Cricket is usually known for its vast range of records, broken in almost every match. The game of cricket would be tough to understand and enjoy if one doesn’t have any idea of the numbers behind it.
However, a few records are still unbroken and sound very tough to be reached. The reason behind some of them is due to the ‘once in an exceptional lifetime performance’ of cricketers over time, while some of the other records cannot be broken due to the changing formalities.
Some of the popularly known unbroken records are Don Bradman’s batting average, his insane Ashes records, Brian Lara’s 400, Jason Gillespie’s best ever night-watchman innings, and Muralitharan’s 800 wickets. Sachin Tendulkar has his own list of unbroken records.
So, what we have decided to discuss about in this blog are the cricket records and facts that are lesser known, and at the same time, are unbreakable.
Here are 10 unknown or underrated international/first-class cricket records that are unlikely to be broken at any point in time.
Javed Miandad – 9 consecutive ODI fifties
78, 78, 74, 60, 52, 113, 71, 68, 103 – The unbelievable streak which belongs to Javed Miandad, achieved in 1987.
The streak started in the fifth ODI against India at Nagpur, and the last match of the streak was in his team’s first World Cup match against Sri Lanka.
In his next World Cup match against England, Phil DeFreitas dismissed Miandad LBW at 23 to avoid his consecutive fifty-plus streak to reach double digits.
Nevertheless, the record stands a mile ahead of the rest, as the next in the list of most consecutive ODI fifties are Gordon Greenidge, Andrew Jones, Mark Waugh, Yousuf Youhana, Kane Williamson, Chris Gayle and Paul Stirling – each of them with 6.
588 runs in a single day of Test match
588 runs were scored in a single day in a Test match between England and pre-independent India, and YES! it happened in real.
It was in the second Test of the series at Manchester on 27th June 1936.
In the first Test of the series at Lord’s, India took a first-innings lead despite being all-out for just 147, before a second-innings collapse made them lose the match.
In the next Test at batting-friendly Manchester, India improved their first innings score to score above 200. After that, India’s then fastest bowler Mohammad Nissar clean-bowled Harold Gimblett as England were left with a spot of bother, at 12/1. Wally Hammond, who comes to the crease, did not score a century in each last five-Test series, as was also hundred-less in the 23 innings of that County season, with an average just 24. Yet, Hammond got to play one of his finest knocks, by scoring a hundred in only 100 minutes (138 balls), as England finish the day at the score of 173/2 at stumps.
Now comes the 588-runs day. Though Hammond could add just 49 more runs, England showed a lot of depth in their batting – with the fifties from Stan Worthington, Joe Hardstaff junior., Walter Robins, and Hedley Verity.
England declares on 571/8 and put India to bat. Psychologically a less experienced team is expected to succumb more when the situation is more out of reach. Hence Vijay Merchant and Syed Mushtaq Ali’s 203-run opening partnership that followed is a really pleasant surprise.
England scored 398 of those runs while India score 190, to contribute to the world record 588 runs in a single day, which is still not broken. This 588-run record would be tough to beat, thanks to the over rates in those days when about 120 overs were bowled in a single day
Courtney Walsh 5/1
Another incredible record achieved against a newer team to international cricket; this time, it was a West Indian bowler against Sri Lanka of 1986. Courtney Walsh, in his first four ODIs against Sri Lanka (his first four of career), took just 4 wickets.
Next year, during his next ODI encounter against Sri Lanka, he took more wickets in just a four-over spell. But what makes this stand apart from the other 3597 international five-wicket hauls, is the fact that he conceded just 1 run.
Before Walsh came to bowl, the damage was already done as Sri Lanka were reeling at 50 for 5 in a target chase of 249. However, what Courtney Walsh deserves accolades for any kind of a situation against any team. He alone managed to take the rest of the five wickets in just 4.3 overs, with four of them being clean bowled.
The only run Walsh conceded was after he already took four wickets.
Wilfred Rhodes – 1110 First-class matches
We do hear present-day cricketers complaining about heavy workloads and very little time away from cricket.
But there was a cricketer from Yorkshire in England, who appeared in 1110 first-class matches. If each first-class match Rhodes played is assumed to be of three days duration, it means Rhodes would have spent over a year playing first-class cricket.
Not just longevity, but Rhodes was a good player both with the bat and the ball. His 4204 wickets taken in first-class cricket is the highest of all players. Rhodes had a career from 1899 to 1930, debuting at the age of 21, and playing till the age of 52.
Out of the 1110 first-class matches that Wilfred Rhodes played, 52 of them were Tests. Wilfred Rhodes being the only cricketer to feature in 1000+ first-class matches, is probably an eternal trivia fact.
