Last Tests of 56 great batsman — Part 2 of 2
Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th and final Test will begin on November 14, 2013, against West Indies in Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium © IANS
Sachin Tendulkar’s last Test is scheduled to start on November 14, 2013. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at how some of the other greats of the sport have performed in their last Tests.
We still do not know how Sachin Tendulkar would fare in his last Test, but we can have a look at how the other greats of the sport have done in theirs. Here is the second [and final] instalment of the series.
31. Ian Chappell farewell: February 6, 1980
Ian Chappell had bowed out of international cricket in 1975-76 before England and West Indies landed up in Australia to play two simultaneous series. With the stars back, Australia avenged the Ashes humiliation last season by dishing out a 3-0 whitewash (though the series was not considered an Ashes contest).
Ian Chappell walked out in the last Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with the score on 52 for one and carved out a 151-ball 75 with six boundaries; Greg Chappell scored a hundred and Australia managed a 171-run lead. Then, set 103 for two Australia lost two early wickets, but the Chappell brothers saw them home. Ian, with a 62-ball 26 not out, played the foil to Greg, who finished off the Test in emphatic fashion.
Scores in final Test: 75 and 26 not out
Geoff Boycott played 108 Tests for England and scored 8,114 runs at an average of 47.72. He also scored 22 centuries and 42 half-centuries with a highest of 246 not out © Getty Images
32. Geoff Boycott farewell: January 6, 1982
Like Garry Sobers before him, Geoff Boycott finished as the leading run-scorer, going past Sobers’ tally in his penultimate Test at Delhi. In the last Test at Calcutta, he hooked Kapil Dev for a boundary but was soon caught behind off the same bowler for a 33-ball 18 with two boundaries. He fell for six in the second innings.
During the Test, however, Boycott reported a stomach bug and opted not to field, but it was later discovered that he was busy playing golf at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. He was immediately sent back home, and a rebel tour brought an early end to his career.
Scores in final Test: 18 and 6
33. Gundappa Viswanath farewell: February 4, 1983
One of the most attractive batsmen in the history of Indian cricket, ‘Vishy’ had a rather unceremonious end to his Test career following the ill-fated tour of Pakistan in 1982-83. Tormented by Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz throughout the series he fell leg-before to Mudassar Nazar in the first innings at Karachi and did not get a bat in the second.
Scores in final Test: 10
34. Greg Chappell farewell: January 6, 1984
Greg Chappell had scored 108 on his Test debut; he ended his career with 182. Australia were 1-0 up going into the last Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), and after Pakistan scored 278 he was at his regal best, scoring 182 in 400 balls, taking the Test out of Pakistan’s hands. Australia won by ten wickets and clinched the series 2-0.
The Test, however, marked the end of an era, ending the career of Chappell, Dennis Lillee, and Rod Marsh simultaneously, leaving a void in Australian cricket that took several years to fill.
Score in final Test: 182
Clive Lloyd was considered to be one of the greatest captains in history © Getty Images
35. Clive Lloyd farewell: January 2, 1985
Often hailed as the man who had revolutionised cricket in the 1970s and the 1980s, Clive Lloyd’s career — rather anti-climactically — ended in a dead-rubber defeat at SCG (West Indies clinched the series 3-1). After Australia amassed 431 Bob Holland bowled out the tourists for 163, including the wicket of Lloyd just as he was looking menacing for a 55-ball 33 with three fours and a six.
Allan Border enforced the follow-on, and Holland played spoilsport again; the tourists were routed for 253 and lost by an innings. Lloyd was at his aggressive best again, top-scoring with a 133-ball 72 with nine fours and a six. A 25,000-strong crowd gave him a standing ovation as he quit the arena for the last time.
Scores in final Test: 33 and 72
36. Zaheer Abbas farewell: October 31, 1985
The only Asian to score a hundred First-Class hundreds Zaheer Abbas’ career faded out with age as he ran into a string of low scores. In the second Test of the 1985-86 season at Sialkot Zaheer failed again, following leg-before to Ravi Ratnayeke for four. With Pakistan winning by eight wickets he did not get a chance to bat. He was dropped for the final Test at Karachi and was never recalled.
