Cricket has been dominated mostly by batsmen. The boundaries and over-boundaries have fascinated fans since ages. Let’s recall some of the mesmerizing facts of cricket, some of which are yet to be broken and some of which are tough to achieve.
Charles Bannerman – First of many
The first Test match was played between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground in the month of March 1877. Alfred Shaw delivered the first ball of the Test cricket ever as the Australian Charles Bannerman was facing him. He went on to become the first run-scorer in the history of Test cricket and then scored the first Test century before getting retired hurt on 165. This also made him the holder of another unique record, the first cricketer to become retired hurt in Test. He also contributed more than 65% of the team’s total. A record which did not change hand in the history of Test cricket.
Don Bradman – 99.94
Don Bradman was arguably the greatest ever batsman and he reached heights which was not even imagined before him. He led the Australians in the hugely successful tour in 1948. The last Test of the series was also his last and he had scored 6996 runs till then and required just four runs for an average of 100. Bradman came to bat with thunderous applause. He played the first ball cautiously and missed the line of the second ball that broke the stumps. The ground went quiet. Even Bradman took a few seconds to realise what happened before walking back. One of the greatest ever batsmen scored a zero in his last Test. It also meant that his average remained 99.94.
Sunil Gavaskar –First 10000 Test runs
The 10000 runs barrier is still considered as a significant milestone in Test cricket. It took 110 years for any batsman to reach that mark for the first time. Most fittingly, Sunil Gavaskar became the first player to score 10000 runs in Test cricket. During the 70s and 80s, Gavaskar was the mainstay for Indian batting and often played lone battles abroad. Some of his epic innings came against West Indies who used to maintain a great battery of fast bowlers in those days.
Highest scores – Brian Lara, Rohit Sharma, Aaron Finch
The highest individual innings in Test matches was played by Brian Lara. The record was held by West Indian great Gary Sobers for more than 36 years thanks to his 365. Lara broke the record in 1994 at St. John’s Antigua. The record was briefly held by the Australian opener Matthew Hayden who scored 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003. However, Lara reclaimed the record within six months with his unbeaten 400 at the same ground in Antigua. He still holds the record for 16 years.
In limited-overs cricket, Belinda Clark held the record for the highest individual score for a long time. However, currently, the record is with Indian opener Rohit Sharma for his blistering 264 at Eden Gardens. The record in T20 International is held by the Aussie Aaron Finch with 172.
Sachin Tendulkar – A bucketful of records
Sachin Tendulkar came to the cricketing world as a prodigy and played for 24 years before finishing as one of the greats in the game. As rightly pointed out by Virat Kohli in the night of India’s World Cup win after 28 years, Tendulkar, also known as ‘Little Master’ carried India on his shoulder for around 20 years, during which he was considered to be the greatest batsman in the world and the most popular sporting figure in India. Some of his records are unparallel including his tally of 34357 international runs (15921 in Tests, 18426 in ODIs, 10 in T20I) and 100 international hundreds (51 in Tests and 49 in ODIs). Breaking these records will be a huge challenge for the future generation of cricketers.
Six sixes in an over
In cricket, hitting a six is considered as one of the greatest showings of batsmanship. It requires good timing, power, hand-eye coordination and confidence. However, hitting all the deliveries of an over for six is not easy and till now four players achieved the feat of hitting six sixes in an over in senior cricket. Gary Sobers was the first man to achieve this record in first-class cricket followed by Ravi Shastri in Ranji Trophy. In international cricket, Herschelle Gibbs was the first man to hit six sixes in a World Cup match against the Netherlands in 2007. However, the most celebrated one was achieved by Yuvraj Singh in the same year against England during India’s victorious campaign in the 2007 T20 World Cup.