Ranking the Top 50 Batsman in Test Cricket History by Runs Scored Away from Home

Chris Teale@@chris_tealeFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2014

Ranking the Top 50 Batsman in Test Cricket History by Runs Scored Away from Home

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    Scoring runs at home is one thing, but for batsmen to do it away from home in unfamiliar conditions is another different challenge altogether.

    Bowlers are more accustomed to their home turf, the pitches will likely be in their favour and the crowd will be on their side.

    However, over the history of Test cricket, some batsmen have not just scored some runs on opposition territory, they have flourished and scored them in abundance.

    Read on for the top 50 run-scorers away from home—a list that will feature some very familiar names.

    All stats courtesy of ESPNCricinfo, correct as of July 28 2014.

50. Len Hutton (England)

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    35 away matches; 3041 runs; 55.29 batting average; 205 highest score

    In at No. 50 comes the former England captain Len Hutton, one of his country’s most consistent ever openers.

    He had an unerring ability to make batting look easy—even on the difficult pitches that followed the Second World War—and always seemed to do well away from home.

    When Hutton played, Australia were the main country that England would tour, and the Australian public became very used to seeing him at the crease.

    On any pitch, he was a stabilising influence in a time of transition for English cricket.

49. Martin Crowe (New Zealand)

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    45 away matches; 3043 runs; 42.26 batting average; 188 highest score

    Next comes the New Zealand great Martin Crowe, who carried the Black Caps’ batting for many years.

    He was superb on any surface, even though the majority would have been rather unfamiliar compared to those in his home country.

    Near the top of the order, Crowe was often required to face hostile seam bowlers and then combat the spinners later on, especially on the Asian subcontinent.

    He loved a challenge though, and always delivered when his country needed him.

48. Carl Hooper (West Indies)

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    55 away matches; 3053 runs; 34.69 batting average; 149 highest score

    Above Crowe is West Indian Carl Hooper, a classical batsman who was dependable away from home.

    That he managed such a good record while captaining a team in decline is a testament to his talents.

    With such great players around him, Hooper was perhaps overshadowed at times by the exploits of his more well-known teammates.

    However, the West Indian leader managed to keep up a high standard even as his side slipped down the world rankings.

47. Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa)

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    43 away matches; 3112 runs; 42.63 batting average; 211* highest score

    South African Herschelle Gibbs comes at No. 47 after a stellar career away from home.

    An average above 40 speaks for itself, as does a best of 211 not out, which came against New Zealand in 1999 at Christchurch.

    An opener who loved to dominate the bowling attack, Gibbs showed himself to be capable of demolishing even the best when he was on form.

    He particularly enjoyed the big occasions, as shown by his regular battles with the Australians.

46. Justin Langer (Australia)

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    47 away matches; 3130 runs; 41.73 batting average; 166 highest score

    Legendary opener Justin Langer comes in next having been very strong in the brilliant Australia team of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    He managed to sustain his record over a long career that lasted for 14 years.

    The gritty left-hander, like many of his Baggy Green colleagues, particularly enjoyed touring England as they dominated the Ashes rivalry.

    However, he was also adept at handling the slow wickets in Asia.

45. AB de Villiers (South Africa)

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    39 away matches; 3131 runs; 53.06 batting average; 217* highest score

    The first player on our list yet to retire is South Africa’s AB de Villiers, still a hugely important part of the Proteas lineup.

    As wickets seemingly get flatter and slower around the world, the South African has kept up and adapted to any situation he is faced with.

    In addition, he has often been asked to keep wicket in the field, but that has not detracted from his performances with the bat.

    With plenty of time left in his international career, De Villiers should move even higher on this list in the coming years.

44. Dilip Vengsarkar (India)

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    62 away matches; 3143 runs; 32.73 batting average; 157 highest score

    Indian Dilip Vengsarkar comes in at No. 44 thanks to 3,143 runs in 62 matches away from home.

    He enjoyed a very long career from 1976 to 1992, and is still revered in his home country.

    During that time, India were beginning to become a force in world cricket and were starting to produce some very good international players.

    Vengsarkar set high standards for their batsmen, and was an example for all to follow.

43. Rohan Kanhai (West Indies)

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    39 away matches; 3163 runs; 46.51 batting average; 256 highest score

    One of the earliest great West Indian batsmen, Rohan Kanhai is another to have been mightily impressive away from home.

    The right-hander helped his side prepare to be the dominant power they would become and managed to be consistently brilliant outside his own country.

    His best of 256 came on the dustbowl of Kolkata against India, showing his ability to adapt to any type of wicket, even those that were very unfamiliar.

