Decade Review 2009
Performances of the decade I

Ricky rampages, Shoaib sizzles

One of the greatest Tests of the decade, four World Cup performances, a seven-for, and a blazing double feature in the first part of our performances of the decade

Dileep Premachandran

Comments: 79 | Text size: A | A

Click here for part two

Adam Gilchrist congratulates VVS Laxman on his epic innings, India v Australia, 2nd Test, Kolkata, 4th day, March 14, 2001
Laxman: saved his best for Australia © AFP
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Chris Cairns 102* v India
ICC KnockOut final, Nairobi, 2000
Despite a troublesome knee, Cairns had bowled the only maidens of the Indian innings and been his side's most economical bowler. When he came out to bat, New Zealand were abreast of the run-rate but losing wickets too quickly. When Roger Twose and Craig McMillan departed soon after, it was down to two old hands, Cairns and Chris Harris. They added 122 in steady rather than spectacular fashion before Harris was out with 11 still needed from nine balls. But Cairns kept his cool to bring up both his century and victory in the final over, finishing on 102 from 113 balls. A straight six off Sachin Tendulkar, and one into the car park off Anil Kumble, offered glimpses of his big-hitting potential, but by and large, this was an exercise in responsibility, one that secured a first-ever trophy on the world stage for his country.

VVS Laxman, 281 v Australia
second Test, Kolkata, 2001
This was the innings that halted a juggernaut that had won 16 Tests on the trot. Having scored a cultured 59 in a shambles of a first innings, Laxman was sent in at No. 3 as India followed on 274 in arrears. By the time he departed 631 minutes later, the match and series had been utterly transformed. He struck 44 boundaries along the way, none better than the inside-out drives through cover he hit off Shane Warne as he aimed at the leg-stump rough. The 376-run partnership with Rahul Dravid included 335 runs on the fourth day, when Australia's mighty attack was rendered utterly ineffective. It set the stage for a momentous victory, and was perhaps the first step on a journey that saw India take the No. 1 ranking in Tests at the end of the decade.

Harbhajan Singh, 7 for 133 and 8 for 84 v Australia
third Test, Chennai, 2001
He had gone for plenty on the opening day, when Matthew Hayden and Australia imposed their will on the deciding Test. It all changed with a moment's madness from Steve Waugh, who handled a ball that was spinning back toward the stumps. Ricky Ponting was stumped soon after, and from that point Harbhajan took 6 for 26 to wrap up the innings. Then, after Sachin Tendulkar and friends had managed to build a handy lead, he methodically set about the Australian batsmen again, taking the last six wickets to fall on his way to figures of 8 for 84. Not content with the 15-wicket haul, he then came out and struck the winning runs, squeezing a Glenn McGrath delivery past point.

Adam Gilchrist, 204* v South Africa
first Test, Johannesburg, 2002
When Steve Waugh was dismissed with the scoreboard showing 293 for 5, South Africa would have sensed an opportunity. Instead, their bowlers were subjected to the most horrifying indignities as Gilchrist and Damien Martyn pillaged 317 runs in just 62.1 overs. The afternoon session on the second day saw 190 being scored as Gilchrist started hitting fours and sixes for fun. One nearly hit an advertising hoarding offering a bar of gold to anyone that struck it. It was more than 100 yards away, but Gilchrist still went for it - and missed by about the width of the crease. No matter. He finished on 204 from just 213 balls. South Africa's challenge was over almost before it had begun.

Shoaib Akhtar, 3 for 51 and 5 for 21 v Australia
first Test, Colombo, 2002
After a luckless opening day, Shoaib had made his mark on the second, taking three wickets with turbocharged reverse swing as Australia lost their last five batsmen for just 10 runs. But it was on the third afternoon that he really came into his own. The stiflingly hot and humid conditions were hardly ideal for bowling fast in, and Australia had progressed steadily to 74 for 1, and a lead of 262, when he summoned up a spell for the ages. Ricky Ponting and Mark Waugh were bowled and Steve Waugh trapped leg-before in one frightening over, before Shoaib returned in the next to blow away Adam Gilchrist's stumps with a round-the-wicket yorker. When Shane Warne went leg-before, Shoaib had made it five wickets in 15 balls. Australia slid to 127 all out, and were left to rely on the excellence of their bowlers to save face.

Matthew Hayden, 119 v Pakistan
second Test, Sharjah, 2002
This is destined to be remembered as the match in which one man out-batted a team. Pakistan's batsmen produced two abject innings of 59 and 53 that lasted a total of 289 minutes. Hayden's vigil lasted more than seven hours. Though he was dropped twice, he was the only player to come to grips with the inhuman conditions - the mercury soared past 50 degrees Celsius. He may have reached his century with a six off Danish Kaneria, but this wasn't the belligerent Hayden who terrified bowlers for nearly a decade. It was like an oven out on the field, but it was Pakistan that ended up well and truly roasted.

