The 2010s were a fantastic period for Test cricket as teams found better ways of reigning in Test cricket by giving priority to picking up 20 wickets. Batting wasn't always easy and therefore some of these outrageous knocks by players made a huge impact.
Here are four best Test knocks in terms of impact in the 2010s.
Kusal Perera - 153* vs South Africa, Durban 2019
One of the all-time great Test knocks came from the unheralded Kusal Perera in a Test match against the Proteas in 2019 at Durban. The wicket-keeper batsman from Sri Lanka was stranded with the no.11 batsman in the fourth innings of the Test match, with the Lankan Lions stuck at 226 while chasing 304 for a win.
Vishwa Fernando remained unbeaten for 27 balls, making just 6 runs, as Perera smashed the Proteas bowlers around to take Sri Lanka to an unlikely win. Perera made 153* in 200 balls with the next highest Lankan score being 40. He single-handedly led Sri Lanka to an amazing win in a foreign land which makes this knock extra special.
Ben Stokes - 135* vs Australia, Headingley 2019
2019 was a year of heroes and Ben Stokes was the ultimate champion of the year. The superstar all-rounder played a mighty hand in England's World Cup win, but his biggest impact was in the Headingley Test match of the Ashes series against Australia. Stokes blasted 135, sharing a last-wicket stand of 76 with Jack Leach, who made just one run in 17 balls.
Stokes held England's innings together and kept the Aussie bowlers at bay, even reverse swatting Nathan Lyon out of the rough for a six to establish his supremacy. Stokes took just 219 balls for his knock and hit eight sixes in his innings.
Kevin Pietersen - 186 vs India, Mumbai 2012
Hailed as the best ever knock by a non-Asian batsman in Asia, Kevin Pietersen's mind-blowing 186 at Mumbai against India in 2012 will forever be remembered for the utter flamboyance and confidence that was on display. Walking in at 68/2 in England's first innings after India made 327, Pietersen rendered India's daunting spinners with his spell-binding knock. Alastair Cook made a ton from the other end, but it was all Pietersen as he blitzed 186 in just 233 balls to take England to 413. The visitors went on to win the Test by 10 wickets.
Brendon McCullum - 302 vs India, Wellington 2014
In the second Test match of the 2014 series between New Zealand and India at Wellington, Brendon McCullum did the unthinkable. It was all India after one innings apiece as New Zealand were bowled out for 192 and India made 438 in their first innings, a lead of 246. At 94/5, the hosts were heading towards an innings defeat when McCullum joined hands with BJ Watling. The pair remained unseparated for 122 overs as they shared a sixth-wicket partnership of 352, the best ever for the 6th wicket in Tests at the time. New Zealand made a mammoth 680/8 before declaring as McCullum waltzed his way to 302 in 559 balls. The game ended in a draw.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Anesh Debiky