Every person in this world requires a partner to survive. Life gets all the more interesting if you find a suitable partner who compliments you and helps you succeed. Cricket is no different. Partnerships are an integral part of the game and are extremely necessary in order to emerge victorious. Batting partnerships help a team post a huge total on the board. Many a times we just talk about these partnerships and ignore the bowling department. Bowling in partnerships is as important as its batting counterpart and requires tremendous skill and understanding on the part of both the bowlers. It is often said that bowlers hunt in pairs. One of them usually tries to dry up the runs. The batsman then try to go after the other one and hence end up losing their wicket. But at the end of the day the batting partnerships are of more significance and so let’s take a look at the 5 most successful batting pairs in test history(in terms of number of runs scored).
1. Dravid/Tendulkar: 6920 runs at an average of 50.51
Two of the most respected players in world cricket are sitting at the top of the tree. I think most of you won’t be surprised to see them as the most successful pair in tests because over the years both of them have had tons of match winning as well as match saving innings for India. They both have the skills and the temperament to perform not only in subcontinent but also in the tough overseas conditions. They have had 20 century stands in tests.
They both are true ambassadors of the gentleman’s game. Never have they fallen prey to any on field or off field controversies. Coming in at 3 and 4 they have always risen up to the occasion and treated us with many memorable knocks. After Sachin’s retirement(Dravid already has), there will be a huge void to fill for India in the middle order. I hope the next Sachin and Dravid are just round the corner.
2. Greenidge/Haynes: 6482 runs at an average of 47.31
They are without a doubt one of the most prolific opening pairs that the 5 day game has seen. With Haynes being solid in defence and Greenidge the aggressor, this pair has demolished bowling attacks from all over the world. They were involved in 16 century stands, which itself speaks a lot for the pair’s success at the international level. There is nothing better to open the innings for your side and provide a platform for your middle order and this pair has more often than not succeeded in doing that.
For a long time now, West Indies haven’t found a secure opening pair. Now with Gayle coming back into the side, we hope to see some fire-crackers at the top of the innings and we also hope to see West Indies having a settled opening pair.
3. Hayden/Langer: 6081 runs at an average of 51.53
It was one of the most feared opening pairs that we have ever witnessed. With Langer’s calmness and Hayden’s flamboyance, this Australian pair had left no stone unturned. They hold the record for the highest number of double hundred stands (5). Providing Australia with a solid start upfront had become a habit for these Legends of the game. I still remember the 242 run stand that they had put up against the West Indies at St. Johns (2002-03). The way they blasted the bowlers to all parts of the field left the opposition clueless.
Sadly, both of them have retired from International cricket. Australia have struggled to find a good opening pair for some time now, but with Warner and Watson opening the batting now, I hope they can do even half of what Langer and Hayden did for Australia.
4. Jayawardene/Sangakkara: 5444 runs (and still counting) at an average of 57.91
This pair is still going strong in the tests for Sri Lanka. Elegance is always associated with left handers but if there is one right handed batsman who makes you scream out ‘WOW’ when he strokes the ball, it is Jayawardene. His elegance is unmatched. Sangakkara being a left handed batsman is right at the top with Jayawardene when it comes to elegance. Over the years, these two have taken care of Sri Lanka’s middle order and have done it with some conviction.
They hold the record for the highest partnership in tests (624 runs) for any wicket. These guys play spin really well and as a result, it is impossible to stop them from scoring in sub continental conditions. They have been a force to reckon with even on foreign soil but they are at their best when at home. With still a few years ahead of them, I would not be surprised to see them climb up a few spots in these rankings.
5. Strauss/Cook: 5085 runs (and still counting) at an average of 41.34
England’s most successful partnership in tests has never failed to impress us. Opening the batting on seaming English wickets is no child’s play. They have done it day in and day out without much trouble and that is why they are on this list. Both of them are natural stroke-players. They have been extremely consistent for England even on subcontinent wickets.
Their highest partnership for England has been a 317 run stand against the West Indies at Bridgetown. They have been one of the major reasons for England’s rise to the top in Tests and only if they continue to perform well at the top, will England be able to consolidate their position.
These were the best batting pairs that the world has witnessed till date. I hope that there are more in the making so that the joy of watching cricket never dies out!