VVS Laxman drives on his way to 281

Artist at work: Laxman in Kolkata


The top 50: 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50

What were the greatest Test performances over the last 50 years? How does one weigh up monumental batting feats against epic bowling efforts? These were some of the questions that a panel of 25 cricketers, broadcasters, writers and statisticians had to consider in the Cricket Monthly 50 from 50 January cover feature. Here are the final results. (Read an explanation of how the list was compiled here)

No. 1
VVS Laxman: 59 and 281
India v Australia, Kolkata, 2001
VVS Laxman's performance, which could be uncontroversially described as sublime, began on the second evening of the second match in Kolkata, and it proved that there are second chances in Test cricket. He was barely off the mark when India were seven down for fewer than 100. When his sparkling 59 was ended by a decision he still believes incorrect, the Indians were all but swallowed by Waugh's Australians for a record 17th successive Test win. Beamed up to No. 3 from No. 6 for the follow-on, Laxman came to the crease with his team 222 runs behind. He batted through the third day, getting to 109, then the entire next day, reaching 275, before falling on the final morning for 281. Along the way he constructed, against the best attack in the world, an innings if not quite flawless (there was the odd inside or outside edge), then certainly chanceless, and timeless, and arguably peerless. Strokes fell like light rain off his bat. He was hampered by a dicky back, his spine required straightening at intervals, Kolkata's humidity was wrenching, the noise at an overcapacity Eden Gardens delirious, but somehow he was oblivious to it all. He batted as if in a dream, and watching him was like that too. Soon after getting to his double-century, hailed by Ian Chappell on air as a "masterpiece", there was the sight of Laxman dancing down and out to about 10 wickets wide of leg stump to thread Shane Warne from the rough into a gap in the covers. When India clinched dramatic victory on the final evening, it was the finest in their Test history, and Laxman's performance would live on ever longer. In the Indian context this was a cultural achievement, a work of sporting art that reflected the common desire of a diverse people. In cricket terms it is simply, according to our jury, the greatest Test performance of the past 50 years. - Rahul Bhattacharya

Ian Botham: for best results, taunt and sit back

Ian Botham: for best results, taunt and sit back Adrian Murrell / © Getty Images

No. 2
Ian Botham: 50 and 149 not out; 6 for 95 and 1 for 14
England v Australia, Headingley, 1981
Ian Botham's confidence was low and his mood unpredictable when England arrived for the third Test at Headingley. The loss of the captaincy hung heavily on him but from that rejection, and inspired by Mike Brearley, his former mentor who had made an emergency return to the job, he began Botham's Ashes. His spirits were lifted by six wickets in the first innings - he took the last five after Brearley, aware that he was not bounding into the crease as in days of old, taunted him as "the sidestep queen". With the bat he made his first half-century in 20 innings, but by Saturday night England looked out of the match, 500-1 shots according to the bookmakers, and Botham's customary barbeque carried, for England at least, an alcohol-fuelled fatalism. When Graham Dilley joined Botham on the fourth day England were 92 in arrears, the situation so hopeless the batsmen began to outhit each other for the hell of it. Botham feasted on width and good fortune, batting with rediscovered ebullience. Lofted drives came with a lavish back-swing, his cuts carried finesse as well as power, and when he lapsed into a slog or two the ball careered away safely. The cheers became louder, the smiles broader. England plundered 175 runs in the last session, ultimately setting 130. Botham finished unbeaten on 149 - a player reborn - and all that was left was for Bob Willis, steaming down the hill, to bowl England to an 18-run win. - David Hopps

The jury

Qamar Ahmed veteran cricket writer; Russel Arnold former Sri Lanka batsman, commentator; Scyld Berry cricket correspondent, Daily Telegraph; Colin Bryden editor, South African Cricket Annual; Greg Chappell former Australia captain, coach; Dylan Cleaver sports editor at large, New Zealand Herald; Tony Cozier veteran writer and commentator; Ranjit Fernando former Sri Lanka batsman, commentator; Gideon Haigh cricket historian; Malcolm Knox author, cricket writer for the Sydney Morning Herald; Sanjay Manjrekar former India batsman, commentator; Neil Manthorp sportswriter in Cape Town; Suresh Menon editor, Wisden India Almanack; Fazeer Mohammed Trinidad-based broadcaster, journalist; Mark Nicholas former Hampshire captain, commentator; Ramiz Raja former Pakistan captain, commentator; S Rajesh stats editor, ESPNcricinfo; Christian Ryan Melbourne-based writer, author; Osman Samiuddin sportswriter, the National; Mike Selvey former England bowler, chief cricket correspondent, the Guardian; Utpal Shuvro sports editor, Daily Prothom Alo; Rob Steen sportswriter; John Traicos former Zimbabwe offspinner; John Wright former New Zealand opener, coach; Andy Zaltzman stand-up comedian, writer

No. 3
Michael Holding: 8 for 92 and 6 for 57
England v West Indies, The Oval, 1976
It was a searing summer. The weather was hot and so was the West Indies bowling. This was the summer of grovel, and Brian Close and John Edrich, and Viv Richards. And, at its end, The Oval was witness to one of the greatest of all fast-bowling performances. The year-long drought had reduced the outfield to a parched brown wasteland, criss-crossed with the herringbone lines of drainage. There was a pitch too, bleached white, low and flat, so that Richards took himself to the fringe of a triple-hundred and Dennis Amiss made an emotional double. For the bowlers, it was a graveyard. Giants of the game - Andy Roberts, Bob Willis, Wayne Daniel, Vanburn Holder - produced combined match figures of 5 for 394. In this context, Michael Holding's 14 for 149 - 8 for 92 and 6 for 57 - defies belief even now. He was lightning fast through the air, full of length and straight, always attacking the stumps, so that all of his first-innings wickets were bowled or lbw, and all but two in the second innings likewise. Stumps were simply detonated from the ground. It was a triumph of sheer thrilling unadulterated pace. Pace like fire. - Mike Selvey

Eat my dust: Lara lays into Australia at Kensington Oval

Eat my dust: Lara lays into Australia at Kensington Oval © Getty Images

No. 4
Brian Lara: 153 not out
West Indies v Australia, Bridgetown, 1999
Can there have been a purer distillation of the entire breadth of one man's genius? Can there have been a greater embodiment of a much-cherished, not-often-glimpsed quality in sportsmen? This was Brian Lara and this was how he won matches. Lara had scripted an epic in the previous Test, in Kingston, so a personal redemption from having begun the series with his captaincy on probation was well underway. Here he arrived at 78 for 3, late on the fourth afternoon, still 230 from the target. He survived an anxious 20 minutes and then a spicy first hour against Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie the next morning. Stuart MacGill and Shane Warne became his relief; he took three fours in MacGill's first over; he put one Warne delivery on the roof of the Greenidge-Haynes Stand. McGrath pinged his helmet. They had words, a little contact, and then Lara waved him away dismissively, before equally dismissively pulling him for four. A cover drive off Warne, with 28 needed, had Tony Cozier cooing "Oooh." This was peak Lara, manipulating the fields as meticulously as Steve Waugh set them. He found one final gap, through extra cover: did we know it would be the last gasp of West Indian greatness, by one of the last great West Indian batsmen? - Osman Samiuddin

All-round, everywhere: Botham was all over the Jubilee Test like a rash

All-round, everywhere: Botham was all over the Jubilee Test like a rash © Getty Images

No. 5
Ian Botham: 114; 6 for 58 and 7 for 48
India v England, Bombay, 1980
England were on their way back from a bruising 3-0 defeat to Australia. India had played 19 Tests from the start of 1979. In the middle of this strangely isolated Test - to mark the BCCI's 50 years of existence - Ian Botham, with luggage full of Australian beer, was to display his fizzing range of all-round tricks. The Wankhede Stadium pitch was more grassed than usual, and the ball both swung and cut. Botham first dismissed Sunil Gavaskar and then knocked out the middle order to finish with 6 for 58. England tottered at 58 for 5 before Botham played Superman for more than three hours, smashing 114 off 144 in an innings of technical control and clean hitting. A 171-run sixth partnership with Bob Taylor was given a lease of life with Gundappa Viswanath's recall when they had put on only 85. England led by a trifling 54, but Botham was writing the entire script - five of the top six Indians were his, with their lead only 4. John Emburey looks back: "I'm not sure how much sleep he got in all the time he was there." Sleep-deprived or not, 13 for 106 and a century were to be Botham's best all-round figures - even better than Headingley. - Sharda Ugra

Waste not: Richard Hadlee used a rubbish bin to refine his control and accuracy at the Gabba

Waste not: Richard Hadlee used a rubbish bin to refine his control and accuracy at the Gabba © Getty Images

No. 6
Richard Hadlee: 54; 9 for 52 and 6 for 71
Australia v New Zealand, Brisbane, 1985
A rubbish bin substituted for the umpire in the technical drill that set Richard Hadlee on the path to his Gabba masterpiece. New Zealand's coach Glenn Turner had thought Hadlee was inhibited by the presence of the umpire and bowling from too wide on the crease. The rubbish bin was used to work out the right distance for the umpire to stand, and Hadlee soon found himself bowling fiendishly from stump to stump. Other factors helped - an Australian team weakened by the South African rebel defections, a Brisbane pitch tinged green, and weather that took the players off the field regularly, which kept Hadlee refreshed. But it was still a supreme demonstration of piercingly accurate fast-medium, moving the ball just enough in the air and off the seam. Few knew this better than Kepler Wessels, pinned in front of the stumps by a ball swerving back late from that wicket-to-wicket line Turner had wanted. The second innings unfolded less smoothly for Hadlee, as Allan Border and Greg Matthews held up New Zealand's drive to victory, but the latter's wicket to yet another ball in the fifth-stump channel opened the way to a triumphant finish. "You dream about the ultimate," said Hadlee, "but it very rarely happens." - Daniel Brettig

Massie rocks England: the debutant gets his fifth, on day one at Lord's

Massie rocks England: the debutant gets his fifth, on day one at Lord's © PA Photos

