While bowlers have the most number of ways to dismiss a batsman, there are also ways for a fielder to inflict the same pain. And the most common means is to run the batsman out. Many cricketers have made their names in this department especially, such as Jonty Rhodes, AB de Villiers and Brendon Mccullum to name a few.
They are so agile and athletic that batsmen think twice before running after hitting the ball in their direction. Their reputation itself helps them save runs for their team, leading to more dot balls and hence batsmen start taking risky runs to negate the pressure building up and running themselves out.
There are also many factors other than swiftness and the accuracy of the fielders that come into play with this dismissal such as the slowness of the batsmen, ill judgement of runs and miscommunication with their partners. Although batsmen like Dhoni and Kohli are fast, their excellence in pinching singles is mainly due to their excellent judgement of runs.
Now let’s take a look at the worst 5 run out victims in the history of international cricket across all formats.
#5 Inzamam-ul-Haq – 46
The most non-surprising run-out casualty is the much-mocked former Pakistani captain Inzamam-ul-Haq. Due to his heavy build and slow reflexes, he was a regular target of close in fielders, having been run out himself a mindboggling 46 times.
Given that he was also involved in numerous mixups leading to the fall of his partner, the total number of mix-ups is way higher. Thus he was in the mould of a Sehwag/Gayle, preferring to deal in boundaries rather than run hard for his runs. Inzamam has been much ridiculed for his running throughout his career, with him even beating up a spectator once for calling him a potato.
Despite his amazing batting ability and captaincy, he is most remembered for his abysmal running. He was also unfortunately for him the reason why Jonty Rhodes started getting noticed when Rhodes flew into the stumps to run Inzamam out during the 1992 World Cup.
#4 Ricky Ponting – 47
Next up is the only non-Asian batsman on this list, former Australian kingpin Ricky Ponting. Batting at no.3 for the best part of two decades, he instilled fear into the opposition’s minds and dominated the bowlers from the get-go. He also shared fruitful partnerships with Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, and Justin Langer, the openers of the Test and ODI team at that time. But surprisingly, despite that fact and his obvious fitness, he was run out an astonishing 47 times.
One of his most famous run outs came way back in 2005 during the Ashes test series when substitute fielder Gary Pratt ran him out at a key moment in the match, raising the ire of the Australian Captain at England’s excessive high-quality substitute fielder to give their bowlers the much-needed rest.
#3 Marvan Atapattu – 48
Marvan Atapattu was Sri Lanka’s first choice opener in the 1990s and early 2000s, and played as the perfect foil to Jayasuriya, as the Hyde to his Jekyll. His patient run making an immovable presence at the crease enabled Jayasuriya to continue on his marauding ways and the freedom to not worry about the team’s situation.
He was a key cog in the Sri Lankan batting lineup, scoring 6 double centuries in Tests and over 8500 runs in ODIs. However, despite his obvious run-making ability, Atapattu seems to have been a bad judge of runs, having been involved in runouts a shocking 48 times.
#2 Mahela Jayawardene – 51
Up next is another Sri Lankan legend, arguably their greatest captains alongside Arjuna Ranatunga, Mahela Jayawardene. For a batsman blessed with an ability to look astonishingly graceful while stroking runs all over the ground, he was run out a high number of times.
He was even once notably run out in South Africa while going for his 10,000th Test run in the last innings of the series, leading him to wait a painful few months before he was able to reach the acclaimed landmark.
#1 Rahul Dravid – 53
And at the top of this list is the Wall from India. Yet another surprising name on this list, the former Indian captain and no.3 was one of the best batsmen in the world at his peak and a key player for India, especially in Test cricket.
While not exactly a slow runner, he could have been the victim of having to take more risky singles at the death in ODIs. Towards the end of his ODI career, he was forced to bat lower down the order to accommodate the surplus of top order batsmen such as Sehwag, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Yuvraj etc.
Moreover, just like the rest of the batsmen on this list, he played a high number of matches, which may have played a part in why he has been run out so many times.