Best Australian Batsmen – Late 1990s to Mid 2000s

Australian Batsmen Ricky Ponting Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden celebrate winning the ICC 2007 Cricket World Cup

The Best Australian Batsmen

In the late 1990s to Mid 2000s, you would not be able to go past Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey as the best Australian batsmen.

Adam Gilchrist (Australian Batsmen & Keeper)

Adam Gilchrist was the most destructive Australian Batsmen and wicketkeeper ever.
Adam Gilchrist batting during his innings of 121 not out in the NatWest Challenge One Day International between England and Australia at The Oval, London, 12th July 2005. The England wicketkeeper is Geraint Jones. Australia won by 8 wickets. (Photo by Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

“Gilly.” The Bomb.

Gilchrist had the whole package, he was an amazing batsman and also a superb wicketkeeper. It was these player attributes that made Gilchrist, valuable and great. He is perhaps the best wicketkeeper-batsman of all time in test cricket.

Gilchrist made his ODI debut in October 1996. ‘Gilly’ was Australia’s longest-serving vice-captain under captains Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting.

Justin Langer famously quoted ” Having Adam Gilchrist at 7 crippled oppositions.”

The main characteristic that cricket lovers enjoyed while watching ‘Gilly’ was his aggressive batting. ‘Gilly’ always from the onset of his innings wanted to attack and it was amazing to watch him in action. Gilchrist’s individual accolades came in 2003 and 2004, where he was named the ODI player of the year.

Also, in 2003, he won the Allan Border medal. Even though ‘Gilly’ was dismissed the most in test cricket from his generation, he boasted an incredible batting average of 47.6. And this just shows how great of a player he was.

Adam Gilchrist was a big game player. He scored half-centuries in both of the 1999 and 2003 Cricket World Cup Finals. Amazingly, “Gilly” scored 149 against Sri Lanka in the 2007 Cricket World Cup Final, with a squashball in his glove. Australia won all three of the tournaments.

Perhaps the greatest among Australian batsmen because he was also a wicketkeeper.

Matthew Hayden

Perhaps the most intimidating among all because he was big and powerful
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 8: Matthew Hayden of Australia plays a shot during game two of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy between Australia and New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground December 8, 2004 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Top Tier Among Australian Opening Batsmen.

Matthew Hayden was such a powerful opening batsman along with his partner in crime Justin Langer. Langer spoke highly of Hayden as an opener and said he was the “best opening batsman Australia has ever produced”.

He debuted for Australia in One Day Internationals in 1993 against England. Hayden was one of the best openers of all time. His highest test score came in 2003 at the WACA, Perth where he whacked a remarkable 380 runs against Zimbabwe.

Moreover, in One Day Internationals, Hayden was a regular, until he slumped in the form in the 2005 Ashes series. Hayden was not selected till the 2006-07 Australian season. It was in Hayden’s comeback to cricket that he hit his top ODI score of 181 not out over New Zealand on February 20 2007. Hayden’s 181 not out was the highest ever in a single innings by an Australian.

Matthew Hayden dominated in the subcontinent, especially in test match cricket. He was an excellent player of spin because he was fearless in attacking spinners and had an excellent variety of sweep shots. Matthew Hayden averaged 51.35 in India, 40.13 in Sri Lanka and 104 in the UAE.

Ricky Ponting (Best Of All Australian Batsmen Since Bradman ?)

The best Australian batsmen since Donald Bradman?
Australia v India 2nd test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Australia’s Ricky Ponting celebrates his century after sliding into the crease. Sydney, Australia. Wednesday 4th January 2012. Photo: (Steve Christo) (Photo by Steve Christo/Corbis via Getty Images)

Punter. One of Australia’s finest ever captains and among the top Australian Batsmen ever.

Ponting was one of the toughest batsmen to play the sport of cricket. He was always super reliable as a batsman and his best trait as a player was his relentlessness. Ponting was never a player to give up and he was always hungry to succeed as a batsman. He will go down as one of the best run makers in world cricket and the best run maker in Australian cricket.

Ponting was 20-years-old when he debuted in ODI’s on February 15, 1995. However, it was a debut ODI match he would like to forget. Despite this, on his debut test match, Ponting redeemed himself and just missed out on making his maiden test century as he went out for 96 via LBW.

Ponting dominated ODI Cricket, winning two ICC Cricket World Cups for Australia as captain. He won both the 2003 and 2007 Cricket World Cup as captain and the 1999 edition as a player. Ponting also holds the record for the most test match wins as an individual player. Ponting has won 108 out of his 165 test matches played for Australia.

Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke was a shrewd captain and won the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 29: Michael Clarke of Australia celebrates with the trophy during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup final match between Australia and New Zealand at Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 29, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Led Australia to World Cup glory in 2015 at home.

Helped lay the foundation for two of the greatest Australian batsmen ever in David Warner and Steve Smith.

Clarke referred to as ‘Pup’ amongst the cricketing faithful, played for Australia from 2003-2015. ‘Pup’ debuted for Australia in ODI’s in 2003 against England. His highest ODI score was 130 and it came against India in Bangalore in 2004.

Clarke was an amazing test batsman, and he notched up his highest test score off 329 over India on January 5th, 2012 at the SCG. Clarke’s top score was probably the best on Australian soil. It was a special innings for Clarke personally, as it was in front of his home crowd in Sydney.

Michael Clarke was described by Ian Chappell as Australia’s second greatest captain that he had ever seen. Only Mark Taylor was placed ahead of him. Ian Chappell said in 2015 that “Michael Clarke was a brave captain. He was willing to dangle the carrot in the face of the opposition. More importantly, he mentioned that Clarke made it clear to the opposition that he was aiming to win the game from ball one.”

Also, Read – Picking Australia’s Greatest ODI XI

Mike Hussey

Mike Hussey was one of the best players of spin in the Australian Cricket Team
Australian batsman Michael Hussey celebrates hitting the winning run of the 2nd Test match between Australia and England at the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia, 5th December 2006. Australia won the match by 6 wickets. (Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The latest to debut among all Australian batsmen on this list.

Plus, out of all the Australian batsmen on this list, Mike Hussey might have symbolized what it meant to wear the baggy green the most. Justin Langer described himself, Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey as “cricket tragics”

Hussey widely known as ‘Mr Cricket’ played for Australia from 2004-2013. He was nicknamed ‘Mr Cricket’, due to his vast knowledge of the sport of cricket. He fulfilled a boyhood dream when he made his ODI debut at his home ground WACA, Perth against India in February 2004.

A year later, Hussey made his test debut in 2005, against the West Indies at the Gabba, Brisbane. Hussey had a one day average of 48.16, which included 39 half-centuries and three centuries. In 2006, he was the world’s best ODI batsman, a remarkable achievement.

In 2010, at the Gabba, Hussey smashed his highest test score of 195 against England. It happened on day three of the first Ashes Test on November 27. His best score in one-dayers came against West Indies in 2006, where he scored 109 and not out. In this knock, he hit 10-fours and 3-sixes and in this match, he was the player of the match. Hussey had his best knock off 60 not out in T20I in 2010 against Pakistan.

The Legacy

Gilchrist, Hayden, Ponting, Clarke and Hussey would go down as the five best Australian batsmen to play from the late 1990s to mid 2000s.

Five of the greatest and most destructive Australian batsmen ever.




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