No. 7
Bob Massie: 8 for 84 and 8 for 53
England v Australia, Lord's, 1972
The 1970s produced no shortage of one-hit wonders, and not just in music. Bob Massie's Test debut remains one of the most startling outliers in history. He played only six Tests but still holds the Australian record for most wickets in a match, his 16 at Lord's part of cricket lore. Three factors combined to make Massie's display possible: a heavy atmosphere conducive to swing, his mastery of moving the ball both ways, and Dennis Lillee pushing England's batsmen onto the back foot at the other end. On the first day Massie bowled a 20-over spell, broken only by lunch - these were conditions not to be wasted. In the second innings he adopted a round-the-wicket attack to England's right-handers and they duly obliged by edging his outswingers. His 16 for 137 was a Test debut record bettered only by Narendra Hirwani 16 years later, by one run. Massie's outswinger deserted him on the 1973 tour of the West Indies, and he faded quickly from both international and state cricket. He will forever be remembered, though, for Massie's Match. And he did it wearing sideburns befitting a 1970s one-hit wonder. - Brydon Coverdale

Muttiah Muralitharan starred in Sri Lanka's first Test win in England

Muttiah Muralitharan starred in Sri Lanka's first Test win in England © Getty Images

No. 8
Muttiah Muralitharan: 7 for 155 and 9 for 65
England v Sri Lanka, The Oval, 1998
England thrust their arm out for a genial handshake, handing a one-Test tour to ODI world champions Sri Lanka, when the tourists were leaning in for a kiss on both cheeks. The most eager man in the delegation was Muttiah Muralitharan, elbow cocked and eyes wild. Here he was at his most elemental; the doosra was nowhere to be seen, and his work was almost entirely without subtlety. For now, he had this dramatic, fast turn. All through the match, England's batsmen kept offering genial handshakes. Murali's offerings kept leaning in to kiss them on both cheeks. During the second innings at The Oval, the offbreak's Platonic ideal was realised. Mark Butcher raced at the bowler and when he began playing his stroke, found the ball had already slipped past. Graeme Hick stayed home to play Murali off the pitch, but was startled when the ball pounced to strike his pad. John Crawley nudged forward into that ideal window between too-far-forward and too-far-back, but Murali wriggled the ball through the gate. The game was won by 10 wickets. Arjuna Ranatunga left the country with a strut. Next time Sri Lanka came to England, they played more than one Test. - Andrew Fidel Fernando

Graham Gooch stood tall against West Indies' fierce pace at Headingley in 1991

Graham Gooch stood tall against West Indies' fierce pace at Headingley in 1991 © PA Photos

No. 9
Graham Gooch: 34 and 154 not out
England v West Indies, Headingley, 1991
West Indies fielded Curtly Ambrose, Patrick Patterson, Malcolm Marshall and Courtney Walsh. Only Marshall was past his peak and even then he had all his canniness. It was Headingley in early season, and in the days when the ball went up and down as well as sideways. The temperature was cool, with rain around, so that every time a batsman got in on that pitch - and Gooch was the only one who did - he soon had to go off and start again. England had not won a series against West Indies for 21 years, so there was pressure there. And scoreboard pressure too: England had taken a first-innings lead of 25 but they were soon 38 for 3 in the second, the fast bowlers all over them. England were going down the pan against the world champions, yet again. But Gooch stayed in, for seven and a half hours, and he drove - boy, he could drive - and he hooked when they tried to intimidate him, and he scored an unbeaten 154 out of 252. Imagine it: he faced 28 overs of Ambrose, and 25 of Marshall, and survived. West Indies' target was 278. They never got close. England 1-0 up. A generation-long jinx broken. - Scyld Berry

Stellar in '66: Garry Sobers had talent of galactic proportions

Stellar in '66: Garry Sobers had talent of galactic proportions © PA Photos

No. 10
Garry Sobers: 174; 5 for 41 and 3 for 39
England v West Indies, Headingley, 1966
A few months earlier, the Caribbean's most famous calypsonian, Mighty Sparrow, had extolled him as "Sir Garfield Sobers, the greatest cricketer on earth or Mars." The 1966 summer confirmed Sobers as probably the greatest cricketer in the solar system. No one has had a more profound effect on a series (722 runs at 103.14; 20 wickets at 27.25; and captain of his team that took the five-Test series 3-1). With bat and ball and down to his master stroke in employing the gentle medium-­pacer Peter Lashley to remove Geoffrey Boycott in the second innings, Headingley was his apogee. His 174 with 24 fours featured a hundred between lunch and tea on the second day, during a stand of 265 with Seymour Nurse; it was followed by 5 for 41 and 3 for 39 in all his three bowling styles. As the innings victory was completed on the fourth afternoon, he hurried off to the dog races for a little relaxation, Colin Cowdrey, his opposing skipper, providing him with the ride. Tony Cozier

Read Nos. 11-20 here

The top 50: 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50



  • POSTED BY Ravee on | December 15, 2016, 1:54 GMT

    Gilchrist's 149* didn't even make the top 50???? That was against arguably the most brilliant (/balanced) bowling attack ever assembled in the history of cricket, on a sporting wicket.

  • POSTED BY rajyad4951634 on | June 10, 2016, 21:18 GMT

    Undoubtedly, VVS Laxman's 281 is the greatest knock in the last 50 years and rightly deserves the numero uno position. Apart from being such a pristine, majestic, intrepid and flawless innings which tormented the powerful Aussie bowling attack into pieces; the greatness of this knock lies in the fact that it also transformed Dravid's innings dramatically in the sense that it gave Dravid a world of high confidence to play better against Warne more authoritatively than before where he was struggling to play Warne in that test series. For sure, Dravid's 180 was equally a high quality innings. I would rate Laxman's 73 not out against the Aussie's at Mohali in 2010 better than Lara's 153 because VVS also single handedly won the match for India with support from the tailenders ( Ishant and Ojha). Said that, Lara's 153 definitely deserves a mention in top 5 but no way comes close to VVS outlandish 281. Folk's come on, it's an epic knock and nothing can be compared with an epic. RIght!!!

  • POSTED BY uthaman on | January 30, 2016, 16:24 GMT

    Way too many Viv Ricahrds who played mostly against sub-standard bowling. There is no place for Donald/Steyn ? Steyn has impressive strike rate even in this batting era.

  • POSTED BY raghu on | January 30, 2016, 14:19 GMT

    Most of us are fighting for/against Tendulkar's 100 in this list instead of the ones listed here. That is the power of the man, you can omit him from the list but cannot from the minds of people. He has given many of us ultimate joy of watching the game and he is always in the top list in our hearts. He is the reason for many to take up the cricket bat and that itself tells what kind of impact he had with bat in his hand and that is much much more than the impact created by innings in the middle.

    Forget Sachin, For me,the list that doesn't include any single performance from Kallis/Ponting/Sanga/Inzamam/Arvinda/Wasim/Waqar/De-Villers/Donald etc cannot be even considered as something to debate about.

    Nothing to take away from Lara though he is another player who is so much joy to watch and make cricket such an enjoyable sport

  • POSTED BY Naresh Sharma on | January 30, 2016, 1:19 GMT

    hopeless list. I mean ok there are some good entries here but instead of focusing on the best performances, it seems that the agenda was how to omit Tendulkar's so many great performances. If winning was the criteria, how did you omit his Chennai innings againt England completing probably the 4th/5th highest chase of all time. How did you forget his innings of 141 against SA in capetwon against best bowler(s) Dale Steyn n co, saving India the series for sure. If not for our bowlers (who let SA escape from 130/6), we would have won. How about the 3rd innings century against warne n co in 1998 winning India the match. There are so many but cricinfo seems to be so biased against Sachin these days. Anyways, who cares about this another useless list. You cant take away his runs, his hundreds and his performances from him..can you?? history will remember him as the greatest batsman after Don Bradman forever n this list is not gonna change that.

  • POSTED BY anwar on | January 29, 2016, 7:40 GMT

    Agree with you Mr. Alex Koefman + Gilghrist two mach winning innings in south africa (212 and 122) should be there with those I mentioned earlier

  • POSTED BY Alex Koefman on | January 27, 2016, 20:50 GMT

    Some epic performances in the top 10. They all made major impacts on the game at hand. However, there is an omission which I cannot understand. When it comes to big performance under pressure then nothing compares to Lara's 213. Without it the test series was over. What's more, everyone and I mean everyone expected it to be over. And if that wasn't enough, add in the overall context of the SA disaster and the guilting the WICB had over Lara's neck. All things considered this was as good as his 153, and on par with VVS's epic against Australia. Without doubt, they should make up the top three.

  • POSTED BY anwar on | January 21, 2016, 6:31 GMT

    Can anyone tell me why not the following performances are there? Harbhangs' 13 wkts to win a test where laxman scored 281 Graham Gooch's record 456 to win a test (333 & 123). Flintoffs' 7 wickets and over 140 runs in a test to win back the ashes in 2005. Stokes 92 & 100 & 4 wkts to win the match in the last moments. Broads' 8-15 Laras' 277 Sehwag's 323

  • POSTED BY Brian on | January 15, 2016, 20:27 GMT

    Everyone knows that Brian lara's 277 is one of the most astonishing innings. Its not there in the list. Brian Lara's 213 against AU one of the best is also not featured.

    But Glad to have 4 Brian lara innings most by any batsman.

  • POSTED BY Brian on | January 13, 2016, 14:45 GMT

    I like to thank the panel who made this list of 50 best innings of last 50 years.I have my questions though on choosing 281 of VVS ahead of 153 of Brian lara.

    VVS was with the support of the worlds best batting line up. Dravid,Tendulkar,Ganguly etc.

    Brian Lara chasing a target with the worst West indies batting lineup and against the worlds best Australian bowling attack should have been considered and awarded LARA.

    I remember sachin when wanted to score that 100th 100 toured Eng, failed so badly there, then again he failed so badly in Australia. Then England came to India , sachin was foxed by Swann and monty panesar so many times that too in mumbai. Then failed miserably against NZ in INDIA all just in pressure for his 100th 100. He was so desperate for that 100th 100. Always behind milestone.

    Sachin fans please accept that VVS's innings was the best an indian played iam so proud of that. Also accept that Dravid is a far better test batsman for india in last 50 years.

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | January 12, 2016, 13:37 GMT

    I haven't seen these matches but can't fathom how Richards' twin fifties ( 2nd highest in 1st innings and 3rd highest in 2nd) or Gower's 100 runs in the match(again 3rd highest in 1stinninngs and no.11 outscored him in the 2nd) could've possibly made it here.

