2020 has been a unique year in Test cricket. The year started with some blockbuster bilateral series like Australia-New Zealand, South Africa-England and New Zealand-India. However, there were no Test matches for months during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
England became the first team to host a Test series after the COVID-19 break when the West Indies visited the United Kingdom for a 3-match series. Gradually, the other nations returned to Test cricket. Notably, the Indian cricket team did not play a single home Test match in 2020.
New Zealand had one of their best years, as they won all their five home Test matches. The Kiwis ended the year with a thrilling win against Pakistan at Bay Oval.
Five batsmen with the most Test runs this year
Almost all the major Test-playing nations were in action in the longest format of the game in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc in the cricket calendar. On that note, let's take a look at the five batsmen with the most Test runs this year.
#5 Jos Buttler (England): 497 runs
English wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler had a memorable year in Test cricket. He aggregated 497 runs for the England, doing so with a batting average of 38.23 while registering one century and two fifties.
Buttler could not perform well in the series against South Africa. However, he made up for that with a brilliant home season.
The wicketkeeper-batsman scored a match-winning 67 in the third Test against West Indies in Manchester before helping his team win a thrilling Test against Pakistan. Buttler scored 75 runs in the fourth innings to ensure that England chased down 277 runs with three wickets in hand.
The wicketkeeper-batsman ended the year with a 152-run knock against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl.
#4 Kane Williamson (New Zealand) - 498 runs
Despite playing only four Tests in 2020, Kane Williamson had a prolific year with the bat. The New Zealand skipper scored 498 runs in six innings at a phenomenal average of 83.
Williamson kicked off the year with a match-winning knock of 89 runs against the India. He got out in single digits in his next two innings but came back in style with a career-best 251 against West Indies at Seddon Park. The right-handed batsman followed that up with a century against Pakistan.
Kane Williamson is the only batsman in this list not to have recorded a single duck in Test cricket this year.
#3 Zak Crawley (England) - 580 runs
Zak Crawley was one of only three batsmen to amass over 500 Test runs in 2020. The rising England star played seven matches for his nation this year.
Crawley impressed with his 66-run knock against South Africa at the Wanderers. In the first Test match after the COVID-19 break, he was the top-scorer for England in the second innings, scoring 76 runs to set the West Indies a 200-run target.
However, Crawley's best performance came in his final Test match in 2020. He played a marathon knock of 267 runs to blow away Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl. Unfortunately, he couldn't inspire his team to a win, as the Test ended in a draw.
#2 Dom Sibley (England) - 615 runs
Another rising star of the English team to feature in this list is Dom Sibley. The right-handed batsman, who made his Test debut last year, played nine Tests this year, scoring 615 runs.
Sibley registered two centuries and two half-centuries in Test cricket this year. He began the year with a splendid 133* against South Africa in the Newlands Test match.
Continuing his fine form in the home season, Sibley scored 226 runs in three Tests against the West Indies. However, he could not register a single 50+ score in the series against Pakistan.
#1 Ben Stokes (England) - 641 runs
Although he missed two Tests against Pakistan, Ben Stokes emerged as the top-scorer this year. In seven Tests, the England allrounder scored 641 runs, doing so with an excellent batting average of 58.27.
Stokes registered two centuries and as many half-centuries in Test matches this year. However, he managed only nine runs in his last two innings in the longest format of the game.
His best performance with the bat this year came in the final Test against West Indies, where Stokes produced knocks of 176 and 78* in that game.Published 31 Dec 2020, 01:57 IST