Most Test Runs Scored as a Captain
Test cricket is that one format of cricket that requires the utmost concentration and skill to achieve proficiency and excellence in the same. While captaincy is an arduous task, performing with the bat and accumulating runs for your side in Test cricket is no easy feat. However, the batting records of modern-day Test captains like Virat Kohli (India), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), and Joe Root (England) suggest that these players have thrived under the pressure of leading their side in Test match cricket.
Batting legends of the past like Graeme Smith (South Africa), Ricky Ponting (Australia), and Brian Lara (West Indies) have also contributed significantly to their sides while captaining them in Test cricket.
However, let’s find out which player has gone on to score the most Test runs as captain and which current day player is close to the record and may go on to break the same.
With 25 centuries and 36 half-centuries to his name, pragmatic South African batsman and captain Graeme Smith holds the record for scoring the most Test runs as a captain. Having played 117 Test matches in total, Smith has led the side in 109 matches, and at an average of 47.84, he has gone on to score a total of 8659 runs. Coincidentally, Smith also holds the record of registering the most Test wins as captain (53 wins) that suggests the important role that the batsman played in his team’s success.
Australia legend Allan Border occupies the number two position on the list of players who have scored the most Test runs as captain. Captaining the Australian team in 93 Test matches, Border scored a total of 6623 runs at an average of more than 50. This shows the kind of impact and consistency that Allan Border had on the Australian side during his years of captaincy.
Undoubtedly, one of the best Test captains in the game’s history, Australian captain Ricky Ponting captained his team to 48 victories in the 77 matches that he was a captain in. Despite having players formidable players like Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Matthew Hayden and Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting held his own in terms of the runs he accumulated with the bat. Ponting went on to score 6542 runs with 19 Test centuries under during his years of leading a formidable Australian team.
Most Test Runs Scored as a Captain: Modern-Day Captains
Here’s a list of some modern-day batting greats who captain their sides and contribute to their team’s overall success by piling on the runs. Let’s take a look at the records of some of these players in terms of the number of Test runs scored while captaining their sides.
Under the leadership of Virat Kohli, team India has managed to win 39 of the 66 matches that he has led the side in, which is an impressive feat in itself. With an average of 55.37, Kohli has amassed a total of 5703 runs as the captain of India which clearly shows the kind of impact that he has on the batting lineup of the current Indian Test squad.
Current England captain Joe Root is another captain who seems to thrive under pressure that captaincy brings with it. So far, Root has captained England in 57 Test matches and has scored a total of 4773 runs to date. Given the current form that Joe Root is in, it’s only a matter of time before he breaks into the list of scoring the most runs as a Test captain alongside the likes of Graeme Smith and Ricky Ponting.
In recent times, oppositions have struggled in getting Steven Smith dismissed in Test cricket when he comes out to bat. Before the entire ‘sandpaper-gate’ scandal, Smith was the Australian captain and led them to 18 victories in the 34 matches that he captained his side in. He scored a mind-boggling 3659 runs during this period at an average of more than 70, which shows just how consistent Smith is as a Test batsman.
One of the calmest players in modern cricket out there, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is another player who thrives under the pressure of scoring runs in a Test match as the captain of the side. Williamson has captained New Zealand in 38 Test matches out of which the side has won 22 Test matches, including the ICC World Test Championship. He has scored a total of 3235 Test runs at an average of over 60 and thus shows what a proficient batsman he is in Test cricket.
Handling pressure is what international cricket demands and these players have been phenomenal in terms of both assuming the leadership role for their side and also putting in some consistent batting performances in Test cricket. The one thing that is common among all the players that are included in this list is their ability to handle the pressure and not let the situation get the better of them.