Over the years, all-rounders have given their respective sides some impeccable balance which allows them to flirt around with other options. In the rich history of world cricket, there have been quite a lot of all-rounders and in the modern day, there are a few coming up as well. But only five players have achieved a unique feat – 3000 runs and 400 wickets in Test cricket. Let’s take a quick look at who these five esteemed cricketers are.
Sir Richard Hadlee – 3124 runs and 431 wickets
It would be fair to say that not only was Sir Richard Hadlee one of the best all-rounders to have played the game but he was literally a one-man army. He literally shouldered almost the entire responsibility of the New Zealand bowling attack during his playing days.
He was the first man on the planet to scale the landmark of 400 Test wickets and set the record for the double of 3000 Test runs and 400 wickets. In a career which spanned for more than 17 years (1973-1990), Hadlee played 86 Test matches and scalped 431 wickets which included 36 five-wicket hauls. With the bat, he scored 3124 runs at an average of 27.17. He was that reliable option for the Kiwis in the lower order.
He played in the era of the four legendary all-rounders which included Kapil Dev, Ian Botham and Imran Khan apart from him. However, not all of these four players feature in this list.
Kapil Dev – 5248 runs and 434 wickets
By far, Kapil Dev is the greatest all-rounder to have donned the Indian shirt. In fact, from the time, he has retired the search for a quality all-rounder has never ended. He will forever be remembered for his exploits in the 1983 World Cup and for leading India to their maiden World Cup triumph but his exploits in Test cricket are often understated.
In fact, at one point he was the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket. He surpassed Sir Richard Hadlee’s tally in his penultimate Test match against Sri Lanka in 1994. He played 131 Test matches taking 434 wickets at 29.65 and scoring 5248 runs at 31.05.
Kapil Dev had this excellent ability to run in all day and bowl long spells tirelessly. He also had the ability to bat long. In fact, he used to bat really well with the lower-order and one of his best memories batting with the tail is the 4 sixes he hit off Eddie Hemmings (batting with No. 11) to save the follow-on during the first Test of India’s 1990 tour of England.
Shane Warne – 3154 runs and 708 wickets
As soon as you think about Shane Warne, everyone will think about the 700+ wickets or term him as the best leg-spinner of all time or remember the way he foxed top batsmen. However, Warne was also a pretty good lower-order batsman.
In fact, he was one of the most underrated players with the bat. In 145 Test matches that he played, the Victoria leg-spinner has batted in 199 innings and has made 3154 runs. He has 12 fifties to his name which includes a couple of 90s (out of which one of them is a 99).
With the ball, everyone knows how lethal he was. He took spin bowling, leg-spin, in particular, to another level. The way he used to set-up a batsman was remarkable and despite having a controversial career, Warne always let his cricket do all the talking.
Shaun Pollock – 3781 runs and 421 wickets
Every team would dream to have someone who averages over 30 with the bat and less than 25 with the ball in their team. Shaun Pollock was one of those rare cricketers who fulfilled both those stats. He averaged 32.31 with the bat and 23.11 with the ball in Test.
There was something about Pollock that made him stand out but despite being one of the most successful South African cricketers of all time, he rarely got the spotlight. 3781 runs and 421 wickets in Test cricket puts him in this elite list.
With the bat, he often offered stoic resistance at No. 7 and 8. He could blunt out attacks and could score important runs as well. In fact, he has a couple of Test centuries as well. As a bowler, he was simply superb. His consistency was impeccable. That nagging line and length never allowed the batsmen to get away easily. He was one of the most underrated all-rounders of his time.
Stuart Broad – 3008 runs and 427 wickets
Stuart Broad is the latest entrant in this elite list of all-rounders who have completed the double (3000+ runs and 400+ wickets in Test cricket). From the time he made his debut, he’s become an integral part of the England team. He is one of England’s best new ball bowlers and is currently the second highest wicket-taker for his country.
Along with James Anderson, Broad has tormented quite a few batting line-ups. He has this unique ability to run through sides in the span of few overs. He has the ability to blow away batting line-ups when he is on-song. One of his most memorable spells will surely be the one against Australia in 2015 when he took 8/15 which blew away the Aussies for just 60.
He currently has 427 wickets to his name. His ability with the bat has gone down in the last few years. He used to be a very handy No. 8/9 and could score quick runs. He still can but the consistency has gone down. However, despite the slide with the bat in the last couple of years, Broad has done enough to enter this elite list.