Representing one’s country in red ball format is a dream of every cricketer. Only a few get a chance to do so at the highest level. However, there are few great players who play for their country without being dropped. Here is a list of five players who have played most consecutive test matches for their team
1. Alastair Cook (England) – 159 Tests (2006-2018)
Alastair Cook has been a remarkable Test player for England, amassing close to 12,000 runs in the longest format. With 31 centuries to his name. He is the highest run-scorer in Test history as an opener and had a dream debut against India in 2006, scoring a ton and a half-century. Since then, he has missed only one Test for England due to a stomach illness.
Cook’s consistent performances ensured his place in the team as an opener. And he led England in a record 59 Tests. He also holds the record for the most consecutive Test matches played by an Englishman, with 146 and counting.
2. Allan Border (Australia) – 153 Tests (1979-1994)
Allan Border tops the list for playing the most consecutive Test matches in history. With an impressive record of 153 matches over 15 years. Border also holds the record for captaining Australia in the most consecutive Test matches, with a total of 93.
Border made his Test debut during the 1978/79 Ashes series as a replacement for star players lost to World Series Cricket turmoil. Though his debut wasn’t impressive. Border’s grit and determination helped him score unbeaten 60 and 45 runs in the two innings of the Sydney Test.
3. Mark Waugh (Australia) – 107 Tests (1993-2002)
Mark Waugh had a sensational start to his Australian Test career, scoring 138 runs on his debut against England at Adelaide in 1991. However, he struggled to convert good starts into big scores and was dropped from the side after a poor run of form in 1991/92.
His troubles continued during Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka in 1992, where he was dismissed for a duck in four consecutive innings. Despite this, the selectors persisted with him and he went on to play 107 Tests for Australia, retiring in 2002.
4. Sunil Gavaskar (India) – 106 Tests (1975-1987)
Sunil Gavaskar is considered one of India’s greatest Test players, having played 106 consecutive Tests between January 1975 and February 1987. He made his mark on the cricketing world by scoring 774 runs in his debut series against the West Indies in 1971, a world record at the time.
He was briefly out of the Test side in 1974 due to injury. But he made a triumphant return against the West Indies, scoring 86 in the final match of the series. During his uninterrupted run of 106 Tests, Gavaskar set numerous records. Including being the first player to score more than 10,000 Test runs and finishing his career with 34 Test centuries.
5. Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) – 101 Tests (2004-2016)
Brendon McCullum is one of New Zealand’s greatest cricketers known for his aggressive batting and captaincy style. Initially, it was thought that his style was more suited to shorter formats of the game, which is why it took him over two years since his ODI debut to earn a call-up to the Test side.
However, he proved his worth in his very first Test innings, scoring 57 against South Africa. McCullum was a regular member of the New Zealand side in all formats of the game and holds the world record for the most consecutive Test matches played since debuting with 101 matches. He retired from international cricket in February 2016.