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Ranking the Top 50 Batsmen in Test Cricket History by Runs Scored at Home

Chris TealeFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2014

Ranking the Top 50 Batsmen in Test Cricket History by Runs Scored at Home

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    In the game of cricket, batsmen always want to score runs on their home turf, especially when representing their country in Test cricket.

    The bowlers come into a tour fired up and determined to make their mark on unfamiliar territory, so to repel them, a batsman needs to have a great amount of talent at the crease.

    Often they will be under some pressure to score runs at home, too, with the expectations of their local fans weighing heavy in the air.

    Being able to handle those expectations and the bowlers that come charging in is the mark of a good batsman in home conditions, and some have excelled beyond all others.

    Read on for the top 50 run scorers at home in the history of Test cricket.

    All stats courtesy of ESPNCricinfo, correct as of August 4 2014.

50. Graham Thorpe (England)

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    49 home matches, 3343 runs, 45.17 batting average, 138 highest score

    Brilliant away from home, Graham Thorpe was also a superb player in his home country for England during the 1990s and 2000s.

    It all began with a century on debut against Australia in 1993 and went from there, as a team in transition often relied heavily on the consistency of the Surrey left-hander.

    Never burdened with the Test captaincy, Thorpe was able to focus on his batting and produced a number of match-winning displays as England recovered from being the worst team in the world in 1999.

    After a break from the game, his century on his return to the team at the Oval in 2003 against South Africa will live long in the memory.

49. Ken Barrington (England)

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    46 home matches, 3347 runs, 50.71 batting average, 256 highest score

    Above Thorpe comes another Englishman, as Ken Barrington joins at No. 49.

    A gritty right-hander who placed a high price on his wicket, his defensive style brought him plenty of runs and admirers.

    A superb average of 50.71 speaks of a batsman who, once in, was very difficult to remove, even when he faced fearsome bowling attacks.

48. Chris Gayle (West Indies)

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    52 home matches, 3364 runs, 40.53 batting average, 317 highest score

    Up next comes West Indian Chris Gayle, a batsman who strikes fear into opposition bowlers' hearts wherever they face him.

    On the fast, bouncy wickets of the Caribbean, his aggressive technique has been particularly profitable.

    As an opener, Gayle always prefers to get his side off to a fast start, even at the very start of a Test match.

    Unfortunately, he has had some recent injury struggles and has gone through some poor form, but he still has the chance to move up this list.

47. Gary Kirsten (South Africa)

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    52 home matches, 3384 runs, 42.30 batting average, 275 highest score

    Crucial in helping South Africa's new era take shape, opener Gary Kirsten enters this list at No. 47 after a stellar career.

    A determined and hard-working batsman, Kirsten's best at home came against England in 1999-2000 at Kingsmead, after the Proteas had been asked to follow on.

    That speaks volumes of his character at the crease, as he would show tremendous spirit and grind out the runs.

    It served him well in his home country of South Africa as it did around the world.

46. Mohammad Azharuddin (India)

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    46 home matches, 3412 runs, 55.93 batting average, 199 highest score

    He may unfortunately be remembered for his alleged involvement in the match-fixing scandal of the early 2000s, but Mohammad Azharuddin was also a superb batsman at home in India.

    With wristy strokeplay and superb ability against the spinners, Azharuddin profited on the dustbowls of India and proved almost impossible to remove at times.

    His final average at home of 55.93 shows how highly he prized his wicket and how difficult he could be to bowl at.

    It seems a shame that he will almost certainly go down in history for the match-fixing allegations made against him, rather than his brilliant batting.

45. Marcus Trescothick (England)

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    42 home matches, 3472 runs, 51.05 batting average, 219 highest score

    Up next comes former England opener Marcus Trescothick, another who came to the crease and struck fear into the hearts of opposition bowlers.

    With his trademark cuts and pulls, Trescothick punished anything that was short and wide from the seamers while showing a great ability against the spinners.

    That set him up for some brilliant innings, most notably his 219 against South Africa in 2003 that helped his side take a superb victory at The Oval.

    Since his premature retirement, there has never quite been another England opener like Trescothick.