Score in final Test: 4
At the time of Sunil Gavaskar’s retirement, he held the records for both the highest runs and centuries in Test cricket © Getty Images
37. Sunil Gavaskar farewell: March 17, 1987
After four yawnathons, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had decided to prepare a rank turner for the final Test at Bangalore to force a result. India managed a lead of 29 in the first innings (‘Sunny’ got them off to a decent start with a 73-ball 21: it was possibly worth a hundred, given that the sides had scored 116 and 145).
Pakistan turned things around in the second innings and set India an almost impossible target of 221 on a pitch where the ball was turning almost at right-angles and were bouncing almost perpendicularly. The task looked daunting against Iqbal Qasim and Tauseef Ahmed, but Sunil Gavaskar seemd up to it.
He eventually became eighth out with 180 on the board, caught rather controversially in the slips by Rizwan-uz-Zaman off Qasim; the innings — his last at the highest level — will probably go down as the finest against spin since they stopped making those unplayable ‘stickies’.
Scores in final Test: 21 and 96
38. Gordon Greenidge farewell: May 1, 1991
Gordon Greenidge’s last day of cricket was on his 40th birthday, and just like Lloyd it came in a dead-rubber defeat at St John’s. Australia scored 403 before bowling out the hosts for 218; Greenidge was trapped leg-before by Craig McDermott for six, who, in unison with Merv Hughes, had reduced West Indies to 46 for four.
Set 455 for a victory Greenidge had his customary opening stand with Desmond Haynes, adding 76 for the first wicket. However, after both openers were run out (Greenidge for a 73-ball 43 with six fours and a six) West Indies never recovered and were bowled out for 297. To make things worse, Viv Richards — who had made his debut alongside Greenidge — announced that it would be his last Test innings.
Scores in final Test: 6 and 43
Viv Richards was rated as one of the best and most destructive batsman in the 1980s © Getty Images
39. Viv Richards farewell: August 12, 1991
Viv Richards’ exit was reminiscent of Greg Chappell’s in the sense that it coincided with the retirement of two other giants in the form of Malcolm Marshall and Jeff Dujon. West Indies only needed to draw the last Test at The Oval to win the Wisden Trophy, but things started looking bad after the hosts piled up 409.
The King had held himself back for a severe headache, but had to walk out eventually when Phil Tufnell started to look ominous with the ball: coming out at 161 for six he was caught behind off ‘Tuffers’ for a brace; from 158 for three the champions were bowled out for 176.
They did a lot better following on: walking out amidst a standing ovation at 208 for four Richards tore into the England bowling the way he had for years; the controlled aggression continued for 105 balls and included nine boundaries; he scored 60 in a partnership of 97 with Richie Richardson; however, England won the Test and squared the series.
Scores in final Test: 2 and 60
40. David Gower farewell: August 9, 1992
Despite having scored three hundreds in the past 12 months twelve David Gower was not at his best in the 1991 home series against Pakistan. Despite that he was a tough man to get out, but it all fell apart in the last Test at The Oval. He seemed to be at his fluent best in the first innings, dominating a 44-run partnership with a 54-ball 27 that included four gorgeous strokes to the fence.
However, in the second innings Gower shouldered arms to one from Waqar Younis that straightened, and Pakistan soon romped home by 10 wickets. He was not considered for the subsequent tour of England, and many were under the impression that Graham Gooch had played a major role in his omission.
Scores in final Test: 27 and 1
41. Javed Miandad farewell: December 21, 1993
Javed Miandad’s Test average never dipped below the 50-mark, and he kept the record intact in his last Test as well. He got to bat only once in his last Test against Zimbabwe at Lahore before he was trapped leg-before by David Brain for 31. The Test ended in a draw mostly due to fog and bad light.
Score in final Test: 31
Allan Border retired as the highest run-scorer in Tests © Getty Images
42. Allan Border farewell: March 29, 1994
Not only did Allan Border end up as the highest run-scorer when he retired, he still remains also a serious contender for the second-best batsman in the history of Australian cricket. He guided Australia through the dark days of the mid-1980s and had single-handedly rescued Australia from many a tight corner.
It wasn’t a lot different here: Border scored 17 in the first innings as Australia were bowled out for 269 at Kingsmead; South Africa managed a 153-run lead, and Australia had to save the Test in order to return from the shores undefeated. A rampant Michael Slater took on an equally destructive Allan Donald, but eventually the former fell with the score on 157 for four.
