Jacques Kallis was born on this day, 1975.

From 166 Tests, he had 13,289 runs, 292 wickets, and 200 catches.

We know these numbers are great, but at times we do not understand HOW great.
Of all men to have scored over 9,000 runs, Kallis has the most wickets. The next on the list, Steve Waugh, is exactly 200 wickets behind him.

Of all men to have taken 250 wickets, Kallis has the most runs. The next on the list, Kapil Dev, is over 8,000 runs behind him.
Of all men to have taken 100 wickets, Kallis has the most catches. The next on the list, Shane Warne, has 125.

One little recalled aspect of Kallis' batting is his ability to find boundaries, something that is not quite evident.
His 97 sixes are the fourth-most in Test history. Only McCullum, Gilchrist, and Gayle have hit more.

His 1,499 fours are the sixth-most. Only Tendulkar, Dravid, Lara, Ponting, and Sangakkara have hit more.

As is evident, there is no one common between the two sets.

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More from @ovshake42

17 Oct
Anil Kumble turns 50.

Everyone knows everything about him, so there is hardly anything I can add.

Let me narrate one exploit from 1995 that is not (probably) as well-known.

Northamptonshire were hosting Nottinghamshire that day.

Notts batted first and got 527.
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How dominant was Kumble? He had 50-15-118-4.

His teammates (including Paul Taylor, Kevin Curran, David Capel, and Jeremy Snape, all international cricketers), got 107.1-17-358-6.

Northants got 149 for no loss at stumps Day 2.
Then they slammed 560 in a single day (709/7 at stumps) and declared on 781/7 on the final morning.

Not many people expected a result in a match like that, but then, they had not taken Kumble into contention.

Kumble got 39.1-21-43-5 (the team bowled 88.1 overs).
Read 8 tweets
16 Oct
There is no Sadagoppan Ramesh appreciation thread on Twitter.

So I decided to write one on his 45th birthday.

And since Ramesh is very personal, let me begin with a personal memory.
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I was watching the Chennai Test in the common-room of the university hostel in Delhi.

It was a chilly afternoon, and classes ended early, just at the stroke of Pakistan getting bowled out for 238.

Now Laxman walked out with some debutant, called Ramesh.
We began contemplating how long this man was likely to last against Wasim and Waqar.

He would get to 5, some thought. Some raised the bar to 10.

It was an innocuous start before Ramesh did something that brought all of us to our feet.
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16 Oct
On his 29th birthday, let us talk about a former India Under-19 cricketer, now an international captain.

A left-arm quick, Mumbai-born Saurabh Netravalkar was India's best bowler in the 20009 World Cup (9 wickets at 17.22, economy 3.11).
He took at least one wicket in all six matches. His wickets included the likes of Joe Root (twice), Ahmed Shehzad, and Hashmatullah Shahidi.

This was the era when Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, RP Singh, and Irfan Pathan were all active cricketers.
Four years later, Netravalkar played a Ranji Trophy match, for Mumbai against Rajasthan.

He ran out KL Rahul in the first innings and clean bowling him in the second, and finished with 3/77.

This was Netravalkar's only First-Class match.
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
Major-General Joginder Singh Rao, born on this day, 1938, played in only five First-Class matches, all in 1963-64, but what a career he had!

Before I begin, here are some photographs, courtesy @gulu1959.

A medium-pacer, Joginder made his debut against Jammu & Kashmir.

He got Tahir Firdausi, Vijay Malhotra, and Abdul Rauf off consecutive deliveries.

He became the second Indian bowler to take a hat-trick on First-Class debut (the first was Vasant Ranjane).
He got 6/24 and 2/11, but he had just begun.

Four days later he played his second match, against Northern Punjab. He bowled only 5 wicketless overs in the first innings.

In the second innings he got Suresh Sharma, Brij Khanna, and Bhupinder Singh for his second hat-trick.
Read 6 tweets
15 Oct
Xenophone 'Xen' Balaskas, born on this day, 1910.

Quizmasters like him a lot, for he was the first Test cricketer of Greek origin.

Decades later, John Traicos was the second, while Nic Pothas played ODIs.
Balaskas was also the first Test cricketer whose name began with an X.

Xavier Doherty, Xavier Marshall, etc came much later.

But there was more to Balaskas than all this.

His First-Class numbers – 2,696 runs at 29, 276 wickets at 24 – make excellent reading.
He played 9 Tests and batted 13 times but got only 174 runs.

Bizarrely, that included a 122 not out and another 29.

Similarly, he picked up 22 wickets, 9 of which came in one Test.

And that one Test was at Lord's in 1935, where he got 5/49 and 4/54.
Read 6 tweets
15 Oct
Decades before Wankhede Test of 2011-12, the Eden Gardens and Chepauk Tests of 2000-01, even the Chepauk tie of 1986, India and Australia played one of the greatest Test matches on Indian soil.

The Test ended on this day, 1964. It was also Dussehra.
Australia were one-up in the three-Test series. This was the second Test.

Unfortunately for them, O'Neill went down with a stomach pain *after the toss* here and took no further part in the Test.

This meant that Australia played the Test with only ten men.
Australia scored 320 and 274. India, 341. They needed 254.

India lost Jaisimha, Durani, and Nadkarni by stumps on Day 4. They were 74/3.

Now Pataudi had an unusual habit of shuffling the batting order.
Read 10 tweets

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