12 best test batsman ranked in order of merit excluding performance in ODI,T-20 or First class cricket.I have made a seperate place to summarize the weaknesses of al these giants after the 1st para.No players included who have played before 1970. 1.Brian Lara No great batsmen single-handedly turned or won games for his country as Lara,or carried the workload of a team's batting more.The prince from Trinidad could register mammoth scores with more pomp than anyone .Even when reaching three figures or a double hundred Lara would never curb his strike rate .In my view qualitatively he made a great impact in test cricket than Tendulkar if you asess the number of times he resurrected West Indies from the grave .In 1999 his successive scores of 211 and 153n.o took West Indies to reach the pinnacle of glory after looking dead and buried.At Barbados he encountered the trickiest of batting surfaces to take his team across the line,arguably amongst the 3 best test match innings ever.His 277 at Sydney in 1992-93 was also a gem displaying all-round brilliance and domination few overseas batsmen ever surpassed in Australia.In full flow he could be as mercurial as Viv Richards .Lara could produce strokse that were surreal taking cricketing art to regions of divinity.Broke the world record score twice which is remarkable. However his career did have an ebb and flow where he encountered patches of inconsistency.Many of Lara's centuries were scored in losing causes.Lara also never scored a test century against a great genuinely fast bolwer like Alan Donald,Wasim Akram,Waqar Younus etc.Still he played Glen Mcgrath better than Tendulkar . 2.Sachin Tendulkar In terms of longevity the supreme champion .Broke the record in terms of age for youngest player to achieve all 1000 run landmarks.Tendulkar arguably faced more pressure than any middle order batsmen ever and in his peak period received minimal support from his contemporaries.He proved himself in any types of conditions and against every type of bowling.Ultimate epitome of consistency of his day averaging over 56 for a great part of his career .Made a Muhammad Ali style comeback after a tennis elbow win in 2007-08 to become his old self again after a loss in form in between.More complete than any batsman ever and to me overseas at his best in South Africa,where he he revealed batting perfection at it's ultimate height. Not ranked higher than some because he did not turn the course or win games sufficiently ,often not able to deliver the final knockout punch or turn the final screws.In a crisis he could be overshadowed by Rahul Dravid,while Sehwag could win more games at his best.Tendulkar was also not at his best in run chases,where the likes of Lara,Gavaskar or even VVS Laxman overshadowed him. 3.Sunil Gavaskar I cannot seperate the two opening stalwarts who were champion s technically and very hard to dislodge.Both could master bad wickets but Gavaskar wa sthe more proven against top class pace . Gavaskar broke all the batting records facing the best pace bowlers ever and stats wise in official cricket from 1977-80 was 2nd to only Bradman till then.Unlike Viv Richards and Greg Chappell Gavaskar proved himself as a master against great spin bowling or on turning tracks. Hutton negotiated Lindwall and Miller at their peak and shaped English cricket as few cricketers ever did.Played some of the finest gem son bad wickets like when scoring 37 out of 49 at Sydney . The main weakness of Gavaskar and Hutton was their relatively slow scoring rate ,often batting laboriously to wear down a possible result.Gavaskar also benefited from staying away from Packer cricket and facing the weaker Australian and West Indies attacks against whom he scored 9 centuries and over 1600 runs from1977-79. 4.Viv Richards Statistics can hardly do true justice to Viv who intimidated the best of opposition or changed the complexion of game more than any batsmen in the history of the game .In his peak from 1976-81 the best since Bradman when including WSC supertests averaged over 60.Viv was revelation in England in 1976 when he scored 829 run sat an average of around118.In 1977-78 in WSC Supertests he averaged a remarkable 86.20 making him look head and shoulders above other superstars like Barry Richards or the Chappell brothers.No batsmen simply exuberated so much command on a cricket field exhibiting the aura of an emperor.More great bowlers or even great players of later decades prized Viv's wicket than any batsmen. Later on did not display the same consistency often averaging below 50 in a test series .Viv did not also face his own West Indies pace quartet nor face a crisis often. 5.Steve Smith Statistically the best after Bradman displaying more pomp when batting than anyone of this era.On Australian tracks or conditions the most outstanding performer ever after the Don.Unorthodox stance or style of play but can still take batting domination into regions of the sublime.In terms of average even Viv,Sachin or Lara have not come close to Steve,who avergaes over 64. However not at his best when the ball is turning,moving in the air or on a green top .Also not faced as good bowling as past greats. 6.Greg Chapell Statistically the best batsmen of his era,including unofficial games in Packer supertests and against rest of the world.In WSC Supertest cricket boasted of the leading run aggregate of 1416 runs and the highest individual score of 246.No batsmen was more successful in the Carribaen or against them playing the great pace attack as Greg who in 1979 amassed 621 runs with 3 centuries at an avergae of 69.Also scored magnificient centuries in England like 131 at Lords in 1972 or unbeaten 235 at Faisalabad in 1980.Averaged over 70 in tests won which was remarkable. Greg never played in India and did not prove himself thus against great spin bowling or on turning tracks.He was also at times caught wanting against the rising or bouncing delivery.Neverthless after Barry Richards,the most complete batsmen of his terror who combined watertight technique with attacking strokeplay to perfection. 