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George Binoy and Travis Basevi dig into our stats database

From zero to 5000 runs in 1703 days

During his 45 in the ongoing Mirpur Test, Kevin Pietersen became the first batsman to reach 5000 Test runs in less than five years

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

March 24, 2010

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Kevin Pietersen showed a long-awaited return to form, Bangladesh v England, 1st Test, Chittagong, March 12, 2010
Kevin Pietersen: The fastest to 5000 © PA Photos
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It took Don Bradman nine years and 234 days to get there. Garry Sobers needed more than 12, Gavaskar a little over eight and a half, Jack Hobbs 21. Even modern legends like Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar spent over eight and nine years on the international circuit before reaching the 5000-run landmark in Tests. Not Kevin Pietersen, who, on Sunday, got to 5000 in the shortest span of time - four years 242 days.

A combination of England's Test-filled schedule and consistent form - 60 Tests, average of 48.54 - led to Pietersen, who made his debut in July 2005, becoming the first to score 5000 inside five years. Pietersen was on 4955 at the start of the ongoing Mirpur Test and scored exactly 45 runs before his dismissal. He beat former team-mate Marcus Trescothick's mark of five years and eight days, while Andrew Strauss is now third quickest, having reached 5000 in July last year, five years and 57 days since his debut.

Pietersen's been quick to 5000 in terms of innings too. He needed 107 to get there and, although he's only 19th fastest overall, he's tied with Kumar Sangakkara and behind only Virender Sehwag in the table below. Only nine batsmen have got to 5000 Test runs quicker than Sehwag has and, of them, only Matthew Hayden began his career after 1990. Hayden took only 55 Tests and 95 innings to score 5000 but, because of his absences from the Australian team until his comeback in 2000, those appearances were spread over ten years.

Quickest time to 5000 career runs - Tests
Player Debut Date Time Mat Inns Runs HS Ave 100 50
KP Pietersen (Eng) Jul 21, 2005 Mar 20, 2010 4y 242d 60 107 5000 226 48.54 16 17
ME Trescothick (Eng) Aug 3, 2000 Aug 11, 2005 5y 8d 64 121 5038 219 45.38 12 26
AJ Strauss (Eng) May 20, 2004 Jul 16, 2009 5y 57d 64 118 5032 177 44.53 18 14
GC Smith (ICC/SA) Mar 8, 2002 Feb 29, 2008 5y 358d 63 111 5146 277 48.54 14 20
R Dravid (India) Jun 20, 1996 Aug 22, 2002 6y 63d 63 108 5118 200* 52.76 12 27
MA Taylor (Aus) Jan 26, 1989 Apr 29, 1995 6y 93d 66 119 5005 219 45.09 13 30
KC Sangakkara (SL) Jul 20, 2000 Dec 15, 2006 6y 148d 64 107 5064 287 50.64 12 22
AC Gilchrist (Aus) Nov 5, 1999 Apr 9, 2006 6y 155d 84 123 5124 204* 48.80 16 22
AR Border (Aus) Dec 29, 1978 Jun 27, 1985 6y 180d 68 120 5012 196 50.62 13 28
V Sehwag (ICC/India) Nov 3, 2001 Jul 31, 2008 6y 271d 59 100 5102 319 53.14 15 14
ME Waugh (Aus) Jan 25, 1991 Mar 6, 1998 7y 40d 76 124 5023 140 42.21 13 32
DI Gower (Eng) Jun 1, 1978 Aug 1, 1985 7y 61d 74 127 5013 200* 43.21 10 25
MP Vaughan (Eng) Nov 25, 1999 Jul 27, 2007 7y 244d 69 124 5088 197 44.24 17 15
G Kirsten (SA) Dec 26, 1993 Sep 7, 2001 7y 255d 74 131 5057 275 42.14 13 23
MJ Slater (Aus) Jun 3, 1993 Feb 27, 2001 7y 269d 68 120 5005 219 44.29 14 20
MA Atherton (Eng) Aug 10, 1989 Jun 5, 1997 7y 299d 68 124 5045 185* 42.39 11 32
RT Ponting (Aus) Dec 8, 1995 Oct 17, 2003 7y 313d 71 111 5115 206 52.73 18 19
Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) Feb 26, 1998 Jan 29, 2006 7y 337d 65 108 5075 223 50.75 16 25
JH Kallis (SA) Dec 14, 1995 Dec 26, 2003 8y 12d 73 120 5153 189* 50.51 13 26
AJ Stewart (Eng) Feb 24, 1990 Mar 12, 1998 8y 16d 74 132 5052 190 41.07 10 26
DC Boon (Aus) Nov 23, 1984 Jan 2, 1993 8y 40d 69 127 5054 200 44.33 14 22

