November 5 down the years

India's golden boy

Birth of Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli: from U-19 captain to India's Test captain in under seven years © Associated Press

1988
Birth of a man who starred in two World Cups for India before he turned 23. Virat Kohli captained the Under-19 side to the title in Malaysia in 2008, and in 2011 stood alongside Tendulkar and Co in Mumbai after the win in the final of the senior event. In his first seven years of ODI cricket, Kohli scored 23 hundreds, ten of them in chases. He impressed everyone when he scored his maiden Test hundred in Adelaide, India's only century of the 2011-12 series. At the same venue three years later, in his first Test as captain, he made twin hundreds in a loss. He became the full-time Test captain near the end of that series, when MS Dhoni retired, and limited-overs captain in 2017. Kohli won his first full Test series 2-1, in Sri Lanka - India's first series win in that country in 22 years. Later in 2015, he became the fastest in the world to 1000 runs in T20 internationals, and a few months after that, the fastest in the world to 7000 runs in ODIs. The form rubbed off in Tests too - between July 2016 and July 2017, he averaged 67.04, converting four of his six hundreds into doubles. In 2018 in England, he made 593 runs, propping up India's batting single-handedly, but they still lost 4-1. He made up for that with India's first series win in Australia six months later. In 2019, Kohli became India's most successful Test captain and made a career-best 254 against South Africa in Pune. In 2021 he went past 10,000 T20 runs, the first Indian to do so.

1901
Of Englishmen who have played ten Test innings or more, only Herbert Sutcliffe (60.73) averages more than Eddie Paynter (59.23), who was born today. But Paynter, a left-hander, didn't make his Test debut until he was 29, and only played 20 matches in all. Seven of those were against Australia, and in Ashes Tests, Paynter averaged a mighty 84 - a figure no other Englishman approaches. He hammered two double-centuries, 216 against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1938, and 243 v South Africa in Durban the following winter. But Paynter's finest hour came in Brisbane in 1932-33, when he defied tonsillitis and the doctors to make 83 (batting at No. 8) before hitting the Ashes-winning six in the second innings. Paynter was a perennial success for Lancashire, and scored 322 for them against Sussex in 1937. He died in Yorkshire in 1979.

2009
A thriller in Hyderabad. The fifth ODI seemed to have tilted in Australia's favour after they piled up 350 runs batting first, but it was then over to Sachin Tendulkar, who made a masterly 175 off 141 balls, going past 17,000 runs in the format along the way, taking India to the very verge. When he was out in the 48th over, India needed 19 runs off 17 balls with three wickets in hand, but - shades of the Chennai Test of 1999 - they fell four agonising runs short.

1991
Birth of 6ft-7in tall Jason Holder, who became West Indies' captain at the age of 23. Even as his team floundered, you could see Holder had the makings of a genuine fast-bowling allrounder. His maiden Test hundred was a match-saving two-and-a-half-hour effort from No. 8 against England in 2015. West Indies' first Test win under Holder came in 2016, against Pakistan in Sharjah, where he took a second-innings five-for. A few months later another win against Pakistan followed, at home, where he took six wickets and chipped in with a measured 58, and then the famous Test win at Headingley. In 2019, after a memorable series win over England in which he became only the third man batting at No. 8 or lower to score a Test double-hundred, Holder rose up to No. 1 in the Test allrounder rankings. He also led West Indies in the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, where they managed only five wins from 15 completed games.

2015
No clean sweep like in 2012, but a series win nonetheless. Bad light helped Pakistan escape with a draw in the first Test in Abu Dhabi. It looked like England might save the second, in Dubai, when Adil Rashid defied Pakistan's bowling for four hours on the final day, but Yasir Shah, coming back from injury, dismissed him with fewer than seven overs remaining. England put up a fight in Sharjah as well, bowling Pakistan out for 234 and gaining a 72-run lead. But Mohammad Hafeez's hundred set them a target of 284, which proved 127 runs too many. Shah took 15 wickets in two matches and Shoaib Malik 11 in three, to go with his double-hundred in Abu Dhabi. That ended his Test career on a high (he announced his retirement from the format midway through the final Test).

