The history of international Test cricket is a long and storied one, dating back to the very first match between England and Australia in 1877. Since then, there have been over 2,000 Test matches played, involving 13 different teams.
The early years of Test cricket were dominated by England and Australia, who played each other regularly and developed a fierce rivalry.
However, as the game spread to other countries, such as India, Pakistan, and West Indies, the balance of power began to shift. In the 1970s and 1980s, West Indies was the dominant force in Test cricket, winning 15 consecutive series.
In the 1990s, Australia emerged as the new powerhouse, winning 16 consecutive series and setting several world records.
In recent years, there has been a more even spread of power in Test cricket, with India, South Africa, and England all challenging for the top spot. The game is now more competitive than ever before, and there is no clear favourite to win the next Test match.
In the last decade, because of the beginning of the World Test Championship, the red-ball format has gained a certain amount of popularity among all the cricket-playing countries.
Cricket boards have started taking the longest format of the game seriously and they are looking for players who are specialized to play the 5-day matches.
It was because of the same reason, the recognized batters were seen to change their game and adopt themselves for the red-ball. However, in these two centuries of Test cricket history, sometimes a question arises that which was the best era for the batters in Test cricket.
Journey of Test Cricket and Overall Numbers
|Total Test Matches
|15 March 1877 – 30 Dec1960
|30 Dec 1960 – 27 Nov 1984
|28 Nov 1984 – 20 Jun 2000
|21 Jun 2000 – 28 Jul 2011
|29 July Onwards
According to the table above. Test cricket clearly shows a trend where the number of matches has increased and the importance of Test cricket has grown in every decade.
However, the numbers talk about the era which starts on 21st June 2000 and ends on 28 July 2011. The time period has seen a major change where the batting average almost reached 35 and the run rate increased from 2.85 to 3.23.
The increase in average displays that the era between 2000-2011 was best for the batsmen in the Test format. It shows that the batters had more aggression and they played to score runs and dominate the opposition with longer innings.
Legends During 2000-2011 in the Test Format
During the time period of 2000-2011, cricket was going through some major changes. Boards were talking to start a T20 format and at the same time, they were planning to give importance to Test cricket.
However, some legendary batters kept the red-ball format interesting and thrilling by scoring runs and making new records.
Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara were in constant competition to play longer innings and make new records.
Sachin was known for his impeccable technique and flawless stroke play, whereas, Brian Lara flamboyant and attacking style. They both became a major fear in the minds of bowlers from across the globe.
Other batters who came into the spotlight were Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Saurav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, Mathew Hayden, Kevin Pieterson, Jacques Kallis, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Inzamam-ul-Haq and many more who poised the talent to remain calm in difficult situations and score runs in the longest format of the game during 2000-2011 period of Test cricket.