Can you name cricketers with the most test centuries? If you are struggling, don’t worry. We got you.
Test cricket is the most challenging format of the sport, and it takes great skill and determination to reach the pinnacle of batting performance. That’s why a century in Test cricket has become one of the most sought-after milestones for batters. In this post, we take a look at 25 cricketers who have scored the most Test centuries. From Sachin Tendulkar to Joe Root, we’ll explore the career records of each and every cricketer who have achieved this extraordinary feat.
So, come join us and let’s dive into the fascinating world of cricketing greatness!
Sachin Tendulkar (51), Jacques Kallis (45), Ricky Ponting (41), Kumar Sangakkara (38), and Rahul Dravid (36) are the Top 5 batters with most centuries in Test cricket.
Sachin Tendulkar (119), Jacques Kallis (103), Ricky Ponting (103), Rahul Dravid (99), and Shivnaire Chanderpaul (96) have the most 50+ scores in Test cricket.
Sir Donald Bradman (99.94), Steve Smith (59.80), Sir Garfield Sobers (57.78), Kumar Sangakkara (57.40), and Jacques Kallis (55.37) have the highest average for players on this list of most Test centuries.
Sir Donald Bradman (29 – 100s, 13 – 50s)/Younis Khan (34/33), Matthew Hayden (30/29), Michael Clarke (28/27), and Virat Kohli (28/28) have the best conversion rates from fifties to hundreds in Test matches.
Sachin Tendulkar (15921), Ricky Ponting (13378), Jacques Kallis (13289), Rahul Dravid (13288), and Alastair Cook (12472) have scored the most Test runs.
Australia (8), India (4), South Africa, West Indies (3), Sri Lanka, England, Pakistan (2), and New Zealand (1) have produced the most players on this elite list.
Only Steve Smith (30), Joe Root (29), Virat Kohli (28), Kane Williamson (28), and David Warner (25) are the remaining active players on this list.
There were some players that surprisingly missed out:
Notable Omissions: Mohammad Yousuf, Greg Chappell, Viv Richards (24) Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, Justin Langer, Javid Miandad (23), AB De Villiers, Geoffrey Boycott, Mohammad Azharuddin, Colin Cowdrey, Ian Bell (22)
Test Cricket Batting Records: Top 25 List of Most Test Centuries
In this Top 25 list of cricketers with the most Test centuries, each cricketer has more than 25 Test hundreds to their names.
Note: To break ties, we went the player with the most 50+ scores. In addition, players with * next to their names are still active in international cricket.
1. Sachin Tendulkar (51), India
Years Played: 1989-2013, Test Matches Played: 200
Total 50+ Scores: 119 (51 – 100s, 68 – 50s)
Runs Scored: 15921
Sachin Tendulkar stands at the top of the list with a whopping 51 Test centuries, establishing him as one of the greatest batsmen in cricket history.
Ricky Ponting is the all-time highest run scorer for Australia in Test cricket, and his 41 centuries have put him firmly at third on this list. Ponting’s career was marked by consistent runs, hundreds in various conditions, and captaincy glory.
Rahul Dravid, nicknamed ‘The Wall’, is one of the only few cricketers to have scored centuries in all 10 Test playing nations. His 36 centuries and 99 50+ scores make him one of the most prolific batsmen in history. Along with Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid formed a formidable partnership for India’s batting line up during the late 90s and early 2000s.
Mahela Jayawardene is the highest Test run scorer for Sri Lanka, with 11814 runs in 149 Tests. His batting style was known for its elegance and grace, and he will be remembered as one of the greats of Sri Lankan cricket.
Brian Lara is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in cricket history. He holds the record for the highest individual score in Test cricket (400*). His elegant stroke play set him apart from the rest of the pack.
Sunil Gavaskar is considered to be one of the best openers to have ever played cricket. His Test centuries scores speak volumes about his ability with the bat, and he holds the record for most Test centuries by an Indian batsman. He was known for his defensive technique and in a career spanning 16 years.
Younis Khan was a Pakistani batting icon and his 34 centuries speak volumes of his ability. He is the only player in the world to have scored centuries in 11 countries*, and he holds the record for most Test centuries by a Pakistani batsman. His attitude towards cricket made him an inspiration to many young players.
*since UAE/Pakistan both hosted home matches for Pakistan during his career
Sir Alastair Cook, one of the most successful English batsmen in history, has 33 Test centuries to his name. He holds several records for England’s batting performance, including most consecutive tests and most runs scored (until Joe Root takes over, of course). His success is due to his hard work and dedication, which have made him a true legend of the game.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul was one of the most consistent and reliable batsmen for West Indies. His 96 50+ scores speak of his ability to bat long and dominate the bowlers, especially as a lower middle order batter.
Matthew Hayden was a powerhouse of Australian cricket. He was known for his aggressive style of play and ability to dominate the bowlers in all conditions. His Test hundred conversion rate still stands tall in world cricket, and he will be remembered as one of Australia’s finest batsmen.
Steve Smith is a modern-day batting legend, and his Test average around 60 (after almost 100 tests) is one of the highest among contemporary batsmen. His success has been due to his meticulous approach to the game and ability to dominate any bowling attack.
Joe Root is the name that comes to mind when talking about England’s current batting lineup. He has been a consistent performer for England, and his dedication and commitment to improving as a player are admirable. His stellar 2021-22 season has definitely put him as one of greatest batsmen of our generation, if not all-time.
Probably the greatest batsman of all time, Sir Donald Bradman needs no introduction. His incredible average of nearly 100 is a testament to his legendary batting skills and ability to dominate any bowling attack in the world. He was one of the most feared batsmen of his era, and he will continue to inspire generations of cricketers for years to come.
Hashim Amla was one of South Africa’s most consistent batsmen, and his style of play has been a delight to watch. His ability to stay focused and grind out long innings made him an integral part of the Proteas’ batting line-up for many years.
Michael Clarke was one of Australia’s most successful captains, and his batting record speaks for itself. He was known for his calm approach to the game, and he had a knack for scoring big runs when it mattered the most. The way he batted in the double century filled 2012-13 season was just amazing to watch.
Kane Williamson is one of the best batsmen in the world, and his ability to build an innings from scratch and score big runs has made him a star. His calm demeanor and sound technique have enabled him to dominate in all conditions, making him one of the most respected cricketers of our time.
With Ross Taylor, he formed the core of a World Test Championship winning middle order.
Virat Kohli is a modern-day batting great, and his ability to score runs at will has made him one of the most feared batsmen in world cricket. His aggressive style of play combined with his natural technique make him a force to be reckoned with, especially his exploits in Australia, South Africa, and memorable comeback in England.
Allan Border was known for being a gritty player with an eye for scoring big runs, and he was able to do so even on difficult pitches. His contribution to Australia’s success in the 1980s and 1990s cannot be understated.
Graeme Smith was known for his fearless batting, and he led the South African team with bravery and determination. He was able to stay at the crease for long periods of time and score big runs in difficult conditions, making him one of the greatest opening batsmen in history.
