First things first, all the records in this article are from 01/01/1960. This date has been taken throughout the site as a benchmark for the ratings in test cricket. Two important criteria in our overall rating in tests are based on the performance of a player in away matches and in matches in unfamiliar conditions. Unfamiliar conditions are defined as Outside Asia for Asian batsmen and In Asia for Non-Asian batsmen. 1960s was the first decade in which 5 nations had a more than 1.0 win loss record at home. Pakistan had a 1.0 W/L record while India had a W/L record of a decent 0.75. This indicates that Asian teams had started to perform better at home and this improved with time. Thus we have considered only players who made their debut after 01/01/1960 for our ratings. We have labelled the era after December 31, 1959 as the Multi Team Era.
To find out the best batsmen in test cricket, we considered all batsmen who had being among the top 15 in our other ratings; i.e. away from home; at home; in unfamiliar conditions and in familiar conditions. We then judged the batsmen who qualified on the basis of 11 criteria to arrive at the final 25 top batsmen. It is to be noted that we have mentioned only the final 25 batsmen in all the criteria to make things uncomplicated. The Trend Setter (TS) is the batsmen who does the best in a criteria. It is not necessary that he is ranked among the top 25. However, his rating is taking as the benchmark.
The Rating is divided into three sections. The Primary Criteria are the 5 most important criteria which have been used in our other ratings as well. The Secondary Criteria are formed by applying the Primary Criteria into various situations. The Tertiary Criteria are entirely different from the other two. Moreover, in Tertiary Criteria, the 25 batsmen are compared among themselves and their is no trendsetter.
All ratings are based on some basis. Our rating favours batsmen who have scored more runs at a high average. Thus runs scored and average are the most important criteria. After that, our rating favours batsmen who play big innings, who dominate the bowling and who score 100s at a good consistency. In tertiary criteria, we have looked at top form; being the top scorer in an innings; and 50 to 100 conversion rate; among other things. You may find that the rating uses high numbers. This is because we have included our other ratings as criteria for the overall rating. Using high numbers allows us to maintain consistency throughout. So, without further ado, here are the top 25 best test batsmen from 01/01/1960 till date, i.e. 01/07/2020.
Averages in test cricket have remained more or less consistent. However, runs scored by batsmen have increased with time as more cricket has been played. To make things fair, we have divided the time from 01/01/1960 into three eras and active players. All batsmen who have made their debut from 1960 to 1970 come under ERA 1. All batsmen who have made their debut from 1970 to 1985 come under ERA 2. All batsmen who have made their debut after 1985 and retired come under ERA 3. Lastly, active players are judged separately.
Now, pay attention as this is perhaps the only complicated feature of the rating:-
- Sachin Tendulkar in ERA 3 has scored the most runs in test cricket, i.e. 15921. So he will get the maximum 3000.00 points in this criteria. All batsmen in his era are given points as a ratio to his runs.
- Geoffrey Boycott has scored the most runs in ERA 1, i.e. 8114 runs. If we compare him to Sachin, he will only get 1528.92 (8114/15921X300) points.
- To allow batsmen of his era to compete in the rating, we took the percentage of the runs scored by Boycott compared to Sachin, i.e. 50.96%. We then arrived at the round figure of 500 (100% – 50%)X10 and deducted it from the total points to arrive at a figure of 2500.00 points for Geoffrey Boycott.
- All batsmen in the ERA of Geoffrey Boycott will get points as a ratio to his runs and not of Sachin’s runs.
- We have applied similar mathematics to all the Eras. I hope this has made things clear.
In this criteria, points are given for your career average. A batsman can earn a maximum of 3000.00 points for his average.
#3 BIG INNINGS POTENTIAL
This criteria gives points for the top 10 highest scores made by a batsman. The scores are summed up and then divided by 10 to arrive at the Average High Score (Ave HS). The top batsman gets 1500.00 points and others are given points as a ratio to his Ave HS.