44. Ramnaresh Sarwan (West Indies)

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    47 home matches, 3494 runs, 45.37 batting average, 291 highest score

    Another West Indian comes next in the list, as Ramnaresh Sarwan joins at No. 44.

    A player who was earmarked for success at a very young age, Sarwan has certainly delivered on his home turf despite the ongoing struggles of a team in transition.

    He may have had more problems away from home, but in the Caribbean, on familiar territory, he has profited regularly.

    Perhaps there is still time for him to add to his tally—Sarwan will certainly hope so.

43. Gundappa Viswanath (India)

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    48 home matches, 3502 runs, 47.32 batting average, 222 highest score

    An Indian batsman who enjoyed a long and fruitful career, Gundappa Viswanath comes in at No. 43 having proved himself regularly on home turf.

    Like Azharuddin after him, Viswanath was a classical batsman who profited against both pace and spin bowlers.

    He also found a way to score runs on pitches that were less than ideal, something his home country suffered with a little as they started hosting more and more Tests.

    Alongside Sunil Gavaskar, he was crucial to India's success in Test matches during the 1970s.

42. Colin Cowdrey (England)

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    55 home matches, 3537 runs, 43.13 batting average, 182 highest score

    One of England's most consistent and durable batsmen, Colin Cowdrey enjoyed a great deal of success in his home territory in a career that lasted from the 1950s until the 1970s.

    He successfully helped his side as cricket entered a newer, tougher era and was key as England took some famous victories at home.

    His blunting of West Indian spinners Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine was the stuff of legend, as alongside Peter May, he ensured they would never be a threat again.

41. AB de Villiers (South Africa)

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    51 home matches, 3577 runs, 45.85 batting average, 163 highest score

    One batsman who should make his way upwards in this list is South African AB de Villiers, a crucial part of his country's batting lineup.

    With some superb drives and elegant footwork against the spinners, de Villiers is a rare cricketer in that he is able to translate his talent across all three forms of the game.

    In Tests, at home, he is a fearsome prospect to bowl to, especially with an unerring ability to bat just about anywhere in the order.

    With plenty of cricket ahead of him, he will almost certainly move upwards in this list.

40. Inzamam-Ul-Haq (Pakistan)

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    49 home matches, 3709 runs, 53.75 batting average, 329 highest score

    Part of an inconsistent Pakistan side but never one to let his own standards slip, Inzamam-ul-Haq joins this list at No. 40 after a brilliant Test career in his own country.

    A strong hitter of the ball who also possessed some superbly delicate shots, Inzamam profited even when the temperatures soared, as they often do in Pakistan.

    His best of 329 came in the 2001-02 season in Lahore against New Zealand, when other players might have had to remove themselves from the pitch due to exhaustion.

    The perils of leadership did little to affect his batting at home, too, and the combination of his captaincy and batting helped make Pakistan a force to be reckoned with.

39. Dilip Vengsarkar (India)

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    54 home matches, 3725 runs, 55.59 batting average, 166 highest score

    In at No. 39 comes another Indian batsman who profited on his home turf—Dilip Vengsarkar.

    A crucial batsman at No. 3, Vengsarkar's average of 55.59 shows how dangerous he was with the bat and also his consistency.

    Like many of his fellow Indian superstars, he was a very elegant batsman who could destroy any bowling attack seemingly at will.

38. VVS Laxman (India)

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    57 home matches, 3767 runs, 51.60 batting average, 281 highest score

    Just above him comes another supremely talented Indian batsman—VVS Laxman.

    A lynchpin of a very strong India batting lineup in the early 2000s, Laxman exhibited numerous strokes that looked almost effortless.

    He may have been overshadowed somewhat by his more celebrated teammates, but the right-hander remained crucial to his side's success.

    His incredible 281 came against Australia in Kolkata, and it proved that the Baggy Green were not as invincible as they were thought to be.

37. Mike Hussey (Australia)

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    45 home matches, 3794 runs, 61.19 batting average, 195 highest score

    An incredible batting average at home of 61.19 shows just how powerful Mike Hussey was at home for Australia.

    Having started his international career late on, Hussey made up for lost time as he bullied countless attacks on the batsman-friendly pitches of Australia.