  • POSTED BY mohan on | January 12, 2016, 5:01 GMT

    oh....i forgot 1 knock. 116 & 52 vs AUS at Melbourne.we only need look into the context of this knock to deceide the caliber of the knock. David Gower is placed inside first 50.And they fails to place this knock inside first 50 ...that is ridiculous

  • POSTED BY mohan on | January 12, 2016, 0:25 GMT

    do not have illfeeling towards anybody who don't consider any of Sachin's knocks in the top 50.But not to consider any of his knocks as impactless & hence far off calibre when compared to any of the listed 50 as some posters try to convey is utter nonsense or partial to say the least. 68 & 119* VS ENG,241* & 60* vs AUS,177 & 74 VS Eng,136 vs PAK,155*VS AUS,169 VS SAF,146 VS SAF - all the above said knocks ,based on the contexts like match situation,series situation,,bowling qlty etc are more or less equal to atleast the 50th of the panel list.For me some are easily better than the 50th

  • POSTED BY Vimalan on | January 10, 2016, 2:00 GMT

    Blaster.PK, let me tell you this. Sachin's 136 was definitely a better knock compared to Lara's considering that Pak attack was better in terms of variety compared to Aus attack. Saqlain in that series was magical taking 10 wickets (5 wkts in all 4 innings) in both test matches and he was nearly unplayable. Wasim and Waqar were masters in sub continent pitches with their deadly reverse swing. And Afridi was more than capable leg spinner. Sachin was in his zone on that day battling whatever thrown from that great attack and just because he fell shorter to the target does not take anything away from it. And please remember doing in an Indian pitch on 5th day is the most demanding and any foreigner who has toured this country can vouch for that. Also, its really childish to say that Warne rated Sachin better because he was his friend. Apparently, you haven't watched their battles and how Sachin tormented him on more than one occasion.

  • POSTED BY jasprit on | January 10, 2016, 1:52 GMT

    Very True COOL_JEEVES. You are so right! Clive Lloyd was another exceptional batsman at playing spin, also right up along with the very best. He also played with that loose bat and soft hands where the ball fell 'straight down' after hitting the bat. And about the sweep.... Gavaskar never played the sweep because he always used his feet to get to the ball and drive when he saw the ball up in his half. And I never thought of this before until I read your comments actually.....if you think about it, no Indian batsmen ever swept the ball. Vengsarkar, Amarnath, Shastri, Sidhu, Ganguly, Laxman, Dravid....all good players of spin...but they never played the sweep, except Tendulkar. They all used their feet with Amarnath, Gavaskar, Laxman and Sidhu being the exceptional ones. Nice chat. I enjoyed it.

  • POSTED BY GV on | January 9, 2016, 8:21 GMT

    Cantwaittosee - agreed Gavaskar had a solid defence, but I never really saw him keyed up against spinners. Plus bats in those days were not what they are now. So Gavaskar did not have the power to smash the spinners the way a clive Lloyd did. Now Lloyd was the best player of spin I ever saw, followed by Lara. Lara read the ball better, but Lloyd had reach, and easily smothered anything any spinner threw at him. In his last test also Lloyd top scored when West Indies were spun out by Bob Holland and Murray Bennett. No spinner ever caused Lloyd to even frown. Tremendous skill, natural ability and power. Gavaskar lacked power. This naturally did not inhibit him while facing pace, which he did easily, never getting hit on the head, hooking competently when appropriate, having a full range of strokes. In facing spin, I never saw Gavaskar sweeping etc. I thought he was a much better player of pace than spin, though Englishmen like Tony Lewis are fond of saying that Gavaskar played spin well.

  • POSTED BY jasprit on | January 9, 2016, 3:00 GMT

    2 more batsmen that come close against spin are Chanderpaul and Laxman. (I am not a laxman fan, but he was superb against spin). Lara and Andy Flower were extremely good too. One batsman I never saw was Gary Sobers. He averages 82 against India in an era when India had very good spinners. He must have been very good. Please publish.

  • POSTED BY jasprit on | January 9, 2016, 1:32 GMT

    COOL_JEEVES. Gavaskar was extremely good against spin. The fact gets overshadowed by his record against pace of his era, but he was 'also' extremely good against spin. So good that he almost never got out to spin, except underwood, but then underwood was not really a classic spinner. He was more like kumble and chandrashekhar, only quicker thru the air with his leg cutters at over 100k's an hour. But, you are correct. Underwood was the only bowler who consistently troubled Gavaskar, and the only reason his carrer average is not 57's or 58's. But, forget about all the records and statistics. Just watch Gavaskar bat against spin. The class and command of a batsman against spin shows when he defends the ball, and the ball just falls at his feet, hardly rolling off the pitch. That happens when the batsman plays the ball with the softest hands and the ball just falls off his bat like a roll of dough falls off straight down after hitting a wall. Gavaskar was the most solid at this.

  • POSTED BY sandeep on | January 8, 2016, 14:58 GMT

    i have read and would really say great work done some of them are really master class . i happened to notice that none of the innings of Sachin in mentioned was none of his innings were not deserving . no doubts VVVS innings was the best

  • POSTED BY Shehan on | January 8, 2016, 14:53 GMT

    Mahela Jayawardene's 374 and 123 against SA in 2006 were much better match winning performances, than most of the selected top performances in this list. IMO Mahela's 374 is the best individual batting performance by a right hander after Bradman's era.

  • POSTED BY Brian on | January 8, 2016, 13:18 GMT

    CANTWAITTOSEE: Let me tell you something. Shane warne was dropped for the last test just becuase of lara's 153. Lara had demolished Shane warne. That is the impact this innings had on Australia and warne. Yet Warne rates Sachin higher ,, what a joke , may be sachin is a very close friend of Warne and he does not want to hurt him.

    Lara was the only batsman to have conquered Warne and Murali.

    Sachins 136 is no way close to lara's 153 else it would have been listed in atleast Wisden's 100 best centuries. Now don't tell me wisden is not right.

    Lara had to face the best Australian bowling group ever : Mcgrath, Warne,Mcgill,Gillespie.

    If you call barbados a dead pitch , why were the Aussies shot out for 146 in 2nd innings.

    In such a difficult pitch Lara had to chase with no one around, he had to do it alone.

    In the end thats the difference between lara and tendulkar . Lara soaks in pressure and does the job and sachin despite being in the best indian team ever still cannot.

  • POSTED BY GV on | January 8, 2016, 12:32 GMT

    CANTWAITTOSEE - I am puzzled that you say Gavaskar was so good against spin. I thought that he was very good, but simply because he was a great batsman, and not because he was an especially good player of spin. I thought the reason he played that brilliant 96 was that the situation drew the man of steel out of him. In fact in the previous test, Mohammed Nazir, a journeyman spinner, tormented him endlessly before Gavaskar put an end to his own misery and got out for 25 at the end of a tame draw. In fact I would go to the extent of saying that he has a pretty poor record against spin - underwood got him more than anyone else, and Gavaskar also had three very poor series against English spinners in 1972-73, 1976-77 and 1984-85, but for which his career average would have been 56 plus. In 1976-77 partly he can be excused, it was one of the lowest scoring series of all time. But Gavaskar made a century only in the 5th test and India had already lost 3-1 by then. Not very impressive.

  • POSTED BY jasprit on | January 8, 2016, 5:43 GMT

    Lara's 153 is probably on par or just below Tendulkar's 136 but the difference being that lara actually won the game. But in terms of pure batting genius, they are both far below Gavaskar's 96. Gavaskar's 96 more than an innings was, as if, the heavens opened up and showered grace upon Gavaskar to bless him with the last innings that summed up and fulfilled his entire career, of waging single handed wars for India against the opposition. Gavaskar was so amazingly good against spin that in his entire career of 221 innings, was out to spin only like 18 times, 12 of them to underwood. I ve read that when qadir used to bowl googly to him, he used to dance down the track and shout googly before hitting it for four. He was undoubtedly one of the best against spin, and no wonder, his masterpiece came on the worst turner ever where cricket gods showed that he was so far ahead of everybody else where nobody else could stand on that wicket.

  • POSTED BY jasprit on | January 8, 2016, 5:09 GMT

    That Laxman's inning was actually a work of art more than batting, even though i am not a laxman fan at all. First of all, The sheer scale of the uphill climb scaled is just unreal. From when he started with india 222 behind to reach a lead of 384 is so monumental, that it has never been achieved in the history of the game. Apart from that, the class of batting was just unreal. At one stage in the game, shane warne was bowling from around the stumps wide into the rough. And laxman was stepping out, rather dancing down to reach the pitch of the ball and hitting it against the spin through wide mid on., and sometimes hitting it inside out over the covers from the same spot. Now, anybody who has ever lifted a cricket bat will know, that that shot making is just not possible. Truly, a great inning, possibly the greatest ever. The way he toyed with the cricket ball, was just unreal.

  • POSTED BY jasprit on | January 8, 2016, 4:52 GMT

    That inning of Lara is overrated actually. The only reason why Lara survived as long as he did was because Mcgrath and warne kept overbowling themselves out of spite. It was as if a personal battle between lara and mcgrath. Gillespie and mcgill were bowling much better and creating all the chances, but mcgrath and warne took it personally and kept bowling despite giving away precious runs. It was a pretty heated passage of play. Towards the end, when gillespie and mcgill were changed bowlers, they sure enough created chances again and lara was actually dropped in the slips with not much left. But it was too late. The pitch was flat, sun was out, and mcgrath was not able to move the ball much. But still, a very solid knock from a great batsman, a great test victory, but not at all to be called the greatest ever, or the second best ever like that wisden list.

  • POSTED BY GV on | January 8, 2016, 3:39 GMT

    Blaster.PK - you may be right. It may well be the greatest innings ever played. In addition to the factors you have mentioned, West Indies had been humiliated in the first test, bowled out for 51, Lara persuaded Walsh not to retire and was under pressure, had made 213 in the previous test in Jamaica which itself deserved to be in the top 50 and was hence drained out at the end of that test. As a series performance, it may well be the greatest, along with Sobers 1966. But in Lara's 153, if I remember correctly, Gillespie was out injured after some time on the last day, and the load on the other bowlers increased. Lara decimated Warne, and reduced the attack to just two bowlers. Although it was in a losing cause, McGrath delivered a magnificent performance.

