Cricket’s tradition is to award the “Man of the Match” award at the end of every match to the player who has displayed a phenomenal performance on the day and, most of the time, helped his team win the game.
Every player works with dogged determination to represent his country, but representing his country in Test cricket is like a dream come true. Test cricket is a true test of character for any player. We have witnessed players who gave their best during critical situations in the longer format and managed to bail the team out of demanding situations with their strong resolve and temperament. This piece will discuss players who have won most MoM awards in Test cricket history.
These players stood firm for their respective sides when their teams struggled; their performances remembered forever by the fans. These players could win the game single-handedly, making them special in the longer format.
Let’s look at 10 players who have won the most “Man-of-the-Match” awards in Test history.
10) Joe Root (England) – 13 MoM awards in 127 Tests
Joe Root is one of the finest match winners in the longer format in modern-day cricket; showcased his calm temperament under dicey situations with strong resolve and a determined attitude.
The former skipper has been solid with his technique and defense in all conditions, making him priceless for the three lions in modern-day cricket. Root has won the MoM award 13 times in his Test career in 127 Tests.
9) Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (India) – 14 MoM awards in 200 Tests
The ‘Master Blaster’ delivered for team India consistently against the bigger teams. Sachin Tendulkar had the temperament to rebuild the innings by compiling small partnerships.
The former Indian skipper had loads of experience playing in different situations and conditions. Whether the team traveled overseas or played in the subcontinent, Tendulkar showcased tremendous adaptability depending on the opposition. In 200 Tests, Tendulkar won 14 MoM awards.
8) Steve Waugh (Australia) -14 MoM awards in 168 Tests
The former Australian skipper possessed tremendous mental toughness to overcome any challenging situation. With his rock-solid temperament, Steve Waugh was gritty enough to take on the opposition, showcased tremendous adjustability with shot selection, and frustrated the opposition bowlers by standing firm at one end.
Against the spinners, Waugh was sometimes unorthodox with sweep shots but was spot-on with his footwork. In 168 Tests, Waugh won 14 “Player of the Match” awards.
7) Curtly Ambrose (West Indies) -14 MoM awards in 98 Tests
Like the West Indian pacers of the 1970s & 80s, Ambrose could destroy any batting lineup on his day. The tall and lanky pacer delivered during critical moments of a game.
Ambrose could get uneven bounce even on slow-turning wickets, which made him a deadly operator in the longer format. His clever seam movement, combined with his pace, troubled even a well-set batter. The Antiguan won the “Man of the Match” award 14 times in 98 Tests.
6) Ricky Ponting (Australia) -16 MoM awards in 168 Tests
Ricky Ponting never say die attitude and his competitive nature made him one of the best middle-order batters as well as skippers during the 1990s and 2000s. The right-hander counter-attacked the opposition bowlers when the other batsmen struggled. The former skipper showcased a strong resolve with his stroke play on all sides of the wicket. He won 16 MoM awards in 168 Tests.
5) Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) -16 MoM awards in 134 Tests
Kumar Sangakkara played an influential role in Sri Lankan cricket, whether it was his batting or captaincy. He stood firm when saving a Test match or building a big partnership. Sangakkara’s batting always revolved around his timing and placement. The former wicket-keeper batsman saved matches for his side single-handedly, combining well with his former teammate Mahela Jayawardene. Sangakkara won 16 “Man of the Match” awards in 134 Tests.
4) Shane Warne (Australia) – 17 MoM awards in 145 Tests
The late legendary spinner was a big game player with this unique ability to deliver on big stages. Shane Warne made the best batters of his generation look ordinary with his classical leg spin and googlies. Even on flat batting wickets, Warne was difficult to negotiate. His length was also his main strength. In 145 Tests, Warne won the “Man of the Match” award 17 times.
3) Wasim Akram (Pakistan) – 17 MoM awards in 104 Tests
Wasim Akram excelled with his reverse swing; topple the best batting lineups with his classical seam movements. Akram could change the outcome of any game with his penetrative pace and speed. The former skipper was a match-winner on any given day with the old and new balls. The “Sultan of Swing” won matches single-handedly in the past for Pakistan. He won 17 MoM awards in 104 Tests.
2) Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka) – 19 MoM awards in 133 Tests
The ‘smiling assassin’ as he was called during his playing days, throttled the best batting lineups on his days with some brilliant exhibition of spin bowling. The former off-spinner could abstract uneven bounce and turn on batting wickets. Muralitharan will be remembered as one of the finest match-winners in world cricket. His accurate line and flight made the best batters make mistakes. In 133 Tests, Muralitharan won 19 MoM awards.
1) Jacques Kallis (South Africa) – 23 MoM awards in 166 Tests
The former South African all-rounder was a match-winner with the bat and the ball. Kallis did the job for the Proteas when his team was in trouble.
As a batsman, Kallis showcased a resolute temperament when he played for longer durations saving matches for his side and showcasing solidity with his technique. As a pacer, Kallis had this knack for picking crucial wickets with his clever seam movement and length. In 166 Tests, Kallis won 23 MoM awards.
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