10 cricketers who missed out on a significant milestone during their careers
There is a saying in India that God gives you everything and keeps something with him. It may be the reason why one feels there is always something that is beyond one's reach no matter how much one achieves in life.
The life of cricketers is no exception to the above saying. Since its inception in the late 16th century, cricket has produced many great players. With their exceptional cricketing abilities, they have achieved almost everything in their glorious cricketing journeys but still, there were things that remained out of their reach. So, let us now take a look at 10 such cricketers who achieved almost everything in their career but missed out somewhere.
#10 Sachin Tendulkar not scoring a Lord's ton
Sachin Tendulkar is without a doubt greatest ambassador for the game of cricket around the globe. The Little Master of cricket is praised as the god of cricket for having enriched the game with his next-to-impossible batting records. Hundred international tons and 31000 international runs are a few of them.
But in his largely successful career, if ever there was one thing that remained out of reach for the great man, it was scoring a ton at the Mecca of cricket, Lord's. In his 24-year-long career, Sachin has made 9 appearances at the Lord's ground but could not get past that three-figure magic mark as he just scored a total of 195 runs at an average of 21.67, with his 37 in the first Test of India tour of England 2007 being his highest.
For all his supremacy in the world of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar could not score even a half-century at Lord's. Perhaps, this is the classic example to justify the age-old adage that says "Cricket is a great leveler".
#9 Jacques Kallis never laying his hands on the World Cup
Jacques Kallis is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of cricket. Being a match-winner with both bat and ball, Kallis was equally envied by batsmen and bowlers during his days. On many occasions, he turned the match on its head with his exceptional all-round abilities.
With more than 25000 international runs with the bat and excess of 550 wickets with the ball, Kallis was the only player to score 10000 runs and take 250 wickets in both Tests and ODIs. Despite taking part in five World Cups for South Africa, Kallis could never lay his hands on the World Cup.
In his 36 World Cup matches, Kallis scored 1,148 runs at a decent average of 45.92 and mustered 21 wickets.
#8 Mark Boucher missing out on 1000 international dismissals
Mark Boucher is by far the most successful wicket-keeper in the history of cricket. Besides being a purist behind the stumps, Boucher had been more than a handly explosive lower-order batsman for South Africa for over 15 years.
With him entering the 2012 tour of England with 999 wickets - 555 in Tests, 425 in ODIs and 19 in T20Is - everybody thought that him reaching the milestone of 1000 dismissals was a mere formality. However, in a tour game against Somerset, just a week before the start of the series, the 41-year-old suffered a nasty eye injury that immediately ended his career. Thus Boucher ended his career on 999 international dismissals, tragically missing out on 1000 international dismissals.
#7 Sehwag missing out on his third triple ton in Tests
The former Indian opener, Virender Sehwag, fondly called as "Sultan of Multan" is largely regarded as one of the most destructive batsmen in the history of cricket. With his fearless batting, Sehwag used to be a nightmare for bowlers for more than a decade. With 8586 and 8273 runs in Tests and ODIs respectively, Viru is the only Indian opener to score in excess of 8000 runs both Tests and ODIs.
Going into the third and the final Test of the Sri Lanka tour of India 2009 at Mumbai with two triple hundreds, replying to Sri Lanka's first innings score of 393, Sehwag reached 284 runs at stumps on Day 2. Just when it looked like Sehwag would get to the landmark with ease to become the only batsman to score three triple tons in Tests, he was dismissed by Muttiah Muralitharan against the run of play on 293, which meant that he fell short of the record by a mere 7 runs.
#6 Mahela Jayawardene missing out on the highest individual score in Tests
The stylish right-handed batsman from Sri-Lanka, Mahela Jayawardene, is famously known for his mastery against spin bowling. His partnership of 624 runs with Kumar Sangakkara against South Africa at Colombo in 2006, is the highest partnership for any wicket in Tests
During the same Test, when Jayawardene crossed the 350-run mark, he looked like breaking Brian Lara's record of the highest individual score, 400 not out, in Tests. But unfortunately, Mahela was cleaned up by Andre Nel on 374 runs to miss the landmark by just 26 runs. His score of 374 is now the 4th highest individual score in Tests.
