It’s been more than 16 years since Brian Lara had scored the monumental 400* against England at the Antigua Recreation Ground and it has been the highest individual score in Test match Cricket. No batsman in the last decade and a half, have even remotely come close to surpassing this record and looks like this record is going to stand for many more years to come.
It was back in 2004 when England was on a tour of West Indies, Lara had scored the only quadruple century in Test Cricket in the 4th match of the series that England won 3-0. In the preceding 3 Test matches, the England bowlers were all over Brian Lara and he had scored a mere 100 runs in 6 completed Test innings, failing to surpass even 50 in any of them. But came the 4th match on the same ground that Lara had scored his magnificent 375 10 years ago, the English bowlers were made to toil hard by Lara. Incidentally, Mathew Hayden had broken Lara’s record of the highest individual score record by scoring 380 runs against Zimbabwe 6 month before this match and Lara had lots to prove, he had to save West Indies from being whitewashed for the first time ever in the Caribbean and his captaincy too was on the firing line.
Recently, Australian opening batsman David Warner came remotely close of breaking the record when he scored an unbeaten 335 against Pakistan but Australian captain Tim Paine declared the innings, leaving Warner 65 runs short of surpassing Brain Lara’s 400*.
As we all know, it’s not easy for any batsman to score 400 runs in a Test inning and most teams fail to score 400 as a team in most matches. To score those many runs, a batsman needs to possess the ability to stay at the crease for longer duration which requires the highest level of concentration and he also needs to score his runs at a quicker pace as Lara did 16 years ago.
In this post, we are going to talk about 3 probable candidates who are capable of breaking Lara’s record someday in the time to come.
Indian opening batsman Rohit Sharma has shown his penchant for scoring big centuries by scoring 3 double centuries in ODI Cricket and he has been tried as an opener even in the longer version of the game. During South Africa’s tour of India, last year, Rohit opened the batting for India and he scored an unbelievable 529 runs in 4 completed test innings at a staggering average of 132.5 with a strike rate of 77.25.
Rohit has got amazing skills of building an innings and then capitalizing in the latter part of his innings after being set and he has demonstrated this thing in his ODI career on multiple occasions. And, there is no reason why he cannot replicate the same thing in Test Cricket as well. Once he is set, he is the most destructive batsman going around these days. His ability to hit sixes is second to none and he clears the ground with effortless ease. Rohit is still in the early days of his Test match career but if he bats to the best of his ability and stays at the crease for 4 sessions of a Test match, then the record of Lara would be under serious threat. There is no doubt about that.
Ever since he made a comeback to the Australian team post the ban, Warner looks a completely different batsman. He seems to have finally begun putting a price on his wicket and he is not throwing his wicket away like he might have done in the past. And, the difference in his scores are there for all to see.
In the last series against Pakistan in November 2019, Warner scored an unbeaten 335 runs at the Adelaide Oval and he scored his runs off only 418 balls at a strike rate of 80.14. Had Tim Paine allowed him to bat for another hour or so, who knows, he might as well have broken Lara’s record on that day itself.
David Warner opens the batting for Australia and scores his runs fairly quickly and this makes him one of the top contenders who can break Lara’s record.
Steve Smith is one of the most consistent batsmen that the world has seen and possesses an envious record in Test match Cricket.
After making a comeback into Test match Cricket after the ban for a year, Smith reminded the world why he is the best batsman in the world in the longer version of the game. In the Ashes series in 2019, Smith scored an astonishing 774 runs in only 7 innings at a staggering average of 110.57 with 2 centuries and a double century.
Time and again Smith has shown his ability to bat for longer duration and his hunger for runs doesn’t look like it’s going to come to an end anytime soon. He just loves batting and hates getting out and he never gets complacent after scoring a century. In the 70 Test matches he has played so far, Smith has already amassed 7013 runs at an incredible average of 63.75 with a strike rate of 56.37.
There is no evident weakness in Smith’s batting technique and bowlers world over have found it difficult to get him out and on his day, he seems more than equipped to go past Lara’s record.