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George Binoy and Travis Basevi dig into our stats database

From Charles Bannerman to Ricky Ponting

The leading run-scorers for each Test-playing country down the years

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

August 5, 2009

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Ricky Ponting prepares to defend, England v Australia, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, 1st day, July 30, 2009
Ricky Ponting went past Allan Border during his first innings at Edgbaston © Getty Images
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Ricky Ponting ended Allan Border's 22-year reign as Australia's leading Test run-scorer when he went past 11,174 career runs during the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston. We took the opportunity to look at who held the record for Australia before Border and Ponting, and the list of progressive record holders for all the other countries. The first column in the tables shows what the record was before the batsman overtook it, the second denotes his career runs after the match in which he broke the record, and the third indicates his aggregate at the end of his last match.

Greg Chappell held Australia's record for nearly three years before Border, and he achieved it in his final Test. Chappell started the Sydney Test against Pakistan in 1984 on 6928, 68 runs short of equalling Don Bradman as Australia's highest run-scorer. At the end of the second day Chappell announced his retirement, on the third he went past Bradman, on the fourth he was dismissed for 182 and became only the third batsman to score a hundred in his first and last Test. Chappell also caught Mohsin Khan in Pakistan's second innings - his 121st catch - and beat Colin Cowdrey's record for the most catches in Tests.

Bradman held the Australian record - 6996 runs - for nearly half a century before Chappell overtook him. Surprisingly, though, Bradman was never the overall highest run-scorer in Tests for he was chasing Jack Hobbs first and then Wally Hammond throughout his career. Bradman played 33 fewer Tests than Hammond and ended his career 253 runs short of the world record.

Progressive record holders for most runs in Tests for Australia
Player Record Runs Career Opposition Ground Match End Scorecard
C Bannerman - 169 239 v England Melbourne 19 Mar 1877 Test 1
WL Murdoch 239 292 896 v England Sydney 21 Feb 1882 Test 6
PS McDonnell 292 317 955 v England Sydney 7 Mar 1882 Test 7
WL Murdoch 317 387 896 v England Melbourne 14 Mar 1882 Test 8
PS McDonnell 860 876 955 v England Sydney 1 Mar 1887 Test 26
AC Bannerman 955 964 1108 v England Lord's 19 Jul 1893 Test 39
G Giffen 1108 1119 1238 v England Melbourne 6 Mar 1895 Test 46
J Darling 1238 1293 1657 v England Adelaide 23 Jan 1902 Test 67
SE Gregory 1293 1299 2282 v England Sydney 18 Feb 1902 Test 68
C Hill 1366 1452 3412 v England Sheffield 5 Jul 1902 Test 72
DG Bradman 3412 3528 6996 v England Leeds 24 Jul 1934 Test 236
GS Chappell 6996 7110 7110 v Pakistan Sydney 6 Jan 1984 Test 974
AR Border 7110 7131 11174 v New Zealand Adelaide 15 Dec 1987 Test 1084
RT Ponting 11174 11193 11193 v England Birmingham 03 Aug 2009 Test 1928

Four of England's highest run-getters were also the world-record holders for most Test runs. The national and international records passed on from Hobbs to Hammond and then to Cowdrey, who finished with 7624 runs. Garry Sobers then became the first player outside Australia and England to possess the world record, before Geoffrey Boycott, who had become England's highest run-scorer by passing Cowdrey during the 1981 Ashes, became the fourth and last England batsman to break it. Graham Gooch is the current England record holder, and the closest of the current crop is Andrew Strauss, who has 5101 runs.

