steyn
892​
Stuart Clark
829​
2618​
 

Athlai

Not Terrible
AR
YearNo 1RatingNo 2RatingNo 3RatingOverall
1968​
Garry Sobers
625​
Trevor Goddard
469​
Bobby Simpson
376​
1470​
2003​
Jacques Kallis
594​
Shaun Pollock
474​
Chris Cairns
385​
1453​
1980​
Ian Botham
645​
Kapil Dev
430​
Richard Hadlee
340​
1415​
1964​
Garry Sobers
604​
Trevor Goddard
429​
John Reid
371​
1404​
1967​
Garry Sobers
647​
Trevor Goddard
469​
Rameshchandra Nadkarni
275​
1391​
1983​
Imran Khan
513​
Ian Botham
487​
Kapil Dev
387​
1387​
2002​
Jacques Kallis
501​
Chris Cairns
426​
Shaun Pollock
424​
1351​
1962​
Garry Sobers
556​
Alan Davidson
437​
Trevor Goddard
357​
1350​
2001​
Shaun Pollock
468​
Jacques Kallis
437​
Chris Cairns
434​
1339​
1965​
Garry Sobers
581​
Trevor Goddard
390​
John Reid
343​
1314​
 

Athlai

Not Terrible
My original hypothesis that today was the best ever wasn't terribly far off, overall it was 13th and who knows if Smith or Kohli can pump up their ratings by April anyway.
 

Athlai

Not Terrible
Worst Kings

Batting
YearNo 1RatingNo 2RatingNo 3RatingOverall
1973​
Glenn Turner
759​
Ian Chappell
745​
Garry Sobers
745​
2249​
1993​
Richie Richardson
792​
Graham Gooch
765​
Robin Smith
713​
2270​
1974​
Glenn Turner
845​
Dennis Amiss
729​
Mushtaq Mohammad
728​
2302​
1985​
Allan Border
783​
Viv Richards
767​
Gordon Greenidge
761​
2311​
1991​
Richie Richardson
828​
Graham Gooch
749​
Javed Miandad
739​
2316​
1994​
Brian Lara
788​
Graham Gooch
781​
Sachin Tendulkar
753​
2322​
1978​
Viv Richards
829​
Gordon Greenidge
790​
Sunil Gavaskar
732​
2351​
1990​
Javed Miandad
832​
Richie Richardson
795​
Allan Border
735​
2362​
1987​
Gordon Greenidge
793​
Allan Border
789​
Dilip Vengsarkar
784​
2366​
1971​
Garry Sobers
834​
Doug Walters
821​
John Edrich
714​
2369​

Bowling
YearNo 1RatingNo 2RatingNo 3RatingOverall
1947​
Jack Cowie
563​
Alec Bedser
555​
Gubby Allen
474​
1592​
1948​
Ray Lindwall
615​
Ernie Toshack
581​
Jack Cowie
563​
1759​
1949​
Ray Lindwall
830​
Bill Johnston
659​
Alec Bedser
640​
2129​
1974​
Max Walker
736​
Bishan Bedi
721​
Bhagwat Chandrasekhar
713​
2170​
1946​
Bill O'Reilly
901​
Bill Bowes
694​
Bill Voce
599​
2194​
1945​
Bill O'Reilly
887​
Bill Bowes
694​
Learie Constantine
622​
2203​
1975​
Derek Underwood
757​
Max Walker
751​
Dennis Lillee
746​
2254​
1973​
Derek Underwood
785​
Bruce Taylor
768​
John Snow
725​
2278​
1972​
Derek Underwood
843​
John Snow
758​
Bruce Taylor
714​
2315​
1978​
Bishan Bedi
789​
Jeff Thomson
769​
Dennis Lillee
768​
2326​

AR
YearNo 1RatingNo 2RatingNo 3RatingOverall
1947​
Wally Hammond
221​
Keith Miller
216​
Bruce Mitchell
167​
604​
1948​
Bill Edrich
249​
Keith Miller
219​
Lala Amaranth
157​
625​
1946​
Wally Hammond
334​
Bill O'Reilly
176​
Bruce Mitchell
167​
677​
1945​
Wally Hammond
334​
Learie Constantine
195​
Bill O'Reilly
173​
702​
1949​
Keith Miller
277​
Ray Lindwall
250​
Bill Edrich
201​
728​
1994​
Steve Waugh
263​
Wasim Akram
251​
Manoj Prabhakar
241​
755​
1978​
Mushtaq Mohammad
337​
Bev Congdon
226​
Imran Khan
211​
774​
1995​
Brian McMillan
294​
Wasim Akram
251​
Steve Waugh
249​
794​
1993​
Kapil Dev
327​
Wasim Akram
261​
Merv Hughes
217​
805​
1950​
Keith Miller
362​
Ray Lindwall
248​
Bill Edrich
199​
809​
 

Athlai

Not Terrible
I can't wait for the kiwis to see Cowie and Turner as the #1s during bad times. To be fair to Cowie, his relatively low rating is almost certainly due to a lack of cricket, and the English/Aussie bowlers due to an abundance of Bradman/Headley/Hammond
 

