Former England batsman Leonard Hutton holds the record for most balls faced in a Test innings. Hutton tops the list after having played 847 deliveries against Australia in 1938, scoring 364 runs. On the back of his triple century, England posted 903/7d, the second-highest Test team total in red-ball cricket.
Hutton’s record of playing the longest Test innings is significantly more than the second-placed Glenn Turner of New Zealand, who took 759 deliveries to score 259 against the West Indies in 1972.
Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara is the only active player who has played more than 500 deliveries in a single Test inning. His marathon innings came in the third Test against Australia in 2017. India were chasing Australia's 471 runs when Pujara scored 202 runs in 525 balls, breaking India's record for most balls faced in a Test innings.
He went past Rahul Dravid’s 495-ball record that he had played against Pakistan in 2004 while scoring his career-best score of 270.
Interestingly, no player has ever played more than 600 balls in a Test innings since the turn of the century. Former West Indies skipper Brian Lara came closest in his record-breaking innings of 400* but fell 18 balls short as he ended the innings with 582 balls.
Most balls faced in a Test innings
|Glenn Turner||New Zealand||259||759||West Indies||1972|
|Gary Kirsten||South Africa||275||642||England||1999|
|Andrew Sandham||England||325||640||West Indies||1930|
Furthermore, as far as the record for most balls faced in Test cricket is concerned, former Indian cricket team captain Rahul Dravid, who has taken the most catches in the longest format (210), tops the list after having faced a whopping 31,258 balls in his Test career that spanned between 1996 and 2012.
Meanwhile, batting great Sachin Tendulkar is second on the list after having played 29,437 balls in 200 Test matches; most by any player. In his 24-year Test career, Tendulkar scored 15,921 runs which included 51 tons, the most by any batter in the format.
Jacques Kallis has played the third-most balls in Tests. The former South Africa all-rounder, who made his Test debut in 1995 against England, has faced 28,903 deliveries while scoring 13,289 at an average of 55.37. During this time, Kallis scored 45 tons and 58 half-centuries.
Former West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul and former Australia captain Allan Border complete the list of most balls faced in Tests. Chanderpaul, whose Test career spanned over two decades, scored 11,867 runs in 27,395 balls. Allan Border, meanwhile, faced 27,002 deliveries in 156 Tests.
Most balls faced in Test
|Player||Team||Test matches played||Balls faced|
|Jacques Kallis||South Africa||166||28,903|
|Shivnarine Chanderpaul||West Indies||164||27,395|
Featured photo: AFP / Yoav Lemmer