Shivnarine Chanderpaul is the latest addition in this elite list  © Getty Images
Shivnarine Chanderpaul is the latest addition in this elite list © Getty Images

As West Indies play their 500th Test, Shivnarine Chanderpaul won his 158th Test cap. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the men with most frequent Test appearances for their respective sides.

Despite the fact that West Indies’ rich history has been studded with legends, only three men (Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Courtney Walsh and Brian Lara) have played in a quarter of their 500 Tests. Of course, this has a lot to do with the fact that the island nations have been playing Tests for close to a century.

Things are different for Sri Lanka (who have been playing for a 32 years), Zimbabwe (22 years) or Bangladesh (14 years). These tenures are not significantly more than a good cricket career, which means that men like Mohammad Ashraful (61 out of 85 Tests for Bangladesh: 71.8%), Grant Flower (67 out of 94: 71.3%), and Mahela Jayawardene (149 out of 233: 63.9%) have substantially high proportions than their counterparts across the world.

To be fair to the others (after all, one cannot expect Australians and Englishmen, with a 137-year old history of playing Test cricket) let us remove Zimbabweans and Bangladeshis from the list and find out who have played the highest proportion of Tests for their respective countries.

Note: This does not include Tests played for ICC World XI.

Player Country Tests Tests by country %
Jacques Kallis South Africa

165

387

42.6%

Sachin Tendulkar India

200

483

41.4%

Mark Boucher South Africa

146

387

37.7%

Rahul Dravid India

163

483

33.7%

Javed Miandad Pakistan

124

382

32.5%

Shivnarine Chanderpaul West Indies

158

500

31.6%

Inzamam-ul-Haq Pakistan

119

382

31.2%

Graeme Smith South Africa

116

387

30.0%

Stephen Fleming New Zealand

111

394

28.2%

Daniel Vettori New Zealand

111

394

28.2%

Shaun Pollock South Africa

108

387

27.9%

VVS Laxman India

134

483

27.7%

Anil Kumble India

132

483

27.3%

Wasim Akram Pakistan

104

382

27.2%

Kapil Dev India

131

483

27.1%

Saleem Malik Pakistan

103

382

27.0%

Courtney Walsh West Indies

132

500

26.4%

Gary Kirsten South Africa

101

387

26.1%

Makhaya Ntini South Africa

101

387

26.1%

Brian Lara West Indies

130

500

26.0%

Sunil Gavaskar India

125

483

25.9%

Not surprisingly, Chanderpaul is the only active cricketer on the list.

Let us now rope in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh (along with England and Australia, who do not stand with a chance to provide people who have played over a quarter of their Tests) and compare the toppers.

Note: This does not include Tests played for ICC World XI.

Player Country Tests Tests by country %
Grant Flower Zimbabwe

67

94

71.3%

Mohammad Ashraful Bangladesh

61

85

71.8%

Mahela Jayawardene Sri Lanka

149

233

63.9%

Jacques Kallis South Africa

165

387

42.6%

Sachin Tendulkar India

200

483

41.4%

Javed Miandad Pakistan

124

382

32.5%

Shivnarine Chanderpaul West Indies

158

500

31.6%

Stephen Fleming New Zealand

111

394

28.2%

Daniel Vettori New Zealand

111

394

28.2%

Ricky Ponting Australia

168

767

21.9%

Steve Waugh Australia

168

767

21.9%

Alec Stewart England

133

952

14.0%

 (Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)