Elite Club

Elite List: Players who have played 100 or more Consecutive Tests

Playing an international match for your country is a beautiful, momentous occasion a cricketer can have. In that, representing their nation in Test cricket, the mother of all formats, is a dream come true. To play Test cricket, one must possess a lot of discipline apart from the skills and potential to excel at the level.

Many successful Test cricketers have said in the past that they had the ambition of playing a single Test match for their nation and playing more than that is a cause of their sheer hard work and consistent performances over time. So we can say that Test cricket for any cricketer gives them a different joy altogether, and they enjoy each and every moment of it.

So as established, playing a single Test is an achievement; what about cricketers who have gone on to play 50, 100, 150, or even 200 Tests in the case of Sachin Tendulkar? To go further, what about the cricketers who have gone on to play 100 Tests on the trot?

In this piece, we will discuss the players not just basis on their longevity in the Test format but the sheer consistency with which they have played Test cricket. Playing 100 Tests is not an easy feat, and only 39 cricketers have played 100 or more 5-day matches is a testimony to that statement. Among the Indians, there are only 13.

A cricketer needs to maintain peak fitness apart from the form aspect to sustain for that long a period, and playing 100 Tests in a row without missing even one in between speaks volumes about an individual.

Nathan Lyon to become the 6th Test cricketer to join this elite list

Amid the 2023 Ashes season, this remarkable achievement of playing 100 Tests in a row is set to happen for the 6th time in the history of Test cricket. It is set to be accomplished by the champion spinner from Australia, Nathan Lyon, when his team takes on the hosts England in the home of cricket, Lord’s.

This will be Lyon’s 122nd Test match in his illustrious career, and he will be playing his 100th consecutive Test when he takes the field at Lords’. The off-spinner, who is just 5 shy of reaching the mark of 500 Test wickets, last missed a red-ball game for Australia way back in the 2013 Ashes Old Trafford Test. Since then, he has been an indispensable part of this Australian bowling attack at home and away.

Bonus Read: What makes Nathan Lyon a great bowler?

Nathan Lyon played a match-winning role in the 1st Test at Edgbaston, where he did wonders both with bat & ball along with skipper Pat Cummins. We have to see what the legendary spinner does this time in one of his more Test matches, personally.

It should be a happy moment for him as only 5 Test cricketers in the past have achieved what Lyon will perform at the Lord’s, that is, to play a record 100 Tests consecutively.

So here are the 5 others who have done it before Nathan Lyon.

Alastair Cook – 159 Tests

Alastair Cook, the legendary England Test opener, holds the record for appearing in the most Test matches on the bounce. Out of the 161 Test he played, there were 159 consecutive ones’ without missing a single Test from May 2006 until his retirement in September 2018 against India.

After a debut century against India in the away tour of 2006, Cook missed the 3rd Test match of the series after featuring in the first 2 Tests. Since then, he has played all of England’s Tests over the next 12 years, amassing 12472 runs at an average of 45.35, smashing 33 tons in the process. Ironically, Cook scored a century in the final match of his career, and was also against India.

Here’s a detailed look on Alastair Cook’s Test stats!

Alan Border – 153 Tests

Alan Border, the World cup winning skipper of Australia, held this record long until it was surpassed by Alastair Cook in 2018. Border made his Test debut in the 3rd match of Ashes 1978/79 in Australia. Playing the following 2 Tests, Alan Border missed out on the 6th match of the series, and this is the only Test he missed throughout his Test career.

A player of 156 Tests, Border featured in 153 successive Tests till his retirement in the 1994 Test series in South Africa. Border made a whopping 11174 runs in Test cricket at an average of 50.56 with 27 centuries against his name.

Mark Waugh – 107 Tests

One of the finest and classical Test batsmen of all time, Mark Waugh, makes it to the list by playing 107 consecutive Tests between June 1993 till his retirement in October 2002. Mark Waugh had a rough start to his career, averaging just over 33 in his first 21 Tests, and was subsequently not picked for the 3rd Test in New Zealand in the 1993 series.

But post that episode, Mark Waugh was always an integral part of the Aussie setup that continued to dominate the world in Tests. Mark Waugh finished his career with 8029 runs in 128 Tests at an average of 41.82 with 20 centuries to his name. He was also an exceptional fielder at the slips and rarely dropped a catch.

Sunil Gavaskar – 106 Tests

The batting maestro from India, Sunil Gavaskar, played 106 consecutive Tests for the country between January 1975 and February 1987. Sunil Gavaskar’s remarkable streak started in the home Test series against West Indies in 1974/75, where he had to miss the bulk of the series due to an injury and was only available for the last match of the series

But since then, until his last Test series against the arch-rivals Pakistan (where he didn’t play the 2nd Test of 5 match series), Gavaskar never missed a single Test for the country. He was also the first-ever cricketer to play 100 consecutive Tests. He was the best opening batsman of his era and was the first to amass over 10000 Test runs and reach the tally of 30 Test centuries. Sunil finished his career with 10122 runs at an epic average of 51.12 in 125 Test matches.

Brendon McCullum – 101 Tests

The unique thing between Brendon McCullum, the former New Zealand skipper, and the other players in this list is that though all the players have played over 100 consecutive Tests, the former is the only one who didn’t miss a single Test in his career.

McCullum, an aggressive batter and a captain by nature, played all his 101 Tests on the trot without getting dropped or missing a Test on fitness grounds. This makes it one of the most remarkable stories in Test cricket. The Kiwi batter though averaging around low 30s in almost half of his Test career, made a stunning turnaround in the latter half of his career, smashing 12 centuries, including 3 double centuries and a triple century.

One of his finest Test moments came in the last match of his Test career, where he smashed a 54-ball century against Australia, a then record for the fastest Test century. In all, he made 6453 runs at an average of 38.64 and ended his career as one of the all-time New Zealand greats.

Read: Most Test matches played among the current-day cricketers

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