Progressive record holders for most runs in Tests for England
Player Record Runs Career Opposition Ground Match End Scorecard
H Jupp - 67 68 v Australia Melbourne 19 Mar 1877 Test 1
G Ulyett 67 149 949 v Australia Melbourne 4 Apr 1877 Test 2
A Shrewsbury 798 828 1277 v Australia Lord's 21 Jul 1886 Test 23
AC MacLaren 1277 1345 1931 v Australia Melbourne 4 Mar 1902 Test 69
TW Hayward 1543 1609 1999 v Australia Sydney 3 Mar 1904 Test 81
AC MacLaren 1609 1685 1931 v Australia Nottingham 31 May 1905 Test 83
TW Hayward 1820 1853 1999 v Australia Manchester 26 Jul 1905 Test 86
JB Hobbs 1999 2022 5410 v Australia The Oval 22 Aug 1912 Test 129
WR Hammond 5410 5528 7249 v New Zealand Lord's 29 Jun 1937 Test 260
MC Cowdrey 7249 7256 7624 v Australia Brisbane 2 Dec 1970 Test 674
G Boycott 7624 7665 8114 v Australia Manchester 17 Aug 1981 Test 907
DI Gower 8114 8154 8231 v Pakistan Manchester 7 Jul 1992 Test 1191
GA Gooch 8231 8293 8900 v Australia The Oval 23 Aug 1993 Test 1231

South Africa's isolation meant that Bruce Mitchell, who scored 3471, remained their highest run-getter for nearly 52 years. After their re-admittance, however, the record was broken by Gary Kirsten, Hansie Cronje, and Kirsten again, before Jacques Kallis claimed it by going past 7289 during the Antigua Test in 2005. His 147 was one of eight centuries in that Test, a world record for most three-figure scores in a match. Kallis' aggregate is now 10194 and he's still accumulating. Graeme Smith is closest with 6330.

Progressive record holders for most runs in Tests for South Africa
Player Record Runs Career Opposition Ground Match End Scorecard
AB Tancred - 58 87 v England Port Elizabeth 13 Mar 1889 Test 31
F Hearne 87 91 121 v England Johannesburg 4 Mar 1896 Test 48
JH Sinclair 121 193 1069 v England Johannesburg 16 Feb 1899 Test 58
GA Faulkner 927 1108 1754 v Australia Melbourne 4 Jan 1911 Test 112
AW Nourse 1717 1750 2234 v Australia Johannesburg 16 Nov 1921 Test 146
HW Taylor 2234 2314 2936 v England The Oval 20 Aug 1929 Test 185
B Mitchell 2936 2996 3471 v England The Oval 20 Aug 1947 Test 289
G Kirsten 3471 3476 7289 v New Zealand Wellington 22 Mar 1999 Test 1452
WJ Cronje 3476 3529 3714 v Zimbabwe Bloemfontein 1 Nov 1999 Test 1466
G Kirsten 3660 3792 7289 v England Durban 30 Dec 1999 Test 1480
JH Kallis 7289 7337 10194 v West Indies St John's 3 May 2005 Test 1750

Brian Lara became West Indies' highest run-scorer in his 98th Test, overtaking Viv Richards' aggregate of 8540 during an innings of 191 in Bulawayo in 2003. Lara overtook Border's world record by scoring a double-century at the Adelaide Oval in 2005, a match in which the world's highest wicket-taker (Shane Warne) bowled to the world's highest run-scorer for the first time since 1886-87, when Fred Spofforth bowled to Arthur Shrewsbury in Sydney. Lara's final total of 11,912 is likely be the West Indies record for a while because the closest contender, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, is 34 and has only 8576.

Progressive record holders for most runs in Tests for West Indies
Player Record Runs Career Opposition Ground Match End Scorecard
FR Martin - 56 486 v England Lord's 26 Jun 1928 Test 173
CA Roach 175 330 952 v England Bridgetown 16 Jan 1930 Test 187
GA Headley 561 703 2190 v England Kingston 12 Apr 1930 Test 193
ED Weekes 2173 2200 4455 v India Port-of-Spain 25 Feb 1953 Test 367
GS Sobers 4455 4611 8032 v England Manchester 4 Jun 1966 Test 605
IVA Richards 8032 8053 8540 v Australia Kingston 6 Mar 1991 Test 1166
BC Lara 8540 8626 11912 v Zimbabwe Bulawayo 16 Nov 2003 Test 1669

New Zealand's record is held by Stephen Fleming, who went past Martin Crowe's aggregate of 5444 in Chittagong in 2004. Fleming retired from Tests with 7172 runs and it's hard to predict who's going to overtake him because the highest aggregate among the current players is 3212 and it belongs to Daniel Vettori.

