India is steeped in cricketing history and they have been blessed to produce some terrific batsmen.
Perhaps it is the feats of the most illustrious batters in the Test arena that have helped them stand heads and shoulders above their counterparts.
We have decided to run through the best in chronological order: the 6 most prolific Test batters to have represented India. We will explain what has made them so special.
Sachin Tendulkar (1989-2013)
The ‘little master’ as he was affectionately known, transcended Test cricket in a way that few other batsmen have managed to do so. Tendulkar – who recently turned 49 – was one of the game’s biggest icons and he continues to inspire budding players today.
In an international career spanning 24 years, Tendulkar compiled 15,921 runs in 200 matches at an average of just shy of 54. His highest score came against Bangladesh in 2004 when he bludgeoned 248 runs.
Tendulkar’s Test tally doesn’t look like being bettered anytime soon and when you factor in that he had 51 tons in his Test career, he was simply extraordinary.
Rahul Dravid (1996-2012)
Often referred to as ‘The Wall’, Rahul Dravid had a penchant for batting for long periods and he was probably one of the last orthodox batters of his generation.
His sheer hard work and powers of concentration were legendary and he compensated for not being a natural athlete.
He will be most remembered for his Test exploits as he clocked up 13,265 runs from 163 matches, and this came at an average of 52.63.
Sunil Gavaskar (1971-1987)
Arguably one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time, Sunil Gavaskar had strong foundations that were built on a near unbreachable defence and his technique was flawless.
His timing was impeccable with his front and back feet and he had held the record for the highest number of Test hundreds before Tendulkar overtook him. Gavaskar’s value to India can never be understated and he amassed over 10,000 runs in his career.
VVS Laxman (1996-2012)
Sitting fourth on this list with 8,781 Test runs to his name, is VVS Laxman. He was quite wristy but when at his sublime best, he was box office like Tendulkar.
Laxman knew how to produce spellbinding moments at the crease and there were also times when he was able to grind it out to a ton. Laxman was an integral part of the Indian side in the early 2000s and he is still talked about today which shows the influence he had.
Virender Sehwag (2001-2013)
Virender Sehwag had an insatiable appetite for scoring runs and he certainly knew the way to the boundary! He was always happy to take on the bowlers and whether it was whipping the ball down the off side or playing a cover drive, he made look the seemingly difficult look very easy.
With 8,503 runs scored at an average of 49, Sehwag and Test cricket went hand in hand and he was a joy to watch in full flow.
Virat Kohli (2011-present)
The only player on this decorated list that is still active, Virat Kohli continues to marvel. He has every shot in his locker and he thrives in the pressure-cooker environment of the Test arena. So far, he has been the most successful Test captain to date for India, with 40 wins from 68 matches.
But wherever Kohli goes, he never has any trouble scoring runs. Indeed, he has hit 8,043 runs in 101 matches and he always curries favour with leading bookmakers for every Test match he’s involved in. Some of the top betting sites in India, such as bet365 and 10Cric will carry a variety of lines, such as ‘Player to hit 100 runs or more’ or ‘Highest run-scorer in the first innings’ and Kohli is usually priced fairly short here.
Kohli remains idolised today and while he’s a bit of an all-rounder as he has been superb at T20 and ODI, it is his exploits at Test that have helped made him an undisputed superstar.
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