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Most under-rated test innings?

gettingbetter

State Vice-Captain
I'll have to second Akmal's ton. With all the drama that he has gone through, its easy to overlook this innings. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this was after Pathan's hat-trick? Correct me if I'm wrong again, but was the hat-trick in the first over?
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
It was indeed, on both counts. However, I'm not entirely sure Akmal's innings is particularly underrated - most people who talk of it do so, understandibly, in awed tones. To score runs on that surface was difficult, to score when your top-order had been decimated doubly so.

I do seem to recall Akmal being wrongly given not-out to an lbw on 60-odd, which if so obviously means the innings was less good than had he hit that particular ball and obviously means the rest of it wouldn't have happened had the correct decision been made. But to make that many was quite a feat and could easily have won the game for Pakistan had the out been given.
 

Ikki

Hall of Fame Member
These two deserve a mention:

Hayden scores 119 in a test match where Pakistan are bowled out for -60 each innings and no one else surpasses 44 runs. Hayden scored more runs in one inning himself than the whole Pakistan side in two innings. And in that heat...amazing.

http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/statsguru/engine/match/64002.html

Ponting scores the only century in the test match, same series as the above, where batsmen were finding it tremendously difficult under the conditions.

http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/statsguru/engine/match/64001.html
 

Lillian Thomson

International Coach
Geoff Boycott made 99 and 112 in a low scoring game in the West Indies in the mid-70's but is often overlooked due to Tony Greig taking 13 wickets in the match.
 

Ikki

Hall of Fame Member
Ponting being hit by Mohammad Sami and suffering a gashed jaw because he was wearing only his BaggyGreen - his helmet was too hot. :sweat:
Yeah, I think Hayden was also out there for some 450 minutes? 50 degrees IIRC.
 

Dissector

International Debutant
That West Indies attack in 1974 was thoroughly mediocre though.

An innings which is often overlooked is Azharuddin's century in the third test against South Africa in India in the mid-90's. It was the deciding game in a 3-match series against a strong SA team and batting conditions were difficult. One of India's best series wins and probably Azhar's finest innings.
 

Lillian Thomson

International Coach
That West Indies attack in 1974 was thoroughly mediocre though.
So what? (although in fact it wasn't that weak an attack despite not measuring up to later WI attacks). It was a low scoring game on a difficult pitch where no other England batsman reached 50. Facing Gibbs, Sobers and Inshan Ali on a turning pitch was a difficult task and the fact that Tony Greig took 13 wickets bowling off spinners/cutters having never bowled in that style before shows how difficult batting was.
 

Dissector

International Debutant
I would say the attack was very weak (worse than mediocre really). Really an ageing Gibbs and 3 other bowlers who would struggle to be picked for any decent test side for their bowling. Fair enough that conditions seem to have been quite difficult but still I would hesitate to class the two innings as among the great ones given the quality of the attack.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
That West Indies attack in 1974 was thoroughly mediocre though.
It most certainly wasn't. Keith Boyce and Bernard Julien were both more-than-respectable Test-match seam-bowlers, Garfield Sobers wasn't any massive crack at that stage of his career but was never a pushover, and Lance Gibbs, having had a few fallow years, was at that time enjoying a mini Indian summer to his career that saw him take 74 wickets at 27.54 in 18 Tests. Included in this was 7-113 in the previous Test at the ground that series.

Only Inshan Ali was a genuinely poor Test bowler, and as alluded to the surface offered him plenty (despite both Pocock and, more surprisingly, Underwood struggling) so even he'd have been no tea-party to tackle.

Boycott's game there was a quite brilliant one, and very conceivably his finest hour.
 