7.Ricky Ponting A batting genius in his own right who could devour the best bowling attacks in the manner of Viv,Lara or Sachin.Arguably a better exponent of express pace than even Tendulkar being amaster in pulling deliveries even on the stumps.Statistically at one stage in his career Ponting semed set to even surpass the heights acheived by Tendulkar but law of averages acted against him.Neverthless 43 centuries is a staggering figure as well as a 53+ average.Above all Ponting scored more hundreds in winning causes than any Australian batsmen ever and at his best could even give more flourish to the course of games than any batsmen.One of the major architects in the rise of Australia to a cricketing superpower. Not ranked close to the top because he was not at his best overseas ,and also represented a champion team.He rarely encountered a crisis as Lara,Dravid or Sachin.Ponting also was not a great player of spin bowling.Ranked below Viv as he played lesser bowling and not as impactful.Greg rated ahead of Ricky considering the great attack she faced. 8.Alan Border A dour fighter being the hardest middle order batsmen to dismiss.No batsmen had a better record overseas where he averaged over 56 or had a better average in a series in the Carribaen against the great pace quartet. Outstanding on fast pitches ,turning tracks and on seaming surfaces.The ultimate man to save a test when a team was in the doldrums. Perhaps too often championed a losing cause and not as great a natch-winner as Greg Chappell or Viv Richards. 9.Javed Miandad No batsman niggled opponents or mentally overpowered opponents like Javed.He was not technically perfect but was a master at improvisation with a characteristic genius of his won. To ressurect a side from the grave I may prefer Miandad to even Border who could more tactfully or efficiently keep a scoreboard moving.For a period he was the best batsman in the world from 1987-89,scoring prolifically in England,West Indies and New Zealand.Remarkabl his avergae never fell below 50 in his entire career.In a crisis Javed would overshadow even Viv Richards.Instrumental or a major architect in Pakistan reaching the top of the pedestal in test cricket.By a whsker more impactful than Steve Waugh or Rahul Dravid. One weakness was that he averaged around 45 which was much less than he did at home and was not so successful against West Indies and Australia,particularly on their soil.Inzamam ul Haq and Wasim Raja overshadowed his performances agaisnt the Calypsos. 10.Rahul Dravid When a team's back was to the wall he overshadowed even Tendulkar and Lara.Not as flamboyant or classical as some but few batsman played so much in tune with a given situation.An architect of what was a golden era in test cricket with series win sin Pakistan and West Indies and a drawn rubber in Australia.When Indian test cricket flourished Dravid played the most defining role.At one stage had the sixth best test avergae for an overseas batsman and his overall average climbed even above Tendulkar at around 58.He carved out important wins for India like at Kingston in 2006,Rawalpindi when scoring 270 in 2004 and at Adelaide when scoring 233.One of the most unselfish amongst the greats ,who always put his team's cause ahead of his personal glory.At one down position he was amongst the 5 best of all time .Overall he scored 35 test centuries at an average over 52 which was remarkable. Not rated at the very top because he lacked the flair of turning complexion of games being more one to bat for your life.He also did not equal the performances of Tendulkar,Gavaskar or Viv against the best pace bowling. 11.Virat Kohli One of the best match-winners of all time who has been the greatest architect in the rennaissance of Indian cricket.Few greats have taken the battle so much to the opponents as Virat ,striking them in their very den.Argubaly no Asian batsman equalled Virat's performances in Australia in 2014 or so single-handedly carried the mantle of his team like in 2019 in England.Very rare to ever see a player who makes a game revolve so much around him or single handedly determine it's fate.To me won more games than any Indian batsman ever. Prone to loss of form like on last tour of New Zealand and can be a victim of impetuousity. 12.Kumar Sangakkara Few batsman have exhibited such flourish in strokemaking or been as complete in addition to being statistically so haed and shoulders above everyone.In terms of figures the best left-handed batsman of all time.Had a great knack to turn games when his side looked dead and buried .In Australia gave one of test cricket's most majestic displays in a losing cause hwen his side was chasing a mammoth first innings total. He was much more successful at home than overseas and not as succesful as past greats against top quality bowling. 13.Younis Khan Not the most elegant or technically cricket but the ultimate man of his time to revive a sinking ship or take a team from the depths of despair to attain untold glory.Supreme cricketing temperament carving out some of Pakistan's most important test victories.Few sub -continent batsmen performed so meritoriously in Australia. 14.Steve Waugh Like Border was an outstanding performer overseas and possesed mental tenacity of the level of Border or Miandad.On bad wicket or in a crisis Waugh was cometh the hour cometh the man.One of the architects in Australia's ressurection into a cricketing superpower and it's mantaining an aura of invincibility.In the 2nd half of his career averaged close to 60.At his best in England but also a class act in South Africa in 197 and West Indies in 1995. Steve was not as gifted or naturally talented so would not turn games in the manner of Ponting or Lara.At times he was troubled by short-pitched fast bowling which brother Mark played better.Personally against express pace I feel brother Mark had more skill. 15.Jacques Kallis A statistical giant and amongst the best batsman ever to bat for your life.Played an important role in shaping the rise of South Africa to the top test nation.Kallis could master all types of conditions and was on song against any type of bowling.Only 2nd to Tendulkar in terms of centuries scored .Adapted superbly on testing home wickets. Often did not adequately step the gas to set up victories and scored the bulk of his runs against weaker attacks.The likes of Viv,Ponting,Sachin and Lara performed better against great attacks .Similar batsman n style like Border and Waugh faced better bowling when scoring bulk of their runs and centuries.