(Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images)
Some things I noticed. All the five batsmen average better than their career average and score at a very good clip (60+ S/R). That not only says something about their batting skills, it also says a lot about their intent to win the match for their teams.
Where are the legends?
No Brian Lara or Sachin Tendulkar in the list.
In fact, my query for players with most runs in fourth innings in Test wins, with over 500 runs, threw up just nine players.
Two of the greatest batsmen did not figure in that list. In other words, these legends could not win as many Test matches for their teams. In fact, these two average in the mid-30s in the fourth innings.
The fact that these guys did not play in teams that had good bowling attacks probably explains this anomaly.
The presence of three Aussies (contemporaries at that), who played in teams that had the best bowling attack in the world, in this list only reiterates the above premise.
This list, by no means, claims that these five are the best contemporary Test batsmen. If we consider drawn Test matches, the list will be completely different but then a Test victory is precious.
Individual batting brilliance cannot win matches on its own.
It takes the entire team to perform well over a five-day period to win a Test. That's why it is called a "Test" match.
P.S. I had initially titled this "The Best Fourth Innings Batsmen" but when I wrote the conclusion, I renamed the title.