World Cup, 2003 - Australia v England at Port Elizabeth, 2nd March 2003
Andy Bichel: a one-man band against England in the 2003 World Cup © Reuters
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Andrew Symonds, 143* v Pakistan
World Cup, Johannesburg, 2003
Having left Steve Waugh out of the World Cup squad, Australia's preparations for their opening game were hit by the absence of Michael Bevan and Shane Warne's absence courtesy slimming tablets. When Symonds, ostensibly the man who kept Waugh out of the 30, came to bat, they were reeling at 86 for 4. He added 60 with Ricky Ponting, and then eased to a half-century from 60 balls before unveiling his full repertoire of bludgeoned strokes. Shahid Afridi was taken for four fours in an over as he cruised to a 92-ball maiden hundred, and Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis were both smashed for sixes. Symonds finished on 143 from just 125 balls. So much for missing Tugga.

Sachin Tendulkar, 98 v Pakistan
World Cup, Centurion, 2003
Even by India-Pakistan standards, this was the most eagerly awaited match in years. And when Saeed Anwar's century took Pakistan to a competitive total, it seemed as though India's charmed World Cup run against Pakistan might finally be over. Tendulkar, though, had other ideas. Long after the game, he would say that he hadn't slept for nearly a fortnight preceding it and Shoaib Akhtar's opening over saw Tendulkar make the most emphatic of statements: 18 runs came off it, including a six cut over third man and a gorgeous straight push down the ground. Reprieved on 32, he went on to 98 from just 75 balls before Shoaib returned to deny him a century. By then the asking rate was down to four, and Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh saw India home with time to spare.

Andy Bichel, 7 for 20 and 34* v England
World Cup, Port Elizabeth, 2003
When Ricky Ponting brought him on to bowl, England had 66 on the board from just nine overs. In less than an hour on a sluggish pitch that assisted seamers, Bichel had precipitated an English slide to 87 for 5. He returned later to mop up the tail and finish with 7 for 20. But Australia's batsmen found the going just as tough, and when Bichel came out at No. 10, victory was still 70 runs away. But with Michael Bevan playing the sort of innings he was famed for, they crept ever closer. James Anderson was given the penultimate over, with 14 still needed, and Bichel responded with a six and a four that sealed it with two balls to spare. His contribution was 34 from just 36 balls. Few Man-of-the-Match awards have been as easy to adjudicate. Nine days later, he and Bevan performed an encore against New Zealand.

Ricky Ponting, 140* v India
World Cup final, Johannesburg, 2003
The early damage had been done by the openers, with 105 on the board in 14 overs by the time Ponting arrived at the crease, and initially, he was content to let Damien Martyn seize the initiative, taking 74 balls for his half-century. Thereafter, India's bowling was pillaged. Harbhajan Singh's figures were ruined by two mighty heaves over midwicket, and Ashish Nehra then watched bemused as a one-handed cleave also cleared the rope. There were eight sixes in all as Australia piled on 109 in the final 10 overs. After taking just 29 balls for his second 50, Ponting then creamed 40 off the last 18 balls that he faced. India were down and very much out.

Graeme Smith, 259 v England
second Test, Lord's, 2003

The series had started with Smith being called Wotzisname by his counterpart. After his 277 in the draw at Edgbaston, no one was in any danger of forgetting who he was, but Smith reminded them anyway with another innings of stolid accumulation and power. Dropped by Nasser Hussain on 8, Smith shared century stands with Herschelle Gibbs and Boeta Dippenaar, and 257 for the second wicket with Gary Kirsten. In his 574 minutes at the crease, Smith passed 600 runs for the series and also Sir Donald Bradman's 254, the highest score ever made by a visiting batsman at Lord's. Whether it was biffing the ball through midwicket or bludgeoning it through the covers, it seemed as though he would go on and on. England lost by an innings.

Inzamam-ul-Haq, 138* v Bangladesh
third Test, Multan, 2003
Inzamam had gone into the series under a cloud, after a dismal showing at the World Cup. When Pakistan conceded a lead of 106 on a lightly grassed pitch that had something for the seamers, Test cricket's new boys had the whiff of success in their nostrils. But Inzamam, stolid and implacable, added 41 with Shabbir Ahmed and then 52 with Umar Gul as the fielders started to lose their nerve and make mistakes. Four runs when still needed when Gul departed, but after Yasir Ali, the 17-year-old debutant had survived four balls, Inzamam clipped one through the leg side to trigger a small pitch invasion from delirious home supporters. He had batted over five hours for his 138, on a wicket where only one other batsman went past 50.

