The Trueman-Garner club
AB de Villiers has scored a run or more in all his 77 Test innings to date and holds the record , having surpassed Aravinda de Silva during the series in England, for the most innings without a duck. Is the bowlers' equivalent - taking a wicket in all innings or in every match - harder to achieve? It's what we've looked at this week: bowlers who were among the wickets every time they bowled.
Former England fast bowler Fred Trueman and his West Indian counterpart Joel Garner are the only players with over 40 Tests and a wicket in each of them. Trueman, the first to break the 300-wicket barrier, played 67 Tests and took 307 wickets. His worst match figures were during the Ashes Test at Old Trafford in 1961 when he took 1 for 147 in 46 overs. Garner took 259 wickets in 58 Tests and had less than two wickets in a match only thrice. The 1 for 98 against India in the 1983 Trinidad Test was his poorest haul.
Three bowlers narrowly missed out on the Trueman-Garner club. Allan Donald, Bishan Bedi and Stuart MacGill struck in all but one Test during their careers. Donald, in fact, equalled Trueman, taking wickets in all his first 67 Tests but went wicketless in his 68th - in Barbados in 2001. Donald scored 37, his personal best, in that match but bowled only 14 overs, without success, in the first innings and suffered a sore hamstring which ruled him out of the second. He finished with wickets in 71 out of 72 Tests. Bedi did not take a wicket in the third of his 67 Tests , against England at Headingley. He too was struck down by a leg injury on the first day and was restricted to 15 overs in the first innings and none in the second. MacGill, who played 44 Tests , did not take a wicket in Kandy in 2004.
Among current bowlers, Lasith Malinga and Sreesanth are the only ones with chances of getting close to Trueman or Garner. Malinga and Sreesanth have taken wickets in all of their 28 and 14 Tests respectively. A succession of injuries has curtailed Simon Jones' career to 18 Tests so far, but he has struck in all of them.
|FS Trueman (Eng)||1952-1965||67||15178||6625||307||8/31||21.57||49.4||17|
|J Garner (WI)||1977-1987||58||13169||5433||259||6/56||20.97||50.8||7|
|SL Malinga (SL)||2004-2007||28||4777||3076||91||5/68||33.80||52.4||2|
|WJ O'Reilly (Aus)||1932-1946||27||10024||3254||144||7/54||22.59||69.6||11|
|C Blythe (Eng)||1901-1910||19||4546||1863||100||8/59||18.63||45.4||9|
|SP Jones (Eng)||2002-2005||18||2821||1666||59||6/53||28.23||47.8||3|
|CTB Turner (Aus)||1887-1895||17||5179||1670||101||7/43||16.53||51.2||11|
|SE Bond (NZ)||2001-2007||17||3079||1769||79||6/51||22.39||38.9||4|
|M Hayward (SA)||1999-2004||16||2821||1609||54||5/56||29.79||52.2||1|
|K Higgs (Eng)||1965-1968||15||4112||1473||71||6/91||20.74||57.9||2|
|JSE Price (Eng)||1964-1972||15||2724||1401||40||5/73||35.02||68.1||1|
|WW Davis (WI)||1983-1988||15||2773||1472||45||4/19||32.71||61.6||0|
|CE Cuffy (WI)||1994-2002||15||3366||1455||43||4/82||33.83||78.2||0|
|H Ironmonger (Aus)||1928-1933||14||4695||1330||74||7/23||17.97||63.4||4|
|PS Heine (SA)||1955-1962||14||3890||1455||58||6/58||25.08||67.0||4|
|LS Pascoe (Aus)||1977-1982||14||3403||1668||64||5/59||26.06||53.1||1|
|S Sreesanth (India)||2006-2008||14||2873||1573||50||5/40||31.46||57.4||1|
|JJC Lawson (WI)||2002-2005||13||2364||1512||51||7/78||29.64||46.3||2|
|Inshan Ali (WI)||1971-1977||12||3718||1621||34||5/59||47.67||109.3||1|
Taking a wicket in every match is no mean feat but doing it in each innings is even harder. Trueman and Garner didn't manage it: Trueman was wicketless in 19 innings , though he bowled fewer than ten overs in 12 of them, while Garner went without reward a dozen times .
