Test cricket is truly the iconic format of the sport, and the reason behind it is the storied history that it has had over the years. One of the main reasons is the players involved, who make Test cricket highly exciting.
Success in Tests is always measured by longevity, and a player who has had a long Test career is most likely part of Test folklore. Here we celebrate not one player based on their longevity but pairs of cricketers who have played with each other for a long time in Test cricket. They are sure to have found a great deal of success, and here are the pairs of players who have played the most Tests together.
1. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid: 146 Tests
The first on this list is the iconic pair of Indian batters, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. The duo played a whopping 146 Tests together, the highest-ever Tests played together in the game’s longest format.
It all began when Rahul Dravid made his Test debut in the Lord’s Test during India’s tour of England in 1996, and their epic association lasted together for 16 long years till Dravid announced his retirement in 2012.
They have shared quite a long history as a batting pair, as they have scored the most runs as a duo (6920) at an average of 50.51 in 143 innings, and this includes 20-hundred-run partnerships. While Sachin is the leading run-getter in Tests with 15921 runs in 200 Tests, Dravid stands at 4th with 13288 runs in red-ball cricket.
2. Stuart Broad and James Anderson: 138 Tests
Stuart Broad and James Anderson are the bowling equivalent of what the Sachin-Dravid duo is to batting. The duo have been match-winners with the ball for England for more than a decade and a half in the longest format of the game.
The duo have played a whopping 138 Tests together, starting from Broad’s debut in 2007 to his subsequent retirement after the Oval Test during the Ashes 2023. In this period, they have taken a stunning 1039 wickets and are clear of any active pairs playing Test cricket.
While Anderson is still going strong with 690 Test wickets from 183 games, Stuart Broad finished his career as the 5th highest wicket-taker in Tests with 604 scalps.
3. Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher: 137 Tests
The first 2 pairs of players who played most Tests together were either a set of specialist batsmen or bowlers. But the third one is the legendary pair of former South African players, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher. And the duo have featured in an incredible 137 Tests together since the latter’s debut in 1996.
Boucher, the long-serving South Africa wicketkeeper batter, featured in 147 Tests for the national team, scoring 5515 runs, but more importantly, he has the most number of dismissals behind the stumps in cricket history.
Known as one of the best keepers in the history of cricket, Boucher has 999 dismissals to his name, including 555 in Test cricket. All in all, he was one of the finest cricketers South Africa has ever produced, and he played most of the Test matches alongside Kallis (137), who can be termed one of the legends of the game.
Kallis played a jaw-dropping 166 Tests, scoring 13289 runs at an average of 55.37, and has 45 Test centuries, which is the second most behind Sachin Tendulkar. Apart from his world-class batting skills, Kallis was also a genuine pacer in his own right, taking 292 Test wickets and thus ending his career as one of the great all-rounders cricket has ever seen.
4. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman: 132 Tests
The duo of Rahul Dravid and Laxman forged a great partnership whenever they batted together on the crease. Making their debuts in the same year in Test cricket (1996), both Laxman and Dravid formed an indestructible alliance for India whenever they needed the most in the longest format of the game.
Who can ever forget their famous 376-run stand against Australia at Eden Gardens, which gave the team an unlikely win over the yellow brigade after following on?
The duo ought to be one of the best pairs that played Test cricket, and they featured in 132 Tests, which is the 4th most in Test history. Interestingly, Laxman played 134 Tests, and only 2 of them were in the absence of Dravid from 1996 to 2012. The very special batsman scored 8781 runs at an average of 46 in Test cricket.
5. Alastair Cook and James Anderson: 130 Tests
James Anderson finds himself yet another time on this list for playing 130 Tests alongside former England skipper Alastair Cook. Cook featured in 161 Test matches for the Three Lions since his debut in 2006, scoring a mammoth 12472 runs in the longest format of the game. He retired from Tests in 2018 as one of the greatest Test openers of all time and is the leading run-scorer for England in this format.
6. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene: 126 Tests
When we talk about the famous and greatest batting pairs in cricket, we can not look beyond the Sri Lankan batting duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. Both knew each other’s game pretty well and have played together in an astonishing 126 Tests.
The former captains batted 120 times in Tests and scored 6554 runs amusing 19-century run stands from the year 2000 to 2014. Their 624-run stand against South Africa still remains the highest-ever partnership for any wicket in Test cricket.
While Sangakkara made 12400 runs in 134 Tests to be the 6th highest run-getter in the format, Mahela finished as the 9th best run-scorer with 11814 runs in 149 Tests.
7. Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad: 123 Tests
Stuart Broad and Alastair Cook feature for the second time, respectively, and the pair has played 123 Tests together since 2007 until Cook’s retirement in the 2018 England-India series. Together, they were part of many incredible and successful moments in English Test cricket history.
8. Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble: 122 Tests
The batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar played a record 200 Tests and ought to be part of this elite list many times. This time he features alongside one of his long-time teammates, Anil Kumble. The former Indian skipper Kumble is the 4th highest wicket-taker in Test history with 619 wickets, and he has played with Sachin in 122 of the 132 Tests representing India.
9. Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman: 120 Tests
Yet another time Sachin is featured in this list, and here he is in the company of VVS Laxman. The famed pair of VVS and Sachin scored 3523 runs together at the crease at an average of over 51 and have been in many epic stands throughout the course of their long-standing partnership.
10. Stuart Broad and Joe Root: 114 Tests
Last but not least, it is Stuart Broad who comes up for the third time, and this time alongside the great Joe Root. Root, the modern-day Test great, has played 114 out of his 135 Tests alongside the champion pacer, and this Ashes meant that this pair moved past another famed Indian duo of Dravid and Ganguly.