Top 10 Highest Partnerships in Test Cricket History

There are few things in cricket better than watching stylish batsmen playing textbook shots all around the ground. Think Michael Vaughan cover drives and Brian Lara pull shots, or Sachin Tendulkar playing pretty much anything in the coaching manual.

In the modern game you would be hard-pushed to find batsmen more easy on the eye than Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. Fortunately for spectators around the world, they bat at No. 3 and No. 4 in the same Sri Lankan team, and they have shared a batting order ever since the former made his debut against South Africa back in 2000.

10. Rahul Dravid & VVS Laxman (India)

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Nobody in the history of the game has a capacity for crease occupation like the modern generation of Indian batsmen, and six of them form four of the partnerships in the top 10.

Laxman, whose initials it was said stood for “Very Very Special”, was a joy to watch, and it is wholly unsurprising that Dravid is on the list given how many tired and frustrated bowlers could vouch for the appropriateness of his epithet “The Wall.”

9. Sourav Ganguly & Sachin Tendulkar (India)

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Nobody made it into the top 10 in fewer shared innings than Ganguly and Tendulkar, and they did so with the second-highest average partnership. Ganguly was the founding father of India’s golden generation of batsmen in the modern era, and Tendulkar finished his career as the greatest run-scorer of all.

8. Gautam Gambhir & Virender Sehwag (India)

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The prolific opening partnership that often provided the foundations for the likes of Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman to break records further down the order, Gambhir and Sehwag was a partnership made in Delhi that made runs everywhere.

Their best effort was 233 against Sri Lanka at Kanpur in 2009 at nearly a run a ball, Sehwag departing first for 131 off just 122 balls.

7. Marvan Atapattu & Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka)

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Both giants of the Sri Lanka side that rose to international prominence in the mid-to-late ’90s off the back of their surprise success in the 1996 World Cup, Atapattu and Jayasuriya were a fixture at the top of the Sri Lankan batting order for a decade.

6. Matthew Hayden & Ricky Ponting (Australia)

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A pair of bullies in the best sense of the word, there was no respite for bowlers when Hayden and Ponting were in the mood. Unfortunately for bowlers, this was most of the time.

Hayden and Ponting—opener and first drop for the most successful side in history—are sixth in the list, but they boast the highest average partnership of anyone in the top 10, with 67 runs for every shared visit to the middle.

5. Alastair Cook & Andrew Strauss (England)

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England’s most successful partnership in their long history of Test cricket, Cook and Strauss were the bedrock of England’s charge to the top of the ICC world ranking list in 2009.

When the left-handed pairing of Strauss and Marcus Trescothick was broken up by the latter’s stress-related illness, a gaping hole opened up at the top of the order. When 21-year-old Cook scored a century on debut in Nagpur, any fears that England’s top order would become beset by instability were quickly laid to rest.

4. Matthew Hayden & Justin Langer (Australia)

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The left-handed pair who led from the front in the all-conquering Australian team that straddled the turn of the century, Hayden and Langer were consistency personified against the new ball.

Langer provided a gritty counterpoint to the domineering Hayden, though both shared an unquenchable thirst for runs. When Langer got moved up to open at The Oval in 2001 following Michael Slater’s loss of form, the pair put on 158 together and never looked back, amassing 5,655 runs together at the top of the order to take their total runs in tandem to 6,081.

3. Mahela Jayawardene & Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)

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The silky Sri Lankan stroke-makers are still going strong in Tests having given up the shortest format following their World Twenty20 victory, and long may they continue.

Genuine all-time greats with more than 11,000 Test runs each individually with both averaging more than 50, they have scored more than a quarter of these runs in each other’s company.

2. Gordon Greenidge & Desmond Haynes (West Indies)

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The great fast bowlers who made the West Indies the most feared side in the world throughout the 1970s and 1980s are rightly lauded, and Viv Richards is most vividly recalled for his flair at the crease. It should not be forgotten, though, that this dynamic opening pair often helped give those bowlers runs to play with and allowed Richards the platform to play his shots.

1. Rahul Dravid & Sachin Tendulkar (India)

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The Little Master and The Wall are two of the finest batsman to grace the game, and as is the case with Sangakkara and Jayawardene for Sri Lanka, India were incredibly fortunate to have both of them playing the bulk of their careers together.

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