1994
A frustrating day for Australia, who went into the last day of the third Test against Pakistan in Lahore poised for a series-levelling victory (Pakistan were just 55 ahead with five second-innings wickets left), only to be denied again by their bête noire - Saleem Malik, Pakistan's captain. Fresh from a match-saving 237 in the second Test, and an alleged attempt to bribe Shane Warne and Tim May, Malik made an imperious 143, putting on 196 for the sixth wicket with Aamer Sohail, to send the Australians into increasing apoplexy. The Wisden Almanack said that "Australia won everywhere but on the scoreboard", but that's where it matters, and their wait for a Test win in Pakistan - 14 Tests, 35 years and counting - went on until 1998-99.

1932
Don Bradman smacked 232 for New South Wales in only 200 minutes, including 32 fours. It was the perfect response to critics after he made 3 and 10 against the MCC the week before in Perth.

1993
Basit Ali and Brian Lara put the fizz into a blistering Pepsi Champions Trophy final in Sharjah, in which West Indies beat Pakistan by six wickets. Basit smote an unbeaten 129 off 79 balls, including five sixes, with his century coming up in 67 balls, which was then the fifth-fastest of all time. Even the giant metronome Curtly Ambrose (10-2-64-1) could not stem the flow as Pakistan romped to 284 for 4. But Lara made sure the match would not go flat with a regal 153 that led West Indies to victory with almost five overs to spare. He hit 21 fours, equalling Viv Richards' world record for a one-day innings, although Saeed Anwar, Sanath Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar later topped that.

1992
Left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen, born today, took a match-winning 3 for 25 in the 2012 T20 World Cup final against England in Colombo - Australia's second successive title in the tournament. She also played in the next two T20 World Cups but didn't shine as much with the ball. In 15 ODIs between 2018 and 2019, Jonassen took 31 wickets at 13.29, including four hauls of four wickets or more, and became the No. 1 bowler in the format.

1977
Birth of Shiv Sunder Das, one in an assembly line of Indian opening batters in the early 2000s. The diminutive Das, only the second Test player from the state of Orissa, was an immaculate judge of where his off stump was, and had precise foot movement and a still head in both defence and attack. But though he was India's first-choice opener for a while, he disappointed by failing to convert numerous good starts. His two hundreds came against Zimbabwe in Nagpur, and he was a forlorn figure during India's tour of West Indies in 2002. He hit his maiden first-class triple-hundred in 2006-07.

1956
You wait 27 years to make your Test debut and then Malcolm Marshall puts you in hospital with a blow to the head within half an hour. That's the fate that befell left-hand opener Andy Lloyd, who was born today. After top-scoring for England in two of the three one-dayers that preceded the 1984 Test series against West Indies, Lloyd was picked for the first Test, on his home ground, Edgbaston, but he'd made only 10 when Marshall pinned him with a short one. Lloyd was hospitalised for over a week with blurred vision, and didn't play first-class cricket again that summer. He never played for England again either, despite an enduring consistency for Warwickshire that brought him over 17,000 first-class runs.

1916
The life of an English legspinner rarely runs smoothly, and Len Wilkinson, who was born today, is one of a long list of bowlers who failed to fulfill their early promise. When he took 151 first-class wickets in 1938 - only his second season - a rich talent had apparently emerged. He played three Tests in South Africa that winter with mixed success, but struggled thereafter and didn't play for England again after the Second World War. Wilkinson was also a splendidly inept batter who was close to taking more first-class wickets (282) than he made runs (321).

1987
The day Graham Gooch got down on one knee to take England to the World Cup final. He swept India to distraction in the semi-final, in Bombay, carrying out a preconceived plan against Maninder Singh and Ravi Shastri to make a brilliant 115. Allan Lamb's late flourish took England to 254 for 6, and though India kept the asking rate in check, they kept losing wickets. Eddie Hemmings took the big one, trapping Mohammad Azharuddin lbw for 64, and he ended with a one-day best 4 for 52, as England booked a date with Australia in the final with a 35-run victory. It was also the last international appearance of the great Sunil Gavaskar, who was bowled by Phil DeFreitas for 4.

1964
Death of the only animal to receive a Wisden Almanack obituary. Peter the cat was a popular cricket watcher at Lord's - where he spent 12 of his 14 years - and his ninth life ended on this day. His obituary said that "his sleek, black form could often be seen prowling on the field of play when the crowds were biggest".

Other birthdays
1861 Sir Tim O'Brien (England)
1891 Herbert McGirr (New Zealand)
1905 George Bissett (South Africa)
1937 David Allan (West Indies)
1939 Ken Walter (South Africa)

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