The List The ListRSS FeedFeeds  | Archives
George Binoy and Travis Basevi dig into our stats database

Test cricket's winningest players

Who are the champions?

Waugh, who also features among players involved in the most Test losses, has played in a massive 86 Test wins, 11 wins clear of Shane Warne

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

October 25, 2005

Text size: A | A

Some statistics, like Bradman's average and the number of centuries Gavaskar made, are known to pretty much every cricket buff. But The List will bring you facts and figures that aren't so obvious, adding fuel to those fiery debates about the most valuable middle-order bat, and the most useless tailender. If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.



Steve Waugh: Test cricket's winningest player © Getty Images
Enlarge

Which is cricket's greatest team? Don Bradman's Invincibles, Clive Lloyd's West Indies or Steve Waugh's Australia?. This debate has been worn thin over the years and this week The List gives it a different spin by looking at players who have played in the most Test wins.

Waugh, who also featured among players involved in the most Test losses, has played in a massive 86 Test wins, 11 clear of Shane Warne. That Waugh and seven of his key players populate the top twenty - not including Mark Waugh and Michael Slater, who did not play majority of their careers under him - is the first step in the argument for Waugh's side being the best. Only four of Clive Lloyd's West Indians - Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes and Jeff Dujon - feature in the list. You might argue that the Invincibles did not play enough. A sound argument indeed.

Most Tests won
Player Span Mat Won Lost Runs Ave Wkts Ave
SR Waugh (Aust) 1985-2004 168 86 36 6460 69.46 31 29.25
SK Warne (Aust) 1992-2005 129 77 26 1484 17.45 437 21.48
GD McGrath (Aust) 1993-2005 113 74 20 385 7.70 373 18.58
ME Waugh (Aust) 1991-2002 128 72 27 4794 48.91 23 47.52
IVA Richards (WI) 1974-1991 121 63 19 4300 52.43 9 63.11
RT Ponting (Aust) 1995-2005 94 63 15 5074 61.13 2 58.50
DL Haynes (WI) 1978-1994 116 60 15 4041 45.92 0 -
JL Langer (Aust) 1993-2005 94 60 17 4640 49.89 0 -
CG Greenidge (WI) 1974-1991 108 57 14 4653 54.74 0 -
IA Healy (Aust) 1988-1999 119 55 29 2135 33.35 0 -
AC Gilchrist (Aust) 1999-2005 74 54 10 3624 63.57 0 -
CA Walsh (WI) 1984-2001 132 52 43 345 8.21 239 19.72
MA Taylor (Aust) 1989-1999 104 52 20 3812 45.92 0 -
AR Border (Aust) 1978-1994 156 50 46 3186 51.38 18 21.11
ML Hayden (Aust) 1994-2005 73 49 14 4160 56.98 0 -
G Kirsten (SAf) 1993-2004 101 48 23 3800 51.35 1 18.00
JN Gillespie (Aust) 1996-2005 69 45 15 567 17.18 189 22.12
PJL Dujon (WI) 1981-1991 81 44 12 1758 33.80 0 -
CEL Ambrose (WI) 1988-2000 98 44 26 588 12.51 229 16.86
MJ Slater (Aust) 1993-2001 74 44 17 3508 51.58 0 -



When Inzamam-ul-Haq comes to the party, Pakistan usually win © Getty Images
Enlarge

This brings us to the players with the highest percentage of wins over their career. While almost the whole of Waugh's team appears in the top 20, there are only three of Bradman's Invincibles - Lindsay Hassett, Bill Johnston and Ian Johnson - and none of Lloyd's men. And for the record, Australia under Waugh won a whopping 71.9% of their Tests while the figures for Lloyd's West Indies and Bradman's Australia are 48.6% and 62.5%. Perhaps the opposition has weakened over the decades. Rashid Latif was a surprise entry as high as No. 5, but even though he was in and out of the Pakistan side later in his career, he played a large number of his Tests during their outstanding run after winning the 1992 World Cup.


Highest percentage of Tests won (qualification: 25 career Tests)
Player Span Mat Won Lost Draw % won
DS Lehmann (Aust) 1998-2004 27 22 2 3 81.48
AC Gilchrist (Aust) 1999-2005 74 54 10 10 72.97
B Lee (Aust) 1999-2005 43 31 6 6 72.09
RA Harper (WI) 1983-1993 25 17 2 6 68.00
Rashid Latif (Pak) 1992-2003 37 25 8 4 67.57
ML Hayden (Aust) 1994-2005 73 49 14 10 67.12
RT Ponting (Aust) 1995-2005 94 63 15 16 67.02
GD McGrath (Aust) 1993-2005 113 74 20 19 65.49
JN Gillespie (Aust) 1996-2005 69 45 15 9 65.22
SCG MacGill (Aust) 1998-2005 34 22 6 6 64.71
JL Langer (Aust) 1993-2005 94 60 17 17 63.83
TT Samaraweera (SL) 2001-2005 30 19 5 6 63.33
WA Johnston (Aust) 1947-1955 40 25 8 7 62.50
DR Martyn (Aust) 1992-2005 61 38 10 13 62.30
IWG Johnson (Aust) 1946-1956 45 28 7 10 62.22
C Kelleway (Aust) 1910-1928 26 16 7 3 61.54
SJ Harmison (Eng/ICC) 2002-2005 36 22 7 7 61.11
H Carter (Aust) 1907-1921 28 17 7 4 60.71
AL Hassett (Aust) 1938-1953 43 26 5 12 60.47
SK Warne (Aust) 1992-2005 129 77 26 26 59.69