To rank the most dominant batsmen, we compared their strike rates (runs per 100 balls) with the SR (strike rate) of their team mates. We then calculated the ratio of their SR with the SR of their team mates; and on this basis we ranked the players with the best ratio. This was done as tests have seen a general increase in SR in the modern era. The top batsman gets a Rating of 1500.00 points and others are ranked as a ratio of his ratio. Note that Kapil Dev has the best points in this criteria. However, although he is the trendsetter in this criteria, he is not among the top 25 test batsmen.
#5 100 CONSISTENCY
In this criteria, we found out the number of innings taken by a batsman to score a 100. The batsman with the least number of innings/100 tops the criteria and gets 1000.00 points.
#6 HOME/AWAY RECORD
6.1 RECORD AWAY FROM HOME
To find out the best batsmen away from home, we applied the above 5 Primary Criteria to the qualified batsmen. We then arrived at the rating below. See Away Rating in detail to know more. Note that in Away Rating we have excluded the record of the batsmen against Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ireland and Zimbabwe. It is also to be noted that United Arab Emirates (UAE) is taken as a Home for Pakistani batsmen. Thus their record in UAE is not considered in Away Rating. The Away Rating is out of 2000.0 points, which is double of the Home Rating.
6.2 RECORD AT HOME
To find out the best batsmen at home, we applied the above 5 Primary Criteria to the qualified batsmen. We then arrived at the rating below. See Home Rating in detail to know more. Note that in Home Rating also we have excluded the record of the batsmen against Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ireland and Zimbabwe. It is also to be noted that United Arab Emirates (UAE) is taken as a Home for Pakistani batsmen. Thus their record in UAE is considered in Home Rating.
#7 UNFAMILIAR/FAMILIAR CONDITIONS RECORD
7.1 RECORD IN UNFAMILIAR CONDITIONS
Unfamiliar conditions are defined as Outside Asia for Asian batsmen and In Asia for Non-Asian batsmen. We applied the above 5 Primary Criteria to the qualified batsmen to arrive at the Ratings below. Greg Chappell of Australia has played less than 10 innings in Asia. However, his average is an impressive 74.50. We couldn’t include him in the Non Asians In Asia original rating as his points were low due to the less number of innings. However, to be fair to him, we have given him the same number of points as the #15 ranked batsmen.
Non Asians In Asia
Asians Outside Asia
7.2 RECORD IN FAMILIAR CONDITIONS
Familiar conditions are defined as Outside Asia for Non Asian batsmen and In Asia for Asian batsmen. We applied the 5 Primary Criteria to the qualified batsmen to arrive at the Ratings below.
Non Asians Outside Asia
Asians In Asia
#8 IN TOP FORM
To find out how batsmen have performed in top form, we compared them across the three following criteria, which total to 2000.00 points.
8.1 MOST RUNS IN A YEAR
8.2 MOST RUNS IN 10 CONSECUTIVE INNINGS
8.3 MOST RUNS IN A TEST SERIES
#9 TOP SCORER IN COMPLETED INNINGS
In this criteria, we found out the number of times a batsmen has top scored in a completed innings. We then found out the percentage of completed innings in which he had top scored. The batsmen with the highest percentage gets 1000.0 points and others are ranked as a ratio to his percentage.
#10 DIFFICULT RUNS
Difficult runs are the runs which a batsman scores in the 1st and 4th innings of a match in which his team has lost the toss. This has been done as usually a captain puts the opposition to bat on a green pitch while he selects to bat first when the conditions are expected to deteriorate. Note that we have combined the figures of the two scenarios to arrive at the rating. This has been done as it is rare for a captain to ask a team to bat first due to which we get volatile numbers for 1st innings.
#11 CONVERSION RATES
This criteria favours batsmen who convert their starts into big scores. It is divided into two parts of 250.00 points each. One is the conversion rate from 50 to 100 and the second is the conversion rate from 100 to 150.
50 TO 100 CONVERSION RATE
100 TO 150 CONVERSION RATE
#12 THE FINAL OVERALL RATING
The final rating has been arrived after adding the scores of the batsmen in the above 11 criteria. If you must know, the total of all the ratings come out to be 20,000 points. To make is more readable it has been reduced to per 1,000 points. Here are the top test batsmen in the multi team era.