CRICKET

Playing 100 test matches is not easy in this modern era

Pujara

A chance to represent their country in Tests, the truest form of the game, often drives emerging cricketers forward. Despite this, only a few cricketers have played 100 test matches.

Who holds the record for most test matches played?

In Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar holds the record with 200 Test appearances, while Sunil Gavaskar was the first to reach that milestone. It seems more difficult to achieve such a feat today with multiple formats and workload management, but it is possible for the players, as it will put them in an exclusive club.

The Border-Gavaskar Trophy’s second match, between India and Australia, will mark Cheteshwar Pujara’s 100th Test appearance. In 2010, the right-handed batter made his debut for the team and has been a dominant force in the batting order ever since.

Despite their talent and pedigree, not every player is able to reach 100 matches.MS Dhoni and Mohammad Azharuddin, for example, both suffered tragic ends after their careers ended prematurely. Let’s take a look at three such players who won’t be able to reach the three-figure mark in Tests, based on their appearances in Tests.

Ajinkya Rahane (82 test matches)

In his illustrious career, the Mumbai-born batter formed a formidable middle order with Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. Rahane made his Border-Gavaskar Trophy debut in 2013 and has played some memorable knocks, especially abroad. However, he was dropped from the South African team due to poor cricket.

Considering Shreyas Iyer has settled into the side well since his debut, along with Suryakumar Yadav and Sarfaraz Khan waiting on the sidelines for a chance, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the Rahane play any time soon.

Despite being among the runs in the 2022-23 Ranji Trophy campaign, the gritty batter does not have much prominence right now. The gritty batter has represented India in 82 red-ball matches, scoring 4913 runs at an average of 38.52.

Ravindra Jadeja (61 matches)

Over the years, the ace all-rounder has emerged as a match-winner for India, especially at home. Since then, he has further improved his skills as a batter. In the recently concluded first Test against Australia in Nagpur, Jadeja put on an impressive display following a five-month injury layoff.

Jadeja made his debut against England in Nagpur in 2012. He has scored 2593 runs at an average of 37.04 and claimed 249 wickets in the format since then. However, a packed sporting calendar of late has made Jadeja injury prone. The 34-year-old has played 61 Test matches, and playing 39 more will be a very difficult challenge at this point.

Mohammad Shami (61 test matches)

The fast bowler hailing from Bengal is on the verge of wrapping up ten years of playing red-ball cricket for India. He first appeared in Sachin Tendulkar’s final series in 2013 and has continued to excel ever since. Although he has also demonstrated his proficiency with the white ball, his performance in Test cricket is particularly remarkable.

In Team India’s quest for overseas Test victories, he played a crucial role as a valuable asset, forming a formidable trio alongside Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma.

Like Ravindra Jadeja, he has made 61 appearances and is presently 32 years old. However, age is a precarious factor for fast bowlers, and with pacers like Shami who bowl with tremendous intensity, the likelihood of him reaching the three-figure mark before retiring is low. Additionally, his participation in home matches may considerably decrease once other pacers in the rotation regain full fitness.

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