And how's this for an example of how prolific the most prolific of them all was. Sobers was third quickest, in terms of innings, to 5000 runs. It took him 95 across 56 Tests, while Bradman needed 56 innings. Sobers reached 6000 in his 65th Test (111th innings), Bradman had got there in his 68th innings. Wally Hammond is the fastest to 7000, getting there in his 80th Test (131 innings), but only because Bradman ended his career on 6996 after his 80th innings.

Bradman was not the fastest to 1000 Test runs though. He got there in seven Tests and 13 innings but it had taken him a year and 223 days. Both Herbert Sutcliffe and Everton Weekes scored their 1000th in their 12th innings (nine Tests). Sutcliffe was the first to reach 1000 in less than a year - 244 days - while Weekes took a year and 14 days. Sutcliffe's mark stood for nearly 80 years until Strauss scored his 1000th run after only 227 days on the circuit.

Michael Hussey is the only one to reach 1000 in less than six months from debut. He started in November 2005 and played 11 Tests in the span of 164 days, stacking up 1139 runs at an average of nearly 76.

Quickest time to 1000 career runs - Tests
Player Debut Date Time Mat Inns Runs HS Ave 100 50
MEK Hussey (Aus) Nov 3, 2005 Apr 16, 2006 0y 164d 11 19 1139 182 75.93 4 4
AJ Strauss (Eng) May 20, 2004 Jan 2, 2005 0y 227d 10 20 1055 137 58.61 4 4
H Sutcliffe (Eng) Jun 14, 1924 Feb 13, 1925 0y 244d 9 12 1015 176 92.27 5 4
BW Luckhurst (Eng) Nov 27, 1970 Aug 19, 1971 0y 265d 13 25 1009 131 48.04 4 4
MJ Slater (Aus) Jun 3, 1993 Mar 17, 1994 0y 287d 14 23 1042 168 47.36 2 5
KP Pietersen (Eng) Jul 21, 2005 May 11, 2006 0y 294d 12 23 1048 158 47.63 3 5
AN Cook (Eng) Mar 1, 2006 Dec 26, 2006 0y 300d 13 24 1013 127 46.04 4 3
R Dravid (India) Jun 20, 1996 Apr 17, 1997 0y 301d 14 23 1039 148 51.95 1 8
MA Taylor (Aus) Jan 26, 1989 Dec 8, 1989 0y 316d 10 18 1088 219 64.00 3 5
MJ Clarke (Aus) Oct 6, 2004 Sep 8, 2005 0y 337d 17 26 1004 151 40.16 2 4
AR Border (Aus) Dec 29, 1978 Dec 14, 1979 0y 350d 13 26 1070 162 46.52 3 6
AW Greig (Eng) Jun 8, 1972 Jun 7, 1973 0y 364d 14 24 1072 148 51.04 2 7
AB de Villiers (SA) Dec 17, 2004 Dec 16, 2005 0y 364d 12 21 1047 178 52.35 3 5
MTG Elliott (Aus) Nov 22, 1996 Nov 27, 1997 1y 5d 14 23 1051 199 47.77 3 4
ED Weekes (WI) Jan 21, 1948 Feb 4, 1949 1y 14d 9 13 1072 194 82.46 5 2
ME Trescothick (Eng) Aug 3, 2000 Aug 23, 2001 1y 20d 16 30 1071 122 36.93 2 7
PE Richardson (Eng) Jun 7, 1956 Jul 4, 1957 1y 27d 13 23 1027 126 44.65 3 4
SS Das (India) Nov 10, 2000 Dec 11, 2001 1y 31d 15 28 1025 110 39.42 1 9
WR Hammond (Eng) Dec 24, 1927 Feb 1, 1929 1y 39d 12 19 1283 251 75.47 4 4
DI Gower (Eng) Jun 1, 1978 Jul 12, 1979 1y 41d 13 20 1058 200* 58.77 3 4