Sir Garfield Sobers is widely regarded as one of the greatest all-round cricketers in history. His talent and skill with both bat and ball have rarely been matched, and his ability to control a match with his batting was remarkable. He will forever be remembered for his incredible achievements on the cricket field.
Inzamam Ul-Haq was one of Pakistan’s most consistent batsmen, and he was able to score big runs when the team needed them. His ability to play with power and finesse made him a formidable opponent for any bowler. With Younis & Yousuf, Pakistan had a stable middle order that they had lacked earlier.
Final Thoughts on Test Crickets Greatest Centurions
Test cricket is a game of patience, skill and strategy, and several cricketers have been able to master it.
The players on this list are have scored the most test centuries in cricket history. This indicates the impact they had and the number of the games they changed. Each one has made an incredible contribution to the sport through their individual performances. Their feats will continue to be remembered for years to come as a testament to the sheer brilliance and dedication of these players. Test cricket will always be a game of heroes.
Most Test Centuries – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who has the most centuries in Test Cricket?
Sachin Tendulkar (51), Jacques Kallis (45), Ricky Ponting (41), Kumar Sangakkara (38), Rahul Dravid (36), Mahela Jayawardene (34), Brian Lara (34), Sunil Gavaskar (34), Younis Khan (34), and Alastair Cook (33), are the Top 10 batters with most centuries in Test cricket.
2. Who has scored the most double centuries in Test cricket?
Sir Donald Bradman (12), Kumar Sangakkara (11), Brian Lara (9), Wally Hammond (7), Virat Kohli (7), and Mahela Jayawardene have scored the most Test double centuries.
3. Who has scored the most Test centuries in a calendar year?
Mohammad Yousuf (9, 2006), Ricky Ponting (7, 2006), Sir Vivian Richards (7, 1976), Aravinda de Silva (7, 1997), and Sachin Tendulkar (7, 2010) scored the most Test centuries in a calendar year.
4. Who has scored the most Test centuries for India?
Sachin Tendulkar (51), Rahul Dravid (36), Sunil Gavaskar (34), Virat Kohli (28), Virender Sehwag (23), Mohammad Azharuddin (22), Cheteshwar Pujara (19), Dilip Vengsarkar (17), VVS Laxman (17), and Sourav Ganguly (16) have scored the most Test hundreds for India.
5. Who has scored the most Test centuries for England?
Alastair Cook (33), Joe Root (29), Kevin Pietersen (23), Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, Geoffrey Boycott, Ian Bell (22), Andrew Strauss (21), Ken Barrington, Graham Gooch (20), Len Hutton (19), Michael Vaughan, David Gower (18), and Denis Compton (17) scored the most Test hundreds for England.
6. Who has scored the most Test centuries for Australia?
Ricky Ponting (41), Steve Waugh (32), Steve Smith (30), Matthew Hayden (30), Sir Don Bradman (29), Michael Clarke (28), Allan Border (27), David Warner (25), Greg Chappell (24), Justin Langer (23), Neil Harvey, David Boon (21), Mark Waugh (20), Mike Hussey, Mark Taylor (19), and Adam Gilchrist (17) scored the most hundreds for Australia.
Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes released today on Amazon Prime Video, the same day the English scored a commanding century against South Africa. This is a story that captures England captain, Ben Stokes’ journey through the ups and downs of his illustrious career.
Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Review: Skip It or Watch It?
I will get straight to the point—The Review. Ben Stokes: Phoenix from the Ashes Review is not necessarily a must watch documentary. However, it is an important one.
It is skippable in the sense that Ben Stokes’ career is an open book—Humble roots in New Zealand, an upcoming youngster in the England circuit, The Bristol brawl incident, eleven-month court trial & media pressure, Carlos Brathwaite 4 sixes in Kolkata, IPL heroics, the 2019 World Cup final and Headingly heist, finger and knee injuries, his father’s terminal brain cancer, mother’s legal suit against The Sun newspaper for exploiting another personal tragedy, global pandemic, mental health break, and captaincy comeback. In a sense, nothing new is revealed about Ben Stokes. In addition, the picturization and flashback sequences are not the most coherent.
However, it is an important film due to the first-person points of view of Stokes & his family as well as Sam Mendes’ interview with Stokes while he was struggling with his mental health. It was courageous for Stokes to explain what he was going through on such a large platform. Appearances of Joe Root, Stuart Broad, manager Neil Fairbrother, and Stokes’ father adds immense value to the documentary.
Watch It For: The Interview, Highlight Packages, Ben Stokes’ cricket practice videos from U-12 & U-15 cricket, Mark Wood’s comic timing, Joe Root’s heartfelt messages
Don’t Watch it for: The overly dramatic background music
Prime Video Summary: A refreshingly honest filmabout an extraordinary cricketer. Directors Chris Grubb and Luke Mellows were allowed unprecedented access to Ben’s Life with interviews and insights by Sam Mendes.
Protagonist: Ben Stokes
Teammates: Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer
Commentators/Ex-Cricketers: Ian Bishop, Isa Guha, Shane Warne
Other: Dean Wilson (journalist), Phil Scott (England’s strength & conditioning coach), Neil Fairbrother (Stokes’ Manager), Vithushan Ehantharajah
Context: The Bristol brawl halted Stokes career due to the litigation, investigation, and media tensions that followed. The documentary walks through what Stokes’ family went through at this point. Although he was not found guilty of affray, the media only portrayed the negative side of things. Stokes had already been involved in a few incidents earlier in the England team like punching lockers, getting banned from driving to four speeding tickets, etc., and this incident was almost the nail in the coffin.
Stokes clears up what exactly happened and why he was involved in the incident in the documentary (he was defending his friends from homophobic abuses)
2. Heartbreak at the 2016 T20 World Cup Final
Quotes: That experience would have broken lesser mortals; Makes you even more hungry
“That experience would have broken lesser mortals” – Ian Bishop
Context: The 2016 T20 World Cup Final would forever be remembered for Ian Bishop’s iconic Remember the Name phrase when describing Carlos Brathwaite’s heroics. On the other end of the spectrum was Stokes, absolutely gutted. How he came back from the lows of 2016 to the highs of 2019s is an inspirational journey for all.
Context: The 2016 T20 World Cup final was a disappointment. However, it is portrayed in the film that the 2017 Bristol incident was the most impactful turning point in Ben Stokes’ career and life. He became a more mature individual, grew closer to family, and learned which people who could trust. At this point, he almost quit cricket and had to dive deep to figure out what used to drive him to give it his all.
4. Mental Health Awareness
Quote: This can happen to someone who is perceived as invincible; I noticed how emotionless I was
“This can happen to someone who is perceived as invincible” – Joe Root
Context: The interview was conducted two weeks after Ben Stokes’ suffered his major panic attack and decided to take a break from cricket. Stokes looked visibly fatigued and recalled a panic attack he suffered which included shortness of breath.
Mental health, especially in sport, is an important topic and can occur to anybody regardless of his or her stature.