42. Matthew Hayden (Australia)

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    44 away matches; 3169 runs; 41.69 batting average; 203 highest score

    Uncompromising Australian opener Matthew Hayden joins this list at No. 42.

    Brilliant in any conditions, Hayden was a terrifying proposition for opposing bowlers to face.

    He loved nothing more to destroy English bowlers on their home turf in the Ashes, but also showed himself to be a capable player on the pitches of Asia as well.

    A brutal batsman, Hayden was crucial in helping Australia becoming the dominant cricketing power at the turn of the century.

41. Neil Harvey (Australia)

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    43 away matches; 3343 runs; 51.43 batting average; 204 highest score

    Another Australian left-hander comes next, as legendary batsman Neil Harvey takes his place at No. 41.

    A teammate of Don Bradman in the latter stages of the great man’s career, Harvey helped move Australia into a new era.

    He did a good job in attempting to fill the void left by Bradman, especially as the Australians continued to enjoy some enormous tussles with England.

40. Graham Thorpe (England)

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    51 away matches; 3401 runs; 44.16 batting average; 200* highest score

    Capable of neutering even the best bowlers on their home turf, England’s Graham Thorpe was a brilliant batsman away from home.

    It is telling that England’s best victories away from home generally involved a telling contribution or two from Thorpe.

    His treatment of Muttiah Muralitharan on England's 2000-2001 tour was particularly memorable, as he helped the visitors to a 2-1 series win against the odds.

    He was instrumental in leading English cricket into a new era.

39. Ken Barrington (England)

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    36 matches; 3459 runs; 69.18 batting average; 172 highest score

    Above Thorpe comes Ken Barrington, a highly-regarded and popular batsman for England during the 1960s.

    While he was once dropped for scoring too slowly, Barrington was superb on any pitch on any continent.

    His ability to grind out runs served him well, as demonstrated by a monstrous overseas batting average of 69.18 runs.

    In an era where pitches were often of a poor standard, Barrington stood out.

38. Jack Hobbs (England)

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    34 away matches; 3475 runs; 59.91 batting average; 187 highest score

    One of England’s first truly great players, Jack Hobbs didn’t just enjoy batting at home but also away.

    His slightly carefree attitude served him well as he plundered runs at an astonishing rate.

    The first cricketer to be knighted, he was immensely popular wherever he went and toured both Australia and South Africa on a number of occasions.

    While he may be remembered most for his contributions on home turf, away from home he was a difficult proposition for bowlers to face too.

37. Mark Taylor (Australia)

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    49 away matches; 3532 runs; 43.60 batting average; 334* highest score

    Former Australia captain Mark Taylor joins this list at No. 37, having bullied attacks all around the world for a number of years.

    In a long career, Taylor led from the front as he took the Australians into an era of dominance.

    He may have gone through some poor form at times, but he always found a way to recover and set Australia on their way to big totals with the bat.

36. Kevin Pietersen (England)

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    48 away matches; 3577 runs; 44.16 batting average; 227 highest score

    Another who could add to his runs in Tests away from home is exiled England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who comes in at No. 36.

    His international career may have been declared over at the beginning of this year, but there is still time for a comeback.

    His exuberant batting style has got him into trouble at times, but he always manages to play memorable innings wherever he plays in the world.

35. Michael Clarke (Australia)

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    51 away matches; 3582 runs; 43.15 batting average; 187 highest score

    Australian captain Michael Clarke comes in next, having had plenty of success away from home.

    Having led his side through a rebuilding phase, Clarke has retained his consistency throughout.

    He is another who will likely add to his tally as his career continues, although it may be entering its final phase given his advancing years.

    His runs combined with an uncanny ability to take key wickets with his left-arm spin have made Clarke an invaluable tourist for the Australians.

34. Desmond Haynes (West Indies)

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    67 away matches; 3619 runs; 33.50 batting average; 184 highest score

    Former West Indian opener Desmond Haynes comes next, having been crucial to his side’s unprecedented success around the world in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Haynes formed a formidable opening partnership with Gordon Greenidge, and both would get their side off to a flying start and build enormous stands in seemingly no time.

    Having been raised on the bouncy pitches of the Caribbean, the right-hander adapted his game to any surface and any bowling attack.

    The pair were feared around the world.

33. Chris Gayle (West Indies)

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    48 away matches; 3633 runs; 43.77 batting average; 333 highest score

    Another West Indies opener follows, as Chris Gayle comes in at No. 33.

    His belligerent style may not pay off all the time, but when it does, he is spectacular.

