Batting in Test cricket is distinct from other game formats. This is because the match lasts the longest and is considered the highest standard format in cricket.
A five-day test match is played between two teams. It assesses the team’s skill and endurance. As a result, very few of the greatest batsmen can replicate their one-day or Twenty-20 exploits in Test matches.
With that in mind, here is a list of the batsmen who have the highest test batting averages in cricket history.
So, without further ado, let us go through this list together.
Top 12 Batters with the Highest Test Batting Averages
This list was compiled using various internet resources, including ESPNcricinfo.com. But, before we get into the specifics, take a look at the table below.
|Players Name||Batting Average|
|12. Kumar Sangakkara||57.40|
|11. Garfield Sobers||57.78|
|10. Wally Hammond||58.45|
|9. Everton Weekes||58.61|
|8. Ken Barrington||58.67|
|7. Eddie Paynter||59.53|
|6. Steve Smith||59.87|
|5. Herbert Sutcliffe||60.73|
|4. George Headley||60.83|
|3. Graeme Pollock||60.97|
|2. Adam Voges||61.87|
|1. Don Bradman||99.94|
12. Sangakkara, Kumar
We’ll start with Kumar Sangakkara, a former Sri Lankan cricketer and commentator. Kumar is regarded as one of cricket’s greatest wicket-keeper-batters.
Sangakkara was officially ranked in the top three current batters in the world in all three formats of the game during his 15-year career (2000-2015). Similarly, in his playing career, this left-handed batsman held the wicket-keeper position.
Sangakkara retired with 28,016 runs in international cricket across all formats. Similarly, he was the second-highest ODI run-scorer and the sixth-highest Test run-scorer.
He was named the leading cricketer in the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2012 and 2015 editions. Sangakkara won numerous awards and set numerous records during his playing career.
He was elected president of the Marylebone Cricket Club in 2019. Sangakkara will also be the second Sri Lankan to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2021.
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11. Garfield Sobers
Sir Garfield Sobers is the next best batsman, with a batting average of 57.78. He is a former West Indian cricketer who is widely regarded as the greatest all-rounder and cricketer of all time.
Sobers was a talented bowler, an excellent fielder, and a fearless left-handed batter. In 1953, the batsman made his first-class debut for the Barbados cricket team at the age of 16.
Sobers made his Test debut the following year. The Barbadian cricketer scored his first Test century and the highest individual score in an innings in 1958.
Similarly, he captained the West Indies from 1965 to 1972. Sobers appeared in 93 Tests for the West Indies and scored 8.032 runs during his career.
He has the fifth-highest batting average in Test cricket among players with over 5,000 runs. In addition, Queen Elizabeth II knighted Sobers in 1975 for his services to cricket.
Garfield was inducted into the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.
10. Wally Hammond
Wally Hammond, born Walter Reginald Hammond, was an English first-class cricketer who played for Gloucestershire. He was born on June 19, 1903, and is widely regarded as the best English batsman of the 1930s.
From 1920 to 1951, Hammond worked professionally. However, he did not begin playing full-time until 1923. He then began to dominate county cricket in the 1930s.
He captained England’s cricket team in 1938 and continued to do so after the war. Aside from being one of the best batsmen of all time, Hammond was also one of the best slip fielders of all time.
Similarly, he played 85 Test matches in his career (from 1927 to 1947), 20 of which he captained the team. Until 1970, he held the record for the most Test runs.
Similarly, as a first-class cricketer, Hammond won numerous awards and set numerous records. Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack named him one of the top four batsmen in cricket history.
Unfortunately, at the age of 62, this legendary English cricketer died of a heart attack.
9. Weekes, Everton
Sir Everton DeCourcy Weekes was a professional cricketer from the Caribbean country of Barbados. On February 26, 1925, he was born. Weekes was one of the most powerful batters in cricket history.
Weeks was chosen for first-class cricket in 1945. His performance in the Barbados club cricket trial match earned him a spot on the team. At the age of 19, he made his first-class debut.
