Over the years the sport of cricket has seen over 1000 players make their appearance for numerous nations across various formats of the gentleman's game. However, very few players have managed to make a statement of their own and also stamp their authority to be inducted into the hall of fame.
When it comes to the art of batting, players like Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, and Ricky Ponting come to our minds. Even rewinding the clock back, we have players like Don Bradman, Jack Hobbs, and Garry Sobers.
If one is to pick the current era, the four batsmen commonly known as the " Fabulous Four" or Fab 4 comprising the players of the likes of Indian skipper Virat Kohli, former Aussie skipper Steve Smith, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson, and English skipper Joe Root.
There are no debates on if these four have been the best players of the current era but the argument on who is best among these four stands to be a debatable topic for a decade now.
What about the next set of fabulous four? Have you ever thought about which players could make the next Fab 4? Cricwizz, today takes a look at the probable contenders.
1) Babar Azam (Pakistan)
If at all the Fab 4 could be called the Fab 5, we already would have had Babar Azam on the list. The Pakistani batting prodigy has been piling on the runs in all the formats of the game since his debut for Pakistan in 2015. At just 26 years, the rock-solid Azam has been shattering several records at ease, and with age on his side, he is certain to join the list of the elites in the coming years.
Babar Azam 🔝🔥— ICC (@ICC) April 14, 2021
The Pakistan captain has overtaken Virat Kohli to become the No.1 batsman in the latest @MRFWorldwide ICC men's ODI rankings 👑 pic.twitter.com/krxoKRDsSY
Azam is currently ranked 1st in ODIs and 7th in the longest format. He has also been a great force in the shortest format and ranks 2nd in the world. It is not often a player manages to master the art of batting in all formats and for that reason, the Pakistani is the top contender to make it to the next generation of Fab 4.
Babar Azam stats
Babar Azam’s notable achievements
# Fastest to 2000 T20I runs (52 innings)
# Second most runs in an ODI series by a captain (626 runs)
# Ranked 2nd in the list of players with the most MOS awards in T20Is (5), the first place belongs to Virat Kohli of India with 7 awards.
2) Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)
The 27-year old Aussie, who is currently 4th in the list of the ICC Test batsmen rankings, has shown the world that he can be a great asset when it comes to the red ball. Labuschagne, however, is yet to make a statement in the 50-over format and yet to represent Australia in the T20 format.
With the age factor being very much on his side and Australia looking for a consistent player in all the formats to strengthen their middle-order, we feel he would be the right pick to take over the No.3 spot for Australia in the future.
Marnus Labuschagne stats
Marnus Labuschagne’s notable achievements
# His average of over the 60 mark in Tests places him 6th in the list of the players with the highest average in Test cricket. He ranks 2nd when it comes to the active players' category.
3) Quinton de Kock (South Africa)
The South African, who made his debut for South Africa in 2012 as a specialist T20 batsman, over the years now has become an integral part of the proteas. Another batsman who could be compared to the likes of Babar Azam in the aspect of performing in all three formats. The 28-year old who recently stepped down from the leadership ranks 10th in Test, 8th in ODIs, and 12th in the shortest format.
A great forte behind stumps and his ability to play as a floater added with the knack of playing both the pacers and spinners on the backfoot. Quinton de Kock surely stands to be a watch-out player in the coming days.
Quinton de Kock stats
Quinton de Kock’s notable achievements
# Quinton de Kock holds the second-highest individual score by a wicket-keeper in ODIs, he achieved this milestone during his splendid innings of 178 against Australia in 2016.
# With 62 dismissals, he ranks 3rd in the list of most dismissals by a wicket-keeper in T20Is.
4) Shai Hope (West Indies)
Another youngster who values his wicket as gold, the prolific West Indies Shai Hope has been a great talent for the Caribbean country. West Indies, a region known to produce some of the best cricketing talents could add Shai Hope to the elite list in the coming days.
The 27-year old who is nothing like the current West Indies pedigree is a very cool-minded batsman who loves following the textbooks. He is often compared to the legendary Brian Lara for his flamboyant style.
However, it may be too early to induct him to the fab 4 categories based on his Test performances, we feel the average of 52 in ODIs and his temperament combined with the vigor to score runs could see him in the top ranks in the coming days.
Shai Hope’s notable achievements
# He made it to the select list of players who have scored 6 consecutive fifties in ODIs when he scored a clinical 64 against Sri Lanka in the March of this year.
# He ranks second in the list of the fastest players to score 3000 runs in ODIs (67 inns).
This summarises our picks on the future “Fab 4”. Yes, we do agree on the fact there are a list of other players like Devon Conway, KL Rahul, and Henry Nicholls all of them who have been putting out splendid performances at the International and domestic level.
However, we took into consideration the ages of the players while picking the top four contenders as to players who have at least another decade to showcase their conduct.
Do you have any other players in mind? Do let us know your thoughts and picks in the comments. Also, stay tuned with Cricwizz as we bring you all exclusive and intriguing content round the clock.
**Note: The rankings and stats are the latest of 4th September 2021.