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Run machines: Know the top five players with most runs in international cricket

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Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 34,357 runs across formats is the record for most runs in international cricket.

The former Indian cricket team batter, who made his international debut against Australia in 1989, played a total of 664 international matches across all three formats, hitting 100 tons and 164 half-centuries. 

During his career that spanned from 1989 to 2013, Tendulkar played 200 Test matches - the most by any player - 463 ODIs and appeared in a solitary T20I.

The Master Blaster has several other records to his name. To begin with, his return of 15,921 runs in the longest format is the most by any player in Test cricket history. 

Furthermore, he also holds the record for most runs in ODI cricket in a calendar year (1894). He did so in 1998 by hitting nine tons and seven half-centuries. Interestingly, no bowler managed to dismiss him for a duck that year.

Tendulkar’s record of 34,357 runs is significantly more than second-placed Kumar Sangakkara, who scored 28,016 international runs during his 15-year career. The Sri Lanka legend, who hit a record seven consecutive fifties in Test cricket, played 594 matches between 2000 and 2015, hitting 63 centuries and 153 half-centuries.

Sangakkara is followed by Australia’s World Cup-winning captain, Ricky Ponting. Between 1995-2012, Ponting appeared in 560 international matches across formats, scoring 27,483 runs at an average of 45.95. During this time, he managed 71 tons coupled with 146 fifties.

While the top five list for most runs in international cricket is completed by Mahela Jayawardene (25,957) and Jacques Kallis (25,534), Virat Kohli is the only active player to score more than 20,000 runs in international cricket. The former Indian cricket team captain has so far accumulated 23,569 runs in 456 matches. He sits seventh on the list for most runs in international cricket. 

Kohli is followed by Joe Root (16602), Rohit Sharma (15643), David Warner (15593) and Tamim Iqbal (14243) for most runs in international cricket by active players.

Most runs in international cricket

Player Team Span Matches Runs 100s 50s
Sachin Tendulkar India 1989-2013 664 34,357 100 164
Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka 2000-2015 594 28,016  63 153
Ricky Ponting Australia 1995-2012 560 27,483  71 146
Mahela Jayawardene Sri Lanka 1997-2015 652 25,957  54 136
Jacques Kallis South Africa 1995-2014 519 25,534  62 149

Featured photo: AFP / Munir uz Zaman

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