With many great batsmen and batting orders coming in the 2000s, it got me thinking about which Test batting trio is the greatest of that decade?
Here are my top three Test batting trios between 2000-2009.
3. Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan)
A trio that lasted for a very long time (especially the latter two), Yousuf, Khan and Ul-Haq formed one of the most powerful trios at the peak of their powers, especially in the late 2000s.
They scored runs aplenty, with Yousuf and Khan averaging above 50 (Yusuf 52.29, Khan 52.05) while Misbah averaged 46.62. Combined they averaged 50.78 in 450 innings. They also got 105 fifties, 68 hundreds and scored a combined 22,851 runs, with Yousuf having a high score of 223, Khan 313 and Misbah 161*.
Mishbah also has the equal second fastest Test hundred (with Viv Richards) against Australia. But despite those numbers, they’re still third best. The next trio is very near legendary status as a trio.
2. Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer (Australia)
With a mixture of balance, aggression and defensive prowess, Ponting, Hayden and Australian coach Langer would quite often score the bulk of the runs in any innings they played and against the opponents they faced, from Andrew Flintoff to Muttiah Muralitharan.
Both Hayden and Ponting averaged above 50 (Hayden 50.73, Ponting 51.85), while Langer averaged in the mid 40s (45.27). Combine that and they averaged 49.66 in 598 innings. They also combined for 29,699 runs, 121 fifties and 94 hundreds. Ponting’s highest score is 257, Langer’s is 250 and Hayden’s is 380, the highest for Australia in Tests.
While many Aussies will say this is the greatest trio of the 2000s with the amount of runs they scored and with the ease they did it, it’s only just number two. This next trio could possibly be the greatest of all time.
1. Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag (India)
This trio is something else. In fact, it’s otherworldly. When Sehwag, Dravid or the legend himself Tendulkar came out to bat, they would put fear into the heads of any fielder or bowler, including Shane Warne or Muralitharan.
With the chemical formula of defence, balance and aggression, they all averaged around or above 50 (Tendulkar 53.78, Dravid 52.31, Sehwag 49.34). In total, they averaged 52.2 in 724 innings combined. They also had 110 hundreds, 163 fifties and scored 37,795 runs. Their highest scores include 248* for Tendulkar, 270 for Dravid and 319 for Sehwag.
Those numbers are quite extraordinary. They are almost inhuman, especially Tendulkar. And that is why they’re the greatest trio of that decade, but also quite possibly the entire history of Test cricket.
There are plenty of great trios, but this is the greatest of all time.