THE CORDON HOME

BLOGS ARCHIVES
SELECT BLOG
November 26, 2011

Special Test hundreds: a look across and deep

Anantha Narayanan
Brian Lara: an outstanding 153 in a successful fourth-innings chase  © Getty Images
Enlarge

I had mentioned in response to one of the comments on the macro-analysis article on Test hundreds that in my follow-up article I would look at special hundreds, selected based on specific selection criteria. I had also made it clear that this would not be my own personal selections, as I normally do but one based on selection criteria in my computer program, with external additions in very very special cases only. Anyone finding fault with the three special additions is probably not a true follower of the game.

To answer the sceptics, I have also shown the actual program statement doing the filtering. Though it is a 'C' program statement, it will be crystal clear to anyone reading this article. So kindly do not come out with statements that this article has been written to specifically include or exclude one specific hundred.

If a nice new selection criterion is suggested I will have no problem doing that and adding the tables at the end. I have also toughened the selection criteria to make sure that there are approximately between 10 and 25 entries in the tables. This has been done to ensure that all the table entries are shown in this article itself. Hence everything is in the open in this article.

My own selections from out of the table entries are spread right through the article. Readers can come with their own selections.

Preliminary program work

score = matchdata[mat]->score[inns]; bqi = matchdata[mat]->weighted_ctd_bow_avge[inns]; mat_rpw = matchdata[mat]->rpw; runs = matchdata[mat]->pldata[inns][pos].batruns; balls = matchdata[mat]->pldata[inns][pos].batballs; score1 = matchdata[mat]->score[0]; score2 = matchdata[mat]->score[1]; score3 = matchdata[mat]->score[2]; score4 = matchdata[mat]->score[3]; if (follow-on) deficit = score1-score2; else deficit = score2-score1; if (follow-on) target = score2+score3-score1+1; else target = score1+score3-score2+1;

Normally I write special programs for each article when the number of tables is quite high and there are sorting and formatting requirements. My program reads the Match database record serially and sets the variables for use, as done above. Then a series of functions follow, doing the selections and form the tables. Afterwards the tables are sorted and printed. These are then incorporated, with appropriate narratives, into the Html file.

Now for the tables. I am not going to come out with the most obvious of tables, based on the score. It is shown anywhere and everywhere. My first table is one where the mark was set on the first day of Test cricket and that mark has yet to be breached. It has stood the test of about 10000+ days of Test cricket. This table relates to the % of batsman innings share in the completed innings. I have softened the criteria to losing 9 wickets or more since the last batsman is already in.

1. Hundreds which form a high proportion of completed innings

if (runs>=100 && (runs/score)>=0.6 && wkts>=9)

Ordered by innings %

MtId Year For Vs Batsman Score BP Runs %TS

0001 1877 Aus Eng Bannerman C 245/10 1 165* 67.3% 1439 1999 Aus Eng Slater M.J 184/10 1 123 66.8% 1481 2000 Ind Aus Laxman V.V.S 261/10 1 167 64.0% 0779 1976 Win Eng Greenidge C.G 211/10 1 134 63.5% 0542 1963 Nzl Eng Reid J.R 159/10 4 100 62.9% 0652 1969 Win Nzl Nurse S.M 417/10 3 258 61.9% 0846 1979 Aus Eng Yallop G.N 198/10 4 121 61.1% 1884 2008 Ind Slk Sehwag V 329/10 1 201* 61.1% 1171 1991 Eng Win Gooch G.A 252/10 1 154* 61.1% 0732 1974 Eng Win Amiss D.L 432/ 9 1 262* 60.6%


Bannerman stands supreme at 67.3% of the completed innings. To boot, he opened the innings and remained unbeaten, as did quite a few others in the table. If Slater had scored a single more, he would have overtaken Bannerman. Laxman's brave away innings launched a remarkable career. Amiss has come in because of my decision to include 9-wkt situations. This innings was played away, in West Indies, against not a great West Indian attack, but 230 in arrears.

2. Hundreds which have been scored a better than run-a-ball

if (runs>=150 && runs<=balls)

Ordered by Runs scored

MtId Year For Vs Batsman BP Runs Balls SR

1870 2008 Ind Saf Sehwag V 1 319 304 104.9 1937 2009 Ind Slk Sehwag V 1 293 254 115.4 1781 2006 Ind Pak Sehwag V 1 254 247 102.8 1594 2002 Nzl Eng Astle N.J 5 222 168 132.1 0765 1975 Win Aus Fredericks R.C 1 169 145 116.6 1742 2005 Aus Nzl Gilchrist A.C 7 162 146 111.0 1698 2004 Slk Zim Jayasuriya S.T 1 157 147 106.8 1782 2006 Pak Ind Shahid Afridi 6 156 128 121.9 1550 2001 Aus Eng Gilchrist A.C 7 152 143 106.3 1753 2005 Eng Bng Trescothick M.E 1 151 148 102.0 1561 2001 Slk Bng Jayawardene D.P.M.D 4 150 115 130.4 And a special entry 1045 1986 Win Eng Richards I.V.A 3 110 58 189.7


Now for quick hundreds. I could not just select all hundreds scored at better than run-a-ball. There were too many such innings, 49 to be precise. So I selected only innings of 150 or more runs. What does one say of Sehwag? Three of his 250+ innings have been scored at better than run-a-ball and are the first three entries. He certainly defies description. He has been the single most devastating match-winner during the past decade. Astle's break-neck 222 was essayed, with almost nothing at stake, but it worried the England team for a while. Then comes Fredericks' famous innings. Gilchrist is the only other batsman to have multiple entries. I have added Richards' hundred since it was scored at today's 20-20 scoring rate at a time when 200-ball centuries were considered quick.