5. The Larger-Than-Life Hero
Quote: His life is a story you could not script; Trauma, grief, strength, and defiance
“His life is a story you could not script” – Sam Mendes
Context: Rarely hasa cricketer in recent memory suffered the ebbs and flows to the extent as Stokes has. He has touched glory with starring roles in World Cup and Ashes victories. On the other hand, he has had to see his father, a former Rugby league player in New Zealand, pass away after a fight with terminal brain cancer.
The number of days it took both Sir Alastair Cook & Joe Root to break the 10,000 run barrier, incidentally the only two English two cricketers to do so. In comparison, it took the great Sachin Tendulkar 31 years & 326 days to breach that mark.
What a moment. 10,000 runs with the same shot as his 100 at Lord’s. Nasser Hussain, as he always does, chose the best possible words to sum it up,
The Tale of Three Legends—Joe Root, Sachin Tendulkar, and Alastair Cook
By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 06/08/2022
What’s better? Since his debut, it has only taken Root 9 years & 171 days to achieve this landmark. In comparison, Jayawardene-Tendulkar-Gavaskar took about 14-15 years after their debuts and Younis-Chanderpaul about 17-18 years (And yes yes, you’re right. Root took 218 innings, Cook took 229, and England play more Tests than anybody else, but that isanother story).
Joe Root is definitely in the prime of his career. There was a time when Root was going to be uprooted from the Fab 4. With Root inability to convert fifties into hundreds, Babar Azam’s glorious entry, Kane Williamson’s prime, & the god-level cricket Steven Smith & Virat Kohli were producing between 2016-2018, surely Root’s status was being questioned.
Post the pandemic, Smith, Kohli, and Williamson’s needles have barely moved, both in terms of runs and hundreds.
Joe Root, on the other hand, has been on a different level. 21 Tests, 41 innings, 9 hundreds, 4 fifties, 56.23 average since January 2021. And these 9 hundreds include 5 daddy hundreds—228, 218, 186, 180*, and 153. The fact that he did this as England’s Test captain, when they only won 1 out of 17 Tests, in conditions such as Sri Lanka, India, West Indies, and Australia makes his run even more unbelievable.
So naturally the question arises. In the prime of his career, relieved of captaincy pressure, with possibly another 5-10 years ahead of him,can Joe Root break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 15,921 Test runs?
Root has left the rest of the Fab Four in his tracks 😲
Cook scored his first hundred at at the age of 21. In the next 7 years, he racked up 25 total. In his prime, his record read:
2009: 3 Tons
Tons in overseas Ashes win & subcontinental hundreds, Cook was at the top of the world. Even though he slowed down after 2013, by the time he climbed the 10K runs mountain, he had already amassed 28 Test centuries. And he was still young.
It looked like he was meant to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 51 Test hundreds.
But then he didn’t.
He fell short. In fact, very, very short. Not by one, or two, or even 10 hundreds. By 18 hundreds.
Alastair Cook would only score 5 more centuries and retire from international cricket at the age of 33.
In comparison, when Tendulkar was about 31 years & 157 days old, he had 33 centuries already.
However, his form was about to take a dip. Between December 2004 & May 2007, Tendulkar only scored one Test century, a 109 vs Sri Lanka in 2005.
Questions were asked. Retirement calls surrounded the media. He couldn’t seem to go past the nervous nineties in ODI cricket. Tennis elbow injuries, Greg Chappell controversy, 2007 ODI WC horror—you name it, it looked like the end for legend Sachin Tendulkar.
But then Sachin Tendulkar had a second wind (almost as long as other people’s entire career). From 2008-2011, he scored 14 Test centuries. That is 14 hundreds after the age of 35.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Joe Rooooooooooooot needs 5906 more Test runs to equal Tendulkar’s record of 15,921, which is a very long way to go
He’s scored 5912 runs in his last 69 Tests
You could add Trescothick’s entire career to Root’s and it would still be short of Tendulkar’s runs
As Mark Puttick pointed out, Trescothick scored 5825 runs in his entire 76-Test career. Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh’s most prolific Test run-scorer, has scored 5235 runs after 82 Tests and 15 years.
Root needs 5906 more.
He either needs to continue his golden touch for couple more years or needs to have a Tendulkar-esque final phase.
So, Can Joe Root Overtake Sachin Tendulkar’s Test Run Tally?
Cook retired early not because cricket had left him. He retired because he had given his everything to the game and achieved what every aspiring English player would dream of. He might even have been burnt out.
It was just a personal choice. Maybe he just wanted to give back to the roots at Essex. He is still going strong at County Cricket. Currently standing at 72 first class tons and having a stellar season.
Life is nonlinear.
Unlike statistics on a chart, real-life will have its share of twists and turns. There will be bumps on the road. Us armchair critics just jump to conclusions too quickly. No individual can continue to be at the peak of powers infinitely.
Joy – Overly optimistic English cricket fan. Cheerful.
Curiosity– What is life? Why are we here? Always asks questions, glass half-full kind of person. Philosophical.
Suspicion – Why does anything even matter?Always ask questions, glass half-empty kind of person.
Disappointment – We are all doomed from the start individual.
Satisfaction – (cameo role)
The Hundred – The new couple on the block.
English Cricket – Thought he had everything figured out on 14th July, 2019, but is currently going through a mid-life crisis. Wants to be friends with the Hundred without offending County Cricket.
County Cricket – Father figure of English cricket. Abode of wisdom.
Moeen Ali & Chris Woakes(cameo role) – as Moeen Ali & Chris Woakes
Bartender – (cameo)
Some bar in London
Curiosity and Joy were strolling down the street in London looking for County cricket but collided with a couple—The Hundred. They decide to go to a bar and started introducing themselves, but little did they know that the conversation was about to go south really quick.
ACT I: England Have Their Own League?
The Hundred: “Hi, mind if we join you? We are The Hundred. English cricket is launching us!”
Joy:“Yay! England are branding their own league!”
The Hundred: “Yes super excited! Will be great for English cricket and women’s cricket. After years of delay, we will finally get our time at glory.”
Joy:“BUT….England’s cricket is already pretty great…Anyway I will miss the T20 Blast.”
The Hundred: “Well…The T20 Blast is not going anywhere…In fact, the quarter finals resume on August 24th.”
Curiosity: “Huh? How about County Cricket?”
The Hundred: “Still There.”
Joy: “Maybe they reduced a home England series from 5 matches to 3 to accommodate you.”
The Hundred: “Nope.”
Curiosity:“What??? How will English players survive with continuous cricket?”
The Hundred: : “Simple. Rest and Rotate. Specifically for series like India and New Zealand so England are all ready to go for the high pressure Sri Lanka series.”
Chris Woakes & Moeen Ali overhear this from the next table.
Chris Woakes & Moeen Ali (together):“We have built beautiful careers out of this Rest-And-Rotate strategy.”
English Cricket: “Yep! Never a dull moment with the me.”
*Chris Woakes walks out the door. England’s team management subsequently rests Woakes till the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.
ACT II: Who Is Even Playing?
