Viv Richards bats

The seventies of '79: Richards produced a fine pair in Adelaide

© PA Photos
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The top 50: 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50

No. 31
Viv Richards: 76 and 74
Australia v West Indies, Adelaide, 1980
"We're starting to realise how teams who played against Bradman and Sobers felt," wrote Rod Marsh in his Sydney Morning Herald column a day after Viv Richards walloped a 72-ball 76 and laid the base for West Indies' first series win in Australia. Greg Chappell chose to bowl on a green-tinged pitch - and Dennis Lillee steamed in to produce what the legendary Australian legspinner Bill O'Reilly termed "one of the greatest fast bowling performances" - but Richards was undaunted, cutting, pulling and driving in a virtuoso counterattack. Len Pascoe tried to rile Richards up with bouncers and verbals; at one stage he was blasted for six fours in nine balls. If Richards was belligerent on day one, he was commanding on day three. One shot encapsulated his mastery: a caressed straight drive off Ashley Mallett bulleted off the bat with such speed that it was near the longest boundary by the time Greg Chappell at mid-on and Kim Hughes at mid-off even moved. Richards' 74 set up a big West Indian lead and rounded off a summer where he plundered 386 runs in three Tests (at 96.50) and 485 runs in seven ODIs (at 97.00) - despite carrying groin and back injuries through the tour. - Siddhartha Vaidyanathan

Chandra and Ajit Wadekar on the balcony at The Oval after the win

Chandra and Ajit Wadekar on the balcony at The Oval after the win © Getty Images

No. 32
Bhagwath Chandrasekhar: 2 for 76 and 6 for 38
England v India, The Oval, 1971
India's maverick leggie spent three and a half years in the cold, missing 19 Tests, but when he returned for a three-Test series in England, Chandra found his place in Indian cricket folklore. With a whippy arm action, revolutions of his wrist, zip off the wicket and dead-eye accuracy, he was to turn the Oval Test around in two and a half hours. His 6 for 38 should in all fairness be counted as a 7; in his first over of the England second innings, Chandra deflected a straight drive from Brian Luckhurst and had non-striker John Jameson run out. England were 71 ahead on first innings, but were jolted within two deliveries just before lunch. First came the quicker one, the ball cannoning onto John Edrich's middle stump before his bat could get down. The next jumped, bit the edge of Keith Fletcher's bat and went to Eknath Solkar at short leg. After lunch Luckhurst fell to Chandra, who then wiped out the tail. England were dismissed for their lowest total against India. And the batsmen chased 173 for a historic Test and series win. Wisden reported that there was "dancing in the streets" of Bombay as "revellers stopped and boarded buses to convey the news to commuters". - Sharda Ugra

Curtain call: Warne was at his vintage best in his 100th Test

Curtain call: Warne was at his vintage best in his 100th Test © Associated Press

No. 33
Shane Warne: 2 for 70 and 6 for 161; 63 and 15 not out
South Africa v Australia, Cape Town, 2002
He didn't just talk the talk. When there was a challenge he invariably rose to it. And there was no bigger challenge than in Cape Town in 2002. It was his 100th Test. The heat was sizzling. The South African batting line-up was pretty hot too. And Shane Warne had smashed 63 to give Australia a first-innings lead of 143. By then the pitch was flat: Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie took two wickets in 76 overs. Warne bowled 70 overs (after 28 first time round), the most by an Australian in a Test innings for 24 years. Most of the South African batsmen got starts but Warne ensured none of them scored big. He bowled 342 dot balls. And he kept Australia's target to 331. "When I hit the 60-over mark it was like a big night out - you get your third and fourth wind," Warne said. Then, when any normal human would have reckoned he had done enough, Warne went out and knocked off 15 runs to wrap up Australia's chase. It was the ultimate story of how an individual can bend a team game to his will. - Scyld Berry

Just like 1877: Australia won by 45 runs when Lillee took the wicket of Alan Knott

Just like 1877: Australia won by 45 runs when Lillee took the wicket of Alan Knott Patrick Eagar / © Getty Images