When Mitchell Johnson trapped Alastair Cook lbw at Lord's last summer, he became the second bowler to reach 100 Test wickets in less than two years since his debut. Johnson had got there in a year and 250 days, playing 23 Tests with an average of just over 29.

The record for reaching 100 wickets in the quickest time belongs to Kapil Dev - a year and 105 days. He played 25 Tests during that time, averaging 26.73 per wicket. While Kapil's record has stood for two decades, the bowler he bettered held the record for only a couple of years. Ian Botham took his 100th wicket after only two years and five days on the international scene, in his 19th Test for England. Only four bowlers - George Lohmann, Charlie Turner, Sydney Barnes and Clarrie Grimmett - have got to 100 in fewer matches.

Quickest time to 100 career wickets - Tests
Player Debut Date Time Mat Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave 5 10
N Kapil Dev (India) Oct 16, 1978 Jan 29, 1980 1y 105d 25 5289 2673 100 7/56 11/146 26.73 6 1
MG Johnson (Aus) Nov 8, 2007 Jul 16, 2009 1y 250d 23 5808 2964 102 8/61 11/159 29.05 2 1
IT Botham (Eng) Jul 28, 1977 Aug 2, 1979 2y 5d 19 4476 1897 100 8/34 11/140 18.97 10 1
SJ Harmison (Eng) Aug 8, 2002 Aug 19, 2004 2y 11d 23 5144 2523 102 7/12 9/73 24.73 4 0
SK Warne (Aus) Jan 2, 1992 Jan 28, 1994 2y 26d 23 6840 2444 101 7/52 12/128 24.19 5 1
MS Panesar (Eng) Mar 1, 2006 May 23, 2008 2y 83d 28 6582 3210 101 6/37 10/187 31.78 8 1
AME Roberts (WI) Mar 6, 1974 Jul 22, 1976 2y 138d 19 4813 2185 102 7/54 12/121 21.42 8 2
AW Greig (Eng) Jun 8, 1972 Feb 20, 1975 2y 257d 37 7200 3258 107 8/86 13/156 30.44 6 2
CEL Ambrose (WI) Apr 2, 1988 Mar 23, 1991 2y 355d 25 5641 2390 100 8/45 10/127 23.90 3 1
MHN Walker (Aus) Dec 29, 1972 Jan 3, 1976 3y 5d 24 6916 2598 102 8/143 8/143 25.47 6 0
DR Doshi (India) Sep 11, 1979 Sep 17, 1982 3y 6d 28 8387 2962 105 6/102 8/103 28.20 5 0
B Lee (Aus) Dec 26, 1999 Jan 2, 2003 3y 7d 27 5174 3023 102 5/47 8/123 29.63 4 0
SM Pollock (SA) Nov 16, 1995 Nov 26, 1998 3y 10d 26 5628 2277 100 7/87 9/103 22.77 6 0
DL Vettori (NZ) Feb 6, 1997 Mar 11, 2000 3y 34d 29 7845 3310 103 7/87 12/149 32.13 5 1
GD McGrath (Aus) Nov 12, 1993 Dec 26, 1996 3y 44d 23 5586 2494 101 6/47 8/91 24.69 5 0
Waqar Younis (Pak) Nov 15, 1989 Jan 2, 1993 3y 48d 20 3994 1989 102 7/76 12/130 19.50 11 2
DW Steyn (SA) Dec 17, 2004 Feb 29, 2008 3y 74d 20 3791 2289 105 6/49 10/91 21.80 7 2
WW Hall (WI) Nov 28, 1958 Mar 7, 1962 3y 99d 20 4972 2289 103 7/69 11/126 22.22 7 1
GD McKenzie (Aus) Jun 22, 1961 Dec 4, 1964 3y 165d 23 6734 2770 104 7/153 10/91 26.63 6 1
AA Donald (SA) Apr 18, 1992 Nov 30, 1995 3y 226d 22 5236 2575 101 8/71 12/139 25.49 5 2

