Top 10 Test all-rounders from Australia
An all-rounder is one the most crucial elements of a successful team. She or he is a great asset to the team, enhancing the overall balance. Be it the great Sir Garfield Sobers, or the legendary Jacques Kallis, or even the sensational Ben Stokes, all-rounders have always been in demand.
In the longer format, an all-rounder proves to be of greater worth to a captain as the team can be formed by various combinations with that player or players, as the pivot.
Australian cricket has a rich heritage of over 140 years. The Kangaroos have been a highly competent team since ages. They have been producing many quality cricketers including some top-notch all-rounders.
Let's take a look at 5 such great all-rounders produced by Australia.
#10 Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson was a true testament to the ruthless fast bowler attitude. He was quick, fierce and intimidating.
The man from Queensland struck terror in the spines of many batsmen with his hostile bowling. His raw pace coupled with his "slingy" action proved to be an X-factor for the Aussies.
Apart from his bowling exploits, Johnson even showed glimpses of brilliance with the bat. He played many invaluable knocks and was instrumental in some crucial partnerships when the team needed them the most.
He played 117 first class games and ended up scoring 3180 runs and picking up 465 wickets. Midge, as he was popularly known among his teammates, made his Test debut against Sri Lanka at the Gabba in 2007.
He represented the Aussies in 73 Tests, and accounted for 313 scalps. Johnson was a powerful striker of the cricket ball and could clear the fence with ease. He scored 2065 runs that included a brilliant 123* against the Proteas in 2009.
#9 Alan Davidson
Alan Davidson was a fine left-arm pacer and a hard-hitting batsman who could easily clear the fence with his powerful shots. Davidson was Australia's strike bowler during the 1950s and early 1960s. In fact, Davidson, along with Wasim Akram, is considered as one of the finest left-arm pacers the game has ever seen. He too, with his classical bowling actions, was one of the exponents of the late swing.
A tall and strongly built man, Davidson was even a brilliant fielder at various positions. His ability to take close-range catches gave the nickname "the claw".
He played 193 Test games and scored 6804 runs at a decent average of 32.86 including 9 centuries.
Davidson ended up claiming 672 wickets at a stunning average of 20.90. He debuted for Australia against England in 1953 and played up to 1963 in 44 Tests. Davidson has 1328 Test runs and 186 Test wickets to his credits.
However, his career was plagued by injuries that caused unfortunate, and significant breaks, in his representations of Australia.
#8 George Giffen
George Giffen was one of the finest cricketers from South Australia. In fact, he is even a member of the Australian cricketers' Hall of Fame.
Giffen was a technically sound batsman and bowled with skill and guile. A right-handed middle-order batsman who bowled right-arm medium pacers, Giffen broke many records in his career.
He was the first Australian to score 10,000 runs and take 500 wickets in first-class cricket. In his 251 first class games, Giffen scored 11758 runs that included 18 centuries.
He even accounted for a stunning 1023 wickets including thirty 10 wicket-hauls. Also, Giffen is the only cricketer in the world to have taken 16 wickets 5 times in a first-class game.
The South Australian made his debut at Melbourne against England in 1881 and played up to 1896. He represented the Aussies in 31 Test matches, and ended up scoring 1238 runs and picking up 103 wickets.
#7 Ray Lindwall
The man from New South Wales is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. He, along with Keith Miller, formed one of the most potent new ball opening pairs. Lindwall had a classical action that generated high-speed deliveries that swung away late. He even had deadly yorkers and bouncers that made the batsmen's life difficult at the crease.
Lindwall was a decent batsman as well. He played proper cricket strokes and bailed out his team from precarious situations on many occasions. In fact, he even has two international Test hundreds to his name.
In his 228 first-class games, he scored 5042 runs and picked up 794 wickets. He made his Test debut for Australia against New Zealand at Wellington in 1946. Lindwall played 61 Tests before retiring in 1960. He gathered 1502 runs and claimed 228 wickets at a wonderful average of 23.03.
Lindwall turned out to be one Australia's greatest cricketers of his time and was even inducted into the Australian hall of fame in 1996. He was also a part of Don Bradman's famous 'Invincibles'.
#6 Richie Benaud
Richie Benaud was one of the most influential cricketers in Australian cricket. Post the Bradman era, he played a pivotal role in restoring Australia to greatness. Benaud was a class Test-match leg-spinner who was an effective lower order batsman. Benaud's major shining point came against the Indians when he managed to bamboozle the batsmen with his skillful leg-breaks.
Post his retirement, the man from New South Wales emerged as a successful commentator and critic of the game.