3. Hundreds in matches with low match RpW

if (mat_rpw<20.0 && runs>7.5*mat_rpw)

Ordered by ratio of Runs and RpW

MtId Year For Batsman BP Runs MRpW Ratio

0001 1877 Aus Eng Bannerman C 1 165* 15.2 10.9 0201 1931 Aus Win Ponsford W.H 1 183 17.7 10.4 0032 1889 Eng Saf Abel R 1 120 12.3 9.7 0290 1947 Aus Ind Bradman D.G 3 185 19.2 9.6 1617 2002 Aus Pak Hayden M.L 1 119 13.6 8.7 0443 1957 Eng Win Graveney T.W 3 164 18.9 8.7 0023 1886 Eng Aus Shrewsbury A 3 164 19.4 8.5 0205 1931 Aus Win Bradman D.G 3 152 18.4 8.3 0076 1902 Aus Saf Armstrong W.W 1 159* 19.3 8.3 0007 1882 Aus Eng McDonnell P.S 5 147 18.0 8.2 0045 1895 Aus Eng Graham H 5 105 12.8 8.2 0049 1896 Eng Saf Hill A.J.L 1 124 15.5 8.0 0736 1974 Aus Nzl Redpath I.R 1 159* 19.9 8.0 1171 1991 Eng Win Gooch G.A 1 154* 19.1 8.0 0415 1955 Pak Nzl Hanif Mohammad 1 103 12.8 8.0 2016 2011 Aus Saf Clarke M.J 5 151 18.9 8.0 0058 1899 Eng Saf Warner P.F 1 132* 17.4 7.6 0037 1892 Eng Saf Wood H 8 134* 17.7 7.6


The above is a table of invaluable hundreds, made in matches where runs were at a premium. This is determined by using the match RpW figure. A match RpW value of of below 20 indicates a tough match for batsmen. The ordering is by the ratio of the runs scored and RpW figure. Hence this indicates a measure of out-performance compared to the other batsmen. I have used the overall match figure. Bannerman's century is on top with a whopping ratio of 10.9. Ponsford is next with 10.4. Most of these performances have been way back.

The two exceptions are Hayden's 119 in a match at Sharjah where Pakistan, in two innings, totaled 112 runs. The result could well have been "Hayden defeated Pakistan by an innings and 7 runs". The other is the recent Michael Clarke classic, a futile innings, but an outstanding one, without doubt. I am quite happy that an innings from what could have been one of the greatest of Test series, and could be called "The unfinished symphony", has found place in this elite list.

Out of 18 entries, Australia have accounted 10 for and England, 7, with the lone odd entry from Pakistan. My take is that this is possibly the result of the number of Ashes series, the quality of bowling attacks and the uncovered pitches. As many as nine of these efforts have been effected before WW1.

4. Hundreds by batsmen carrying their bat through completed innings

if (runs>=150 && batpos<3 && allout && batsman_notout)

Ordered by Runs scored

MtId Year For Vs Batsman Score BP Runs

0693 1972 Nzl Win Turner G.M 386/10 1 223* 1470 1999 Slk Zim Atapattu M.S 428/10 1 216* 0264 1938 Aus Eng Brown W.A 422/10 1 206* 0326 1950 Eng Win Hutton L 344/10 1 202* 1884 2008 Ind Slk Sehwag V 329/10 1 201* 0164 1926 Aus Eng Bardsley W 383/10 1 193* 0441 1957 Win Eng Worrell F.M.M 372/10 1 191* 1444 1999 Pak Ind Saeed Anwar 316/10 1 188* 1397 1998 Aus Saf Taylor M.A 350/10 1 169* 1939 2009 Win Aus Gayle C.H 317/10 1 165* 2006 2011 Zim Pak Mawoyo T.M.K 412/10 1 163* 0076 1902 Aus Saf Armstrong W.W 309/10 1 159* 0736 1974 Aus Nzl Redpath I.R 346/10 1 159* 1408 1998 Zim Pak Flower G.W 321/10 1 156* 0330 1951 Eng Aus Hutton L 272/10 1 156* 1171 1991 Eng Win Gooch G.A 252/10 1 154* 0947 1983 Pak Ind Mudassar Nazar 323/10 1 152*


Now for those warriors who stood at one end, scored millions (ok, hundreds) of runs and saw the 10 other batsmen lose their wickets. I necessarily have to limit this table since there are many hundreds by batsmen carrying their bat through. Hence I have limited the innings to 150+ scores. There are many stand-out innings in this collection. If I have to pick three out of this wonderful collection, I would nominate Saeed Anwar's 188* (a truly great match-winning innings, away), Sehwag's 201* (similar reason as Anwar's) and the best of all, Gooch's 154* (against Ambrose/Patterson/Marshall/Walsh and match-winning, to boot: only Lara and Laxman have played better innings).


5. Hundreds scored against top bowling attacks

if (runs>=100 && bqi<23.00)

Ordered by quality of bowling (increasing value of BQI)

MtId Year For Vs Batsman BP Runs BQI

0045 1895 Aus Eng Graham H 5 105 21.25 0852 1979 Ind Eng Viswanath G.R 4 113 21.39 0852 1979 Ind Eng Vengsarkar D.B 3 103 21.39 0345 1952 Win Aus Worrell F.M.M 3 108 21.80 0347 1952 Win Aus Stollmeyer J.B 1 104 22.30 0042 1894 Aus Eng Gregory S.E 6 201 22.40 0042 1894 Aus Eng Giffen G 3 161 22.40 1523 2000 Win Aus Lara B.C 4 182 22.52 0901 1981 Eng Win Willey P 7 102* 22.55 0466 1959 Aus Eng McDonald C.C 1 170 22.56 0036 1892 Aus Eng Lyons J.J 3 134 22.76 0908 1981 Aus Eng Border A.R 5 106* 22.83 0330 1951 Eng Aus Hutton L 1 156* 22.89 0044 1895 Aus Eng Iredale F.A 4 140 22.91 0444 1957 Aus Saf Benaud R 7 122 22.94


These hundreds are the ones scored against the very best bowling attacks. Look at the quality of English attack off which Viswanath and Vengsarkar scored their hundreds. Both were scored away in England. Similarly the two hundreds scored by Worrell and Stollmeyer, away, against the very strong Australian attack in 1952. Only one innings has come in from the current millennium, Lara's 182 against the Australian attack.

Hutton's 156*, which featured in the previous table also, leads my selection(against a big total and a formidable attack), followed by Lara's 182 (in only 235 balls, away, no other West Indian even reaching 50) and Willey's 102* (on the first day, away and against Roberts/Holding/Croft/Garner and batting at no.7).

Now for a selection of hundreds scored in different innings. I have not bothered with the first and second innings. The first innings is quite difficult to categorize. Also. facing a huge total in the second innings is not necessarily a mountain to climb since the pitch has been shown to be a reasonably batting-friendly one, scoreboard pressure notwithstanding. To select second innings hundreds, it would require a combination selection criteria, such as "Facing total > 400 && tough pitch/top bowling attack et al". I am not doing multiple criteria in this article.

