Sport is war minus the bullets. The statement is found to be at its relatable best when one seeks to describe Test Cricket. Test Cricket, in all its intricacies, is by far the purest form of sport. The very idea that a game can go on for five days might be bewildering for an audience new to the game. Add that to the fact that it’s quite a possibility that no result might be drawn out of 5 days of caning and chasing leather proves to be simply mind-bending for outsiders.
But that is what marks the format clear of any competition. There’s nothing like it. No sport can offer what Test Cricket offers. It is full of resilience and grit and resilient and gritty cricketers. Here’s taking a look at some of these cricketers who have bled and sweated their way to the top of the ladder:
Steve Smith breathes cricket and more importantly, breathes batting. The very fact that he is still at the top of the ICC Test Rankings even after missing twelve Tests after the scandalous ‘Sandpaper-gate’ is a testament to his prowess when it comes to Test matches.
Steve Smith’s last 5 years’ Test records-
Batting Avg.- 69.33
You cannot look beyond the Indian captain when it comes to batting, regardless of the format. ‘The King’ has been at the top of his game for as long as one can remember, scoring runs on testing wickets in Australia, England, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Virat Kohli’s last 5 years’ Test records-
Batting Avg.- 63.37
Arguably the generation’s greatest all-rounder, Ben Stokes is one of the few match-winning cricketers that England possesses when it comes to the longest format of the game. Although he sometimes struggles on turning tracks, he deserves to feature on this list just for the manner in which he can single-handedly turn games of cricket on their head. (Who can forget Headingly 2019?)
Ben Stokes’ last 5 years’ Test records-
Highest Score- 258
Batting Avg.- 37.77
Best Bowling Innings- 6/22
Bowling Average- 32.64
Cricket’s true gentleman, Kane Williamson is as good a batsman as he is a human, if not better. The Kiwi captain has bailed his team out of trying situations multiple times. Needless to say, he is his team’s premier batter, in fact, he is counted amongst the best in the world.
Kane Williamson’s last 5 years’ Test records-
Highest Score- 200*
Batting Avg.- 56.42
England’s very own swing-bowler supreme, no pacer has managed to even come close to either James Anderson’s figures or his ingenuity while handling the new ball. Although his form away from home, especially in the sub-continent is questionable, his performance with the ball in conducive conditions is second to none.
James Anderson’s last 5 years’ Test records-
Best Bowling Innings- 7/42
Bowling Average- 21.44
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