Rahul Dravid, 233 and 72* v Australia
second Test, Adelaide, 2003
Less than three years after the Eden Gardens, the Indian batting's Simon and Garfunkel were at it again, adding 303 after they had slumped to 85 for 4. Dravid batted nearly 10 hours in the first innings to get India within range after Australia had stormed to 400 for 5 on the opening day. But he wasn't finished. Faced with a tricky fourth-innings chase on a pitch known to deteriorate suddenly, he had his moment of fortune when an edge off Brad Williams was grassed behind the stumps. He finished with an unbeaten 72 as India clinched their first win on Australian soil in nearly 23 years. By then he had spent 835 minutes at the crease over four days, for 305 runs. The ANZAC diggers would have approved.

Steve Harmison, 7 for 12 v West Indies
first Test, Sabina Park, 2004
At stumps on the third day, few could have predicted what would happen next. West Indies were 20 behind, but with all 10 second-innings wickets standing. The fun started in the fifth over the next morning. Chris Gayle slashed one hard into the slip cordon, and Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul failed to bother the scorers. With Matthew Hoggard nailing Brian Lara from the other end, West Indies slid to a humiliating 47 all out. Harmison's spell wasn't even his quickest of the tour, but he pitched the ball up and the pitch and the batsmen did the rest. The 75 balls he bowled cost him just 12 runs. After the seven wickets, the ghosts of Trinidad and 46 all out, courtesy Curtly Ambrose, were at least partially laid to rest.

Harmison celebrates England's first wicket
Steve Harmison: briefly the new Ambrose © Getty Images
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Matthew Hoggard, 5 for 144 and 7 for 61 v South Africa
fourth Test, Wanderers, 2005

Hoggard had toiled with his usual diligence for five first-innings wickets, but South Africa still finished eight runs ahead. After a monumental 180 from Marcus Trescothick, the hosts needed 325 for victory. More realistically, they needed to bat out two sessions for the draw. Soon, it was 18 for 3, with Jacques Kallis edging the first ball he faced to slip. With plenty of cloud cover, he was soon shaping the ball both ways and benefiting from the uneven bounce on a fifth-day pitch. Gibbs flailed away for 98 and Graeme Smith ignored medical advice to come out and compile a bloody-minded 67, but when Dale Steyn edged Hoggard behind just before the clock struck six, England had their first win at the Wanderers in nearly half a century. Another few minutes, and bad light would have stopped play. Hoggard's contribution? A mere 7 for 61.

Shahid Afridi, 102 v India
fifth ODI, Kanpur, 2005
The target was 250 and after two quiet overs Afridi got to work, clipping L Balaji off the pads for a six and a four. Six more down to long-off, followed by the unkindest of cuts for four. Enter Anil Kumble. Full toss slugged for six, and then a fetch from outside off stump that cleared the rope at midwicket. Kumble goes round the wicket. Over mid-off for four. Twinkle toes and a heave for six. A half-century from 20 balls, and a final tally of 102 from 46. In the 15th over, Pakistan's score was 131. They won with nearly eight overs to spare.

Click here for part two

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 79 
Posted by jolnz on (January 14, 2010, 23:30 GMT)

I agree with Gerry, although do not considerthe omission of Astle's innings as a glaring error. Rather, it is a a profund absurdity to leave it off the list by any measure. I have the DVD of that innings, and watch it from time to time to reaquaint myself with sheer joy. That innings should be on any list in the last 100 years. I know New Zealand lost the game, which perhaps has jaundiced the editor's perception of it, but still how does one ignore the fastest double 100 ( in 153 balls, with the second hundred coming in 39 balls!!!!), on a list of great performances. Editor, please explain yourself! Was it because NZ were playing England? Come on, how does Inzy get on the list with 138* against Bangladesh. This list lacks all credibility.

Posted by Gerrystackle on (January 13, 2010, 3:03 GMT)

Great list that makes interesting reading and brings back some fond memories; but of course there will be people dissapointed that one or more of their favourite moments/players are not mentioned. I'm sure there are plenty more that could be added.....but I have to say that Astles 222 vs Eng at Lancaster Park/Jade Stadium (whatever they call it these days) is a glaring omission. Those who witnessed it still rant about it...and so they should. It was quite simply incredible. I know people will talk about the ground being small, but Astle's shots would have cleared any boundary in the world. My late father watched alot of cricket, including Bradman, he saw this innings and said it was the most astounding thing he had witnessed on a cricket field. He died a happy man later that year.

Posted by -c.r-i.c-i.n-f.o- on (January 12, 2010, 23:22 GMT)

Left out that headache giving knock of Gilchrist vs India in that 1st in mumbai in 2001. Aus lost their command on the game being on 99-5 when he came in and murdered the bowlers. Might not have been that great a series if India had won 3-0....? Another knock by marlon samuels in the decider ODI against India in India. The series was 2-2 and the rest is a story to tell...i dont remember which year though. Murali's 13 back in 2000 i think...many performances.....McGrath's 12 for 26 something, dont remember when.

Posted by binkaf on (January 12, 2010, 11:05 GMT)

Nice to read two episodes on this topic and evn better to recollect som memorable moments of decade but still I think lots of things missin so I reckon it wud b better if u continue it up to 3 or 4 part at most so as not to miss ne performance tht deserves a place out here. U can add a lot or som of thoze magic moments lookin at the comments from we ppl as well. Best of Luck!

