Once Turkish football giant, Galatsaray coach, Fatih Terim had said “statistics are like mini-skirts, they don’t reveal everything.” He may be right on his own explanation. But, no doubt, number has magical effects among the fans of sports. It has an amazing potential to make fans feel good or bad. Yes, you have to do little bit of hard work to find out the magic in numbers.
Magical figures make cricket the wonderful game. Each cricketer comes and goes, leaving their mark in the history book. But, there are only a few who made their fans feel them strongly even after they quit cricket as they had scripted history on the field with numbers only, which later found place in the heart of fans. There are living legends who retires from cricket. There are a few of them who play the game only to create some wonderful memorabilia. Couple of great players is no more with us. But, they still make people think twice about their on field magic.
#10 Lasith Malinga’s 4 wickets in 4 balls
Lasith Malinga brings out his Usain Bolt© Getty Images
Taking a hat-trick in cricket is not an easy task for any bowler even in his prime form. Delivering a double hat-trick (4 wickets in a row) that too in a world cup against batting power house like South Africa just makes this effort so special. His scalps included Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis and Makhaya Ntini. This is what makes Lasith Malinga such a possessed property for Sri Lanka his sheer consistency to deliver a particularly though length is unmatched and that makes him stand beyond others.
#9 Rohit Sharma’s 264 in ODIs
14 November, 2014, Kolkata – Rohit Sharma floored Sri Lanka bowlers with his explosive batting. Image – BCCI
Scoring a double hundred in One Day International cricket (ODIs) seemed to be dream for every batsman before the Super Man from India Sachin Tendulkar eventually made the milestone back in 2010 against South Africa. Now it is more frequent that we observe a double hundred in an ODI. Rohit Sharma having already scored 209 vs Australia in 2013 went a step ahead to break the world record for highest score in ODIs held by another Indian Virnder Sehwag at 219 and now the 264 including 33 fours and 9 sixes that Rohit has hit looks unbreakable at the moment.
#8 Yuvraj Singh’s 50 runs in 12 balls
T20 World Cup 2007, Yuvraj Singh hammered Stuart Broad for six sixes.
Six sixes in an over is rear in cricket. Only Harchelle Gibbs against the Netherlands in 50 over world cup and Yuvraj Singh against England at Durban in the 2007 T20 world cup have achieved this feat. The six sixes came on the way of Yuvraj’s explosive 50 runs off 12 balls, the fastest in all formats of the game. His innings caused a nightmare to Stuart Broad who faced wrath of Yuvraj. Even the fastest fifties in entire cricket history in all formats are far away from this incredible 12 ball fifty. Given Yuvraj’s fifty came against a quality bowling attack makes this incredible wonder in world cricket.
#7AB de Villiers’s 100 in 31 balls
AB de Villiers on his way to fastest ODI hundred against West Indies
Will there be any other batsman in this entire world who has evolved into a perfect batsman in all three formats of the game? “Mr. 360” is the only player who can do anything in cricket be it splendid fielding, awesome batting or athletic keeping he can do it all. AB de Villiers’ 149 off 44 balls vs West Indies is an innings that any cricket fan will remember as that was an exhibition hitting which included 16 sixes during which he also broke the record for the fastest ODI half-century and century.
#7 Brian Lara’s 400* vs England
Brain Lara is celebrating at Port Spain after reaching highest individual best in Test cricket against England.
When it comes to Test cricket, only few batsman can compete with Brian Lara in a debate for the greatest test player ever. His supreme technique not only made his a legendary player but also piled him incredible knocks, be it 375 or 400* at international level and 501* in county cricket. After his record 375 was broken by Hayden against Zimbabwe. It took just 6 months for Lara to reclaim his record vs England which seems to be unbreakable for many years to come. To break his record cricket would require another master innings from someone as good as him to rewrite this record.
#5 Jim Laker’s 19 wickets in a Test
Jim Laker walks back proudly to the pavilion applauded by his team-mates Statham is on his left. He is no more but this effort of taking 19 wickets in a Test is lasting memory of the great bowler.
Taking 10 wickets in a Test is considered a great achievement and it occurs very rarely. Imagine a bowler taking 19 wickets in a Test match in which the maximum possible 20, that’s what the great Jim Laker had done. Taking 10 wickets in an innings has occurred only two times in over 100 years. So this great record might never ever be broken. Of course records are meant to be broken some day but it has already taken a while and will need a really excellent bowler to better Lakers’ record.
#4 Muralitharan’s 1347 wickets
Sri Lankan bowler Muttiah Muralitharan delivers during the third day of the first Test match between the West Indies and Sri Lanka in Georgetown on March 24, 2008. (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
The greatest off-spinner ever to grace the game, Muralitharan had not only managed a staggering 1347 wickets, but, ended being the top wicket taker in ODIs and tests, amassing 534 and 800 wickets respectively in these formats. It seems highly unlikely to break this record because tests are decreasing every year and player’s career span is also not as big as it used to be in the 90’s. Plus a bowler with such superb wicket taking ability is not to be seen around at least in the current scenario.
#3 Jacques Kallis’s 25534 runs & 577 wickets
South Africs’s Jaques Kallis scores runs during the ICC world Twenty 20 super 8’s cricket match against England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, England on June 11, 2009. (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)
A batsman with a supreme technique in any conditions and a bowler who can bowl 140 kmph balls, Jack Kallis will walk into any line up with either skills. He adds so much quality to a side that is sometimes immeasurable. Kallis has won many games single-handedly for South Africa that his retirement now has created quite a void. He has batting skills on par with the world’s best and bowling skills better than any batting all-rounder in the history of the game it makes Kallis the special gentleman as he is.
#2 Tendulkar’s 34357 runs & 100 centuries
Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar on December 23, 2012 announced his retirement from one-day cricket after scoring a record-breaking 49 centuries in the 50-over format. (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
The God of Cricket, Sachin has amassed as many runs as no other player could even dream about. Forget about reaching those runs in future, we can feel happy if there is a player who can play those many balls at international level. His 100 centuries is a jewel to crown of records he has achieved in cricket over the course of his 24 years career. There has been and might be only one Sachin Tendulkar that cricket had and will ever have.
#1 Sir Don Bradman’s average of 99.94
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Retired Australian captain Don Bradman makes his way onto the MCG in 1948 for his testimonial match in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Newspix/Getty Images)
Batsmen dream about an average over 50 after playing 50 odd Test matches and if you achieve it, you will be considered among the elite players to play the game. But think about a jaw dropping 99.94 as the test average after 52 tests having lost 8 years in his prime due to the outbreak of world war II. Sir Donald Bradman can be considered to be the Don of test cricket and this record will most probably never be broken as it is being held for 55 years now. And only a batsmen with better cricketing abilities than him can ever do that.