Enter ‘AB’ to join Mark Waugh with close to four hours of play left; the only option was to grind it out – which was Border’s comfort zone. He was happy to let ‘Junior’ do all the scoring, and when stumps were drawn he remained unvanquished on 42 not out off 166 balls, not bothering to go after a fifty. Typical.
Scores in final Test: 17 and 42 not out
43. Graham Gooch farewell: February 7, 1995
Despite having an illustrious career (he is still the highest run-scorer in all forms of recorded cricket) Graham Gooch was at the receiving end of a relentless 1-3 Ashes drubbing in his final series at the end of which he bowed out with Mike Gatting. Glenn McGrath reduced England to five for two in his first over, but Gooch hung around, carving out a 72-run partnership with Graham Thorpe.
He was eventually leg-before to Mark Waugh for a characteristically dour 76-ball 31. England conceded a 107-run lead and chasing 453 they crumbled to 123. Gooch’s final innings amounted to four before he hit one back to Craig McDermott.
Score in final Test: 31 and 4
44. Martin Crowe farewell: November 12, 1995
Perhaps the greatest New Zealand batsman of all time, Martin Crowe’s career came to an abrupt end during Glenn Turner’s disputed era that ended a lot of careers and saw the almost unheard-of Lee Germon rise as captain of New Zealand. India were 1-0 up in the series when the teams headed for the last Test at Cuttack. Incessant rain for two days ruled out the chances of any result: Crowe fell for a 28-ball 15 with a four and a six before holing out to Vinod Kambli off Narendra Hirwani.
Scores in final Test: 15
45. Saeed Anwar farewell: August 31, 2001
Saeed Anwar had a few years and about a couple of thousand runs under his belt when he decided to quit cricket after his daughter’s sad demise. He was not even 33. He came back later in ODIs, but never played another Test.
Even in his last outing — in the Asian Test championship — Anwar quit midway after the first Test at Multan against Bangladesh. After Danish Kaneria skittled out the tourists for 134, Anwar toyed with the Bangladesh attack, scoring a 104-ball 101 with 17 fours and a six before — perhaps — boredom set in.
It did not help Bangladesh’s cause: for the second time in history five batsmen scored hundreds in an innings, Pakistan amassed 546 for three, and Kaneria came to the cause again, finishing with a 12-wicket haul. Bangladesh slumped to a massive defeat.
Score in final Test: 101
Apart from being one of Sri Lanka’s greatest batsman, Aravinda de Silva was also a very handy bowler © Getty Images
46. Aravinda de Silva farewell: July 23, 2002
‘Mad Max’ had taken off as a frivolous dasher, but later trained himself to become one of the indomitable accumulators of the late 1990s. After being out of cricket for a year he had come back for the England tour of 2002 and decided to sign off after the first Test against Bangladesh at P Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo.
To cut things short, Bangladesh scored 161 and 184; Sri Lanka reached 541 after being 56 for three. The main architect of the score being Aravinda de Silva himself with an almost impossibly destructive 234-ball 206 with 28 fours and a six. In a magnanimous gesture, Sanath Jayasuriya called on Aravinda in the dying stages of the Test: he rounded off things by having Khaled Mashud caught by Charitha Buddhika.
Scores in final Test: 206
47. Andy Flower farewell: November 19, 2002
Easily the best batsman to play cricket for Zimbabwe, Flower did not have a great last Test like many other champions of the sport. Pakistan won by 10 wickets as Flower fell for 30 and 13 in the Test at Bulawayo. Thereafter Flower went into an open protest during the 2003 World Cup against the Robert Mugabe regime and had to quit international cricket for good.
Scores in final Test: 30 and 13
Steve Waugh’s defiant 80 in his final Test innings helped Australia to avoid a series defeat against India at the SCG in January 2004 © Getty Images
48. Steve Waugh farewell: January 6, 2004
The long, eventful career of ‘Tugga’ was headed for a swansong exit at SCG: however, Sourav Ganguly’s Indians were ready to play spoilsport; India declared at 705 for seven, Anil Kumble picked up eight wickets, and Ganguly did not enforce the follow-on despite being 231 runs ahead — perhaps because his only strike bowler, Kumble, was too exhausted to continue.