Posted by ITJOBSUCKS on (January 12, 2010, 9:22 GMT)

Thanks to Dileep for bringing the performances of the decade. I don't think u've missed even a single major performance. I think you've included all the important performances from the decade. Guys please remember by making runs on flat pitches in an unimportant match can't be included like jayasuriya's 189 vs Ind, Sachin's 138 vs SL(Final), Sachin's 118NO & 91 v/s Aus(final) in Australia, Sachin's 186NO vs NZ, Sehwag's tripple century on flattest wickets, most of pakistan's & srilankan's performance on their flat home pitches like Yousuf making tons of runs in pakistan but always fails whenever plays outside sub-continent(AUS-30,SA-29). Guys please remember T20 performances can't be taken seriously as it is hit & miss game(Yuvi's 6*6).

Posted by __PK on (January 12, 2010, 8:29 GMT)

CrazySilva is missing the point. Australia have been, by a long, long way, the dominant team of the decade, so you would expect them to have a lot of great individual performances from them. Also, great performances against them tend to provoke an emotional reaction, because there's that whole underdog thing to recommend them. And swamistyle, I'm hoping you're not Australian because, you're dead wrong - Australians love likening their sports heroes to ANZACs, and at least like to believe they're open-minded enough to extend the courtesy to brave opponents. And don't insult the New Zealanders by excluding them - what do you think the NZ in ANZAC stands for?

Posted by samy6908 on (January 12, 2010, 8:19 GMT)

yes all of these are great.. but no mention of stephen flemings 274 not out.. could of easily broken nz highest test record but was a team man and declared.. Shane Bonds hatrick against the ozzys was great.. he got white then symonds then bowled bracken.. i do think the west indians were hard done by

Posted by sabbir_ahmed_sajib on (January 12, 2010, 5:38 GMT)

For me , the best performance of the decade goes to Kumar Sangakkara 192 against Australia in hobert'2007.

Posted by Vinit_Sharma_Singh on (January 12, 2010, 5:08 GMT)

Good to see that cricinfo has managed to pick the real genuine achievements and not pandered to the sub-continent fascination of churning out cheap easy runs on flat as a pancake batting paradises against weak bowling attacks on tiny grounds- for example Sehwag's 300 at Multan was made against probably the worst bowling attack Pakistan has ever fielded, and he was dropped about 20 times on his way to that score, Yuvraj's six 6's in an over was made on a tiny cricket ground where at least 4 of the 6's wouldn't have made it anywhere near the boundary on a proper sized ground such as the MCG etc. VVS Laxman's 281 is indeed a genuine achievement, and in fact it is the greatest innings of the decade, if not of all time.

Posted by explorer18 on (January 12, 2010, 5:03 GMT)

Don't forget Saurav Ganguly's 144 in the first test at Brisbane in 2003-4 tour that not only gave India a lead in first test, but also set the tone for the tour, in which they won the 2nd test featured above.

Posted by Geethike on (January 12, 2010, 4:58 GMT)

What ever happened to Lasith Malinga's four in four ?

Posted by CrazySilva on (January 12, 2010, 2:13 GMT)

Only i see, India,Australia,Pakistan played for this decade...lol..Except Ausiess, any of them been in final??? None about sl.........how many times sl been in finals semis??...spirit of CRICKET...not in best performances.....huh

Posted by sssubedi on (January 12, 2010, 0:11 GMT)

Many guys have pretty good knowledge of cricket and and suggesting their hero's match are missing. But nobody noticed there is still more to be listed this is just part I so be patience guys your match, hopefully, will be listed in the part II. Good Luck

Posted by fadooo on (January 11, 2010, 23:06 GMT)

Afridi's 37 ball century on his first ever outing at the crease ? Surely with pakistan needing to beat sri lanka by a very sizable margin to reach the final, the innings had context. And could there ever be a more sensational entry into international cricket ?

Posted by kreem on (January 11, 2010, 22:55 GMT)

im really sick and tired of ppl not recognising the works of west inidans. CHAMPS LEAGUE FINALS PPL! not to mention the record wining runs in test cricket. 417!!!!!!!! does that ring a bell. omari banks and vasbert drakes! plus bradshaw and browne!

Posted by MathewBloggard on (January 11, 2010, 22:03 GMT)

If Gilchrist's double hundred was included then what about Nathan Astle's 222 against England in 02. Just weeks after Gilchrist's double which broke records for fast double hundred from 208 balls, Astle came out and bludgeoned a double from something like a 160 odd balls. It was ridiculous.

