A total of 72 players have turned out in 100 or more Test matches over the years, the list being topped by Sachin Tendulkar, who played 200 games — here’s the full list of players with the most five-day appearances in the history of the game.
Tendulkar’s record of 200 Test matches may stay on for longer. James Anderson, second on the list, is already 40, and needs to play another 28 matches to draw level. A total of 10 cricketers have represented their countries in 150 or more Tests, including three from each of England and Australia.
We take a look at the players with the most Test appearances.
Sachin Tendulkar – India
200 Tests, 15,921 runs @ 53.78, 100s: 51
The Master Blaster has played the most Test matches by some distance, and has – logically – scored the most runs and hundreds in history. Only two others have played 100 Tests with a better average. Over the span of a 24-year long career, he took on bowlers in all conditions, and etched his name as among the greatest batters of all time. The fact that Virat Kohli, who was once expected to break Tendulkar’s records, has fallen off the radar of late and is now at a stage where the feats look insurmountable, is evidence of the consistency Tendulkar managed.
James Anderson – England
172 Tests, 657 wickets @ 26.36, 5-fors: 32
The only active player in the top five list, Anderson is still going strong. The top wicket-taker among pacers and the third-highest overall, he is one of the finest in the history of the game, having established himself against the greatest batters. He has taken 135 wickets since the start of 2018 at an average of 22.57, and is showing no signs of stopping.
Ricky Ponting – Australia
168 Tests, 13,378 runs @ 51.85, 100s: 41
A maverick leader as well as a champion batter, Ponting is next to only Tendulkar in the all-time list of run-scorers. In a strong batting line-up, Ponting held on to his own, establishing himself as one of the greats. He is below only Don Bradman in the overall ratings from Australia, and his stubbornness to not back down from a fight made him a much-feared cricketer.
Steve Waugh – Australia
168 Tests, 10,927 runs @ 51.06, 100s: 32
92 wickets @ 37.44, 5-fors: 3
Waugh, Ponting’s predecessor as Australian captain, had played a huge part in turning the team into ferocious world beaters. The captain of the side when they won 15 of their 16 successive Tests in the early part of the century, he is also one of three Australians to have scored over 10,000 runs. He was also a fine medium-pacer in his early days.
Jacques Kallis – South Africa
166 Tests, 13,289 runs @ 55.37, 100s: 45
292 wickets @ 32.65, 5-fors: 5
It is inspiring what Kallis could achieve over his 18-year career. He has the second-most Test centuries to his name, along with the second-best average among batters with at least 100 appearances in the format. His bowling allowed South Africa to play with an extra batter, and the difference between his batting and bowling averages (22.71) is the second-best in the game among players with at least 100 wickets.
Other players with 150+ Test appearances:
Shivnarine Chanderpaul: 164 Tests, West Indies
Rahul Dravid: 164 Tests, India
Alastair Cook: 161 Tests, England
Allan Border: 156 Tests, Australia
Stuart Broad: 156 Tests, England