Suspicion and disappointment walked into the bar.
Curiosity: “So, how is the Hundred different from the T20 Blast?”
The Hundred: “Just 8 franchise teams instead of 18 counties. International talent of high standard. The same franchise for both women & men play on the same day. 100 balls. Graphics. Free-to-air cricket. Fireworks. DJ. Ice cream.”
Curiosity: “OOh international talent…you mean like the Pollards and Russells and the David Warners, right?
The Hundred: “Well…except those players. They withdrew due to injuries, COVID, and international duties.”
Suspicion:“Alright spill the beans. You promised us this great international talent. Who all we missing?”
The Hundred: “Shaheen Shah Afridi & Shadab Khan won’t be there…for starters.”
The Hundred: “And Zampa, Maxwell, Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Finch, Rabada, Pooran said bye-bye as well. And sounds like Lamichanne, who is already in England quarantining, had some visa issues, so he is gone too.”
Joy: “At least there is Ellyse Perry, Sophie Devine, and Alyssa Healy for the Women’s Hundred.”
The Hundred: “About that…Perry, Healy, Devine, Amelia Kerra, Rachael Haynes, Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning, Ashleigh Gardner and a few more withdrew due to personal reasons as well. On a positive note, India did send Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, and Harmanpreet Kaur. Stefanie Taylor-Deandre Dottin-Lizelle Lee-Shabnaim Ismail-Dane van Niekerk-Laura Woolvaardt are some of the other talent on show.
Joy: “All hope lies on our great World Cup winning English golden generation. Glad they are still participating!”
The Hundred: “Yes, yes they are. Except Harry Gurney retired, Olly Stone is injured,…”
*under their breath, avoiding eye contact*
“Speaking of which, Mark Wood is preparing for the India Test series, and all the English Test players will only get 2 matches (Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Ollie Robinson, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes, AND Jonny Bairstow.) “
Disappointment: “I am going home. Australians, West Indies, Pakistanis missing? No Indian players either. Most of our home team is not completely available either. What fun are you? Sounds like nobody is playing.”
The Hundred: “Friends, Cheer up! The Kiwis, South Africans, and Afghans are still by us. Colin de Grandhomme replaced Russell. The great Devon Conway & Quinton de Kock were signed as replacements as well.”
Joy: “I am listening.”
The Hundred: “Destructive batters like Finn Allen, Glenn Phillips, Colin Munro, Colin Ingram, Chris Lynn, D’arcy Short. Bowlers of the calibre of Adam Milne, Mohammad Amir, Lockie Ferguson, Sunil Narine, and Mujeeb-Qais-Nabi-Rashid Khan.”
Joy: “Okay that sounds a bit better.”
The Hundred: “WAIT! There’s more. There is someone else. I am forgetting his name….Car…Carl,…?
Curiosity: “Carlos Brathwaite!!!!”
The Hundred: “But truly, English talent is on show as well. World’s best keeper Sarah Taylor & Liam Plunkett will be seen after a long time. At least for a few games, England’s A, B, C teams against each other! From the Heather Knights & Joe Roots to the Eoin Morgans & Alex Hales…”
Curiosity exits: Just as things were looking positive for this new group of friends, the police office barged it and took Curiosity away with the allegation that…Curiosity killed the cat.
ACT III: The Rules
County Cricket and English Cricket enter.
Suspicion:“You mentioned 100-balls. I mean, why? What is even the point?”
The Hundred: “Shorter game. Less time. More prime-time television. We are even penalizing the fielding time. If fielding team goes over time, they will have to sacrifice a fielder into the inner circle.”
Disappointment: “100 balls, T10 cricket, Ninety-Ninety. Cricket is dying. Timeless Tests—those were the days.”
Joy: “Yay, a 16.4 over contest! Love it!”
Suspicion: “So, just a reduced 20-over contest?”
The Hundred: “But there is more! Change of end every 10 balls. So you can bowl 2 overs of 5 balls each consecutively. Did I say over? What’s in an over? From today—no more overs! Only balls. “
County Cricket: “Frankly my dear, we don’t give a damn about your balls. Why would you steal our glory for the sake of 20 balls?”
English Cricket: “English Cricket needs to be at the edge of scientific revolution with the Hundred.”
The Hundred: “You see, there is a method in our madness. We are ahead of our times. Innovation and entertainment are our middle names.”
Suspicion: “Ah innovation—So no more soft signals?”
The Hundred: “Well not that kind of innovation. More like toss on a stage, fireworks, fancy helmets, white cards, ultra-speed DRS, a new DLS algorithm, original team names. Did I mention the graphics?”
Joy: “Yay! Hot pink, bright green, & black. Love the combination. It is so colorful!”
Disappointment: “NO! Hot pink, bright green, & black. Hate the combination. It is so colorful!”
Disappointment: “This is total garbage. You are taking my precious time away from the Leicestershire Vs Yorkshire 50-over Royal London One Day Cup. “
Suspicion: “Yeah why? I mean the T20 blast had full stadiums last week. Why not re-market the T20 Blast with strict over-rate rules, ‘innovation’, and free-to-air TV? The England-Pakistan T20I series was loved by everybody. Liam Livingstone was hitting the ball across the English channel!”
Disappointment: “County Championship, T20 Vitality Blast, The Hundred, One Day Cup, Tokyo Olympics…all at the same time.”
County Cricket: “By trying to do everything at once, you are not getting anything done. And hurting the sentiments of the traditional fans. It is hurting us financially, socially, psychologically. Where has your support gone? I have been waiting, waiting, waiting….”
English Cricket: “If The Hundred captures the imagination of the fans, I will re-distribute all the wealth to all four of you.”
County Cricket: “Not buying it. Let us settle this. What do you think about cricket?
Bartender: “Cricket. What cricket? Who cricket? I don’t know of any cricket.”
English cricket is on the verge of going crazy. *Thinking to himself*
The Hundred. Cricket. County Cricket. Fans. Kia Super League. Women’s Cricket. Wickets. Outs. Overs. Balls. Tradition. Evolution. T20. IPL. Money. England. It’s coming home. Phil Foden. Jason Roy. Sam Curran. Need to make things happen. Money. Test cricket. Dom Sibley. Axar. Embuldeniya. Sri Lanka. Super League. World Cup. Barest of Margins. More World Cups. T20 World Cups.
ACT IV: The SOLILOQUY – Something Is Rotten In the State of England
English cricket is now reflecting and talking out loud.
“To play or not to play, that is the question
Whether it is County Cricket, T20 Blast, Kia Super League, or the Hundred, it is England cricket that suffers,
Marketing, Media rights, & ticket sales of outrageous fortune,
Support traditional cricket fans & counties Or take arms against T20 cricket & the IPL
And by opposing, end English cricket. To die, to sleep
No more! And by sleep, to say we end the heart-ache and the 20 extra balls that T20 is heir to.
Free-to-air cricket—The BBC—aye there’s the rub!”