  • POSTED BY Brian on | January 7, 2016, 17:25 GMT

    I would rate lara 153 against the Au as the greatest innings in last 50 years. The reason being below. Wisden is not wrong to rate it the 2nd best.

    Reasons why Lara's 153 should be number 1.

    1.Lara had single handedly won this match . 2. Lara was Playing in the worst west Indian team ever. 3.Lara had 0 partners to even rotate strike ( remember Laxman was playing in the strongest Indian team ever, with dravid, sachin) 4.Lara had just lost the series against SA 5-0 and had to prove with unbelievable pressure. 5.It was because of this innings that shane warne was dropped for the last test.( This was the only time warne was dropped like this) 6.The match was won chasing ( chasing target is the most diffcult) with still 60 Runs to get with just ambrose and walsh.

  • POSTED BY Mohsin on | January 7, 2016, 14:22 GMT

    I think Sehwag's 201 & 50 vs SL in Galle 2008 deserved to be in the top 50(if not 25) best performances list. It was a brilliant innings considering it was played on a spinning track vs Murli & Mendis at their best. None of the other Indian batsmen had a clue as to how to play Mendis. Most importantly, it was an innings(201 out of 329)that helped India start the game on a strong note & eventually proved to be a match-winning & series-levelling knock

  • POSTED BY Roshan on | January 7, 2016, 13:18 GMT

    Also AMIT1807KUWAIT I don't know what you're on about mate. Why would Tendulkar hold himself back for the team when they needed him the most? That's when you should be giving your all for the team. There's no doubting he's one of the greatest batsmen, but he played very few match-winning or match-saving innings. It was Dravid and Laxman who were the real match-winners, and Dravid, being the No. 3 and the rock of the batting order, was the most important batsman in the team. NDTV showed a programme recently in which they compiled India's most important players in terms of their contribution to the team, and Dravid was top out of the batsmen. And I don't know why you're accusing Lara of not holding himself back for the team. He wouldn't have been the match-winning force of nature he was had he held himself back, and that 153 wouldn't have happened. Sometimes he'd do something stupid because he was going hell-for-leather, but when it was his day he could win a match alone.

  • POSTED BY Roshan on | January 7, 2016, 13:06 GMT

    The fact that Tendulkar isn't on this list isn't some sort of great injustice like some of your are saying. The fact is he was never a great match-winner and he usually didn't step up to the task when the team needed him most. The one that did that most often was Rahul Dravid, and VVS Laxman also produced some masterpieces although not as consistently. Tendulkar also isn't on Wisden's list of the 100 greatest innings. As for the best batsman of modern times, it has to be Lara. Tendulkar has all the stats, but Lara could do things Tendulkar could only dream of. The 400, the 501*, the 153 against Australia, his 221 against Sri Lanka, the 213 against Aus. He could win games single-handedly and achieve the near-impossible. He would skirt the line between genius and failure. When it came off there was no one better, but when he was switched off he could get out cheaply often. There were no half measures. Just watch the man play. The high backlift, the flourish. It's breath-taking stuff.

  • POSTED BY Mohsin on | January 7, 2016, 5:32 GMT

    His first 100 though as a 17 year old was great for a player as young as him. But, you can't include that in a list of performances over 50 years just bcoz he was young. That would be an emotional selection. He was picked as an int'l player bcoz he was good enough & not bcoz he was young. His 136 vs Pak was a home game in a losing cause on not a very difficult pitch to bat on & the weight of runs just weren't big enough to warrant a selection. Same with most of his 100s abroad except his Capetown 100 in 1997 though in a losing cause.

  • POSTED BY GV on | January 7, 2016, 3:11 GMT

    @THATSCRICKET - While I am not a Sachin fan at all, I would readily agree that his 136 was indeed a very fine innings, just that he gave it away in the end with an unforced error. If 136 must be admitted, then so must be Derek Randall's 174 in the Centenary Test, which was a more high profile test, watched by some of the greatest crickets ever to have played the game, and an away innings and where Randall did not make an unforced error. There is no end to such discussions, fans of those whose innings are left out

  • POSTED BY Rohan on | January 7, 2016, 1:14 GMT

    @Mohsin9975, so you mean to say SRT's 1st Test 100 or his 136 against Pakistan were played under pressure free conditions? Ind-Pak Test after so many years that too in front of home crowd,saving a Test match. It can';t get better than that. And if you point out that it was in a lost cause, there are others in the list that are too. And if not for that how about his Old Trafford ton? How many 17 year old dream of even playing a Test in Eng, forget about saving one?? In fact most of his Test 100s especially abroad have come under pressure. An example, for his 100 in Adelaide (2007-08) he was given the MOM and not Sehwag even though Sehwag's came in 2nd innings. Reason was if SRT had not scored that 100 the game would have ended for us in 1st innings itself. In Test the 1st innings for a team is also important.

  • POSTED BY Harsh on | January 6, 2016, 16:09 GMT

    The ultimate criteria for selection to me was inspite of facing the darkest of situations the cricketers never curbed their attacking instinct and could ressurect their teams from the grave.Ian Botham in the 1980 Jubilee test and in the 1981 Ashes Leeds test radiated a spirit that took sporting competitveness to it's highest zenith.However cricket is also about great technical skill,supreme artistry or classical innovation which this list is marginally missing.We need an innings of aTendulkar,Hobbs,Bradman,Weekes or Hammond which combined every component of a perfect innings like a surgeon,architect soldier and poet blended into one.We needed an innings which took artistry to it's highest level like a knock by ,Frank Worrell,Mohammad Azharuddin or Denis Compton .It should have included a spell that took bowling art to it's highest peak in terms like the f magical innovation of Wasim Akram,the accuracy and control of Glen Mcgrath and the all-round mastery of a Lillee or Marshall.

  • POSTED BY GV on | January 6, 2016, 16:07 GMT

    I might also add Umrigar vs a powerful WI team 5-127 plus 56 plus 172 but may not be in the 50 year cutoff.

  • POSTED BY GV on | January 6, 2016, 16:05 GMT

    H-Hasan, thank you. I noticed now that these are not statistically chosen. However that 4 statisticians were asked to compile their lists is generally enough for me to believe that no performance was forgotten simply because it was not top of the mind recall. I had predicted in the 11-20 list comments that Botham's jubilee test performance against India will make it, but only if people remembered. Even Indians of the current generation don't remember it. I remember since as a child I read the headline "Botham vs India" and "India Bothamed" etc. My list of performances that have got missed which will beat Lara's 400/375, Dravid's 180 and Gower's 72 are Fredericks 169 in Perth, Johnson 12-127 vs South Africa, Harbhajan 13-196 in Calcutta vs Australia, Lillee's 11 wickets in MCG vs WI in 1981-82, Sobers 152 & 95 not out plus 6-125 in Georgetown vs England (he was annoyed WI lost the previous test), Harshthakor has as usual drawn some gems from his encyclopaedic memory bank.

  • POSTED BY Harsh on | January 6, 2016, 15:51 GMT

    Significant that this list has included performances of players who posessed genius like Lara,Laxman Muralitharan and Sobers,who mastered pace bowling aesthetics more than anyone like Michael Holding,who represented combativeness in batting at it's zenith like Gooch or posessed clinical precision or control in pace bowling at it's absolute zenith. like Hadlee..Laxman took batting art to another dimension displaying creative genius .No paceman combined absolute speed with as perfect an action or grace as Holding.Lara had a penchant for turning games single-handedly more than any great batsmen of his time.Gary Sobers took cricketing genius to it's ultimate height.At their peak few cricketers ever posessed the zeal of Ian Botham who on his day could turn a match with bat ,ball or catching more than anyone.In the gravest of crises's he would never curb his attacking instinct and dominate proceedings like an emperor .Significant that 2 of his performances comprise the list.

  • POSTED BY Ameya on | January 6, 2016, 14:34 GMT

    it isnt a great idea to list a countdown like this.

  • POSTED BY Mohsin on | January 6, 2016, 12:14 GMT

    No personal vendetta against SRT or Kallis. Both great players. But, never played that against-the-odds innings in crisis to win a match nor have they played substantially big innings (triples) on batting paradises to crush the opposition's spirits

  • POSTED BY Harsh on | January 6, 2016, 12:06 GMT

    Performances just missed out are Gary Sobers 113 and 8 wickets on a broken Kingston wicket versus England in 1967-68.Arguably it was Sobers's best innings ever considering the state of the wicket.Derek Randall's 174 in the 1977 Centenary test was classic,one of the greatest ever in a losing cause which entertained spectators like an acrobat.Dennis Lillee's 11 wickets in the same test at Melbourne represented classical bowling at it's greatest height.In 1982-83 versus India at Karachi Imran Khan blended sheer pace and swing like no pace bowler ever did bowling Gavaskar and Vishwanath through the gate with absolute gems,capturing 5wickest for 3 runs and 8-60 overall.

    This list to me constitutes the extent cricketers have changed the course of games in the most precarious of situations and not neccesarily represented cricketing art at it's highest zenith.The fact that the best of Denis Compton,Walter Hammond or Sachin Tendulkar are excluded testifies this .

  • POSTED BY Harsh on | January 6, 2016, 11:54 GMT

    Suprisingly no spell included of the magician of pace bowling Wasim Akram who posessed more creative genius than any fast bowler.Missed out arguably are Curtly Ambrose's devastating spell of 6-24 v.England at Trinidad in 1994 when the bounce and length he attained was literally unplayable.The batsmen were perplexed whether to play back or forward.Above all it turned a lost cause into a winning one.In similar light I would place Bob Willis's heroic 8-43 at Leeds i the 1981 Ashes that represented cricketing intensity at it's ultimate zenith .For sheer batting virtuoisity a Sachin Tendulkar innings should have been included which took batting perfection to it's ultimate heights It could have included his 147 in South Africa in 2010-11 or his 116 at Perth in 1992-93.

    Graham Gooch's 154 selection was worthy as it was one of the best ever counterattacks against the most lethal pace attack ever displaying the combativeness of a military commander.

  • POSTED BY Hidayat on | January 6, 2016, 11:33 GMT

    @COOL_JEEVES ON: Thanks for pointing out the other article. However, I do not think that this article relies on the statistician to shortlist performances. In fact, the other article categorically states that "The two are not connected in any way."

