Birthday special in pics: Top 10 opening batsmen in Test cricket history
The other opener of the Greenidge-Haynes duo, Desmond Haynes is also one of West Indiesâ most dependable batsmen. His calm and composed approach led him to put on a much more methodical batting style and is one of his biggest strengths. His partnership with Greenidge is one of the most successful as they posted the second highest partnership in Test history. Desmond Haynes played 116 Tests scoring 7,487 runs including 18 centuries and a top score of 184 at an average of 42.29. (Pic/ AFP)
Sunny, as he is nicknamed famously, is considered as one of the best opening batsmen in the history of cricket and also carved a niche for himself during his time. He was the first player to reach 10,000 Test runs as well as 30 centuries. His feat of 34 Test centuries was held for almost 20 years until it was broken by Sachin Tendulkar. Gavaskar played 125 Tests scoring 10,122 runs with a stunning average of 51.12 and a top score of 236*. He has a list of records to his name being the only Test cricketer to score more than 10,000 runs in a calendar year, score tons in each Test innings on three occasions and score 4 consecutive Test centuries at two different venues. (Pic/ Shailesh Mule)
Viru, as he is fondly called, is ranked amongst Indiaâs finest opening Test batsmen in recent times. His unforgettable 319, is the highest individual score by an Indian cricketer as well as the fastest Test hundred recorded by any batsman. He is the only Indian player and fourth overall to score two Test triple-centuries. He played 104 Tests scoring 8,586 runs at a stunning average of 49.34 including 23 centuries. (Pic/ Agencies)
Geoff Boycott has easily established himself as one of Englandâs finest opening batsman in Test cricket. Debuting in 1964, Sir Geoffreyâs great career of 108 Test matches includes 8,114 runs with a strong average of 47.72. He ranks as the fourth highest Test run scorer for England. He ties with Alastair Cook in most centuries by an England Test player. His highest score is an unbeaten 246. He is also part of 48 ton partnerships, which is the most for any England player. In 1977, he became the first England player to bat for all five days of a Test.
The significance of Graeme Smith as a cricketer goes much deeper than him being just a great batsman. At a young age, Biff, as he is nicknamed, not only managed to impress all with the bat but also his leadership as a captain of South Africa. He was the fastest South African to score 1,000 Test runs and holds record for most centuries by a skipper in Test wins, with 15 tons. He has played 117 Tests scoring 9,265 runs at an average of 48.25 and a highest score of 277 runs. (Pic/ AFP)
The left-handed opening batsman from England has figures that speak highly of him at such a young age. He was the only England player to score 4 centuries before turning 22. He was also the youngest England player to score 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000 runs. In December 2012, he became the youngest cricketer to score 7,000 runs. Cooky, as he is called, played in 109 Tests scoring an impressive 8, 423 runs at an average of 46.02 and a high score of 294. (Pic/ AFP)
Greenidge is known to be not only one of West Indiesâ best Test openers but also one of their most aggressive. His attacking stroke play was much dreaded by the opposition and it did not require him to be much of a runner between wickets. His partnership with Desmond Haynes is also one of cricketâs finest opening partnerships in history. In his 108-Test match career, the West Indian has amassed 7,558 runs overall with an average of 44.72 and a highest score of 226 runs.
The Australian left-handed batsman is widely recognized for his hard-hitting aggressive style and ability to score runs quickly in Tests. He holds the record for the highest score by an Australian when he scored 380 runs which also saw him break Brian Laraâs record for highest individual score (375); only for Lara to break it again in 2004. Hayden overtook Donald Bradmanâs record of most Test centuries by an Australian when he scored his 30th ton. Matt Hayden played 103 Tests scoring 8,625 runs with a brilliant average of 50.73. (Pic/ Satyajit Desai)
During his time, Goochie, as he is nicknamed, was known to be amongst the most successful batsmen in cricket. He has scored the most runs in Tests for England with 8,900 runs and has 20 centuries to his name. At the time of his retirement he was the third highest run scorer in Tests overall. He averages at 42.58 with a highest score of 333. (Pic/ AFP)
The Australian opening batsman was peculiarly known for his resilience at the crease which enabled him to spend a long time there. His defensive batting style made him a problem for the opposition. In his 67-Test match career, Lawry has scored 5, 234 runs maintaining a strong average of 47.15 with 13 centuries to his name and a top score of 210 runs.