Posted by swamistyle on (January 11, 2010, 21:53 GMT)

Not a bad list & I am assuming you will be adding more from the later years of the decade soon? 3 things though. 1) Scoring a century agst Bangladesh hardly counts as a "performance of the decade", so scratch Inzamam's innings from the list 2) What's with all the pretentious language? "horrifying indignities", "India's Simon & Garfunkel", etc. Who are you trying to impress? 3) Do NOT ever compare the ANZACs to a cricketing performance. That is an insult. You don't know what u are talking about here so it would be best if you retract this comment. A lot of Australians will not like this & wont be backward in telling you so.

Posted by Tlotoxl on (January 11, 2010, 19:25 GMT)

What about Mark Butcher's 173no against Australia? also not one WI contibution? no Lara Heriocs? no last hurrah for Walsh or Ambrose? only 1 NZ performance of note in 5 years? only 1 SA? none whatsoever by SL? this seems to be a list obsessed with India, Pakistan and Aus - either for or against them - to the detriment of many of the other nations.

Posted by hassan10591 on (January 11, 2010, 17:34 GMT)

Although England lost the ashes in 2002-03 but Michael Vaughan played some exceptional innings down under. I would also want the 7-36 by Waqar Younis against England in 2001.

Posted by Iftekharul_Hasan_Siam on (January 11, 2010, 17:11 GMT)

why ashraful's century in cardiff against australia is not included when century of Chris Cairns is in the list ???

Posted by TestCric on (January 11, 2010, 16:59 GMT)

VVS - Dravid partnership will forever be the best performance of the game for any era. Nothing in cricket world can beat that exhibition of courage. No words in dictionary can describe that performance.

Posted by reddevils2 on (January 11, 2010, 16:54 GMT)

how can dravids knock at headingly on a seaming track be forgotten???also freddies performances in home test series against sa deserves to be included

Posted by AusFan619 on (January 11, 2010, 16:34 GMT)

no sri lankans playing cricket in this decade ??? may b there not that good ! if you take a list of test records (any category) definitely they will Top most of them !!

Posted by binny83 on (January 11, 2010, 16:31 GMT)

i hope sanga & mahela's world record innings against SA is included....an unbelievable partnership!

Posted by khatharnak on (January 11, 2010, 15:28 GMT)

Pretty good list. I would certainly include Ganguly's 144 at Gabba and one of Shewag's 300+ or 200+ scores as he invariably scored then as he was batting on a different strip than the others. Certainly the one in Multan against Pakistan comes to mind. At least one of his innings should figure as he has been the "sensation of the decade". I would say, Anul kumble and Murali have at least one performance that would make it to this list. Its a glaring miss.

Posted by beingsharih on (January 11, 2010, 14:05 GMT)

MS Dhoni bailing out Team India with 148 vs Pak at Faisalabad avoiding followon and 76* vs Eng at Lords avoiding defeat.

Posted by zak123kaif on (January 11, 2010, 14:04 GMT)

Why there is no Bond's 6-23 against the mighty Aussies in the WC 2003 when Symonds 143 vs pakistan can be included?

Posted by tommyrey on (January 11, 2010, 14:00 GMT)

PLEASE PEOPLE READ THAT IT IS THE FIRST PART OF THE DECADES GREAT PERFORMANCES! SO STOP MOANING ABOUT ONES THAT HAPPENED IN 2006 ONWARDS NOT BEING INCLUDED!

Posted by pragmatist on (January 11, 2010, 13:53 GMT)

Laxman and Dravid , obviously, but also so many more special match-winning performances - I was at the Oval for the last Test of the 2009 Ashes and Broad's spell was awesome. KP in 2005, obviously, and for a spell of the decade, I'd say Flintoff to Ponting during the 2005 Ashes. Sensational Test cricket - the only form of the game that matters.

Posted by LukeTheDuke on (January 11, 2010, 13:52 GMT)

I am a great admirer of Lara, but it really gets on my last nerve when keep bringing his 153 against Australia all the time.. For crying out loud that was in 1998/99 and this is the review for this decade... so I would really appreciate if ppl can check their farcts... and if ppl have so many problem then they can write their own article...

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (January 11, 2010, 13:49 GMT)

I think a very fair compilation of the best performances in the decade.I would however make case for tendulkar's 175 against australia in hyderabad.

Which in my opinion is the best one-day knock ever and probably the second best knock in the last decade after Rahul Dravid's 232&72 at adelaide.

Posted by beekay05 on (January 11, 2010, 13:48 GMT)

ok guys, this is just the first part of the article...hope to see other good performances as well!! nothing beats VVS-Dravid partnership whatsoever.

Posted by hassan10591 on (January 11, 2010, 13:27 GMT)

Where is Nathan Astle's double century against England?

