6 Jul / 2015(326)…Experience of Test Cricket.

Cricket/Test Cricket was born at the advent of Ashes series.  Now, as Australia tries to defend the Ashes, and hope to win it in England after 15 years, I was thinking, currently how many experienced cricketers are playing Test matches worldwide??..

Surprisingly in terms No. of matches, only six  have 100+ matches. There are more experienced cricketers playing One day matches than Test cricket!!.

And the most experienced cricketers (A Cook 114 Test, M Clarke 110 Test) will lead their sides in Ashes series this week.

Although below stats are historic data, i feel some kind of solution can be provided to inject experience players in Test cricket. Here are few points that can be thought of..

1- Have less young (under-25) cricketers play Test matches. At least let them have 50 +first class matches under their belt. And if selectors feel they have found exceptional talent, than let that cricketer play at least 10 Tests before dropping for poor form. However don’t pick cricketers on few exceptional performance, it will only hurt them in future.

2- Pick young players in limited over games (ODIs and T20s). In recent times cricketers have performed brilliantly at Under-19 level. They should be picked to play Int. limited over game, and if they perform consistently for couple of years, than induct them in Test squad. Pat Cummins the Aussie bowler is a great example (although he made his Test debut as a teenager) now at the age of 22 is considered experienced bowler with only 6 first class games under his belt!. His consistent performance in limited overs(T20,ODIs)  has led the selectors to believe that now he is ready to play Test cricket, hence he was picked as replacement bowler for retired Ryan Harris in the forthcoming Ashes series. In doing this these young players will have enough Int exposure when they start playing Test matches. This will only benefit Test cricket.

3Second chance:  Give cricketers like Adam Voges, Chris Rogers, Harbhajan Singh, Adil Rashid, Sean Marsh and many similar type a second chance. They are not young, but fit enough to play at the highest level. Their experience and consistent performance in all format at domestic level has (once again) opened the door to play Test cricket. These players were picked and dropped earlier in their career, and now are getting a second chance(or more )to play International cricket, and so far they have done a commendable job.

4- Ask experience cricketers to prioritise format : In current scenario every Int. team and its players are playing cricket(all format)through out the year, therefore it is difficult to avoid injuries. Hence selectors should ask their experienced players to prioritise the format they wish to play without getting injured regularly! – Michael Clarke who has history of injuries, choose to retire from One day cricket(after winning the World Cup) so that he can prolong his Test career. MS Dhoni on the other hand retired from Test cricket to prolong his One day career.

Here is a list of current cricketers who have played most Int. matches. 

                                        Test matches 

Batsmen Tests Runs
A Cook (Eng) 114 9000
Younis Khan (Pak) 100 8643
M Clarke (Aus) 110 8511
AB de Villiers (SA) 98 7606
I Bell (Eng) 110 7354
H Amla (SA) 82 6757
B McCullum (NZ) 94 6008


Bowlers Tests Wkts
Harbhajan Singh (India) 102 416
J Anderson (Eng) 104 403
D Steyn (SA) 78 396
M Johnson (Aus) 66 291
S Broad (Eng) 79 287
R Herath (SL) 60 263
M Morkel (SA) 62 217

Interestingly only 6 Test batsmen currently have 100+ Test experience and none of them have reached 10,000 Test runs, and only two bowlers  have crossed 400 Test wickets. The next batsmen to reach the landmark still requires 3000/4000 runs. The bowling list looks more bare once Anderson and Steyn retire from Test cricket. My concern here is not the records, but lack of Test cricket experience in coming years. 




                            One day International  matches 

Batsmen ODIs Runs
T Dilshan (SL) 314 9796
C Gayle (WI) 269 9221
MS Dhoni (India) 265 8620
Shahid Afridi 398 8064
AB de Villiers (SA) 187 7941
Younis Khan (Pak) 264 7240
V Kohli (India) 161 6586
BB McCullum (NZ) 254 5909
H Amla (SA) 115 5692
S Watson (Aus) 187 5686
Shoaib Malik (Pak) 219 5641
R Taylor (NZ) 164 5509
S Raina (India) 218 5500
I Bell (Eng) 161 5416
U Tharanga (SL) 177 5343
B Taylor (Zim) 167 5258
Misbah-ul-Haq (Pak) 162 5122



Bowlers ODIs Wkts
Shahid Afridi (Pak) 398 395
L Malinga (SL) 184 283
J Anderson (Eng) 194 269
K Mills (NZ) 170 240
M Johnson (Aus) 153 239
D Bravo (WI) 164 199
Shakib Al Hasan (Ban) 153 198
Mashrafe Mortaza (Ban) 154 197
Saeed Ajmal (Pak) 113 184
N Kulasekara (SL) 168 182
S Broad (Eng) 119 177
Umar Gul (Pak) 126 173
M Morkel (SA) 99 169
S Watson (Aus) 187 166
C Gayle (WI) 269 163
D Steyn (SA) 104 162

The One day list looks very rich with most top batters have 5000 plus runs and bowlers have 200 plus wickets. Its the experience which is heartening to see. In the above ODI list there are only few under the age of 30, yet they all great wealth of limited over experience.





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