There is a big difference between a man of the match award and a man of the series honour. This difference is all the more prevalent in Test cricket. While exhibiting the best of your skill on a single day is quite possible, it is difficult to sustain it for five days, let alone maintaining it for a complete Test series.
Nevertheless, a few players in world cricket have taken this challenge and have come out victorious. They have won multiple numbers of the man of the series honours, thereby stamping their credentials with unwavering authority. In this article, we take a glance at six players who have done it for the most number of times so far.
1. M Muralitharan – 11
If there is a hint of spin on the track, then Muralitharan will be straightaway into the game. In case it’s a non-assisting pitch for the spinners, the Sri Lankan wizard would have still had his say on the game with his exquisite skills.
The highest wicket-taker in the red-ball format, the off-spinner stands at the top of this list. In the 61 series that he was part of, Murali took home the trophy on eleven occasions. Although it has been a while since he has retired, still no player has overtaken legend’s feat.
2. Jacques Kallis – 9
Jacques Kallis has played 166 games that were spread across 61 tournaments. Of this, the South African all-rounder won the man of the series awards nine times. This is a phenomenal stat for a player who had always gone under the radar.
There has been no player who has contributed so immensely to both the departments of the game. The right-hand player scored 13289 runs and picked up 292 wickets in his Test career span. Considering he has done this consistently throughout his career, Kallis deserves more praise than he gets now.
3. Imran Khan – 8
Over a career that lasted almost twenty years, Pakistan all-rounder Imran Khan played 88 games. These matches were spread across a total of 28 tournaments. The legend won the award eight times and is at No.3 on this list.
Like Kallis, Imran Khan too contributed to both departments of the game. He was a big hand with the bat, while with the ball, Imran had the knack of picking wickets frequently.
4. Ravichandran Ashwin – 8
With eight trophies in 30 Test tournaments, R Ashwin also finds himself amid legends. In fact, for having made it to this table so early in his career, the man from Tamil Nadu is a legend himself. It will be no surprise if he surpasses each one of them and stands at the top of the list by the end of his career.
Ever since the likes of Murali, Kumble, and Warne retired, Ashwin has been the best spinner in international cricket. He has made it possible to churn out wickets consistently, and this has been the reason behind his domination. Not to forget, Ash has sometimes done well with the willow too.
5. Sir Richard Adlee – 8
Sir Richard Hadlee is one of the greatest cricketers that New Zealand has produced. He was a massive force for the Black Caps and single-handedly won many games and tournaments for the country.
Through 86 games, the all-rounder was part of 33 tournaments. He came out as the best player on eight occasions within this span. Talking about his career numbers, the man is an absolute beast. Usually batting lower down the order, he collected 431 wickets while also scoring 3124 runs.
6. Shane Warne – 8
It is no surprise that Shane Warne is part of this list. One of the best bowlers of the game, Warne’s leg-spin troubled batsmen irrespective of the pitch conditions.
In 145 games, Shane Warne was dominant in most of the encounters. Of the 46 tournaments, the Aussie collected eight man of the series awards. A few of them came against some difficult opposition too.