  • POSTED BY Harsh on | January 6, 2016, 11:02 GMT

    Michael Holding 's 14 wickets deserves a place as it was the best ever exhibition of sustained pace bowling,that too attained on a flat track.Holding created the impact of a hurricane but still exhibited the effortlessness and grace of a bird flying or the poetry of a lotus blooming.Close on it's heels was Malcolm Marshall's 10 wickets on dead pitch at Adelaide in 1984-5 and 5 wickets at Sydney which blended pace and craft to it's ultimate zenith.Suprisingly no spell of Malcolm Marshal comprises the top 10 who was more lethal than any pace bowler ever with the innovativeness of an artist,skill of a surgeon and agression of a boxer.Also excluded are any innings of Rohan Kanhai who arguably posessed more batting genius than any batsmen ever or of Jack Hobbs or George Headley who overshadowed Bradman on bad wickets.

    It is significant that performances of the most complete batsman and bowlers of all like are excluded.It signifies that cricketing performance is not all about talent .

  • POSTED BY Harsh on | January 6, 2016, 10:35 GMT

    In the end a great list.Still at the top to me would be Ian Botham's herculean effort in the Jubilee test in Mumbai in 1980 when he ressurected his team from the grave like no allrounder ever,surpassing even Gary Sobers.He literally made the impact of a hurricane in that game.His Leeds performance in the 1981 Ashes was outstanding but Bob Willis' must almost get equal credit for creating the most sensational turnaround of all time with his sensational bowling spell.Lara's unbeaten 153 in 1999 at Barbados thoroughly deserves a places he literally won the game single-handedly like a surgeon performing an operation.Considering the situation of the game and the bating conditions Laxman's classic 281 may just rate a shade below that of Botham's unbeaten 149 and Lara's unbeaten 153.Missed out are Gundappa Vishwanath's 97 n.o at Madras v West Indies in 1974-75,which was the effort of a connoiseur,taking batting genius to it's ultimate zenith .Vishy looked like making cuts on a board.

  • POSTED BY Rohan on | January 6, 2016, 6:52 GMT

    @ Mohsin9975, do you have a vendetta against SRT? Sure his innings against Eng in Chennai may have resulted in a deaw without Sehwag's 83, but what about his 136 against Pak, his 117* vs Eng his first Test 100? His 51st against a rampaging Steyn and Morkel, that helped India draw the series and keep it level? And if Lara's innings vs SL could get in only because they were standout ones inspite of WI losing the match, why not SRT's 114* in Perth. Please look at that innings again and then let your unbiased mind think how badly the other senior and experienced players were found to be wanting due to pace and bounce on that track. In fact just as you mention Sehwag's Eng innings, Sachin's 155 vs Aus in Chennai was one that enabled us to win that match where others also contributed but his was the one that turned a possible draw into a win.

  • POSTED BY Mohsin on | January 6, 2016, 6:26 GMT

    Without Sehwag's 83(68 balls), the 387 chase in Chennai vs Eng in 2008 was unimaginable for India. I'd rather have this innings of Sehwag than SRT's 103 in the list if Gower's innings gets dropped

  • POSTED BY Aniruddh on | January 6, 2016, 6:05 GMT

    Absolutely ridiculous to see this Gower's innings here, that too from a match where Randall won the MoM. Is the panel suggesting that whosoever decided MoM in that match was not capable enough? I was very excited to see this list going up there but this innings doesn't even deserve top 1000 let alone top 50. Where is Dravid's 180 / Bhajji's 13 wickets from same match as VVS Laxman's, Where are Tendulkar's Chennai Innings, his guard against Styen in SA or his teenage 100 at Perth or his Oval's match saving innings. I can count many from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, England, WI (Chanders/Sarwans century in chase of 418), ZIM, NZ (If this 72 is here for what it could have been then why not Astle's fastest 200 against Eng where had he continued they would have chased 500+), SA (Smith's 4th innings bat works, ABD, Amla, Faf's batathons), etc. It could have been any other innings but these 100 Gower runs in 2 innings are questionable and sad that Gower made to the list with

  • POSTED BY Lahiru on | January 6, 2016, 5:45 GMT

    How can some one miss Mahela Jayawardene's epic 374 that thrashed Proteas to an innings defeat. Something is clearly wrong with these selections.

  • POSTED BY Mohamed on | January 6, 2016, 5:45 GMT

    No Sangakkara, Muralidharan is only once in top 50, No Wasim Akram...

  • POSTED BY srikanthan on | January 6, 2016, 5:27 GMT

    Viswanath's 97 no and 124 both against WI in Chennai , the latter was a pitch faster and bouncier than perth was especially very tough. 97 no was also a better knock than SMG's 96 against Pakistan. Surpised to see why GRV's knock did not find place.SMG's 221 in Oval was a benign pitch, yes the knock was under pressure and almost took us to win but Vishy's knock were against a rampaging Roberts in 1975 and against a deceptively quick sylvester Clarke in 1979. Recall that SMG and Vengsarkar and all the others just could not cope up at all with the bounce and pace on that pitch Vishy played with aplomb and finesse

  • POSTED BY Aditya on | January 6, 2016, 2:30 GMT

    No wasim, no waqar, no allan donald, no jaques kallis, no ricky ponting, no sachin for a list that includes performances in the last 50 years. wow.

  • POSTED BY Aditya on | January 5, 2016, 23:50 GMT

    @ zenrooper, is the list made of innings which contributed substantially to wins?

  • POSTED BY Aditya on | January 5, 2016, 23:48 GMT

    to the people justifying Sachin's innings not making the list because you think he did not have any impact innings(although not true), this list is not about impact innings is it? the list is not about innings that saved games from defeat or won matches. lara made the list multiple times and only 1 innings of those is a win. all the others are pointless draws(nothing to do with saving the game from likely defeat) and in actual humiliating defeats. So, the criteria is not match saving or match winning. now tell me, do you really believe none of Sachin's 51 test hundreds showed class or sublime skill or superiority over bowlers? Ponting and Sachin literally owned the last 25 years in world cricket and neither makes the list?

  • POSTED BY Mohsin on | January 5, 2016, 21:42 GMT

    As I have believed all along, this list has just been a vindication that SRT never played an innings of impact in a crisis. Most of the 50 entries here(except maybe Gower) have come under trying circumstances(pitch or match situations) or have been streaks of genius. His 100 in Capetown apart, I don't think any of his 100s were on difficult pitches either. Neither has he taken apart a bowling attack on batting paradises like Lara/Sehwag. Though both achieved career stats that no one has ever done or will dream to achieve SRT & Kallis always seemed to be playing within their limits & didn't have any extraordinary performances in a Test match.

  • POSTED BY Vijay on | January 5, 2016, 21:00 GMT

    How about Inzaman-ul-Haq's 138 not out against Bangladesh at Multan in 2003? Chasing 262 to in Pakistan had slumped to 99 for five. Inzi added a 163 with the reaming batsmen extending to No. 11 to take Pakistan home by one wicket. Of course it was a bit harsh on SR Tendulkar, but then he has been overrated rated throughout his career. Lara's 213 in Jamaica in 1999 should have been there. It was better than his effort in Sri Lanka (221 and 130) not withstanding Vaas and Murali at home. .

  • POSTED BY GV on | January 5, 2016, 16:53 GMT

    @H-Hasan: Nice observations. However please refer to this article. http://www.thecricketmonthly.com/story/954077/the-best-from-50-years--by-the-numbers. I think the panel has drilled down to each innings statistically, using multiple approaches, and from there made a shortlist, then referred to an expert panel which has made the final selection. There cannot have been any period bias in this. However no performance has gone unnoticed. I for one thought Botham's feat in the Jubilee test would be forgotten for ever, but thanks to this series, it has come out in the top 5.

  • POSTED BY Asim on | January 5, 2016, 15:18 GMT

    Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis won lots of test matches with their great in swinging Yorkers ...non of their match winning performance is in top 50s strange analysis for me !!!

  • POSTED BY Arosha on | January 5, 2016, 15:17 GMT

    Given some of the performances in this top 50, I firmly believe that Sanath Jayasuriya's 2 double hundreds; 214 against England in England in '98, the 254 against Pakistan in Pakistan in 2004, deserve places. Both him & Muralitharan played the instrumental roles in the former whereas he almost single handedly won the latter for Sri Lanka. 2 absolute gems.

  • POSTED BY Sam on | January 5, 2016, 14:16 GMT

    At least one of Sunil Gavaskar's performances in the West indies in 1972 deserves a place in the top 30. In his 4th test match he scored 132 and 220 in the same match! Also Lawrence Rowe 214 and 100* on his 1972 test debut is worth a place.

  • POSTED BY Zen on | January 5, 2016, 13:52 GMT

    Your so called hero / god might have scored zillions of runs over millions of years! But hardly any of those innings substantially contributed to an epic win. If the god gets out early, it is not good news for the opposite team. If the god occupies the crease for couple of days and scores a century, the opposition is very happy as they are on course for a victory!

  • POSTED BY Devendra on | January 5, 2016, 12:52 GMT

    No way... Sachin's 241* in Aus has to be here...

  • POSTED BY John on | January 5, 2016, 12:50 GMT

    The comments all go to show how many truly great Test performances there have been, and it's almost impossible to distinguish between so many of them; there is just no definitive measure. Zimbabwe is out of most people's thinking, but I saw Andy Flower play three truly great innings: 156 v Pakistan in 1994/95 (wrested the initiative in bowler-friendly conditions and led to Zimbabwe's first-ever Test victory), and 142 and 199* in the same match against the might of South Africa in 2001/02 (so little support that even so Zimbabwe only just escaped an innings defeat); he did pretty well in India as well! I would like also to mention the first century I ever saw (though on television) - the late Tom Graveney's 165 turned the course of the Fifth Test for England against West Indies in 1966, perhaps his greatest innings. I haven't seen any Test bowling performances that made quite the same impression on me.

  • POSTED BY Karthick on | January 5, 2016, 7:09 GMT

    Walsh's 7wickets and 6wickets in the second test against kiwi at wellington tat took WI for a innings victory in a pitch where 3 of the Westindian player scored 100+ and 3 50+ definitely deserves a place in top 50.