6. Hundreds scored in third innings with team in huge arrears

if (runs>=160 && thirdinns && deficit>=250)

Ordered by Runs scored

MtId Year For Vs Batsman Scores 3rdInns BP Runs Res

0446 1958 Pak Win Hanif Mohammad (579-106) 657/10 1 337 Draw 1162 1991 Nzl Slk Crowe M.D (174-497) 671/10 4 299 Draw 0439 1957 Eng Win May P.B.H (186-474) 583/10 4 285* Draw 1535 2001 Ind Aus Laxman V.V.S (445-171) 657/10 3 281 Win 1269 1994 Pak Aus Saleem Malik (521-260) 537/10 4 237 Draw 2009 2011 Slk Pak Sangakkara K.C (197-511) 483/ 6 3 211 Draw 1562 2001 Zim Saf Flower A (600-286) 391/10 5 199* Lost 1511 2000 Zim Nzl Whittall G.J (465-166) 370/10 6 188* Lost 1162 1991 Nzl Slk Jones A.H (174-497) 671/10 3 186 Draw 0078 1903 Aus Eng Trumper V.T (285-577) 485/10 5 185* Lost 0352 1952 Ind Eng Mankad M.H (235-537) 378/10 1 184 Lost 0299 1948 Eng Aus Compton D.C.S (165-509) 441/10 4 184 Lost 0695 1972 Win Nzl Davis C.A (133-422) 564/10 5 183 Draw 1535 2001 Ind Aus Dravid R (445-171) 657/10 6 180 Win 0507 1961 Eng Aus Dexter E.R (195-516) 401/ 9 3 180 Draw 0723 1973 Eng Nzl Fletcher K.W.R (253-551) 463/ 9 4 178 Draw 0496 1960 Eng Saf Pullar G (155-419) 479/10 1 175 Draw 0731 1974 Eng Win Amiss D.L (131-392) 392/10 1 174 Lost 1481 2000 Ind Aus Laxman V.V.S (150-552) 261/ 5 1 167 Lost 0801 1977 Pak Win Majid Khan (194-448) 540/10 1 167 Draw 1420 1998 Eng Saf Stewart A.J (552-183) 369/10 4 164 Draw 0285 1947 Eng Saf Compton D.C.S (533-208) 551/10 4 163 Draw And a special personal entry, one of the all-time great innings 0905 1981 Eng Aus Botham I.T (401-174) 359/10 149 Win. This time another wonderful innings as suggested by Alex 1716 2004 Slk Pak Jayasuriya (243-264) 438/10 1 253 Win.


However the fun starts in the third innings. The batsmen may or may not be facing huge deficits and hundreds scored in these deficit situations are valuable. If a team has a huge deficit, the first target is to clear the deficit and then build on setting a reasonable target. These are hundreds scored when the deficit is greater than 250, irrespective of follow-on or non-follow-on situations. The bar had to move up to 160 since otherwise there would have been quite a few entries.

Spare a thought for the diminutive Hanif Mohammed, who, after Pakistan followed on over 400 runs behind, batted for over 16 hours to save the Test. The pleasing fact is that most of these back-to-the-wall efforts have been fruitful in that the matches have been saved and in two cases, needless to say which Test, the Laxman-Dravid epic, won. And the special personal entry, Botham's unbelievable 149 also set up the match win.

Laxman's 281 (Like Lars's, one sentence will suffice: in my opinion amongst the three best Test innings ever played) stands head and shoulders above all, followed by Botham's 149 (only loses sheen when compared to Laxman) and Hanif's 337 (arguably the best match-saving innings ever.

Now the the fourth innings which are the purest ones. the target being known right from the beginning. It could be 1 or 836 (both are actual targets in Test matches). This number is clearly available to both teams. While time/overs/weather are factors, this target never changes. There is no D/L creeping in Tests somewhere there, moving the goal-posts. The innings played which we never forget are also outstanding fighting ones. Great defensive innings, often as valuable as attacking match-winning innings are played in the fourth innings.

7. Winning hundreds scored in fourth innings with team chasing huge targets

if (runs>=100 && fourthinns && matchwon && (wkts>=6 || target>=350))

Ordered by Runs scored

MtId Year For Vs Batsman Scores 4thInns BP Runs Res

0302 1948 Aus Eng Morris A.R (496-458-365) 404/3 1 182 Win 0302 1948 Aus Eng Bradman D.G (496-458-365) 404/3 3 173* Win 1453 1999 Win Aus Lara B.C (490-329-146) 311/9 5 153* Win 1469 1999 Aus Pak Gilchrist A.C (222-246-392) 369/6 7 149* Win 1658 2003 Pak Bng Inzamam-ul-Haq (281-175-154) 262/9 4 138* Win 0178 1929 Eng Aus Sutcliffe H (397-417-351) 332/7 1 135 Win 1469 1999 Aus Pak Langer J.L (222-246-392) 369/6 3 127 Win 0822 1978 Aus Win Wood G.M (205-286-439) 362/7 1 126 Win 0822 1978 Aus Win Serjeant C.S (205-286-439) 362/7 5 124 Win 1812 2006 Slk Saf Jayawardene D.P.M.D (361-321-311) 352/9 4 123 Win 1797 2006 Aus Bng Ponting R.T (427-269-148) 310/7 3 118* Win 1355 1997 Eng Nzl Atherton M.A (346-228-186) 307/6 1 118 Win 1360 1997 Aus Saf Waugh M.E (209-108-168) 271/8 4 116 Win 0775 1976 Ind Win Viswanath G.R (359-228-271) 406/4 4 112 Win 1012 1985 Nzl Pak Coney J.V (274-220-223) 278/8 6 111* Win 1899 2008 Saf Aus Smith G.C (375-281-319) 414/4 1 108 Win 1899 2008 Saf Aus de Villiers A.B (375-281-319) 414/4 5 106* Win 1645 2003 Win Aus Sarwan R.R (240-240-417) 418/7 5 105 Win 0811 1977 Aus Ind Mann A.L (402-394-330) 342/8 3 105 Win 1704 2004 Eng Nzl Thorpe G.P (384-319-218) 284/6 5 104* Win 0074 1902 Eng Aus Jessop G.L (324-183-121) 263/9 7 104 Win 1645 2003 Win Aus Chanderpaul S (240-240-417) 418/7 6 104 Win 1898 2008 Ind Eng Tendulkar S.R (316-241-311) 387/4 4 103* Win 0345 1952 Aus Win Hassett A.L (272-216-203) 260/9 3 102 Win 0775 1976 Ind Win Gavaskar S.M (359-228-271) 406/4 1 102 Win 1795 2006 Aus Saf Martyn D.R (303-270-258) 294/8 4 101 Win 1593 2002 Aus Saf Ponting R.T (239-382-473) 334/6 3 100* Win And a few special entries, two of which have been suggested by readers 0990 1984 Win Eng Greenidge C.G (286-245-300) 344/1 1 214* Win 0320 1950 Aus Saf Harvey R.N (311-75-99) 336/5 5 151* Win 1883 2008 Saf Eng Smith G.C (231-314-363) 283/5 1 154* Win


These are defining match-winning played in the fourth innings. The process for selecting the hundreds is quite tricky. Hayden's 101* out of 171 for 1 hardly qualifies, but Greenidge's 214 out of 344 for 1 cannot be ignored. So I have a complex set of selection criteria. The win is quite tough if more than 5 wickets are lost. Hence I have selected all such hundreds. In addition, all hundreds scored in chases of 350 and above are selected.

