Some statistics, like Bradman's average and the number of centuries Tendulkar has made are known to pretty much every cricket buff. But The List will bring you facts and figures that aren't so obvious, adding fuel to those fiery debates about the most valuable middle-order bat, and the most useless tailender. If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.



Monty Panesar takes off after trapping Sachin Tendulkar leg before © Getty Images

When an arm ball trapped Sachin Tendulkar plumb in front to give Mudhsuden Singh Panesar, aka Monty, his first Test wicket, his mad-as-a-march-hare celebration was lovely to watch. The List this week looks at the most valuable first wickets in Tests. The calculation is based on the batsman's aggregate at the start of the game.

Panesar's wicket of Tendulkar, who had 10,386 runs at the time, at Nagpur is a shoo-in at the top of the list. On Sri Lanka's tour of India in 1986-87, debutant Graeme Labrooy had Sunil Gavaskar caught for 176 as his first Test wicket in the first Test at Nagpur. In the next Test, part-timer Asanka Gurusinha also opened his wicket-tally with Gavaskar's scalp.

As Steve Waugh began the conquest of his `final frontier' with a ten-wicket rout of India at Mumbai, he became Rahul Sanghvi's first wicket. Sanghvi went on to dismiss Shane Warne as well with his left-arm spin, but conceded 67 runs in 10.2 overs. He hasn't played another Test since.

Most valuable first wicket - by batsman's career runs - Tests
Bowler Team Opposition Season Batsman Runs Ave Scorecard
MS Panesar Eng v India 2005/06 SR Tendulkar 10386 56.14 Test 1785
AR Caddick Eng v Aust 1993 AR Border 10262 51.05 Test 1223
AP Gurusinha SL v India 1986/87 SM Gavaskar 9748 51.30 Test 1063
GF Labrooy SL v India 1986/87 SM Gavaskar 9572 50.64 Test 1061
SE Bond NZ v Aust 2001/02 SR Waugh 9289 51.60 Test 1571
RL Sanghvi India v Aust 2000/01 SR Waugh 8722 51.00 Test 1531
JDP Oram NZ v India 2002/03 SR Tendulkar 8711 58.46 Test 1631
TA Munton Eng v Pak 1992 Javed Miandad 8263 54.36 Test 1191
IDK Salisbury Eng v Pak 1992 Javed Miandad 8254 55.02 Test 1190
KBJ Azad India v Eng 1981/82 G Boycott 7802 47.86 Test 911
SB Styris NZ v WI 2002 BC Lara 7524 49.50 Test 1608
TM Alderman Aust v Eng 1981 G Boycott 7410 49.07 Test 903
GS Chappell Aust v Eng 1970/71 MC Cowdrey 7256 46.21 Test 675
Arshad Khan Pak v Aust 1998/99 MA Taylor 7213 44.80 Test 1427
Nadeem Khan Pak v WI 1992/93 DL Haynes 7163 42.38 Test 1222

  • Click here for the full table.
  • Of Test cricket's 15 leading wicket-takers, only Imran Khan went wicketless in his debut game. He bowled 28 overs without success in the drawn first Test of Pakistan's tour of England in 1971. He faced three years on the sidelines after that and returned for Pakistan's 1974 tour of England and took three wickets at Leeds, Tony Greig being his first.

    Leading bowler's first wicket - Tests
    Bowler Team Opposition Season Batsman Runs Ave Scorecard
    SK Warne Aust v India 1991/92 RJ Shastri 3554 35.53 Test 1181
    M Muralitharan SL v Aust 1992 CJ McDermott 563 11.97 Test 1195
    GD McGrath Aust v NZ 1993/94 MJ Greatbatch 1626 40.64 Test 1235
    CA Walsh WI v Aust 1984/85 GM Wood 2642 33.87 Test 997
    A Kumble India v Eng 1990 AJ Lamb 3775 36.29 Test 1149
    N Kapil Dev India v Pak 1978/79 Sadiq Mohammad 2330 38.83 Test 831
    RJ Hadlee NZ v Pak 1972/73 Asif Iqbal 1162 31.40 Test 710
    Wasim Akram Pak v NZ 1984/85 JG Wright 1821 30.86 Test 1010
    CEL Ambrose WI v Pak 1987/88 Mudassar Nazar 3876 40.79 Test 1095
    SM Pollock SAf v Eng 1995/96 GP Thorpe 1658 43.63 Test 1312
    IT Botham Eng v Aust 1977 GS Chappell 3972 55.16 Test 806
    MD Marshall WI v India 1978/79 CPS Chauhan 716 29.83 Test 837
    Waqar Younis Pak v India 1989/90 SV Manjrekar 215 30.71 Test 1127
    Imran Khan Pak v Eng 1974 AW Greig 1858 46.45 Test 742
    DK Lillee Aust v Eng 1970/71 JH Edrich 3102 48.46 Test 678

  • Click here for the full tables.
  • The most valuable first wicket in terms of the average of the batsman dismissed belongs to Norman Yardley who returned after an eight-year rest to take the wicket of Don Bradman, then aggregating 5280 runs at 99.62, in his third Test.

    Given that Tendulkar has held the record for most ODI runs for several years now, he expectedly holds the top two spots on the the ODI list as well for being the most valuable wicket.

  • Click here for the one-day list.
  • If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.

    George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo.