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Keeping the Bat Churning: The 10 Batters Fastest to 2000 Test Runs

Jishnu Brahmaputra
December 13, 2021, 13:15
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Keeping the Bat Churning: The 10 Batters Fastest to 2000 Test Runs

When it comes to batting in Test cricket, even a long-playing tailender can often cross a thousand runs. However, it’s at 2,000 runs that the real batters come in, sieving out those who occasionally chip in with a shot or two. Many batters have reached this mark, but in this article, we will only focus on the 10 who were the fastest to it.

It’s interesting to see that only one batter from the 21st century makes it to this list, with the majority having had their careers in the first half of the 20th. With away matches more common and more diverse pitches around the world, it has become exceedingly difficult for modern batters to match the prolific scoring rates of those from the olden days.

Nevertheless, here we go.

Player Opposition Ground Match Date Debut Time Mat Inns Scorecard
DG Bradman (AUS) v South Africa Brisbane 27 Nov 1931 30 Nov 1928 2y 362d 15 22 Test # 212
GA Headley (WI) v England Lord’s 24 Jun 1939 11 Jan 1930 9y 164d 17 32 Test # 272
H Sutcliffe (ENG) v West Indies Manchester 21 Jul 1928 14 Jun 1924 4y 37d 22 33 Test # 174
MEK Hussey (AUS) v India Sydney 2 Jan 2008 3 Nov 2005 2y 60d 20 33 Test # 1857
KD Walters (AUS) v South Africa Cape Town 22 Jan 1970 10 Dec 1965 4y 43d 22 35 Test # 670
BC Lara (WI) v Australia Bridgetown 31 Mar 1995 6 Dec 1990 4y 115d 22 35 Test # 1294
AR Morris (AUS) v England Adelaide 2 Feb 1951 29 Nov 1946 4y 65d 23 36 Test # 330
ED Weekes (WI) v India Port of Spain 19 Feb 1953 21 Jan 1948 5y 29d 23 36 Test # 367
FMM Worrell (WI) v England Port of Spain 17 Mar 1954 11 Feb 1948 6y 34d 22 36 Test # 385
IVA Richards (WI) v England The Oval 12 Aug 1976 22 Nov 1974 1y 264d 21 36 Test # 781

List of the 10 batters fastest to 2,000 Test runs 

1. Sir Donald Bradman (Australia)

Although relatively slow in getting to his first 1,000 runs, the man who was arguably the greatest Test batter of all time by some way had begun showing what he was capable of by the time he doubled those runs. Bradman got to 2,000 runs in a ridiculous 22 innings. For context, the next closest person to him in this regard took no fewer than ten more innings to reach the same milestone, with the competition being much closer from that point onwards. Bradman achieved this feat in November 1931 — almost exactly 3 full years after his career had begun — against South Africa in a one-sided affair in Brisbane.

2. George Headley (West Indies)

Ninth on the list of those fastest to 1,000 runs, George Headly kept his strides long by coming second to 2,000. Debuting at the start of 1930, Headley wasn’t the most regular cricketer, so even though it only took him just 32 innings to be a part of this list, it took him nine and a half years to get there. The match in question was against England at the Home of Cricket. Despite Headley’s brilliant century, the English cruised to a comfortable victory.

3. Herbert Sutcliffe (England)

First to a thousand, Sutcliffe subsequently slowed down somewhat and only got to 2,000 in third place in his 33rd innings. In a low-scoring Manchester match, Sutcliffe’s half-century helped England achieve a romping victory against the visiting West Indies. The match took place just over four years after his debut, and he would go on to become a bonafide legend in English cricket.

Keeping the Bat Churning: The 10 Batters Fastest to 2000 Test Runs

4. Mike Hussey (Australia)

The only batter on this list to have made this list this side of the millennium, Mike Hussey didn’t have the greatest start to his career but caught up strongly to reach the milestone in the same number of innings as Sutcliffe. Just over 2 years since his career had begun, Australia was playing India in Sydney. In a high-scoring match, Hussey’s second-innings 145 helped Australia get the decisive edge that got them over the line to clinch victory.

5. Doug Walters (Australia)

Taking the number five spot is an Australian all-round mainstay of the late 60s and 70s. Walters got to his 2k in his 35th innings in an away match against South Africa in Cape Town. Australia wasn’t in the best of form, and despite Walters’s 73, they lost by a massive margin. The match took place in January 1970, just over 4 years after the veteran all-rounder’s December 1965 introduction.

6. Brian Lara (West Indies)

If Bradman was the king of averages, Brian Charles Lara was the master of the long game. An exceptionally gifted batter, he conquered the highest individual score in Tests not once, but twice. Making his debut in December 1990, Lara got to 2,000 in March 1995, with 4 years and 115 days separating the two points. Playing against Australia in Bridgetown, Lara’s 65 in the first innings — his 35th — was one of the few points of note in an embarrassing loss for the West Indies.

7. Arthur Morris (Australia)

During cricket’s rebirth in the Post-War years, a man called Arthus Morris made his debut for the Baggy Greens. Matches were still few and far between, though, and although he only needed 36 innings to get to the target of 2,000, it took him just over 4 years and 2 months to get to the target. The crucial runs came as part of his massive 206 which fueled Australia’s gargantuan 274-run thumping of their eternal rivals England in Adelaide.

Keeping the Bat Churning: The 10 Batters Fastest to 2000 Test Runs

8. Everton Weekes (West Indies)

The first of a triad of West Indians who wrap up this list, you’ve already met Weekes if you’ve read our list of fastest batters to 1,000 runs, where he ranked second. His 2,000 took a while to come, with 36 innings over 5 years being required by him to reach that milestone. The innings in question saw Weekes pile up a massive 161 to help the Windies exceed the first innings total of visiting India, and the match eventually went on to be a stalemate with time running out.

9. Frank Worrell (West Indies)

Another import from the aforementioned list, Worrell was a prolific batter for the Windies in the 50s. Debuting in February 1948, it took him 6 years to achieve the feat. The game in question happened while England were visiting Port of Spain, with Worrel’s substantial 167 helping the West Indies get to a mammoth total which England almost matched, leading to the match ending in a draw some way through the fourth innings.

10. Sir Vivian Richards (West Indies)

Completing a hat trick of a West Indian getting his 2000th run in the 36th innings of his career, the legendary Sir Richards brought about his 2k in less than 2 years. The match in which he did so was against England at The Oval, where his incredible 291 saw the Windies cruise to a 231-run victory. This game took place in August 1976, with Richards’s debut having taken place in November 1974.

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