ACT V: The FINALE
Enter Satisfaction:Right as Curiosity was about to spend the night at jail, Satisfaction entered and bailed her out. She had found the lost cat and brought it back..”
Scene:Eoin Morgan is having that conversation with Alex Hales at a distance. Things finally begin to settle a bit.
County Cricket: “I have eighteen children and am concerned about their well-being. That’s all.”
The Hundred: “We are concerned about the existence of cricket in England in general. That’s all.”
Joy & Curiosity (Together):“Can we not be friends with both of you?”
English Cricket: “Well, the Hundred is not going anywhere…but neither is the County Championship…or the T20 Blast. I know I am not perfect, but can you just give me one chance? If it doesn’t work out with the Hundred for the couple of seasons, we can move on.”
At the end of the day, the heavens opened up. The ‘Lord’s’ opened it is door and Joy, Curiosity, Suspicion, & Disappointment walked hand-in-hand with County Cricket and the Hundred to proceed and watch the game.
New Zealand Vs England 2021 Test Series Preview—an understated rivalry.
“Bowled ’em! Got him 3rd ball.”
“England have won the world cup by the barest of margins. By the barest of all margins.”
Scars from Starc’s dismissal of Brendon McCullum in the 2015 World Cup Final & Martin Guptill’s run-out in that Super Over still run deep. The Black Caps have lost the last two ODI World Cup finals, a Champions Trophy final (2009), and four semi-finals (2 T20I, 2 ODI) all within the last fifteen years.
Although South Africa are known as the perennial chokers, and India are the new holders of the tag after an underachieving decade, New Zealand are not that far behind. They have one more shot with a final at Lord’s with the World Test Championship against India. The real question is, are Kiwis prepared for glory?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, New Zealand have important couple of test matches against England as prep.
I do not know about you, but I am very excited about this series. Since the abandonment of the IPL, there has been barely any international cricket.
This is not part of the World Test Championship (WTC) or the Future Tours Programme (FTC). This series has no-context on paper, but numerous interesting little stories running in the background nevertheless.
New Zealand – Conway’s Debut & Watling’s Retirement Talk of the Town
Devon Conway has to have one of the greatest cricketing stories in recent memory. Not able to get into the secondary club teams in South Africa 5 years ago, he is now about to get a Test debut at Lord’s. Sold everything in South Africa, churned a mountain runs in New Zealand’s first class system, and has been rewarded accordingly. The result?
14 T20Is, 4-50s, best of 99*, 59.12 average, 151.11 SR
3 ODIs, 1-100, 1-50, best of 126, 75.00 average, 88.23 SR
Tough luck for Tom Blundell (2-100s & 2-50s in just 16 innings) & Will Young (couple of county tons coming into the series)
BJ Watling, one of the greatest wicketkeepers of recent times & definitely for New Zealand, has decided to hang up his boots. Brilliant behind the stumps, and known for his ‘rescue acts.’ A daddy hundred or two from tough situations in the next three Tests will go a long way.
New Zealand has a wealth of allrounders. Daryl Mitchell’s last outing in international cricket has been a positive one – 100* (ODI) & 102* (Tests). Expect him to slot in the XI even though Colin de Grandhomme is back in the squad (with a great hairdo as well I shall add) & Mitchell Santner is always a valuable asset.
Although New Zealand now have a well balanced squad and great depth, the big guns will still need to fire—Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Tom Latham, captain Kane Williamson, & veteran Ross Taylor.
England – What do England have to Gain from this Series?
With Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, the Currans, Chris Woakes, & Jofra Archer (elbow surgery) out due to IPL quarantine, the entire lower-middle order will be missing in action. This will provide the England management to test their depth. Debuts for keeper James Bracey & fast bowler Ollie Robinson on the cards, with the likes of Olly Stone, Craig Overton, and comeback kid, Haseeb Hameed, on the sidelines.
Jimmy Anderson is poised to play his 161st Test match, joint-highest for England along with Sir Alastair Cook. Eight wickets away from a monumental 1000 first class wickets, 5 wickets away from Anil Kumble‘s 619, and 94 wickets to Shane Warne, it might well be a season of records for Anderson.
Joe Root has had a stellar Test year with 794 runs & 3 tons, including a couple of daddy hundreds in Sri Lanka & India. Can he back it up with a home season of the ages?
Burns-Sibley-Crawley against New Zealand’s swing bowlers—The opening combination was under a bit of fire in Asia, but it will not get any easier against Southee-Henry-Jamieson-de Grandhomme-Mitchell-Wagner.
Partial crowds (around 25%) are back at Lord’s. Good news for cricket fans, and hope things remain safe for time to come.
Verdict: New Zealand win 1-0
Player of the Series/MVP
James Bracey (WK)
Daryl Mitchell/ Colin de Grandhomme
New Zealand Vs England 2021 Test Series Predictions
Kiwis have an upper hand, but do not count England out. Both teams are filled with great fast bowling talent, but New Zealand’s all-round & batting has the edge.
I am going with New Zealand 1-0. A closely fought first game, with New Zealand narrowly winning & holding England to at least a draw in the second match.
What about you? Let us know in the comments below!
We billed this series as the “Final Before the (WTC) Final” and after overseas victories for both India (vs Australia) and England (Vs Sri Lanka), the series had hype for the right reasons.
Instead this series will be remembered for exactly the wrong reasons—Discussions about the pitches in Chennai & Pink Ball Test, rotation policy & England’s treatment of Moeen Ali, and hasty umpiring decisions (along with Kohli’s priceless reactions).
There were some good days for cricket as well with Ishant Sharma’s 100 Tests & 300 wickets, Joe Root’s 218, Anderson’s dream over, Foakes’ & Pant’s wicket-keeping, R Ashwin’s 100 & 9-fer, Ashwin’s 32 & Axar’s 27 wickets, Sundar’s 85* & 96*, Rohit Sharma’s masterclass, and Pant’s reverse sweep (to Anderson) in a brilliant 100.
Read till the end for my picks for the best moments,emerging players, controversies, and much more! COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.
*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.
Results – England Vs India
The reason why I did not enjoy this series as much was due to the lack of competitiveness. 227 runs, 317 runs, 10 wickets, and an innings victory was in complete contrast to the edge-of-the-seat stuff (last session draws/chases) in the Australia series.
India Ravichandran Ashwin – 189 runs (best of 106, average 31.50, 1 – 100)
Joe Root – 368 runs (best of 218, average 46.00, 100s/50s – 1/0)
Rohit Sharma – 345 runs (best of 161, average 57.50, 100s/50s -1/1
Jack Leach – 18 wickets (best innings – 4/54, best match – 6/178, 28.72 average, strike rate 53.6)
R Ashwin – 32 wickets (best innings – 6/61, best match – 9/207, 14.71 average, 35.2 SR, 3 5-fers
India Vs England 2021 Test Series Stats
1. We Miss The Non-Converting Joe Root
At the beginning of 2021, Joe Root’s stats read 17-100s, 49-50s. After the Sri Lanka & India tours, his stats read 20-100s, 49-50s. His last 6 Test matches show:
228 & 1 (run-out), 186 & 11, 218 & 40
6 & 33, 17 & 19, 5 & 30
Notice something? He converted 3 daddy hundreds, and then followed it up with 3 middling Test matches (mainly due to the intelligent bowling of Axar and Siraj). Now, we should not be too harsh on Root. The law of averages surely catches up, he had additional stress of captaincy, and he even bowled his heart out including a 5/8.