Posted by usual_suspect on (January 11, 2010, 13:20 GMT)

To all the folks here including Dileep and @tommyrey ,I stand corrected.Brian Lara's epic 153* was in 1999 and not 2000. Apologies. I do not want to say which other Brian Lara's innings should have been there cuz the list dint really say wat the criterion to selction of the above innings was.Well, 153* would walk over in any criteria..as to taking the dig at cricino vis-a-vis the rest of the articles on decade review and exclusion of brian, i do not take my words back... ch3rs guys

Posted by beekay05 on (January 11, 2010, 13:08 GMT)

guys guys guys, hold on...this is just the first part of the article. I definitely would like to see Sehwag's and Lara's performances on this list. As most of you said, nothing beats VVS and Dravid's partnership.

Posted by hassan10591 on (January 11, 2010, 12:59 GMT)

Where is Nathan Astle's double century against England?

Posted by rare2823 on (January 11, 2010, 12:32 GMT)

where is the epic ODI between SA and Aus.... gibbs 175 and the whole team contributed, it was down to the last ball if i remember right.... also there should have talest been a mention abt the infamous india aus series (sydney test)... though it was upthere for all wriong reasons... by far the best india aus series...

Posted by veeranna_moli on (January 11, 2010, 12:14 GMT)

Where does Nathan Astle's 222 off 153 balls against England (Fastest Double Ton) at Christchurch in 2001-02 fit in? For me it was one of the top three best knocks of the decade.

Posted by bhardwaj_deep on (January 11, 2010, 11:53 GMT)

I am really unable to understand how could Mr. Dileep Premachandran miss the Herschelle Gibbs' knock of 175 runs which helped South Africa chase a mammoth target of 435 runs. I think that must have been included.

Posted by Nipun on (January 11, 2010, 11:42 GMT)

How come Mohammad Ashraful's 100 & 87 not make the list ?

Posted by tommyrey on (January 11, 2010, 11:39 GMT)

usual_suspect your the one that needs to do your research! its a decade review and laras 153 came in the 1998/99 series. Dont have a go at cricinfo writers when you don't check your facts! furthermore can people please realiseits only the first 5 years...the next 5 years will come later so don't go moaning about performances in 06 onwards

Posted by Snakehead007 on (January 11, 2010, 11:39 GMT)

woohw ....102 of just 46 balls.....afridi most destructive batsmen.....

Posted by Prem_Chin on (January 11, 2010, 11:34 GMT)

This is travesty of sorts.. 1) Where's Viru's, this decade's Mr.Viv Richards, brutality? (Multan '04, Lahore '06, Chennai '08, Galle '08, Mumbai '09 etc.) 2) Where from Afridi came in for a just bilateral series that too ODI. If that is the case, then where's Yuvi's six pack? or for that matter Gibbs's marathon chase at Wanderers '06. 3) If Harmison's feat is to be honoured against mediocre WI.. then where's Ishant's ,one of the best spells ever in test ticket in Sub-continent, performance at Mohali '08?

Posted by prasad.dalal on (January 11, 2010, 11:27 GMT)

I agree to what most people have said above.. though if I had to pick any one match from the above.. then it has to be the Eden Garden Test Match of 2001. Epic knocks from VVS and Dravid.. I mean those knocks not only derailed Australia's record journey of 16 straight wins but also dented their confidence.. and since then whenever these 2 teams have fought.. there have been good contests.

Posted by public_education on (January 11, 2010, 11:08 GMT)

its only done up to 2005, so im guessing all those great performances u guys r talking about will come in the next edition

Posted by knpradeep77 on (January 11, 2010, 11:07 GMT)

Nothin beats the partnership between Laxman and Dravid, while following on, leading to victory against an opponent who had won 16 games in a row

Posted by ballonbat on (January 11, 2010, 10:53 GMT)

I presume you will include Graeme Smith's 277 and 85 against England at Edgbaston in 2003. Only 22 and freshly appointed captain, he played brilliantly and most people reckon his performance and SA's win led to Nasser Hussain retiring as England's captain. Also an important innings since it is the highest SA Test score. You cannot leave out Sehwag's innings, Gayle's mammoth 317 against SA and Jayawardene's epic 374 in his 600-run+ partnership with Sangakkara against SA in 2006.

Posted by Mailman on (January 11, 2010, 10:26 GMT)

It would have been better to include a batting and bowling "epic" from each test playing nation because its a travesty that Astles world record double century is missed from the list...especially considering how dominating the English team was at the time (well, over NZ anyway).

Those kinds of innings, running completely against the run of play are the innings that people remember...look at Laxmans innings, memorable BECAUSE of the position India was in.

Regards

Mailman

Posted by usual_suspect on (January 11, 2010, 10:11 GMT)

Sorry Dileep you seem to be continuing the trend on exclusion of Brian lara frm all cricinfo's decade review lists..am wondering if you heard of 153* in Bridgetown Barbados..am sure many of the guys who post comments and read ths articles know what i am talking abt..cricinfo continues to disappoint i am afraid...i still love the way you guys report-andrew miller mcglashan,peter english,osman samiuddin..amazing guys not to mention peter roebuck(i guess i can read peter roebuck on some auusie websites)..and thts waht keeping me frm movin awahy frm the site i visit the most...come on guys do substantial research before ending up with the so called deacade reviews...

