High octane action, excitement, and stadiums filled with spirited fans are just a few attributes of the T20 format. In a short time since its introduction, the format has arguably become the most popular version of the game among fans. Not only do the existing fans love it, the shortest version of the game has also brought in new crowds consisting of people who don’t follow test or ODI cricket. In the past, the game of cricket has seen some great players who have wowed the fans with their playing style and skill, be it batting or bowling. Ever since the T20 format was introduced, fans have always wondered how some of the legends would have fared in the shortest format of the game. So today let’s take a look at the third part of the list of 15 cricket legends who would have been great T20 players. Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2.
- Sir Richard Hadlee
The original sultan of swing, Richard Hadlee was one of the best cricketers ever produced by New Zealand. A tear way fast bowler, Hadlee was the master of (conventional) swing. Even though, Hadlee’s batting was generally considered the weakest among his peers which included Imran Khan, Kapil Dev and Ian Botham, he was seen as the finest bowler within the group. With 431 test wickets in 86 matches at an average of 22.29 and 158 wickets ODI wickets in 115 matches at an average of just 21.56 and an economy rate of 3.30, the stats clearly reflect why he was considered one of the best bowlers of his time. If Hadlee would have played T20 cricket today, then he would have troubled a lot of batsmen and would have acted as a perfect counter to their aggression.
- Mohammad Azharuddin
One of India’s most controversial captains, at his peak Azhar was a master with the willow in hand. Those who watched him bat will likely never forget him. Azhar made his test debut in 1984 against England at Eden Gardens in Kolkata and scored three centuries in his first three matches. With 9378 runs in 334 ODI matches at an average 36.92 and 6215 runs in 99 test matches at an average of 45.03, Azhar’s record clearly makes him an automatic selection for any squad. Along with his batting credentials, Azharuddin was also a great fielder and took a total of 156 catches in ODI’s. If Azhar would have played T20 cricket, then his classy stroke play would have mesmerized the current generation fans and would have given the bowlers a run for their money.
- Martin Crowe
The 1992 world cup player of the tournament, Martin Crowe was a batsman of elegance, poise, and range. Undoubtedly, Crowe is one of the finest batsmen in New Zealand cricket history and he is also the benchmark by which the New Zealand batsmen are measured. With a record of 5444 test runs and 4704 ODI runs, like other players on the list Crow’s greatness is reflected in his record. Crowe was a fierce competitor and a great captain and in his time he was constantly on the list of the best batsmen. Sadly, Martin Crowe passed away in March earlier this year. Upon his passing, the Guardian named him as “not just one of New Zealand’s greatest ever cricketers, but one of the most elegant batsmen the world has yet seen”.
- Waqar Younis
The Toe Crusher and the Burewala Express, Waqar Younis is highly regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. Most cricket pundits and observers regard Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis as the deadliest pair of fast bowlers the game has ever seen. Along with Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis also used the reverse swing to its devastating best and like the former Waqar was also a departure from the fast bowlers of the eighties. Instead of trying to bounce out the batsmen, Waqar Younis bowled full and straight and used his tremendous late inswing to smash the stumps, a method that helped him earn the best strike rate for any bowler with over 350 test wickets, a record that is now held by Dale Steyn. At his peak, Waqar was one of the fastest bowlers the game has ever seen. He sprinted from over fifty yards and his long run up with a side on action was a sight to behold. Unfortunately, back injuries significantly reduced his pace yet his bowling prowess helped him to trouble the batsmen across the world. With 416 ODI wickets and 373 test wickets, Waqar would have surely left a mark in the T20 format if he would have been part of the current squad. Seeing Wasim and Waqar bowl together in T20 cricket is probably the biggest fantasy of most longtime cricket fans.
- Dean Jones
One of the best ODI batsmen of his time, Dean Jones was a natural showman who was for a while as popular as any other player in Australia. He was particularly aggressive against the fast bowlers and was a supreme runner between the wickets. His flamboyant and aggressive batting style earned him the reputation of a crowd favorite and with an ODI record of 6068 runs in 164 matches at an average of 44.61, it is no secret why Jones is regarded a one of the most successful Australian batsmen in ODI cricket. His test record was equally impressive, where he scored 3631 runs in 52 matches, at an average of 46.55. Along with his batting capabilities, Jones was also an outstanding outfielder and while he doesn’t have the most pleasing personality, which is one of the reasons why he was dropped in his prime, his aggressive and positive attitude would fit perfectly in modern day T20 cricket.
So that concludes our list of 15 cricket legends who would have been great T20 Players. Leave us your feedback on the entire list in the comments section below plus also mention some of the cricketers you feel are missing from the list. To stay updated with our future content, toss us a like on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to never miss the articles you love to read.