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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Zaheer Khan joins the elite 300 Test wickets club.

I have been waiting for this wicket to fall – to post this ~ and the wait was frustrating… eventually it was lucky so tos ay….. Kallis adjudged leg before to Zaheer (it appeared to be clear inside edge) – out 34 and  SA -  197/4..

It all started way back in Test no. 1512 at Bangabandhu National Stadium Dhaka in Nov 2000 – the unlikely hero was Sunil Joshi… a left arm spinner who took 5 for  142 in the 1st innings and took 3 for 27 enabling an Indian win…….. in between,  he top scored with 92  ! and that was the Test  Shiv Sundar Das, Syed Sabha Karim and Zaheer Khan debuted.

Zaheer has certainly come a long way to take his 300th wicket in his 89th Test…… a personal landmark – may not be exceptional as there are already 26 bowlers in that elite club with 3 Indians Harbajhan, Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble above him……….

The fastest to reach that landmark is Dennis Lillee in 56; Muthiah Muralitharan in 58; Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall and Dale Steyn in 61 tests……….  The topper now is Muthiah Muralitharan with 800; Shane Warne 708; Anil Kumble 619; Glenn Mcgrath 563; Courtney Walsh 519 and Kapil Dev 434….

Remember the Chepauk Test when India beat Clive Lloyd’s strong team in Pongal 1975 and Govt declared a holiday doubling the celebration…………….. though it was Andy Roberts who excelled in bowling, Lance Gibbs the off spinner also played in that test………… and that way he was a known figure.  Heard of the feat of 300 wickets a few years later, as Lance Gibbs reached that landmark went past Fred Trueman and with 309 test wickets in 79 Tests including 18 five fors – appeared as if, would remain perched at the top for long………….

That was what I knew about Cricket in 1980s  (that happened in Dec 1981) and in Aug 1986, Dennis Lillee broke that landmark setting up 355; Ian Botham upstaged pushing it to 373; Richard Hadlee took it up further beyond 400 and in 2000 on a day to celebrate, our own Kapil Dev finished at 434 wickets…. Only to be overtaken by Courtney Walsh @ 519 – it hovered between Murali and Share Warne – and finally Murali retired with sort of unscaleable 800 wickets……….

That was all more of statistical info…….. and that should not take away the credit away from Zaheer Khan who is the latest entrant to 300 club…. Well played, Zaheer.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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