English batsmen who average 50 in Tests are few and far between, making Charles "Jack" Russell , who was born today, one of a rare breed. A reliable, largely on-side player, Russell recovered from an inauspicious start (10 runs in four innings) to average 56.87. And he had a remarkable conversion rate: he made five centuries despite only passing 50 on seven occasions. His finest hour came in his last Test, at Durban in 1922-23, when he became the first Englishman to make two hundreds in a Test. A tree was planted to mark the feat, but strangely Russell never played Test cricket again. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1923 but appeared in only 10 Tests, the last eight of which yielded 900 runs at an average of 75. He was also a distinguished servant for Essex, where he died in 1961.
The birth of the man who captained Australia to their heaviest Ashes defeat. Graham Yallop was extremely unfortunate to inherit a team gutted by Kerry Packer, and even Roy of the Rovers would have struggled to make a silk purse out of the sow's ear that lost 5-1 to Mike Brearley's England in 1978-79. He may not have been the most intuitive captain, but Yallop certainly led by example. In the last Test at Sydney, he made 121 in an innings where nobody else passed 16. His innings comprised 61.11% of the Australian total of 198, the eighth-highest in a completed Test innings. Yallop was a punchy left-hander who made eight hundreds in 39 Tests, including 167 at Calcutta in 1979-80 in his first innings as an opener, and 268 at Melbourne against Pakistan at Melbourne in 1983-84. He married a Welsh girl and played for Glamorgan 2nd XI in 1977.
The best of the only trio of brothers to have played Test cricket for South Africa was born today. Louis Tancred was a scrapper of an opener, very much in the Tavaré mould, happy to grind down attacks so that the middle order could cash in. He made 97 on debut, against Australia at Johannesburg in 1902-03, but that remained his highest score in 14 Tests. He bagged a pair at Headingley in his first Test in England, in 1907, and played his last Test in 1912-13. His brothers Augustus and Vincent played three Tests between them. Louis died in Johannesburg in 1934.
At Kanpur, Geoff Dymock became the third bowler and the first Australian to take to dismiss all 11 batsmen in a Test when he bowled Dilip Doshi. But his heroic performance - his match figures of 12 for 168 were his best in Tests - could not stop India winning by 153 runs. Australia needed 279 to win but collapsed dismally, with Kapil Dev and Shival Yadav each taking four wickets.
Birth of a man who was captain in his only Test. South African Henry Taberer was a useful allrounder who took charge when he made his debut against Australia at Johannesburg in 1902-03. He was a powerful hitter and quick bowler who once, for a bet, threw a cricket ball 100 yards while stood in a tub. Despite representing Oxford University against Cambridge at athletics and rugby, he did not gain his cricket Blue. He died in Colesberg in 1932.
An unlikely turnaround gave Australia their third consecutive Test victory at Madras. India had taken a first-innings lead of 65, but after Australia set them 333 to win, the home side fell apart. They were 0 for 2 and then 24 for 4, and despite a defiant 94 from Hanumant Singh, Australia breezed home by 139 runs. Their star was that gentle giant Graham McKenzie, who returned match figures of 10 for 91.