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A statistical look at the Melbourne Test

December 31, 2003 16:17 IST

• The third Test between India and Australia was the 1678th Test.

• Umpires Billy Bowden and David Shepherd were officiating in their 10th and 77th match respectively.

• Adam Gilchrist played his 50th Test match. He became the 37th Australian and 190th player in Test history to do so. Gilchrist also became the fifth Australian and 20th wicketkeeper in the world to reach this landmark.

• Virender Sehwag (195) scored his fifth Test hundred in his 19th Test.  This was also his highest Test score beating the 147 that he made against West Indies at Mumbai in 2003.

• Sehwag became the fifth Indian batsman to miss a double century by ten or less runs. He also provided the 44th such instance in Test history and sixth by an Indian. Sehwag also provided the fourth instance of a batsman getting dismissed in 190s against Australia. All previous three instances involved English batsmen.

• Sehwag's five sixes in first innings were the third most hits over the boundary by an Indian batsman. Only Navjot Sidhu (8- vs Sri Lanka, Lucknow, 1993-94) and Ravi Shastri (6 – vs Australia at Mumbai WS in 1986-87) have hit more sixes in an innings than Sehwag.

• Sehwag's 195 came on the first day of the match. He now holds the distinction of scoring most runs by an Indian batsman in a single day's play. Sehwag easily obliterated Sunil Gavaskar's 24-year-old Indian record. Gavaskar had scored 179 runs on the fifth day of Oval Test against England in 1979 when India were chasing a fourth innings winning target of 438 and ended on 429 for 8.

• Tendulkar's duck in first innings was fifth time he got out to the first ball he faced. His other golden ducks were recorded against New Zealand at Christchurch in 1989-90, South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 1992-93, Pakistan at Kolkata in 1999-00 and West Indies at St.John's in 2001-02. He was caught behind on four occasions.

• Agarkar's first ball duck in the first innings was his eighth against Australia. He now holds the dubious distinction of accumulating most ducks in a career for India against Australia along with Bhagwat Chandrasekhar who had registered six ducks from 12 innings.

• Sehwag contributed 53.28% of India's first innings total. This was the seventh highest contribution by an Indian batsman in team's completed innings.

• Matthew Hayden (136) scored his 17th hundred. At the end of this Test, Hayden has scored 17 hundreds in 83 innings of 49 Tests which means he has scored a hundred in every 4.88 innings. Hayden's frequency of scoring hundreds is now the fourth highest among all the batsmen who have scored atleast five hundreds in a career. Only Don Bradman (29 hundreds in 80 innings- an average of 2.75 innings per hundred), England's CAG Jack Russell (5-18-3.60) and West Indian George Headley (10-40-4.00) have better innings per hundred ratio than Hayden.

• Ricky Ponting (257) recorded the highest score for Australia against India – home or away. He improved upon his 242 in the first innings of Adelaide Test.

• Ponting's innings was also the fourth highest played by any batsman against India after Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya's 340 (at Colombo RPS in 1997-98), England's Graham Gooch's 333 (at Lord's in 1990) and Pakistan's Javed Miandad's 280 not out at Hyderabad (Sind) in 1982-83).

• Ponting became only the fifth batsman in Test history to hit double hundreds in two successive Tests after England's Wally Hammond (twice), Australia's Don Bradman (thrice), India's Vinod Kambli and South Africa's Graeme Smith.

• This was Ponting's third double hundred in the calendar year 2003. Before his two successive double hundreds, Ponting had made 206 against West Indies at Port-of-Spain in April this year. Only one other batsman – Don Bradman – has managed to score three double hundreds in a calendar year. Bradman's three double hundreds infact were scored in one series. He made 254, 334 and 232 in the second, third and the fifth Test respectively against England in 1930.

• The hundred was 20th of Ponting's career. He became the 8th Australian and the 21st batsman in Test cricket to do so (South Africa's Gary Kirsten became the 22nd batsman to do so a day later than Ponting did so). Among the contemporary batsmen only fellow teammate Steve Waugh (32), India's Sachin Tendulkar (31) and West Indies' Brian Lara (23) have scored more hundreds than Ponting.

• Ponting also completed 1000 runs in Test matches against India. He became the fourth Australian after Allan Border (1567 runs in 20 matches), David Boon (1204 in 11) and Bobby Simpson (1125 in 11) and 25th batsman overall to do so.At the end of this match Ponting has a run-aggregate of 1158 from 13 games against India.

• Ponting ended the year 2003 with 1503 runs in 18 innings of 11 Tests at an average of 100.20 with six centuries. Only one batsman in Test cricket history-West Indian Viv Richards- has accumulated more runs in a calendar year. Richards' run- aggregate in 1976 was 1710 from 11 Tests and 19 innings. Ponting easily surpassed previous Australian record, which was held by teammate Matthew Hayden who aggregated 1391 runs in the year 2001.

• The second wicket partnership of 234 runs between Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting just failed to beat Australia's all-time highest for second wicket against India. Sid Barnes and Don Bradman had added 236 runs for the second wicket at Adelaide in 1947-48.

• Anil Kumble (6-176) achieved his sixth five-wicket innings haul on foreign soil. He has now equalled Subhash Gupte and Bishan Singh Bedi's tally of five-fers at foreign soil. Among the Indians only Kapil Dev (12) and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (8) have taken more five-wicket hauls than Kumble.

• Kumble has now taken 135 wickets in 39 'away' matches which makes him the leading Indian spinner in 'away' matches. He went ahead of Bishan Singh Bedi's wicket-aggregate of 129 from 37 appearances.

• Rahul Dravid (92) recorded his sixth score in nineties. He has now maximum such scores for India in Test cricket. Dravid was previously at level with Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar with five such instances.

• With the catch of Dravid in second innings, Gilchrist completed his 50 dismissals in the year 2003 in his 12th Test. He became first keeper to do so in 2003.

• Ashish Nehra bagged a pair in the match. Incidentally it was his third pair in Test cricket. He now joins Bishen Singh Bedi and Ajit Agarkar who have also suffered this fate thrice. Nehra and Agarkar are now in race to equal Bhagwat Chandrasekhar's Indian and world record of four pairs.

• Nehra has now aggregated ten ducks in 24 innings - a duck percentage of 41.66 which is the third 'best' among the batsmen with 10 or more ducks to their names. Only Australia's Alan Hurst (10 ducks in 20 innings; duck percentage – 50.00) and England's Alan Mullally (12 ducks in 27 innings; duck percentage – 44.44) have 'better' record than Nehra.

Rajneesh Gupta