My own selection amongst these would be Lara's 153* (A legend-one sentence will suffice: in my opinion amongst the three best Test innings ever played), Mark Waugh's 116 (series-winning innings, away and against a top attack) and Gilchrist's 149 (in only his second Test, a forerunner of things to come in many a Test). Bradman and Morris scored two huge centuries. Butcher's was in a dead rubber. Only the ease of the West Indian win keeps the special entry, Greenidge's 214, out.

8. Fighting losing hundreds scored in fourth innings with team chasing substantial targets

if (fourthinns && matchlost && (runs>=125 || (runs>=100 && 2*runs>=score))

Ordered by Runs scored

MtId Year For Vs Batsman Scores 4thInns BP Runs Res

1594 2002 Nzl Eng Astle N.J (228-147-468) 451/10 5 222 Lost 1847 2007 Slk Aus Sangakkara K.C (542-246-210) 410/10 3 192 Lost 0722 1973 Nzl Eng Congdon B.E (250- 97-325) 440/10 3 176 Lost 0800 1977 Eng Aus Randall D.W (138- 95-419) 417/10 3 174 Lost 1932 2009 Nzl Slk Vettori D.L (416-234-311) 397/10 8 140 Lost 0646 1969 Win Aus Nurse S.M (619-279-394) 352/10 7 137 Lost 1442 1999 Ind Pak Tendulkar S.R (238-254-286) 258/10 4 136 Lost 1925 2009 Aus Eng Clarke M.J (425-215-311) 406/10 5 136 Lost 0803 1977 Pak Win Asif Iqbal (280-198-359) 301/10 6 135 Lost 1223 1993 Eng Aus Gooch G.A (289-210-432) 332/10 1 133 Lost 0194 1930 Aus Eng Bradman D.G (270-144-302) 335/10 3 131 Lost 1688 2004 Slk Aus Jayasuriya S.T (120-211-442) 324/10 1 131 Lost 0159 1925 Eng Aus Sutcliffe H (600-479-250) 290/10 1 127 Lost 1843 2007 Pak Saf Younis Khan (450-291-264) 263/10 3 126 Lost 1306 1995 Pak Slk Moin Khan (232-214-338) 212/10 7 117* Lost 0900 1981 Eng Win Gooch G.A (265-122-379) 224/10 1 116 Lost 1205 1992 Win Aus Simmons P.V (395-233-196) 219/10 1 110 Lost


The selection criteria in lost matches has to be different. I have selected innings where the score is greater than 125 or comprises of more than half the team score. Note the last three innings, all very commendable efforts.

I would plump for Tendulkar's fighting and valiant 136, on a day when he was ill. The failure of the Indian late-order to score 12 runs should not take anything away from his master class. Randall's 174 which almost won the Centenary Test for England and Astle's 222 follow next.

9. Match-saving hundreds scored in fourth innings with team chasing huge targets

if (fourthinns && matchdrawn && (runs>149 || (runs>=100 && wkts>=7))

Ordered by runs scored

MtId Year For Vs Batsman Scores 4thInns BP Runs Res

0193 1930 Win Eng Headley G.A (849-286-272) 408/5 3 223 Draw 0854 1979 Ind Eng Gavaskar S.M (305-202-334) 429/8 1 221 Draw 0271 1939 Eng Saf Edrich W.J (530-316-481) 654/5 3 219 Draw 0289 1947 Saf Eng Mitchell B (427-302-325) 423/7 1 189* Draw 0248 1935 Aus Saf McCabe S.J (157-250-491) 274/2 3 189* Draw 1315 1995 Eng Saf Atherton M.A (332-200-346) 351/5 1 185* Draw 1760 2005 Aus Eng Ponting R.T (444-302-280) 371/9 3 156 Draw 1367 1997 Pak Slk Saleem Malik (331-292-386) 285/5 4 155 Draw 0824 1978 Win Aus Kallicharran A.I (343-280-305) 258/9 5 126 Draw 1025 1985 Slk Ind Mendis L.R.D (249-198-325) 307/7 5 124 Draw 1350 1997 Saf Ind Cullinan D.J (410-321-266) 228/8 4 122* Draw 0311 1949 Ind Win Hazare V.S (286-193-267) 355/8 5 122 Draw 1261 1994 Eng Nzl Stewart A.J (476-281-211) 254/8 1 119 Draw 1397 1998 Aus Saf Waugh M.E (517-350-193) 227/7 4 115* Draw 1005 1984 Aus Win Hilditch A.M.J (479-296-186) 198/8 1 113 Draw 1281 1995 Aus Eng Taylor M.A (309-116-255) 344/7 1 113 Draw 0281 1947 Eng Aus Washbrook C (365-351-536) 310/7 1 112 Draw 0373 1953 Eng Aus Watson W. (346-372-368) 282/7 5 109 Draw 0796 1977 Nzl Aus Congdon B.E (552-357-154) 293/8 3 107* Draw 1918 2009 Nzl Ind Taylor R.L (379-197-434) 281/8 4 107 Draw 0654 1969 Eng Win Boycott G (380-344-295) 295/7 1 106 Draw 1025 1985 Slk Ind Dias R.L (249-198-325) 307/7 4 106 Draw 1908 2009 Win Eng Sarwan R.R (566-285-221) 370/9 3 106 Draw 1672 2003 Eng Slk Vaughan M.P (382-294-279) 285/7 1 105 Draw 1281 1995 Aus Eng Slater M.J (309-116-255) 344/7 1 103 Draw 1096 1988 Pak Win Javed Miandad (174-194-391) 341/9 4 102 Draw 1232 1993 Saf Slk Rhodes J.N (331-267-300) 251/7 6 101* Draw 1392 1997 Saf Aus Kallis J.H (309-186-257) 273/7 3 101 Draw And a special reader entry: a 17-year old, playing away, saving a match for India, 1149 1990 Ind Eng (519-432-320) Tendulkar 343/6 119* 6 Draw


Drawn matches present their own characteristics. Scoring 100 out of 200 for 2 is no great effort. Since the match has been saved, the number of wickets lost is significant. I have selected innings in which 7 or more wickets are lost. These are the difficult matches. In addition, to recognize individual efforts, I have also selected hundreds which are 150 and above.