No. 34
Dennis Lillee: 6 for 26 and 5 for 139
Australia v England, Centenary Test, Melbourne, 1977
The Centenary Test had it all: Rick McCosker's broken jaw, David Hookes taking five fours off a Tony Greig over, Derek Randall's 174, and an identical 45-run victory margin to the inaugural Test 100 years earlier. Much of the talent base was also secretly in the process of signing with Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket (WSC). One man who went to WSC was Dennis Lillee, and it was Lillee who lit up the second day of the Centenary Test. Often bowling with seven catchers in a line from wicketkeeper to gully, Lillee found enough pace and movement to have the England batsmen obligingly sending edges there time after time. He ran through England to collect 6 for 26, and Australia improbably had a first-innings lead, having themselves been dismissed for 138. Randall fought brilliantly against Lillee's pace and bounce in the second innings, even doffing his cap to the bowler after one fierce bouncer, but it was Lillee who ended up on top: his five wickets brought Australia victory. Randall was named Player of the Match, but Lillee was chaired off by his team-mates to the adoration of the Australian fans. - Brydon Coverdale

A broken thumb did not prevent Marshall from breaking the back of England's batting

A broken thumb did not prevent Marshall from breaking the back of England's batting © Patrick Eagar

No. 35
Malcolm Marshall: 4; 7 for 53
England v West Indies, Leeds, 1984
Six overs into his opening spell of the match, Malcolm Marshall suffered a double fracture of his left thumb as he fielded at gully; he was advised not to play for ten days. On the third day of the Test, with Larry Gomes running out of partners when batting in the 90s, Marshall declared that he would bat if necessary. As team-mates rushed to strap on Marshall's pads, Joel Garner was ninth out, with Gomes on 96. Marshall hurried out with his thumb heavily plastered, passing shocked England's fielders, who had assumed the innings was over, and stayed long enough for Gomes to reach his hundred. Ten minutes after he was dismissed Marshall was back to further ambush England with 7 for 53, his best Test figures at the time. The only effect of the batsmen's insistence for him to replace the white plaster on his left hand with pink was to rouse him even more. The eight-wicket win, en route to a 5-0 victory, sealed the series for West Indies. - Tony Cozier

Gower: insouciance, charm, ephemerality

Gower: insouciance, charm, ephemerality © Getty Images

No. 36
David Gower: 72 and 28
Australia v England, Perth, 1982
The first Test of an Ashes series at the WACA: a moonscape of a venue that felt, in the days of crackling commentary and grainy bleached camerawork, more distant and forbidding than it appeared on the map. It is no venue to be a Pom - a solitary victory there since its inauguration in 1970, against a Packer-neutered team. But for 143 sparkling minutes on the opening day of England's Ashes defence, David Gower tamed the trampoline bounce in his own insouciant fashion. Even the greatest of Gower's innings never seemed built to last, and this one sadly wasn't - John Dyson's tumbling grab at square leg saw to that as Gower middled another of his flicks off the pads. But until that moment, his serenity ruled the roost. Nine fours in all, the majority worked square as the ball climbed to meet his cuts and clips, but the best of them was reserved for the snorting Dennis Lillee, a brace of disdainful drives down the ground - the bull bested by the grace of the toreador. The match finished a draw and the series in defeat. But the charm exuded on that first morning begged that eternally Gower-esque question: what, really, might have been? - Andrew Miller

The sorcerer: Sarfraz took 7 for 1 in 33 balls in the course of his spell

The sorcerer: Sarfraz took 7 for 1 in 33 balls in the course of his spell © Patrick Eagar

No. 37
Sarfraz Nawaz: 2 for 39 and 9 for 86
Australia v Pakistan, Melbourne, 1979
Contrarian to the last, Sarfraz Nawaz says it wasn't reverse swing. His captain on the day, Mushtaq Mohammad, insists it was. His opening bowling partner, Imran Khan, says Sarfraz was just very good at identifying a ball at the start of the innings that would swing the most. Indisputably, it was a mind-bending feat of medium-fast bowling, in a rivalry that was among the feistiest of the era. It was also among the most abundant: this was the third of seven series the two sides played in just over a decade. A Packer-hit Australia were cruising to what would then have been the third-highest run chase in history; half an hour after tea on the final day, they were 305 for 3, 77 runs away. Allan Border and Kim Hughes had put on 177 when Sarfraz, ambling in off a shortened run-up of no more than 12 paces, bowled Border with a delivery that cut back as sharply as a legbreak. His dismissal of last man Alan Hurst bookended an hour of magic: 7 for 1 from 33 deliveries. As much as swing, it was late, sharp dip - sound familiar? Simple "line and length" he told the post-match interviewer, with a straight face too. - Osman Samiuddin

They couldn't out Gavaskar at all: or not until he had batted eight hours at least

They couldn't out Gavaskar at all: or not until he had batted eight hours at least © Getty Images