Posted by linkin34 on (January 11, 2010, 10:08 GMT)

NOTE to all the ppl: its PART I of the series...so please do the judgement after that arrives!!

Posted by Anuraag.Verma on (January 11, 2010, 9:31 GMT)

How could we miss AUS vs SA, Wanderers 2006, successful chase of 434 with 1 ball to spare and 1 wicket in hand.

Posted by Belltower on (January 11, 2010, 8:24 GMT)

What about the astonishing innings Gilly played in the world cup final in 2007. He has scored at least 50 in three consecutive finals, with an overall strike rate of 138.29, what a player

Posted by spiritwithin on (January 11, 2010, 8:12 GMT)

i think Gibbs 170 odd runs against australia is unknowingly missing from this list(it must b da greatest odi knocks in this decade),may b it will feature in da next list,lara's 400 does'nt deserve to b in da list as it was a very selfish innings which did'nt gave sniff of a chance for WI bowlers to win da match...but afridi's 102 in da list is surprising even though jayasurya's 189 runs against india was ignored(may b included in da later list)

Posted by svsingh on (January 11, 2010, 7:54 GMT)

what about brian lara's 400*, what about his magnificent series in sri lanka scoring 600 odd runs in 3 tests, him breaking the record for most runs in an over as south africa, his countless doubles in this decade at least one deserved mentioning , the 226 in australia where he claimed the world record for most runs. why biased against brian all these achievements and yet still cant make the decade 11, shameful. and yes west indies breaking the world record against the aussies in antigua 2003

Posted by boothowl on (January 11, 2010, 7:46 GMT)

What about andy flower's 199 and 142 in a lone hand against south africa???

Posted by Adamsdodo on (January 11, 2010, 7:41 GMT)

what abt sehwag's 293 vs sri lanka in mumbai and 309 vs pakistan in multan? Also how cud one forget sehwag's 68 ball 83 which won the game for india agnst england in chennai.

Posted by Akshat14 on (January 11, 2010, 7:39 GMT)

How on earth could you leave Sehwag's triple at Multan, Dravid's 270 at Rawalpindi, Kumble 7 wicket haul against Oz at Chennai, Mcgrath's sizzling effort in his final ashes series, Warne's effort in 2005 ashes, Astle's fastest double ton vs England at Christchurch, Sachin's unbeaten 155 at Sydney? And I'm talking about tests only. There are so many performances worth mentioning in the list which is quite incomplete.

Posted by MrKricket on (January 11, 2010, 7:25 GMT)

Steve Waugh's last ball of the day century at the SCG vs England makes most lists. Funnily enough Gilchrist's innings the next day was better and how could anyone forget Gilly's 57 ball century against England? Jason Gillespie's 200 n.o. as nightwatchman?

Posted by CricFan78 on (January 11, 2010, 7:16 GMT)

How can someone miss Sehwag's 201* at Galle

Posted by dolphin on (January 11, 2010, 7:14 GMT)

Duminy's knock in Australia, Sehwag's knock in mumbai, Gibbs 175 in the epic chase, Sehwags 201 in sri lanka, Lara's 400, hayden 380.

Posted by yash_999 on (January 11, 2010, 7:09 GMT)

laras 400,gibbs 170,yousaf's record breaking year,sehwag's tripple tons,yuvi 6 sixes,duminy's performance against aussies,afridi and gul's 20-20 performances,coventry's 194*,haydens 380,englands match saving's,kamran/razzaq match saving innings against aussies,mendis/irfan pathan/aamir/akmal/bell/barath debut's and many oders...this decade had a lot to b written...anywayz gud list

Posted by saMsonWinZ on (January 11, 2010, 6:40 GMT)

how bout MS Dhoni's insane 183 against sri lanka ? or Gibbs against Aus in that 430+ run chase ? or one of sehwags triple hundreds ? im hoping you'll include one of these in the next part.

Posted by skrcks on (January 11, 2010, 6:34 GMT)

More like a mid decade review..only features innings played till 2005, am sure good things happened later.

Also should include Yuvi's innings in Natwest Final. Sachin's inning against England in Chennai.. Yuvaraj's innings against Australia in 20 20 world cup, also his 36 of broad.

Posted by Don_Ayan_de_Marco on (January 11, 2010, 6:24 GMT)

Even I feel apart from Sehwag's triples his 80 odd runs in the Chennai Test against England in Dec 2007 deserved a mention.

Posted by ArchieIndian on (January 11, 2010, 6:16 GMT)

I guess this is the first part of the list and there are atleast a couple more coming up. I hope to see the 50's in both inning by Rahul Dravid against West Indies.(In a test match in which no one else scored a fifty. Brian lara went on to acknowledge that Dravid was the difference between the teams.)