For me, Gavaskar's 221 stands tall, having taken India agonizingly close to a wonderful away victory. Atherton's 10-hour 492-ball epic of 185* and McCabe's 189* (if for nothing else, to do justice to one who was forgotten amongst the Bradman avalanche of runs) complete my trio of hundreds.

10. Hundreds scored which are the only ones in the match by either teams

if (runs>=200 && match100s==1)

Ordered by Runs scored

MtId Year For Vs Batsman BP Runs

0226 1933 Eng Nzl Hammond W.R 3 336* 1977 2010 Win Slk Gayle C.H 1 333 0215 1932 Aus Saf Bradman D.G 3 299* 1697 2004 Ind Pak Dravid R 3 270 1725 2004 Ind Bng Tendulkar S.R 4 248* 0631 1968 Nzl Ind Dowling G.T 1 239 0972 1983 Ind Win Gavaskar S.M 4 236* 0832 1978 Pak Ind Zaheer Abbas 4 235* 1710 2004 Slk Saf Sangakkara K.C 3 232 0256 1936 Eng Aus Hammond W.R 3 231* 1592 2002 Slk Pak Sangakkara K.C 3 230 0212 1931 Aus Saf Bradman D.G 3 226 1169 1991 Win Aus Greenidge C.G 1 226 1748 2005 Nzl Slk Vincent L 4 224 0417 1955 Ind Nzl Mankad M.H 1 223 1394 1998 Slk Zim Atapattu M.S 1 223 0473 1959 Win Pak Kanhai R.B 3 217 1470 1999 Slk Zim Atapattu M.S 1 216* 1723 2004 Aus Nzl Langer J.L 1 215 1478 1999 Nzl Win Sinclair M.S 3 214 1805 2006 Ind Win Jaffer W 1 212 1104 1988 Pak Aus Javed Miandad 4 211 0276 1946 Eng Ind Hardstaff jnr J 5 205* 1191 1992 Pak Eng Aamer Sohail 1 205 0365 1953 Aus Saf Harvey R.N 3 205 0893 1981 Aus Ind Chappell G.S 3 204 1379 1997 Zim Nzl Whittall G.J 4 203* 1151 1990 Pak Nzl Shoaib Mohammad 1 203* 1717 2004 Nzl Bng Fleming S.P 3 202 1884 2008 Ind Slk Sehwag V 1 201* 0910 1981 Aus Pak Chappell G.S 3 201 0932 1982 Pak Eng Mohsin Khan 1 200


The above table represents the list of century makers in matches in which they were the ones to do so. Except that the bar has been set quite high, only those who have scored 200 or more are considered. Remember that the next best score is below 100. The stand-out innings are Dravid's 270 (a match-winning innings, away against a good attack, Greenidge's 226 (after two low innings, this was responsible for a huge win, also against a very good attack) and Sehwag's 201 (a modern classic: an unforgettable Sehwag 231-ball epic and won the away match).

I will now go to a table which is available in any statistical section. However I have included the same in this to round off this article. This is the list of batsmen who scored hundreds in wach innings.

11. Two hundreds scored in a match

if (runs>=100 && otherruns>=100)

Ordered by match Runs scored

MtId Year For Vs Batsman BP Runs1 Runs2 RunsMat

1148 1990 Eng Ind Gooch G.A 1 333 123 456 0733 1974 Aus Nzl Chappell G.S 4 247* 133 380 1572 2001 Win Slk Lara B.C 4 221 130 351 0646 1969 Aus Win Walters K.D 5 242 103 345 0686 1971 Ind Win Gavaskar S.M 1 124 220 344 1562 2001 Zim Saf Flower A 5 142 199* 341 0693 1972 Win Nzl Rowe L.G 3 214 100* 314 0289 1947 Saf Eng Mitchell B 1 120 189* 309 1905 2009 Slk Bng Dilshan T.M 6 162 143 305 0159 1925 Eng Aus Sutcliffe H 1 176 127 303 0879 1980 Aus Pak Border A.R 6 150* 153 303 1623 2002 Aus Eng Hayden M.L 1 197 103 300 And the only batsman who has replicated his scores in each innings 0934 1982 Slk Ind Mendis L.R.D 4 105 105 210


Gooch is the only batsman to have scored a triple century and century in the same match, against India during 1990. The match total was 456, ahead of the next by a comfortable margin. Chappell's total stood for a long time. Chappell, Lara and Gavaskar achieved this feat in away locations. Gavaskar, in his debut series. Rowe did this in his debut Test. Border is the only batsman to have exceeded 150 in both innings.


12. Tests by nos 9, 10, and 11 (not yet there)

if (runs>=100 && batpos>=9)

Ordered by Batting position and runs scored

MtId Year For Vs Batsman BP Runs

0016 1884 Eng Aus Read W.W 10 117 1400 1998 Saf Pak Symcox P.L 10 108 0066 1902 Aus Eng Duff R.A 10 104 1139 1990 Nzl Ind Smith I.D.S 9 173 1971 2010 Eng Pak Broad S.C.J 9 169 0098 1908 Aus Eng Hill C 9 160 0623 1967 Pak Eng Asif Iqbal 9 146 1676 2003 Nzl Pak Vettori D.L 9 137* 1800 2006 Nzl Saf Franklin J.E.C 9 122* 0209 1931 Eng Nzl Allen G.O.B 9 122 0609 1966 Eng Win Murray J.T 9 112 1529 2001 Saf Slk Pollock S.M 9 111 1701 2004 Bng Win Mohammad Rafique 9 111 1573 2001 Nzl Aus Parore A.C 9 110 1541 2001 Saf Win Pollock S.M 9 106* 1349 1997 Saf Ind Klusener L 9 102* 0136 1921 Aus Eng Gregory J.M 9 100 0281 1947 Aus Eng Lindwall R.R 9 100


Finally the list of hundreds made in batting positions 9-11. No century has yet been made in position 11. Three centuries have been made in No.10. The most recent one, and the only hundred in the past 100 years, is Pat Symcox's 108 against Pakistan, in a rain-affected drawn match. Smith's 173 was against India helped New Zealand recover from 131 for 7 to 381. Broad's 169 is recent vintage helping England recover from 102 for 7 to 446 and led England to an innings win against Pakistan. For me, these two innings and Asif's 146, including a stand of 190 for the ninth wicket with Intikhab, stand out.