No. 38
Sunil Gavaskar: 221
England v India, The Oval, 1979
In a miserable English summer, India had lost all three of their World Cup matches, including to Sri Lanka, lost the first Test against England, and had drawn the next two thanks to the weather. At The Oval, they were asked to chase 438 in 500 minutes. Mike Brearley was criticised for a late declaration in a Test that England seemed certain to win. Three years earlier India had set the record for the highest chase in Tests against a pre-pace-heavy West Indies in Port-of-Spain, but for them to turn this summer around it was going to take something else entirely. Then Gavaskar batted: flawless, clipping past midwicket, driving through cover, suggesting on the fourth evening that the conditions gave him hope of victory. He added 213 for the first wicket, of which Chetan Chauhan scored 80; Dilip Vengsarkar managed 52 in the 153-run stand for the second wicket. So enamoured were the English fans, they jeered when their team slowed down the game. But the batsmen panicked once Vengsarkar got out, and were forced to play out a draw as wickets fell in a heap. - Sidharth Monga

The man of the 1966 season and David Holford leave the field on day four

The man of the 1966 season and David Holford leave the field on day four © PA Photos

No. 39
Garry Sobers: 46 and 163 not out; 47-16-97-1
England v West Indies, Lord's, 1966
Even by the standards of the Summer of Sobers this was an extraordinary performance. When Sobers came to bat in the second innings, West Indies were four down with a lead of 5. At effectively 9 for 5, he was joined by his first cousin, David Holford. Sobers worked out straightaway that "I had to force Colin Cowdrey into defensive tactics... And the only way to do that was to belt the hell out of his bowlers!" Some five hours and 20 minutes later, the pair was still unbeaten after a stand of 274. Sobers the captain declared with Sobers the batsman on 163, an innings he would rate as his best, to set England a target of 284 in 60-odd overs. Sobers the captain then brought on Sobers the bowler to open the attack, and to go with 39 overs in the first innings, he sent down eight more; it ended in a draw. On the first day of the Test, West Indies had a dressing-room visitor, who had heard all about this Sobers fellow being the "greatest". Garry Sobers and Muhammad Ali made a pretty picture together. - Rahul Bhattacharya

Gavaskar's masterly Bangalore 96 was a tutorial on how to bat on a spiteful turner

Gavaskar's masterly Bangalore 96 was a tutorial on how to bat on a spiteful turner © Getty Images

No. 40
Sunil Gavaskar: 96
India v Pakistan, Bangalore, 1987
Sunil Gavaskar's swansong in Test cricket was an elegiac masterpiece, and fittingly, he had to summon every ounce of his skill and mental fortitude to script it. The reason why it has made it to this list can be found in the scorecard: ten of the 12 wickets to fall on the first day were claimed by spinners and they went on to claim 35 out of 40; the second-highest score in the match was 50; and with India chasing a target of 221, Imran Khan didn't even bother to bowl in the final innings. It wasn't merely a turner but a beast of a surface that produced upon contact deadly apparitions, the ball spitting, fizzing, curling, shooting low and presenting varying degrees of unplayability. Gavaskar brought out decisive footwork, immaculate judgement of length, the softest of hands, the sharpest of eyes, precise shot selection, and most of all, the rare ability to withdraw the bat just when the bowler was tantalised by the prospect of an edge. And all this while never losing an opportunity to score. After battling for 320 minutes, he fell to an error of judgement from the umpire, and as he walked off briskly, without a trace of disapproval, it was evident that this was one of those rare occasions when a performance had transcended the outcome. - Sambit Bal

Read Nos. 41-50 here

The top 50: 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50

 

LOGIN TO POST YOUR COMMENTS

  • POSTED BY alfanso on | January 5, 2016, 23:56 GMT

    Did I miss Andy Roberts taking 13 wickets in Chennai ?

  • POSTED BY Aniruddh on | January 5, 2016, 7:43 GMT

    Absolutely ridiculous to see this Gower's innings here, that too from a match where Randall won the MoM. Is the panel suggesting that whosoever decided MoM in that match was not capable enough? I was very excited to see this list going up there but this innings doesn't even deserve top 1000 let alone top 50. Where is Dravid's 180 / Bhajji's 13 wickets from same match as VVS Laxman's, Where are Sachin's Chennai Innings, his guard against SA in SA or at Perth or his Oval's match saving innings. I can count many from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, England, WI (Chanders/Sarwans century in chase of 418), ZIM, NZ (If the this 72 is here for what it could have been then why not Astle's fastest 200 against Eng where had he continued they would have chased 500+), SA (Smith's 4th innings bat works, ABD, Amla, Faf's batathons), etc. It could have been any other innings but these 100 Gower runs in 2 innings are questionable and sad that Gower made to the list with this.

