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Top 5 Leading Run-Scorers In Test Cricket In 2023

image-lqs0cj2qTravis Head at the WTC 2023 final (AP)

The year 2023 emerged as a resplendent chapter for Test purists worldwide. A hard-fought Ashes took place in England, and so did the final of the 2021-23 World Test Championship (WTC) at The Oval. Moreover, the year also signaled the commencement of the 2023-25 WTC cycle, thus heralding fresh hopes and aspirations for Test giants across the world.

A number of prominent Test batters also shimmered brightly amidst this cricketing spectacle, further illuminating the grand stage with their remarkable consistency. As the cricketing world braces itself for 2024, here at OneCricket, we take a look at five batsmen who made the biggest impact in the calendar year 2023 by accounting for the highest number of runs.

Top Run-Scorers in Tests in the Year 2023:

1. Usman Khawaja (Australia) - 1,210 runs

image-lqs0fmm5Usman Khawaja celebrating his 13th Test century in January 2023 (x.com)

Aging Australian opener Usman Khawaja made the most of a hectic 2023, as he scored 1,210 runs across 24 innings from 13 Tests of the year. To start off, the cricketer listed his career-best score of 195* in the New Year’s Test match against South Africa at the SCG, and blasted two half-centuries and a 180 on turning Indian surfaces across four Tests in February and March.

Turning up for his country in the subsequent 2023 Ashes, Khawaja pumped out scores of 141 and 65 at Edgbaston, a 77 at Lord’s and a match-haul of 119 runs at the Kennington Oval to finish the five-match series with 496 runs, the highest among batsmen from both sides.

In all, the elegant left-hander aggregated his tally at an alluring average of 52.60, with six half-centuries and three tons to his name. The cricketer also remains the only batsman in the world to pile over 1,000 runs in the calendar year 2023, as he finds himself more than 250 runs clear of second-placed Steve Smith.

2. Steve Smith (Australia) - 929 runs

Australian heavyweight and charismatic middle-order batter Steve Smith endured one of the worst phases of his Test career, in terms of average, in the year 2023. Remarkably, his below-par efforts were enough to keep him at number two on the year’s leading run-scoring list, as he tallied 929 additional runs to his illustrious Test profile throughout the 12-month period.

After pounding 104 against South Africa at the SCG, the cricketer’s bat went silent for the subsequent few innings, as he spent the entire four-match series in India without listing a single fifty-plus score. However, he came to his own just in time for the WTC 2021-23 final against the same opponents at the Kennington Oval, with his 121-run Day 1 effort providing Australia an impetus for lifting their first WTC crown.

Smith scored another 373 runs across five Ashes 2023 Tests in England, and concluded his year with a 50 against Pakistan in the ‘Boxing Day’ Test match at the iconic MCG.

3. Travis Head (Australia) - 919 runs

image-lqs0jl13Travis Head at the WTC 2023 final (x.com)

Travis Head, another Australian, finds himself among the top five by stacking up a staggering haul of 919 runs in the year 2023. Remarkably, the cricketer scored 163 of those against India at the grandest stage of them all, the WTC 2021-23 final. His monumental title-winning ton at The Oval remains his only century of the year, and the left-hander tallied five additional scores of 50 or more in his remaining 22 innings.

Head emerged as Australia’s third-highest run-getter of the 2023 Ashes in England, minting 362 of them at an average of above 36 with three half-centuries to his name. The dashing left-hander, however, failed to make much impact during the closing stages of the year, as he added just 71 runs from four innings against Pakistan in December.

4. Marnus Labuschagne (Australia) - 803 runs

image-lqs0lx9qMarnus Labuschagne celebrating an Ashes 2023 century (AP)

Marnus Labuschagne’s inclusion at number four further confirms Australia’s batting dominance this year, with four of the country’s elite batters occupying the top four spots on the annual run-scoring list. He started off his year with a valiant 79 against South Africa, followed it up with 244 runs in four Tests in India, and listed scores of 26 and 41 in the WTC 2021-23 final, also against India.

The 29-year-old tallied 328 additional runs during the 2023 Ashes in England, largely owing to his match-saving 51 and 111 at Old Trafford. Overall, Labuschagne finished his year with 803 runs with an average of nearly 35, converting five of his 25 batting appearances into splendid fifty-plus scores in the process.

5. Joe Root (England) - 787 runs

image-lqs0tvzhJoe Root walking off after unleashing a 153-run wrath on New Zealand (x.com)

Unburdened from Test leadership just a few months prior to the launch of 2023, English veteran Joe Root features as the highest scoring non-Australian player in the year’s elite batting charts. The 33-year-old minted 787 runs from just 14 innings while maintaining an astonishing average of 65.58.

Notably, his average marks the highest among the year’s top 10 batters, let alone top five. Moreover, the 33-year-old also belted his runs at a staggering strike-rate of over 76, an immaculate stat only bested by his fellow ‘BazBall’ radicals in the English team.

The 153* he scored against New Zealand at Basin Reserve remains his 2023’s magnum opus, and the seasoned campaigner backed it up with another 95 in the second innings of the same match. The legendary Englishmen also emerged as the third highest run-scorer from the 2023 Ashes, bludgeoning 412 from just nine innings at an average of 51.50.