Progressive record holders for most runs in Tests for New Zealand
Player Record Runs Career Opposition Ground Match End Scorecard
RC Blunt - 52 330 v England Christchurch 13 Jan 1930 Test 186
CS Dempster 52 252 723 v England Wellington 27 Jan 1930 Test 188
B Sutcliffe 723 731 2727 v West Indies Auckland 19 Feb 1952 Test 350
JR Reid 2335 2469 3428 v England Christchurch 19 Mar 1963 Test 542
BE Congdon 3428 3443 3448 v England Nottingham 14 Aug 1978 Test 829
JG Wright 3448 3492 5334 v India Mumbai 29 Nov 1988 Test 1109
MD Crowe 5334 5341 5444 v South Africa Durban 30 Dec 1994 Test 1280
SP Fleming 5444 5566 7172 v Bangladesh Chittagong (MAA) 29 Oct 2004 Test 1717

Sunil Gavaskar became India's highest run-scorer in November 1978 when he overtook Polly Umrigar, who had scored 3631. Gavaskar finished with 10122, having claimed the world record from Boycott when he passed 8144, and his Indian record stood for 27 years until Sachin Tendulkar broke it against Pakistan in Bangalore 2005. Tendulkar has since broken Lara's world record as well.

Progressive record holders for most runs in Tests for India
Player Record Runs Career Opposition Ground Match End Scorecard
S Wazir Ali - 70 237 v England Lord's 28 Jun 1932 Test 219
L Amarnath 70 156 878 v England Mumbai 18 Dec 1933 Test 230
CK Nayudu 156 188 350 v England Kolkata 8 Jan 1934 Test 231
VM Merchant 214 360 859 v England Manchester 28 Jul 1936 Test 253
VS Hazare 705 737 2192 v West Indies Mumbai (BS) 13 Dec 1948 Test 305
PR Umrigar 2192 =2192 3631 v West Indies Chennai 26 Jan 1959 Test 465
PR Umrigar 2192 2268 3631 v West Indies Delhi 11 Feb 1959 Test 467
SM Gavaskar 3631 3673 10122 v Pakistan Karachi 19 Nov 1978 Test 833
SR Tendulkar 10122 10134 12773 v Pakistan Bangalore 28 Mar 2005 Test 1743

Zaheer Abbas had played 17 Tests and scored 1049 runs before Javed Miandad made his Test debut. A few months after Abbas broke the Pakistan record for most runs - Majid Khan's 3931 - in January 1983, Miandad caught up with him. They passed each other several times during the course of the year and Miandad eventually took the record as Abbas' career came to an end at 5062 runs. Miandad claimed the record permanently in the Faisalabad Test against Sri Lanka in 1985 - Abbas' penultimate match - and has held it ever since. Inzamam-ul-Haq came extremely close to breaking it. Playing his final Test innings against South Africa in 2007, Inzamam needed two runs to equal Miandad. He stepped out to Paul Harris, looking to loft him for six, but missed and was stumped on 8830. Among Pakistan's present batsmen, Mohammad Yousuf is closest on 7023 runs.

Progressive record holders for most runs in Tests for Pakistan
Player Record Runs Career Opposition Ground Match End Scorecard
Hanif Mohammad - 52 3915 v India Delhi 18 Oct 1952 Test 355
Nazar Mohammad 52 158 277 v India Lucknow 26 Oct 1952 Test 356
Hanif Mohammad 158 197 3915 v India Mumbai (BS) 16 Nov 1952 Test 357
Waqar Hasan 197 231 1071 v India Chennai 1 Dec 1952 Test 358
Hanif Mohammad 433 449 3915 v England Manchester 27 Jul 1954 Test 389
Waqar Hasan 468 563 1071 v India Dhaka 4 Jan 1955 Test 394
Hanif Mohammad 563 665 3915 v India Bahawalpur 18 Jan 1955 Test 395
Waqar Hasan 746 927 1071 v New Zealand Lahore 31 Oct 1955 Test 414
Hanif Mohammad 941 1251 3915 v West Indies Bridgetown 23 Jan 1958 Test 446
Majid Khan 3915 3931 3931 v England Leeds 31 Aug 1982 Test 933
Zaheer Abbas 3931 3992 5062 v India Faisalabad 8 Jan 1983 Test 945
Javed Miandad 4095 4157 8832 v India Jalandhar 29 Sep 1983 Test 962
Zaheer Abbas 4157 4229 5062 v India Nagpur 10 Oct 1983 Test 963
Javed Miandad 4229 4263 8832 v Australia Perth 14 Nov 1983 Test 966
Zaheer Abbas 4263 4318 5062 v Australia Brisbane 29 Nov 1983 Test 969
Javed Miandad 4318 4405 8832 v Australia Adelaide 13 Dec 1983 Test 970
Zaheer Abbas 4405 4458 5062 v Australia Melbourne 30 Dec 1983 Test 973
Javed Miandad 5058 5247 8832 v Sri Lanka Faisalabad 21 Oct 1985 Test 1026

