Tail-enders hold a unique position in Test cricket. Generally, the batting order of any team comprises of four sections. The first two batsmen are the openers, while the next three-five players form the middle-order. Following the middle-order are one or two all-rounders who constitute the lower middle-order.
Generally, the specialist bowlers bat as tail-enders in Test cricket. The number nine, ten and eleven positions are normally the ones at which the tail-enders bat. The runs scored by tail-enders are very significant in Test cricket, because they can make a huge difference. The recently concluded World Test Championship is the finest example as New Zealand got the vital first-innings lead because of their last three batters.
In this stats article today, we will look at those six Indian tail-enders who have amassed the most runs in Test cricket while batting at number 9, 10 or 11.
6. Only Indian to have played 100 matches in Test cricket as one of tail-enders: Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma has played 100 Test matches as a tail-ender in his career. In total 123 innings at number 9, 10 or 11, Sharma has scored 641 runs, with his highest score being 57.
The right-handed batsman has remained unbeaten 45 times in Test cricket after coming out to bat as one of the tail-enders. He has also recorded 20 ducks.
5. Kiran More
Kiran More was not a specialist bowler. The 58-year-old from Baroda was a wicket-keeper batsman, who played for India at number 9 and number 10 as well.
More played 34 Test innings in the final three batting positions of the Indian lineup. He scored 693 runs for the country at those positions, recording five half-centuries.
4. Anil Kumble
Former Indian Test captain Anil Kumble played 72 knocks for the country as a tail-ender. The leg-spin bowler scored 848 runs, with his highest score being 88.
Kumble recorded three fifties after coming out bat in the final three positions. He got out on zero nine times, but he had a decent average of 15.14.
3. Javagal Srinath
Javagal Srinath is a former Indian fast bowler, who played 60 Test matches in his career as a tail-ender. In those 60 games, he batted in the final three positions 79 times.
Srinath scored 932 runs at an average of 15.53. His highest score was 76, whereas Javagal departed to the dressing room without scoring a run in 13 innings.
2. Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh is one of the only two players on this list to have scored over 1,000 runs. The Punjab-based off-spinner amassed 1,037 runs.
He registered four half-centuries and 11 ducks in the final three batting positions. Although his highest score is 66 in these positions, his average is less than 15.
1. Highest run-getter in Test cricket for India as one of the tail-enders: Zaheer Khan
Former Indian left-arm fast bowler Zaheer Khan owns the record for the most runs at the final three batting positions. He scored 1,196 runs as a tail-ender.
Khan’s batting average was only 11.96 at these positions, but he batted 122 innings and smashed three fifties. He also got out for a duck 27 times, which is the most among the players on this list. Still, he remains number one on this list to date.