    With plenty of time left in his international career, if he can stay healthy, Gayle has the chance to move even further up this list.

    The West Indians will hope he has the opportunities to do so, and set them on a path to revival.

32. Geoff Boycott (England)

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    51 away matches; 3758 runs; 46.97 batting average; 142* highest score

    England’s abrasive opener Geoff Boycott takes his place in this list above Haynes, having been an almost immovable object for his country.

    He may not have been everyone’s favourite player, but Boycott was mightily effective.

    The Yorkshireman was always prepared to grind out the runs wherever he played, and that was a technique that served him well across the world.

31. David Gower (England)

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    52 away matches; 3777 runs; 46.06 batting average; 173* highest score

    Another Englishman follows, as David Gower joins at No. 31 having been very consistent away from home.

    A particularly adept player of spin, he was very effective in the Asian subcontinent.

    His flowing strokeplay demoralised bowling attacks around the world, even as his powers started to wane late in his career.

30. Alec Stewart (England)

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    59 away matches; 3813 runs; 38.13 batting average; 173 highest score

    England’s man for a big occasion, Alec Stewart loved nothing more than grafting on opposition territory and stacking up the runs.

    Never one to gift his wicket, Stewart was one scalp bowlers prized.

    In the early 1990s, Stewart seemed to be at the heart of every England victory away from home, especially in the West Indies against their formidable bowling attack.

29. Gary Kirsten (South Africa)

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    49 away matches; 3905 runs; 48.20 batting average; 220 highest score

    South African opener Gary Kirsten finds a place at No. 29.

    One of his country’s best ever, Kirsten was a superb run-producer for the Proteas for a number of years.

    He proved himself on a variety of pitches in a number of countries, especially in the hostile environment of Australia.

    Now a well-regarded coach, his runs helped take South Africa to the upper section of international cricket.

28. Mark Waugh (Australia)

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    64 away matches; 3930 runs; 41.36 batting average; 153* highest score

    Half of the most famous brotherly cricket partnerships of all-time, Mark Waugh was very consistent on away pitches.

    Just ask England, who he terrorised on several Ashes tours as the Australians dominated their oldest rivals.

    He also showed his remarkable ability against the rapid pace of the West Indians and the spin in Asia.

    But it was in England where he really flourished, much like many of his colleagues.

27. Virender Sehwag (India/ICC World XI)

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    52 away matches; 3930 runs; 44.65 batting average; 309 highest score

    Another aggressive opener, Virender Sehwag’s approach brought him runs and plaudits all around the world.

    With the ability to demoralise even the best bowling attacks, he was a tricky customer at the top of the order for India.

    He may still make an international comeback and move up this list, but that looks increasingly unlikely.

26. Garry Sobers (West Indies)

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    49 away matches; 3957 runs; 50.73 batting average; 198 highest score

    The legendary Garry Sobers loved to score runs, especially away from home.

    One of the first great all-rounders of the modern era, he was one of the first West Indian players who dominated world cricket.

    Despite long odds that faced his team, Sobers earned respect wherever he went as he took on some brilliant teams and invariably came out on top.

    He showed West Indians that they could not only compete at the highest level, but be successful on a regular basis.

25. Alastair Cook (England)

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    45 away matches; 3986 runs; 51.76 batting average; 235* highest score

    Another who will almost certainly add to his tally is England captain Alastair Cook, a very consistent run scorer away from home.

    Notwithstanding the recent disastrous Ashes tour, Cook has proven time and again he is capable of delivering on any surface.

    Given England's hectic touring schedule and his role at the top of the order, if Cook is in form he has the chance to score many more runs away from home.

24. Sourav Ganguly (India)

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    63 away matches; 4032 runs; 41.56 batting average; 147 highest score

    Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was a very good batsman on his day and would take great delight in delivering the goods on the opposition’s home turf.

    The left-hander had great players around him and married that with incredible personal ability.

    He loved a challenge, none more so than walking out to face an opposition at home in their favoured surroundings.

23. Colin Cowdrey (England)

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    59 away matches; 4087 runs; 44.91 batting average; 151 highest score

    So good he was brought back from retirement by England, Colin Cowdrey joins this list at No. 23 after a stellar career away from home.

    Someone whose career bridged two eras in English cricket, he was very hard to remove from the crease once set.

    His return to international cricket came on England's traumatic 1973-74 tour of Australia, where he bravely faced up to the barrage of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson's brutal pace.

    He survived and did well, showing his love for a challenge.

22. Younis Khan (Pakistan)

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    52 away matches; 4134 runs; 50.41 batting average; 267 highest score

    Pakistan great Younis Khan comes next, having been very good on any surface against any bowling attack.

