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Stats: Kumar Sangakkara overtakes Brian Lara to become 5th highest run-scorer in Test cricket

ANALYST
Modified 16 Aug 2014
Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara’s numbers as a Test match player seem to be getting better and better by the day. Sangakkara, who goes about his business without attracting too much attention, is now 5th on the list of batsmen with most Test runs having surpassed West Indian great Brian Lara during the 2nd Test against Pakistan.

Sangakkara made his Test debut against South Africa at the age of 22 as a wicketkeeper-batsman, but it soon became apparent that he had enough quality to get into the side as a batsman alone. Yet Sri Lanka continued using the southpaw as their gloveman, as it gave them the chance to play an extra batsman or bowler depending on the conditions. The workload, though, of having to contribute runs at the top of the order and wicket-keeping for long hours in the field eventually took a toll on him, and he gave up the gloves for good in 2008.

Giving up wicket-keeping duties has benefitted him enormously: he averages a staggering 70.20 from the 80 Tests that he hasn’t had to stand behind the stumps in, as opposed to an average of 40.48 when wicket-keeping.

His consistency over the last 2-3 years, in particular, has been Bradmanesque, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he overtakes a couple of others in the run charts before retiring. The biggest question for him, though, is whether he has the motivation to carry on playing for another 2-3 years especially with Mahela Jayawardene, his best mate, hanging up his boots.

Here are the top 10 run-getters in Test cricket:

Player Country Matches Runs Average 
Sachin Tendulkar India 200 15921 53.78
Ricky Ponting Australia 168 13378 51.85
Jacques Kallis South Africa 166 13289 55.37
Rahul Dravid India 164 13288 52.31
Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka 128* 11983 58.94
Brian Lara West Indies 131 11953 52.88
Mahela Jayawardene Sri Lanka 149* 11809 49.95
Shivnarine Chanderpaul West Indies 156 11414 51.88
Allan Border Australia 156 11174 50.56
Steve Waugh Australia 168 10927 51.06

Note: Stats updated till August 16, 2014

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Published 16 Aug 2014
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