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Not sure such a topic has already been posted here in ICF. Anyways posting the same. Omitting wicket keepers because they are different sort of all rounders. My top5 1. Gary Sobers - Genius with the bat with around 58 avg: .Played in an era with much less protective gears than what is available now a days.Agreed that in his days media scrutiny was much lesser & his technique was not exposed to technical analysis as is the case now a days, but yet when considered the merits & demerits as a whole his achievement is legendary. He was a versatile left arm bowler who could bowl fast/medium, orthodox & chinaman who avg:ed around 34 with the ball.To add to that he was brilliant fielder. A real match winner who put magical performances with bat & ball together in several series. 2. Jaques Kallis - Calibre enough to avg: 55+ in these technology advanced & intense media scrutiny days.Much greater longevity than Sobers in both the disciplines.More of a grafter when compared to Sobers with the bat.Not only that he played both the formats of the game with such longevity. In bowling he took nearly 300 wkts at around 32 avg: . Yes... in bowling he benefitted a lot in the company of great bowlers like Donald , Pollock & Steyn, yet his achivement is nothing short of brilliant. He too put quite a few brilliant performances with both bat and ball in some series. 3. Kapil Dev - May spring a surprise because of him being placed above 'traditionally believed to be superior' all rounders like Imran, Botham & Miller. Reasons. why above Imran - Batting - Imran's bat avg: is hugely inflated by one 'not out' in every 5 inns. In a series at home vs AUS , he avg:ed 64 in 3 inns with 2 notouts by scoring only a total of 64 runs.To avg: 64 he actually needed to score 192 runs. Just look how vastly this 'not out' factor inflated the avg:. This, in the first half of his career when he was only a Stuart Broad calibre batsman. Similarly there are several not out inns of Imran all thru his career. Kapil played for so longer than Imran(184: 126 inns ) , he was destructive than even Viv Richards( In his first 126 inns his str: rate was 84+ which eventually dropped to 81 at the end of his career.Imran's was only 47.5) ,they were chalk & cheese apart in WI(best team of their times which matters a lot) with Kapil outscoring Imran in avg:,big inns:, str: rate etc etc.Kapil's big innings played on the avg: was atleast a level above to those of Imran's if we take into account factors like bowling quality,percentage of team score,home/abroad,single handed effort,match situation etc etc( this i am saying after having analysed each of their big inns in detail) .For instance take Kapil's 2 best inns of 129 vs SAF & 100* vs WI. Such inns are those even specialist batsmen like Sachin would badly wish to have in their kits.For these reasons I can't rate Imran at not more than 90% a test batsman to Kapil. In bowling too Kapil's avg: of 29.64 need to evaluated based on longevity,work density(first 88 tests in a period of just 8 years & 5 months) , lack of support bowling strength thru out his career.Kapil bowled his first 21000 balls(Imran bowled only some 19500 balls in tests) at 28.86 avg:. Kapil's avg: & str: rate was 27.7 & 54 respectively after 64 tests.But after his knee injury & surgery he just didn't take rest & played straight away which resulted in fetching only 64 wkts at around 35 avg: in next 26 tests(a case of placing country before self).I would mention this as an effect of 'work load' . Kapil had the likes of Binny,Madan lal,Sandhu, Sastri in company where as Imran had Wasim,Waqar,Iqbal Qasim,Qadir,Sarfraz etc ect all thru his career. All in all I imagine as to how Kapil's figures would have ended , had he bowled only some 19500 balls in a long span of 21 years in the company of bowlers like Wasim,Waqar etc etc(just like Imran did). I am sure his avg; would have been a lot better. So even with out advantages in factors ' work density' & 'support bowling strength' Kapil was 22.81/28.86 =79.03 % a bowler that Imran was. I think had Kapil got the advantages in these 2 factors he would have easily avg:ed around 26.85.Around 85% .Means, in that case his stats in various countries would also get improved in varying degrees.After that ,if we give more weightage to 'str: rate' & preference to performance in best team country(Westindies), performance in abroad countries, performance in home country in that order ,Kapil's performance would be worth much more than 85%. Now , even if we neglect all the above said matters w.r.t bowling,i don't rate Imran as high as once used to , because of the unfair tampering tactics he used for boosting his performances.On the contrary imagine Kapil doing the same & its effects on his stats. Coming