Arguably the toughest format of the game, Test cricket is all about skill, patience, technique, and endurance. The first ever official Test was played between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in March 1877.
Since its inception, there have been more than 2,000 Test matches played by 13 different countries. England has played 1004 Tests, the most by any cricketing nation. Ireland and Afghanistan recently became the 12th and 13th Test playing nations in May 2018 and June 2018 respectively.
Test cricket has produced some brilliant cricketers over its 141 years history. Some of them dominated the game for a long time and even went on to become the legends of the game. Only 28 players have won 10 or more ‘Man of the Match’ Awards in the history of Test cricket.
Honourable Mentions: Ian Botham (12), Graeme Smith (12), and Brian Lara (12).
On that note, let’s take a look at top 10 cricketers with most 'Man of the Match' awards in Tests:
#10 Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka)
One of the most accomplished cricketers of the modern era, Jayawardene has an excellent record for Sri Lanka across all formats. The former Sri Lanka captain has scored 11814 runs in 149 Tests at an average of almost 50.
His stunning career included 34 hundreds and 50 fifties. He has led the scoring charts for Sri Lanka in various Test series and has won the 'Man of the Match' award on 13 occasions.
#9 Sachin Tendulkar (India)
Indian batting legend and arguably the greatest batsman of the modern era, Sachin Tendulkar has played a huge role in India’s success for more than two decades. With 200 Tests, Sachin is the most capped Test player of all-time.
He has scored 15921 runs at an average of 53.78, which included 51 hundreds. Surprisingly, Sachin Tendulkar has won only 14 ‘Man of the Match’ awards in his long and illustrious career.
#8 Steve Waugh (Australia)
The former Australian captain is one of the most successful Test players of all-time. Waugh has played 168 Test matches for Australia and scored 10927 runs at an average of 51.06.
He has captained Australia in 57 Tests and won 41 of those games. The Australian batsman has won 14 ‘Man of the Match’ awards in his hugely successful Test match career.
#7 Curtly Ambrose (West Indies)
One of the most fearsome bowlers of the 90’s, the West Indies pacer is one of the greatest fast bowlers of all-time.
With 405 wickets in just 98 games at a stunning average of 21, Ambrose has picked up 22 five-wicket hauls and three ten-wicket hauls. Curtly Ambrose was extremely successful in his Test match career and even picked up 14 ‘Man of the Match’ awards.
#6 Ricky Ponting
Another former Australian captain features on the list. One of Australia’s most successful player and captain, Ricky Ponting has played 168 Tests and scored 13378 runs.
With 41 hundreds and 62 fifties, Ponting played a huge part in Australia’s Test success for more than a decade. Ponting has won 16 ‘Man of the Match’ awards in Tests.
#5 Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)
One of the most technically gifted cricketers of the modern era, Kumar Sangakkara is one of the finest left-handers to have ever played the game.
The former Sri Lankan international played 134 Tests and scored 12400 runs at a stunning average of 57.40. He has played some phenomenal knocks in the toughest of overseas conditions. Sangakkara won 16 ‘Man of the Match’ awards for Sri Lanka in his illustrious Test career.
#4 Shane Warne (Australia)
The former Australian international is arguably the greatest leg-spinner of all-time. With 708 wickets in 145 Tests, Warne is the second highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.
He has single-handedly won a lot of games for Australia and has picked up ten 10-wicket hauls in his Test career. Shane Warne has won 17 ‘Man of the Match’ awards for Australia in Tests. Truly remarkable.
#3 Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
It is fair to say that this man has revolutionized the art of fast bowling with his extraordinary bowling abilities. The second highest wicket-taker in ODI history is not far behind in Test match cricket.
Akram has picked up 414 wickets in 104 Tests at an average of 23.62. He has demolished some of the best batting lineups in the world with his pace and swing. Akram finished his Test match career with 17 ‘Man of the Match’ awards.
#2 Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)
The Spin Wizard is definitely the most successful spinners to have played the beautiful game. Muralitharan is the all-time highest wicket-taker in both Tests and One Day Internationals.
The former Sri Lankan spinner has picked up a mammoth 800 wickets in just 133 Tests. He has picked up 22 10-wicket hauls and 19 ‘Man of the Match’ awards in his exceptional career.
#1 Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
Arguably the greatest all-rounder ever, Kallis is the only cricketer ever to score 10000 runs and picked up 250 wickets in both One Day Internationals and Tests.
Kallis has scored 13289 runs in Tests at an average of 55.37 and picked up 292 wickets at an average of 32.65. With 45 hundreds and five 5-wicket haul, he has won 23 ‘Man of the Match’ awards in his hugely successful career. A true match-winner with both the bat and ball.