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Top 10 Batsmen in International Test Cricket in 2012
Cricket is a strange game. While it is a team sport, individual achievements are easily measured and statistics will show overachievers lurking in underperforming teams. Yet statistics cannot tell the whole story and in the context of a match, the batsman who scores the most runs may or may not be the hero of the day.
However when it comes to assessing the top 10 batsmen of 2012, I have chosen to go where the numbers take me and discuss the men who scored the most runs.
1. Michael Clarke
The Australian captain was undoubtedly the top test batsman in 2012. He scored a massive 1595 runs in only 11 test matches with an average of 106.33.
2012 was a year of records for Michael Clarke. His total runs scored was the most for an Australian batsman in any calendar year, bettering the achievement of former captain Ricky Ponting who could only manage 1544 runs in 15 tests when he set the previous record in 2005. In addition he became the first batsman in the world to manage four scores of over 200 in one calendar year.
It comes as no surprise that he ended the year at the top of the official batting rankings (see below).
2. Alistair Cook
While England's new captain comes second with 1249 runs, he had a lot more opportunities to score runs in 2012 as he played in 15 tests. His average for the year is less than half of Michael Clarke’s – a good but unspectacular 48.03, which is actually slightly below his career average of 49.42.
3. Hashim Amla
Scored 1064 runs in only 10 tests. Along the way he became the first South African batsman to score over 300 in a single test innings.
4. Kevin Pietersen
2012 was a controversial year for this South African born English batsman. Despite a record of good performances against the country of his birth, and a brilliant 149 against them in the second test of a three test series, he was dropped for the next match over allegations that he had made derogatory comments about his teammates in text messages to members of the South African team.
After then-captain Andrew Strauss’s sudden retirement, he sorted out his problems with the England camp and returned to complete a decent year in which he scored 1053 runs in 14 tests. His average of 43.87 was, however, somewhat short of his career average of 49.42.
5. Jonathan Trott
Brings to three the number of English batsman in the top 10. Like Kevin Pietersen, Trott was born in South African. However Trott manages to avoid controversy. While he managed to score 1005 runs in 15 tests his average of 38.65 is disappointing for a man whose career average is 49.5.
6. Shivnarine Chanderpaul
A veteran member of the West Indies team at the age of 38, Chanderpaul never disappoints even though the team as a whole has declined drastically in recent years. He scored 987 runs in only 9 tests with the second best average among the top 10 players – 98.7.
7. Jacques Kallis
Another veteran at the age of 37, South Africa’s star all-rounder lived up to his reputation with 944 runs in 9 tests at an average of 67.42. Despite a hamstring injury during the second test against Australia, he still batted brilliantly to play a major part in his team avoiding what appeared to be an inevitable defeat.
8. Michael Hussey
This Australian batsman who is often referred to as ‘Mr Cricket’ scored 898 runs in 11 tests, averaging 59.86. He then surprised the cricket world by announcing that he would be retiring from international cricket at the end of the on-going series against Sri Lanka, meaning that the first test match of 2013 will be his last. His retirement will be a huge loss to the Australian team.
9. Marlon Samuels
Another batsman who has had a controversial career, Marlon Samuels was found guilty of "receiving money, or benefit or other reward that could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute" in 2008 and banned for two years. He finally returned to the West Indian team in 2011. 2012 was a good year for Samuels, who scored 866 runs in only 7 tests with a highly impressive average of 86.6.
- A special hundred for South African cricket captain Graeme Smith - News - Bubblews
In addition to his batting successes, Graeme Smith has captained more tests than any other captain in test history.
10. Graeme Smith
The South African captain is the third South African player in the top 10, and the fifth player on the list who was born in South Africa. He scored 825 runs in 10 tests at an average of 48.52, which is just slightly below his career average of 49.53. He also managed to lead his team to the number one ranking in test cricket.
What the rankings say
Although these ten men scored the most test runs in 2012, not all of them were able to find a place in the official top 10 rankings. The official top 10 batsmen at the conclusion of the last test match of 2012 were:
- Michael Clarke
- Shivnarine Chanderpaul
- Hashim Amla
- Kumar Sangakkara
- Alistair Cook
- Jacques Kallis
- A.B. de Villiers
- Ross Taylor
- Michael Hussey
- Younus Khan
To see where these batsmen and others are ranked today, see the first link below.
The second link is to Cricinfo's batting records. Here you can discover a complete list of the greatest achievements by any batsmen who ever played test cricket. At the top of Cricinfo's record page you will find a link to all records for 2012.
- Reliance ICC Player Rankings
A list of the current top 100 test batsmen.
- Records | Test matches | Batting records | ESPN Cricinfo
ESPN cricinfo.com provides the most comprehensive live cricket available as well as unparalleled statistics, quality editorial comment and analysis
Who, in your opinion, is the best test batsman in the world?
- 15% Michael Clarke
- 9% Alistair Cook
- 29% Hashim Amla
- 9% Kevin Pietersen
- 1% Jonathan Trott
- 9% Shivnarine Chanderpaul
- 7% Jacques Kallis
- 2% Michael Hussey
- 0% Marlon Samuels
- 1% Graeme Smith
- 19% None of the above
This poll is now closed to voting.
This poll is now closed for voting as the candidates are no longer the top performers in test cricket. If you still want to vote, please visit my new hub on the best batsmen of 2013.