Who played the most without playing Tendulkar?
Which cricketer played the most Tests since Sachin Tendulkar's debut in 1989 without playing against the India batsman? We've found out in this week's column, which is about players who played the most matches during the careers of the most-capped cricketers without playing against them.
Darren Gough, the former England fast bowler, never played a Test against Tendulkar. He didn't play one against Rahul Dravid either. England played India three times during Gough's career (1994-2003) - in 1996, 2001-02 and 2002 - twice at home and once away. Gough was dropped on form for the home series against India in 1996, after a poor tour of South Africa the previous winter, when he struggled with a leg injury. He pulled out of the Tests in India in the winter of 2001-02 because of personal reasons. In 2002, Gough missed the first Test and eventually the entire Test series against India because of a knee injury. So he ended a 58-Test career without playing India at all.
Three players played 43 Tests during Jacques Kallis' career without playing against the South Africa allrounder: former West Indies batsman Sherwin Campbell, former Australia opener Michael Slater, and Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene, who made his debut in 2000. Jayawardene could have played Kallis for the first time during Sri Lanka's Tests in South Africa next week, but he was ruled out of the trip because of an injury.
Graham Gooch played 118 Tests between 1975 and 1995. Imran Khan's career spanned 1971-1992 but he played 84 of his 88 Tests during Gooch's career. They didn't play a Test against each other, even though England and Pakistan contested six series during the time their careers overlapped.
Neither played in England's series in Pakistan in 1977-78: Gooch hadn't been recalled after he was dropped following his first two Tests in 1975, and Imran was participating in Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket in Australia. Gooch was part of the home series against Pakistan in the summer of 1978, but Imran did not tour England, again because of his involvement in WSC. Imran did tour England in 1982, but Gooch was banned for having gone on a rebel tour to apartheid South Africa. Gooch was still banned when England went to Pakistan in 1983-84.
In 1987, Gooch was left out of the home series against Pakistan, which Imran played. Gooch did face Imran in a tour game before the Tests began, though, and was bowled for a duck. (He fell for another duck, to Wasim Akram, in the second innings.) When England toured Pakistan later that year, Gooch went, but Imran had retired. He would come out of retirement and lead Pakistan in a drawn Test series in West Indies and to World Cup glory in Australia. Imran was once again retired, this time permanently, when Pakistan toured England in 1992.
VVS Laxman has played 130 Tests. Sanath Jayasuriya played 110, 91 of them after Laxman began his career in 1996. They too never played each other. India and Sri Lanka played four bilateral series during the common period, and one match as part of the Asian Test Championship in 1999.
Jayasuriya played the home and away series against India in 1997. Laxman didn't. He wasn't a regular in India's Test team at the time. Laxman played the Asian Test Championship match in 1999; Jayasuriya had a hand injury. When India toured Sri Lanka in 2001, Laxman was injured but Jayasuriya wasn't. In 2005, Jayasuriya, who had just completed 100 Tests, was left out of the tour of India, while Laxman played the series.
|SR Tendulkar (India)||1989-2011||184||D Gough (Eng)||1994-2003||58||1994-2003||58|
|SR Waugh (Aus)||1985-2004||168||SV Manjrekar (India)||1987-1996||37||1987-1996||37|
|SR Waugh (Aus)||1985-2004||168||M Prabhakar (India)||1984-1995||39||1989-1995||37|
|R Dravid (ICC/India)||1996-2011||160||D Gough (Eng)||1994-2003||58||1996-2003||46|
|RT Ponting (Aus)||1995-2011||157||Mushfiqur Rahim (Ban)||2005-2011||26||2005-2011||26|
|AR Border (Aus)||1978-1994||156||AD Gaekwad (India)||1974-1985||40||1978-1985||25|
|JH Kallis (ICC/SA)||1995-2011||147||SL Campbell (WI)||1995-2002||52||1996-2002||43|
|JH Kallis (ICC/SA)||1995-2011||147||HAPW Jayawardene (SL)||2000-2011||43||2000-2011||43|
|JH Kallis (ICC/SA)||1995-2011||147||MJ Slater (Aus)||1993-2001||74||1995-2001||43|
|SK Warne (Aus)||1992-2007||145||D Ganga (WI)||1998-2008||48||1998-2006||41|
|MV Boucher (ICC/SA)||1997-2011||141||MJ Slater (Aus)||1993-2001||74||1998-2001||40|
|S Chanderpaul (WI)||1994-2011||137||DR Martyn (Aus)||1992-2006||67||2000-2006||60|
|S Chanderpaul (WI)||1994-2011||137||HP Tillakaratne (SL)||1989-2004||83||1994-2004||60|
|M Muralitharan (ICC/SL)||1992-2010||133||JC Adams (WI)||1992-2001||54||1992-2001||53|
|AJ Stewart (Eng)||1990-2003||133||M Dillon (WI)||1997-2004||38||1997-2003||34|
|A Kumble (India)||1990-2008||132||DC Boon (Aus)||1984-1996||107||1990-1996||59|
|CA Walsh (WI)||1984-2001||132||WPUJC Vaas (SL)||1994-2009||111||1994-2001||48|
|N Kapil Dev (India)||1978-1994||131||GF Lawson (Aus)||1980-1989||46||1980-1989||46|
|BC Lara (ICC/WI)||1990-2006||131||GW Flower (Zim)||1992-2004||67||1992-2004||67|
|VVS Laxman (India)||1996-2011||130||ST Jayasuriya (SL)||1991-2007||110||1997-2007||91|
|ME Waugh (Aus)||1991-2002||128||RC Russell (Eng)||1988-1998||54||1991-1998||34|
|SM Gavaskar (India)||1971-1987||125||IM Chappell (Aus)||1964-1980||75||1972-1980||38|
|DPMD Jayawardene (SL)||1997-2011||125||CA Walsh (WI)||1984-2001||132||1997-2001||39|
|Javed Miandad (Pak)||1976-1993||124||CJ McDermott (Aus)||1984-1996||71||1984-1993||52|
|GD McGrath (Aus)||1993-2007||124||SV Carlisle (Zim)||1995-2005||37||1995-2005||37|
|IVA Richards (WI)||1974-1991||121||RW Taylor (Eng)||1971-1984||57||1977-1984||56|
|Inzamam-ul-Haq (ICC/Pak)||1992-2007||120||MA Butcher (Eng)||1997-2004||71||1997-2004||71|
|IA Healy (Aus)||1988-1999||119||DJ Nash (NZ)||1992-2001||32||1992-1999||26|
|GA Gooch (Eng)||1975-1995||118||Imran Khan (Pak)||1971-1992||88||1976-1992||84|
|DI Gower (Eng)||1978-1992||117||DK Morrison (NZ)||1987-1997||48||1987-1992||25|
|DL Haynes (WI)||1978-1994||116||RW Taylor (Eng)||1971-1984||57||1978-1984||51|
|DB Vengsarkar (India)||1976-1992||116||GF Lawson (Aus)||1980-1989||46||1980-1989||46|
|MA Atherton (Eng)||1989-2001||115||RS Kaluwitharana (SL)||1992-2004||49||1992-2001||40|
|MA Atherton (Eng)||1989-2001||115||GP Wickramasinghe (SL)||1991-2001||40||1991-2001||40|
|MC Cowdrey (Eng)||1954-1975||114||FM Engineer (India)||1961-1975||46||1961-1975||46|
Kapil Goyal, a reader, sent in the question that led to the idea for this column.
Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for ESPNcricinfo and other ESPN sports websites. George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo