Most fans label Test cricket as the ‘purest’ form of the sport because in this format, the skills, the stamina, and the attitude of the players is tested. One might not always succeed in Tests if he does not have a proper technique, patience, and good fitness. The players need to be out there on the field for five consecutive days in Tests.
While the concept of day/night Test cricket has become popular now, most Test matches occur in the day time only. Hence, the players need to bat, field, bowl, and keep under the heat. It is difficult to achieve mastery in Test cricket. The players need to be flexible because a rigid approach might not be so helpful for them in the long term.
Sometimes, as per the game’s situations, the team management might alter the batting lineup. So, the batsmen should be ready to bat at any position assigned. While some players bat in the upper middle order, some always bat in the lower order. However, in this listicle, we will have a look at the five players who have batted as an opener to number 11 position in Test cricket.
(Source – Howstat.com)
5. Syd Gregory
Former Australian batsman Syd Gregory played Test cricket from 1890 to 1912. The Aussie player was a right-handed batsman, who would rarely roll his arm in red-ball cricket.
He played 58 Test matches for the Australian cricket team. During his career, he batted at the number five position for the most times. Australia used him as a number five batsman 34 times. However, he also batted at the number nine, ten, and eleven positions once. Gregory also had a double century at number six, while he batted at the remaining positions as well.
4. Wilfred Rhodes
Former England all-rounder Wilfred Rhodes was quite flexible when it came to changing his batting position. He was the first English player to have achieved this unique feat of batting everywhere from the opening to the closing spot.
Rhodes aggregated 2,325 runs in his career. He scored his highest score of 179 as an opener, while he had a batting average of 44.33 batting at number 11. Rhodes batted maximum innings (43) as an opener in his career.
3. Mulvantrai Mankad
Mulvantrai Mankad is the only Indian cricketer to appear on this list. Mankad played 44 Test matches for the Indian cricket team from 1946 to 1959.
Mankad scored five centuries and six half-centuries in Test cricket. He opened the innings 40 times, but also batted at number ten and number eleven once. Majority of the times, Mankad played as an opening batsman only.
Nasim-ul-Ghani is a former Pakistani player who featured in 29 Test matches. Although he played less than 30 Tests in his career, Nasim managed to play a knock at every position in the batting order.
He batted at number eight 15 times in his career, while his highest score of 101 was at the number six position. In terms of average, the opening position was the best for him as he scored runs at an average of 34.50.
1. Ben Stokes
The only name from the 21st century present on this list is English all-rounder Ben Stokes. While Stokes has majorly played as a middle-order batsman, he once batted at number 11 against Pakistan at Sharjah in 2015. During the same tour, he batted at number ten as well.
In the Lord’s Test match of 2014 versus India, Stokes got out for a duck at number nine. He had recorded two ducks in the same series at number eight. Recently, Stokes opened the innings for England against West Indies and scored 78 runs. Thus, Stokes has turned things around very well in the recent phases of his career.