Over the years, the game of cricket has seen so many legendary batsmen emerging from different teams. While the legendary players like Sir Don Bradman, Sir Viv Richards, Sunil Gavaskar dominated the cricket world, and from there on the legacy was taken forward by players like Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and many more. Today, when we talk about modern-day cricket, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson are currently leading the cricket world.
However, there have been a lot of players, who ruled at the top of the ICC rankings in Test match for many reasons.
Here, we bring you a list of 5 such batsmen, who dominated the Test rankings. Have a look:
5. Sachin Tendulkar (1994, 1998-2000):
One of the greatest cricketers of all-time, Sachin Tendulkar has achieved almost every record in cricket. The Master Blaster has played for 24 years during his glorious career in international cricket.
In 200 Tests he played, Sachin Tendulkar amassed 15,921 runs at an outstanding average of 53.75, including 51 centuries and 68 half-centuries. There have been many occasions when Sachin Tendulkar took team India to victory side as a one-man army.
It was in the year 1994, when he gained the top position at the ICC Test rankings. Then in 1998 again, he reached at the top spot and continued to remain at the leading position till 2000.
4. Ricky Ponting (2003, 2005-2007):
Australia’s most successful skipper, Ricky Ponting has been one of the most prolific cricketers. Though Ponting might not have stayed at the top of the ICC Rankings chart for a long time but he was always in and around the top spot. Ricky Ponting scored 32 Test hundreds during 2000 and 2009. Out of his 13378 runs in Test cricket, 9458 of them came during that decade.
In 2003, Ricky Ponting reached the number 1 position on the ICC Test rankings. But it was in 2005 that he regained the top position and started dominating that spot. He amassed 2877 runs across 25 Test matches in 2005 and 2006 before a slight loss in form and finally, an injury halted his charge.
3. Kumar Sangakkara (2007, 2010-2012):
Legendary Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara is one of the leading run-getters in the longest format of the game. In 134 Tests he played, Kumar Sangakkara amassed 12,400 runs at an impressive average of 57.40. Besides this, during his glamorous career, Kumar Sangakkara slammed 38 centuries and 52 half-centuries. He has also scored 11 double centuries in Test cricket.
It was in December 2007, when Kumar Sangakkara reached the top of the ICC Test rankings for the first time and then again in 2010, he regained the top position and stayed there for nearly three years before he was leapfrogged by Michael Clarke.
2. AB de Villiers (2013-2015):
One of the most talented and versatile cricketers, former South African skipper is known for his extraordinary qualities as a cricketer.
In 114 Test matches he played, AB de Villiers amassed 8,765 runs at a stunning average of 50.66, including 22 centuries and 46 half-centuries in the longest format of the game.
It was in 2013 when AB de Villiers reached the top of the ICC rankings and became the no. 1 Test batsman and he continued to dominate the rankings until 2015.
1. Steve Smith (2015-2018, 2019):
Over the last few years, Steve Smith has been in some smashing form. His brilliance started in 2014, where he averaged 81.86 while amassing 1146 runs in just nine Tests (17 innings). Between the years 2014 and 2018, Steve Smith smashed 21 Test hundreds. During the four calendar years 2014-2017, Steve never averaged less than 71.
It was in 2015 when he took over AB de Villiers to that position. Steve Smith then held the number one position until he was banned and had to stay away from the game. Since then, Virat Kohli has been ruling the charts.