  • POSTED BY Sreekanth on | January 4, 2016, 13:01 GMT

    One can have a lot of opinions on how good/great sachin was, but when not even ONE of his innings (from the 20 years and 16000 runs) make it to the top-50 innings. The list sort of loses its credibility frankly.

  • POSTED BY Mohan on | January 3, 2016, 13:24 GMT

    CHARINDRA ON, Murli will find it difficult to figure on a list that tends to be built around "Golden Boys" and I feel sorry for that - -- one of the greatest of bowlers has to struggle to get on this list of "greatest performances". Case in Point -- How does David Gower's 72 in a drawn test match where 3 other players outscored him ---- can justifiably fall into this list? A great innings is not just about a few pretty to watch shots. It needs to have content, serve a purpose and stand out high and above the performances of others in the match and given the number of matches that we are looking at - such an innings would also have swung the dynamics of a match greatly with a great sense of Drama and suspense. So I agree with you. While I am enjoying the article, it has disappointed me on some counts.

  • POSTED BY Mohan on | January 3, 2016, 13:09 GMT

    I am not sure if (this) David Gower's innings is worthy of being in here in this list of 50 and that too at a pretty high 36! No matter how brilliant the player and however dazzling that short innings may have seemed - if the innings was not of sufficient duration (especially a drawn match that involved 2 other centurions) or one that had a Significant impact on the match then it should not figure as a "Greatest". The innings was more like a cameo and one can find many such instances by other players too. Gower was, no doubt, one of the most stylist and gifted of batsmen though in my view he did not live up o his potential completely. I do feel that when the list is as small as the "Greatest 50", it would be unfair on many of the other great performances that get left out, if one sneaks in an innings purely on the basis of "what could have been" just because the flair has mesmerized you.

  • POSTED BY GV on | December 31, 2015, 7:05 GMT

    Cantwaittosee - I agree on the part about not too many batsmen getting to 5. Most of the descriptions of this innings emphasize how perfect Sunny's movements were, and his technique. But nothing about how many batsmen were forced to change their technique due to the sheer pressure. 1) Vengsarkar was hitting out at everything in the first innings till he got out. 2) Likewise Miandad in the Pak 2nd inn - there was little conviction that he would last and make a difference. 3) Iqbal Qasim and Salim Yousuf counter attacked in the 2nd inn but in a very chancy way and the Indian attack was flagging and morale was falling 4) Imran, their best batsman in this series, struggled but by sheer will power, managed to eke out a few. In light of all this, in a needle match, the decider, in a run chase, it is amazing that Sunny stuck to his natural technique, which also tells us how good it was. Listen to Imran's ICC speech for a description of the pressure mounted on the umpire by Pak fielders...

  • POSTED BY jasprit on | December 31, 2015, 5:31 GMT

    Just imagine when West Indies in the 80's won 16 straight tests, if they had gone to Australia after that and Dennis Lillee took 32 wickets in 3 tests and single handedly beat Windies the series. Do you think that performance from Dennis Lillee would be ranked in the 40's? Definitely Not. Why Harbhajan then?

  • POSTED BY jasprit on | December 31, 2015, 5:21 GMT

    And probably, Harbhajan Singh's performances in that 2001 series against Australia rank a lot higher that in the 40's as well. He single handedly ran through the best batting side in the world, and one of the best ever, to win India the series. Australia were coming off a world record 16 or 17 straight test wins with some great batsmen. And Harbhajan along with that epic partnership won India the series. I cant recall too many better bowling performances.

  • POSTED BY jasprit on | December 31, 2015, 2:08 GMT

    Gavaskar's innings of 96 is way too low. If any of the other batsmen on this list were asked to bat on that wicket, I cant think of too many who would ve got upto a score of 5. It was pure genius from a great batsman, once in a lifetime, perfect batting masterclass. I ve been watching cricket for 40 years now, and watched that innings live ball by ball. I can assure you there is nothing ever since that I enjoyed so much. It was actually sooo good, you would have had to watch it to believe it. Words cannot describe it. Never watched the 221, but just going by the numbers, 38 seems way too low for that as well. Should be at least in the top 10. And the 96 definitely in the top 5 or so, if not at the top, along with VVS's 281 and Lara's 153.

