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Assessing the Best Cricket Players in the World (2022)

| May 24, 2022 7:30 am PDT
Cricket stadium background, Joe Root, Marnus Labuschagne, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rashid Khan

Who are the best cricket players in the world right now?

Of course, that is not an easy question to answer. With thousands of top cricketers operating in countless leagues and tournaments across the globe, picking the top ten cricket players in 2022 is a thankless task.

Nevertheless, I enjoy a challenge, so I decided to compile a list of the best cricketers in 2022.

My top ten comprises Test stalwarts, ODI superstars, and T20 specialists from seven different countries. Players from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, and Pakistan feature in this post.

So, join me as I go over the top cricket players in 2022.

Marnus Labuschagne

Marnus Labuschagne
  • Age: 27
  • Nation: Australia
  • Role: Batter

It only makes sense to start my list of the top cricket players in 2022 by profiling the current #1 ranked Test batter, right?

Marnus Labuschagne made cricket history in 2019 when he became the sport’s first-ever concussion substitute. The newbie replaced Steve Smith (more on him later) in the second Test of The Ashes series and hasn’t looked back since.

Fast-forward to today – Labuschagne has six Test 100s to his name. He even notched a double century against New Zealand in 2020 before achieving his maiden ODI 100 against South Africa.

Best known for his ability to remain at the crease for long periods, Labuschagne is widely regarded as one of the world’s best cricketers. At 27, the eccentric Australia international has the potential to get even better.

Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah
  • Age: 28
  • Nation: Indian
  • Role: Bowler

In April, Jasprit Bumrah was named one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year in the 2022 edition of the Wisden Almanack. That tells you everything you need to know about his ability.

Having produced a series of standout performances worldwide, the Indian bowler sits at #3 in the ICC Test Bowling Rankings. He also occupies #6 in the ODI rankings, highlighting his versatility across all formats of the game.

Bumrah’s unorthodox sling action causes opposition batters all kinds of problems, while his natural pace enables him to pick up wickets at a rapid rate. He is arguably one of the toughest bowlers to face in world cricket.

Bumrah could go down as one of the best bowlers in cricket history if he carries on the way he’s going.

In addition to being a top Test and ODI bowler, Bumrah is a world-class T20 bowler. He is one of the main reasons why the best cricket betting sites favor India to win the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year.

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Babar Azam

Babar Azam
  • Age: 27
  • Nation: Pakistan
  • Role: Batter

2021 belonged to Babar Azam. The reigning ICC Men’s Cricketer of Year climbed to the summit of the ODI batting rankings and has continued to cement his status as one of the world’s top cricket players in 2022.

The Pakistani superstar has already broken multiple records. After recently becoming the fastest player to reach 2,500 T20I runs, he is on course to break more records in the coming years.

BABAR AZAM’S RECORDS
  • Most runs in a series by a captain (902 runs)
  • Most hundreds in a series (5 hundreds)
  • Fastest to 2,500 T20I runs (62 innings)

Not only is Babar the world’s #1 ranked ODI batter, but he is also the world’s #1 ranked T20I batter. On top of that, he sits at #5 in the Test rankings. Talk about consistency across all formats!

At the time of writing, Babar has played a combined total of 200 international matches – 40 Tests, 86 ODIs, and 74 T20Is. Remarkably, he averages over 45.00 in each format. There is no denying that he is among the best cricket players in the world.

Shakib Al Hasan

Shakib Al Hasan
  • Age: 35
  • Nation: Bangladesh
  • Role: All-Rounder

Shakib Al Hasan is the only genuine all-rounder on my list of the top cricket players in 2022. Fellow all-rounders such as Ben Stokes and Ravindra Jadeja deserve mention, but Shakib stands out from the crowd.

Between 2009 and 2022, the legendary Bangladesh international captained his country across all three formats. However, it’s fair to say that T20 is his preferred format.

MOST WICKETS IN TWENTY20 INTERNATIONALS
Player Nation Wickets
Shakib Al Hasan Bangladesh 119
Tim Southee New Zealand 111
Lasith Malinga Sri Lanka 107
Rashid Khan Afghanistan 105
Shahid Afridi Pakistan 98

As the table above details, Shakib has taken more T20I wickets than any other player. That is a phenomenal achievement, given that he is not an out-and-out bowler.

The 35-year-old is miles clear atop the ICC’s ODI All-Rounder Rankings and sits at #2 in the T20I rankings. Naturally, that makes him one of the best cricket players in 2022.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli
  • Age: 33
  • Nation: India
  • Role: Batter

What can I say about Virat Kohli that hasn’t already been said?

The iconic Indian made his international debut back in 2008. Since then, he has racked up more than 450 appearances for his country – scoring an immeasurable number of runs along the way.

Averaging 49.95 in Tests, 58.07 in ODIs, and 51.50 in T20Is, Kohli is a bona fide cricketing legend. He was even named the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Decade back in 2020, emphasizing his standing among the top cricket players in the world.

Kohli’s immaculate timing, unrivalled technical ability, and aggressive approach enable him to dominate even the very best bowlers in the world. He may be 33, but he is still operating at a freakishly high level.

Follow the link below to find out where Kohli ranks among the greatest Indian Premier League players of all time.

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Joe Root

Joe Root
  • Age: 31
  • Nation: England
  • Role: Batter

It is no secret that England’s Test team is not in a good place right now. Due to a string of disappointing series, England occupies #6 in the Men’s Test Team Rankings – behind Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and Pakistan.

