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.
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.
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.
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.
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