  • POSTED BY Ali on | December 30, 2015, 22:59 GMT

    That Gavaskar innings of 96 is one of the finest you will ever see on a spinning minefield. However the writer should get his facts straight. Gavaskar was out, it wasn't an umpiring error.

  • POSTED BY Shakil on | December 30, 2015, 13:20 GMT

    There should be no question Gavaskar innings in Bangalore in the list. The question should be why it is rated as low as 40. It is finest batting display against world class spinner in a deadly spinning wicket againest your arch rival in a series decider at home. What more you want to have it to be in top3 or 5?. I was a 16 year old, watched the batting master-class in a blurry DD transmission from Bangladesh. I have never seen a better batting display. The innings could be compared only with majestic Lara Innings (153* against the Aussie) in the last 50 years. It was sheer class in determination, patience and batting technique. And dont forget Pakistan also had an young Akram

  • POSTED BY Cricinfouser on | December 30, 2015, 9:00 GMT

    I sense some bias in this list. Muttiah Muralitharan should feature at least 8 times in the Top 50 performances of the past 50 years. Against England alone he has at least 3 worthy performances, several against Pakistan, and at least 1 each against South Africa, India and New Zealand. Let's see how this pans out, and whether my suspicions are valid.

  • POSTED BY PALLAB on | December 30, 2015, 8:08 GMT

    Cool Jeeves: Likewise. Still remember that Sunny's concentration was flagged cos of sight-screen probs in Ah'dbd & he lost his wicket almost immediately . Kapil's 9-wicket haul too went waste as India could not chase.2 back-to-back high-octane attacking innings in 2 straight Tests against a vengeful team smarting from World Cup'83 defeat including that coruscating 121 in Delhi. "We make heroes of batsmen who play fast bowling well. When England had losing series against WI & OZ in 1970s, we made a hero of David Steele, who at least stood up to quickest bowlers on the planet. Long before India became major power in world cricket, India (and world) relished Sunil Gavaskar: the best and most courageous batsman against extreme pace. ".Simon Barnes on Sunny while writing on the death of Hughes facing a bouncer bowled by a pacer….encapsulates what made Sunny the most accomplished Test bat of that era..http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/803857.html

  • POSTED BY GV on | December 30, 2015, 7:26 GMT

    Emancipator007 - Good to see you. Sunny's 90 in Ahmedabad deserves a special mention. It is the only innings in history, where the attack included Holding, Marshall and Daniel (who incidentally was the guy who cleaned us up here), had placed us at 173 for 2, replying to 281, in a very strong position, scored at a strike rate of 75pc, on a wicket which was a very hostile wicket form day 1. In Maco, his autobiography, Marshall says that Lloyd called it the worst pitch he had ever seen in his career. It was a terrible wicket from day 1. I don't remember any other innings from any batsman, where a top class attack was murdered on a terrible wicket, in a situation where the innings made a real difference. This was no burning deck or lost cause innings. Sandeep Patil in his book Sandy Storm, praises it in the manner it deserves. It will be my no.1 innings from any batsman of all time.

  • POSTED BY Harsh on | December 30, 2015, 4:14 GMT

    For sheer bowling skill I place Dennis Lillee's haul of 11 wickets in the 1977 Centenary test almost at the top of the 3.,displaying the art of fast bowling at it's highest zenith.He displayed the agression of a boxer,the technical skill of an engineer and the innovation of a poet.Watching Lillee steaming in was a sight to behold who displayed mastery in obtaining pace and seam movement on a fat surface with a series of variations.To me it was an exhibition for a schoolboy.Sarafraz Nawaz at Melbourne proved that fast=medium could be even more lethal than genuine pace and on that day was atleast the equal of Richard Hadlee.Amazingly when taking 7-53 Marshall was more fast-medium than genuine quick which proved the ingenuity of his variations.

  • POSTED BY PALLAB on | December 30, 2015, 4:10 GMT

    TATTus, u back to nitpicking about Sunny not being best bat against WI. During '83 calendar year, he scored 745 runs against them in 11 Tests (wud be akin to scoring 1500 runs today given gold dust nature of eking out runs against such relentless pace attacks!) &only 200 against a WI attack including Roberts,Marshall.Holding (D. Jones was only other bat to have a 200 against WI pace attack in '88). That 121 in Delhi & 90 in Ah'bad were scored at Sehwagesque SR ! Failed in WI though with only that 147 in Guyana.He began with a 86 against Roberts in '75 series, scored 100s against Roberts/Holding in 1976 series, 4 100s against Clarke, Marshall in '79 series. U can't cherrypick his overall success against top team of that era. Hell, Sunny was so good he also scored 90 v them in 3rd ODI in WI in '83 which cracked code of beating WI in ODIs (was considered IMPOSSIBLE during that era). One can cherry pick Bradman's records too against only 1 Test nation's bowling attack thru whole career.