    The left-hander became one of the opposition's most prized wickets, especially as the Baggy Green went through a period of transition.

    A tally of 3,794 runs from just 45 games shows just how valuable he was as Australia rebuilt their side.

36. Desmond Haynes (West Indies)

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    49 home matches, 3868 runs, 56.05 batting average, 167 highest score

    Half of one of the most destructive opening partnerships of all time, Desmond Haynes makes this list at No. 36 after a long career for the West Indies.

    On the fast and bouncy pitches of the Caribbean, Haynes profited enormously as he dominated attacks from around the world.

    As his side dominated all comers, the right-hander helped build some enormous stands and feasted on some traumatised bowling attacks.

35. Len Hutton (England)

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    44 home matches, 3930 runs, 57.79 batting average, 364 highest score

    An opener who loved nothing more than scoring big hundreds, Len Hutton makes this list at No. 35.

    A true great who spent many years at the very top of the game, Hutton's zenith came in 1938 as he hit the beleaguered Australians for 364 to help England win the game.

    Beyond that, he was instrumental in some of England's biggest opening stands at home and was a well-respected captain.

34. Denis Compton (England)

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    47 home matches, 3963 runs, 60.04 batting average, 278 highest score

    One of the first cricketers to truly appreciate their commercial appeal, Denis Compton also delivered with the bat on home turf.

    Despite his career being interrupted significantly by the Second World War, Compton remained consistent throughout.

    An exuberant batsman who loved to dominate, he took risks and seemingly was capable of playing any shot at any time in the match.

    Compton and his teammates were instrumental in cricket returning as a nationally loved sport in England.

33. Graeme Smith (South Africa)

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    61 home matches, 3986 runs, 41.52 batting average, 200 highest score

    A bully of attacks all over the world, Graeme Smith was also comfortable playing at home as he helped lead South Africa into a period of dominance.

    With his aggressive range of strokes and a desire to take as much of the strike as possible, Smith loved nothing more than to assert himself at the top of the order.

    Also a popular captain, Smith was widely praised when he retired earlier this year, having helped bring the Proteas back to the top of the world game.

    Without his forthright batting also, it is unlikely that they would have become so feared in the international game.

32. Mark Taylor (Australia)

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    55 home matches, 3993 runs, 43.40 batting average, 170 highest score

    Australia's captain as they became a leading force in international cricket, Mark Taylor rarely let the strain of leadership show in his batting ability, especially at home.

    An uncompromising left-hander, Taylor saved some of his best innings for the Ashes, when England would tour Australia and invariably lose heavily.

    Alongside Michael Slater at the top of the order, Taylor was key in helping destroy almost any bowling attack with his array of attacking strokes.

31. Mark Waugh (Australia)

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    61 home matches, 4019 runs, 43.21 batting average, 140 highest score

    One of the most famous brotherly partnerships in cricket of all-time, Mark Waugh loved batting at home for Australia.

    An elegant batsman capable of making every shot look effortless, Waugh particularly enjoyed facing the English at home.

    While he was criticised for apparent laziness at times, he was one of a multitude of Australian batsmen who made life very difficult for opposition bowlers.

30. Andrew Strauss (England)

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    61 home matches, 4045 runs, 39.65 batting average, 161 highest score

    Only denied twin centuries on debut by the errant running of Nasser Hussain, former England captain Andrew Strauss was destined for great things.

    He managed to remain consistent even in spite of some issues for his side, and he held the batting together while others faltered.

    The 2005 Ashes were a high point, as he scored runs on a regular basis to help build imposing totals.

    He was especially strong through point and on the leg-side, helping his side reach a new era.

29. Garry Sobers (West Indies)

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    44 home matches, 4075 runs, 66.80 batting average, 365* highest score

    Another West Indian legend follows at No. 29, and this time it's perhaps one of their greatest-ever players in the form of Garry Sobers.

    Over a 20-year career, his aggressive batting brought him more than 4,000 runs in the Caribbean, including his best of 365 that was for a time the highest score ever made in Tests.

    With an incredible average of 66.80, he was clearly very consistent and reliable for the West Indians.

    When you consider that he was a brilliant bowler and fielder, he truly was a colossus of a player.

28. Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka)

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    62 home matches, 4114 runs, 43.76 batting average, 340 highest score

    Above him comes Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya, who also found that aggression was the way to go.

    On the flat, slow pitches of his home country, Jayasuriya profited enormously and showcased a full range of strokes that could demoralise even the strongest bowling attack.

    He did so at a very good rate, often regardless of the match situation, and helped build some very strong platforms for the middle order to capitalise on.

27. Ian Bell (England)

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    56 home matches, 4127 runs, 52.24 batting average, 235 highest score

    One man certain to add to his tally is England batsman Ian Bell, currently involved in his country's series at home to India.

    A very capable batsman who never looks out of form, Bell has started to capitalise on his early promise to become one of England's more reliable performers.

    With plenty of time left in his career and with England playing plenty of matches in the coming years, look for Bell to move further up this list.

26. Alastair Cook (England)

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    59 home matches, 4182 runs, 42.67 batting average, 294 highest score

    Another who will definitely move upwards is Alastair Cook, England's captain who has now seemingly found some form.

    For a time, he was almost peerless among Test openers but slipped a lot during England's disastrous Ashes tour.

    He seems to have recovered now, and with his hard-working technique, he is sure to stack up even more runs on home turf.

25. Don Bradman (Australia)

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    33 home matches, 4322 runs, 98.22 batting average, 299* highest score

    In just 33 Test matches in his native Australia, Don Bradman scored an astonishing 4,322 runs.

    They came at an average of 98.22, mostly against England but also against India and West Indies as they made their first steps in international cricket.

    The combination of those two statistics alone shows just how exceptional Bradman was as a batsman and will likely never be overtaken, like many of his other records.

24. Geoff Boycott (England)

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    57 home matches, 4356 runs, 48.40 batting average, 246* highest score

    Above Bradman comes England opener Geoff Boycott, whose gritty style helped him score a great deal of runs.

    The right-hander delighted in occupying the crease, and it yielded impressive results on regular occasions.

    With seamers roaring in with a new ball, Boycott managed to see off just about any challenger.

23. Justin Langer (Australia)

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    55 home matches, 4428 runs, 48.65 batting average, 250 highest score

    Another gritty opener follows at No. 23, as Justin Langer is rewarded for a very impressive career and great consistency in Australia.

    Like many of his fellow countrymen, he often saved his best for England, a side he tormented in several home Ashes series before retiring.

    Effective when cutting and driving, he worked incredibly hard for his runs and made the most of his talent to become a very effective opener.

22. David Gower (England)

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    65 home matches, 4454 runs, 42.82 batting average, 215 highest score

    A flowing, elegant left-hander, David Gower seemed to enjoy nothing more than scoring big runs in England.

    Having pulled his first ball for four on debut in 1978, he looked set to be a strong performer for England and managed to do so for many years.

    His best of 215 came against Australia in that heady summer of 1985 when England won the Ashes under his captaincy, part of a golden period for him personally.

21. Javed Miandad (Pakistan)

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    60 home matches, 4481 runs, 61.38 batting average, 280* highest score

    Pakistani great Javed Miandad comes in at No. 21, having stayed remarkably consistent throughout his career.

    Known for an ability to score runs in every situation, he may have struggled a little with the pitches in England and Australia but knew what it took to score heavily at home.

20. Greg Chappell (Australia)

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    55 home matches, 4515 runs, 54.39 batting average, 204 highest score

    Legendary former Australian captain Greg Chappell joins this list at No. 20, having been one of his country’s best.

    Around during the era of World Series Cricket, Chappell helped shepherd Australia through the trauma of that time and scored a hatful of runs at home.

    He never looked rushed or nervous and that as much as anything was enormously disheartening for opposition bowlers.

19. Michael Clarke (Australia)

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    52 home matches, 4519 runs, 61.90 batting average, 329* highest score

    Another who will likely make further inroads into this list is Australian captain Michael Clarke, who slots in currently at No. 19.

    An elegant batsman who remains crucial to his side's batting lineup, Clarke may have endured some difficult times but has come out a better player for them.

    With plenty of years left in his career, he could potentially go even higher up this list, a just reward for one of the better batsmen currently playing international cricket.