Readers' selections:

(Maximum of four per reader, to be given in the form
Tendulkar 155, Lara 277, Ponting 156, Hutton 202*
Also short names, not "cricket-follower-from-rajnandgaon" ???
Must be limited to a single line.)

Dave Bollen: Botham 149, SR Waugh 200, Lara 277, Laxman 167.
Gaur: Lara 153*, Tendulkar 136, VVS 281, Sehwag 201*.
Yogesh: Tendulkar 136, Gilchrist 149*, Laxman 281, Damien Martyn 104.
Alok:  Lara 153*, Laxman 281, Tendulkar 103* and Botham 149.
Andrew: Lara 153*, Trescothick 180, Pietersen 158, S Waugh ???.
Ravi M: Bradman 103*, Hughes 100*, Border 100*, Walters 104*
Navin A: Laxman 281, Lara 153*, Gooch 154*, Dravid 270 (closest to my own).
Gerry: Gavaskar 121, Sobers 132, Fredericks 169, Azhar Mehmood 132 (Saf).
Ghose: Lara 153*, Atherton 185*, Hughes 100*, Laxman 281
Sandeep: Sehwag 201*, Laxman 281, Dravid 270, Sehwag 151
Rachit: Tendulkar 136, Gooch 154, Lara 213, Laxman 281
Rakesh: Laxman 281, Lara 153*, Sehwag 201, Tendulkar 136
Ashtung: Laxman 281, Lara 153*, Pietersen 158, Tendulkar 136
Rex: Laxman 281, Sehwag 201*, Tendulkar 103*, Gooch 154*
Sarath: Bradman's 103*, Laxman's 281, Lara's 153* and Sachin's 136.
Andrew: Jessop's 104, Sutcliffe's 135, McCabe's 232* and Harvey's 151*.
Zain: V.Sehwag's 293, Sehwag's 201, S.Anwar's 188 and Broad's 169.
Trevor: Gooch 154, Tendulkar 136, Fredericks 169, Laxman 281.
Aaditya: Laxman 281, Tendulkar 155, Lara 213, Slater 123.
Alex: Slater 123, Greenidge 134, Taylor 144, Jayasuriya 253.
Vivek: Tendulkar 155, Lara 153*, Tendulkar 155, Gilchrist 102.
James: Lara's 153*, Laxman's 281, Mark Taylor's 144, M Waugh's 116.
Karthik: Lara 153*, Laxman 281, Gilchrist 149* and Botham 149.
Jaytirth: Laxman 281, Lara 153, Sehwag 201, Anwar 188
Kothandaram:Lara 153*, Laxman 281, ME Waugh 115, Tendulkar 136.
AB: Lara 153, Gooch 154, Laxman 281 and Dravid 233.
Oshada: Lara 153*, Jayawardene 123, Sangakkara 192, Greenidge 214*
Iain: Bradman 334, Gilchrest 160, S Waugh 200, M.Waugh 116
Bull: Lara's 153, Laxman's 281, Bradman's 103*, Clarke's 151.
Raghav: Laxman 281, Lara 153, Botham 149, McCabe 187
Sudarshan: Laxman 281, Sachin 136, Inzamamul 138* and Sarwan 105
Aditya: Headley 270, Gavaskar 101, Pollock 125 and ???.
Deepak: Ganguly 144, Mudassar 114, McCabe 232 and ???.
Jayanth: Hanif Mohd's 337,Gavasker's 221, Laxman's 281, Lara's 153.
krishna  : lara 153, kapil 119, laxman 281, steve waugh 200
Harsh: Lara153,Gooch154,Mcabe232,Pollock125
Vinish: Lara 153*, Laxman 281, Gooch 154 and Lara 213 (Author's privilege to select one of
three).
Obelix: S.Waugh 200, Border 98/100, Slater 106, Hilditch 70/113.

RELATED LINKS

Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems

RSS Feeds: Anantha Narayanan

Keywords: Stats,

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Syed on (December 15, 2012, 22:23 GMT)

Articles like this make life so much simlepr.

Posted by Harry on (December 15, 2011, 19:13 GMT)

First of all about characters limitation in comments. I think it can be avoided by opera mini, (I won't know for sure until I go beyond 1000, but at the start I had 5000 characters.) About Sarosh's comment, even if he overdid the significance part, I think the point he was making was despite having only a few entries in special hundreds, Sachin's popularity rise in 90s came not from mega innings but because many of his innings came when other team members failed. In that way his centuries were special & also inspired the next generation to do better than his 90s team members.

Posted by ObelixTheFat on (December 15, 2011, 11:44 GMT)

@Sarosh You have overdone significance until it has become insignificant. All those innings are not significant, all I see is the same fixation you mentioned at the start of your piece. Significance doesn't mean a win, it's also about the when, where and who. The who has more importance. I'm sure making 200 vs Bangladesh doesn't carry the same weight as 100 vs WI with Marshall, Garner and co at PoS. In terms of the where and when that is where Waugh's 200 stands out. The England 2005 Ashes win was a supposedly similar event to the 1995 Aus vs WI series except England went and got whitewashed in 2007 and tainted the whole thing. When you do look at it the Ashes 2005 was entertaining but highly overrated. South Africa 2008/9 was of more significance. It put a red marker on Aus and opened doors that had been closed years ago. I don't see Dale Steyn's 76 at the MCG 2008 being mentioned or Duminy's 166 . Those were very significant, winning in Aus for first time in 16 years.

Posted by Sarosh on (December 15, 2011, 5:57 GMT)

