It is often said that ‘Test Cricket is the Best Cricket’. With several days to play with thorough consistency and that too in a hot and humid or extremely chilled and freezing weather, it is not easy to make even a single century. Here is a list of a few such cricketers who have made it not only possible but also immensely look-like easy by scoring several tons with each advancing years and age. The names listed here below are not ordinary names though; they can also be shortlisted as the few best cricketers of all times, but most importantly they have one thing in common… they all have made a lot many centuries after playing 92 International test matches or more in their career. Let’s have a look –
1. Sunil Gavaskar (28) – Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, also known as ‘Sunny’ among his team mates, was a legendary batsman of India. With tremendous stroke play in his bat and skills in his armoury, he left the Indian batting order vacant when he retired from International Cricket. He was the first to get 10,000 test runs and 34 centuries. He had almost every stroke in the book of Cricket, but traded flair for the solidity that his side needed more. His record for the highest number of Test hundreds was overtaken by Sachin Tendulkar, another genius of current times, but statistics alone don’t reveal Gavaskar’s true value to India. He earned respect for Indian cricket and he taught his team-mates the virtue of professionalism. The self-actualisation of Indian cricket began under him. Since retiring, Sunil Gavaskar has been a successful name in television commentary, analyst and columnist. Ha also took up various responsibilities with the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI), and served as chairman of the ICC cricket committee.
2. Matthew Hayden (28) – Matthew Lawrence Hayden was the most successful Australian opening batsman, having a gigantic physique but a calm and peaceful mind. He was such a man, on which team Australia could easily embark upon. His effortless shots down the line and those immortal lofty shots over the fence made his style of batting even more charismatic. His style, his charm and his charisma brooded all over his batting sense. He even scored the second highest score of International Test match of 380 runs, surpassing Brian Charles Lara, another genius of his era. Lara again managed to beat his score to 400* and thereby became the highest scorer in International Test Cricket.
3. Sachin Tendulkar (28) – Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, popularly known as the ‘little master’ and ‘the master blaster’ is arguably the best batsman of all ages. Surpassing several records of Sir Donald Bradman and Sunil Gavaskar, he has time and again proved that he is the best of the lot. Known to his fans across the globe as ‘the God of Cricket’, he literally earns for it. Given his stroke play and timing of making shots are concerned, he is the best of all times. His batting was based on the purest principles: perfect balance, economy of movement, precision in stroke-making, and that intangible quality given only to geniuses – anticipation.
4. Gary Sobers (26) – Sir Garfield St. Aubrun Sobers is probably the best known all rounder of all times. One of the finest cricketers West Indies have ever produced. He broke the record for the highest test score – 365 – at 21, could bowl left-arm orthodox, wrist spin and fast-medium, and was a brilliant fielder anywhere on the ground. He was also the first player to hit six sixes in an over in a first-class game.
5. Younis Khan (26) – Younis Khan aka Mohammad Younus Khan is a prominent and august middle order batsman of Pakistan. He is known for providing stability to the batting order down the line. He is the kind of a man who responds best in adverse conditions. A test average of 50 above, a triple-hundred, a famous double-hundred against India in India, and a brilliant rearguard partnership to clinch Pakistan’s 3-0 Test whitewash over England, leave no doubt about his quality and class. He is also one of the most successful fielders for Pakistan, and can bowl respectable slow-medium. As a captain, Younis has enjoyed success in leading Pakistan to the world Twenty20 title in 2009.
6. Alastair Cook (25) – Alastair Nathan Cook is English lest handed opening batsman. He was destined for great things as on the Ashes tour of 2010-11, he proved successful on a host of promises, scoring an incredible 766 runs in seven innings to anchor England’s first series win in Australia for 24 years. In so doing, he went past 5,000 Test runs, having turned 26 on Christmas Day – the second youngest batsman to reach the landmark after Sachin Tendulkar. Two years later and further records had been broken as he became England’s leading Test century-maker – hitting No. 23 against India in Kolkata, his third in three matches – and became the youngest player to pass 7000 runs.