The Indian cricket team has a rich history in Test cricket. Many Indian cricketers, including Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid, have etched their name in the record books through their brilliant performances in the sport's longest format.

Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar played 200 Tests during his 24-year career which, till date, remain the most Tests played for India. The Master Blaster made his debut in 1989 against Pakistan and played his final Test against West Indies in 2013.

Among active players, Virat Kohli has made 104 appearances in Test cricket. Virat Kohli’s 100th Test was against Sri Lanka in March 2022.

After Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara sits second in the list of most Tests played for India among active players. The top-order batter has featured in 98 Test matches, followed by Ravichandran Ashwin (88), Ajinkya Rahane (82) and Mohammed Shami (60). 

Most Tests played for India

Player Span Matches Runs Wickets
Sachin Tendulkar 1989-2013 200 15,921 46
Rahul Dravid 1996-2012 163 13,265 1
VVS Laxman 1996-2012 134 8,781 2
Anil Kumble 1990-2008 132 2,506 619
Kapil Dev 1978-1994 131 5,248 434
Sunil Gavaskar 1971-1987 125 10,122 1
Dilip Vengsarkar 1976-1992 116 6,868 0
Sourav Ganguly 1996-2008 113 7,212 32
Virat Kohli 2011-ongoing 107 8,217 0
Ishant Sharma 2007-2021 105 785 311

Sachin Tendulkar - 200 Test matches for India

During this time, Tendulkar scored 15,921 runs - most by any player in the format - at 53.78 while hitting 51 tons and 46 half-centuries. Tendulkar is, in fact, the only player to play 200 Test matches, with England’s James Anderson following him at 169 Tests.

Tendulkar holds several records to his name. To begin with, apart from topping the run-scoring charts, he has also hit most fours (2,058) and even his tally of 51 Test centuries is the most any player has ever managed. However, despite achieving almost everything there is in cricket, the only thing that eluded Master Blaster’s career was a triple century in the longest format.

The closest he came to matching the achievement was in 2004 against Bangladesh at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka. During the first Test of India tour of Bangladesh, Tendulkar hit an unbeaten 379-ball 248 as India won the match by an innings and 140 runs.

Rahul Dravid - 163 Test matches for India

Meanwhile, the current Indian cricket team head coach, Rahul Dravid, sits second on the list for most Tests played for India. The batting legend appeared in 163 Tests for his country while scoring 13,265 runs at 52.63. During his career that spanned between 1996-2012, Dravid faced the most balls in Test cricket (31,258).

Interestingly, Dravid and Tendulkar are the only players who have played more than 150 Tests for India, with VVS Laxman (134), Anil Kumble (132) and Kapil Dev (131) completing the top five list.

Photo credits: AFP / Noah Seelam