  • POSTED BY Nabeel on | January 5, 2016, 6:52 GMT

    Sorry but I may look a bit biased here. But doesn't any performance from Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Javed Miandad, Shoaib Akhtar and Younis Khan merit a place on this list??? Where is Azhar Mahmood's finest batting performances of 1997-98 against South Africa which were rate by Wisden in its top 3 of all time??? Please Cricinfo this is sheer nonsense.

  • POSTED BY naeem on | January 5, 2016, 6:24 GMT

    I think Performance by Kamran Akmal in the test match against India at Mohail when he saved the test match for Pakistan and also his performance at Karachi test against India when Pakistan was 39 for 6 down then Kamran Akmal's century made the big difference for the winning the that test match for Pakistan. Both these performances also deserves in the 50 best performances.

  • POSTED BY Suresh on | January 5, 2016, 6:08 GMT

    Steyn 76 and 11 wickets at MCG in 2008 should be in list

  • POSTED BY Hidayat on | January 5, 2016, 5:54 GMT

    Dividing the 50 years (1966-2015) into periods of 10 years, I am intrigued by the fact that each of the five decades produced 6, 17, 10, 15, and 2 performances, respectively. The number of tests played in the same periods were 168, 267, 287, 459, and 417, respectively. Therefore, the 'golden era' was 1976-1985 in which one 'top 50' performance appeared after every 16 games; the last 10 years produced on such performance after 209 games! (The rates for the five decades are 28, 16, 29, 31, 209). What shall we conclude from this? Has the quality of test cricket gone down drastically? Or is it that the jury has a nostalgic bias towards their early years of cricket interest?

  • POSTED BY Ambarish on | January 5, 2016, 5:20 GMT

    You're telling me 72 and 28 by David Gower in a drawn match where he was outscored by 3 other players deserves to be 36th on a list where Sachins 136 at Madras does not feature at all? Nothing by Gilchrist? This list is so unbalanced.

  • POSTED BY Michelle Cleaver on | January 5, 2016, 4:57 GMT

    Not quite sure how Brendon McCullum's series-winning 302 versus India misses out on the top 50. There are a number of one-off big scores in here with nowhere near the significance of Brendon's knock. I mean, Kim Hughes getting in here for 100 not out on a sporting pitch because his wife's dad is ill. Give me a break. Under the sporting pitch scenario, just about any century scored in NZ up to 1990 deserves a gong. How about Glenn Turner getting twin centuries on a Christchurch greentop to see NZ defeat Australia for the first time!! Pietersen's 186 in India better than Brendon's triple or Turner's twin tons... Give me a break.

  • POSTED BY Vinay on | January 5, 2016, 4:09 GMT

    Strangely none of the top 3 run scorers in Test Cricket history are not featuring in top 50 test performances.

  • POSTED BY Anil Kumar on | January 5, 2016, 3:26 GMT

    Sachin won many games games for India and helped set up many victories and no other cricketer may have contributed as much as he had done to winning causes cumulatively in an entire career.But he never took the game away from the opposition from seemingly dire and hopeless situations. It's hard to recall him playing a sublime or a miraculous knock and steering his team to victory.That's an area where Lara outpowered Tendulkars. His 2nd innings performances were hardly memorable. Having Said that his performances against Australia and Pakistan in Chennai should have easily made it to this top 50 list.Also his magnificent knock at Perth in a spiteful wicket against a potent Aussie attack and his 100 against England in Chennai to chase down 387 were his best test innings..At least one among them should have been in that list. These 4 innings were more impactful than some mentioned in top 50.

  • POSTED BY Salman on | January 5, 2016, 3:10 GMT

    Update to my previous comments:

    1. Keeping in mind this test list spans performances for the last 50 years, epic performances of Bradman's 270, Hutton's 364, Laker's 19 wickets, Sober's 365 and Hanif's 337 cannot be included.

    2. Based on the 11 definite exclusions mentioned previously, I would replace them with: Lara's 213, 277, 226, 182 all against Australia, Gooch 333, Miandad 280*, Sachin 136 Chennai 1999 (against Wasim, Waqar, Saqlain), Gilchrist (149*, 204), Anwar 188* (against India in India), Dean Jones' epic 210 in Madras heat (tied test).

  • POSTED BY Anil Kumar on | January 5, 2016, 3:04 GMT

    I believe Adam Gilchrist's knock against Pakistan in Hobart deserved an entry for sure. He redefined the role of a wicketkeeper and without a shadow of doubt the greatest wicket keeper batsman. It was a wonderful counter attacking innings with tremendous aggression.His other innings which could have easily made into this list are his century against India on a turner in Mumbai .In a low scoring game he took the match away in a session.Others include his double hundred against South Africa at Wanderers and A blazing hundred against England in 2001 Ashes at Edgbaston...Not to get a single entry in top 50 is totally surprising.I hope they haven't considered Wicket keepers performances... All 4 innings pummeled the opposition into submission...

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | January 5, 2016, 2:20 GMT

    1. Faf Duplesis 134 vs India at Wanderers, 2013 chasing 458, a score still not chased in test history. South Africa fell short by just 8 runs following the run out of Faf 2. Brendon McCullums epic 302 vs India at Wellington, 2014 after conceding a first innings lead of 246. The first triple century by a New Zealand batsman.

    These gems are left out and it said that the quality of cricket hasnt been upto the mark after 2010.

    Virat Kohli's daring 175 ball 146 vs Australia at Adelaide chasing 364, Leading a young side in his first test a captain against the same Aussie team that whitewashed England in the previous Ashes. can also be considered.

  • POSTED BY Jamie on | January 5, 2016, 0:36 GMT

    Despite being an Aussie, my favourite bowler has long been Richard Hadlee, and so I am pleased to see his wonderful demolition job on the Aussies at Brisbane being given due recognition in the Top 10.

  • POSTED BY Vinod on | January 4, 2016, 23:51 GMT

    Gr8 list, fantastic writeups...especially the one from Osman about Lara's 150..wowser...the one common thread is people(at least int he last 20 yrs or so) remember the matches Aus lost, &the performances in this list reflect that..just goes to show how terrific& hard to beat are Aus..am so happy one of the gr8test acts of sportsmanship-i.e Gundappa Vishwanath-captain of India-recalling Bob Taylor with a handshake back to the crease after he felt that Bob was givenout due to an umpiring error-gets the mention, somehow this goes missing lots of times..off course it is not possible to include all performances&keep all happy, i would have preferred seeing Dean jones 200 @ tied test in madras, Kapil 5'ver- melbourne- 1981 bowling india to victory after takingmany pain killer injections, Dale Steyn's awesome bowling in nagpur in 2010, some others of Wasim-Waqar....to the regulars screaming of bias to that 'one country and board' plz have a look at the selection panel, crinfo plz publish

  • POSTED BY sathis9817239 on | January 4, 2016, 23:29 GMT

    Where's sehwag's match winning 201* (out of 300+ team's score) and 50 against SL at Galle? ...He dominated Murali, Mendis & Vaas when other Indian batsmen were searching and trying to put bat on ball. If my memory serves well, Sachin scored 90+ (in 6 innings) and his first massive failure in his 20+ years of international career. Rahane's twin centuries against SA deserves a mention too. No other batsmen from both teams scored a century in the entire series.

    Unfortunately, some of boring innings that ended in tame draws were mentioned here. (lara's & jayasuriya's )

  • POSTED BY Alex on | January 4, 2016, 22:29 GMT

    An impossible task to compile such a list, but surely the most glaring omission is Jim Laker. 19 wickets for 90 runs is surely match figures that will never be beaten.

  • POSTED BY Rohan on | January 4, 2016, 20:56 GMT

    @Ram2212 if Lara's 375 and 400 were then why was Jayasuriya's 340 included? Was it also a world record? Everyone got big scores in that match. The list and jury seems to have some predilection towards the Lara's the Richard's etc. Sachin's 136 and especially his 1st 100 as a mere teenager at Manchester could no way have been missed, especially in front of some of Lara's and Jaysuriya's useless performances. Bias Bias Bias. And we know who. Some of the jury on the list are not even qualified to speak about legends. They should take the people of the caliber of the late Richie Benaud, or Barry Richards, Boycott etc.

  • POSTED BY michael on | January 4, 2016, 20:26 GMT

    Should have made it the last 60 years than you could have included the greatest performance in the entire history of Cricket For those that cant guess 1 will give 3 hints 19,90 & 56.

  • POSTED BY Jacob on | January 4, 2016, 20:18 GMT

    A list of this nature is always subjective but the panel has done an admirable job.

    Lack of Sachin in this list is not that surprising. That doesn't take away the genius of SRT - he is rightly placed second in the pantheon of cricketing gods, after Bradman.

    Longevity and consistency is not the same as rolling out ONE razzle dazzle legendary performance. I will ALWAYS remember Laxman's performance but will be hard pressed to name a test innings from Sachin that changed cricketing history. I do admit that there are indeed several significant and important innings from Sachin for which he is rightly remembered as the most gifted batsmen after Bradman.

  • POSTED BY San on | January 4, 2016, 20:01 GMT

    This list has some very good performances but many of the selectors of 50 great performances are not perfect players themselves. How they can justify others performances? Every match has 1 or more great performance. It is a very very difficult task. Many great players and best of the performances are missing. Why there is no wicket keeper in this list? We had some wonderful performances by great wicket keepers like Adam Gilchrist, Jeff Dujon, Mark Boucher, Rod Marsh, Alan knott, Kumar Sangakarra, Alec Stewart, M H Dhoni and many more. I am wandering why this so called panel did not able to chose even a single performance from any of these greats. Many great players also are missing. Players like Wasim Akram, Sachin Tendulkar, Clive Lloyd, Matt Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner, Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock, Waqar Younis, Alan donald etc... had some of the best performances ever. This kind of list is not the justice to these great players.......

  • POSTED BY Sathish on | January 4, 2016, 19:44 GMT

    Good at the beginning, but couldn't really agree as the list progresses. KP's 158 on the final day of 2005 Ashes should be placed far above his 187 against India. Vishy's 97 against a top-class WI attack, Dravid's twin fifties at Kingston, Flintoff's twin fifties at Edgbaston or his twin fifties at Mumbai, Adam Gilchrist's very first Test hundred at Hobart...all worth mentioning. It seems mostly you people have gone after mere magnitudes. I am not going to care if Lara's 375 or even his 400 is not mentioned, for both the matches ended in a draw. There are much greater knocks which speaks for character such as Laxman's 73 not out against Australia. It's a good idea to come up with a list of top 50 performances, but the list itself lacks quality and intelligence.