    He may have been part of a wildly inconsistent side, but Khan maintained a high level that helped his team on numerous occasions.

21. Mohammad Yousuf (Pakistan)

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    55 away matches; 4174 runs; 44.88 batting average; 204* highest score

    Khan’s former teammate Mohammad Yousuf comes next having been another enormously impressive batsman.

    Depended upon to deliver in crucial situations, Yousuf was superb in every country and was capable of stacking up the runs almost anywhere.

20. Stephen Fleming (New Zealand)

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    57 away matches; 4225 runs; 45.92 batting average; 274* highest score

    Into the top 20 now, and it’s led off by former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming, whose aggressive style of batting translated onto virtually any surface.

    Another to lead a moderate team in transition, Fleming’s record did not suffer as a result.

    An opening batsman capable of tremendous destruction, he led from the front as the Black Caps looked to compete against more talented teams.

19. Walter Hammond (England)

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    41 away matches; 4245 runs; 66.32 batting average; 336* highest score

    One of England’s best is at No. 19, as former captain Walter Hammond takes his place with a superb aggregate and average.

    He used to particularly love playing in Australia, where he toured four times with England.

    One of the best batsmen in the history of world cricket, Hammond found himself overshadowed by Don Bradman but still managed to keep churning out the runs.

    He was another who earned respect wherever he went in the world.

18. Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka)

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    61 away matches; 4317 runs; 41.50 batting average; 275 highest score

    Sri Lanka legend Mahela Jayawardene has always been a brilliant batsman and has proven himself on even the toughest surfaces away from home.

    His home pitches are usually pretty ideal for batting, so for Jayawardene to profit so much on unfamiliar tracks is a great achievement.

    With his career coming to an end, the Sri Lankan can look back on a tenure that has seen him enjoy success in just about every country in the world.

    It is quite an achievement, considering the variety of conditions he has faced over the years.

17. Gordon Greenidge (West Indies)

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    62 away matches; 4349 runs; 42.22 batting average; 223 highest score

    We saw his opening partner Haynes earlier, and now West Indies star Gordon Greenidge enters the list at No. 17.

    An aggressive opener who liked to dominate, Greenidge’s cuts and pulls were especially effective in England and Australia.

    However, he also showed himself to be an adept player of spin on the Asian subcontinent, as he set his side some superb platforms to build from.

16. Javed Miandad (Pakistan)

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    64 away matches; 4351 runs; 45.80 batting average; 271 highest score

    Pakistani great Javed Miandad follows at No. 16.

    He particularly enjoyed riling the opposition, so it is no surprise that attitude drove him to high standards outside of his native country.

    An average in excess of 45 shows that he was consistently good away from home, even though the side he was a part of could be a little inconsistent at times.

15. Clive Lloyd (West Indies)

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    66 away matches; 4634 runs; 46.80 batting average 242* highest score

    He led his team to greatness while managing to score runs himself, so it is unsurprising that Clive Lloyd of West Indies makes this list.

    Leadership never seemed to weigh him down, and his personal aggregates remained high.

    The West Indians were able to be fearsome opponents wherever they played, thanks in part to their battery of pace bowlers but also batsmen who were unafraid to express themselves.

    Lloyd was one such batsman, and he reaped the rewards.

14. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)

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    51 away matches; 4673 runs; 53.10 batting average; 319 highest score

    Another Sri Lankan great follows at No. 14—Kumar Sangakkara.

    He showed the ability to put any bowling attack to the sword in a long and fruitful career, while adapting to the challenge and the pitch in front of him.

    Sangakkara is now coming to the end of his international career, but can look back with great pride at his figures outside Sri Lanka.

13. Inzamam-Ul-Haq (Pakistan/ICC World XI)

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    68 away matches; 4821 runs; 45.91 batting average; 184 highest score

    Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq takes his place at No. 13 after a long career in which he was very difficult to remove from the crease.

    He valued his wicket highly and was rewarded with a glut of runs away from home.

    Leadership on foreign tours did not seem to affect his batting too greatly, even in the most difficult situations and circumstances.

12. Graeme Smith (South Africa/ICC World XI)

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    52 away matches; 4854 runs; 53.93 batting average; 277 highest score

    South Africa’s Graeme Smith became one of the best batsmen in the world having been thrust into the captaincy early on.

    A brilliant tour of England in 2003 was just the beginning as he feasted on bowling attacks across the world and often on difficult surfaces.

    That continued until relatively recently, when he announced his retirement from international cricket.

    He has a record that most would envy.