Athlai

Not Terrible
By decade
BattingTop 3 AvgBowlingTop 3 AvgARTop 3 AvgOverall
2020s
2656.5​
2020s
2577.5​
2020s
1287​
6521​
2000s
2635.2​
2000s
2585.3​
2000s
1282.9​
6503.4​
1960s
2553​
1960s
2517.5​
1960s
1312.5​
6383​
2010s
2644.3​
2010s
2567.8​
2010s
1147.3​
6359.4​
1980s
2469.2​
1980s
2570.5​
1980s
1250.5​
6290.2​
1950s
2655​
1950s
2495​
1950s
1107.5​
6257.5​
1990s
1994.5​
1990s
1994.5​
1990s
1994.5​
5983.5​
1970s
2417.7​
1970s
2334.6​
1970s
1045.1​
5797.4​
1940s
2653.2​
1940s
1975.4​
1940s
667.2​
5295.8​
 

Athlai

Not Terrible
Years they appeared in the top 3 (min 5)

Batting


NameAppearances
Garry Sobers
16​
Brian Lara
10​
Viv Richards
10​
Allan Border
8​
Sachin Tendulkar
8​
George Headley
6​
Javed Miandad
6​
Len Hutton
6​
Rohan Kanhai
6​
Steve Waugh
6​
Everton Weekes
5​
Glenn Turner
5​
Ken Barrington
5​
Neil Harvey
5​
Richie Richardson
5​
Steve Smith
5​

Bowling



NameAppearances
Ray Lindwall
9​
Curtly Ambrose
8​
Dale Steyn
8​
Glenn McGrath
8​
Muttiah Muralitharan
8​
Richard Hadlee
8​
Derek Underwood
7​
Lance Gibbs
7​
Malcolm Marshall
7​
Shaun Pollock
7​
Alec Bedser
6​
Bill Johnston
5​
Bishan Bedi
5​
Imran Khan
5​
Joel Garner
5​
Wes Hall
5​

Allrounder




NameAppearances
Jacques Kallis
15​
Garry Sobers
13​
Imran Khan
13​
Trevor Goddard
12​
Kapil Dev
10​
Keith Miller
10​
Shakib Al Hasan
10​
Richard Hadlee
9​
Ian Botham
8​
Ray Lindwall
8​
Shaun Pollock
8​
Chris Cairns
7​
Mushtaq Mohammad
7​
Wasim Akram
7​
Daniel Vettori
5​
Ravichandran Ashwin
5​
Ravindra Jadeja
5​
Vinoo Mankad
5​
 

Burgey

Request Your Custom Title Now!
Eight years in the top three batsmen in the world. Equal 3rd all time. In a bowler-dominated era, all while captaining a side from oblivion to the edge of greatness.

World's greatest post-war cricketer.
 

Athlai

Not Terrible
Eight years in the top three batsmen in the world. Equal 3rd all time. In a bowler-dominated era, all while captaining a side from oblivion to the edge of greatness.

World's greatest post-war cricketer.
Has to be Sobers tbf. 16 years as a top 3 batsman, 13 years as a top allrounder. Absolute beast, as I descended the years I thought surely thats the last I'll see of him but the ****er just kept appearing.

I was surprised to see Lance Gibbs be number 1 so long, I've always thought people were reluctant to add him into the WI team but he really was the best in the world for a very long time.
 

Burgey

Request Your Custom Title Now!
I was surprised to see Lance Gibbs be number 1 so long, I've always thought people were reluctant to add him into the WI team
I think this is purely as a result of their pace attack being so exceptional in the 80s that he was basically a forgotten man.

Also, you mentioning Sobers is now going to bring the Imran autists to the yard, so good luck with that.
 

Athlai

Not Terrible
I think this is purely as a result of their pace attack being so exceptional in the 80s that he was basically a forgotten man.

Also, you mentioning Sobers is now going to bring the Imran autists to the yard, so good luck with that.
To be fair Imran Khan with 13 years in the allrounder camp as well is very impressive too. Yet he was never as dominate a bowler across the years as Sobers was with the bat. Though literally no one was.
 

aussie tragic

International Captain
Years they appeared in the top 3 (min 5)
Batting
NameAppearances
Garry Sobers
16​
Brian Lara
10​
Viv Richards
10​
Allan Border
8​
Sachin Tendulkar
8​
George Headley
6​
Javed Miandad
6​
Len Hutton
6​
Rohan Kanhai
6​
Steve Waugh
6​
Everton Weekes
5​
Glenn Turner
5​
Ken Barrington
5​
Neil Harvey
5​
Richie Richardson
5​
Steve Smith
5​
Surprised Bradman wasn't top 3 batsman for at least 5 years?
 
Last edited:

Athlai

Not Terrible
Athlai, do you have any stats to back up the widely regarded opinion that Murali was a great fielder?
No but Murali was one of the best batsman of all time to hit the ball with his eyes closed.

He was also a pretty good catcher in the outfield under skied balls, but reallyyou'd only say he was great compared to how ****ing lazy bowlers were in that era in the outfield.
 

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