Steve Waugh had scored a counterattacking 72-ball 40 with six boundaries in the first innings; then, with 443 to chase in just over a day, he ordered his men to go for it (albeit some active sledging from Parthiv Patel); with Waugh and Simon Katich going for the kill and 105 runs remaining, the captain holed out to Sachin Tendulkar off Kumble for a 159-ball 80 with 15 fours. With Adam Gilchrist falling early Australia decided to play for a draw, levelling the series.
Scores in final Test: 40 and 80
Brian Lara is the only batsman to score 400 runs in a Test innings © Getty Images
49. Brian Lara farewell: December 1, 2006
Like several men before him Brian Lara bowed out of Test cricket as the highest scorer. In fact, he was in fantastic form going into the third Test at Karachi, having scored 61 and 122 (where Pakistan won) and 216 (in a draw) in his previous three innings, bringing his total to 96 runs within a tally of 12,000.
After Pakistan scored 304 Lara walked out after Chris Gayle was snared by Umar Gul. Two balls later Gul produced a peach that pitched on the middle-stump, moved away enough to evade the open face, and uprooted the off-stump. Pakistan made merry with the bat, setting West Indies a huge 444 for a victory.
Gayle was bowled by Gul with just two runs on the board and Darren Ganga followed suit soon. But Lara was there to light up the stadium with his wand as he had always done. The strokes kept flowing, the boundaries kept coming at regular intervals, and as Lara opened up it seemed that a miracle was on the cards.
It was not to happen, though. The 92-ball 49, studded with nine fours, came to a sudden end when the short ball from Gul moved away a bit, and Lara’s punch went to Shoaib Malik for a low catch at short cover. Pakistan won the Test and the series. Four months later The Prince announced his retirement from international cricket.
Scores in final Test: 0 and 49
50. Justin Langer farewell: January 5, 2007
Justin Langer was almost always overshadowed by Matthew Hayden throughout his career, and his farewell party was no exception either. It was only that the people were different this time: ‘JL’ had decided to time it with those of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.
After England scored 291, Langer broke loose to surprise everyone. It wasn’t the first time that Hayden had to take the backseat, but it was definitely a rare occurrence. In fact, he looked like he was going to take it away single-handedly when one down the leg-side from James Anderson brushed his glove on its way to the wicket-keeper. The 27-ball 26 had included four fours, leaving Hayden languishing on a 32-ball four.
England left Australia a mere 46 to win, and the southpaws went about it in a fashion that indicated that there was a flight to catch. This time Langer was more sedate; he remained unbeaten on a 43-ball 20 with two fours, seeing off the hosts to a 10-wicket victory. The 5-0 whitewash being complete, Langer disappeared past the fence for one final time.
Score in final Test: 26 and 20 not out
51. Inzamam-ul-Haq farewell: October 12, 2007
‘Inzy’ had announced his farewell before the Test, and when the last Test at Lahore began he required only 20 runs to go past Miandad’s Pakistan record of 8,832 Test runs. Even after Jacques Kallis got him out caught-behind for a rather dodgy 14 in the first innings it seemed he would get there.
Kallis bowled a yorker to Inzamam-ul-Haq first ball in his second innings, and the great man was quick to respond, on-driving him for an easy three. Then, in an onslaught where he wanted to clear the ground with a horrendous stroke (it was only the second ball he faced, mind you) he never reached the pitch of Paul Harris’ delivery and was stumped by the proverbial mile.
Scores in final Test: 14 and 3
52. Matthew Hayden farewell: January 7, 2009
Despite the fact that he was more out than in his earlier days ‘Haydos’ turned out to be an unstoppable run-scoring behemoth in the 2000s; however, the runs dried up from the second half of 2007 and it was evident that his career was approaching a close despite the extended runs the selectors had placed in him.
With the series already lost Matthew Hayden began in belligerent fashion in both innings, had almost identical scores (31 and 39), and was bowled in similar fashion — against Dale Steyn in the first innings and Morne Morkel in the second — when he tried to clear the ground with aggressive strokes devoid of any footwork and played on.
Hayden returned amidst a tumultuous applause; Australia won the Test by 103 runs, though a lot of it had to do with the fact that Graeme Smith could not bat before number eleven due to a broken hand.
