Most Balls Faced by a Batsman in Cricket (ODI & Tests)

Decoding cricket records has always been a rapture. The one thing any batsmen never liked in cricket is getting out. Very few elite batsmen have been very successful in not getting out. Here’s a little research and analysis on the players who have faced the most balls in Test and ODI cricket.

Most Balls Faced by a Player in Test Matches

India’s former captain and current head coach, Rahul Dravid, holds the record for the Most Balls faced in Test Cricket. Rahul Dravid has played many “longer innings in cricket” and is also behind some of the greatest moments in Indian cricket. Rahul Dravid has played 164 tests for India and has faced 31,258 balls to score 13,288 Test Runs at an average of 52.31 with 36 centuries.

Facing this number of deliveries in a single format is one of the biggest feats in cricket history, which will possibly be in existence for a considerably longer period, thanks to the fall-down in the number of Test matches played these days. Also, the players near Dravid’s mighty number all retired from international cricket.

Rahul Dravid1996-201216431258
Sachin Tendulkar1989-201320029437
Jacques Kallis1995-201316628903
Shivnarine Chanderpaul1994-201516427395
Allan Border1978-199415627002
Alastair Cook2006-201816126562
Mahela Jayawardene1997-201414922959
Kumar Sangakkara2000-201513422882
Ricky Ponting1995-201216822782
Steve Waugh1985-200416822461

Key Stats

Rahul Dravid is in the 4th position in the chart of players with the most runs in Test cricket. You can find here the total runs he scored against every country.

He is also the only player in cricket history to face more than 30000 balls in Test cricket.

Among the non-retired players, Joe Root, Steve Smith, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Kane Williamson have all faced more than 15000 balls in the longer format.

Rahul Dravid consumed 46,563 balls in his splendid career, and the bulk of it – 31,258, came from the Tests. You can only face so many deliveries if you play Test cricket consistently over a long period, as the shorter formats don’t encourage this playing style. You tend to become a liability if you aren’t striking over 100 in the limited-overs.

Most Balls Faced by a player in a Single Test Innings

The record for the most balls faced by a player in a single Test innings belongs to Sir Leonard Hutton of England.

Len Hutton

Leonard Hutton faced 847 balls in a single Test innings against Australia when he scored 364 runs in the Ashes Trophy Match.

This marathon innings of Sir Hutton had also helped England win by an innings and 579 runs.

Leonard Hutton (ENG)847364797AUSTRALIA
Glenn Turner (NZ)759259704WEST INDIES
Bob Simpson (AUS)743311762ENGLAND
Sid Barnes (AUS)667234649ENGLAND
Gary Kirsten (SA)642275878ENGLAND
Andy Sandham (ENG)640325600WEST INDIES
Ken Barrington (ENG)624256683AUSTRALIA
Wally Hammond (ENG)605251461AUSTRALIA
Wally Hammond (ENG)603177440AUSTRALIA
Bob Cowper (AUS)589307727ENGLAND

Key Stats

During this marathon innings, Hutton had also created a history by crossing over Don Bradman’s highest score of 334 – the highest score in Test cricket at that time.

The 21st century record for the same belongs to Brian Lara, who faced 582 balls to score the only 400 in the Test cricket history.

Maximum balls faced in Test cricket in an innings by an Indian batsman: Cheteshwar Pujara – 525 balls (672 Mins) against Australia in Ranchi (202 Runs).

Maximum balls faced by a batsman against India in a Test innings: Sanath Jayasuriya – 578 balls (340 Runs)

Most Balls Faced by a Player in ODI Cricket

When it comes to ODI cricket, Sachin Tendulkar has a habit of sweeping it all. Indeed!!! He didn’t shy away from holding the “Most Balls Faced in ODI Career” record.

Sachin Tendulkar has faced 21367 balls in his ODI career. He is the only player in ODI cricket to face more than 20000 balls.

Sachin is also the only player in cricket history to play more than 50000 balls.

Sachin Tendulkar1989-20124632136818426
Kumar Sangakkara2000-20154041804814234
Ricky Ponting1995-20123751704613704
Mahela Jayawardene1998-20154481602012650
Jacques Kallis1996-20143281588511579
Sourav Ganguly1992-20073111541611363
Rahul Dravid1996-20113441528510889
Virat Kohli2008-20232921479713848
Sanath Jayasuriya1989-20114451472513430

The current generation of players who are still playing and near Sachin’s Record are:

  • Virat Kohli – 13060+ balls
  • Rohit Sharma – 10350+ balls
  • Ross Taylor – 10280+ balls
  • Tamim Iqbal – 9750+ balls

Most Balls faced by a Player in an ODI innings

Now comes my personal favorite – the record for most balls a batsman faced in an ODI match.

It should be a challenging task for a batter to bat maximum balls in an innings with a maximum of 300 balls. Before getting into the answer, anyone’s guess it could be one of the opening batsmen, who must have carried on his bat.

If you do, you have guessed it right. Glenn Turner, an opener from New Zealand, holds the record for the most balls faced in an ODI innings. He had faced 201 balls to score 171 runs in a match against East Africa in 1975.

Interestingly, Glenn Turner also holds 2nd place in the list. This time against India, he had faced 177 balls, ending with a score of unbeaten 114 runs.

Glenn Turner (NZ)201171*East AfricaBirmingham197560-Overs
Glenn Turner (NZ)177114*IndiaManchester197560-Overs
Mohsin Khan (PAK)17670West IndiesThe Oval198360-Overs
Sunil Gavaskar (IND)17436*EnglandLord’s197560-Overs
Gordon Greenidge (WI)173106*IndiaBirmingham197960-Overs
Rohit Sharma (IND)173264Sri LankaKolkata201450-Overs
Bill Athey (ENG)172142*New ZealandManchester198655-Overs
Ashish Bagai (CAN)172137*ScotlandNairobi200750-Overs
Vivian Richards (WI)170189*EnglandManchester198455-Overs
Jonathan Malan (SA)169177*IrelandDublin202150-Overs

Key Stats

An important thing to look into in this list is the last column to find the type of matches played.

The Top 5 players in the list had the advantage of playing a 60 Overs a side match. 

Sunil Gavaskar’s famous marathon innings against England also comes under the top 5 list of “Most balls faced by a player in a single ODI match”.

Rohit Sharma of India holds the record for facing the most balls in a 50 Overs ODI match.

Rohit Sharma faced 173 out of 300 balls to score the mightiest 264 runs against Sri Lanka, the highest score in an ODI match.

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