Anil Kumble (L) became only the second bowler to claim all 10 wickets in an innings and Brian Lara scored the first quadruple-century in Tests © AFP
Anil Kumble (L) became only the second bowler to claim all 10 wickets in an innings and Brian Lara scored the first quadruple-century in Tests © AFP

 

By Dileep V

 

Part II of the moments and milestones in Test match history looks into 1001 Tests 1999. If the first 1000 Tests produced 619 results, then the next 999 has produced 680 results – an increase of over 6%. The last 499 have produced 371 results, for a win percentage of almost 75%. The single biggest reason for the spurt could be attributed to ODIs, which made the batsmen go for the shots to increase in the run rate. That gave the team more time to bowl out oppositions.

 

1001st Test (1984) and 1500th Test (2000)

 

The television boom and technological advancement meant more tours were played than ever. Also India’s win in the 1983 World Cup was a catalyst for the game to flourish in the subcontinent. It’s no surprise that it took only 16 years from Test number 1001 to 1500.

 

The period saw the emergence of Sachin Tendulkar as the premier batsmen in the world and Australia’s dominance of Test cricket. South Africa also made a welcome return to International cricket and immediately made an impact.

 

Australia’s rise coincided with the fall of West Indies in mid 90s. The West Indies had fallen off so badly that they were whitewashed (5-0) by South Africa in 1999.

 

South Africa also ended India’s dominance at home in 1999 when they became the first team to defeat them since 1986.

 

Innovations:

 

· Indian umpires Piloo Reporter and VK Ramaswamy became the first neutral umpires to officiate in a Test, when they stood for the Pakistan-West Indies Test in Lahore in 1986.

 

· ICC introduced a one bouncer per over rule to curb terrifying bowling, mainly by West Indies.

 

· The third umpire debuted in Test cricket in 1992 at Kingsmead, Durban, for the series involving South Africa and India. Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to be dismissed using television replays.

 

· The ICC amended the bouncer rule to two per over in 1994.

 

Major records:

 

India and Australia tied a Test match only for the second time in its history in September 1986 in Chennai

 

· Richard Hadlee became the first bowler to take 400 wickets in Test cricket – against India at Christchurch in 1990.

 

· South Africa played West Indies in April 1992 in a one-off Test to mark their comeback in Test cricket.

 

· Zimbabwe became the ninth team to play Test cricket when they played against India in Harare in 1992.

 

· Brian Lara broke Garry Sobers’ 36 year-old record for the highest individual score in Tests, when he scored 375 against England in Antigua in 1994.

 

· Australia ended West Indies’ reign in World cricket by beating them 2-1 in 1995 in an away series. This was West Indies’ first series loss in 15 years.

 

· Sri Lanka amassed 952 runs against India to register the highest score by a team in August 1997. Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama added 576 runs for the second wicket, then a world-record stand for any wicket

 

· Anil Kumble became only the second cricketer to claim all 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan at Delhi in February 1999.

 

· In February-March 1999 India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka contested in the first triangular Test tournament since 1912.

 

1501st Test (2000) and 2000th Test (2011)

 

This period was a lot turbulent with the match-fixing scandal taking centrestage after the then South African captain Hansie Cronje admitted to taking bribe to throw away some ODI matches in early 2000s.

 

Just when cricket had redeemed itself after some memorable series in 2000s, the spot-fixing scandal came to haunt the game.

 

Three Pakistan players, captain Salman Butt, fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, were caught in a sting operation by English tabloid The News of the World for accepting £150,000 to bowl no-balls at specific moments of the match. After a tribunal hearing, the ICC handed Amir, Asif and Butt bans for five, seven and 10 years respectively.

 

Innovations:

 

· The Hawk-Eye technology was used for the first time to track the trajectory of balls in flight by Channel 4 during a Test match between England and Pakistan on Lord’s Cricket Ground, on May 21, 2001.

 

· In November 2004, ICC set the legal limit for straightening the bowling elbow to 15 degrees. The umpires were also barred from calling a bowler for throwing during a game and could only report the bowler in their post-match report.

 

· In October 2005 ICC conceived The Super Series where a World XI would take on the reigning champion – Australia – in a six-day one-off Test match and three ODIs. Australia’s dominance against the best in the world prompted the ICC to shelve this idea.

 

· The much-debated Decision Review System (DRS) made its debut in July 2008 for the Sri Lanka-India Test series. Teams could contest the decision of the on-field umpire and it was referred to the third umpire for decision. Virtual Eye and Hawk-Eye systems were used for decision making in lbws.

 

· The ICC met in Hong Kong in June 2011 and unanimously recommended universal standards for the usage of technology in decision-making (Decision Review System) in all Test matches and ODIs. The use of DRS was made optional and dependent on bilateral agreement between the participating Members.

 

Major Records

 

· Bangladesh became Test crickets 10th entrant when they faced India at Dhaka in November.

 

· India ended Australia’s record of 16th consecutive Test wins, when they came from being asked to follow on to win the Test at Kolkata in 2001.

 

· West Indian Courtney Walsh became the first bowler to take 500 Test wickets when he dismissed South Africa’s Jacques Kallis in Port-of-Spain in March 2001.

 

· West Indies broke the record for the highest fourth-innings score to win a Test when they chased 418 runs set by Australia in May 2003.

 

· On October 10, 2003 Australia’s Matthew Hayden overtook Brian Lara’s record for highest individual score by hammering 380 against Zimbabwe at Perth.

 

· Barely seven months after losing his highest individual score record to Hayden, Lara reclaimed it by scoring the first quadruple-century in Tests against England at Antigua.

 

· Zimbabwe were suspended from playing Test cricket in September 2005 after their playing standards fell.

 

· On November 25, 2005 Brian Lara becomes the first cricketer to score 11000 runs in Test cricket.

 

· Sachin Tendulkar registered his 35th century and went past Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 34 Test centuries against Sri Lanka in Delhi in December 2005.

 

· Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne became the first bowler to take 600 and 700 wickets in Test cricket both against England in 2005 and 2006 respectively.

 

· Test cricket saw a match forfeited for the first time in its history when Pakistan refused to return to field on the fourth day of the final Test against England at the oval in August 2006 after they were penalised five runs for alleged ball-tampering.

 

· Sachin Tendulkar moved past Brian Lara’s world record for most runs – 11,953 – on October 17, 2008.

 

· Australia lost a series at home for the first time in 16 years when South Africa won the series in 2009.

 

· Muttiah Muralitharan became the first bowler to reach the milestone of 800 wickets when he had India’s Pragyan Ojha caught at slip in July 2010.

 

· Sachin Tendulkar continued his record breaking/creating spree when he became Test cricket’s first player to notch up 50 centuries in December 2010 against South Africa at the Centurion.

 

(Dileep.V is a Scouser fan, Sports freak, Movie buff, Laggard Quizzer and dreams of setting foot on Anfield one day)