Top 5 Batters With the Most International Runs in a Decade

Virat Kohli is the only batter to score over 20,000 runs in a decade

Since the first cricket match was played in 1877, the gentlemen’s game has had the privilege of witnessing some of the best batters take the field for their respective countries at the highest level. Representing one’s country on the international stage is an honor for any player. What makes it more special for a batter is when they score a plethora of runs for their team to take it to victory.

In the past years, people from all over the world have seen players who have excelled in either Test format, One Day Internationals, or T20 Internationals and have recorded their names in the golden letters in the history books. However, it takes someone special to establish domination across all the formats and rule an entire decade owing to their batting exploits.  

Let us take a look at five middle-order batters with the most runs to their name in a decade. 

#5 Kumar Sangakkara

The player to occupy the fifth place in this esteemed list is none other than the former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara. The man who served as a cornerstone for the Sri Lankan cricket team for almost 15 years smacked a whopping 15,999 runs during the 2000s decade. 

He made his debut for the Sri Lankan team with a One Day International match on July 5, 2000, against Pakistan and made sure to rule that decade and take his team to greater heights. It was in 2015 that Sangakkara finally hanged his boots with 28,016 runs to his name across all the formats of the game. 

He featured in a total of 134 Test matches, 404 One Day Internationals, and 56 T20 Internationals and ended up scoring 63 centuries and 153 half-centuries. 

#4 Mahela Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardene is regarded as one of the best batters to ever play for Sri Lanka

Kumar Sangakkara is not the only Sri Lankan in this list of batters with the most runs in a decade as he is joined by the magical Mahela Jayawardene. Hailed as the lynchpin of the Sri Lankan batting line-up in the 2000s, Mahela ruled the decade alongside Sangakkara.

He is in fourth place on the list with 16,304 runs. Jayawardene made his debut for Sri Lanka on August 2, 1997, as he featured in a Test match against India. It was just a beginning of a magical career as he played till 2014 and represented his country in 149 Test matches, 448 One Day Internationals, and 55 T20 Internationals.

The 46-year-old enjoyed the most glory in the ODI format as he collated 12650 runs followed by the purest format in which he scored 11,814 runs. At the end of his international career, Mahela boasted of having 54 hundred and 136 fifties. 

#3 Jacques Kallis

One player who impressed the who’s who of the cricket fraternity right from the beginning of his career has to be Jacques Kallis. He played his last international game in 2014 against Sri Lanka but despite his absence for almost a decade, he is still regarded as one of the greatest cricketers ever to grace the gentlemen’s game.

There is no denying the fact that Kallis will always be the best-ever all-rounder to play the game. With his magical stroke playing, electrifying fielding, and jaw-dropping bowling, the South African stalwart made an impact across all the formats.

Just like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Jacques Kallis also ruled the 2000s decade by smacking an astonishing 16,777 runs. He made headlines for hitting 38 centuries, 102 fifties, and maintaining an average of around 52 in all three formats be it Test, T20I, or ODI. 

Kallis’ brilliant career ended with 13,289 Test runs including 45 hundred and 58 half-centuries from only 166 matches at an average of over 55. He also collected 11,579 ODI and 666 T20I runs from 328 and 25 matches respectively. 

#2 Ricky Ponting

Suryakumar Yadav was the top run-scorer during the 2000 decade.

As evident from the batters with the most runs in a decade list, the 2000s era marked the presence of some of the best players in the game of cricket. With many such legends playing at the same time, it was definitely a difficult task for any player to leave his impact. However, Ricky Ponting was a cut above the rest as he ruled the 2000s both with his batting and leadership skills.

Under Ponting’s captaincy, the Australian cricket team reached new heights and enjoyed what was called their golden period. Apart from his brain, one thing that helped the Kangaroos in establishing their domination was Ricky Ponting’s batting skills.

 It should be easy to say that Ponting was the best batter to play during the 2000s decade as he accumulated 18,962 runs by hitting at an average of slightly less than 50. The 48-year-old also recorded a total of 55 centuries and 98 fifties after featuring in all three formats from the year 2000 to 2009. 

The 48-year-old’s greatness was not limited to the 2000s era as he concluded his international career in 2012 with over 27,000 runs from 560 matches. 

#1 Virat Kohli

No words can ever be enough to describe the greatness of the former Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Hailed by the name King Kohli, the Delhi-born was the only player to dominate the 2010 decade. He formed the backbone of the Indian batting line-up and helped the team win the two most important events, ICC ODI World Cup 2011 and Champions Trophy 2013. 

Though Kohli is still going strong in international cricket and has miles to go before he finally hangs his boots, there is no denying that the period from 2010 to 2019 was his golden time in the gentlemen’s game. He scored a plethora of runs for the Indian team, 20,003 runs to be precise, and helped them dominate against all the teams in the cricket world be it at home or overseas.

Notably, Virat is the only batter to score over 20,000 runs in a single decade in the history of gentlemen’s cricket. During his peak years, he smashed 67 hundred and 92 fifties while also becoming the only batter to maintain an average of 50 across all the formats. 

At present, the run machine has 8497 Test runs, 12,898 ODI runs, and 4008 runs in the shortest format of the game. It should not be a surprise if the former Indian skipper repeats his heroics in the 2020 decade as well and end his career as the greatest player to ever play the game.