August 17, 2011

Cook's 294, and other revivals

Batsmen who made a double-century or a hundred after dips in form
17

India had Alastair Cook figured out. At Lord's and Trent Bridge, they dismissed him for 12, 1, 2 and 5. Cook had been England's run robot, scoring 1156 runs in the Ashes and against Sri Lanka, but India had him under control. Or so they thought. Cook's retaliation at Edgbaston was a remorseless 294 that gave England the No. 1 ranking. His average of 5.00 in the first two Tests is among the lowest for a batsman who's bounced back from poor form with a double-century.

Gary Kirsten, who once did to Andy Zaltzman what Cook did to countless Indian fans, ended two sets of four poor innings with double-centuries. During England's tour of South Africa in 1999, Kirsten made 13, 15, 2 and 11 - averaging 10.25 in the series - before he walked out to bat on the third day at Kingsmead, with South Africa trailing by 210 in the follow-on. The match ended in a draw only when Kirsten was dismissed on the final day, after he had batted for 878 minutes - the second longest innings in Tests - and scored 275.

In 2001, after having begun the tour of West Indies with 150, Kirsten ended it with scores of 0, 0, 8, 9, 0 and 14. A trip to Harare was his next assignment and he scored 220 in the first Test, in only 442 minutes this time.

The unlikeliest double-hundreds in Test cricket perhaps belong to Jason Gillespie and Wasim Akram, both of whom achieved their career bests in their 71st Test. Gillespie had the third-lowest average - 15.64 - for a double-centurion, and his average in the 10 innings leading up to the unbeaten 201 in Mirpur was 12.66. Akram averaged only 14.47 in 20 innings before scoring an unbeaten 257 against Zimbabwe in Sheikhupura.

Lowest average in the previous 10 innings before a double-century - Tests
Player Score Opp Start Date Scorecard Runs Ave List
WJ Edrich (Eng) 219 v SA Mar 3, 1939 Test 271 83 8.30 0, 10, 12, 28, 12, 4, 10, 0, 6, 1
MAK Pataudi (India) 203* v Eng Feb 8, 1964 Test 556 93 9.30 1, 14, 4, 0, 18, 10, 0, 2, 31, 13
SE Gregory (Aus) 201 v Eng Dec 14, 1894 Test 42 100 11.11 9, 2, 4*, 3, 7, 57, 9, 6, 0, 3
DN Sardesai (India) 212 v WI Feb 18, 1971 Test 680 123 12.30 26, 28, 0, 28, 1, 11, 1, 5, 20, 3
JN Gillespie (Aus) 201* v Ban Apr 16, 2006 Test 1799 114 12.66 2, 35, 1, 13, 7, 0, 26, 0, 26, 4*
MH Mankad (India) 223 v NZ Dec 2, 1955 Test 417 116 14.50 20*, 6, 9, 2, 6, 1, 33, 3*, 6, 30
GJ Whittall (Zim) 203* v NZ Sep 25, 1997 Test 1379 145 14.50 3, 0, 32, 9, 0, 7, 56, 1, 33, 4
CG Greenidge (WI) 226 v Aus Apr 19, 1991 Test 1169 135 15.00 12, 10, 21, 1, 27, 35, 2, 5*, 12, 10
SR Tendulkar (India) 248* v Ban Dec 10, 2004 Test 1725 136 15.11 2, 8, 1, 8, 2, 5, 55, 3, 20, 32*
IVA Richards (WI) 208 v Aus Dec 22, 1984 Test 1005 122 15.25 15, 22*, 1, 8, 15, 10, 6, 3*, 0, 42
TW Graveney (Eng) 258 v WI Jul 4, 1957 Test 441 143 15.88 1, 10, 36, 13, 42, 8, 10*, 5, 18, 0
Zaheer Abbas (Pak) 240 v Eng Aug 22, 1974 Test 744 144 16.00 15, 10, 0, 24, 22*, 4, 48, 19, 1, 1
RWT Key (Eng) 221 v WI Jul 22, 2004 Test 1707 163 16.30 1, 1, 47, 23, 0, 52, 3, 14, 18, 4
Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak) 200* v SL Mar 12, 1999 Test 1450 148 16.44 9, 21*, 19, 2, 10, 51, 26, 6, 0, 4
MS Atapattu (SL) 201* v Eng Feb 22, 2001 Test 1530 171 17.10 120, 0, 10, 0, 0, 20, 5, 13, 3, 0
PBH May (Eng) 285* v WI May 30, 1957 Test 439 177 17.70 14, 8, 15, 2, 2, 61, 0, 24, 21, 30
DM Jones (Aus) 216 v WI Feb 3, 1989 Test 1114 143 17.87 3, 4, 16, 21*, 0, 0, 28, 18, 29, 24*
SR Tendulkar (India) 241* v Aus Jan 2, 2004 Test 1680 185 18.50 32, 8, 7, 55, 1, 0, 1, 37, 0, 44
ED Weekes (WI) 207 v India Jan 21, 1953 Test 363 195 19.50 56, 26, 29, 1, 2, 0, 21, 7, 2, 51
Wasim Akram (Pak) 257* v Zim Oct 17, 1996 Test 1336 178 19.77 33, 21, 5, 2, 19, 10, 34*, 7, 7, 40

