Playing XI based on most number of runs scored in each batting position in Test cricket

Test Cricket is the traditional format of the game. Some records established in this format will take some time to be toppled. Especially in this era where teams have to distribute themselves between formats, Test records are safer than ever. Being a purely skill-based format, runs from any batting slot would aid the team’s cause in Tests. Although the expectations from the lower order are lesser compared to the white-ball versions, tail-ender contribution is also valued highly now. On that note, here, we take a look at the playing XI based on the number of runs scored in each batting position in Test cricket.

Note: The playing XI is listed as per the batting position in which the players are the leaders as on November 2023.

Openers: Alastair Cook (11845) and Sunil Gavaskar (9607)

Alastair Cook and Sunil Gavaskar will open the batting for this XI. Both these cricketers belong to different generations but left an indelible mark on the record books. If you take a look at the playing styles of both these players, it is actually an exciting cross-generational opening combination.

Cook is the only cricketer to score more than 10000 runs as an opener. It is a terrific feat to maintain this consistency. Even now, the cricketer is active in the County format. A traditional Test opener, it was Sunil Gavaskar who paved the way for the golden generation of Indian batting.

Middle-Order: Kumar Sangakkara (11679), Sachin Tendulkar (13492), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (6883), Steve Waugh (3165) and Adam Gilchrist (3948)

It will be a strong middle order for this playing XI based on the number of runs scored in each batting position in Test cricket. At No.3 is Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara. In this position, there have been many legends who excelled such as Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid. However, the southpaw batted for most of his career at No.3 and scored runs consistently to take up this slot. At No.4, it is a no-brainer that Sachin Tendulkar is the name. The competition for Sachin is Mahela Jayawardene, who scored almost 4000 runs less than what Sachin ended up scoring at No.4.

It is just about a different of hundred runs between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Steve Waugh for the No.5 position. However, the West Indian takes the spot. Nevertheless, at No.6, the former Aussie skipper scored 3165 runs and stands at the top of the list. Ben Stokes has 3084 runs at No.6 and he could claim this record soon. Adam Gilchrist usually left a massive impact while playing in the lower middle order in Tests. The wicketkeeper batter scored close to 4000 runs at an average of 46. He is at the top of the list and hence, finds a spot in this XI.

Bowlers: Daniel Vettori (2227), Stuart Broad (1362), Nathan Lyon (684)* and Trent Boult (644)

The Kiwis dominate in this department of the playing XI based on the number of runs scored in each batting position in Test cricket. Apart from his bowling exploits, Vettori was also a very useful batter. In fact, batting at No.8, the former Kiwi skipper scored four centuries. Stuart Broad has also scored a century while batting at No.9. Although Tim Southee is coming close to claim this record, Broad still stands at No.1.

Even at No.10, Stuart Broad has scored 786 runs and is the highest run-getter. Since he is already in the XI, we have Nathan Lyon, who comes at No.2 at No.10, in this XI. Until recently, James Anderson was the best No.11 batter. However, Trent Boult owns the distinction now.

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