Looking at the best batsmen in Test wins, Bradman is peerless with a mind-boggling average of 130.08 (he averages a comparatively paltry 43.27 in lost Tests). Inzamam-ul-Haq (80.83) and Rahul Dravid (79.51) have fantastic averages in Tests their teams have won: an indicator of how crucial their form was to the fortune of the team. It's quite revealing that Sachin Tendulkar, who made his Test debut seven years before Dravid, has played in just eight more Test wins than Dravid's 30. Significantly, none of the batsmen in Waugh's team feature in the top ten - Australia did not depend primarily on the form of a particular player.


Best batting averages in won Tests (qualification: minimum 20 innings)
Player Span Mat Inns Runs HS Ave 100
DG Bradman (Aust) 1929-1948 30 43 4813 299* 130.08 23
Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak) 1992-2005 43 67 4284 329 80.83 17
R Dravid (India) 1996-2005 30 47 3101 270 79.51 9
KC Sangakkara (SL) 2000-2005 22 29 2017 270 77.57 7
GS Sobers (WI) 1956-1974 31 46 3097 365* 77.42 12
Younis Khan (Pak) 2000-2005 16 27 1788 267 74.50 7
FMM Worrell (WI) 1948-1963 18 26 1483 261 74.15 3
GC Smith (SAf) 2002-2005 20 29 1896 259 72.92 9
GS Chappell (Aust) 1972-1984 38 62 3595 204 70.49 14
WR Hammond (Eng) 1927-1946 29 44 2584 251 69.83 10

Trivia

  • India did not lose any of the 21 Tests that Rajesh Chauhan played.
  • West Indies won all of the ten Tests that Eldine Baptiste played in.
  • Adam Gilchrist's first 15 Tests were all wins.
  • All of Stuart MacGill's 11 five-wicket hauls have come in Tests that Australia won.

    If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.

  • George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo

    RSS Feeds: George Binoy

    © ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

    FeedbackTop
    Email Feedback Print
    Share
    E-mail
    Feedback
    Print
    George BinoyClose
    George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
    Related Links
    The List : Players with best records in Test wins
    Players/Officials: Steve Waugh

    'Pietersen uses his hands beautifully to get in front'

    Modern Masters: Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar discuss Kevin Pietersen's un-English technique

        Cricket cannot bend rules to accommodate chuckers

    Martin Crowe: Bowlers with dodgy actions must not be given leeway to maintain a balance between bat and ball

        'You'll only improve as a commentator if you are a good listener'

    Couch Talk: Jim Maxwell talks about his early days, and why commentators need to stay in touch with cricketers

        'Haven't seen anyone play as straight as Sachin'

    My XI: Martin Crowe on Tendulkar's finely calibrated footwork

    It's home advantage, not doctored pitches

    Michael Jeh: Why do columnists look for conspiracy theories every time a visiting team collapses abjectly?

    News | Features Last 7 days

    How bad must a defeat be to be unacceptable?

    A gutting loss to England, after leading the series 1-0, has thrown up some glaring inadequacies in the Indian team but there is little being said or done in terms of improvement

    Role model Moeen setting high standard

    His rapid improvement with the ball has been integral to England coming from behind to lead the series - but that is just one area where Moeen Ali continues to impress

    Time to liberate MS Dhoni

    After 8-0, MS Dhoni could look forward to building a team from scratch; now, there is nothing left for him to contribute. Free him from the Test captaincy and he could yet give back in other ways

    Dhoni's control test

    For all MS Dhoni's many trophies and accomplishments, Test cricket continues to resist his magic and indefinitely postpone his motorbike ride into the sunset

    Should Dhoni focus on one-day cricket?

    His decisions in the England series have seemed to confirm that he does not care too much for the Test game. Maybe he should be concentrating on the World Cup

    News | Features Last 7 days

      How bad must a defeat be to be unacceptable? (135)

      A gutting loss to England, after leading the series 1-0, has thrown up some glaring inadequacies in the Indian team but there is little being said or done in terms of improvement

      Time to liberate MS Dhoni (113)

      After 8-0, MS Dhoni could look forward to building a team from scratch; now, there is nothing left for him to contribute. Free him from the Test captaincy and he could yet give back in other ways

      Should Dhoni focus on one-day cricket? (78)

      His decisions in the England series have seemed to confirm that he does not care too much for the Test game. Maybe he should be concentrating on the World Cup

      Dhoni's control test (75)

      For all MS Dhoni's many trophies and accomplishments, Test cricket continues to resist his magic and indefinitely postpone his motorbike ride into the sunset

      One-day barrier to Indian Test progress (56)

      With too great an emphasis on limited-overs cricket, MS Dhoni's side have a set of skills and a level of concentration that are not commensurate with the necessities of Tests