The oldest and hardest form of cricket, it is widely accepted that scoring runs in Tests are harder than in any other format of the sport be it T20 or One-Day matches.

It is for this very reason that red-ball cricket is known as Tests since it’s a test of not just a player’s skill and ability but also one’s mental resilience.

Scoring runs in Tests is no easy feat, which is why we see most sides get their runs at a rate of three runs per over or so in most red-ball matches.

However, every once in a while, batters have managed to make light work of bowlers and posted huge scores in one day of action itself.

While this isn’t a common thing, the advent of Bazball has made huge scores in just one day more commonplace than earlier.

That said, it would be disingenuous to suggest that batting teams piling on mammoth totals in just one day never took place prior to Bazball.

Much to the contrary, there have been plenty of instances where teams and in some cases, both sides have combined to total more than 500 runs in just one day of action in Tests.

Here, we have a look at some of those instances and check the teams or sides that accumulated the most runs in Test cricket in one day.

Most runs in Test cricket in one day

Score Home Team Score Away Team Score Day Year
588/6 England (398/2) India (190/0) 2 1936
522/2 England (503/2) South Africa (19/0) 2 1924
509/9 Sri Lanka (509/2) Bangladesh 2 2002
508/8 England (221/2) South Africa (287/6) 3 1935
506/4 Pakistan England (506/4) 1 2022

England vs India - 588/6 in July 1936

The most runs scored in Test cricket in one day came in July 1936 when England took on India. In the second Test of a three-match series, on the second day of the encounter, a total of 588 runs were scored for the loss of six wickets. England amassed 398/6 on Day 2 while India replied with 190 for no loss before the close of play. The match ended in a draw but it has gone down in the history books as the match where most runs were scored in just one day of Test cricket.

England vs South Africa - 522/2 in June 1924

Twelve years prior to combining with India for the most runs in a day in Test cricket, England played their part in recording what is now the second most runs scored in a day in red-ball cricket. After bundling out South Africa for 273, England finished Day 1 of the Test on 28/0. The second day saw Jack Hobbs score a double ton, while Herbert Sutcliffe and Frank Wooley also made hundreds as England declared on 531/2, meaning they had added 503 runs for the loss of two wickets on Day 2. South Africa then finished on 19 for no loss at stumps on Day 2, meaning a total of 522/2 runs were added on the day. The Proteas eventually lost the match by an innings and 18 runs as England took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh - 509/9 in July 2002

The third most runs scored in a day in Tests came early in the 21st century itself. After bowling out Bangladesh for 161 on the opening day of a two-match Test series, Sri Lanka was on 32 for no loss at stumps. The second day of the first Test saw them finish on 541/9 declared, meaning they had added 509/9 in just one day of Test cricket action. The Lankans then proceeded to skittle out Bangladesh for 184 runs in the visitors’ second innings as the hosts registered an inning and 196-run win in Colombo. 

Photo credit: Alamy