Dissector

International Debutant
Julien and Boyce both averaged more than 30 with less than 3 wickets per test. That isn't good enough for most decent test sides particularly Julien who averaged around 2 wickets per test. This was a very weak attack albeit in difficult conditions.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
Yet again that's an easy mistake to make looking purely at an overall career average. Boyce, a very late starter (was 27 by the time he made his debut), did poorly in his first full series against Australia in 1973 and poorly again in his other encounter with them in 1975/76 (as well as a mediocre tour of the subcontinent in between). However, against England in 1973 and 1974 he was consistently good. Julien meanwhile started well and faded, in his first 12 Tests taking 32 at 27.93 and in his second 12 just 18 at 54.11.

Both would have played considerably more Tests had modern game-per-year ratios been present, and would hence likely have had careers of more obvious note.
 

Lillian Thomson

International Coach
I would say the attack was very weak (worse than mediocre really). Really an ageing Gibbs and 3 other bowlers who would struggle to be picked for any decent test side for their bowling. Fair enough that conditions seem to have been quite difficult but still I would hesitate to class the two innings as among the great ones given the quality of the attack.
This thread isn't about "great innings" it's about underrated innings that don't often get a mention. These were two match winning innings in difficult circumstances that have been forgotten over the years (and indeed at the time) because of Tony Greig's bowling.
 

Dissector

International Debutant
http://ind.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1970S/
1973-74/ENG_IN_WI/ENG_IN_WI_JAN-APR1974_AVS.html

Here are the averages for the series. Julien had a pretty decent series compared to the rest of his career but on the flip side Gibbs had a pretty poor one averaging 37. None of the bowlers could take more than 4 wickets per test in the series. So overall it does remain a pretty weak attack whether you look at the career figures or the series ones.
 

Dissector

International Debutant
LT,
Fair enough that this thread is about underrated innings rather than great ones per se but there must be dozens of hundreds scored against top notch attacks in difficult situtations over the decades that are forgotten today and which probably deserve more attention than Boycott's efforts in this particular test.
 

Lillian Thomson

International Coach
LT,
Fair enough that this thread is about underrated innings rather than great ones per se but there must be dozens of hundreds scored against top notch attacks in difficult situtations over the decades that are forgotten today and which probably deserve more attention than Boycott's efforts in this particular test.

I mentioned this match and these innings, if there are dozens of others more worthy then you mention those.
 

Richard

Cricket Web Staff Member
http://ind.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1970S/
1973-74/ENG_IN_WI/ENG_IN_WI_JAN-APR1974_AVS.html

Here are the averages for the series. Julien had a pretty decent series compared to the rest of his career but on the flip side Gibbs had a pretty poor one averaging 37. None of the bowlers could take more than 4 wickets per test in the series. So overall it does remain a pretty weak attack whether you look at the career figures or the series ones.
It is not just the series records - it is the records of players around about the time in question. And I've already shown why I consider that to be a pretty reasonable attack. Not a phenomenal one - not a patch, in fact, on the attack West Indies would procure in 3 years', never mind 6 years', time. But a pretty reasonable one that scoring (in essence) twin centuries against was no mean feat.
 

sideshowtim

Banned
These two deserve a mention:

Hayden scores 119 in a test match where Pakistan are bowled out for -60 each innings and no one else surpasses 44 runs. Hayden scored more runs in one inning himself than the whole Pakistan side in two innings. And in that heat...amazing.

http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/statsguru/engine/match/64002.html
Uh sorry, you can't post that innings here. At CW we like to conveniently ignore the times Hayden has scored runs in tremendously difficult conditions.
 

Burgey

Request Your Custom Title Now!
Langer's 50 odd on debut against a WI attack including Ambrose, Walsh and Bishop in Adelaide was an incredibly gutsy innings. IIRC he was hit in the head by Bishop, looked up and saw three of him running in. He pulled away and had the (at that time) self-absorbed and idiotic Lara yell out "He's scared Bish, he's scared". Boony wanted him to retire hurt, but he refused.
Alas, his innings came to nought - WI won the test by one run.

http://aus.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1992-93/WI_IN_AUS/WI_AUS_T4_23-26JAN1993.html
 
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