In his 18 years of international career, Mahela scored around 25000 runs with the help of 53 tons and 127 half-centuries in all formats combined.
#5 Sangakkara missing out on the Bradman's record of most double tons
The elegant wicket-keeper batsman from Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara, is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential cricketers of all time. With a solid and free-flowing technique, Sangakkara was a treat to watch when in full flow.
In his glorious 15-year-long international career, Sanga has scored in excess of 28000 runs at an average of 46.77 including 63 hundred and 153 half-centuries. With his exceptional batting abilities, Sangakkara notched up 11 double tons in his career but yet he missed out on equaling Bradman's tally of 12 double tons.
#4 Jim Laker missing out on taking all wickets in a Test match
Jim Laker, the former English off-spinner, is regarded as one of the greatest match-winners of the 20th century. Laker was selected as one of the five "Wisden Cricketers of the Year" in 1952.
With his next-to-impossible match figures of 19/90 during the 3rd Test of 1956 Ashes series at Old Trafford, Laker achieved a still-unequaled world record of most wickets taken by a bowler in a Test match. Jim took 9 wickets in the first essay and scalped all the wickets in the second. Had Jim taken that 1 wicket, he would have had all the wickets against his name.
Representing England in 46 Tests, Jim took 193 wickets with his 10/53 in that record-breaking match being his best.
#3 MS Dhoni not scoring a Test ton outside Asia
India's most successful captain and the only captain in the history of cricket to win all the ICC titles, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has played many match-winning innings for India in all the formats of the game across the world.
Despite achieving many laurels in his illustrious career, he would still rue that he could never score a Test century outside Asia. His highest score outside the sub-continent is 92 against England at Kennington Oval during the 3rd Test of India tour of England 2007. In fact, he doesn't have an international century outside Asia but with the Australia tour and the World Cup in England coming up, he still has a chance to score a limited-overs ton outside Asia.
#2 Saeed Anwar missing out on becoming the first double centurion in ODIs
The former Pakistani cricketer, Saeed Anwar, is widely considered as one of the greatest openers the nation has ever produced. Anwar scored two successive tons on three different occasions in his career. Representing Pakistan in 55 Tests and 247 ODIs, Anwar scored 4052 and 8824 runs, respectively.
Out of his 31 international tons, the most notable one was his 194 in the 6th Match of the Pepsi Independence Cup in 1997 against India in Chennai. At the time when an individual score of 200 was almost unimaginable, the 50-year-old, raced his way to a 146-ball-194 before being dismissed by Sachin Tendulkar, missing out on the golden opportunity to become the first double centurion in ODIs but his score remained as the highest individual score in ODIs for more than a decade.
Anwar held the record for 12 years till Charles Coventry of Zimbabwe scored an unbeaten 194 Bangladesh in 2009. Later the magical figure of 200 was first achieved by the maestro Sachin Tendulkar against South Africa in 2010 at Indore. Following Sachin Tendulkar, five other batsmen scored double hundreds in ODIs. Rohit Sharma leads the list with three double centuries (264, 209, 208*), followed by Martin Guptill (237*), Virender Sehwag (219), Chris Gayle (215) and Fakhar Zaman (210*).
#1 Sir Donald Bradman missing out on a Test average of 100 by just 4 runs
Sir Donald George Bradman, fondly called as Don Bradman, is widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time. For someone who scored 29 tons, 12 double hundreds and 2 triple hundreds in just 52 matches, scoring just 4 runs in a match literally counts for nothing. Yes, it was those 4 runs that spoiled one of the greatest achievement one could ever achieve in cricket.
Bradman needed just four runs in his last innings to end his career with an average of exactly 100, but destiny had its own plans for Bradman as he was bowled for a duck by the English leg-spinner Eric Hollies. An England batting collapse denied Bradman the opportunity to bat again in the second innings. Thus Bradman ended his dream career with 6996 runs and an average of 99.94.