  • POSTED BY Ruwani on | January 4, 2016, 18:58 GMT

    No Sanga...Highest double century maker in this era...

  • POSTED BY Karthick on | January 4, 2016, 17:53 GMT

    Don't get panic guys, hope this is top non sachin performances of last 50 years. Another list is getting ready of top 50 sachin performances.

  • POSTED BY Salman on | January 4, 2016, 17:27 GMT

    1. Very Surprising! Not a single Sachin, Bradman, Wasim, Waqar, Garner, Gilchrist performance mentioned in this test list...all these legends would have majority presence in an odi top 50 list easily! (of course not the Don cause of his era prior to ODIs).

    2. Lara's 153* was single-handed match winning performance against the best test bowling attack (McGrath, Warne, Gillespie)... Laxman's 281 was epic but the win was a combined effort of Laxman, Dravid, Harbhajan...Harbhajan was the reason India won...Laxman just prevented them from losing...Dravid's 180 odd was equally important and the reason Laxman was able to score 281.

    3a. Definite inclusions: Lara's 213, 277, 226, 182 all against Australia, Sobers 365, Hanif 334, Gooch 333, Hutton 364, Bradman 270, Miandad 280*, Sachin 136 Chennai 1999 (against Wasim, Waqar, Saqlain), Gilchrist (149*, 204), Anwar 188* (against India in India), Jim Laker's 19 wickets!

    3b. Definite exclusions: No. 9, 21, 27, 31, 32, 33, 36, 41, 45, 48, 50.

  • POSTED BY mohan on | January 4, 2016, 17:19 GMT

    hugely respect the verdict of the jury,but not at all agreeing with it as a precise verdict.To be frank such a list is near virtually impossible to be made.there can always be argumentsas to why or why not etc etc?For instance the twin knocks Sachin played at Old Trafford(68 & 119*)as a 16 year old which drew the match for INDIA was as better or even more as some knocks mentioned here.Similarly his (241*&60*)at Sydney under utmost pressure to perform.Keep in mind these knocks against a very good bowling line up brought India to the brink of a famous series victory in AUS.The series was levelled at 1-1 after 3 tests.then Sachin who was in terrible form played these.Had keeper not dropped Gillespie,perhaps India would have won the test and the series.Is it Sachin's fault? Similarly his historic knocks like 155*,169,136,103* all are worth for a place.Then what about Kapil's(41,89) & 8 wkts at Lords?Kapil changed the complexion of the match in just 9 overs.likewise several such eg:S exist

  • POSTED BY Shehan on | January 4, 2016, 16:27 GMT

    If Laxman's 281 is the best ever test performance and Lara's 400 & 375 which resulted in draws are also included in 50 best performances, how can Mahela Jayawardene's match winning chance-less 375 against SA (highest test score by a right hander in test history) and his 275 in India (highest score by a visiting batsman in India) miss this so called best performances ??

  • POSTED BY Anura on | January 4, 2016, 16:23 GMT

    How do you incorporate performance of wicket keeper/batsmen into this? The bowlers and allrounders are included considering their batting and bowling. How do you evaluate performances by players such as Kumar Sangakkara nd Adam Gilchrest?

  • POSTED BY mahmood on | January 4, 2016, 16:22 GMT

    Sanath Jayasuria's 340 on a batting paradise where 2 innings were not completed in 5 days should not have been considered even in 500 individual performaces. This selection defies any justification. David Gower had played much greater and graceful than his 28 & 72 which do not have merit to be in top 50. The notable exclusions of Roy Fredrick's 169 at Perth and Bob Willis's 8/41 in 1981 deserved to be in the top 20.

  • POSTED BY ankur on | January 4, 2016, 16:20 GMT

    It is quite amusing to see the glaring omission of perhaps the second greatest batsman of all time (Tendulkar), the second greatest all-rounder of all time(Kallis), the best wicket-keeper of all time(Gilchrist) , greatest left-arm seamer(Wasim Akram), the great Waqar Younis from the above list.

    With such big omissions, I can already see it sinking in the ocean of obscurity and ir-relevance.

  • POSTED BY wayne on | January 4, 2016, 16:16 GMT

    I'm pretty happy with the overall list, it was a fine read and made me smile - a real shame I never got to see with my own eyes the great Garry Sobers follow up a stylish hundred with THREE kinds of bowling. If I'd had my vote, I would have added Greg Matthews bowling in a sweater in the tied Test, and Chris Martin's double-figures innings which brought the Dunedin crowd to it's feet. Whimsy aside, while I was surprised Laxman's innings was #1, one can't deny it was an amazing knock and a real watershed moment for Indian cricket. For my money, I'd also add Dravid from the same innings (his was more than just a supporting role), but then if I were to pick a batsman to play for my life, he'd be the one, so I'm a little biased. You'll never make everyone completely happy with a list like this, but I think there is plenty to savour about Test cricket here for even the most one-eyed fan.

  • POSTED BY sri on | January 4, 2016, 15:55 GMT

    I cannot not care much about who has figured in this list. But that 136 in chennai still haunts me. Just because the tail (read bottom 5) could not score 12 runs, critics (I am referring to you Imran khan) call him he was not a match winner. Another close match(though ODI) i remember is that Hyd match where sachin scored 175 in pursuit of 359 and we lost by 3 runs (thanks to Jadeja we could not even score 25 of 30 in powerplay).

  • POSTED BY ahmed on | January 4, 2016, 15:47 GMT

    no sachin 136 in chennai and wasim or waqar spell here the greatest batsman and greatest bowlers feat is ignored. what about Lara 400 and 375 these are just selfish innings and why not Lara 277 against aus in Sydney.

  • POSTED BY Bhavik on | January 4, 2016, 15:20 GMT

    Dravid at Adelaide not in the top10?!

  • POSTED BY ahmed on | January 4, 2016, 15:19 GMT

    @harremwasif they r only 2 Indian in the jury out of 25 u want to say bcci has bought all jury.utter nonsense.

  • POSTED BY Sreeram on | January 4, 2016, 15:14 GMT

    Great selection of Top 10 performances. I would appreciate the Jury's guts, as they have now the entire sub-continent against them - as GOD is not in the list. To be fair, the top three run getters - SRT, Ponting, Kallis - are not there in the Top 50, which makes sense, as that single special innings was always missing in their resume. They may be better batsmen compared to who are in the list, but this list is about the best performances.

    Common questions I have seen here - a) SRT's 136 not there but Gavaskar's 96 is there - well, for one who had seen both the innings, Gavaskar's innings was something which even God himself (not our cricket God) could have played. Back pain etc is only to include emotional value. b) Lara's 375 and 400 resulted in draws, so why not SRT's other similar innings - simple counter point - does anyone remember SRT numbers like 375 and 400? They are the top exhibition of batting performance ever in Cricket.

  • POSTED BY sports_freakz on | January 4, 2016, 13:11 GMT

    Dean Jones' epic 210 in the second tied test not included? C'mon. The conditions were so bad the guy nearly died playing that knock. That has to be in the top 20 if not top 50. Other omissions include Mark Waugh' 116 against SA, Gilly's 204 or 149 or 116 - all have their merits.

  • POSTED BY Rohan on | January 4, 2016, 12:21 GMT

    @unbiased-views, you have exactly mentioned what I feel about Lara's 400 and 275, they mean nothing except the world records. Both of those innings actually led to WI drawing those tests instead of winning them. If that is the benchmark then please include Sachin's 35th Test Ton and also 50th, they were world records of sorts. @ Crichill there are definitely some names on the panel list who are not on good terms with SRT and the world knows who. And as you mention, if the list indeed is predisposed towards matches won, why do lara's centuries in SL feature here when WI lost the Test. Even Sunny's B'Lore 96 was in a lost cause though he received a rough decision and of course by itself it was an absolute gem Tendulkar's Old Trafford Ton and chennai 136 can't be missed. Another surprise is there is no performance included of the Great Wasim Akram. Wow!!! what a slip. Cricket Monthly please get unbiased people henceforth as these things do influence opinions of common readers

  • POSTED BY GV on | January 4, 2016, 12:17 GMT

    Mostly along expected lines - I had forgotten about Massie, but included Mitchell Johnson's 12 -127 in my prediction of which ones would make it. Also am totally surprised that Tendulkar's innings are not featuring anywhere in the top 50. His army of fans is formidable, and it is surprising that scornful comments have no poured in from them. Mostly the performances are from great players, but there are many like Massie and KJ Hughes 100 not out, which are great performances and recognised as such. A very interesting exercise. Also mentioning Botham's 6-95 is a lovely touch, and highlights one of the great forgotten performances, since that was a powerful Aussie line up he bowled against. Even after another 50 years, some of these will make the cut in the top 10.

  • POSTED BY Imraan on | January 4, 2016, 12:03 GMT

    Where is the Kumble 10 for???

  • POSTED BY Sheethal on | January 4, 2016, 11:12 GMT

    @CRICHILL I thought Lara's 375 & 400 resulted in drawing the game & 220 resulted in loss.....Why were those listed ? Please explain.

  • POSTED BY Rafi on | January 4, 2016, 10:45 GMT

    An interesting question would be where to place Ben Stokes' 258 from yesterday on the list (the top 50, not the top 10).

  • POSTED BY Mihil on | January 4, 2016, 10:31 GMT

    1) The list is not biased. Have a look at the panel on the right hand side. 2) Performances are biased towards winning causes, and rightly so. Victory adds to the significance of the game. If test cricket is like a story than the victory is the happy ending. The winning performance just fits beautifully with the narrative. It's unfortunate that many performances in a draw/loss won't be included, but at the end of the day one the questions poised was 'how does one define greatness?' and contribution in victory needs to be weighted. But then again it punishes individuals who were roses amongst thorns, a la Chanderpaul and Lara. Perhaps there should be another list for performances in losing/draws?