@ObelixTheFat You have come up with some of the best one-liners ever on the comments page. And along with them some comments worth reading. A lot of the comments esp. from the likes of Gerry etc . are simply the result of various fixations – which incidentally I too am guilty of. “ BQI is just a number, you can fail.” , “An inning is not just runs and pitches it's also about significance.” etc. Unfortunately your 2nd great one-liner is one which had been distorted to infer “signifance” = “WIN” Apparently if the match does not result in a win the innings has reduced or alarmingly no significance whatsoever. This is ridiculous – to put it mildly. “Winston Benjamin was in tears at tea, if that isn't effort and dedication then I don't know what is, WI threw everything at Waugh including the kitchen sink.” Beautiful- Winston Benjamin was in tears at tea not because the match was already lost. Cozier would have (or should have ) passed the very same comments he did about Waughs knock- Irrespective of the end result. Simply because was a batsman standing up to the WI. That’s all. That’s all a batsman can do. Period. ((Incidentally regarding all this stuff about the catched dropped of Lara. There were atually 2 dropped catches that I remember. Warne dropped a caught and bowled as well. Though much tougher than the Healy sitter). So, yes old fashioned Luck always plays a part. The function of a batsman is to give his all- that is all he can do. Sometimes the stars will be with him- sometimes they wont. A batsmans only function is to score runs. Period. Sure, in some rare innings he may actually hang around to finish off- if all goes well These may be memorable , but the anguish of close losses is memorable too. The final result is always the interplay of what the other 21 men in the game also do. Sunny Gavaskars knocks against the West Indies are celebrated not because the Indian team won. Does anyone even remember? No- they are significant because Gavaskar showed that the WI bowlers were not unplayable. Period. The rest of the team could not match up – too bad. This rubbed off on Tendulkar. And then through the ‘90s Tendulkars knocks rubbed off on the rest of the Indian team- That is the “significance” of a number of Tendulkar’s knocks. NOT whether the entire team finally won a match or not. Tendulkar’s knocks vs. quality opposition through the ‘90s instilled the “we too can do it” self belief and motivated numerous batsmen. Some recent stars of the Indian team including Dhoni and Sehwag even go so far as to say they started playing competive cricket because of Tendulkar. Tendulkar’s debut knocks in Pak (hit on the nose of Waqar, next two balls cover driven for fours etc) had “significance” to Indian cricket. His 114 at Perth had significance. Later his knocks vs.SA and Aus in ’96 and then Aus ‘98/’99 had immense significance- simply because they resulted in showing that the Aussie bowlers were not unplayable. The first Test of the 2001 tour where Tendulkar was the only Indian batsman to show up also had “significance” – “See? These guys are not unplayable whatsoever “. The WI batsmen have always been attacking. Frankly I don’t see how Lara’s 153 though a fabulous knock was of any “signifance” to WI cricket. The knock was very significant to Laras career.If anything the WI have detiorated further since. Tendulkar showed up conjoining Style, attack coupled with an amazing consistency that is almost always not the forte of attacking batsmen - all fused together in a manner never before witnessed in Indian cricket. Also how VVS 167 on the ‘98/’99 tour in the last dead rubber ranks higher than Tendulkars 116 in the previous match vs. an identical attack– I know not. Does anyone even for a second think that Tendulkar’s heart breaking 136 had any less significance to Indian fans and fellow batsmen because the match ended in a loss?. If anything, it perhaps spurred the team on more. Heres a guy with a broken back giving it all- and what are we doing? Infact, as an Indian fan that innings is to me the most memorable innings of the ‘90s. Not the best of Tendulkars knocks in terms of pure batting quality or the result- but in terms of being memorable it ranks right up there. Many many of Tendulkar’s innings ,including in ODIs have also had a “cumulative” signifance. I was wondering how no one mentioned Roy Fredericks knocks. Then there was a write up on cricinfo just the other day about it. Fredericks “significance” was that he lay the template in both style and attitude for future Carribean stars including Lara to emulate. So- the function of a batsman is simply to score runs. Also, although this will not sure up statistically – the “manner” in which he scores runs often too has great significance. The “significance” is NOT in the final result. It is simply to demonstrate to others that scoring runs vs. X,Y,Z on whatever pitch is possible. The “significance” of an innings may not actually manifest itself for several years. The significance is most often simply be the self-belief it gives other batsmen – and this self belief does NOT depend on the final outcome of a match. [[ Sarosh Someone is going to ask you how you have bypassed the 1000 character limit. Ananth: ]]

Posted by ObelixTheFat on (December 14, 2011, 18:09 GMT)

:) Ok point taken. I guess I will always have a bias for the team I support, things will always look shinier when they do it. [[ No problems at all. In each of these exchanges we get to know more. I knew about Waugh's innings but Slater's and Hiditch's douuble-efforts were not there immediately for me. And I am sure you probably got to know a little more about Laxman. I will put up your four as S.Waugh 200, Border 98/100, Slater 106, Hilditch 70/113. Ananth: ]]

Posted by ObelixTheFat on (December 14, 2011, 16:16 GMT)

This has nothing with putting down peoples innings. Was Steve Waugh's 200 made on a flat pitch, the answer is yes. Did the WI attack fail, no just look at Waugh's bruises after, a lesser batsman would have given up and gotten out. An inning is not just runs and pitches it's also about significance. Tony Cozier has said a number on times on commentary that Waugh's 200 was the bane of WI cricket, it broke 15 years at the top. Winston Benjamin was in tears at tea, if that isn't effort and dedication then I don't know what is, WI threw everything at Waugh including the kitchen sink. I will list two innings that I rate highly by Laxman and Lara that I also think are better than the 281 and 153* Laxman 167 at Sydney 2000 (http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63867.html) Lara 132 at Perth 1997 (http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63733.html) Also I can only comment on innings I saw that's what my list includes. I won't go listing McCabe 232 etc I'm not qualified to comment. [[ Let me first say that I watched Steve Waugh's innings on TV and value his innings at the top drawer. One of the few innings which changed the way world cricket moved. Slowly West indies lost the dominance which, in turn, moved to Australia. Now I can afford to smile. I repeat your words even though it appeared in this comment itself. ""An innings is not just runs and pitches it's also about significance."" Exactly my point. Damn the pitch, damn the attack, the juggernaut is coming to the Test with a 16-0 record, after having won the previous Test easily, scores 400+, dismisses the home team for 174, (inadvisedly) enforces the follow-on and the batsman walks in at 52 for 1 and sees wickets fall regularly. Then he scores 281 and world cricket changes forever. If Australia had won that Test they would have won the next 10, probably. Laxman's innings gave India (and the rest of the world) the confidence. From that point I think it is the most important innings played in test cricket during the past 50 years. Laxman's 167 stands no comparison with his own 281. That was a shot fired at the Australian juggernaut. On the other hand the 281 was a howitzer fired at the tank. Would anyone who watched Lara's 153 even think about the pitch, the attack, the dropped chance etc. I have already mentioned this in my recent blog. If Lara had been dismissed at 145 and West indies lost by 7 runs, it would have been a great innings like Tendulkar's or Warner's but would not have attained immortality. Same way, if Australia had scored 175 for 5 on the last day at Calcutta, Laxman's innings would have lost much of its sheen. Same way, if Willis had captured 5 for 60 and Australia had scored 120 for 6 and won at Headingley in 1980, Botham's innings would not have been anything more than a brave one.. I will repeat. I will never put down Steve Waugh's innings because of the very reasons you have mentioned. Let me also say this. If West indies had scored 450 for 5 and drawn the Kingston match, Steve Waugh's innings would have lost much of the sheen. Cozier's comment would have been different. Ananth: ]]

