Dravid's virtuoso act and other one-man shows
Rahul Dravid may have modestly attributed India's first Test series victory in the West Indies since 1970-71 to a team-effort, but you only have to peek at the scorecard to know that he was its chief architect. On a pitch where all the other Indian batsmen floundered twice, Dravid conjured up a brace of defiant half-centuries - two of his best innings, he called them - and set up an Indian victory. In the first innings, he scored 81, Kumble was second highest with 45 and no other batsman passed 20. The second essay was worse, not even Kumble reached 20 but Dravid strode magnificently to 68. This week, we look at matches where a batsman outperformed his team-mates, and the opposition too, by a country mile.
Charles Bannerman scored Test cricket's first century in the first Test held at the MCG in March 1877, a game in which everyone else struggled. Bannerman scored 165 in the first innings and had to stop there only because he was forced to retire after getting hit on the index finger of his right hand by George Ulyett. Australia reached 245 and Tom Garrett's 18 was the second-highest score of the innings.
Long before the victory at Adelaide in 2003, India had a good shot at taking the lead in a Test series in Australia but they were thwarted by an innings of magnificent doggedness from Allan Border. Trailing by 183, Australia had slipped to 161 for 6 with more than a day's play remaining. Border single-handedly took Australia into the fifth day, and with bad weather forecast, he frustrated India for 115 minutes with last man Dave Gilbert. India - Sunil Gavaskar, who made 8 off 54 balls, in particluar - showed no urgency in chasing 125 and rain washed out the final session with the score on 59 for 2.
|C Bannerman (Aust)||165*||18||9.17||245||v Eng||Melbourne||1876/77||Test 1|
|GA Gooch (Eng)||91*||11||8.27||138/3||v NZ||The Oval||1978||Test 828|
|AR Border (Aust)||163||20||8.15||308||v India||Melbourne||1985/86||Test 1033|
|DJ Cullinan (SAf)||103||13||7.92||200||v SL||Centurion||1997/98||Test 1414|
|N Kapil Dev (India)||129||17||7.59||215||v SAf||Port Elizabeth||1992/93||Test 1206|
|GN Yallop (Aust)||121||16||7.56||198||v Eng||Sydney||1978/79||Test 846|
|GP Thorpe (Eng)||119*||17||7.00||226||v WI||Bridgetown||2003/04||Test 1694|
|DL Amiss (Eng)||262*||38||6.89||432/9||v WI||Kingston||1973/74||Test 732|
|BE Congdon (NZ)||61*||9||6.78||88/4||v India||Christchurch||1967/68||Test 631|
|SR Tendulkar (India)||122||18||6.78||219||v Eng||Birmingham||1996||Test 1327|
Kapil Dev's last Test century was a face-saving innings against South Africa in December 1992. India had conceded a deficit of only 63 but were still in danger of losing by an innings. At 31 for 6, India were on the verge of a hammering but Kapil, despite an injured right hand, scored 129 out of the team's 215 and averted abject humiliation. Kapil had pulled off rescue acts before, famously against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells during the 1983 World Cup. On that occasion, the top five batsmen had collectively added 15 before Kapil blew everyone away with 175 off 138 balls.
Another fantastic one-day hundred when everyone else failed is Alec Stewart's effort against West Indies at Nottingham in 2000 but it ended in defeat. Chris Gayle's 37 was the highest score in West Indies' 195 and in England's innings no one got even close to that. No-one but Stewart, that is. They began the last over needing five to get with three wickets in hand. Stewart, batting on 100, ran out Paul Franks and watched, stranded at the other end, as the last two batsmen fell meekly to Gayle.
|N Kapil Dev (India)||175*||24||7.29||266/8||v Zimb||Tunbridge Wells||1983||ODI 216|
|IVA Richards (WI)||189*||26||7.27||272/9||v Eng||Manchester||1984||ODI 264|
|Saeed Anwar (Pak)||101||17||5.94||196/8||v NZ||Lahore||1990/91||ODI 636|
|JM Davison (Can)||111||19||5.84||202||v WI||Centurion||2002/03||ODI 1963|
|RP Arnold (SL)||103||19||5.42||213||v Zimb||Bulawayo||1999/00||ODI 1528|
|DR Martyn (Aust)||116*||22||5.27||191||v NZ||Auckland||1999/00||ODI 1571|
|L Klusener (SAf)||103*||20||5.15||212/7||v NZ||Auckland||1998/99||ODI 1409|
|WU Tharanga (SL)||120||24||5.00||257/9||v Eng||Lord's||2006||ODI 2384|
|Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak)||85*||17||5.00||131/3||v NZ||Sharjah||2000/01||ODI 1709|
|GR Viswanath (India)||75||15||5.00||190||v WI||Birmingham||1979||ODI 61|
Andrew Jones' resistance against Waqar Younis' pace at Sharjah in 1990 resulted in a fascinating scorecard. The other ten New Zealand batsmen made 5,1,4,0,4,4,0,1,0,0, while Jones was the last man out on 47. These tables have a cut-off of 50 runs otherwise Jones would have been top by some distance.
The Cape Town Test between South Africa and England in 1896 is one of only nine instances in Test cricket where a batsman has scored a century without there being another fifty in the match. England batsman Arthur Hill's 124 in that match outscored South Africa, who made 115 and 117, and he also outscored his team mates who collected only 123 between them in an innings win. Hill capped the performance by taking the last four wickets to give himself the remarkable figures of 8-4-8-4.
|W Rhodes (Eng)||92||19||4.84||drawn||v Aust||Manchester||1912||Test 126|
|WR Hammond (Eng)||336*||83||4.05||drawn||v NZ||Auckland||1932/33||Test 226|
|AJL Hill (Eng)||124||31||4.00||won||v SAf||Cape Town||1895/96||Test 49|
|HW Taylor (SAf)||176||50||3.52||won||v Eng||Johannesburg||1922/23||Test 148|
|R Dravid (India)||270||77||3.51||won||v Pak||Rawalpindi||2003/04||Test 1697|
|ML Hayden (Aust)||380||113||3.36||won||v Zimb||Perth||2003/04||Test 1661|
|SR Tendulkar (India)||248*||75||3.31||won||v Bang||Dhaka||2004/05||Test 1725|
|SM Gavaskar (India)||236*||72||3.28||drawn||v WI||Chennai||1983/84||Test 972|
|J Hardstaff jnr (Eng)||205*||63||3.25||won||v India||Lord's||1946||Test 276|
|GT Dowling (NZ)||239||74||3.23||won||v India||Christchurch||1967/68||Test 631|
Another cracking solo performance is Dilip Vengsarkar's matchwinning 102 not out against England at Leeds in 1986. The match doesn't appear in our tables because Vengsarkar's 61 in the first innings was the second-highest score of the game. Kiran More was third with 36.
If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.
George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo