Fastest to Reach 4000 Runs in Test Cricket
Test cricket is the ultimate challenge for a cricketer and only batsmen with solid technique can survive for a long time in this demanding game format. Scoring four thousand Test runs is not a joke and in this article, we are going to review the batsmen who have been the quickest to reach this milestone. Not surprisingly, the list is filled with all-time greats.
Our list seems like a Who’s Who of batting with all its members staking a claim to be an all-time great. It’s high time to get started.
1. Don Bradman – 48 Innings
Australia’s legendary Sir Don Bradman heads the list and with just 48 innings and 31 tests to reach 4,000 Test runs. Besides being the best batsman of all time, he was also a cricketing statesman, sage, selector and administrator. England even devised the unfair and brutal Bodyline technique in an attempt to stop him. Despite it, he still averaged 56 in that 1932-33 series.
Overall, Bradman played 52 Tests in which he hammered 6,996 runs at an average of 99.94 with 29 hundreds and 13 fifties. His highest Test score was 334.
2. Herbert Sutcliffe – 68 Innings
It took England’s Herbert Sutcliffe 43 matches and 68 innings to reach 4,000 Test runs. His career in Test cricket spanned from 1924 to 1935. Sutcliffe’s batting success was largely achieved by his strong power of concentration and assured technique. With his character matching his robust technique, he has been considered one of the top cricketers of all time. Sutcliffe never had a failed season and was performing brilliantly throughout his career.
Sutcliffe featured in 54 Tests in which he clobbered 4,555 runs at an average of 60.73 with 16 hundreds and 23 fifties. His highest Test score was 194.
3. Everton Weekes – 71 Innings
Caribbean king Sir Everton Weekes accomplished 4,000 Test runs in his 42nd Test and 71st innings. He was one of the famous three Ws of the West Indies cricket, the other two being Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Clyde Walcott. Weekes boasted a range of attacking strokes that enabled him to score at a rapid pace. He was knighted in 1995.
Weekes retired early, in his early 30s, but until then he had played 48 Tests, amassing 4,455 runs at an average of 58.61 with 15 centuries and 19 half-centuries. His highest score in a Test innings was 207. After retirement, he worked as a coach in Barbados and also served as an ICC referee.
4. Viv Richards – 71 Innings
Fearless Viv Richards has been an inspiration for generations of batsmen wishing to emulate his power hitting. He casually chewed gum while dispatching bowlers to all parts of the ground. King Viv refused to wear a helmet even against the fastest bowlers, a fact that speaks volumes about his sharp eyesight. With his awesome power and robust strokes, he stakes a strong claim to be one of the most devastating batsmen of all time.
Richards scored 4,000 Test runs in his 46th game and 71st innings. In total, he starred in 121 Tests, smashing 8,540 runs at an average of 50.23 with 24 hundreds and 45 fifties. His highest Test score is 291.
5. Jack Hobbs – 75 Innings
It took the prolific Jack Hobbs of England 45 Tests and 75 innings to reach 4,000 Test runs. He cracked an astonishing 199 hundreds in first-class cricket. This number could have been greater if not for the interruption caused by the First World War. Hobbs was nicknamed “The Master” and he continued to play cricket even after passing the age of 50. He was the oldest player to score a Test hundred, having achieved it when he was 46 years old.
Hobbs shared legendary opening partnerships with Herbert Sutcliffe. He was the first professional cricketer to receive a knighthood (in 1953). Hobbs featured in 61 Tests, hammering 5,410 runs at an average of 56.94 with 15 hundreds and 28 fifties. His highest Test score was 211.
6. Wally Hammond – 76 Innings
England’s Wally Hammond scored 4,000 Test runs in his 47th Test and 76th innings. He is right up there among the batting greats of yesteryear along with Don Bradman, Jack Hobbs and WG Grace. Hammond was a gifted athlete and an exciting cricketer. He could easily have become a football star too.
Hammond played 85 Tests in a career spanning from 1927 to 1947, stroking 7,249 runs at an average of 58.45 with 22 hundreds and 24 half-centuries. His highest Test score was 336 not out.
7. Brian Lara – 76 Innings
‘Prince’ Brian Lara needed 45 Tests and 76 innings to reach the milestone of 4,000 Test runs. His amazing exploits have made him one of the best batsmen of the modern era. Lara is known for his Bradman-like massive scores including 501 not out in first-class cricket in 400 not out in Tests. However, he was carried away by fame for a while and could have scored more runs in a clearer frame of mind.
Lara appeared in 131 Tests in which he amassed 11,953 runs at an average of 52.88 with 34 hundreds and 48 fifties. His highest Test score is 400 not out.
8. Len Hutton – 77 Innings
England’s Sir Len Hutton reached 4,000 Test runs in 44 Tests and 77 innings. He was one of the best batsmen ever produced by England. Hutton’s Test career lasted from 1937 to 1955. He made his first-class debut in 1934 aged just 17.
Overall, Hutton starred in 79 Tests, clobbering 6,971 runs at an average of 56.67 with 19 centuries and 33 half-centuries. His highest score in a Test innings was 364.
9. Gary Sobers – 77 Innings
Sir Garfield Sobers has been one of the best all-rounders in the history of cricket. It took him 46 Tests and 77 innings to reach the milestone of 4,000 Test runs. He was powerful yet elegant as a batsman. Sobers could have played Test cricket being just a bowler as he could deliver effective pace and spin alike.
Overall, Sobers featured in 93 Tests, cracking 8,032 runs at an average of 57.78 with 26 hundreds and 30 fifties. His highest Test score was 365 not out. He also claimed 235 wickets and took 109 catches in Tests.
10. Mathew Hayden – 77 Innings
‘Matt the bat’ was an exceptionally strong batsman who could almost remove the hide from the ball with his robust shots. He excelled in both Tests and ODIs. Like Sobers, it took Haydos also 46 Tests and 77 innings to amass 4,000 runs in Tests.
In total, Hayden starred in 103 Tests, smashing 8,625 runs at an average of 50.73 with 30 hundreds and 29 fifties. His highest Test score was 380.
|3||1957||ED Weekes||42||71||West Indies|
|4||1982||VIV Richards||46||71||West Indies|
|7||1997||Brian Lara||45||76||West INdies|
|9||1963||Gary Sobers||46||77||West INdies|
*Updated on 26 Aug 2019
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