• Andrew Fuss

The top 50 cricketers of the 21st century

Adam Gilchrist has been named the best cricketer of the 21st century, according to News Ltd pundits. In the 90s, a test wicketkeeper was considered very good if they averaged in the high 20s with the bat and kept things clean behind the stumps. Come in at 7, support the remaining batsman for as long as you can and maybe kick on for the occasional fifty and the even more rare hundred. But one man changed all that. Adam Gilchrist. He'd already proven himself in the ODI arena before 'Gilly' tore up the rulebook not just for a wicketkeeper-batsman, but also how a middle order test batsman approached the game. A swashbuckling 81 on debut as a 28-year-old in November 1999, followed by 149* in one of the most famous run chases in Australian test history (chasing 369 in Hobart), and Gilchrist had well and truly announced himself as a test cricketer.


A gift to test cricket

It was the way he changed the game - along with his record - that earned him the number one spot in the Kayo Cricket Top 50 of the 21st century, compiled by Robert Craddock, Joe Barton and Sam Landsberger, with guidance from Shane Warne. "Whenever the late, great Richie Benaud was asked to rank cricket's great players, he invoked a timeless golden rule," Craddock wrote. "It was simply that the players who belonged at the very top of the list were those who not just dominated the game, but changed the way it was played. That, according to Benaud, was the sign of true greatness." It's hard to argue that anyone changed cricket, especially test cricket, more in the 21st century than Adam Gilchrist.


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Pickstar now also has stars available in the UK, including two players in the Top 50: Alastair Cook and Michael Vaughan.


The Top 5

1. Adam Gilchrist

2. Virat Kohli

3. Ricky Ponting

4. Jaques Kallis

5. Muttiah Muralitharan

See the full top 10 here

Other Australians in the Top 50

11. Glenn McGrath 13. Matthew Hayden 19. Michael Clarke 24. Mitchell Johnson 25. David Warner 29. Nathan Lyon 39. Mike Hussey 44. Brett Lee 46. Mitchell Starc 50. Andrew Symonds

The full top 50 was published in News Ltd publications over the weekend.

Top 5 by the numbers

Record in 21st century only


Adam Gilchrist

Australia

2000-2008

91 tests: 5130 runs @ 46.3; 362 catches; 35 stumpings

211 ODIs: 7243 runs @ 36.58; 325 catches, 37 stumpings


Virat Kohli

India

2008-2020

87 tests: 7318 runs @ 53.41

251 ODIs: 12040 runs @ 59.31


Ricky Ponting

Australia

2000-2012

135 tests: 11,286 runs @ 53.48

284 ODIs: 10,496 runs @ 42.49


Jaques Kallis

South Africa

2000-2014

134 tests: 11,440 runs @ 58.66; 239 wickets @ 33.58

251 ODIs: 9029 runs @ 45.6; 217 wickets @ 32.13


Muttiah Muralitharan

Sri Lanka

2000-2011

85 tests: 573 wickets @ 21.01

221 ODIs: 357 wickets @ 20.92


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