Still, the Joe Root who scored consistent 60s & 70s might have been more than handy on this low scoring tour. The 50th 50 would be cherry on top of his personally successful season.
2. Batting Wins Matches
Catches win matches? Sure. Need to take 20 wickets to secure a Test victory? Maybe.
How about batting with scores of 178, 134 & 164, 112 & 81, and 205 & 135? Definitely Not. This is called batting yourself out of a Test series. Let us dig a bit deeper:
Pope 153 runs at 19.12 (best of 34), Sibley 134 at 16.75 (best of 87) – 4 Tests each
Burns 58 runs at 14.50 (best of 33), Bairstow 28 at 7.00 (best of 7, 3 ducks), Crawley 67 at 16.75 (best of 53) – 2 Tests each
For international level cricket, if your Top 5 comprises of these players, barely-in-form Root-Stokes, and Buttler/Foakes, then this is just not going to cut it.
Maybe a certain Joe Denly might have been able to weather the storm better. If not the centuries, at least the Denturies would have come.
3. Anderson, Foakes & Lawrence The Bright Stars
Let us take out the stats for the moment, and look at the bright side.
Winning a Test match is not easy. Winning away even harder. Hence, the 227 run victory in Chennai should be regarded as a huge accomplishment, regardless of the 3-1 margin. (The issue was not the score line. Rather, it was the way they lost the final 3 Test matches).
Jimmy Anderson’s 6/40 in Galle & 3/17 in Chennai should rest the ‘Clouderson’ and ‘poor away record’ claims. That 3/17 included one of the best overs of reverse swing you will ever see. A well set Shubman Gill was bowled through the gate, Rahane survived an umpires call appeal, and then carbon copy bowled. Does not get any better than that.
On the turning pitches, Ben Foakes’ keeping was absolutely magnificent. His split-second stumping of Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant in the 2nd innings of the 2nd Test were quite something. (His batting showed signs of defiance, but could not reach his heights of his debut). Finally with 73 on debut and 46 & 50 in the final Test, Dan Lawrence showed some signs of steel.
Finally Channel 4 coverage was a win-win situation for the fans.
1. Axar Patel Invokes His Inner Embuldeniya, R Ashwin – The Man of the Hour
Just like Embuldeniya troubled England prior to this tour, Axar was the concern this time around. Straighter one, bounce, turn, guile, he had it all.
The best part is that Axar was not even supposed to play this series if not for Jadeja’s injury. 27 wickets at 10.59 with 4 5-wicket hauls & 1-10 wicket haul (best inning – 6/38, best match 11/70). Even got the opportunity to take a five-wicket haul at his home with some crowd. Stuff of dreams.
R Ashwin has got to be the most intelligent player in international cricket. He has a YouTube channel, reads books in his free time, is an engineer, can mess with the batsmen due to the Mankad-threat, talks to the media about a ‘bad pitch’, walks the talk with a 106 on the Chennai turner, and bamboozles the batsmen with skillful bowling.
The dismissals of Ollie Pope (carrom ball, beats the bat, bowled) in the final Test have to be my moments of this series.
2. The Sharmas Come To The Party
Wonderful achievement by Ishant Sharma for his 100th Test & 300 wickets. Just rewards for a brilliant journey over the last decade. Although this series was spin-dominated, Ishant Sharma 4.0 still has several years to offer to Indian cricket.
Rohit Sharma went very much under the radar this time, but India’s series victory was in jeopardy without his contributions. 161 on a tricky pitch was the turning moment of the series, and he followed it up with patient 26, 66 & 25*, and 49. In these low scoring matches, runs on the board provided the cushion for the spinners to dominate.
3. India’s Big 3 Just Not Good Enough, Depth Covers the Spots
Just like many other well-wishers, I had predicted Virat Kohli to come back in this series with a tough 50 at the start and a a double century by the end. The tough 72 in the 2nd innings at Chennai definitely came, but nowhere near the elusive 71st international century. Here are the stats:
Virat Kohli: 172 runs at 28.66 (best of 72, 2-50s, 2 ducks)
Ajinkya Rahane: 112 runs at 18.66 (best of 67, 1-50, 1 duck)
Cheteshwar Pujara: 133 runs at 22.16 (best of 73, 1-50, 1 duck)
I do not remember so many ducks by these 3. Nor do I remember a series where none fired.
Apart from Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar, & R Ashwin all outscored the middle order stalwarts. Since India emerged victorious, the cracks are temporarily filled, but questions should be asked.
After that Melbourne innings, Rahane has not done enough. Pujara is doing fine and crucial to India’s line up, but is not converting to daddy hundreds at the moment.
Given India’s depth, is it time to breed in the next generation? Is it time to rotate home/away batsmen as India rotates fast bowlers/ spinners?
The umpiring decisions in the 2nd & 3rd Tests caught the attention of the public. It was not necessarily the decisions made, but the manner in which they were decided (Ben Stokes’ catch – on field out, but turned over quickly). A standard procedure & muting the umpires’ conversation may be the way to go forward here.
By the end of the series, it was easily recognized that England’s lack of batting application led to their downfall, not the state of the pitches. However, 2-day & 3-day matches do not anybody a favor, either. The pink ball Test is supposed to get more public to watch the game, but most of these matches are ending in 3 or 4 days, which is counterintuitive. The first Test may have been the most balanced pitch, even though it was slow & attritional for the first day and a half.
Finally, the rotation policy. England’s rotation policy has possibly extended the careers of Broad & Anderson, given a chance to youngsters fighting for a national spot, and is important in the coronavirus era due to mental health. Rotation is not necessarily a bad thing, but how it was implemented in this series was dodgy.
Archer, Burns, & Stokes were rested for the series in Sri Lanka, while the rest of the squad stayed. However, Buttler left after one Test, Moeen Ali finally playing a Test only to go back home (due to miscommunication), Bairstow played the last two, Woakes left without playing, so on and so forth.
I cannot imagine how much the constant traveling & jet lag, inconsistency in selection & unsettled line-ups, and not having enough practice games might have impacted their minds. I can understand rotation between series, but during a series is a bit much.
And if this rotation was for the preparation for upcoming T20 World Cup & IPL, losing out to the WTC Final spot at home should seriously be questioned.
We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:
India made Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel (greatest understudy of all time), and Washington Sundar into world class all-rounders. England took a world class all-rounder in Moeen Ali and practically destroyed a budding career.
