Virat Kohli’s recent explosive form saw him become the number one batsman spot in test rankings, thus making him the 9th batsman to reach an exclusive club of players who have held the top spot in both test and ODI cricket at the same time.
The game has seen some astonishing batsmen since its inception. Some liked to build their innings, some liked to hit everything from the very first ball while others preferred to bat according to the need of the hour. Let us have a look at all the players in history who were joined by the Indian Captain in this elite club as the number one batsman in both the traditional formats of the game:
1) Keith Stackpole – Australia (1972):
Keith Stackpole was an Australian cricketer from 1966 to 1974. He started his career as a middle order batsman. But his career reached new heights once, the then Australian captain Bill Lawry promoted him up the order to open the innings. He was an effortless player who timed his shots perfectly. And his mild temperament helped him attain bigger success. In 1972, he became the first player in the history of the game to become the number one batsman in both Test and ODI, before retiring in 1974.
2) Sir Vivian Richards- West Indies (1982, 1985-1988):
Probably the batsman who defined the term aggression, Sir Vivian Richards has had a wonderful career in cricket and is truly a legend of the game. One of the most interesting facts about “Viv” is he never wore a helmet. He faced the daunting fast bowlers, just wearing a cap. That is why probably the word “swagger” is always attached to him. He achieved this scintillating feat twice in his career. In 1982 after a series of jaw dropping performances in both tests and ODIs, he managed to top the rankings in both the formats. But during his second tenure as number one batsman, we saw a dominance like never before. He held the spot from 1985-88 with no batsman coming close to dethroning him!
3) Javed Miandad – Pakistan (1989):
He is arguably the most famous and talked about Pakistani cricketer, both on and off the field. Flamboyant would be his synonym. And who can forget his last ball winning six against India in 1986 Sharjah Cup final! Javed Miandad always liked the spotlight when he was playing, be it in a positive manner or negative. He became only the second player in Pakistan Cricketing History to score a century on his debut, after Khalid Ibadulla. Miandad remained the number one batsman of both the formats in 1989.
4) Brian Lara – West Indies (1994-96):
Brian Charles Lara, was a massive entertainer with a peculiar batting style, that made his game even more interesting. In 1990 at the age of Lara became the youngest captain of Trinidad and Tobago. In 1994 Lara created history by scoring 375 runs against England at Antigua: the highest individual score by a batsman at that time. A decade later against the same opposition at the same venue, Lara achieved another landmark. This time he became the first and only batsman to score 400 in test history. Lara reached the pinnacle of Test and ODI cricket in 1994 and remained the number one batsman till 1996.
5) Sachin Tendulkar – India (1998, 2001-02):
The Man, The Legend, The Myth. God to some, Great to all. Anyone who follows the game virtually knows everything about him. The highest run scored in both test and ODI history, the first man to score a double hundred in ODIs and the only man to play two hundred test matches – records always walk parallel to Sachin. In 1998 after his breathtaking performances against Australia at Sharjah, Royal Enfield launched a new motorbike model named ‘Desert Storm’. And it was then when he achieved this colossal feet of becoming the number one batsman in all the two formats for the first time. Sachin again reached the top in 2001 and remained till 2002.
6) Jacques Kallis – South Africa (2005):
He is arguably one of the greatest all rounders of all times. He had the ability to score a plethora of runs as well as picking of good number of wickets in the same match. He is the only player to score ten thousand plus runs in both formats of the game as well as to pick up 250+ wickets. A fighter who battled with true grit till the very last ball, Kallis was a great servant to both South Africa and the game. He number one batsman in both formats 2005.
7) Ricky Ponting – Australia (2005-07):
Tough, Vocal, Leader and Mentally always active – a few synonyms associated with him. He was nicknamed as the ‘Punter’ because of his remarkable ability to play the pull shots. Arguably the most successful captain in the history of the game, after leading Australia to back to back in 2003 and 2007, Ricky Ponting is also an honorable member of the 10000 club in both tests and ODIs. He hold the spot as the number one batsman in both test and ODI cricket from 2005 to 2007.
8) Hashim Amla – South Africa (2013):
With one of the most iconic beards in the game, Amla is one of the finest stroke makers too. Amla made his mark during the tour of India in 2006 being only dismissed once and scoring a grand total of 490 runs. Despite many doubts about his presence in the shorter format of the game, Amla hit two centuries in a 5 match ODI series against West Indies in 2010. From then on, there was looking back for the Protea, who consolidated his place in the South African side in both formats. In 2013, Amla reached the top spot of both test and ODI cricket and remained number one batsman in both formats for a year.
Who is the best player to have achieved this feat? Let us know in the comments below.