Shane Bond's career was limited to only 17 Tests by injuries but he took wickets in all of the 30 innings in which he bowled. His strike-rate of a wicket every 38.9 balls is the fourth best in Tests after George Lohmann, Dale Steyn, and JJ Ferris, who is second in the table below.
|SE Bond (NZ)||2001-2007||17||30||3079||1769||79||6/51||22.39||38.9||4|
|JJ Ferris (Aus/Eng)||1887-1892||9||16||2302||775||61||7/37||12.70||37.7||6|
|BN Schultz (SA)||1992-1997||9||14||1733||749||37||5/48||20.24||46.8||2|
|AH Gray (WI)||1986-1987||5||10||888||377||22||4/39||17.13||40.3||0|
|WS Lees (Eng)||1906-1906||5||9||1256||467||26||6/78||17.96||48.3||2|
|AS Kennedy (Eng)||1922-1923||5||9||1683||599||31||5/76||19.32||54.2||2|
|VB John (SL)||1983-1984||6||9||1281||614||28||5/60||21.92||45.7||2|
|CJ Drum (NZ)||2001-2002||5||9||806||482||16||3/36||30.12||50.3||0|
|JN Shepherd (WI)||1969-1971||5||8||1445||479||19||5/104||25.21||76.0||1|
|RJ Kirtley (Eng)||2003-2003||4||7||1079||561||19||6/34||29.52||56.7||1|
|SMJ Woods (Aus/Eng)||1888-1896||6||6||412||250||10||3/28||25.00||41.2||0|
|SJ Staples (Eng)||1928-1928||3||6||1149||435||15||3/50||29.00||76.6||0|
|FS Ahangama (SL)||1985-1985||3||6||801||348||18||5/52||19.33||44.5||1|
|AS Wassan (India)||1990-1990||4||6||712||504||10||4/108||50.40||71.2||0|
|Kabir Khan (Pak)||1994-1995||4||6||655||370||9||3/26||41.11||72.7||0|
|KP Walmsley (NZ)||1995-2000||3||6||774||391||9||3/70||43.44||86.0||0|
|CT Tremlett (Eng)||2007-2007||3||6||859||386||13||3/12||29.69||66.0||0|
|BAW Mendis (SL)||2008-2008||3||6||979||478||26||6/117||18.38||37.6||2|
|DD Blackie (Aus)||1928-1929||3||5||1260||444||14||6/94||31.71||90.0||1|
It's virtually impossible to do a List on bowling without Muttiah Muralitharan emerging on top of a table. He hasn't taken a wicket in every innings, or in all of his matches, but Murali has an astonishingly high percentage of matches in which he has taken wickets, considering he's been on the circuit since 1992. He's taken wickets in 119 out of 123 Tests (96.74%) and in 205 out of 214 innings. In fact, he has been wicketless in only two matches in which he's bowled: the Dunedin and Nagpur Tests in 1997. The other two Tests were against India and Pakistan, in Kandy in 1993 and 2000 respectively, and the matches did not progress past the first innings (Sri Lanka were batting) on both occasions due to poor weather.