Sanath Jayasuriya broke the Sri Lankan record when he passed Aravinda de Silva's 6361 in Karachi in 2004, and held on to it until he retired after the Kandy Test against England in 2007. In the very next match, though, at the SSC, Mahela Jayawardene broke Jayasuriya's record of 6973 during his innings of 195. Jayawardene is currently on 8418 and is likely to stay ahead of his nearest competitor, Kumar Sangakkara, who's on 7095.

Progressive record holders for most runs in Tests for Sri Lanka
Player Record Runs Career Opposition Ground Match End Scorecard
RL Dias - 77 1285 v England Colombo (PSS) 21 Feb 1982 Test 921
S Wettimuny 149 270 1221 v Pakistan Faisalabad 19 Mar 1982 Test 925
RL Dias 270 372 1285 v Pakistan Lahore 27 Mar 1982 Test 927
S Wettimuny 677 819 1221 v England Lord's 28 Aug 1984 Test 994
RL Dias 832 906 1285 v India Colombo (PSS) 11 Sep 1985 Test 1024
LRD Mendis 906 1036 1329 v India Kandy 19 Sep 1985 Test 1025
RL Dias 1036 1068 1285 v Pakistan Faisalabad 21 Oct 1985 Test 1026
A Ranatunga 1144 1191 5105 v Pakistan Colombo (PSS) 27 Mar 1986 Test 1043
PA de Silva 4019 4220 6361 v India Colombo (SSC) 13 Aug 1997 Test 1376
ST Jayasuriya 6361 6388 6973 v Pakistan Karachi 1 Nov 2004 Test 1719
DPMD Jayawardene 6973 7058 8418 v England Colombo (SSC) 13 Dec 2007 Test 1853

Andy Flower's aggregate of 4794 when his career ended after he protested against the Mugabe regime in 2003 remains the Zimbabwe record, while Bangladesh's highest run-scorer is former captain Habibul Bashar who ended with 3026.

Most Runs in Tests for Zimbabwe - Progressive Record Holders
Player Record Runs Career Opposition Ground Match End Scorecard
DL Houghton - 162 1464 v India Harare 22 Oct 1992 Test 1197
KJ Arnott 162 203 302 v New Zealand Bulawayo 5 Nov 1992 Test 1198
A Flower 281 341 4794 v India Delhi 17 Mar 1993 Test 1218
ADR Campbell 425 472 2858 v Pakistan Rawalpindi 14 Dec 1993 Test 1240
A Flower 472 499 4794 v Pakistan Lahore 21 Dec 1993 Test 1241
DL Houghton 525 687 1464 v Sri Lanka Bulawayo 24 Oct 1994 Test 1271
GW Flower 1395 1430 3457 v New Zealand Harare 22 Sep 1997 Test 1378
A Flower 1991 2013 4794 v India Harare 10 Oct 1998 Test 1425
GW Flower 2013 2037 3457 v Pakistan Peshawar 30 Nov 1998 Test 1430
A Flower 2037 2090 4794 v Pakistan Lahore 14 Dec 1998 Test 1432

Progressive record holders for most runs in Tests for Bangladesh
Player Record Runs Career Opposition Ground Match End Scorecard
Aminul Islam - 151 530 v India Dhaka 13 Nov 2000 Test 1512
Habibul Bashar 246 265 3026 v Zimbabwe Harare 30 Apr 2001 Test 1545

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

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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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

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