Scores in final Test: 31 and 39
VVS Laxman (left) and Rahul Dravid shared many brilliant partnerships for India, especially against Australia © Getty Images
53 & 54. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman farewell: January 28, 2012
Both Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman — who had performed so brilliantly on the 2003-04 tour — had a wretched run in the 2011-12 series Down Under; Dravid fared the worst of the two, being bowled in six innings out of the eight he batted in the series.
The annihilation was completed in the final Test at Adelaide. It was a no-contest after Australia declared at 604 for seven; Dravid was bowled for one but hung on for 71 balls for 25 in the fourth innings; Laxman, on the other hand, finished with 18 in the first innings — and just when it seemed it would be one last hurrah for him against his preferred opponents — Nathan Lyon claimed his scalp for 35.
Soon afterwards the tour Dravid announced his retirement; a few months later, just before the New Zealand series at home, Laxman announced his retirement under rather controversial circumstances as well without playing another Test.
Scores in final Test: Dravid 1 and 25, Laxman 18 and 35
Throughout the 2000s, if there was any batsman that could be compared to Sachin Tendulkar, it was Ricky Ponting © Getty Images
55. Ricky Ponting farewell: December 3, 2012
Australians typically do not retain ex-captains in their Test sides but they made an exception for ‘Punter’, partly because of his distinguished career and partly because the Australians did not have a replacement to match his experience. His career reached a steep slide as 2012 proceeded.
The series was levelled 0-0 when the teams reached WACA for the last Test; Ricky Ponting scored four in the first innings and despite the guard of honour by Graeme Smith and his men, he failed again, doubling his first-innings score. To make things worse, South Africa won the Test by a whopping 306 runs and took the series.
Scores in final Test: 4 and 8
56. Thilan Samaraweera and Michael Hussey farewell: January 3, 2013
Thilan Samaraweera’s name might come up as a surprise on the list. An average of 48.76 (it was on the better side of the 50-mark for a long time, and dipped below fifty only during his last series) probably doesn’t do justice to Samaraweera’s contribution to Sri Lankan cricket. In fact, those two Tests were out of the only eight where his average actually dipped below the 50-mark.
On the other hand, it took Michael Hussey 25 Tests to come below the 70-mark, and eight more to go beneath 60. He eventually finished with 51.52 — which is still better than most batsmen.
Australia, as before, turned out to be Samaraweera’s Achilles’ heel. In his last Test at the SCG, he fell for 12 and a duck; Hussey, who was run out for 25 in the first innings, found himself walking out at 104 for three amidst a huge standing ovation from the crowd.
Rangana Herath took out two wickets, but Hussey remained unbeaten when the winning runs were scored; and in a gesture that was so typically Husseyish, when Mitchell Johnson hit one wide of point with the scores levelled he looked at Hussey — but the great man was already scampering towards the striker’s end to finish things off. He also announced that he would be passing on the team song to Nathan Lyon.
Score in final Test: Samaraweera 12 and 0, Hussey 25 and 27 not out
Special mention: Andy Ganteaume: February 16, 1948
Ganteaume was drafted into the Test side for the second Test of the 1947-48 series at Queen’s Park Oval owing to an injury of Jeff Stollmeyer. After England scored 362 Ganteaume helped George Carew put up 173 for the first wicket. However, despite the fact that West Indies piled up runs Ganteaume did not accelerate despite repeated instructions from the captain.
However, other batsmen (Frank Worrell among them) also batted slowly, and ‘Gubby’ Allen stuck to a 7-2 field, drying up the runs. Ganteaume became the first Trinidadian to score a hundred in Trinidad; time, however, ran out for West Indies as they finished on 72 for three chasing 141.
Despite scoring 112 Ganteaume was replaced by John Goddard (who also led in the subsequent Test), never to be recalled again. As a result he is still the man with the highest batting average in the world of Test cricket.
Score in only Test: 112
Sachin Tendulkar farewell: The last Tests of other great batsmen — Part 1 of 2
(Abhishek Mukherjee is a cricket historian and Senior Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He generally looks upon life as a journey involving two components – cricket and literature – though not as disjoint elements. A passionate follower of the history of the sport with an insatiable appetite for trivia and anecdotes, he has also a steady love affair with the incredible assortment of numbers that cricket has to offer. He also thinks he can bowl decent leg-breaks in street cricket, and blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in. He can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)