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Top 10: Most Runs by a Batter in a Bilateral Test Series

Test format is the pinnacle of international cricket, wherein player’s skills, temperament, grit, and resilience are put on a ‘test’. This is one format with a fair bit of battle between bat and ball, unlike the limited-overs cricket.

Batting, in general, is an uphill task in the longest format. However, a few batters have scored heaps of runs, thanks to their ability to counter the opposition’s bowling attack.

Over the years, Test-playing nations have engaged in some intense bilateral series, with a few batters putting in brilliant performances with the bat. These batters have embraced the challenge of playing in any condition, piling up loads of runs in a single Test series.

On that note, here are the top 10 instances of batters with the most runs in a bilateral Test series.

Most Runs by a Batter in a Test Series

PlayerInningsRunsAvgHigh ScoreTest Series
Don Bradman (AUS)7974139.14334England vs Australia, 1930
Wally Hammond (ENG)9905113.12251 Australia vs England, 1928/29
Mark Taylor (AUS)1183983.90219England vs Australia, 1989
Neil Harvey (AUS)983492.66205Australia vs South Africa, 1952/53
Viv Richards (WI)7829118.42291England vs West Indies, 1976
Clyde Walcott (WI)1082782.70155West Indies vs Australia, 1955
Garry Sobers (WI)8824137.33365*West Indies vs Pakistan, 1957/58
Don Bradman (AUS)981090.00270Australia vs England, 1936/37
Don Bradman (AUS)5806201.50299*Australia vs South Africa, 1931/32
Brian Lara (WI)879899.75375West Indies vs England, 1993/94

Key Insights

There are over 34 instances of batters accumulating 700+ runs in a Test series. The number shoots to 80+ if we consider batters with 600+ Test runs in a bilateral series.

Don Bradman holds the unassailable record for scoring the most runs in a bilateral Test series. The Australian batting maestro garnered 974 runs in 7 innings in the 5-match Ashes series in 1930.

Bradman crossed the 700-run mark in 5 Test series, with 3 (974, 810, and 758) of them coming against England and 1 each against South Africa (806) and India (715).

India’s legendary batter, Sunil Gavaskar, holds the record for amassing the most runs in a debut Test series. The Mumbai batter scored 774 runs in 8 innings in his debut series against the West Indies in 1971. He attained this mighty feat during India’s tour of the Windies and became the first Indian batter to score 700+ runs in a Test series.

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Since the turn of this century, only 1 batter has scored 750+ runs in 2 Test series. Australia’s modern-day great, Steven Smith, first slammed 769 runs against India at home in 2014/15. And four years later, while playing the 2019 Ashes in England, he piled up 774 runs against the hosts. (Check out Steven Smith’s year-by-year Test stats here.)

Clyde Walcott hammered the most hundreds in a single Test series, notching up 5 centuries against Australia in 1955. In that series, Walcott scored 827 runs in 10 innings, including 2 fifties.

While Don Bradman has whacked the most double centuries, as he converted 3 out of his 4 tons into double hundreds. He achieved this herculean feat during the 1930 Ashes series in England.

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