18. Kevin Pietersen (England)

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    53 home matches, 4537 runs, 52.75 batting average, 226 highest score

    One who is unlikely to add to his tally but could still do so is England's exiled star Kevin Pietersen.

    In 53 home matches, he plundered runs and did so in an aggressive and exuberant fashion that sometimes came back to haunt him.

    However, he was a true superstar for England, who decided their future did not involve him at No. 4 in their batting order.

    Perhaps he will return, but it seems unlikely at this stage.

17. David Boon (Australia)

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    60 home matches, 4541 runs, 46.33 batting average, 200 highest score

    A formidable presence at No. 3 for Australia, David Boon is rewarded for a long and successful career with a place at No. 17 in this list.

    Perhaps not the most elegant batsman, Boon worked incredibly hard at his game and prided himself on being capable of occupying the crease for very long periods.

    His cuts, drives and pulls helped the Australians in several Ashes series, especially at home as he laid waste to an often beleaguered England bowling attack.

    A very popular player, his durability was crucial in helping Australia build their highly successful teams.

16. Alec Stewart (England)

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    74 home matches, 4650 runs, 40.78 batting average, 190 highest score

    Always the man for the big occasion, Alec Stewart loved nothing more than scoring big runs at home in England, where he was widely respected.

    His 100th Test—and also the Queen Mother's 100th birthday—was celebrated with a century in 2000, showing his ability to raise his game while expectations were high.

    He also dug in on numerous occasions to drag England's total to respectability, especially in 2001 against the rampant Australians.

15. Virender Sehwag (India)

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    52 home matches, 4656 runs, 54.13 batting average, 319 highest score

    The aggressive Virender Sehwag joins this list at No. 15 after a career that saw him launch numerous bowlers over the ropes with apparent ease.

    His style of batting was very straightforward and was very easy on the flat, sometimes lifeless pitches of India.

    Particularly strong down the ground, Sehwag was a tough opponent to face for bowlers, who knew he could make mincemeat of their figures in no time.

14. Michael Atherton (England)

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    67 home matches, 4716 runs, 38.97 batting average, 160 highest score

    England's durable opener Michael Atherton may not have been one of the best ever in terms of his statistics, but he was about so much more than numbers.

    The key wicket during England's troublesome period in the 1990s, Atherton faced some of the best fast bowlers in the world and tried to protect a fragile middle order.

    Witness his tussle with Allan Donald in 1998, and you see a batsman who was determined not to give his wicket away and to grind out the runs.

    That he managed more than 4,000 at home is a testament to his sheer strength of character.

13. Sunil Gavaskar (India)

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    65 home matches, 5067 runs, 50.16 batting average, 236* highest score

    Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar was another to profit on the country’s flat pitches, but he did so against some fearsome pace bowling.

    An elegant player who was crucial at the top of the order, Gavaskar was arguably his country's first superstar batsman.

    Defensively, he was sound, while his cuts and pulls were among the best in the world.

12. Matthew Hayden (Australia)

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    56 home matches, 5210 runs, 57.88 batting average, 380 highest score

    For a time the owner of the highest individual score in the history of Test matches, Matthew Hayden joins this list at No. 12.

    An aggressive and dominant left-hander, Hayden feasted on attacks in his native Australia and showed himself to be capable of handling both pace and spin.

    While his 380 came against the hapless Zimbabwe, he also proved himself against the world's best attacks on a regular basis.

    Like seemingly every other Australian, he loved taking England's attacks apart, too.

11. Rahul Dravid (India)

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    70 home matches, 5598 runs, 51.35 batting average, 222 highest score

    One of India's most recent batting superstars, Rahul Dravid finds himself at No. 11 on this list.

    Perhaps their most reliable performer, Dravid found himself overshadowed by other individuals but always delivered runs when it mattered.

    Built on a strong defence, he was very difficult to remove once set, especially on Indian pitches.

10. Steve Waugh (Australia)

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    89 home matches, 5710 runs, 47.58 batting average, 170 highest score

    Australian batsman and former captain Steve Waugh helped make the Baggy Green great again, with his runs helping them take apart all-comers.

