Ever since the T20 format was introduced in international cricket, very few have been able to excel across all three forms of the game and here are the players to be no.1 in all formats.
The shortest format arrived in 2005 and since then, the international players have been in a hustle to switch formats now and then. Such has been the load of playing at the highest level that some players gave away one of the formats to concentrate on the other two.
But a few players kept going, keeping themselves fit and kept performing across all three formats consistently for their country. The reward was the top spot in the ICC Rankings. Jasprit Bumrah recently joined the elite list to have achieved the No.1 rankings in Tests, ODIs and T20Is. Apart from him, only four others have managed to do it in international cricket.
Players to be no.1 in all formats
Ricky Ponting is certainly the most successful captain in the history of the sport thanks to the four ICC trophies he has won as captain of Australia. The man was a brilliant batter as well and ranks in the top five list of highest scorers in Tests and ODIs. The T20 format was introduced in the year 2005 when he was in great form in the two oldest forms of the game.
Not surprisingly, he took the shortest format like fish to water slamming an unbeaten 98 off just 58 balls against New Zealand in the first ever T20I played. In December 2005, he achieved the unique feat of becoming one of the players to be no.1 in all formats, having already become the best ODI and Test batter in the ICC rankings.
The first decade of the 21st century was a massive one for Australia in terms of domination. Matthew Hayden was one of the openers of the side and would send shivers down the spine of the opposition bowlers with his strong build and add to it, his aggressive batting. Hayden slammed 30 Test and 10 ODI centuries in his illustrious career.
The T20 format arrived at the fag end of his career but even then, he managed to dominate the bowlers helping Australia qualify for the semifinal of the inaugural World Cup in the format smashing 265 runs. Overall, during his short T20I career, Hayden slammed four fifties in nine outings and the process, also became number one in the format.
He had already reached the numero uno spot earlier in his career in Tests and ODIs and became one of the few players to be no.1 in all formats.
Shakib Al Hasan
Arguably the greatest ever cricketer to play for Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan boasts of a unique distinction even in this list and is the only players to be no.1 in all formats from Bangladesh. It is one thing to be best at batting and bowling separately as a specialist. But to be the best at both makes you a valuable all-rounder and that’s what Shakib has been, over the years for his country.
The man has amassed more than 14000 runs at the international level and has also picked a massive 690 wickets so far. This makes him probably the best-ever player to feature across all three formats of the sport. Thanks to his consistency across all the facets of the game, Shakib achieved the feat of becoming the number one all-rounder across all formats in June 2015.
Recently, Shakib expressed his wish to continue playing all formats for Bangladesh and if he manages to regain his best form again, it shouldn’t take much time for him to become the best all-rounder across all the formats yet again.
Virat Kohli is already the greatest player to have ever played the game. He is the first Indian to join the elite club of cricketers with top ranking across all formats of the sport. Kohli became the No.1 ranked ODI batter for the first time in 2013 but lost his position quickly. However, he bossed the format and the top ranking for more than 1500 days from 2017 to 2021.
As far as the shortest format is concerned, he aced it as well becoming No.1 in September 2014 for the first time. When it comes to Test rankings, he achieved the number one rank in the purest form of the game in August 2018 after a brilliant knock against England away from home.
While Kohli is no longer the top-ranked batter in any of the formats now, he is still the best batter India has at least in Tests and ODIs and cannot be counted out in T20Is either. He has achieved greatness already having amassed a stunning 80 centuries across formats and looks destined to score even more in the upcoming years before hanging his boots from the sport.
Jasprit Bumrah became the first specialist bowler in the world in February 2024 to have achieved the number one ranking across all formats. After his exceptional performance in the Visakhapatnam Test against England picking up nine wickets for 91 runs including a six-wicket haul in the first innings, ICC rewarded him with the numero uno spot in the Test rankings.
As far as his ODI rankings are concerned, Bumrah climbed to the top spot in February 2018 and held on to the position for two years until February 2020. He was yet again on top, not for long though, in July 2022 after picking up a sensational six-wicket haul in an ODI against England.
Bumrah first emerged from the shortest format itself and he became the number-one bowler in the format in late 2017. However, he was on top for only a brief period. He will be eyeing the numero uno spot yet again in the format later this year as the T20 World Cup is set to be played in June in the West Indies and the USA.