Adam Gilchrist's last four innings before the start of the 2001 Ashes read 0, 0, 1 and 1. He had been undone in two memorable contests in Kolkata and Chennai by India's spinners. At Edgbaston, however, Gilchrist found his form and scored a century in an innings-and-118-run victory. From averaging 0.50 in his previous two Tests to scoring 152 off 143 balls is as dramatic as turnarounds come.

John Reid scored six centuries during his career as a New Zealand allrounder. The first one came after two dire years of poor form. In 1952 and 1953, Reid played six Tests, against West Indies and South Africa, and did not make a double-figure score in 10 innings. His average during this period was 3.60. And then, in his next innings, at Newlands in 1954, Reid cracked 135 in 196 minutes and ended the drought.

Lowest average in the previous 10 innings before a century - Tests
Player Score Opp Start Date Scorecard Runs Ave List
JR Reid (NZ) 135 v SA Jan 1, 1954 Test 379 36 3.60 0, 3, 6, 1, 9, 7, 6, 0, 3, 1
Mohammad Ashraful (Ban) 101 v SL Dec 26, 2008 Test 1903 54 5.40 0, 4, 2, 0, 0, 1, 13, 1, 21, 12
BK Kunderan (India) 192 v Eng Jan 10, 1964 Test 551 53 7.57 12, 0, 12, 12*, 1*, 5, 4*, 4, 2, 1
A Kumble (India) 110* v Eng Aug 9, 2007 Test 1842 69 7.66 6, 1, 0, 11, 0, 6, 1*, 11, 3, 30
RT Ponting (Aus) 144 v Eng Aug 16, 2001 Test 1556 77 7.70 0, 6, 0, 0, 11, 11, 14, 4, 14, 17
C White (Eng) 121 v India Dec 11, 2001 Test 1575 73 8.11 0, 8, 4, 0, 0, 27*, 0, 7, 5, 22
WJ Edrich (Eng) 219 v SA Mar 3, 1939 Test 271 83 8.30 0, 10, 12, 28, 12, 4, 10, 0, 6, 1
TR Gripper (Zim) 112 v Ban Nov 15, 2001 Test 1568 83 8.30 18, 0, 4, 41, 3, 11, 0, 1, 5, 0
A Flintoff (Eng) 137 v NZ Mar 13, 2002 Test 1594 86 8.60 16, 16, 16, 12, 18, 4, 0, 4, 0, 0
GA Hick (Eng) 107 v SL Aug 27, 1998 Test 1423 88 8.80 36, 8, 1, 6, 20, 4, 4, 6, 2, 1
Moin Khan (Pak) 115* v Aus Nov 1, 1994 Test 1273 81 9.00 12, 3, 15, 11*, 2, 3, 0, 18, 0, 17
MAK Pataudi (India) 203* v Eng Feb 8, 1964 Test 556 93 9.30 1, 14, 4, 0, 18, 10, 0, 2, 31, 13
R Illingworth (Eng) 113 v WI Jun 26, 1969 Test 654 101 10.10 4, 2, 10, 4, 9, 27, 6, 8, 10, 21
SE Gregory (Aus) 112 v Eng Jan 15, 1904 Test 80 104 10.40 0, 4, 1, 13, 11, 23, 43, 1, 0, 8
GW Flower (Zim) 106* v India Nov 25, 2000 Test 1517 104 10.40 4, 2, 0, 12, 24, 3, 49, 10, 0, 0
BR Taylor (NZ) 124 v WI Feb 27, 1969 Test 648 106 10.60 9, 0, 18, 6, 7, 14, 17, 28, 7, 0
KR Rutherford (NZ) 107* v Eng Mar 3, 1988 Test 1094 97 10.77 24*, 6, 6, 12, 5, 11, 0, 2, 29, 2
AB Agarkar (India) 109* v Eng Jul 25, 2002 Test 1610 99 11.00 41*, 3, 34, 12, 0, 0, 6, 0, 1, 2
MA Taylor (Aus) 129 v Eng Jun 5, 1997 Test 1368 111 11.10 10, 11, 2, 1, 16, 8, 13, 38, 5, 7
SE Gregory (Aus) 201 v Eng Dec 14, 1894 Test 42 100 11.11 9, 2, 4*, 3, 7, 57, 9, 6, 0, 3