    His determined character translated into his batting, which prided itself on being gritty and uncompromising regardless of the situation.

    It also goes without saying that he saved some of his best for when England were on tour.

9. Allan Border (Australia)

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    86 home matches, 5743 runs, 45.94 batting average, 205 highest score

    Another Australian follows at No. 9, as Allan Border takes his place in this list after a very successful career.

    Another uncompromising character, Border led from the front as his runs helped steer the Baggy Green forward.

    Also a very effective captain, Border is rightly remembered as one of Australia's best-ever cricketers.

8. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies)

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    76 home matches, 5825 runs, 58.25 batting average, 203* highest score

    Still going strong to this day, Shivnarine Chanderpaul remains crucial for West Indies both at home and away.

    In spite of his advancing years, the left-hander has retained his consistency and is the lynchpin of the West Indians' lineup.

    He is particularly adept at home and has adapted to the change in Caribbean wickets from the pace and bounce of the 1990s to the slow turners of today.

    Chanderpaul may yet move further up this list, although time is not on his side.

7. Graham Gooch (England)

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    74 home matches, 5917 runs, 46.22 batting average, 333 highest score

    One batsman who seemed to get better with age was Graham Gooch, who led England from the front in a very long career.

    His 333 against India in 1990 is one of many highlights for Gooch, who managed to stay consistent even as the rest of the team's batting crumbled under pressure.

    He also stood up to the test of facing the West Indies' fierce pace attack and was a wicket prized above many others.

6. Brian Lara (West Indies)

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    65 home matches, 6217 runs, 58.65 batting average, 400* highest score

    In at No. 6 comes Brian Lara, one of the greatest batsmen of all time.

    The left-hander twice broke the record for the highest individual score while on home turf and did so on both occasions against England.

    His aggressive and fluent strokeplay served him well, and he batted with distinction even as the team crumbled around him.

5. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)

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    69 home matches, 6310 runs, 60.55 batting average, 287 highest score

    With well over 6,000 runs at home, Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara has had a career to remember and it is not quite over yet.

    Profiting from the notoriously flat pitches of Sri Lanka, Sangakkara has managed to maintain a very high standard throughout his time in international cricket.

    Strong all over the wicket, the left-hander works incredibly hard for every run and has always been a prized scalp for bowlers.

4. Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka)

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    79 home matches, 7024 runs, 60.55 batting average, 374 highest score

    Above Sangakkara is his Sri Lankan teammate Mahela Jayawardene, who may also be coming to the end of his international career.

    The right-hander has been one of his country's best-ever batsmen and has proven himself to be a master accumulator of runs.

    He combines this hunger for big scores with a supreme elegance, making him one of the most pleasing batsmen to watch, especially in his home territory.

3. Jacques Kallis (South Africa)

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    88 home matches, 7035 runs, 56.73 batting average, 224 highest score

    A recent retiree comes into this list at No. 3, as Jacques Kallis takes his place after a brilliant career for South Africa.

    Almost completely unflappable at the top of the order, it is easy to forget he also shouldered significant bowling responsibilities, too.

    Kallis was strong all around the wicket and had an excellent defensive technique, whether against seam or spin.

    He was one batsman the opposition were determined to remove as early as possible, as he was capable of settling down for a long innings.

2. Sachin Tendulkar (India)

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    94 home matches, 7216 runs, 52.67 batting average, 217 highest score

    India's superstar Sachin Tendulkar comes in at No. 2 after a wonderful career.

    Despite the enormous expectations that followed him around his home country, Tendulkar never once seemed nervous or overawed by the occasion.

    That, coupled with an almost impenetrable technique, meant he scored runs wherever he travelled throughout India.

    He is still sorely missed.

1. Ricky Ponting (Australia)

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    92 home matches, 7578 runs, 56.97 batting average, 257 highest score

    At No. 1 in our countdown comes former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, another colossus of the modern game.

    His consistency at home is almost unmatched, especially in recent years with the explosion in the number of games each country plays.

    Almost without a true weakness, Ponting also captained effectively, at least until his fellow superstars began to retire.

    He will be remembered as one of the true greats, especially by those in his home country who got to see him up close on numerous occasions.

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