|Player||Span||Mat||Inns||Runs||Wkts||BBI||Ave||5||inn w/ wkt||%|
|M Muralitharan (ICC/SL)||1992-2008||123||214||16604||756||9/51||21.96||65||205||95.79|
|CV Grimmett (Aus)||1925-1936||37||67||5231||216||7/40||24.21||21||63||94.02|
|SF Barnes (Eng)||1901-1914||27||50||3106||189||9/103||16.43||24||46||92.00|
|AA Donald (SA)||1992-2002||72||129||7344||330||8/71||22.25||20||117||90.69|
|CEH Croft (WI)||1977-1982||27||52||2913||125||8/29||23.30||3||47||90.38|
|A Kumble (India)||1990-2008||130||232||18069||616||10/74||29.33||35||208||89.65|
|J Garner (WI)||1977-1987||58||111||5433||259||6/56||20.97||7||99||89.18|
|MD Marshall (WI)||1978-1991||81||151||7876||376||7/22||20.94||22||134||88.74|
|D Gough (Eng)||1994-2003||58||95||6503||229||6/42||28.39||9||84||88.42|
|B Lee (Aus)||1999-2008||68||134||8550||289||5/30||29.58||9||118||88.05|
|BS Bedi (India)||1966-1979||67||118||7637||266||7/98||28.71||14||103||87.28|
|SCG MacGill (Aus)||1998-2008||44||85||6038||208||8/108||29.02||12||74||87.05|
|MW Tate (Eng)||1924-1935||39||68||4055||155||6/42||26.16||7||59||86.76|
|DK Lillee (Aus)||1971-1984||70||132||8493||355||7/83||23.92||23||114||86.36|
|DG Cork (Eng)||1995-2002||37||62||3906||131||7/43||29.81||5||53||85.48|
|DR Doshi (India)||1979-1983||33||55||3502||114||6/102||30.71||6||47||85.45|
|FS Trueman (Eng)||1952-1965||67||127||6625||307||8/31||21.57||17||108||85.03|
Murali's also in first and second place in the table of bowlers with wickets in most consecutive innings. He took wickets in 49 innings between December 4 1999 and June 13, 2002, and in another 52 from July 21, 2002 to April 3, 2006. The two interruptions in the string of 101 innings were in the Old Trafford Test in 2002, in which Murali bowled only two overs in the second innings, and the Kandy Test against Pakistan, in which he bowled only 13 in the second innings.
Murali also has the longest streak of matches in each of which he has taken wickets. While Trueman took wickets in all his matches and Donald did so in his first 67 Tests, Murali has taken a wicket in each of his 69 matches since the Galle Test against South Africa in 2000, and will attempt to extend the run when he travels to England in 2009. Incidentally, Shane Warne also began a wicket-taking streak on March 11, 2000, which spanned 64 matches , until he retired after the Sydney Test against England in 2007.
|Player||Mat||Start Match||Opposition||Scorecard||End Match||Opposition||Scorecard|
|M Muralitharan||69||Jul 20, 2000||v South Africa||Test 1504||Aug 8, 2008||v India||Test 1886|
|FS Trueman||67||Jun 5, 1952||v India||Test 351||Jun 17, 1965||v New Zealand||Test 592|
|AA Donald||67||Apr 18, 1992||v West Indies||Test 1188||Mar 17, 2001||v West Indies||Test 1538|
|BS Bedi||64||Jun 22, 1967||v England||Test 619||Aug 30, 1979||v England||Test 854|
|SK Warne||64||Mar 11, 2000||v New Zealand||Test 1488||Jan 2, 2007||v England||Test 1826|
|J Garner||58||Feb 18, 1977||v Pakistan||Test 797||Mar 12, 1987||v New Zealand||Test 1072|
|GD McGrath||57||Feb 3, 1995||v England||Test 1287||Dec 15, 2000||v West Indies||Test 1523|
|A Kumble||54||Feb 24, 2000||v South Africa||Test 1484||Jan 2, 2007||v South Africa||Test 1827|
|CEL Ambrose||51||Apr 7, 1989||v India||Test 1118||Feb 1, 1997||v Australia||Test 1353|
|B Lee||44||Nov 29, 2002||v England||Test 1629||Jun 12, 2008||v West Indies||Test 1879|
|Wasim Akram||43||Jan 2, 1992||v Sri Lanka||Test 1182||Nov 27, 1998||v Zimbabwe||Test 1430|
|A Flintoff||42||Jul 31, 2003||v South Africa||Test 1653||Dec 1, 2006||v Australia||Test 1819|
|IT Botham||40||Aug 30, 1979||v India||Test 854||Jul 14, 1983||v New Zealand||Test 957|
|JN Gillespie||40||Nov 8, 2001||v New Zealand||Test 1565||Mar 26, 2005||v New Zealand||Test 1744|
|SM Pollock||39||Apr 6, 2001||v West Indies||Test 1542||Mar 4, 2005||v Zimbabwe||Test 1737|
Click here for the full tables.
If there's a particular List that you would like to see, email us with your comments and suggestions.
George Binoy is a staff writer at Cricinfo