World Series Cricket: Top performers with bat and ball

We look at the top three batsmen and bowlers in the revolutionary cricket series in Australia.

Prolific run-getter: Greg Chappell scored the most runs in World Series Cricket. - THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Kerry Packer, an Australian businessman, was keen to exploit the untapped potential of one-day cricket by staging a tri-series involving Australia, West Indies and Rest of the World teams. In the years to follow, floodlit games, coloured kit and stump microphones were to become commonplace as a result of the overarching impact of the Kerry Packer World Series Cricket.

The contests involved Test matches, known as ‘SuperTests’ and limited-overs games. The first season in 1977-78 played Down Under saw WSC Australia play two three-match series against WSC West Indies and WSC World XI. The second season in 1978-79 featured a triangular Test series among the three teams in Australia and the latter half of the season saw a five-match series between WSC Australia and the WSC West Indies in the Caribbean.

Here, we take a look at the top three batsmen and bowlers in World Series Cricket.

Top-three batsmen

1. Greg Chappell - 14 matches, 1415 runs, 5x100s, 4x50s

Greg, younger of the two Chappell brothers, had an appetite for big runs. In a career spanning 14 years, he played 87 Tests for Australia, scoring 7,110 runs including 24 hundreds and 31 fifties. His 2,331 runs in 74 ODIs were studded with three centuries and 14 fifties.

2. Vivian Richards - 14 matches, 1281 runs, 4x100s, 4x50s

West Indies’ Viv Richards, one of the greatest batsmen to have ever played the game, was renowned for his aggressive batting. He racked up 8,540 and 6,721 runs in 121 Tests and 187 ODIs, respectively.

3. Ian Chappell - 14 matches, 893 runs, 1x100s, 5x50s

Former Australian captain Ian, the elder of the two Chappell brothers, played 75 Tests between 1964 and 1980 and made 5,345 runs.

ALSO READ | From the archives: Tony Greig on World Series Cricket

Top-three bowlers

1. Dennis Lillee - 14 matches, 67 wickets, 4x5w

Lillee’s rhythm, aggression and control made him the foremost Australian fast bowlers of his generation. A formidable talent, Lillee had taken 355 Test wickets on his retirement from international cricket.

2. Andy Roberts - 13 matches, 50 wickets, 1x5w

West Indies bowling great Andy Roberts went on to finish his career with 202 Test wickets. Roberts, in his maiden county season, picked 100 wickets and finished at the top of the bowling averages.

3. Michael Holding - 9 matches, 35 wickets, 1x5w

The former West Indies fast bowler, who took 249 wickets in 61 Tests at 23.68, was part of a fearsome quartet of pacers — Holding, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft, and Joel Garner — that made batsmen shiver in their shoes.

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