He played 259 first-class games and piled on 11719 runs including 23 centuries. Benaud credited for 945 first-class wickets that included nine 10-wicket hauls. He made his Test debut against the West Indies at Sydney in 1952 and represented Australia in 63 matches up to 1964.
In his international career, Benaud scored 2201 runs that even consisted 3 centuries. Coming to the bowling, he ended his career after picking up 248 wickets that included many prized scalps.
#5 Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh is one of the greatest cricketers of all time. The New South Wales native was a brilliant right-handed batsman who could bowl right-arm medium pacers. He is one of the 12 players to have scored 10,000 Test runs. Waugh even captained the Aussies in 57 Tests and ended up with a win percentage of 71.93%.
He played 356 first-class games and scored as many as 24052 runs and picked up 249 wickets. Waugh made his Test debut for Australia against India at Melbourne in 1985. He went on to play a staggering 168 Test matches before retiring in 2004. The prolific batsman amassed 10927 runs and picked up 92 wickets with his stringent medium pacers.
Apart from his cricketing heroics, Steve Waugh is even famous for his charitable works. He was awarded as the Australian of the year in 2004 for his cricketing achievements and philanthropy works.
#4 Shane Warne
Shane Warne is one of the greatest cricketers to have ever played the game. His leg-breaks bewildered many batsmen and were often unplayable.The Victorian even had many other tricks such as the googly, the flipper, and the top-spinner in his repertoire. Arguably the greatest leg-spinner of all time, Shane Warne was the first bowler to take 700 Test wickets.
Warne was no mug with the bat as well. He made some critical contributions to his team with the bat on many occasions. 'Warnie' played 301 first class games and amassed 6919 runs including 2 centuries. The leg-spinner has a staggering first-class wicket tally of 1319 wickets.
He made his Test debut against India at Sydney in 1992 and went on to represent Australia in 145 matches. He scored 3154 runs and accounted for as many as 708 wickets. He had an astonishing 37 fifers and ten 10-wicket hauls.
#3 Monty Noble
Monty Noble was a New South Welsh cricketer who represented Australia between 1898 and 1909. He was a right-handed batsman and bowled right arm medium pacers and off-breaks. A tall man who used his height to great effect, Monty Noble was famous for his skillful and patient batting. His bowling was widely hailed for its tight line and length that often made the batsmen sweat for runs.
Regarded as one of Australia's greatest all-rounders, Noble had a stellar first class record. In his 248 first class games, Noble amassed 13975 runs at an average of 40.74. These runs even included 37 centuries and 66 half-centuries. The man from Sydney has stellar figures when it comes to bowling as well. He accounted for as many as 624 first-class wickets including seven 10-wicket hauls.
Monty made his Test debut against England at the MCG on January 1st, 1898. He played 42 Tests for his nation and ended up scoring 1997 runs and picking up 121 wickets. He has a top score of 133 and a BBI figures of 7/17. In fact, Noble was even renowned as a decent captain who led the Aussies in the early 1900s.
#2 Keith Miller
Keith Miller is regarded as one of Australia's finest all-rounders. He represented the Aussies between 1946 and 1956 and was a vital cog in the side. Interestingly, he was even a part of Sir Don Bradman's popular 'Invincibles'. A flamboyant batsman who even had a brilliant defence, Miller also troubled the batsmen with his skillful fast bowling. Sometimes, he even bowled some leg-breaks to bamboozle the batsmen.
The man from Victoria had an amazing first class record. In his 226 FC games, Miller scored 14183 runs at an impressive average of 48.90 consisting of 41 centuries. He even accounted for 497 wickets.
Nugget, as he was famously called by his teammates, made his Test debut against New Zealand at Wellington in March 1946 and went on represent Australia in 55 games. He scored 2958 runs including 7 centuries and picked up 170 wickets.
#1 Warwick Armstrong
Warwick Armstrong was a right-handed batsman and a right-arm leg break bowler. With a hugely built figure, Armstrong earned the nickname "the ship".
He even captained the Aussies from 1920 to 1921 and ended on an undefeated streak. Armstrong's captaincy was instrumental in Australia's 5-0 Ashes victory against England in 1920.
Armstong didn't possess of any sound batting technique but played effective strokes to score runs. He was not a big turner of the ball and bowled more of a wicket-to-wicket line to dismiss the batsmen.
The Victoria native played 269 first-class games and scored 16158 runs at a superb average of 46.83. He even notched up 45 centuries and 57 half-centuries in the process. Coming to the bowling, Armstrong claimed 832 wickets at an average of 19.71.
He made his Test debut against England at Melbourne in 1902 and played 50 Tests until 1921. Armstrong ended his international career after scoring 2863 runs and picking up 87 scalps.