5 players with highest strike rate in Test cricket

Cricket, a game that came into existence during the Saxon era, has become a sport that around 2.5 billion people have loved over the years.

The gentleman's game now has transcended boundaries and races. With more people accepting the sport, it has grown and evolved.

Test cricket, the oldest and longest form of the game, is widely regarded as the most elite format in existence. Consequently, every cricketer would consider donning the white as one of their highest career achievements.

With the increasing acceptance of the white ball game, Test cricket was on the verge of extinction. Instead, fans preferred more entertaining limited-over matches over the prosaic 5-day games.

Bowling a good length delivery or playing a soothing cover-drive had to make way for slower balls and scoops. Some pundits marked the death of the game's purest form, but not everyone had given up.

Now Test cricket has a huge following, and the fans are enjoying the rejuvenated format. Currently, Bazball has taken cricket by storm and is rewriting the model of the red ball game.

But some players adopted the attacking style long before Bazball was a thing. These players brought energy and enthusiasm to Test cricket and made it more interesting. 

Let's look into five players with the highest strike rates in Test matches.

#5 Graeme Swann

English off-spinner Graeme Swann might be a surprise addition to this list. He is more renowned for his skilful bowling that bamboozled many top players. In Test matches, Swann has scored 1370 runs from 76 innings with a strike rate of 76.49. He managed to score five half centuries, primarily essential runs. 

For a bowler with three 10-wicket wicket hauls to his name, these stats add more value to his resume. After a short, memorable international career, Swann is an active commentator in the cricketing scene.

#4 Adam Gilchrist

Known as Gilly, the fidgety wicket-keeper batsman revolutionized this position. Earlier runs and big scores were too much to ask from wicket-keeper batters, but Gilchrist set a high benchmark for future players. He went on to play 96 Test matches with a strike rate of 81.96. 

He scored crucial 5570 runs at an average of 47.61, mostly at No-7. He even has a double century to his name and scored more runs than anyone else in that position.  

In a career that spanned between 1999 and 2008, he scored 17 tons from 137 innings. In addition, he has 379 catches and 37 stumpings to his name.

#3 Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag is one of those rare batsmen who got to play 100 plus Test matches and 250 plus ODI's. From 180 innings he played in the whites, he scored 8586 runs at an average of 49.34. 

He opened the batting for India and played fearless cricket throughout his career. He has an excellent strike rate of 82.23 in Tests and scored six double centuries and 23 centuries. 

Sehwag was surpassed by his fellow statesman Virat Kohli for most double centuries with 7. During an era where Indian cricket was criticized for their safe approach towards the game, Sehwag completely changed the landscape. Under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly, Sehwag flourished and became one of the best openers to play the game.

#2 Tim Southee

Another name that might come as a surprise is the Kiwi swing bowler from Northland, one of New Zealand cricket's living legends. Tim Southee always loved the swing, whether with ball or bat. 

Being the 3rd highest wicket-taker for New Zealand in Tests with 347 scalps, he has also scored some valuable runs for his team. Striking at 82.81, he scored 1855 runs from 125 innings for the blackcaps and has five half-centuries to add to his tally.      

#1 Shahid Afridi

Former Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi was known for his attacking brand of cricket. He was a highly competitive player who took on every opposition. He came into the scene as a 16-year-old who could hit the ball long. 

He caught the fans' eyes by hitting a 37-ball century in his first ODI innings. However, with his technique, he was more suited to the limited-overs and went on to play 500 plus matches. 

He played 27 Test matches with a decent average of 36.51. He has the highest strike rate in Test matches with 86.97. He scored five centuries and eight half-centuries in his career. 

He was also a handy leg-spinner in Test matches with 48 wickets consisting of a sole 5-wicket haul on his debut against Australia.