Sachin Tendulkar is the leading run-scorer for India, and also the leading run-scorer in world cricket © Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar is the leading run-scorer for India, and also the leading run-scorer in world cricket © Getty Images

Alastair Cook has become the highest run-getter for England in Test matches going past Graham Gooch. Bharath Seervi lists the leading-run getters for each team in Test matches with some numbers and statistics.

The Headingley Test has been a historic one for England. On Day One, James Anderson got to 400 Test wickets. He became the first from England to do so. On the second day Alastair Cook went past Graham Gooch’s 8,900 runs to become the leading run-scorer for England in Tests. And on the final day, Cook crossed the barrier of 9,000 runs as well. All in all, it was a memorable test match for England in terms of records; unfortunately, they could not win the match and lost by a big margin of 199 runs.

When most teams have some recent batsman as their highest run-getters, for England it was someone from two decades back. Gooch held the record for about 22 years until Cook got on it. England top run-getters in Tests: How the record changed hands over time

With Cook becoming the top-run getter for England, let us see the table toppers for the other teams as well.

Highest run-getters for each team in Test cricket

Team Batsman Runs Mat Inns Avg 100s 50s HS
Australia Ricky Ponting 13378 168 287 51.85 41 62 257
Bangladesh Habibul Bashar 3026 50 99 30.87 3 24 113
England Alastair Cook 9000 114 204 46.87 27 42 294
India Sachin Tendulkar 15921 200 329 53.78 51 68 248*
New Zealand Stephen Fleming 7172 111 189 40.06 9 46 274*
Pakistan Javed Miandad 8832 124 189 52.57 23 43 280*
South Africa Jacques Kallis 13289 166 280 55.37 45 58 224
Sri Lanka Kumar Sangakkara 12203 130 225 58.66 38 51 319
West Indies Brian Lara 11953 131 232 52.88 34 48 400*
Zimbabwe Andy Flower 4794 63 112 51.54 12 27 232*

–          Tamim Iqbal (3,020) is 7 runs short of breaking Habibul Bashar’s 3,026 runs as the most Test runs for Bangladesh.

–          Shivnarine Chanderpaul (11,867) is 88 runs short of going past Brian Lara’s 11953 runs.

–          Amongst the top eight teams, New Zealand’s highest run getter has the least runs — 7,172.

Whose record did they break?

Team Batsman Runs Previous record Runs Date of record Days till 2 Jun 2015
Australia Ricky Ponting 13378 Allan Border 11174 30-Jul-09 2133
Bangladesh Habibul Bashar 3026 Aminul Islam 260* 30-Apr-01 5146
England Alastair Cook 9000 Graham Gooch 8900 30-May-15 3
India Sachin Tendulkar 15921 Sunil Gavaskar 10122 28-Mar-05 3718
New Zealand Stephen Fleming 7172 Martin Crowe 5444 26-Oct-04 3871
Pakistan Javed Miandad 8832 Zaheer Abbas 5058* 20-Oct-85 10817
South Africa Jacques Kallis 13289 Gary Kirsten 7289 30-Apr-05 3685
Sri Lanka Kumar Sangakkara 12203 Mahela Jayawardene 11493* 18-Jul-14 319
West Indies Brian Lara 11953 Viv Richards 8540 13-Nov-03 4219
Zimbabwe Andy Flower 4794 Grant Flower 2044* 10-Dec-98 6018

*-Batsmen didn’t retire when the record was broken.

–          The oldest record-holder is Javed Miandad. He has held the record since 1985, and it has been 30 years. Younis Khan is the one nearing that record being short by 286 runs.

–          Before Cook, Kumar Sangakkara was the last to become the top Test run-getter for a team. He surpassed Mahela Jayawardene before the latter retired.

–          Bashar got the record from Aminul Islam in Bangladesh’s third Test and has the record to his name till date for more than 14 years.

–          Miandad overcame Zaheer Abbas’s aggregate in the latter’s penultimate Test. Zaheer scored four in his last Test and ended with 5,062 runs.

–          After the second Test in England in 2014 Sangakkara and Jayawardene were tied on 11,493 runs. Sangakkara went past Jayawardene in the next Test match against South Africa. Jayawardene retired four Tests later aggregating 11,814 runs.

–          Andy Flower and Grant Flower were going neck-to-neck till 1998 with Grant generally in the lead. Then Andy’s golden run in Test cricket started, and Grant never caught up again. Grant ended up getting 3,457 runs, 1,337 runs less than Andy’s 4,794 from four Tests more. Test cricket records: The “oldest” to everything

The record holders and the highest run-getters among current players

Team Batsman Runs Current highest Runs
Australia Ricky Ponting 13378 Michael Clarke 8432
Bangladesh Habibul Bashar 3026 Tamim Iqbal 3020
England Alastair Cook 9000 Alastair Cook 9000
India Sachin Tendulkar 15921 Virender Sehwag 8503
New Zealand Stephen Fleming 7172 Brendon McCullum 6008
Pakistan Javed Miandad 8832 Younis Khan 8547
South Africa Jacques Kallis 13289 AB de Villiers 7606
Sri Lanka Kumar Sangakkara 12203 Kumar Sangakkara 12203
West Indies Brian Lara 11953 Shivnarine Chanderpaul 11867
Zimbabwe Andy Flower 4794 Hamilton Masakadza 1712

–          Cook and Sangakkara are the only batsmen who are the highest run-getters for their team and are not retired.

–          Virender Sehwag has not played a Test since 2013. Leaving him aside, the next highest run getter for India among non-retired batsmen is 4,046 by Gautam Gambhir, who is also not in the side. Virat Kohli, with 2,547, is the highest among the players who are regular in the team.

–          Current players who have the chance to break the in a year or so are Tamim for Bangladesh, Brendon McCullum for New Zealand, Younis for Pakistan and Chanderpaul for West Indies (if he gets a chance!).

Let’s hope for someone getting to the milestone soon. Probably Tamim in the one-off Test against India will score 7 to break the record for Bangladesh.

Footnote Trivia

When Cook reached 9,000 he became the youngest to reach the milestone at 30 years 159 days. He was the youngest to complete 7,000 and 8,000 Test runs as well. In all three he beat Sachin Tendulkar’s record. But Cook’s average of 46.87 is the lowest amongst of the 13 batsmen who have 9,000 Test runs.

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at He can be followed on Twitter at @SeerviBharath and on Facebook here)