Ahead of India’s first Test series at home since 2019, we’ve picked out an XI of visiting players who found success when they toured the country over the course of their careers.
The statistics listed are of the player’s Test record in India.
Alastair Cook – England
13 matches, 1,235 runs @ 51.45
England’s most prolific run-scorer in Test history kicked off his international career in India, and with immediate success. He reached three figures on debut at Nagpur in 2006 and went on to enjoy a particularly run-laden series in 2012, in his first series as England’s full-time Test captain: three hundreds featured in his tally of 562 runs across four Tests as the visitors secured a famous 2-1 series win.
Matthew Hayden – Australia
11 matches, 1,027 runs @ 51.35
In a famous 2001 series Australia lost 2-1, Hayden sparkled in to truly launch his Test career seven years on from his debut. The left-hander swept hard on his way to 549 runs in just three Tests, hitting a 119 at Mumbai and a double-century at Chennai.
Hashim Amla – South Africa
10 matches, 941 runs @ 62.73
No visiting batsman has more runs at No.3 in India than Amla, who made his Test debut at Eden Gardens in 2004. His most extraordinary run in the country came in 2010 when he reeled off consecutive scores of 253 not out, 114 and 123 not out to finish with a series average of 490.
Everton Weekes – West Indies
5 matches, 779 runs @ 111.28
Weekes was just four Tests into his career when he rocked up in India in 1948 to kick-off a memorable run against the hosts. In four consecutive innings across three Tests, Weeks hit four hundreds. Including his maiden Test hundred against England in March earlier that year, Weekes had put together a sequence five consecutive Test hundreds – it remains a record to this day.
Clive Lloyd (c) – West Indies
14 matches, 1,359 runs @ 75.50
No visiting batsman has as many Test runs in India as Lloyd, who was particularly brilliant in the country as a skipper. In 11 Tests as a captain in India, Lloyd’s average escalated to 80.85, with his unbeaten 242 not out at Mumbai in 1975 the highest score of his international career.
Andy Flower (wk) – Zimbabwe
5 matches, 820 runs @ 117.14
In his first six Test innings in India, Flower passed fifty on each occasion; in half of those innings, he turned his half-centuries into tons. Those six knocks came with the gloves on, too – as a wicketkeeper he averaged 239 with the bat in India.
Garry Sobers – West Indies
8 matches, 899 runs @ 99.88 | 24 wickets @ 26.75
Arguably the greatest all-rounder of all time, Sobers enjoyed plentiful returns in two Test series against India. In 1958/59, he hit three centuries in consecutive matches to help West Indies to a 3-0 series win; in 1966/67, he crossed fifty in all five of his innings, contributing 14 wickets, too.
Richie Benaud – Australia
8 matches, 52 wickets @ 18.38
Derek Underwood is the only visiting bowler with more Test wickets in India than Benaud. The Australia leg-spinner took the only 10-wicket match-haul of his Test career at Eden Gardens in 1956 when he returned 11-105 in a 94-run win.
Jason Gillespie – Australia
7 matches, 33 wickets @ 21.72
In the 21st century only Nathan Lyon has more Test wickets in India than Gillespie among overseas bowlers. The Australian quick was his country’s leading wicket-taker when they famously beat India 2-1 in 2004, his 20 wickets in that series coming at an average of just 16.15.
Lance Gibbs – West Indies
9 matches, 39 wickets @ 23.38
After one wicketless Test as a 24-year-old at Kanpur in 1958, Gibbs returned to India in 1966/67 and finally in 1974/75, enjoying far more success. In his final Test in the country, at Mumbai in January 1975, the off-spinner returned figures of 7-98 in India’s first innings at the age of 40.
Courtney Walsh – West Indies
7 matches, 43 wickets @ 18.55
No visiting quick has taken as many Test wickets in India as Walsh, who was the leading wicket-taker in a drawn four-match series between the two sides in 1987/88, his 26 scalps including a match haul of 9-94 at Mumbai.