Sachin Tendulkar took 78 ODIs to score his first hundred, against Australia at the Premadasa in 1994. And immediately after that, he was dismissed for a hat-trick of ducks for the first and only time in his 453-ODI career. The first was against Sri Lanka, in the final of the Singer World Series, in September 1994. The second and third were against West Indies in Faridabad and Mumbai. He followed up with 8 in Chennai, and so was averaging 2.00 in his previous four games when be began the home series against New Zealand with 115 in Vadodara.

The lowest average for a ten-innings stretch immediately preceding an ODI century belongs to Nathan Astle. He was dismissed for 4 in the final ODI against South Africa at Eden Park in 1999, andhad a poor World Cup in England, scoring only 79 runs in nine innings, bringing his average in 10 matches to 8.30. Astle's next ODI was in Rajkot in November and he scored a match-winning 120 against India.

Lowest average in the previous 10 innings before a century - ODIs
Player Score Opp Start Date Scorecard Runs Ave List
NJ Astle (NZ) 120 v India Nov 5, 1999 ODI 1522 83 8.30 4, 4, 4, 2, 0, 11, 20, 9, 26, 3
Shoaib Mohammad (Pak) 126* v NZ Mar 8, 1989 ODI 557 69 8.62 6*, 3, 0, 15, 10, 2, 29, 2*, 0, 2
ST Jayasuriya (SL) 140 v NZ Dec 8, 1994 ODI 958 91 9.10 0, 3, 4, 0, 1, 1, 37, 11, 26, 8
SC Ganguly (India) 112* v Nam Feb 23, 2003 ODI 1964 99 9.90 14, 0, 4, 2, 0, 23, 15, 8, 9, 24
DF Watts (Scot) 101 v Can Jul 7, 2009 ODI 2856 111 11.10 24, 9, 24, 8, 19, 7, 6, 0, 0, 14
CZ Harris (NZ) 130 v Aus Mar 11, 1996 ODI 1080 113 11.30 12, 16, 10, 3, 6, 18, 22, 10, 8, 8
DJ Callaghan (SA) 169* v NZ Dec 11, 1994 ODI 960 103 11.44 0, 10, 0, 6, 25, 1, 2, 26, 3*, 30
BM McMillan (SA) 127 v Zim Oct 21, 1995 ODI 1013 81 11.57 48*, 0, 6, 1*, 0, 17, 2*, 4, 0, 3
XM Marshall (WI) 157* v Can Aug 22, 2008 ODI 2749 117 11.70 26, 6, 8, 19, 6, 0, 35, 0, 17, 0
AP Gurusinha (SL) 117* v NZ Apr 18, 1994 ODI 909 108 12.00 0, 9, 43, 22*, 1, 8, 6, 7, 11, 1
G Kirsten (SA) 102* v Pak Dec 16, 2002 ODI 1921 121 12.10 0, 10, 25, 2, 2, 21, 3, 2, 55, 1
DA Marillier (Zim) 100 v Kenya Apr 5, 2003 ODI 1996 123 12.30 2, 1, 0, 14, 6, 0, 1, 21, 19, 59
SV Carlisle (Zim) 121* v SL Dec 18, 1999 ODI 1530 113 12.55 27, 14, 18*, 2, 27, 4, 0, 0, 21, 0
HH Gibbs (SA) 125 v WI Jan 30, 1999 ODI 1397 126 12.60 15, 12, 2, 2, 8, 5, 33, 10, 10, 29
MN Samuels (WI) 100* v Pak Dec 13, 2006 ODI 2464 77 12.83 0, 5, 1, 1*, 5*, 3*, 5*, 7, 37, 13
MW Gatting (Eng) 115* v India Dec 5, 1984 ODI 279 90 12.85 1, 14*, 18, 0, 0*, 4, 9, 38*, 0, 6
PD Collingwood (Eng) 112* v Ban Jun 21, 2005 ODI 2252 130 13.00 16, 1, 7, 5, 40, 22, 11, 4, 10, 14
Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak) 121* v India Mar 26, 2000 ODI 1580 133 13.30 4, 8, 12, 6, 5, 15, 35, 0, 41, 7
L Vincent (NZ) 172 v Zim Aug 24, 2005 ODI 2272 120 13.33 25*, 32, 12, 2, 13, 0, 1, 1, 12, 22
C Sharma (India) 101* v Eng Oct 25, 1989 ODI 583 67 13.40 0, 2, 16*, 12*, 0, 15, 2*, 6*, 7, 7*

Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for Cricinfo and other ESPN sports websites. George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • swamistyle on August 19, 2011, 1:37 GMT

    Agree with Paullie. Greenidges 226 is the standout on your list. It was 1991 & WI v Aus was THE battle for Number 1 supremacy (much tougher than the pathetic Eng v Ind series taking place now). The fast bowling from both sides was brutal & all batsmen struggled. Haynes, Richardson, Boon & Mark Waugh were the only batsmen who scored consistently. Greenidge was just shy of 40 & well past his prime. A once great player was limping to the end as his reflexes & eyes could no longer cut it & he probably should have been dropped before the series started. He was so out of form that number 3 Richie Richardson should have just opened the batting himself & the Aussie bowlers stopped celebrating his wicket. His innings lasted nearly 2 days & turned the match that was delicately poised into the Windies favour & won them the series. Once of the great all-time innings ever played.

  • __PK on August 18, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    How well I remember Greenidge's 226. He was at the end of his career, playing like a busted, ready for the scrapheap. Australia were surging to the away series win over the WI which everyone around the world was insisting on seeing before rating them the No 1 Test nation. Greenidge's innings turned that whole series around and meant that Australia had to wait a few more years before everyone would give them credit for being the best. When we start making fuss about the current Indian (and now English) sides, it's worth remembering that Australia were the best side in the world for about 4 years before they got the tick of approval from the international community.

  • landl47 on August 18, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    2 games without a score is not a slump. In his previous 4 test innings this season, Cook scored 2 hundreds and 2 fifties (one a 96). Cook's 4 failures included a bad LBW decision. I appreciate the intent of the article, but it's really based on a false premise.

  • Nerk on August 18, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Good old Atapattu - what was his form again, duck, duck, duck, duck, hundred?

  • on August 18, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    Was rather suprised to see mohammad azharuddin not in this list.. I thought he used to go through serious form slumps before making a century..

  • on August 17, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    Ths is one of th bst artcles of i've read...great work Travis Basevi & George Binoy...

  • on August 17, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Our beloved Kumble is also in the list with his 110*

  • Finn92 on August 17, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    How was it a severe slump in form? Four innings doesn't really constitute that, just going through a lean patch in comparison to the monumental heights of the Ashes and Sri Lanka series.

  • on August 17, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    If you think Cook was suffering a 'severe lack of form', I can only assume you've been under a rock for the past 8 months.

  • Pelham_Barton on August 17, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    @Rob Howell: Mark Taylor's previous ten Test innings before his 334* were (earliest first) were 11; 169*, 6; 12, 13; 3, 45; 14; 102*; 3 for an average of 33.87. In all first-class cricket the list was 57: 3, 45;, 14, 102*; 1, 19; 3; 13, 63* for an average of 20.62.

  • swamistyle on August 19, 2011, 1:37 GMT

    Agree with Paullie. Greenidges 226 is the standout on your list. It was 1991 & WI v Aus was THE battle for Number 1 supremacy (much tougher than the pathetic Eng v Ind series taking place now). The fast bowling from both sides was brutal & all batsmen struggled. Haynes, Richardson, Boon & Mark Waugh were the only batsmen who scored consistently. Greenidge was just shy of 40 & well past his prime. A once great player was limping to the end as his reflexes & eyes could no longer cut it & he probably should have been dropped before the series started. He was so out of form that number 3 Richie Richardson should have just opened the batting himself & the Aussie bowlers stopped celebrating his wicket. His innings lasted nearly 2 days & turned the match that was delicately poised into the Windies favour & won them the series. Once of the great all-time innings ever played.

  • __PK on August 18, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    How well I remember Greenidge's 226. He was at the end of his career, playing like a busted, ready for the scrapheap. Australia were surging to the away series win over the WI which everyone around the world was insisting on seeing before rating them the No 1 Test nation. Greenidge's innings turned that whole series around and meant that Australia had to wait a few more years before everyone would give them credit for being the best. When we start making fuss about the current Indian (and now English) sides, it's worth remembering that Australia were the best side in the world for about 4 years before they got the tick of approval from the international community.

  • landl47 on August 18, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    2 games without a score is not a slump. In his previous 4 test innings this season, Cook scored 2 hundreds and 2 fifties (one a 96). Cook's 4 failures included a bad LBW decision. I appreciate the intent of the article, but it's really based on a false premise.

