The history of Test cricket is now 144 years old. With England hosting arch-rivals Australia for the first-ever outing back in March 1877, a total of 4,854 Test matches have been played by the twelve Test-playing countries and a combined ICC World XI.
Australia and England were the only two countries that played Test cricket until 1889 when South Africa joined them on board. The format then brought West Indies (1928), New Zealand (1930), India (1932) into its fold. In the following years, Pakistan (1952), Sri Lanka (1982), Zimbabwe (1992), Bangladesh (2000) and finally, Ireland and Afghanistan (both 2018) also embraced the great format.
Each country has brought its own flavour and set of skills to the Test match format, leading to its evolution over the years and retaining its challenging nature for the players and teams involved. Test cricket now also has a global trophy in the form of the World Test Championship (WTC) title that nations can vie for.
Let us today have a look at the top 10 run-getters in the history of Test cricket.
|SR Tendulkar (INDIA)||1989-2013||200||329||33||15921||248*||53.78||51||68||14|
|RT Ponting (AUS)||1995-2012||168||287||29||13378||257||51.85||41||62||17|
|JH Kallis (ICC/SA)||1995-2013||166||280||40||13289||224||55.37||45||58||16|
|R Dravid (ICC/INDIA)||1996-2012||164||286||32||13288||270||52.31||36||63||8|
|AN Cook (ENG)||2006-2018||161||291||16||12472||294||45.35||33||57||9|
|KC Sangakkara (SL)||2000-2015||134||233||17||12400||319||57.40||38||52||11|
|BC Lara (ICC/WI)||1990-2006||131||232||6||11953||400*||52.88||34||48||17|
|S Chanderpaul (WI)||1994-2015||164||280||49||11867||203*||51.37||30||66||15|
|DPMD Jayawardene (SL)||1997-2014||149||252||15||11814||374||49.84||34||50||15|
|AR Border (AUS)||1978-1994||156||265||44||11174||205||50.56||27||63||11|
Most runs in Test cricket
Tendulkar, regarded widely as the greatest batsman to have featured in Test cricket, played a record 200 times in the traditional format. His unsurpassed tally of 15,921 runs at 53.78 per piece, includes an unmatched 51 hundreds. Tendulkar converted six of those tons into double hundreds and also had 68 instances of scoring fifties.
Ponting is hailed for his leadership and the global dominance Australia enjoyed during his captaincy tenure, but the former Aussie skipper is also Test cricket’s second-highest run-maker. Ponting struck 13,378 runs from his 168 games in the format at an average of 51.85. His tally included 41 centuries and 62 half-centuries.
Prominent South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis ended his illustrious career back in 2013 as Test cricket’s third-highest run-scorer. Kallis made 13,289 runs at an average of 55.37, with 45 hundreds and 58 half-centuries to his name. The impact of Kallis goes beyond his runs, as he was also an effective seam bowler during his career and helped balanced South Africa’s XIs.
India’s rock at No.3 for the best part of two decades, Rahul Dravid, is next on the list. A solid defensive batsman, Dravid made 13,288 runs in his 16-year-long Test career. He averaged 52.31 over 168 games, with 36 hundreds and 63 fifties. Dravid played one of his Tests for an ICC World XI against Australia back in 2005.
Sir Alastair Cook
Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook made 12,472 runs from his 161 Tests. A resilient grafter in the mould of Dravid, Cook averaged 45.35 despite opening the batting in extremely challenging English conditions for most of his career. Cook produced 33 Test tons and 57 half-centuries at the highest level.