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 rarer 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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The Top 5
1. Adam Gilchrist
2. Virat Kohli
3. Ricky Ponting
4. Jaques Kallis
5. Muttiah Muralitharan
Other Australians in the Top 50
Top 5 by the numbers
Record in 21st century only
91 tests: 5130 runs @ 46.3; 362 catches; 35 stumpings
211 ODIs: 7243 runs @ 36.58; 325 catches, 37 stumpings
87 tests: 7318 runs @ 53.41
251 ODIs: 12040 runs @ 59.31
135 tests: 11,286 runs @ 53.48
284 ODIs: 10,496 runs @ 42.49
134 tests: 11,440 runs @ 58.66; 239 wickets @ 33.58
251 ODIs: 9029 runs @ 45.6; 217 wickets @ 32.13
85 tests: 573 wickets @ 21.01
221 ODIs: 357 wickets @ 20.92