  • Nerk on August 18, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Good old Atapattu - what was his form again, duck, duck, duck, duck, hundred?

  • on August 18, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    Was rather suprised to see mohammad azharuddin not in this list.. I thought he used to go through serious form slumps before making a century..

  • on August 17, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    Ths is one of th bst artcles of i've read...great work Travis Basevi & George Binoy...

  • on August 17, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Our beloved Kumble is also in the list with his 110*

  • Finn92 on August 17, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    How was it a severe slump in form? Four innings doesn't really constitute that, just going through a lean patch in comparison to the monumental heights of the Ashes and Sri Lanka series.

  • on August 17, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    If you think Cook was suffering a 'severe lack of form', I can only assume you've been under a rock for the past 8 months.

  • Pelham_Barton on August 17, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    @Rob Howell: Mark Taylor's previous ten Test innings before his 334* were (earliest first) were 11; 169*, 6; 12, 13; 3, 45; 14; 102*; 3 for an average of 33.87. In all first-class cricket the list was 57: 3, 45;, 14, 102*; 1, 19; 3; 13, 63* for an average of 20.62.

  • Pelham_Barton on August 17, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    @ranpath: Roach's Test double century was in the third Test against England in the West Indies in 1930 (when England had teams simultaneously touring West Indies and New Zealand). His previous six first-class innings (earliest first) were 2, 13; 9, 0 for Trinidad against the tourists and 0, 0 in the second Test. However, he had scored 122 and 77 in the first Test.

  • ranpath on August 17, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    Didn't Clifford Roach, the WI batter, have a sequence of 6 ducks before scoring a double century ? I think this was against England back in the 30's or so

  • Ronsars on August 17, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    @ FaheemAhmed:If you can't appreciate anything good then the next best option is to stay silent....U think its easy to analyse stats? Was surprised to see Ganguly's name in ODI list never thought his previous innings were below par while leading his team to 2003 WC

  • vk6848 on August 17, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Looks like Tendulkar had two bad ten-innings spells in 2003/04. I suspect most players would have had no chance of staying in the team to score those double hundreds! And is there anyone as good as Atapattu who has scored more ducks in tests?

  • FaheemAhmed on August 17, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Totaly Useless Analysis...................

  • RandyOZ on August 17, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    "Batsmen who made a double-century or a hundred after severe slumps in form" - bit rude to put Cook in the same article!

  • on August 17, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    What about Mark Taylor's record prior to making 334 not out?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on August 17, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    What about Mark Taylor's record prior to making 334 not out?

  • RandyOZ on August 17, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    "Batsmen who made a double-century or a hundred after severe slumps in form" - bit rude to put Cook in the same article!

  • FaheemAhmed on August 17, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Totaly Useless Analysis...................

  • vk6848 on August 17, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Looks like Tendulkar had two bad ten-innings spells in 2003/04. I suspect most players would have had no chance of staying in the team to score those double hundreds! And is there anyone as good as Atapattu who has scored more ducks in tests?

  • Ronsars on August 17, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    @ FaheemAhmed:If you can't appreciate anything good then the next best option is to stay silent....U think its easy to analyse stats? Was surprised to see Ganguly's name in ODI list never thought his previous innings were below par while leading his team to 2003 WC

  • ranpath on August 17, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    Didn't Clifford Roach, the WI batter, have a sequence of 6 ducks before scoring a double century ? I think this was against England back in the 30's or so

  • Pelham_Barton on August 17, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    @ranpath: Roach's Test double century was in the third Test against England in the West Indies in 1930 (when England had teams simultaneously touring West Indies and New Zealand). His previous six first-class innings (earliest first) were 2, 13; 9, 0 for Trinidad against the tourists and 0, 0 in the second Test. However, he had scored 122 and 77 in the first Test.

  • Pelham_Barton on August 17, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    @Rob Howell: Mark Taylor's previous ten Test innings before his 334* were (earliest first) were 11; 169*, 6; 12, 13; 3, 45; 14; 102*; 3 for an average of 33.87. In all first-class cricket the list was 57: 3, 45;, 14, 102*; 1, 19; 3; 13, 63* for an average of 20.62.

  • on August 17, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    If you think Cook was suffering a 'severe lack of form', I can only assume you've been under a rock for the past 8 months.

  • Finn92 on August 17, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    How was it a severe slump in form? Four innings doesn't really constitute that, just going through a lean patch in comparison to the monumental heights of the Ashes and Sri Lanka series.