Plundering runs, the Pandya way!

Hardik Pandya... belting a record 26 runs off a single over from Sri Lanka’s left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara.   -  AP

6

The number of batsmen who have the distinction of making seven consecutive scores of 50-plus in Test cricket. The latest entrant to this list is Lokesh Rahul, following the 85 he scored at Pallekele (Kandy). He, thus, joins West Indian Everton Weekes (1948-1949), Zimbabwean Andy Flower (2000-2001), West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul (2006-2007), Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara (2014) and Australian Chris Rogers (2014-2015). Rahul needs just one more 50-plus score in his next innings to make the record (scoring the most successive half-centuries) his own!

26

The runs (4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 0) scored by India’s Hardik Pandya in a single over of Sri Lanka’s left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara in the Pallekele Test. This is the most runs scored by an Indian batsman in a single over of a Test.

In the history of Test cricket, only West Indian Brian Lara (off Robin Petersen of South Africa, in Johannesburg in December 2003) and Australian George Bailey (off James Anderson of England, in Perth in December 2013) have scored more — 28 runs — in a single over.

For India, before Pandya, the most runs scored off a single over were 24 — by Sandeep Patil (off Bob Willis of England, in Manchester in June 1982) and Kapil Dev (off Eddie Hemmings of England, at Lord’s in July 1990).

7

The number of sixes hit by Hardik Pandya during his maiden Test century at Pallekele. Among Indians, only Navjot Singh Sidhu has hit more sixes — 8. That also came against Sri Lanka in Lucknow in January 1994.

Pandya, meanwhile, joins two other Indians, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh, who have also managed seven sixes during their innings. However, Pandya’s seven sixes are the most by an Indian batsman in an away Test!

5

The number of Indian batsmen who scored their maiden first-class century in a Test match. Hardik Pandya (108 at Pallekele) joins Vijay Manjrekar(133 against England in Leeds, June 1952), Kapil Dev (126 not out against West Indies in Delhi, January 1979), Ajay Ratra (115 not out against West Indies in St. John’s, May 2002) and Harbhajan Singh (115 against New Zealand in Ahmedabad, November 2010).

81

The number of Indians who have scored centuries for India in Tests. Hardik Pandya, the latest to do so at Pallekele, recorded India’s 483rd Test century. For the record, only England and Australian batsmen have more Test centuries —851 and 832 respectively — than India.

1

The number of times India has whitewashed its opponents abroad. India’s recent 3-0 series victory in Sri Lanka made it the first Asian team to whitewash any home side in a series of three or more Test matches. This, incidentally, is only the eighth time in Test history where the visiting side has won all its matches in a series of three or more Tests. Australia has done it on four occasions, while England has done it twice and West Indies once.

For the record, West Indies is the only team to have won an away Test series 5-0, in England in 1984.

9

The number of Test matches won by India on Sri Lankan soil — now the most by any visiting side, followed by Pakistan, which has won eight, and Australia, which has won seven, in Sri Lanka!

THIS WEEK IN 1979

August 30

Ian Botham of England completed the all-rounders’ double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in just 21 Tests, against India at The Oval — the quickest by any player in Test cricket history!

 

Q&A

Is Hardik Pandya’s century off 86 balls the quickest by a batsman making his maiden Test hundred?

Pandya’s 86-ball century is not even the quickest by an Indian making his maiden Test century. If you recall, Shikhar Dhawan, on debut, reached his century off 85 balls in Mohali during his 187 against Australia in March 2013. However, the distinction of scoring the quickest maiden Test century goes to Englishman Gilbert Jessop, who during his knock of 104, reached the three-figure mark off just 76 balls, against Australia at The Oval in August 1902.

How many Parsi cricketers have played Tests for India?

Out of the 289 players who have made their Test debut for India so far, 11 are Parsis. Two of them, Sorabji Colah and Phiroz Palia, played in India’s inaugural Test at Lord’s in 1932. The last Parsi to play for India was wicketkeeper-batsman Farokh Engineer, who appeared in 46 Tests (1961-1975). But the most successful Parsi cricketer was Polly Umrigar, who played in 59 Tests from 1948 to 1961 — a record then — and scored 3631 runs and 12 centuries — also a record then. He and Nari Contractor are the only Parsi cricketers to have led India in Tests!

Is Virat Kohli the most successful Indian Test captain?

At this point in his career, Kohli is, indeed, the most successful Indian Test captain with a win percentage of 65.52, among skippers who have led India in more than one Test. Only Ravi Shastri and Ajinkya Rahane have a 100% win record — but both led India in only one Test. For the record, Kohli has led India in 29 Tests so far, having won 19, lost 3 and drawn 7! In Test cricket history, only Australia’s Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting have won more — 21 — in their first 29 Tests as captain. This makes Kohli, at least at this point in his career, the third most successful captain after the two Aussies.

Which batsman has made the most double-centuries in first-class cricket? 

Australia’s Don Bradman has the distinction of scoring the most double-centuries — 37 — in his first-class career. His tally includes one quadruple century, five triple-centuries (between 300 and 399) and 31 scores between 200 and 299. Walter Hammond of England has 36 double-centuries, including four triple-centuries. This means he has 32 scores between 200 and 299, one more than Bradman.

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