The Lord’s Cricket Ground, widely referred to as the Home of Cricket, is a historic venue in the game of cricket. The Victorian era pavilion along with the long room and the famous balcony are etched in the minds of all cricket fans. Reaching the three-digit mark in this historical ground is a dream for all the cricket players. The Lord’s honours boards situated in the pavilion of the ground commemorate players who have scored a century, taken 5 wickets in an innings, or taken 10 wickets in a Test or ODI match.
The first Test match in Lord’s was played in 1884 between England and Australia. Many great players have scored centuries here in Test matches. Let us have a look at the players who have dominated with their bat in their whole career but have not been able to score a single Test century at Lord’s.
5. Jacques Kallis
As a right-handed batsman and right-arm fast-medium swing bowler, Kallis is regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. In the Test career spanning for 18 years, he has played in 166 matches amassing 13289 runs at an average of 55.37. He has scored centuries in Old Trafford and Kensington Oval against England but has failed to score one in Lords. He played 3 Test matches in Lords and got the opportunity to bat in 5 innings. His scores are – 0,7,13,3,31- a total of 54 runs with a hideous average of 10.8. He, however, had taken 4 wickets in an innings at Lord’s against England in 1998.
4. Brian Lara
Brian Charles Lara undoubtedly will be remembered as one of the finest batsmen of the modern era. With his unique stance, lightning footwork and high backlift he was always craving for more boundaries and runs. He has accumulated 11953 runs at an average of 52.89 from the 131 Test matches he had played. This included 34 centuries, 7 double hundreds, 1 triple century, and the only 1 quadruple century in Test cricket. Even with all these achievements under his belt, he was never successful playing in the Mecca of cricket. In his 6 appearances at lords, he scored – 6, 54, 6, 5, 11, 44 – a total of 126 runs at a meagre average of 22.66 compared to his career average of 52.89.
3. Ricky Ponting
Ricky Thomas Ponting also known as “Punter” has dominated batting in all formats around the world. With a total of 71 centuries (Test -41 and ODI – 30), he is just behind Sachin in the number of centuries scored. Ponting is the second-highest run-scorer in Test match cricket. He amassed 13378 runs in only 168 matches at an average of 51.85. Not just a great batsman, he is also considered as the best captain that has led Australia.
Ponting was the captain of the Australian team that dominated World Cricket in the 2000s. Out of the 41 centuries in Test 23 was scored in Australia and the rest in venues around the world. The records piled up by this great player cannot be written in a few words. But, he was not able to break the jinx of reaching three digits in a Test match at Lord’s. Ponting’s scores at Lord’s – 14, 4, 9, 42, 2, 38, 26, 0 – A total of 135 runs at a below-par average of 16.87. Ponting, however, had scored a Century at Lords against England in 2005.
2. Sunil Gavaskar
He was undoubtedly one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time. His pristine technique, concentration, and the courage to face the fearsome West Indian pace attack without a helmet make him the Little master of cricket. The little master’s highest Test-knock came against West Indies in Chennai, when he scored an unbeaten 236. Even though Sachin surpassed his record of 34 Test centuries, his contribution to Indian cricket is far beyond these numbers. He scored 774 runs in 4 Test matches which remains the most runs in a debut Test series.
One of the biggest voids in his career can be the absence of a Test century in Lords out of his 34 centuries. He played 5 Test matches and failed to score a hundred in the 10 innings he played. He scored a total of 376 runs from his 10 innings at an average of 37.6 which included 2 half-centuries. However, he managed to score 188 for the Rest of the World XI against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) at Lord’s in his final first-class game.
1. Sachin Tendulkar
God of cricket who has almost achieved everything in his career with the bat has failed to score a century in Lords in test cricket, even a half-century. 100 international centuries; 51 in Tests, not one of them at Lord’s. Sachin has scored centuries on other grounds in England such as Old Trafford, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge, and Leeds with scores of 119*, 122, 177, and 193 respectively. He has scored a total of 7 Test centuries against England in which 4 were scored in English conditions.
In the 9 innings he has stepped out to bat in Lord’s his scores read – 10, 27, 31, 16, 12, 37, 16, 34, 12 – adding to a total of 195 runs at an average of 21.67 which is way below his standard. Like his idol, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin has managed to score a century in Lord’s playing for MCC against the rest of the world in Diana memorial match.
The names of greats such as M S Dhoni and Matthew Hayden are missing from the list. Apart from the legends stated above, some of the best Test players in the current era such as Virat Kohli, Marnus Labuschagne, Babar Azam, David Warner have also not yet scored a century at Lords. They would be having at the top of their minds to score a century at the very same venue before they hang their boots.