In Test cricket, a format where 20 wickets have to be taken by a team in order to win a game, remaining not out is incredibly difficult.
Only two top-order batsmen feature in the top 10 cricketers with the most not outs in Tests, and 7 of the ten are front-line bowlers. James Anderson, who has batted at No. 11 for the majority of his career for England, is almost 30 not outs ahead of the second-placed Courtney Walsh (also a tail-ender).
Surprisingly, out of the 3 Indian cricketers on this list, 2 are batsmen, showing how great India's batsmen have been while batting with the tail. In fact, Rahul Dravid, another Indian batting legend, narrowly missed out on making the cut.
In this article, we take a look at the 3 Indian cricketers with the most not outs in Tests.
#3 Sachin Tendulkar (33 not outs)
Sachin Tendulkar is by far the player with the most Test caps for India at an even 200, but his presence on this list still comes as a shock given that he played the majority of his career in the top order. In the whites, the Master Blaster has remained unbeaten 33 times, just one more than the great Rahul Dravid.
Tendulkar had 16 100-plus scores where he wasn't dismissed, with his highest Test score of 248* coming against Bangladesh in 2004. In the same year, he registered an innings for the ages against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where he reached an unbeaten 241 without playing a single cover drive in an unparalleled display of willpower and restraint.
This stat clearly shows just how great Sachin Tendulkar was.
#2 VVS Laxman (34 not outs)
VVS Laxman is second on the list of Indian batsmen with the most not outs in Test cricket, which might not come as a surprise to many. The wristy right-hander is arguably the greatest batsman India has ever seen when it comes to batting with the tail, and has rescued his country from many precarious positions.
The crisis man for all ages, Laxman remained unbeaten 34 times in Test cricket, with his most famous knock of 281* coming against Australia in the historic Eden Gardens Test in 2001. The Hyderabad batsman is 4th on the list of leading run-scorers for India in Test cricket, with 8,781 runs from 134 games.
#1 Ishant Sharma (43 not outs)
Indian pacer Ishant Sharma is the man with the most not outs in Test cricket for the country. The lanky fast bowler, who has improved his batting by leaps and bounds in the recent past, has still always been useful with the bat in hand.
Along with the aforementioned VVS Laxman, Ishant pulled off a heist in the 1st Test against Australia at Mohali in 2010, scoring 31 valuable runs to take the team over the line after they had been reduced to 124/8 in pursuit of 205.
Recently, the 31-year-old even scored a Test fifty against the West Indies in what was his 92nd game in the format. With the ball in hand, Ishant has been incredible for India over the past few years and has taken up the role of the leader of the pace attack in the longest format of the game.
With a few years left in his international career still, we could see Ishant Sharma move further up the list of players with the most not outs in Test cricket.