Posted by chuck.of.all.trades on (January 11, 2010, 6:00 GMT)

Excellent list! I hope the following make it to the next list:

1. Herschelle Gibbs' 175 against Australia in the 434-438 match.

2. Rahul Dravid's brilliant 148 at Headingley (as also mentioned in the comment above)

3. Sachin Tendulkar's defiant 175 which brought him back to godliness

4. Craig McMillian's belligerent century against Australia in 2007 that led to a 3-0 whitewash, with two 340+ chases

5. Nathan Astle's double century off 153 balls!

Had a great time reading this, Dileep. Fantastic, as always.

Posted by le_stephenois on (January 11, 2010, 5:57 GMT)

Everyone will complain that performances from their teams should be up on the list more often. Very nice list but with one GAPING hole.... Brian Lara's 400 against England.

Posted by japper on (January 11, 2010, 5:47 GMT)

What about the Nathan Astle innings against England in Christchurch in 2001-02? Still the fastest double hundred in the history of cricket with the second hundred coming of only 39 balls. Haven't seen anybody strike a cricket ball like that before...and its an innings worth mentioning though it was in a losing cause.

Posted by HLANGL on (January 11, 2010, 5:38 GMT)

One definite great innings is missing here. 189 against India in tournament finals in Sharjah by Sanath Jayasuriya in early 2000s. The context in which he made his runs makes the innings even greater. The next highest score was just 50+, out of a team score of 290+. I'm not sure you can miss this even if you consider the greatest ODI knocks ever; let alone in this decade. Also not to forget his 151 against England in 2006/2007, when SL was up against a score of 320+ set by England who batted first.

Posted by PurpleGod on (January 11, 2010, 5:26 GMT)

My personnel best was Laxman and Dravid in that epic partnership at Eden gardens and Harmissons' 7 for 12. In the decade which clearly belonged to the Aussies the Indian duo played sum wonderful innings against them. And nuthing beats Harmisson's 7 for 12........even though its against West Indies......it was an amazing performance

Posted by owaisvirani on (January 11, 2010, 5:22 GMT)

I think Brian Lara's 400 should be included in this list. The match was a dead rubber but the innings itself was some thing to remember.

Posted by Protea_dreamer on (January 11, 2010, 5:21 GMT)

How on earth can you leave out Gibbs's 170 odd against Australia at the wanderers. That is considered far and away the greatest odi innings of all time, ask Ricky Ponting, or read his biography!!!!

Posted by andy44 on (January 11, 2010, 5:17 GMT)

Great list.. perhaps could have included Adam Gilchrist's 122 off 112 at Mumbai in 2001, coming in with Australia 5 down and still 77 behind, on the back of Steve Waugh boldly inserting India at the toss.

Posted by qmr91 on (January 11, 2010, 5:15 GMT)

The list is pretty much complete, however, centuries from either Chanderpaul or Sarwan (or both) in the process of the West Indies' record breaking run chase in Antigua,2003, deserve a mention due to the drama throughout the test aswell as the fact that it took this extraordinary achievement to take place to prevent an Aussie white wash.

Posted by CheerforUnderdogs on (January 11, 2010, 4:44 GMT)

Its very difficult to shorlist performances of the year, but I hope Ricky Ponting,s 156 in the Ashes 2005 appears in the 2nd part of this series.

Posted by TIM_NBD on (January 11, 2010, 4:43 GMT)

Possibly Astle's amazing double century instead of Gilchrist's effort. Although it didn't affect the result of the match...

Posted by KashR on (January 11, 2010, 4:12 GMT)

If the list is made year by year then where is Sehwag's epic 309 against pakistan in 2004?And personally i think Ganguly's 144 in 2003 brisbane test also deserve a place here.

Posted by manohard on (January 11, 2010, 4:01 GMT)

I would add Mohd Kaif and Yuvraj Singh's effort from Natwest series final against England.

Posted by SRT_Jammy_Dada_VVS_and_Anil_legends on (January 11, 2010, 3:57 GMT)

Decent list, possibly could have also included Rahul Dravid's 148 at Headingley in 2002 and Sourav Ganguly's 144 at the 'Gabba in 2003 as examples of innings played under tough conditions and under pressure.

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Dileep Premachandran Associate editor Dileep Premachandran gave up the joys of studying thermodynamics and strength of materials with a view to following in the footsteps of his literary heroes. Instead, he wound up at the Free Press Journal in Mumbai, writing on sport and politics before Gentleman gave him a column called Replay. A move to MyIndia.com followed, where he teamed up with Sambit Bal, and he arrived at ESPNCricinfo after having also worked for Cricket Talk and total-cricket.com. Sunil Gavaskar and Greg Chappell were his early cricketing heroes, though attempts to emulate their silken touch had hideous results. He considers himself obscenely fortunate to have watched live the two greatest comebacks in sporting history - India against invincible Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001, and Liverpool's inc-RED-ible resurrection in the 2005 Champions' League final. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, who remains astonishingly tolerant of his sporting obsessions.
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