The Need For Having The Best Test Batsmen
Performing away from home in test cricket has historically been a very tough task for visiting batsmen. The conditions are generally suited for the home side making it very difficult for the visitors to perform.
South African pitches have been the toughest to bat on offering both seam movement and bounce for the pacers. The sub-continent usually offers turning tracks and the Duke Ball moves prodigiously in English conditions.
So who are the best test batsmen that have performed at the top level across all conditions?
5. Angelo Mathews
Angelo Mathews is perhaps one of the most underappreciated cricketers of this generation. He averages 45 away from home in test cricket. His heroics in 2014 tour to England helped his side secure a series win. Here he scored a fabulous century at Headingley to help Sri Lanka win the series 1-0.
He averages 48 in England, 56 in New Zealand and 73 in the United Arab Emirates. This makes it difficult for us to leave him out. In the 2014 UAE tour, his heroics helped Sri Lanka draw the series against a strong Misbah ul-Haq led Pakistani side.
4. Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane is one of the few batsmen having a better average away from home. Rahane has been instrumental for India in several away wins. He has a 90 plus score in every country he has played in.
He has played vital knocks in several away wins for his country with the most memorable being the century at Lords. After a rough patch in 2018, he starred in India’s series victory in the West Indies. He also played some crucial knocks in India’s 2018/19 triumph in Australia.
His presence was also missed during the first two test matches in South Africa in 2017/18. The Indian team management picked Rohit Sharma ahead of him. Rohit played well but could not help India to a victory. Rahane returned for the third test match and India won at Johannesburg.
Also, Read – The Most Successful Visiting Players In India
3. Joe Root
Joe Root is often criticized for his conversation rate but his consistency is unmatched. He averages over 38 in all the countries except Bangladesh which is a remarkable feat. Root has done exceedingly well against spin as he averages 53 and 57 in India and UAE respectively.
He averages 50 plus in South Africa where batting has been termed most difficult for visiting batsmen. Despite not having such staggering numbers in Sri Lanka and New Zealand, he has some outstanding knocks to his name which has helped his side win or secure a draw against the odds.
2. Virat Kohli – Second Best Test Batsmen
With 14 away test centuries to his name, it would be absurd to leave Virat Kohli out of this list. His average of 55 plus in both Australia and South Africa suggest how good he is against pace and bounce.
He conquered Australia during the 2014/15 tour and scored another century during the 2018/19 tour. He has six test match centuries in just 12 test matches in Australia. After a miserable tour of England in 2014, he came back strongly four years later with 593 runs in five matches including two centuries.
The global test batting average of 26.28 in 2018 remains the worst for a calendar year. Despite this, Kohli averaged 55.08 in the same year scoring tons at Centurion, Birmingham and Perth with only one other teammate scoring a 50 in these three innings.
Kohli was the only player to score a test century in the series in South Africa in 2017/18. he scored a brilliant 153 at SuperSport Park Centurion. However, the rest of the batting failed around him and South Africa went on the win the match comfortably.
He scored a fantastic 149 at Edgbaston against England in 2018.
1. Steven Smith – The Best Test Batsmen
Steven Smith is arguably the best test batsman of this generation. Despite starting off as a leg spinner, he has arguably reformed himself into “The best since Bradman”. Averaging 57 away from home with 13 centuries in only 39 tests, he easily tops this list. His batting average of 98.9 in away test wins is highest for any batsmen in the 2010s decade.
He has an average of 40 plus in all countries except Bangladesh. After scoring 499 runs in 2017 Border Gavaskar trophy including three centuries, he showed the world that he can perform in any condition.
His comeback after the ball-tampering scandal is one for the ages where he amassed 766 runs in 7 innings in England including three tons and a double hundred. Smith also averages 60 plus in India and England and 100 plus in New Zealand and West Indies which sets him apart from other batsmen.
Smith scored twin tons at Edgbaston in the 2019 Ashes to help Australia to a comeback win, after being insignificant trouble on day 1 of the test match. He finished both the 2017/18 and 2019 Ashes series (home and away) as comfortably the highest run-scorer on either side.
The greatest out of the best test batsmen in the world.
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