Most Dangerous Batsman in the World: Top 15 List

Know the list of most dangerous batsman in the world, their career stats and the best knocks that make them so lethal. Virender Sehwag features.

Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan Dutta

Last Updated: 2023-11-16

Dillip Mohanty

The most dangerous batsman in the world has undoubtedly been former West Indies captain and opener Chris Gayle. While he might not be counted amongst the cricketing legends who defined and inspired an entire generation, the southpaw was the most brutal pinch hitter cricket has ever seen. He is one of a kind though, as cricket has seen numerous stalwarts whose aggressive approach refined the game in the last two decades.

Below we list the 15 most dangerous batsmen to ever play the sport.

Most dangerous cricket player in the world

Top 15 list

Serial No.Player NameInternational Runs100s/50s
1Chris Gayle19,59442/105
2Virender Sehwag17,25338/72
3AB de Villiers20,01447/109
4Vivian Richards15, 26135/90
5Sanath Jayasuriya21,03242/103
6Adam Gilchrist15,46133/81
7Brendon McCullum14,67619/79
8Kieron Pollard4,2753/19
9MS Dhoni17,26616/108
10Glenn Maxwell63908/33
11Shahid Afridi11,19611/51
12Yuvraj Singh11,77817/71
13Matthew Hayden15,06640/69
14Andrew Symonds6,8878/42
15Kevin Pietersen13,79732/67
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1. Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle

International Records

Test103721533315/371046/ 98
ODI3011048021525/541128/ 331
T20I7918991172/14158/ 124
IPL14249651756/31405/ 357
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An absolute decimator of the cricket ball across all formats, Chris Gayle was a thorn against opponents as long as he stayed at the crease. His greatest strength was his physicality, which allowed him to play big shots for a longer time with minimum effort.

His ODI tally of 10480 runs is the most by any West Indies player ever, and before T20s took over world cricket, Gayle was a fearsome batsman in the 50-over format. The prime example of that was the 2006 Champions Trophy, in which Gayle ended with 474 runs in 8 matches. Though Australia lifted the title, Gayle almost single-handedly took West Indies to the final. The towering opener is also credited with the first-ever T20I century as he became the first player to have centuries in all three international formats. His exploits in the IPL, especially the unbelievable 175 against Pune Warriors, have a place in the tournament folklore.    

Gayle understood his strengths and weaknesses equally well and believed in his ability to send the ball over the rope almost at will. This enabled him to show restraint, which was evident in his triple century against Sri Lanka in Tests. Post his doubled century in the 2015 World Cup, Gayle was the first to attain the trinity of Test 300, ODI 200, and T20 100.

2. Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag

International Records

FormatsMatchesRunsHS100/504s/ 6s
Test104858631923/321233/ 91
IPL10427281222/16334/ 106
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The most unique name on this list, for his sheer temperament at any given moment of a game, Virender Sehwag is easily the most dangerous batsman India has ever produced. With minimum footwork and unreal hand-eye coordination, the Nawab of Nazafgarh was a specimen cricket had never seen before.

Pressure never got to Sehwag, whether he was batting 99, 199 or 299. The best example of the same during his iconic triple century in Multan against Pakistan, where he decided to step out for a six with the monicker of India’s first triple-centurion at stake. He had opened five of India’s 2011 World Cup matches with a boundary and was mostly responsible of India’s away Test form in the early 2000s.

Sehwag has as many as two triple-centuries and six double-centuries in Tests, where he averaged 49.34 across 104 games. While his batting style suited white-ball cricket the best, he ended up redefining Test cricket forever. A sneak peek into his mind happened during a T20 match against Warne Warriors in the Cricket All-Stars Series, where Sehwag was seen singing a Bollywood song just before hitting a six off Allan Donald’s delivery. Cricket is surely missing him today.

Brett Lee famously said, “No matter how good and experienced you are, he can kill your attitude.” 

3. AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers

International Records

FormatsMatchesNORunsHS100/504s/ 6s
Test11418876527822/461024/ 64
ODI22839957717625/53840/ 204
T20I78111672790/10140/ 60
IPL1844051621333/40413/ 251
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If Gayle and Sehwag had unreal strength and temperament, AB de Villiers had an instinct. With no apparent chink in his armour, De Villiers could send almost any ball over the ropes when in the right touch. The best part was he never really looked shaky. A batsman like no other, every cricket fan’s fondest memory would be De Villiers getting into his semi-lunge stance before going into his knees to send the ball for a six.

A complete team player who batted at almost every top and middle order position and executed them to perfection, De Villiers could win a match in any situation. Whether it be his 21-ball-79 T20I knock against England, 66-ball-162* ODI innings against West Indies, or an unbeaten 217 against India in Test, De Villiers was a player for all formats. He earned innumerable fans in India while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL, where De Villiers has three tons and forty half-centuries.

Praising De Villiers, former Indian cricket Akash Chopra stated, “I demand a DNA test of AB de Villiers, this game is only for humans.” 

4. Viv Richards

Viv Richards

International Records

FormatsMatchesRunsHS100/504s/ 6s
Test121854029124/451051/ 84
ODI187672118911/45600/ 126
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If any of the batsmen on this list looked dangerous, it was Sir Vivian Richards. West Indies’ torch bearer during their most dominant phase in world cricket, Richards could intimidate bowlers like no other. His routine of taking the crease, where he took two steps forward to check the pitch while maintaining eye contact with the bowler, was iconic.

For many cricket purists, one of their biggest regrets has been not able to see Richards play T20 cricket. One of the physically stronger batsmen who didn’t believe in wearing a helmet and was technically quite superior, Richards averaged almost 50 in both Tests and ODIs. The original king of the sport, long before Virat Kohli won the crown, Richards is widely regarded as the greatest batsman to ever play the game. 

5. Sanath Jayasuriya

Sanath Jayasuriya

International Records

FormatsMatchesRunsHS100/504s/ 6s
Test110697334014/31910/ 59
ODI4451343018928/681500/ 270
T20I31629880/476/ 23
IPL307681141/484/ 39
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The superstar of the 1990s, Sanath Jayasuriya was instrumental in putting Sri Lanka among the cricketing giants. Jayasuriya’s batting exploits as an opener during the iconic 1996 World Cup campaign made him a household name around the world. Before his advent, Sri Lanka was counted as just another participant in world cricket.

A brutal hitter of the ball, especially in ODI cricket, Jayasuirya scored 28 centuries and 68 fifties, but most importantly he gave starts to his team that put the game beyond doubt long before it came to closure. It was Jayasuriya’s approach that Sehwag refined later in his career.

Speaking on Jayasuriya’s batting, former legendary Pakistan bowler Wasim Akram said, “He is one of the few batsmen who have hit me for quite a few sixes. He was very dangerous.”

Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan DuttaSports Writer

An M.A. in English Literature, Subhayan is an experienced journalist and sports writer. Having worked as a journalist at Hindustan Times, Subhayan covered diverse beats including sports, education, and health, showcasing his versatility and in-depth understanding of various subjects.