Dan Lawrence, Rotation Policy
Lower Middle Order
Dom Bess’s Full Tosses; Joe Root’s 5-fer
Broken Cricket Dream
Shardul Thakur – Did not get a game after a 92 & 4-fer at Gabba Dreams Broken For Fans Wanting Ashwin to become the 4th player to do the double of 100 + 10-fer
Stuart Broad’s Asian Dream, Jonny Bairstow’s Test Career, Moeen Ali
India Vs England 2021 Test Series Awards
Where Do They Go From Here?
A 5 match T20I series & 3-match ODI series to follow, preparing for the upcoming T20I World Cup in India. Then, we will have the IPL, England will play a couple of test matches against the New Zealand at home, and finally India Vs New Zealand for the WTC final.
After England’s victory at Chennai, I declared that this English team could rival the 2010-2012 team due to the good mix of youth, experience, & abroad victories. I guess that was a bit premature.
Was this India Vs England 2021 Test series the ‘greatest story of all time’ like the India Vs Australia? Nope.
Was it as controversial as the South Africa Vs Australia scandalous ball tampering series? Not really.
At best, this was just a Meh kind of series. Had its moments, but did not capture the imagination of the next generation. Sums it up for the World Test Championship.
What did you think of the India Vs England 2021 Test Series? Let us know!
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Joe Root Vs Lasith Embuldeniya. That’s it, that’s the end of the series review….
Just Kidding, but boy it felt like Root vs Embuldeniya, didn’t it? At one point in the 2nd Test, Embuldeniya was hitting sixes and the golden arm of Joe Root was called upon to take his wicket and clean up the tail.
Yet, this short two-Test series had several other actors and memorable moments. The 2-0 score line may not have been close, but the contest was enthralling, nevertheless.
Broad’s initial burst, Bess’s uncanny wicket taking ability, Dan Lawrence’s dazzling debut, Niroshan Dickwella’s high-five face slap, Leach and Embuldeniya’s brilliance, Sibley and Thirimanne’s revival, Dickwella’s sledging, Bairstow and Buttler’s solidity, Mathews and Root’s centuries, Dickwella’s 92, and of course, Jimmy Anderson being well…Jimmy Anderson (in Asia).
Read till the end for my picks for the best moments,emerging players, lookout for the India Vs England series, and much more! COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.
*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.
1. Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler: Critics Go Out The Window
Joe Root just does not like scoring 100s. Either 50s or daddy hundreds.
Do you all remember a few weeks ago in the India Vs Australia series, the commentators were discussing about the Big 3? That seems ages ago. In the preview article, I argued that
“Root is still a stellar player with an amazing record. The fact that England do not seem to need him as much as the other countries is a reflection of the strength of this English team, not the fall of a rising career. I hope he answers his critics with the bat.“
186, 228, 2/0, and 7 catches later, Joe Root has answered his critics in some style. He has gone from being criticized for his poor conversion-rate to becoming England’s #4 all time tally, surpassing Boycott, Pietersen, and Gower on the way (Suddenly, predictions of catching Tendulkar’s Test runs have opened since he is only 30).
2. The Rest of the Batting
Crawley had a horrid tour with the bat (4 innings, 35 runs at 8.75), Sibley with 62 runs in his 4 (including a 56* in his last innings), and Sam Curran at 7 a spot too high (2 innings, 13 runs at 6.5).
Bairstow (4 innings, 139 at 46.33) and Buttler (3 innings, 131 at 65.5) fared much better, while Dan Lawrence had little to show after his sparkling 73 on debut.
Bairstow at 3 again? Yes he is a good player of spin, but does he warrant a position in the squad? Several questions were asked pre-series.
With the struggles of Crawley and Sibley, Bairstow did a good repair job with 47 (93), 35* (65), 28 (73), 29 (28). A makeshift English #3 batsmen on foreign soil, successfully denting the new ball without converting it…Where I have I heard this before?Bairstow’s tour was so…Denly-esque.
3. Youth & Senior Pros Combine to Bamboozle Sri Lanka
Stuart Broad (3/34 at 11.33) & James Anderson (6/46 at 7.66): No Sign of Aging
Dom Bess (12/255 at 21.25) & Jack Leach (10/355 at 35.5): Here To Stay?
Stuart Broad’s resurgence in the past year or so has been heartening, and Anderson’s fitness just becomes better with age. Anderson’s home swing advantage has always clouded his greatness and longevity, but his 6/40 at Galle in the 2nd Test was as good as any.
Dom Bess himself admitted his bowling may not have deserved a 5-fer in the 1st Test. Maybe once or twice, you can call it a fluke but 5/30, 3/100, 4/49 along with a handy 32 with the bat shows he is willing to learn & improve his skills. Jack Leach’s numbers probably do not reflect his 110.5 overs worth of effort, but both of them are here to stay.
It is pretty clear that England are going to rotate Broad/Anderson, pick Mark Wood (tad unlucky this time around) for pace, and play both spinners for the upcoming India series (given Moeen Ali does not come back for Sam Curran).
1. Thirimanne & Angelo Matthews
Lahiru Thirimanne was our contender for the Broken Dream in our preview. Just look at his stats:
Average of 22.68 after 36 Tests, 1 century after a decade on the international scene
He came back with a solid 111 and 43 in this series, and has ‘extended’ his place in the side. Will take a few more consistent performances to cement his place. I was also looking forward to a Chandimal-Thirimanne-Mathews solid middle order foundation. Chandimal had a Bairstow-like with a 52 and a couple of 20s, while Mathews was Sri Lanka’s most run-getter including a hard-fought 71 and 110.
88 Tests, 6194 runs at 45.54, with 11 100s, best of 200*– Mathews is slowly approaching Sri Lanka’s Legend Status.
(SL Vs SA): 396 & 180, 157 & 211, (SL vs Eng): 381 & 126, 135 & 359
Notice a pattern yet? For England, Root scored a mammoth 426 with Bairstow-Buttler scoring 139 & 131 runs respectively. Sri Lanka had 5 scorers over 100 & Mathews/Thirimanne did convert, but there were just not enough match winning partnerships. Partnerships are the key to success. As we can see from the beginning of the South Africa tour, Sri Lanka have scored 350+ 3/8 times, but they have also collapsed 4/8 times.
Sri Lanka were not bad, but inconsistency in the other innings killed any chance they had.
4 innings, 119 overs, 15/415 at 27.66, best of 7/37, 1 5-fer, 1 10-fer
The reason why batting inconsistency hurt more this time around is because with Lasith Embuldeniya, Sri Lanka actually believed they could win.
In the first match, chasing a mere 74, England were down 14/3. Embuldeniya made it look like a landmine, but just there were just not enough runs on the board. He bowled tireless spells, opened the bowling, and even hit an aggressive 40 (37) in the 2nd Test to take the score from 78-8 to 126.
The name, the action, the wicket taking ability – have Sri Lanka finally found someone to carry the legacy of Muralitharan and Rangana Herath? Only time will tell.
4 – Ducks in a Row for Kusal Mendis (including SA series). His replacement, Ramesh Mendis, carried on the tradition and opened his account with a duck as well.
