5 fastest batters to score 25,000 international runs

The Modern Master becomes the latest entrant to the exclusive '25k Club'

In a rich 180-year-old history of international cricket, the game has witnessed many iconic figures gracing the field and showcasing magic with their willows. Hence, the milestone of 25,000 runs across all formats is considered a major parameter to categorize a great batter into the greatest one. Only six batters have managed to achieve this remarkable prowess of the prestigious sport to date. 

In a recent turn of events, Virat Kohli became the latest entrant into the ‘Club 25k’ consisting of the names of some of the greatest batters grace this sport. The star Indian batter did not settle with this milestone and also went on to add another feather to his illustrious cricketing career. Thus, ‘Parimatch News’ brings you the list of the Top 5 batters who were the fastest to score 25,000 runs in international cricket. 

#5 Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)

The fifth feature of this list of elite batters is the former Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara who is widely regarded as one of the all-time greats to keep the wickets. The last emperor of Ceylon’s golden generation is the second batter from his country to touch the 25,000 international runs along with his best-mate Mahela Jayawardene. 

Sangakkara achieved it in his 608th innings which was a one-day international fixture against the sub-continent counterparts Afghanistan in April 2014. It was the 2014 edition of the Asia Cup where the then 37-year-old veteran played a robust inning of 76 runs to make it a memorable day for the Lankans. 

At the time of that landmark completion, his individual tally of 25,031 consisted of 12,498 in Tests, 11,151 in ODIs and 1,382 in the shortest format of international cricket. He consummated his international career journey in the following year with the final count of 28,016 runs to finish second in the all-time run-scoring charts behind Sachin Tendulkar. 

#4 Jacques Kallis (South Africa) 

The Proteas bossman ruled the cricketing world in silence

The Proteas bossman ruled the cricketing world in silence 

The Proteas has set such high standards for himself that it is quite incredible to see a primary all-rounder in such an elite list of batters. It took only 594 innings for the right-handed batter who featured in the middle-order throughout his career to reach the milestone.  

Kallis accomplished it in the opening game of South Africa’s historic 1-0 away triumph in the 2012-13 Tour of Australia. He emerged as the top-scorer for the visiting Proteas side in both innings at Gabba and kick-started it with an incredible stand of 147 runs off 274 balls. Despite missing out on his half-century by a single run, the Cape Town-born all-rounder accomplished it before getting dismissed by Nathan Lyon on 49. 

The 47-year-old then managed to add odd 500 runs to his astonishing career tally to finish his cricketing journey with 25,534 runs and 577 wickets to eventually achieve the status of the greatest all-rounder to play the game.  

#3 Ricky Ponting (Australia)

The next feature in this list is the man who donned the captaincy responsibilities of the Invincible Aussie side that ruled World Cricket for years. The former Australian captain took 588 innings to join the prestigious ’25k club’ overtaking Jacques Kallis to become the second-fastest after playing six innings less than the Proteas all-rounder. 

Ponting got off the 25,000 runs in the opening fixture of Australia’s five-match ODI series in New Zealand after playing a 44-run stand on a difficult Napier wicket. Despite losing the first ODI, the Tasmanian batter still ended up holding the trophy as a winning captain and added yet another crucial away triumph to his glorious captaincy career. 

His momentous landmark of 25,000 runs was a composite of 52% in the limited-over format (13,141) and 48% in red-ball cricket (11,895). Punter’s mastery with the willow is often overlooked owing to his captaincy prowess despite outclassing the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara during his peak years. 

#2 Sachin Tendulkar (India)

Sachin held the world record for 16 years before the intervention of Kohli

Sachin held the world record for 16 years before the intervention of Kohli

This Indian legendary batter has set the bar so high that any batting world record or cricket without the mention of Sachin Tendulkar looks unworthy. The Mumbai-born generational phenomenon not only became the first batter to score 25,000 runs in international cricket but was also the fastest at that time and held the record for the next 16 years. 

The Silver Jubilee moment for the Bharat Ratna-winning sporting personality came in December 2006 in the historic white-ball tour of South Africa where the Men in Blue made their debut in the shortest format. The ‘Master Blaster’ scored 55 runs while opening the Indian innings in the final ODI fixture at Centurion and ended the year 2006 with another world record feat. 

Sachin continued to represent the Indian contingent in international cricket for further seven years to add 8000 runs more. He served 24 years to the nation and bid adieu to this game in the year 2013 with an impeccable tally of 34,357 to create a world record for scoring the most runs in international cricket. 

#1 Virat Kohli (India)

Sachin once quoted in his retirement ceremony that he would love to see someone from his country break his own record. Virat Kohli who is regarded as the successor to Tendulkar’s legacy is truly abiding by his words and has kept his eye on every batting record currently belonging to the ‘God of Cricket’. 

Virat came out to bat for the fourth innings of the Delhi Test to chase down the target of 115 and broke the world record after reaching an individual score of 8. It was a special moment for the 34-year-old who was playing his 549th international innings in front of his home crowd and guided Team India towards a six-wicket triumph in the Second Test of the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy. 

The former Indian skipper is also the only 25k Club member to score more than 4,000 runs in each format of cricket, having fetched 8,195 runs in Tests, 12,809 runs from ODIs, and 4,008 runs from T20 Internationals. He is also the only batter to score 25,000 runs having a 50+ average while Kallis is placed second at 49.10.