11. VVS Laxman (India)

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    77 away matches; 5014 runs; 42.49 batting average; 178 highest score

    Just missing out on the top 10 is Indian VVS Laxman, one of the most elegant batsmen of all time.

    Having grown up on the flat pitches of India, he also looked at home elsewhere in the world, especially with his classical cover drive.

    We will be seeing more of his illustrious colleagues later in this list, but on his day Laxman was one of the best.

    Scoring more than 5,000 runs is quite an achievement, especially in conditions very different from his home country.

10. Sunil Gavaskar (India)

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    60 away matches; 5055 runs; 52.11 batting average; 221 highest score

    Moving into the top 10 now, and we start at No. 10 with one of the best Indian batsmen of all time—Sunil Gavaskar.

    The opener managed to counter some very difficult seam bowling around the world to make an astonishing number of runs and show himself as one of the best.

    Still regarded as one of the best openers of all time, Gavaskar built some superb foundations for his side as he battled hard at the top of the order.

9. Steve Waugh (Australia)

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    76 away matches; 5083 runs; 55.85 batting average; 200 highest score

    We saw Mark earlier, now we see Steve Waugh at No. 9 after a brilliant career as Australian captain and a crucial part of their batting lineup.

    He loved riling the opposition as it encouraged him to play at his best, and while he was feared around the world, he was greatly respected and admired.

    England in particular felt the full power of his talents on numerous occasions, not only in 1989 when they seemingly could not remove him, but also in 2001 when he batted on one leg for a century.

    Waugh made the best of his abilities through sheer force of personality.

8. Ricky Ponting (Australia)

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    71 away matches; 5360 runs; 45.81 batting average; 206 highest score

    Waugh’s successor as Australian captain follows next, as Ricky Ponting comes in at No. 8.

    Regardless of the match situation and the conditions, he was a brilliant batsman capable of turning momentum in his favour seemingly in an instant.

    Like other Australian greats, he enjoyed playing in England and achieved great success there.

    However, he also dominated in other parts of the world and against some of the best bowlers in the game on their home turf.

7. Viv Richards (West Indies)

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    73 away matches; 5404 runs; 50.50 batting average; 291 highest score

    Capable of dispatching even the best bowlers over their heads on their home turf, West Indian Viv Richards comes in at No. 7.

    His runs came at a superb average, and he was able to maintain his aggressive style of play on just about any pitch.

6. Allan Border (Australia)

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    70 away matches; 5431 runs; 56.57 batting average; 200* highest score

    The man who made Australia great again, Allan Border comes in at No. 6 having been a brilliant tourist.

    Also a superb captain, Border ensured that the perils of leadership never interfered with his own batting.

    Through his leadership and batting, he made Australian cricket into a powerhouse once again and helped the international side take very important victories away from home.

    And, being an Australian batsmen, he particularly enjoyed feasting on England's bowlers throughout his career.

5. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies)

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    78 away matches; 5488 runs; 47.31 batting average; 203* highest score

    Still going strong to this day, West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul has been the backbone of his country’s batting for a while now.

    Relied upon to rescue the West Indians on countless occasions, Chanderpaul always seems to deliver, especially away from home.

4. Brian Lara (West Indies/ICC World XI)

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    66 away matches; 5736 runs; 47.80 batting average; 277 highest score

    Chanderpaul’s teammate Brian Lara follows at No. 4, and needs little introduction.

    Put simply, he was one of the best ever, and proved as such across the world.

3. Jacques Kallis (South Africa/ICC World XI)

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    74 away matches; 5919 runs; 53.80 batting average; 189* highest score

    South African stalwart Jacques Kallis commences the top three after a long career that saw him consistently tour well.

    His exploits with the bat are even more impressive considering the role he played with the ball in addition.

2. Rahul Dravid (India/ICC World XI)

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    94 away matches; 7690 runs; 53.03 batting average; 270 highest score

    Rahul Dravid comes at No. 2 and does so with a considerable margin over Kallis.

    Dravid was very reliable and consistent for India throughout his career. He quickly became a senior batsman and a good tourist.

1. Sachin Tendulkar (India/ICC World XI)

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    106 away matches; 8705 runs; 54.74 batting average; 248* highest score

    The man at No. 1 should be no surprise to anyone, as Sachin Tendulkar comes top of the pile.

    He truly was one of the most complete batsmen ever, capable of destroying any bowling attack on any ground in the world.

    That he stands so far above everyone else speaks volumes of his sheer talent with the bat and a sustained excellence that has not been equalled in the modern game.

    His record will likely not be beaten for a long time to come, if ever.