Posted by ObelixTheFat on (December 14, 2011, 12:56 GMT)

Errr I was under the impression that I can select "My" best 5 innings. I don't know what "attempt to put down innings" has to do with anything. Everyone has their bias in Sport, some like Sampras some don't. I also am not blaming the conditions in batting friendly conditions, I am blaming the bowlers as I said here "unless they have bowlers who can transcend that and those are few and far between. Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall, Dennis Lillee and Richard Hadlee come to mind.". To put it simply what I am saying is that a) It was a good batting track and b) The Australian attack failed. BQI is just a number, you can fail. Had the attack been a WI attack with Garner, Marshall and Holding then I am very confident that India would have been thumped in that test. And like Ranga said "Could India do the same, if they faced that situation in MCG/WACA/Lords/Durban/Hamilton/Napier/Gabba?? I dont think. " As the saying goes there are "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" :) [[ First I had requested all readers to select 4 innings not 5. Even then you had selected 7/8 innings so I could not put it in. Please give me a list of four of your best. I will gladly put that in. I respect all the readers and certainly you. Let it go. You can select your innings without putting down other innings which have been considered top by most readers. And the reason you had given was that the track was flat. That was not the case. Then you say the Australian attack failed. So you were unwilling to give credit, be it to Lara or Laxman. When they batted well, either the track was flat or the Australian attack failed. Now let me take Steve Waugh's 200 at Kingston. It is a wonderful innings. Your selection is perfectly justified. Let me ask you. If one of the readers, I will not say it myself, had said that the Kingston pitch on 30 April and 1 May 1995 was quite flat and/or the West Indian bowling attack of Ambrose/Walsh/Benjamin/Benjamin had failed, despite the two 200 scores on the first and fourth day, how would you feel. That is what you have done with Laxman's knock and earlier with Lara's knock. Why bring in the stupid and silly comment on "Lies, damed lies..." into this discussion on readers' selection of their best innings. You are crossing the line then. Ananth: ]]

Posted by Ranga on (December 14, 2011, 6:51 GMT)

@ Ananth: Thanks. But 2001 Eden, what were the ctd figures of Indian bowlers in that match? What were the ctd figures of Aussie bowlers in that match? I would rather say while India can STILL be forgiven for their 171 against an Aussie side coming in with a 16 match winning streak, You are right in saying Australia had no business to lose on the last day. This is why probably the match got into a cult status. While Top7 RPW of 43 indicates a fair batting friendliness, the ctd bowling figures of Aussies and the intangible of their ominous form coming into the match, coupled with Indian bowlers who played that series (like Bahutule, Kulkarni et al) India did manage to topple the aussiecart. The only thing I see as a negative is that we cant answer the question: Could India do the same, if they faced that situation in MCG/WACA/Lords/Durban/Hamilton/Napier/Gabba?? I dont think. [[ Australia had four excellent bowlers (ctd-25.90+20.94+21.85+35.00) leading to BQI of 28.8 and Group 5. India had good bowlers but at the start of their careers and had a BQI of 34.64, just about made to group 4). But the last day difference was Tendulkar, 3 Lbws. Ananth: ]]

Posted by Ranga on (December 14, 2011, 5:56 GMT)

I fail to understand this. When batsmen score runs in bowler friendly conditions, we hail the batsman. When bowlers fail in batsman friendly conditions, how can we blame the conditions? Taking wickets on flat tracks is as key a skill as scoring on green tops. Agreed it is very tough. McGrath did take 15 wkts in that series in batsman friendly pitches(If we can call so - while Shaun Tait was clobbered in '08 on a pacy WACA). 2001 Eden Gardens - for all the flatness of the pitch, Ind had followed on. So the bowlers DID take 10 Indian wickets. Which means it wasnt all that averse to bowlers. If the pitch eased out by 3rd day, why couldnt Aussies draw the match? With their world beating side? I agree with Ananth's quantification of pitch conditions. It varies from match to match. Historically, India has flat pitches. It is a generic statement not true for 2001 Eden Gardens or 2004 Kanpur. Give credit to match situations. [[ One specific reason why I did not comment on Obelix's comment. I wanted a reader to comment on that. To say that a pitch on which the first two days 18 wickets were lost and the last day when 13 wickets were lost, the middle two days suddenly become flat. And any Tom, Dick and Harry could come and score either side of 200 runs. And forgetting that the bowlers were McGrath, Gillespie, Kaspro and Warne, the same attack which had dismissed India for 176, 219 and 171 in the three previous innings. Looks like match situations do not matter. This is only an attempt to put down great innings which are not played by specific countries. You would have noticed how much importance I give to match conditions, bowling quality, support received (or not), runs added with tail, match RpW etc. However let me add that the Top-7 RpW for this match was 43, indicating that, overall, this was a good batting wicket. This puts in perspective the Indian first innings and Australian second innings. India had no business getting out for 171 and Australia had no business getting out in less than 5 hours and losing 7 wickets after tea. But what is important is to realize that when Laxman and Dravid came together, India were 232 for 4, still 42 in arrears. Ananth: ]]

Posted by ObelixTheFat on (December 13, 2011, 17:09 GMT)

Ok then I will list my best 5 innings I have ever seen. 1) Steve Waugh 200 vs WI at Jamaica 1995 2) Allan Border 98* and 100* vs WI at Port of Spain 1984 3) Andrew Hilditch 70 & 113 vs WI at Melbourne 1984 4) Steve Waugh 108 and 116 vs Eng at Manchester 1997 5) Michael Slater 106 vs WI at Port of Spain 1999

I don't have much appreciation for Laxman and Dravid innings, the primary reason being it was a flat track. I think in general a bowling attack is only as good as the wicket they are bowling on unless they have bowlers who can transcend that and those are few and far between. Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall, Dennis Lillee and Richard Hadlee come to mind.

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anantha Narayanan
Anantha spent the first half of his four-decade working career with corporates like IBM, Shaw Wallace, NCR, Sime Darby and the Spinneys group in IT-related positions. In the second half, he has worked on cricket simulation, ratings, data mining, analysis and writing, amongst other things. He was the creator of the Wisden 100 lists, released in 2001. He has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket, and worked extensively with Maruti Motors, Idea Cellular and Castrol on their performance ratings-related systems. He is an armchair connoisseur of most sports. His other passion is tennis, and he thinks Roger Federer is the greatest sportsman to have walked on earth.

All articles by this writer