Ever since time immemorial, there have been cricket rankings for top batsmen, top bowler, top fielder, etc. based on analytics which would make most of us go mehh…but we here at Campusghanta do things a little differently. So, we decided to judge players not on their numbers but on their watchability.
The criteria for selecting players is simply what Ayush Kumar once famously said, “My criterion is that if there was a test match going on at 3 am, and I had an exam the next day, who would I stay up to watch?”
So without further ado, here are the top 7 most exhilarating cricketers of the 21st Century:
1. Adam Gilchrist Gilchrist is the proud owner of the all-time No.1 shot in the history of cricket. There is no cooler shot in the game than Gilly’s classic leg glance for six. The power, the timing, the impact, the sex appeal …ohhhh…it’s the stuff of a cricket fan’s wet dreams. The ability to destroy any bowling lineup at will with such breathtaking beauty makes Gilchrist the most exhilarating cricketer of the 21st century.
2. Shane Bond Bond will forever be the most underrated cricketer of all time as injury cut his career short and he was never able to get big numbers which the average cricket watching Joe loves so much. But his sheer brilliance and innate ability to create magic while delivering that round leather type thing from his hand remain unforgettable.
And for the statheads: Shane Bond is the 3rd fastest bowler to reach 100 wickets in ODI’s and has the 4th best test average of bowlers with more than 2000 deliveries.
The name’s Bond,
Shane Bond (couldn’t resist myself)
3. Brian Lara He’s left-handed. He has the prettiest cover drive in all of the land. He scored a 400.
Brian Charles Lara is the most aesthetically pleasing batsman of his generation.
And he scored a fucking 400.
Even the celebration after hitting a 400 is worth staying up all night for!
4. Dale Steyn The SteynGun has made watching fast bowling fun again.
There hadn’t been a bowler in quite a while who bowled at pace, swung the bowl as he desired, and did it consistently enough with durability to be added to the list of truly great fast bowlers.
Watching Steyn bowl with such astonishing consistency and just toy with batsmen, again and again, is an absolute delight for the eyes.
5. Shane Warne If cricket was an art, Shane Warne would be the artist.
Talking about numbers and trophies and world cups when talking about Shane Warne is an insult to his craft.
His picturesque action, his exquisite run-up…Shane Warne redefined the sublime in cricket. Everything was poetic for Warne, the beginning with the ball of the century and the end with the greatest Ashes win in 87 years.
And later married those-
I meant her…
6. Saurav Ganguly He’s the greatest left-handed batsman in the history of Indian cricket. He’s the greatest batsman of spin bowling in the history of the world.
He is the god of ‘off’. He is a proud owner of one of the Top 5 shots of all time: charging down to a left-arm off-spinner and whacking his ass straight up for six.
He stripped in the high temple of cricket.
He’s one of the most charismatic on-field of the personas of the 21st century.
He’s Saurav “Dada” Ganguly.
7. Kevin Pieterson If Virat Kohli is the Bollywood in cricket, then KP is the Hollywood of the world. Pieterson’s appeal lies in his flair for the dramatic.
From his grand entrance on the stage with the stunning Ashes win in 2005 to his outlandish red hairstyle, Pieterson is the classic player who fans love and critics misunderstand.
They hate his inconsistency, we love his swag. They hate the fact he struggles in ODI’s, we still love his swag. They say he needs to be a leader, we say look at that switch hit.
KP defines watchability and we adore him for it.