Weekes was one of the Barbados batsmen who made their Test debut against England in 1948. He was one of the West Indies cricket team’s “Three Ws,” along with Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrell.
Weekes’ Test career lasted from 1948 to 1958, but he continued to play first-class cricket until 1964. Then, due to a persistent thigh injury, he retired from Test cricket.
Weekes went on to have a successful coaching career after retiring. In addition, he was appointed as a Barbados Government Sports Officer in 1958. Unfortunately, he died on July 1, 2020, at the age of 95.
8. Ken Barrington
Ken Barrington, a former English international cricketer, is ranked eighth on our list of highest test batting averages. He has a 58.67 batting average overall.
Barrington, known for his cheerful good humor and long, defensive strides, was inspired to play cricket by his father, Percy Barrington.
He joined Reading Cricket Club as an assistant groundsman at the age of 15, giving him unlimited opportunities to practice cricket. Andy Sandham, an ex-England and Surrey batsman, spotted him and invited him to play for the Surrey Colts the following year.
Barrington was a Lance-Corporal in the Wiltshire Regiment in addition to playing cricket. He rejoined Surrey’s old team after his discharge in 1950.
Barrington’s 256 against Australia in the fourth Test at Old Trafford in 1964 is the third-highest score by an Englishman. Similarly, it is the highest score since World War II.
Similarly, he scored centuries twice in four consecutive Tests, becoming the first English batsman to do so on all six traditional Test grounds.
Barrington’s Test career was cut short by a heart attack in 1968. He died on March 14, 1981, as a result of a second heart attack.
7. Eddie Paynter
With a batting average of 59.23, we have another English cricketer on our seventh number. Eddie Paynter was born on November 5, 1901, as Edward Paynter. He was regarded as an outstanding fielder as well as an attacking batsman.
Paynter’s career took a slow start. At the age of 24, he made his first-class debut for Lancashire County Cricket Club. However, he was unable to establish himself as a first-team player until after 1930.
Paynter made his Test debut against New Zealand in 1931. One of his most famous Test match appearances was against Australia in 1932-33.
Despite being limited to only fielding during the game, Paynter was given a chance to bat in the second innings. He scored the winning runs with a six-off against Stan McCabe of Australia.
He was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1938. Paynter’s career, however, ended with the outbreak of World War II in 1939. He died in February 1979, at the age of 77.
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6. Steve Smith
33-year-old man Steve Smith is a former international cricketer and the current vice-captain of Australia’s Test team. He has a 59.87 batting average.
According to the ICC Player Rankings, he is one of the top-ranked Test batsmen in the world. Smith is widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time due to his high Test batting average.
Smith began his playing career with the Under-19 cricket team and represented Australia in the 2008 Cricket World Cup. In 2008, he made his first-class debut. His test career began in 2010 and will end in 2022.
Smith, too, was a former captain of the Australian national team. He has received numerous awards over the years.
Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy in 2015, ICC Test Player of the Year (2015, 2017), Allan Border Medal in 2015, 2018, and 2021, Australian Test Player of the Year in 2015, 2018, and others are among the awards.
Smith was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2016. Then, in 2017, he achieved the second-highest Test batting rating of all time, 947. As a result, he ranks sixth on our list of the highest test batting averages.
5. Herbert Sutcliffe
Herbert Sutcliffe is the next batsman on our list with the highest test batting averages. On November 24, 1894, he was born.
Sutcliffe was an English professional cricketer who became the first player in Test match history to score 16 centuries. His test career lasted from 1924 to 1935.
His first-class career with Yorkshire had been hampered by World War I. He was able to make his debut in 1919. Sutcliffe’s first-rate career spanned the years between the two world wars.
Herbert is regarded as one of the greatest “bad wicket batsmen” of all time. Sutcliffe appeared in 54 Test matches for England.
Sutcliffe, however, was called up for military service at the start of World War II in 1939. This effectively ended his professional playing career.
Sutcliffe was one of England’s most successful Test batsmen. His 60.73 batting average is the highest of any English batsman. He died on January 22, 1978, at the age of 83.