Rahul Dravid – 43 ODI matches in a year
India played a record 43 ODI matches in the year 1999, with Rahul Dravid featuring in each of them. Moreover, Dravid kept wickets in six of those matches.
India in 1999 featured in a variety of ODI series with home and away series against New Zealand, World Cup, Pepsi Cup, Aiwa Cup, Coca-Cola Cup, Coca-Cola Challenge, DMC Cup, LG Cup and a series against West Indies in Canada.
Rahul Dravid’s feat certainly isn’t as hectic as what Wilfred Rhodes did but is still tough to beat due to a lot of T20 internationals and leagues being played in a year. Thus it makes the matches of a particular format would be less frequent.
New Zealand’s 30 consecutive Test series without a win
New Zealand couldn’t win each of their first 30 Test series, which lasted forty years from 1929 to 1969.
This streak included 21 series lost and 9 series drawn, which made the first 10 captains of New Zealand not win a single series. The streak was finally broken when New Zealand won their first ever Test series when a Graham Dowling led team captained 1-0 win against Pakistan.
During this streak, New Zealand achieved the lowest Test total (26 all-out), and Bert Sutcliffe featured in a record 42 matches without any win. Since there are more number of Test teams these days and lower-ranked teams get to play more against similar teams, the record is tough to be broken.
Lowest score at first-innings declaration (Pakistan – 130)
From 71/0 to 130/9d – this is how Pakistan’s first innings went against England at Lord’s in 1973.
After a half-century partnership between the openers Sadiq Mohammad and Majid Khan, the rain was unduly favoring England’s Derek Underwood. They took a five-wicket haul in the first innings and 13 wickets in the match.
A flurry of wickets with the help of the weather gods helped Pakistan declare their first innings at a total of just 130, which is clearly the lowest score at which a team declared its first innings.
The next lowest totals are England’s 164/7d against West Indies in 1939, Australia’s 207/3d against India in 1986, and England’s 216/8d against Australia in 1964.
Charlie Turner – 6 consecutive five-wicket hauls in Tests
The 19th-century Australian medium-pacer, Charlie Turner took at least five wickets, in all the six Test innings he bowled in 1888.
The feat of taking a five-wicket haul in six consecutive Test innings is unparalleled to date and is highly unlikely for someone to equal it. Since none of the England batsmen were able to sort him out, he was aptly given the nickname ‘Terror.’
At the end of the streak, Turner became the fastest bowler to take 50 wickets, in just 6 Test matches – a record which still stands to date.
Other than Turner, the other bowlers who took a five-wicket haul in consecutive innings were Tom Richardson in 1895-96, Alec Bedser in 1952-53, and Shane Shillingford in 2013. Taking half of the opposition wickets too often consistently is never a mean feat.
James Southerton – Making Test debut at the age of 49
James Southerton, born in 1827, became the earliest born cricketer to play a Test match, while he played the first-ever Test match in 1877.
He already had 23 years of first-class experience playing for Hampshire, Surrey, and Sussex. Southerton featured in two Test matches, both at MCG in the first-ever Test series. Unfortunately, he suffered from pleurisy in 1879 and became the first Test cricketer to die.
The closest anyone could come in 143 years of Test cricket was Miran Bakhsh for Pakistan at the age of 47 years, 284 days.
Tip Foster – Highest score on Test debut
At Sydney Cricket Ground in 1903, Tip Foster announced himself into Test cricket in an astounding way – by scoring an unbeaten 287 on his debut Test match. He was the first to score a double ton in his first Test match. Later he was followed by 4 others.
This was not only the highest score on Test debut but also the highest score in Test cricket for 27 more years. After Australia scored 285 in the first innings, the match was delicately poised with England at 117 for 4.
The debutant Foster not just helped his team to get the first-innings lead, but also scored more than the first innings total. What made the knock more special was that it made Australia move from 332/8, a tender first-innings lead to 577 all-out, a dominant position.
In the same match, Tip Foster also became the only player to share century stands for both the ninth wicket and the final wicket. Foster is remembered for another trivia bit – He is the only player to captain England in both cricket and football.
- Top 10: Best Bowling Average at Home in Test Cricket (Min. 200 Wickets)
- Top 10: Most Centuries by a Wicketkeeper in All Formats Combined
- Stats: Batters to Score Centuries in Most Consecutive Test Matches
- Top 10: Most Sixes by a Team in a Test Match
- List: Batters with 2 50-plus Scores on Debut in Test
- List: Highest Individual Score against Each Country in ODI