However, few would argue that Joe Root is not one of the top cricket players in the world.

In 2021, Root was named both the ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year and Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World. Despite his country’s struggles, he racked up a whopping 1,708 runs in the calendar year – the third-highest total on record.

Root has already registered three centuries across all formats this year – and the season has only just started! He is well on his way to becoming one of the best batters in cricket history.

Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins
  • Age: 29
  • Nation: Australia
  • Role: Bowler

While Labuschagne holds the #1 spot in the ICC Test Batting Rankings, Pat Cummins sits at the summit of the Bowling Rankings. It’s no wonder that Australia is the top Test team on the planet!

In August 2021, Cummins took five wickets with an economy of 7.37 as Australia won the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup for the first time. Consequently, he was handed the Test captaincy and swiftly guided the Aussies to a 4-0 win over England in the 2021-22 Ashes series.

Not only is Cummins an elite international bowler, but he is also a standout performer in the Indian Premier League. In fact, he became one of the most expensive IPL players in history when Kolkata Knight Riders acquired him for 15.50 crore ($2.12 million) in the 2020 auction.

Having claimed more than 600 career wickets since his debut in 2011, Cummins must be viewed among the top cricket players in the world.

Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan
  • Age: 23
  • Nation: Afghanistan
  • Role: Bowler

It is easy to forget that Rashid Khan is still just 23. I mean, the groundbreaking Afghanistan international has already achieved so much during his relatively short career.

In 2018, he became part of Afghanistan’s first-ever Test team. In 2019, he became the youngest-ever Test captain at the age of 20 years and 350 days. In 2020, Rashid was named the ICC Men’s T20I Player of the Decade. That is a METEORIC rise!

FASTEST TO 100 ODI WICKETS
Player Nation Matches
Rashid Khan Afghanistan 44
Mitchell Starc Australia 52
Saqlain Mushtaq Pakistan 53
Shane Bond New Zealand 54
Mustafizur Rahman Bangladesh 54

As you can see, Rashid racked up 100 ODI wickets faster than any other player. He is also one of only four bowlers to have reached 100 T20I wickets, achieving that feat in a record-breaking 53 matches.

The Afghan superstar is already a global sensation, having shone in the Indian Premier League, Australia’s Big Bash League, and Pakistan’s Super League. Thanks to his unrivalled bowling ability, Rashid was named in the 2021-22 BBL Team of the Tournament.

Steve Smith

Steve Smith
  • Age: 32
  • Nation: Australia
  • Role: Batter

For the best part of a decade, Steve Smith has been one of the world’s top cricket players. Although Labuschagne has become Australia’s leading batter in recent years, Smith is still one of the best cricket players in 2022.

There was a time when “Smudge” was the top batter on the planet. He even won two ICC Test Player of the Year awards in three years between 2015 and 2017, producing countless memorable innings like the knocks below.

STEVE SMITH’S HIGHEST SCORES IN ALL FORMATS
  • Test: 239 vs. England in 2017
  • ODI: 164 vs. New Zealand in 2016
  • T20I: 90 vs. England in 2015
  • T20: 101 vs. Gujarat Lions in 2016

Smith reminded everyone of his exceptional talent with a string of standout displays during the 2021-22 Ashes series. After smashing 93 runs in the first innings of the Adelaide Test, the 32-year-old churned out a stylish 67 in Sydney.

The enigmatic batter has notched a colossal 38 international centuries over the years, recording 27 Test 100s and 11 ODI 100s. That puts him among the best cricketers in the world.

Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson
  • Age: 31
  • Nation: New Zealand
  • Role: Batter

Like Smith, Kane Williamson has been operating at a ludicrously high level for what feels like forever.

Thanks to his exploits with the bat, Williamson was the only New Zealander to be named in the 2011-20 ICC Test Team of the Decade. Since then, he has captained his country to the inaugural World Test Championship and the 2021 T20 World Cup final.

In December 2020, the Kiwi surpassed Kohli and Smith to become the world’s #1 ranked Test batter. Although he currently occupies the #3 spot, he is undoubtedly one of the top cricketers in 2022.

The best cricket betting apps view New Zealand as one of the frontrunners to win the 2023 Cricket World Cup. Naturally, the Blackcaps stand an excellent chance of lifting the trophy, with Williamson leading the way.

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More Top Cricket Players in 2022

That concludes my take on the top 10 cricket players in the world right now, but I’m not finished just yet. With so many top cricketers to choose from, I think it’s only fair that I wrap things up with some honorable mentions.

Here are 20 more of the best cricket players in 2022 who just missed the cut.

  • Usman Khawaja (Australia)
  • Ravichandran Ashwin (India)
  • Jason Holder (West Indies)
  • Rohit Sharma (India)
  • Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)
  • Ben Stokes (England)
  • Mitchell Starc (Australia)
  • Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)
  • Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
  • Jonny Bairstow (England)
  • Trent Boult (New Zealand)
  • Quinton de Kock (South Africa)
  • Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan)
  • Josh Hazelwood (Australia)
  • Devon Conway (New Zealand)
  • David Warner (Australia)
  • KL Rahul (India)
  • Jos Buttler (England)
  • Aiden Markram (South Africa)
  • Mehedi Hasan (Bangladesh)

Do you think I’ve missed anyone? I would love to hear your thoughts on the top cricket players in 2022, so be sure to share your suggestions in the comments section below.

If you’re looking for more content like this, feel free to head over to our cricket blog. We cover a wide range of cricket tournaments and leagues, including the IPL, BBL, T20 Blast, The Hundred, etc.

Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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