Prime Sports, International and National Sport, Cricket, New Delhi, April 21:- Kapil Dev (the 1980s), Sachin Tendulkar (the 1990s) and Virat Kohli (the 2010s) have been named among the five greatest players of the five decades in which ODIs have been played in the 158th Edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2021 that also describes India as “the new masters” of cricket – and heaps praise on its 2-1 victory in the 2020-21 tour of Australia.
Vivian Richards (the 1970s) and Muttiah Muralitharan (the 2000s) are the other two on the list.
Ben Stokes is Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World for the second consecutive year, while the five Cricketers of the Year are Zak Crawley, Jason Holder, Mohammad Rizwan, Dominic Sibley and Darren Stevens.
Wisden 2021 is made up of 1,248 pages and nine parts, including the Comment and Review sections which are the longest in Almanack history. The obituaries alone run to 85 pages. It has 129 contributors. Also within its pages are reviews of books, podcasts, blogs, television, print and social media, technology and the weather, as well as articles on cricket and the environment, and cricket in the courts.
In his Editor’s Notes, Lawrence Booth described India as “the new masters” of cricket, remembers cricketers lost to Covid-19, praises the “swift measures” taken by the ECB to ensure the game could continue during the pandemic, says the England team were wrong to stop taking a knee in the struggle against racism and criticises the continued financial inequalities in the international game.
Expanding on the choice of the five cricketers of the ODI era, Booth said Kapil Dev “was central to India’s World Cup success of 1983, a triumph that changed the way the one-day game was viewed in his country. He rescued them from 17 for five against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells with a magnificent 175 from 138 balls, then pulled off a famous running catch in the final at Lord’s to dismiss Viv Richards. In all, across the decade, Kapil took 168 one-day wickets – more than anyone else in the world, and scored 2,869 runs at a strike rate of 102.”
“In the 1990s, Sachin Tendulkar scored an astonishing 24 ODI hundreds, including nine in 1998 alone. The high point came in Sharjah in April 1998, when in the space of three days he hit two centuries against Australia. The first (his “desert-storm” 143) helped India qualify for the final, and the second (134) helped claim the Coca-Cola Cup trophy.”
“Virat Kohli turned himself into the greatest judge of a one-day chase in history. In the 2010s, he notched up 11,125 ODI runs, nearly 3,000 clear of the next player on the list, Rohit Sharma. He made 42 centuries at an average of 60 and a strike rate of 94. And in successful run-chases, he averaged an astonishing 95.”
On The Leading Cricketer in the World, Booth said: “Ben Stokes becomes the first England player to be named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World more than once, retaining the title he claimed in 2020. His haul of 641 Test runs at 58 in the calendar year was more than anyone else, while his 19 wickets cost just 18 apiece. He did it all against a backdrop of personal tragedy: his father, Ged, died in December at the age of 65.” (MR, Inputs: Agencies).