Sir Ian Botham is one of only © Getty Images
Sir Ian Botham is one of only four players have made it to the list since World War II © Getty Images

As many as 14 players have achieved the all-round feat of being among the top 3 run-getters and wicket-takers of the same calendar year in Tests. Bharath Seervi lists them with relevant facts and trivia.

All-rounders are crucial parts of most successful playing XIs. Batting all-rounders provide a good bowling option while contributing heavily with the bat; bowling all-rounders, on the other hand, are typically quality bowlers but capable of pulling off crucial performances down the order. There have also been a handful of players who have been equally good at both.

Only 14 players have featured among the top 3 run-getters as well as among the top 3 wicket-takers in the same calendar year in Test cricket. Interestingly, no player featured more than once; the last such instance came in 1982 — as many as 33 years back.

Only one player has the distinction of being the highest run-getter and wicket-taker of a particular calendar year in Tests — George Giffen in 1894. He scored 277 runs in 2 Tests and picked up 14 wickets.

The table below lists those 14 players along with their rank among the batsmen and the bowlers for as the highest wicket-taker and highest wicket-taker in that calendar year.

Year Player Team M R Ave W Ave Ave Diff Bat rank Bowl rank
1877 Allen Hill Eng 2 101 50.50 7 18.57 31.92 3 3
1881 George Ulyett Eng 1 110 55.00 3 23.66 31.33 3 3
1885 Billy Barnes Eng 4 207 34.50 16 12.75 21.75 2 2
1888 Charlie Turner Aus 4 79 11.28 33 10.54 0.74 3 1
1894 George Giffen Aus 2 277 69.25 14 28.14 41.10 1 1
1904 Monty Noble Aus 4 262 52.40 13 14.76 37.63 2 2
1905 Stanley Jackson Eng 5 492 70.28 13 15.46 54.82 1 3
1910 Aubrey Faulkner SA 7 862 66.30 32 24.84 41.46 1 2
1920 Warwick Armstrong Aus 2 209 69.66 7 14.14 55.52 3 2
1921 Jack Gregory Aus 11 665 51.15 43 27.09 24.06 3 2
1952 Vinoo Mankad Ind 9 448 37.33 51 21.68 15.64 3 1
1966 Garry Sobers WI 7 895 99.44 32 24.00 75.44 1 2
1974 Tony Greig Eng 14 934 44.47 46 27.36 17.10 2 1
1982 Ian Botham Eng 14 1095 49.77 47 37.23 12.53 1 3

–          Only four players have made it to the list since World War II — Vinoo Mankad, Garry Sobers, Tony Greig and Ian Botham.

–          Warwick Armstrong and Jack Gregory were the only ones to achieve this between the Wars. Interestingly, they did it in the first two years after World War I. There was a 31-year gap after Gregory’s feat.

–          There was only one Test played in 1881.

–          In the early days, the numbers of Tests and teams were reasonably lower, which explains the high frequency from the pre-World War I era.

Players who were highest run-getters and wicket-takers in different calendar years in Tests

Some all-rounders have ended as top run-scorers and highest wicket-takers in different years. Giffen achieved it in the same year, while two others did it in different years. Armstrong topped the batting chart in 1908 and bowling chart in 1905, while Botham, highest run-getter in 1982, was the highest wicket-taker in 1978.

Player Top run-getter Top wicket-taker
George Giffen 1894 1893, 1894, 1895
Warwick Armstrong 1908 1905
Ian Botham 1982 1978

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at www.cricketseervistats.blogspot.com. He can be followed on Twitter at @SeerviBharath and on Facebook here)