Here are the incredible Test cricket records that are almost unbreakable…
“I like to play Test cricket. It is really challenging because you need to really score runs, stay in the wicket and continue for 5 days.”
– Kumar Sangakara, ex-Sri Lankan team captain
To perform well in Test Cricket is the ultimate dream of any budding cricketer. After all, as the name suggests, it really ‘tests’ your skills and endurance. On the flip side, however, there are tremendous opportunities for the players to heap records on to their name in the longest format of the game. Especially when you have two chances in a single match, there is always something in the basket.
Before taking a step ahead, we must be acquainted with the definition of Test cricket in layman language.
It is the longest format of the game, played for five days and consisting of two innings per side. (Each side may not necessarily play both the innings)
Whenever we gaze upon a particular sport, we look for the records. That is why people know Messi and Ronaldo more than any other footballers. Here is a look at the individual as well as team records that have set the bars in Test cricket that are very hard, if not impossible, to beat.
1Most runs in Test cricket
The record is held by none other than India’s Little Master, the greatest of all time, Sachin Tendulkar. In a career spanning over two decades between 1989 to 2013, with 329 innings in 200 matches, Sachin Tendulkar amassed 15921 runs in his Test career. Sachin is followed by Australia’s legendary captain Ricky Ponting with 13378 runs.
2Highest individual Test score
England’s tour of West Indies in 2004 saw some remarkable feats being achieved. Especially in the 4th Test played between April 10-14 saw Brain Lara take over Australia’s Mathew Hayden’s (380) record for the highest individual score in an inning.
Batting first, Windies notched up a humongous 751 at the loss of 5 wickets before declaring. It was Brain Lara’s magnificent knock of 400* in 582 balls that steered Windies to that total.
Although the match resulted in a draw, it was completely Lara’s match.
Lara batted for an astonishing 778 minutes i.e. about 12 hours 58 minutes in a single inning.
3Hanif Mohammad’s 970 minutes battle
When Pakistan toured West Indies in 1958, the 1st Test played between January 17-23, saw an incredible resistance from Pakistan’s Hanif Mohammad.
Batting first West Indies scored 579 at the loss of 9 wickets before declaring. Pakistan were bundled out for a mere 106 in the first inning. Following on, Pakistan’s Mohammad scored 337, the only three-figure score from Pakistan side in that match. He stayed on the pitch for 970 minutes, which helped Pakistan secure a draw.
4Sir Leonard Hutton’s inning of 847 balls
This takes us back at least 8 decades. Gosh, a leap into the past!
In the 5th Test of Australia’s tour of England (played between August 20-24, 1938), Sir Leonard Hutton, the English batsman, scored 364 runs in 847 whooping deliveries in the first inning, a record that is still left untouched even after so many decades.
5Most Ducks in Test career
The West Indian lethal pace bowler, Courtney Walsh, holds a very unwanted record to his name. In his career of 132 matches, Walsh got out for zero runs on 43 instances, which still remains the most ducks a batsman has scored in Test career.
6Most Runs in a Test match
While Brain Lara holds the record for highest individual Test score (which considers only an inning score), Graham Gooch of England holds the record for the highest score in Test cricket, both innings combined. Gooch scored a combined score of 456 runs (333 in first innings and 123 in the second inning) in the first Test against India at Lord’s. (played between July 26-31, 1990).
Muttiah Muralitharan, the Sri Lankan right-arm off-break bowler, holds the record for most Test wickets in a career. In a career spanning from 1992 to 2010, with 230 innings in 133 matches, Muralitharan bagged 800 wickets, a record still untouched.
8Best bowling figures in an inning
Englishman Jim Laker holds the record for the best bowling figures in an inning. In the 4th Test against Australia (July 2631, 1956), Laker took 10 wickets against Australians in their second inning. His bowling figures from the second inning read: 51.2-23-53-10 (51.2 overs, 23 maidens, 53 runs conceded and 10 wickets). Amongst Indians, only Anil Kumble has the distinction of scalping 10 wickets.
9Best bowling figures in a match
The record is again held by the Englishman Jim Laker. In the match where Laker took 10 wickets in the second inning, he had also bagged 9 wickets in the first inning against Australia. Thus, a total of 19 wickets were taken by Laker in a single match, and the record still remains unbeaten.
10Highest partnership for any wicket
The South Africa tour of Sri Lanka in 2006 was one of the most memorable series in cricket history. In the first Test, after bundling South Africa for 169 in their first inning, the Sri Lankan duo of Kumar Sangakara and Mahela Jayawardene stitched a massive 624 runs partnership for the third wicket. This happens to be the highest partnership for any wicket to date.
11Biggest margin of victory
In the 5th Test played between Australia and England at the Oval in August 1938, England defeated Australia by an innings and 578 runs. This remains the biggest-ever victory in the Test cricket. The overall scores were:
England – 903/7 declared
Australia- 201 and 123 (f/o)
12Highest Inning total
The first test of India’s tour of Sri Lanka in 1997 saw the Lankans notch up a massive 952 runs for 6 wickets against the Indians before the declaration. The match did not produce any winner after a 5 days play that ended in a draw.
13Most catches in a career
Rahul Dravid from India, famously known as the “wall”, holds the record for most catches in Test cricket. In a career spanning 16 years from 1996 to 2012, Dravid took 210 scalps.
14Most catches by a Wicket-keeper
Test Cricket Records: Mark Boucher | Credits: India TodayProteas’ Mark Boucher holds the record for most dismissals – 555 as well as most catches- 532 behind the wickets by any keeper.
Australia’s Bert Oldfield holds the record for most stumpings by a keeper in his career- 52.