Veteran Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara’s brilliant 221 against Pakistan in the first innings of the Galle Test has taken him to number six in the list of highest career batting averages. Before the Test, his average was a healthy 58.32, just below Ken Barrington’s 58.67. His Test average has now moved up to 59.13. Playing in his 127th Test, Sangakkara now has 11886 runs to his credit with 37 hundreds and 50 half-centuries and a highest score of 319.Here’s a look at the batsmen with the top five averages in Test cricket.
Don Bradman: His figures are legendary for sure. In 52 Tests, he amassed 6996 runs at an average of 99.94 with 29 hundreds, 13 fifties and a highest of 334.
Graeme Pollock: The South African legend is at number two on the list. Most of his career was lost out due to the country’s isolation, but even in the few Tests that he played, he displayed his marvelous talent. In 23 Tests, 2256 runs at an average of 60.97 with seven hundreds and 11 fifties. Pollock had a highest score of 274 in his short but sensational Test career.
George Headley: The West Indian comes in at number three. In 22 Tests, he scored 2190 runs at an average of 60.83 with 10 hundreds and five fifties. Headley had a highest score of 270 not out during his career.
Herbert Sutcliffe: The England legend comes in at number four. In 54 Tests, he finished with 4555 runs at an average of 60.73 with 16 hundreds and 23 half-centuries. He had a highest score of 194 in his career.
Eddie Paynter: Another Englishman on the list. In 20 Tests, he made 1540 runs at an average of 59.23 with four hundreds and seven fifties. Paynter finished with a highest score of 243.
Sangakkara and Younis Khan: A tale of two veterans
Apart from Sangakkara, Pakistan’s Younis Khan has been the other big star of the Galle Test so far. There are a few similarities between the two veterans of international cricket. Both are known to be no-fuss players, who go about their job in an assuming manner. Sangakkara may be the more fluent of the two, but Khan makes up for the same with his hard-fought attitude. But, there are a few other factors due to which Sangakkara and Khan can be put in the same bracket.
--Both made their Tests debuts in the year 2000
--Both have triple hundreds to their name
--Younis Khan has a highest score of 313, and Sangakkara that of 319
--Khan has three more double hundreds to his score, two 190s and two 170s
--Sangakkara also has many big scores to his name apart from his triple hundred – 287, 270, 232, 230, 222*, 221, 219, 211, and 200 not out. The list goes on…
--Above all, both have been the most consistent batsman for their respective sides over the last decade and more.
--By A Cricket Analyst