MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26: Sachin Tendulkar of India waves to fans during day one of the First Test match between Australia and India at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

Test cricket is the ultimate format of cricket - five-day matches played around the world in everything from the cold and seaming pitches of England to the heat and dry pitches of the sub-continent.

Given the length of matches and the fact teams rarely play more than 15 Tests in a calendar year, reaching any significant milestone in the number of matches played is quite the achievement. 

Ten players have reached the incredible mark of 150 Tests across their glittering careers, and it's a list which doesn't look like being added too anytime soon, with Joe Root and Nathan Lyon the only players within 35 Tests of the mark (as at July 2023).

Here are the ten players who have played more Test cricket than anyone else.

10. Allan Border, Australia (156 Tests, 1978 - 1994)

Border is the only player to have cleared 150 Tests with his entire career played before the turn of the century.

He spent 16 years within Australia's Test team. Nicknamed captain Grumpy after reluctantly taking the role, Border took charge of the Australian side during a difficult period and helped transition into what has been one of the most dominant eras since in the history of the sport.

Border scored 11,174 runs in his 156 Tests with 27 centuries, a top score of 205 and an average of 50.56.

9. Sir Alastair Cook, England (161 Tests, 2006 - 2018)

A long-time opening batsman for England, Cook is the fifth-highest run-scorer in the history of Test cricket, winding up at the end of his career with 12,472 runs at an average of 45.35. 

Heading past a century on 33 occasions, he was, for the most part, a picture of consistency at the top of the order for the English, and the ECB recognised him as part of the greatest-ever English XI when it was named ahead of the nation's 1000th Test in August 2018.

Cook captained the English side between 2012 and 2016, and played more consecutive Test matches than any player in the history of the game in an incredible run without injury or need to be dropped.

7. Rahul Dravid, India (164 Tests, 1996 - 2012)

Rahul Dravid has scored the most runs of any Indian batsman in the history of Test cricket.

By the time he decided to retire in 2012, he had played 164 Tests for 13,288 runs at an average of 52.31. Often regarded as something of a stone wall with the bat in hand, he was simply impossible to remove at times.

7. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, West Indies (164 Tests, 1994 - 2015)

Maybe the last great of West Indian cricket - Chanderpaul was a constant force in the midst of the Caribbean side's demise from the once great power they enjoyed in the five-day format.

He ultimately played 164 Tests, scored 11,867 runs and averaged 51.37 with the bat in hand - the numbers leave him as one of a handful of cricketers to make more than 10,000 runs. The only West Indian who sits ahead of him is Brian Lara.

6. Jacques Kallis, South Africa (166 Tests, 1995-2013)

Maybe the sport's greatest ever all-rounder, Jacques Kallis enjoyed a career spanning almost 20 years for South Africa.

Despite his all-round ability, Kallis could have served as a batsman or a bowler in his own right. With the bat, he is the third-highest Test match run-scorer of all-time, winding up with 13,289 runs at 55.37 - it's a higher average than either Sachin Tendulkar or Ricky Ponting, who scored more runs had. The only player with more than 10,000 runs to average more than Kallis was Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara.

With the ball, Kallis took 292 wickets at 32.65, and spent much of his career as a key figure for the Proteas in the field, also taking 200 catches in his 166 Tests. An automatic pick in any best XI.

5. Stuart Broad, England (167 Tests, 2007 - 2023)

Broad made the call to hang up the boots following the final Ashes Test in 2023, bringing to an end a Test career which spanned more than 15 years, and makes him the second-most capped quick bowler in the history of the game.

In his 167 Tests, he cleared 600 wickets, winding up with 604, at an average of 27.68. He took 20 five-wicket hauls, and went at less than three runs per over acrosshis entire career.

To go with that, he was a solid batsman for a lower-order player, particularly early in his career, and scored 3662 Test runs at 18 with a single century to his name.

4. Steve Waugh, Australia (168 Tests, 1985 - 2004)

The second of three Australians to feature on this list, Waugh played 168 Tests across a period of almost 20 years.

The New South Wales-born star batsman, who also added plenty with the ball when required, crossed the 10,000-run barrier, averaging 51.06. He hit 32 centuries and will go down as one of the all-time greats of the sport.

With the ball, he took 93 wickets at an average of 37.44, regularly breaking partnerships.

3. Ricky Ponting, Australia (168 Tests, 1995 - 2012)

Like Waugh before him, Ponting was a long-term captain for Australia, playing exactly 168 Tests across a glittering career.

The Tasmanian found his way to 13,378 runs in the longest form of the game, scoring 41 centuries and leading Australia through one of the most successful periods any nation has ever experienced.

He is, as it stands, the second-highest run-scorer in the history of Test cricket and unlikely to have that mantle taken away anytime soon.

2. James Anderson, England (182 Tests, 2003 - present)

If there was to be a single player who defined consistency across the course of his career, then James Anderson would be an entry in the dictionary.

The fast bowler, who is now north of 40, is still going around on the international circuit for England, and while he will likely fall short of the magic 200 Tests set by Tendulkar, he will go down as one of the all-time great fast bowlers.

As it stands, in his 183 Tests, he has taken 690 wickets at 26.42, with 32 five-wicket hauls and an incredible number of batsmen with absolutely no idea how to play him, particularly in those green, seaming conditions of England.

1. Sachin Tendulkar, India (200 Tests, 1989 - 2013)

Tendulkar will go down as one of the greatest players to ever step over the boundary. In a glittering career, he played exactly 200 Tests, and is the only player to do so - with Tests becoming more scarce in the modern era, it's a record which may never be touched.

In those 200 Tests, he wound up with a staggering 15,921 runs at an average of 53.78, scoring 51 centuries and holding a high score of 53.78. 

Sir Donald Bradman may be the greatest batsman of all-time, but Tendulkar certainly has an argument to be at number two.