India have produced innumerable top-notch match-winning talents in world cricket. However, when it comes to the most runs scored by Indians in Test series, three people hog the top five spots.
Today's birthday boy Sunil Gavaskar holds the coveted top and the second spot of this list, with the other two entries being Virat Kohli and Dinesh Sardesai. On that note, we take a look at these players and their performances:
Dinesh Sardesai – 642, India Tour of West Indies, 1970-71
Dinesh Sardesai hit 642 runs during India’s tour of the West Indies, but was not the highest scorer of the series; that honour went to Sunil Gavaskar. However, Sardesai hit three centuries and one-half century in 10 innings as India went on to win the five-match series 1-0 and his 642 registered him as the player with the second-most runs in the series after Gavaskar.
Virat Kohli – 655, England Tour of India, 2016/17
During the England tour of India in 2016/17, skipper Virat Kohli was at his razor-sharp best for India. He scored 655 runs in five matches, with his contributions including two centuries and two half-centuries. India went on to win the series 4-0, taking the last two matches by more than an innings. Kohli also had a strong average of 109.16 through eight innings.
Virat Kohli – 692, Border-Gavasker Trophy, 2014/15
Kohli’s best performance with the bat in Tests came during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia, although India ended up losing the four-match series 2-0. Kohli scored 692 runs, a contribution that involved four centuries and one half-century. He had an average of 86.50, with centuries in both of India’s final two matches to snatch two draws.
Sunil Gavaskar – 732, West Indies Tour of India, 1978-79
Gavaskar is the only Indian batsman to have scored over 700 runs in a single-Test series, and the legend has done it twice. During the India tour of West Indies in 1978-79, Gavaskar hit four centuries and a single half-century to reach a massive total of 732 runs across nine innings. He averaged almost 91.50 runs as India went on to draw five matches and win just one, at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai. The Windies bowling gave India a great fight, as Gavaskar is also the only player on this list to have gotten out on a duck during the series as well.
Sunil Gavaskar – 774, India Tour of West Indies, 1970-71
In the same series where Dinesh Sardesai hit 642 runs, Gavaskar was the real leader of the pack, scoring 774 in the process. His effort included four centuries and three half-centuries across eight innings. His highest score was 220 runs, while he averaged more than 150 runs per match. This record set by Gavaskar back in 1971 is yet to be broken, and Kohli will be eyeing the spot during India’s tour of Australia later this month.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @ICC