Indian cricket has had a lot going in the past few years in the Test arena. India defeated Australia on their own turf twice, have taken a 2-1 lead in the unfinished series in England, continued the home domination and made it to the World Test Championship final.
However, the past couple of months hasn’t been great with India losing consecutive matches in South Africa and conceding the series after taking an early lead. That was followed by Virat Kohli’s unforeseen resignation as the Test skipper; Rohit Sharma has been named the new captain. Also, the selection committee decided to drop four seniors, ringing the new era changes.
On that note, let’s look at who have been India’s best Test batters since January 2019 (with a minimum of 1000 runs scored):
1.Rohit Sharma (1462 runs at 58.48)
Once not considered fit – temperamentally and physically – for Test cricket, Rohit Sharma has now emerged as the best current Indian batsman and also the new skipper. Sharma second wind in the longest format came when he was tried as an opener during the home South Africa series in October 2019; he responded by slamming 3 centuries in that series, including a double hundred, in 3 Tests.
That was followed by couple of decent outings in Australia. He then showed his elite mental fortitude last year against England, both home and away, and was India’s leading Test run-scorer in 2021, including scoring his first away Test ton.
2. Mayank Agarwal (1311 runs at 42.29)
Although Mayank Agarwal isn’t a first-choice opener now, with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma taking those spots, Agarwal has grabbed the chances he’s got, especially in India. Since 2019, he has raised 5 tons, including 2 double centuries, and a score of 150.
3. Rishabh Pant (1198 runs at 39.93)
Rishabh Pant has been in the form of his life since making his return to the side in Australia after being dropped from all three formats. Pant had started 2019 with a century in Sydney, but was dropped after low scores in the next two series.
He returned with a bang with two memorable knocks – in Sydney and then at Gabba helping India to an incredible series win. That was followed by a century at home against England before he entered into another slump of 7 Tests – but he soon shut his detractors with a terrific century in Cape Town earlier this year.
4. Virat Kohli (1373 runs at 38.11)
Virat Kohli, who became the first Asian captain to register a Test series win in Australia in 2019, had been in prime form until the end of that year, having scored a double century versus South Africa and then a century against Bangladesh in November 2019-his 70th international ton. To this day, fans have been kept in the wait for his 71st century.
Since his last century, Kohli has, though, churned out 6 high-quality half-centuries, however, has failed to convert any of them in a three-figure score.
5. Ajinkya Rahane (1461 runs at 33.97)
Ajinkya Rahane’s ton at the MCG in 2020, which changed the course of the series, will remain one of the greatest centuries by an Indian batter. However, remains his only ton since 2020. And his and Cheteshwar Pujara’s rope had been burnt out as both the senior batters are now axed from the team.
He scored two hundreds in 2019 but has been inconsistent since then, with occasional fifties here and there. His average since the start of 2021 has been 20.25 and there was no doubt that Rahane doesn’t hold a place in India’s best eleven on current form.
Also, to note is that Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari, KL Rahul, all three of whom have a better average than Rahane, have not been included in this list because they have scored less than the cut-off runs, 1000, for this list. Also, for anyone wondering, Cheteshwar Pujara’s average of 30 is even worse than Rahane’s.
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