Ever since the inception of the T20 format in cricket, the game has favoured the batsmen, with bats nowadays being made in different forms to suit each player’s needs. Bowlers are more often than not at the receiving end of massive blows with sixes and fours being the order of the day in the shorter format. Almost every country is seen hosting a T20 league of some sorts and is more in fashion this era. Test cricket demands truckloads of patience and mental strength, while also taking a serious toll on players and has presented a pale shadow of itself with the shorter format being preferred by viewers off-late.
Test cricket, however, has a grace which is unmatchable. Pure stroke-making and skill is always on display which ensures an equitable battle between bat and ball. Some complain, that T20 cricket has been an overdose while also blaming T20 for the slow decline of test cricket. However, test cricket is one format where all three formats can be represented in a single game.
There have been batsmen who have gone slam-bang from the first ball in test matches, while dead slow match-winning knocks in crunch situations have are also showcased on various occurrences. The T20 approach sees a higher attendance only due to the fast-flying, high adrenaline rush method of cricket exhibited, while ODI cricket falls in between the T20 and test formats.
Quite contrary to the limited-overs scenario, test cricket does not impose any added pressure on batsmen, while allows each player to settle in and score freely. Sweetly timed strokes and crisp drives are some of the trademarks of test cricket which enables batsmen to rake plenty of runs in ample amount of time given their composure at the wicket.
Here we have a look at the highest individual scores registered by batsmen according to batting positions in tests.
#1 Matthew Hayden - 380 of 437 balls, for Australia against Zimbabwe, Perth, October 2003.
Matthew Hayden, perhaps one of the most destructive batsmen of his time holds the record for the highest score by an opener in test cricket, with an astonishing 380-run knock against a listless Zimbabwe bowling attack. The spectacular knock was laced with 38 hits to the fence and 11 hits over it.
In the process of his gigantic knock, Hayden broke Brian Lara’s long-standing record of the highest score in tests at that time with a tuck to mid-wicket (which, by the way, was standing at 375 for nine years). Hayden paced his innings particularly well during his five session stay at the crease, with the right mix of aggression and patience to take the wind out of the Zimbabwean bowlers.
Prior to this knock, Hayden’s best was 203 which came against India. Thirteen years after his knock, the record of ‘The highest test score by an opener’ still stands to his name.