Name some of your best Test innings
And I don't mean innings you've played, either. :p I'm not fussed about forcing 10 into a list or limiting a list to 10, name as many of the innings you like that you think were some of the best, whether you've seen them or not. Far more interesting sorts of lists than best 10 this-and-that players.
For me, a few that come to mind, in no particularly remarkable order, are...
Don Bradman, 254, first-innings, Lord's, 1930 - by the batsman's own recollection, every single shot (even the one where he was out) went exactly where he aimed it, off three-hundred-and-seventy-six balls. :blink: I can't believe anyone has ever come close to that number of error-free balls consecutively.
Nathan Astle, 222, second-innings, Christchurch, 2001\02 - beyond doubt, the best innings I've ever seen. People say they were chasing 550 and had no realistic chance of a win - regardless, it takes quite something to score a chanceless 222 off 168 balls with the ball swinging, plenty, in the hands of Andrew Caddick and Matthew Hoggard. Everyone remembers the outrageous swings that comprised the last 60 or 70, and completely forgets the almost exclusively completely conventional batting that took him most of the way - he played-and-missed on just a few occasions. I'll be very surprised if I ever see a batsman look so "in the zone" for such a long time playing such a wide range of shots.
Victor Trumper, 104, first-innings, Old Trafford, 1902 - with his side leading 1-0 going into the Fourth Test of five, on a pitch so wet everyone knew it would be benign for only a session or so then batting would become a lottery, Trumper had to act fast. He did, scoring 104 in 115 minutes (which could easily have been over a-run-a-ball). After his partnerships with Duff and Hill, Australia were knocked-over quickly as the pitch dried. They won the match by just 2 runs, and with it the series, but had it been anyone but Trumper opening-up they would surely never have got enough runs in the first-innings before batting became difficult.
Brian Lara, 153*, second-innings, Kensington Oval, 1999 (*) - this innings will always come with an asterisk next to it, and not in the form of a not-out, because it's oft assumed Lara single-handedly won the game for his side. The truth is he was dropped with 10 runs still needed. Nonetheless, it was a sensational innings, and would still be considered so if Healy had taken the requistite catch. With West Indies having levelled the series against Australia (due in no small part to a 213 from Lara) in the previous game, they needed 308 for a lead-gaining victory. With a next-highest score of 38, it was a lone hand from the famous Trinidadian left-hander. And to even come so close to winning a game was a magnificent effort. As it was, the work wasn't wasted, Healy missing the chance, and Lara completing victory that put his side 2-1 up.
Sachin Tendulkar, 136, second-innings, Chennai, 1998\99 - find it impossible to mention the above innings without mentioning this one, a few months earlier. In India and Pakistan's first meeting in a Test for nearly a decade, on an exceedingly difficult pitch (it had been vandalised weeks earlier) India and Pakistan tussled it out on first-innings, and Pakistan eventually managed to set their hosts 271. With only 1 other score above 10 in the innings, it was mostly down to the man from Mumbai. And he chiselled it out brilliantly, coming so close to victory. Sadly for him, though, the chance he gave with victory in sight was taken, where for Lara it had been dropped. India collapsed and lost by 12 runs, but without Tendulkar they would have been flattened.
Maybe I'll think of more later...