4. George Headley
George Headly is regarded as one of the most appealing West Indian batsmen and one of the greatest cricketers of all time. He was a West Indian cricketer who played mostly before the Second World War. He was born on May 30, 1909.
In his school days, the Panamanian cricketer played cricket. He began to gain local attention after participating in local cricket matches. Then, at the age of 16, he joined Raytown Cricket Club.
He had intended to move to America to pursue a career in dentistry, but this was postponed. This delay, however, allowed him to make his first-class debut for Jamaica against Lord Tennyson’s XI in 1928.
Similarly, Headly made his West Indies Test debut in 1930. He scored 176 in the second innings, becoming the first West Indian to do so in his Test debut. At the time, he was the dominant figure in West Indian batting.
Following his 1933 tour of England, Headly was signed by Haslingden in the Lancashire League. He continued to play until the war began. Although he returned to Test cricket in 1948, his injuries prevented him from reclaiming his former glory.
Headly returned to Jamaica in 1954, effectively ending his playing career. Unfortunately, this West Indian legend died on November 30, 1983, at the age of 74.
3. Graeme Pollock
Graeme Pollock has the third-highest test batting average on our list. He is a former South African cricketer. Graeme is regarded as one of South Africa’s greatest-ever cricketers and one of the best batsmen to have played Test cricket.
Pollock was born in February 1944 into a famous cricketing family. His father played first-class cricket for Orange Free State. He began playing during his school years.
Pollock played for Eastern Province at the age of 16 in 1960. He made his first-class debut against Border at the Jan Smuts Ground in East London.
Pollock became the youngest South African to score a double-century in first-class cricket at the age of 19. Graeme made his Test debut at Brisbane’s Gabba. His debut, however, was not a huge success.
Unfortunately, Pollock’s international career was cut short at the age of 26. He did, however, play 23 Test matches (1963-1970) and set numerous records during his career.
Pollock has received numerous awards over the years, including South Africa’s Cricketer of the Century in 1999, Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1966, Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 1967 and 1969, and others.
Pollock was inducted into the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.
2. Adam Voges
Our list is coming to an end. Adam Voges, a 42-year-old former Australian cricketer, is our number two. He has the second-highest batting average (61.87) among batsmen who have played at least 20 innings.
Voges began playing cricket at a young age and was a member of the Australian Under-19 team. He made his first-class debut for Western Australia in 2002-03. Similarly, he made his debut for Australia in 2006-07 during the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.
Vogues made his Test debut against the West Indies in 2015. He was 35 at the time and made his debut within a century. In the same year, he scored his second century against New Zealand.
Voges, in addition to playing all game formats, was the captain of the Western Australia team and the domestic cricket team Perth Scorchers. In 2016, he broke Sachin Tendulkar’s Test record for most runs between dismissals.
In 2017, Vogues announced his retirement from international cricket. He announced his retirement from domestic cricket the same year.
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Don Bradman of Australia is ranked first on our list of the highest test batting averages. He was born on August 27, 1908, and was known as “The Don.” He is widely regarded as the greatest all-time batsman.
Bradman began his career with the local Bowral team. His playing career began in 1920 when he replaced the team’s one-man short. He made his first-class debut with the NSW team when he was 19 years old.
Bradman only needed two years to develop a player from a local team to the Australian Test team. By the age of 22, he had already set numerous records and had become the country’s sporting Idol.
His Test batting average of 99.94 ranks first among all batsmen. Similarly, this feat has been cited as the greatest achievement by any sportsman in any major sport.
Bradman is a national hero in Australia. Australia’s Prime Minister, John Howard, dubbed him the greatest living Australian in 1997. His life is commemorated by a museum, and his image has appeared on postage stamps and coins.
On February 25, 2001, this Australian legend passed away. In 2009, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame posthumously.
Test matches are the most difficult of the game’s formats. It thoroughly tests a player’s skill set and endurance. Let us honor these incredible players for their incredible abilities and accomplishments.