There are 24 bowlers with 300 wickets or more in Tests and Shane Warne got there in the least time - six years flat - smashing Botham's record of seven years and 12 days. Dennis Lillee, who needed ten years and 302 days, took the fewest Tests - 56 - followed by Muttiah Muralitharan, who reached 300 in 58 Tests, spread over eight years and 120 days.

Quickest time to 300 career wickets - Tests
Player Debut Date Time Mat Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave 5 10
SK Warne (Aus) Jan 2, 1992 Jan 2, 1998 6y 0d 63 18501 7069 300 8/71 12/128 23.56 14 4
IT Botham (Eng) Jul 28, 1977 Aug 9, 1984 7y 12d 72 16545 7987 305 8/34 13/106 26.18 23 4
GD McGrath (Aus) Nov 12, 1993 Dec 1, 2000 7y 19d 64 15283 6559 302 8/38 10/27 21.71 18 3
SM Pollock (SA) Nov 16, 1995 Sep 4, 2003 7y 292d 74 16410 6255 302 7/87 10/147 20.71 15 1
N Kapil Dev (India) Oct 16, 1978 Jan 4, 1987 8y 80d 83 17575 8715 300 9/83 11/146 29.05 19 2
M Muralitharan (SL) Aug 28, 1992 Dec 26, 2000 8y 120d 58 18622 7603 302 9/65 16/220 25.17 24 5
AA Donald (SA) Apr 18, 1992 Nov 17, 2000 8y 213d 63 13858 6527 303 8/71 12/139 21.54 20 3
M Ntini (SA) Mar 19, 1998 Jan 19, 2007 8y 306d 74 15687 8380 303 7/37 13/132 27.65 17 4
B Lee (Aus) Dec 26, 1999 Nov 20, 2008 8y 330d 73 15802 9134 300 5/30 8/110 30.44 9 0
CEL Ambrose (WI) Apr 2, 1988 Jun 13, 1997 9y 72d 71 16345 6481 303 8/45 11/84 21.38 18 3
MD Marshall (WI) Dec 15, 1978 Dec 24, 1988 10y 9d 61 13755 6266 300 7/22 11/120 20.88 18 3
Waqar Younis (Pak) Nov 15, 1989 Jun 14, 2000 10y 212d 65 12656 6757 301 7/76 13/135 22.44 21 5
Harbhajan Singh (India) Mar 25, 1998 Nov 6, 2008 10y 226d 72 19986 9418 306 8/84 15/217 30.77 22 5
CA Walsh (WI) Nov 9, 1984 Aug 24, 1995 10y 288d 80 17086 7534 301 7/37 13/55 25.02 11 2
DK Lillee (Aus) Jan 29, 1971 Nov 27, 1981 10y 302d 56 15056 6964 305 7/89 11/123 22.83 21 6
WPUJC Vaas (SL) Aug 26, 1994 Dec 10, 2005 11y 106d 90 19588 8673 301 7/71 14/191 28.81 11 2
A Kumble (India) Aug 9, 1990 Dec 19, 2001 11y 132d 66 20664 8412 300 10/74 14/149 28.04 18 4
Wasim Akram (Pak) Jan 25, 1985 Aug 22, 1996 11y 210d 70 16034 6874 300 7/119 11/160 22.91 20 3
FS Trueman (Eng) Jun 5, 1952 Aug 13, 1964 12y 69d 65 14599 6388 301 8/31 12/119 21.22 17 3
RGD Willis (Eng) Jan 9, 1971 Jul 28, 1983 12y 200d 81 15718 7359 300 8/43 9/92 24.53 16 0

If there's a particular List you would like to see, email us with your comments and suggestions.

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket

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