  • POSTED BY Nathan on | December 30, 2015, 2:48 GMT

    Oooh Im getting nervous now ... VVS / Dravid v Australia, Ambrose in Perth, Gilchrist's Ashes hundred at the WACA, Lara v everyone, Hadlee at the Gabba, Sachin v everyone, Flintoff in 2005, Sanga and Jayawardne in 2006 against the Proteas .... where do they all fit in ? Are they good enough ? Please publish all the rest immediately :)

  • POSTED BY Kamlesh on | December 29, 2015, 19:44 GMT

    Very good. But those two innings from Gavaskar should have been put in the top 10. In fact , 221 at The Oval should be rated at top considering the situation. Just because other batsmen didn't finish the job, you cannot down rate the greatest innings in test match history.

  • POSTED BY Arun on | December 29, 2015, 17:17 GMT

    Great list but I would have had that 221 by Gavaskar much much higher.....

  • POSTED BY Milind on | December 29, 2015, 13:19 GMT

    Those two Sunny innnings - might have been in the top 10 had India won. Shows how great individual performances are enhanced by the presence of others in the team delivering supporting performances.

  • POSTED BY Namtab on | December 29, 2015, 9:54 GMT

    Something of an over-preponderance of Indian efforts on this list so far....

  • POSTED BY ramachandra on | December 29, 2015, 8:55 GMT

    Just shows how Sunil Gavaskar wasnt the best batsman against the WI foursome. Mohinder Amarnath was that guy. Gavsakar scored all his runs when the WI bowling was relatively weak. Only his Delhi 100 came against the four fastmen.

  • POSTED BY Saif on | December 29, 2015, 8:46 GMT

    Sunil Gavaskar's masterpiece against Pakistan (96 in his last innings for India) was indeed a masterpiece. I am lucky to have watched that match in its entirety. To say that Sunil Gavaskar, my all time favorite Indian cricketer, was out because of an error of judgement on the part of the umpire, is travesty of truth, to say the least. Even Gavaskar himself has admitted in one of his interviews that he was, indeed, out. Umpire gave him out rightly. Even without creating any controversy that innings was one of a kind and needs no further enhancement from any quarters.

  • POSTED BY PALLAB on | December 29, 2015, 8:02 GMT

    The 221 by Sunny should actually be in top 10 & just a mere 9 runs from not attaining victory of such a stiff chase in English conditions should not detract from the magnificence of masterclass innings & and its transcendent status . Victory would indisputably have granted this innings the best innings status of the 20th century. Indian lower-order batsmen of that era just did not grasp fast-scoring batting dynamics & so could not get into ODI mode in the last session/mandatory overs to score the runs quickly. That 96 in Bangalore also confirmed Sunny's pole position as the 4th innings master of that era- much like G. Smith/Younis Khan of this. Too many of the Ashes Tests are getting over-rated attention. Lillee in 1982 was hardly a snorting pacy quick, just a fast-medium highly experienced canny bowler. Hope Hadlee's exploits get mention in the forthcoming lists. Of course, Imran's herculean performances against might of WI too leading to 3 drawn series with them at their peak.

  • POSTED BY Vinod on | December 29, 2015, 7:43 GMT

    out off all these...i think Sarfraz's 7 for 1 was most under-rated, that was an awesome spell of fast swing bowling would have challenged most in the world....Chandra's effort in '71 was path breaking for india, one of the first big steps we took...what was not mentioned in that was the excellent close catching by Ekki Solkar and venkat....they were awesome....Sunny's 221 - chanceless and sublime-if only Kapil had not played that shot and with some more ODI experience, we would have nailed that chase....Viv - the king of them all...charisma and swagger...awesome...keep them coming Cricinfo...fun reliving these performances.....

  • POSTED BY Rod on | December 29, 2015, 7:25 GMT

    Just watched Sarfraz's 7/1 again on youtube - just as stunning as when I saw it live at the MCG all those years ago. Personally I think it should rank higher - it gave Pakistan a win out of nothing : Australia still had a reasonable chance of winning at 3/305 though a draw was more likely. Very few at the ground at tea ever thought an Australian loss was even remotely possible. Good Test match all round that! (to paraphrase the late Richie Benaud)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AEJJeZp8TY