to one dayers,Kapil was the best all rounder of the FAB4 of 80s.In batting where str: rate carries a lot of weightage he convincingly outscores Imran.In bowling, where econ: rate carries lot of weigtage , he had better econ: rate & longevity when compared to Imran , though both of them had almost similar avg:. And in WI & vs WI Kapil was the convincingly better. Another noticeble factor in one day bowling is that Imran played along with much better than or near calibre one day bowlers like Wasim,Waqar,Sarfraz,Qadir etc where as Kapil played along with Binny, Madanlal,Sandhu etc etc who were convincingly inferior to him.And who can say with out a doubt that Khan didn't bring his 'notorious unfair partner' in one dayers too. He was a brilliant captain too in his own right( his achievements need to be taken in the context of weak team especially bowling wise at his disposal) & a far better all round fielder to Imran. Imran was only a slightly better captain to Kapil when we consider the calibre bowlers he had at his disposal. why above Botham: In both batting & bowling in tests , Botham has slightly superior avg:s to Kapil, which gives the impression that he was the better all rounder.But Botham's bowling has 2 parts to it. In the first 4 years or so he was outstanding.But then he was in the company of great bowlers Willis & Underwood & he benefitted the most from such great bowling unit.But once Willis & Underwood retired & then thrust with the resposnsibility of spearheading the bowling attack Botham became a pale shadow of himself.He was downgoing so rapidly that had he bowled over 27000 balls in test cricket (Kapil's count) instead of the 21000+ he actually did, his avg: would have dropped a lot even further.More over Botham was a pale shadow as a bowler vs Windies & more importantly in Windies(best team of their time) which counts against him a lot. Kapil raised his bowling to great levels than normal against Windies. In test batting too people often project Botham's 14 100s to Kapil's 8 100s to claim that he was the better test batsman. Botham has slighly better bat avg: too.But Kapil was some 2 levels aggressive than Botham with a str: rate of 80.71 to Botham's 60.71.While Botham was a pale shadow of himelf vs Windies & in Windies , Kapil maintained his normal standrads or even went a little up further if we take all aspects into account.Botham didn't play in Pakistan too which was the 2nd best team of that time & bowling wise rivalled even Windies.More over vs India, the 2nd last team of his time(bowling wise very weak), he had great avg:. Even in big scores too,if we dig a little deep, we can see that despite such apparently convincing difference in no: of 100s, there is much more to it http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/9163.html? class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=start;runsmin1=73;runsval1=runs;template=results;type=batting;view=innings http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/30028.html? class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=start;runsmin1=73;runsval1=runs;template=results;type=batting;view=innings From the above data we can see that despite such difference in count of 100s,there was nothing much to separate them in >73 scores.If any in runs/inns value Botham was better.But Kapil's level of dominance was some 2 levels above that of Botham. Just as in normal case , here too Kapil scored nearly 4 100s vs WI where as Botham has a solitary 81 that too at home. And against the 2nd last team India, Botham boosted his numbers. He didn't play in PAK either against Imran version 2.0 in the 80s. Now in one dayers, if we go thru stats Kapil was lot better in both batting & bowling.He won a world cup too.He was much bettercaptain than Botham.And in over all fielding too Kapil was better where as Botham was a slip specialist.All in all, I would say Kapil was better to Botham in all disciplines(i won't argue with any one who places Botham as a slightly better test batsman.For me even that is in favour of Kapil). why above Miller : Miller only played some 55 tests.Virtually didn't play any in Asia.So that is a big 'if' when we consider the fact that many players like Sehwag,Warner etc etc are/were so towering in their comfort zones but pedestrian in alien conditions.So in longevity & variety of conditions etc he lags a lot behind Kapil. 4. Ian Botham ; Better test batsman to Imran.Both Imran & Botham played along with great bowlers but Imran's was slightly better, Botham had lot more work density compared to Imran.And Botham too seems to have not resorted to unfair tactics. In one day batting Imran was lot better.But in bowling I would give it to Botham.Imran was batter captain where as Botham was better fielder 5. Imran khan Your thoughts & choices...