  • POSTED BY marino on | January 4, 2016, 10:08 GMT

    More from Murali's great performances should have been included in top 50. Murali is the greatest bowler ever who carried the Sri Lankan Test team on his own shoulders for a decade or so...! Then again most of the performances selected are subjective and have some personal preferences as there's no way to measure them - hence Botham's name appear here more than it should..!

  • POSTED BY Roy on | January 4, 2016, 10:03 GMT

    As good as Laxman's innings was, one has to remember that it was made against an Australian attack which tired in the sapping heat, with no break between innings.

    But then again, Australia chose to enforce the follow on, and Laxman must be given credit for tiring them out, by playing so brilliantly that a powerful attack which had swept all before them simply could not dismiss him.

    India were in a hopeless position, but Laxman single handedly got them back into the match.

    Australia, the West Indies & Pakistan are willing to risk defeat to achieve victory, whilst India and England usually play it safe. In this game, even when India got ahead, they would not take a risk.

    India batted for so long that Australia should have should been able to hang on for a draw.

    They did not, and the thrilling match result is which is why this innings was voted #1, and Botham voted #2.

    The best innings I have seen was Lara's maiden century, a chanceless 277 in 1993 (test 1208).

  • POSTED BY Sheethal on | January 4, 2016, 9:50 GMT

    It's pretty weird to see Lara's 400 against Eng on one of the flattest pitch that one has ever seen....How on earth SRT's 136 against Wasim, Waqar, & Saqlain @ chennai on a spitting cobra on the 5th day of a test match in spite of bad back, 103* against Jimmy,Flintoff,Harmison, Swann & Panesar @ chennai on 5th day @ chennai to chase down 387, a breath taking 100 as an "18" year old @ WACA against fairly good attack, an attacking 177 against Donald, Pollock, Macmillan, klusener in 96 didn't make the top 10/20 is beyond my understanding!! Fortunately for fans, this list is done with panelist of 25 people not the entire world..;-)

  • POSTED BY agransh on | January 4, 2016, 9:43 GMT

    Quite a flawed list to say the least. There have been far better performances over the last 50 years, especially batting ones, then the ones mentioned here. Watch Sehwag's 201 for referral. His 309 could have been omitted but not the one he played at Galle or at Brabourne. If innings in losing cause could find a mention, then one could have included 169, 114 or 136 by Sachin. I fail to believe that Dravid's 148 at Headingley doesn't find a mention here or 180 at Kolkata because of which 281 (No.1 on your list) could happen. And how come there is not a single Ponting innings in this list? And let's stop treating everything which Lara has touched as GOLD. 400 was a selfish knock and 375 didn't help the team win either. Inzamam? his innings against Bangladesh should have been here or even his 329. I fail to believe that 340 by Jaya on a dead wicket found a place here and not his masterclass 250 odd against Pakistan where he had a 101 run last wicket partnership to set up a winning total.

  • POSTED BY Guy on | January 4, 2016, 9:23 GMT

    @Hareemwasif, were Hanif's and Faizal's efforts in the last 50 years? That might be one reason.

  • POSTED BY Mohit on | January 4, 2016, 9:23 GMT

    The latest innings included in the last is from 2012. Goes on to show how easy batting has become in the last 8 or so years, barring rare performances in overall difficult situations. If it was upto me, i would include more batting and lesser bowling performances upto mid-90s since batting was more difficult then and vice versa

  • POSTED BY Guy on | January 4, 2016, 9:19 GMT

    A great exercise and a good list with a deserving no.1. My unlucky omissions: Bob Willis' 8/43 - yes Botham turned the game but defending 117 is not exactly easy. Gilchrist (nod to Langer) vs Pakistan in 1999 - coming in at 5-126 chasing 369 and smashing 149* in your second Test - magic! McCullum's 302 vs India, again match turning. Devon Malcolm's 9/57 vs South Africa - even comes with a great quote. du Plessis' stonewalling vs Australia in Adelaide. Dean Jones at Madras (batted til he was on a drip). Clarke's 151 on a green mamba in Cape Town. Also Sarfraz should have been higher up the list. I have no idea how a nice 72 from David Gower could rate above any of these performances.

  • POSTED BY Glenn on | January 4, 2016, 9:06 GMT

    Impressive list - though a bit surprised Allan Border's twin 150s in Pakistan didn't make the top fifty.

  • POSTED BY Rohan on | January 4, 2016, 8:57 GMT

    Not a single of Tendulkar's 51 test centuries were included. Some of his could have easily been in the top 20 forget top 50. His 1st 100 at Old trafford saving a match at age 17. His Perth innings of 114, again at age 18 when the total score was just about 200 odd. His 136 against Pakistan should have been there, since it came under intense pressure and against arguably one the best bowling attacks you could have with Akram, Waqar and Saqlain all in their prime. I am not sure why lara's 400 and 375 have been included. Sure 375 was record breaking but if you conisder the match it actually led to WI drawing the match instead of winning it. If high scores had to be included they should ahve included all the 300s in last Some of the names on the jury list probably explains this. Other notable exceptions in the list are Kallis, Ponting Wasim Akram and Glen McGrath. All in all a BIG thumbs down.

  • POSTED BY np on | January 4, 2016, 8:55 GMT

    While really happy to see many great innings not miss the list like laxman's 281 or KP 186 vs india or Dravids Adelide Show, but what missed out from the list from my perspective was FaF Du plessis debut solid innings and even the innings where he and devillers denied india a victory and almost made a world record chase seeminly possible in 2013 november(kallis last series). Also, Sachins Chennai Innings in 1999 for a lost cause misses out. Laxman's 70 odd with ishant in bangalore 2010 vs aussies were a few to miss out this list. Sarwan's epic to chase a then world record target too slips the eye.

  • POSTED BY Sandy on | January 4, 2016, 8:55 GMT

    Sachin tendulkar was technically correct and had a humongous appetite for runs. But despite his god given ability, never played those match winning innings expected from the best. That was what kapil dev alluded to last month..not utilising his special ability to the fullest. In one dayers..yes, but not in the more demanding test arena. Hence dravid n laxman figure here due to their mastery in wearing conditions. Probably the 100 at chennai in 08 could have been in the list, but in a career spanning 20 years, the odd innings really doesnt matter. Now please don't bring up the averages of 4th innings, since that means little! On pure class though, he and bradman remain closest to technical perfection.

  • POSTED BY pratik on | January 4, 2016, 8:50 GMT

    I appreciate all the hardwork taken by the Cricinfo staff, but it seems quite odd that Gavaskar's epic 96 made the cut however Sachin's 136 in Chennai, 155 in Chennai,116 in Melbourne, 169 in capetown i mean atleast 2 % of his 51 centuries are worth mentioning here. Wasim Akram's had so many amazing spells and i think gilly's assault @ Wankhede in 2001 should have been in the list.

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | January 4, 2016, 8:45 GMT

    Where is hanif Mohammad's 334 against West Indies? has there been any better test performance by a batsman representing a minnow against a giant against all odds?? or fazal mehmood against Enlgand?? this is sooo very biased towards india as always

  • POSTED BY Ali on | January 4, 2016, 8:35 GMT

    That is an amazing top ten list and Laxman deserves all the credit for being on the top of that list. But spare a thought for Dravid. Without his 180 Laxman may not have been able to chart his unknown territory! All through his career Dravid played bridesmaid to Tendulkar and Laxman and never got credit for winning matches for India or at least drawing them if winning was not possible.

  • POSTED BY Ajitesh on | January 4, 2016, 8:28 GMT

    Tendulkar's 155 against Australia at Chennai in 1998 is one of my all time favourite Test innings. Laxman's 281 deserves to be at the top. It would be interesting to see a similar list for ODIs.

  • POSTED BY Klaus on | January 4, 2016, 8:26 GMT

    What about Jason Gillespie's 201*, surely that was greatest performance of all time.

  • POSTED BY Amit on | January 4, 2016, 8:15 GMT

    No Sachin Tendulkar innings in Top 50 of all time tells a story. Not in a negative sense though! A man who was capable of playing the dazzling shots probably held himself back in line with what was required for the team. The counter-question to that would be why didn't Lara hold himself back. Frankly, I do not have any answer!

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | January 4, 2016, 8:13 GMT

    Terrific list but I personally fell that the performance of Mitchell Johnson at Centurion, 14 deserves to be in the list.

  • POSTED BY sai on | January 4, 2016, 7:59 GMT

    VVS Laxman's innings is probably the most important innings ever played by anyone. I remember India had been thrashed in Australia and had lost a home series to South Africa the previous year and also the match fixing crisis broke out around that time. If India had lost that game, that would have been the end of Sourav Ganguly's captaincy and John Wright's coaching stint. And India would have never had the success they had later as other talented players like Sehwag would not have thrived. As those massive TV deals and later on the IPL would not have been possible too.

  • POSTED BY Ashok on | January 4, 2016, 7:36 GMT

    As an Indian fan who grew up in the 90s, its impossible to put in words what Laxman's knock did for Indian cricket. It was the most unlikeliest of beginnings of a golden era. Today's generation of Indian cricketers owes much to the sterling work done by Ganguly & co in the early 2000s.

  • POSTED BY Neriyan on | January 4, 2016, 7:34 GMT

    Surprisingly Tendulkar does not feature in this list, although I have no arguments with those performances chosen. For me, from a batting point of view the two best performances I have seen are Lara's 153 and Laxman's 281 so it is pleasing to see them feature high up on this list. As for the bowler's, I'm sure if this exercise is done again in the next 10 years we will see Dale Steyn feature.

  • POSTED BY Shajith on | January 4, 2016, 7:32 GMT

    In my opinion, Chaminda Vaas (33* & 36 - 5 for 47 & 5 for 43) also should included in this "Great Test Performance" on his perform in New Zealand in 1995. That is also Sri Lanka's first ever overseas victory.

  • POSTED BY Sagar on | January 4, 2016, 7:21 GMT

    Wasn't Lara dropped by Healy during his 153 no.? Had the catch been taken or had Walsh not survived would his innings be as good? If yes then why not Sachin's 136 which was scored against a very good attack with India in a similar if not worse situation . I am a big Sachin fan so my views might be a bit skewed but according to me Sachin's 136 should be in the top 50 list. I would also include his 146 and 169 against rampaging SA attacks but then it is difficult to include everybody/every innings in the top 50.