6 – Wins In a row for England in Sri Lanka. Huge accomplishment – Kudos! It is never easy to tour Sri Lanka at home and consistent results bode well. Oh yes. And England won without the likes of Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, and opener Rory Burns.
8 – Short of a maiden hundred for Niroshan Dickwella. So close, yet so far.
13 – Wickets Away from Anil Kumble’s 619 for the 3rd highest wicket-taker EVER for Jimmy Anderson. GOAT.
We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:
Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!
Where Do They Go From Here?
Sri Lanka’s 2021 outlook looks filled. They will complete some of the WTC matches that were cancelled in 2020. They will host/tour Bangladesh, go to West Indies, & host Ireland for a Test match as well. Second part of the year will be focused on the T20I World Cup.
Busy Year for England this. 17 Test Matches on the cards (Maybe more if they qualify for World Test Championship Final). Next Up – India. 4 Tests, 5 ODIs, 3 T20Is from February 4th to March 27th (Add IPL, the Hundred, & World T20 World Cup in the mix as well). The series is key to the WTC finals. England currently at 4th but slowly inching up (Just 3% separates #4 England from #1 India).
Several questions on England vs India TV rights and squad selections as well. Bairstow, Curran, Wood rested for the first couple of Test matches, while Buttler flies home after the 1st one.
With India surprising expectations in Australia, will we see a similar triumph for England against favorites India?
Where do Sri Lankan cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Test Cricket was at its best in the last couple of weeks. Fawad Alam & Mohammad Rizwan almost survived four sessions after being down 0/2 on Day 4 against New Zealand. India’s Australia tour has included everything from a 36 All Out and an XI of injured players to an exhilarating Day 5 finish.
Test Cricket is beautiful, and we get to see more of it with England-Sri Lanka. Both England and Sri Lanka are coming off South Africa tours (with contrasting results). Interestingly, England were in Sri Lanka long before Sri Lanka themselves.
While England have managed to play a Team Root Vs Team Buttler, Sri Lanka are still raw from all the injuries in the South Africa series.
Well anyway, here is our Series Preview! Read till the end to check out our predictions. We have a table for our predictions – Most Runs, Wickets, Emerging Player, Surprise Package, and MVP! Let us know who you think will win these in the COMMENTS below!
Last time England toured Sri Lanka in 2018, they crushed the home team 3-0. This time, however, they will be without key players in Rory Burns (paternity leave), Ben Stokes & Jofra Archer (rested), and from 2018, Adil Rashid (no longer a Test prospect) & Moeen Ali (COVID/quarantine).
If England can repeat their 2018 heroics, they will need the help of the 5 Bs-BBC nominated Broad, Buttler, Bairstow, Bess, and Ben (Foakes), the centurion on debut last time around. A couple of wicket-keeper batsmen, an off spinner, and a fast bowling enforcer, they all need to chip in.
The Fab 4. Or is the Fab 5? Shall I say the Big 3? You know exactly who I will be talking about here—none other than Joe Root. Too much has been made of his conversion rate, and Babar Azam ‘taking over’ Joe Root. In all reality, Root is still a stellar player with an amazing record. I argue that the fact that England do not seem to need him as much as the other countries is a reflection of the strength of this English team, not the fall of a rising career. I hope he answers his critics with the bat. Anyway this rant may become an article some other day.
Middle Order The Key
Angelo Mathews is back after missing the South Africa series, and Chandimal should be back after getting injured in SL-SA first test. A Chandimal-Thirimanne-Mathews middle order was an adequate replacement for Dilshan-Sangakkara-Jayawardene, at least in Test cricket. Unfortunately, it did not materialize due to inconsistency & injuries.
If the middle order rises, with Karunaratne’s stability and flair from the Kusal’s (Perera and Mendis), they will finally have a consistent & complete batting order.
The real question is can they bounce back from the injuries? Who will be fit? If the stalwart Dilruwan Perera & another spinner in the form of Embuldeniya/PWH de Silva can hold one end, and 2 out of Shanaka/Lakmal/Rajitha/Fernando/Kumara can literally stand up, this Sri Lankan team might be a handful at home.
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Key Matchups To Watch Out For
England’s Top Order Vs Sri Lanka’s Pacers: With Sibley and Crawley now established in this line up and Bairstow, Root, & possible debutant Dan Lawrence to follow, Lakmal/Shanaka vs Sibley/Crawley will be key.
Jonny Bairstow & Angelo Mathews Vs The Rest of the World: Bairstow & Mathews have both had interesting careers so far. Both expected to be the next great things for England & Sri Lanka respectively, they have had their moments. Unfortunately, though, they have also had their share of administrative/media run-ins + fitness issues/technical fault to never establish their position in Test Cricket for long. Make or break for both.
Lankan Spinners Vs England Middle Order: If Sri Lanka are to emerge victorious, spinners would need to contribute heavily. England’s middle order succumb to spin—Sri Lanka win. England’s middle order battles hard—England has the upper hand. As easy as that.
The Broken Dream
England: Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali’s South Africa tour began with a resounding statement of giving it all in every format for the final leg of his career. Well, England blew South Africa out of the park in the T20Is, and Ali was not needed. The ODI series? Abandoned. Fast forward to Sri Lanka—finally expected to play in the turning tracks of Galle, Ali got COVID and is out of the reckoning.
Sri Lanka: Lahiru Thirimanne
Thirimanne debuted way back in 2010, in the Dilshan-Sangakkara-Jayawardane-Malinga generation. He looked a wonderful prospect and has played some decent innings across formats. However, an average of 22.68 after 36 Tests with a solitary hundred reflects the trajectory of his career. At 31, he might still be at his peak. Will Thirimanne get another chance/can he justify his selection? Or are his international cricket dreams over? I guess we will find out.
Given Sri Lanka’s lack of match practice and injured bodies, England are going to win the first Test against Sri Lanka, and win big.
In the 2nd game, Sri Lanka will be down and out for three days before fierce defense/rain will save the game, courtesy Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews. It would be a perfect sequel to Pakistan’s Azhar-Alam-Rizwan and India’s Pant-Pujara-Vihari-Ashwin Asian resistance.
Let us know your thoughts on the Sri Lanka Vs England Test Series. WHAT IS YOUR EVENTUAL SCORELINE? Predictions?
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My Starting XI:
These are my starting XI for the first Test (assuming everyone is available in terms of COVID and injuries).
With the injury form Sri Lanka are bringing in from South Africa, I am going in with an extra bowler with Shanaka batting at #7.
Bairstow is expected to slot in at #3. I would love to see Ben Foakes in this series, but it is unlikely that he will make the XI in the 1st due due to the presence of Bairstow and Buttler. Maybe they can fit in all 3 and only play one out of Broad/Anderson like 2018, but this would be my personal first choice.
Dom Sibley, 2. Zak Crawley, 3. Jonny Bairstow, 4. Joe Root*, 5. Dan Lawrence, 6. Jos Buttler (WK), 7. Sam Curran/Chris Woakes, 8. Stuart Broad, 9. James Anderson, 10. Dom Bess, 11. Jack Leach