The 2nd edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) is set to come to a close in less than a week’s time with the final match of this cycle to be played between the table toppers of league stages Australia and last edition’s runners-up India at the historic Oval Stadium in London. The match is scheduled to start on the 7th of the June. With this game, the 2nd cycle of this fantastic WTC will draw to a finish and what has made this edition a success.
Batting in Tests has become progressively more difficult, with the pitches getting more and more suited for the bowlers, especially in countries like India, South Africa, England, Australia, we should appreciate the runs scored by the batters. We will see here in this article as it will dwell upon the highest individual scores of this edition.
If you want to know who are the overall top leading run-scorers and wicket-takers, click here.
#1 Tom Latham – 252 vs Bangladesh (Christchurch, 2022)
Tom Latham, one of the most successful Test openers in New Zealand cricket history tops the list of the highest individual by a batter in the 2nd edition of the World Test Championship. The left-hander scored his personal 2nd best score in Test cricket in a home Test match against Bangladesh.
The left-hander was at his prolific best in a match he also led the Kiwi’s team in the absence of regular skipper Kane Williamson. Despite put into bat first on a typical New Zealand surface, Latham negated the new ball threat before going onto make merry once the pitch flattened out. This was his 2nd Test double century and his maiden as the captain of the side.
His 252 propelled New Zealand to a daunting total of 521/6 and it was a walk in the park for the home team post as the Kiwi’s ran through the Bangladesh batting order twice in under 3 days, winning the game by an innings and 117 runs.
In all, Latham scored 1084 in the 2nd WTC cycle at an average of 41.69 in 27 innings that he played. He made one ore century in an away series against Pakistan in a drawn Test at Karachi in the 2022 Boxing Day game. Though New Zealand didn’t back up their superlative WTC 2021 triumph in the 2nd edition, Latham’s marathon knock comes as a silver lining.
#2 Kane Williamson – 215 vs Sri Lanka (Wellington, 2023)
Yet another Kiwi batsman who has made a huge score playing at home and this time it is their champion & all-time New Zealand top run-getter Kane Williamson. Coming into this home series, New Zealand was already out of contention for a spot in the WTC Final and it was an inconsequential tourney for them in that aspect.
But it was much more than that for the Kiwis and Kane Williamson personally. The latter had resigned from Test captaincy and given the reigns to Tim Southee a series before that. Kane began his non-captaincy stint in Test cricket at home with a match-winning 2nd innings century in the first Test at Christchurch and in Wellington by going one better smashing his 6th Test double century,
New Zealand scored a mammoth total of 580/4 after being put into bat and Kane made 215 runs while getting support from the middle-order batter Henry Nicholls who scored an unbeaten 200 himself as Kiwi’s thrashed by an innings and 58 runs. This after getting a hard-fought win by 2 wickets in the first Test.
#3 Dinesh Chandimal – 206* vs Australia (Galle, 2022)
Though this knock of Dinesh Chandimal stands as the 3rd highest in this list, but it has to be one of the best Test knocks ever played by a Sri Lankan batter and easily best against Australia. This was also the first ever double century by a Sri Lankan against the Aussies in this format.
Coming to the knock, Sri Lanka was in a bit of bother after losing the first Test at the same venue and Australia had piled up 364 runs in their batting essay. So, the home team needed a big total as they had to bat last, and Dinesh made sure of it. The top-order gave them a good start and the middle-order first consolidated that by scoring a superlative 13th Test ton and once reaching that, he converted that to a maiden Test double. The way he counter-attacked post his century was simply breath taking and it took the Aussies by surprise.
Sri Lanka managed to score 554 runs on the back of Chandimal’s masterclass and the Lankan spinners took care of the rest by bundling out the Aussies for 151 in the 2nd innings to win the match by an innings and 39 runs to draw the series at 1-1.
#4 Marnus Labuschagne – 204 vs West Indies (Perth, 2022)
Marnus Labuschagne, the world no.1 Test batter continued his penchant for huge runs in the 2nd edition of WTC having amassed 1509 runs in the two-year period and he also finds a place in the top-5 highest individual run-scorers.
Marnus was at his usual best in this yet another big knock of his in Test cricket where he smashed his 2nd Test double century at the new Perth Stadium. Batting first, Australia made a staggering 598/4 in the first innings against a lifeless West Indies bowling attack thanks to double centuries from Marnus (204) and Steve Smith (200). The right-hander scored another century in the 2nd innings and this Aussies a win by a whopping margin of 164 runs and allowed them to continue their dominant run in the current WTC cycle.
#5 Steve Smith – 200 vs West Indies (Perth, 2022), Kane Williamson – 200* vs Pakistan (Karachi, 2022) and Henry Nicholls – 200* vs Sri Lanka (Wellington, 2023)
For the 5th spot in the highest individual scorers list, we have 3 players who have scored an unbeaten 200 in this WTC cycle – namely Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls. While the knocks of Steve Smith and Henry Nicholls came in the same match as Marnus Labuschagne and Kane Williamson did respectively, the other Kane Williamson’s double century came in New Zealand’s historic away tour to Pakistan.
Coming to the knock, it came in a high-scoring and slow-moving game in the boxing day Test match of 2022 at Karachi where Kane’s 200 helped New Zealand gain a first innings lead of 174 and put the visiting team with a chance of winning the Test match. Though the match ended in a draw, it would be remembered for Williamson’s masterclass as he scored his 5th Test double century and first outside of New Zealand.
This was also Kane Williamson’s first series post resigning from the captaincy, but this knock proved he still a great Test batsman.