Records of Sir Donald Bradman
The world has witnessed some of the greatest players playing the game of cricket like Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh, Brian Lara, Viv Richards, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram and so on. However, the name that remains right at the top of such a list, unarguably, is Australian batsman Sir Donald George Bradman, popularly known as Don Bradman, or “The Don”.
Born on 27 August 1908, the right-hand batsman’s first-class career began in 1927, while he played his first Test match in 1928 against England. Let’s take a look at some of the records of Sir Donald Bradman, extremely unlikely to be ever broken.
- Highest Test Batting Average – 99.94
- Most Runs and Centuries Against One Opponent
- Scored the Most Runs in a Single Day’s Play
- Fastest to Reach 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 Test Runs
- Most Runs in a Test Series
- Most Runs in an Innings by Batting Position
- Most Number of 200 Plus Scores – Overall
- Most 200 Plus Scores in a Test Series
- Most Runs in a Test Series by a Captain
- Most Hundred-Plus Scores in Consecutive Matches
- Highest Test Batting Average for a 5-Test Series
- Other Achievements of Sir Donald Bradman
Highest Test Batting Average – 99.94
This one record – the batting average of 99.94 – makes Bradman ‘a class apart’ from the other cricketing greats. Even decades since his last innings, no one has come even near to breaking this record. On the list of the highest career batting averages in Tests (minimum 15 innings), no other batsman has marked a batting average of more than 65.
In his career which lasted for 20 years, he scored 6996 runs from 52 Test matches and 80 innings, registering the unassailable batting average of 99.94, which speaks volumes of his stupendous batting skills. In the process, he smashed 29 centuries, and 13 half-centuries, with 334 being his highest score. He was equally successful in home and away conditions.
In the last innings of his career, he needed just four runs to achieve the batting average of 100 while playing against England. Unfortunately, he was dismissed for a duck by Eric Hollies, making the figure just short of 100, even though 99.94 is an unforgettable, golden figure for any cricket lover.
Below is the list of top 10 averages in Test cricket. (Min. 20 Matches)
|DG Bradman (AUS)||52||80||6996||99.94|
|AC Voges (AUS)||20||31||1485||61.87|
|SPD Smith (AUS)||77||139||7540||61.8|
|RG Pollock (SA)||23||41||2256||60.97|
|GA Headley (WI)||22||40||2190||60.83|
|H Sutcliffe (ENG)||54||84||4555||60.73|
|E Paynter (ENG)||20||31||1540||59.23|
|KF Barrington (ENG)||82||131||6806||58.67|
|ED Weekes (WI)||48||81||4455||58.61|
|WR Hammond (ENG)||85||140||7249||58.45|
|GS Sobers (WI)||93||160||8032||57.78|
Most Runs and Centuries Against One Opponent
In the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, Australia played predominantly against England, South Africa and occasionally against West Indies. Bradman, who debuted and played during this era, naturally scored most runs against these three countries. Against England, he was the most successful in terms of runs and centuries as he scored 5028 runs from 37 matches with an average of 89.78. It included 19 centuries and 12 half-centuries. He was and still is the only batsman to score more than 5,000 Test runs against an opponent. His 19 Test centuries against England is also a record number made against one opponent in Test matches. These records are very difficult to be broken in today’s time as many countries play Test cricket now.
Scored the Most Runs in a Single Day’s Play
On 11 July 1930, he made a record of scoring more than 300 runs in a single day, playing against England in Leeds, which remains unbroken to date. He made 334 runs in the first innings with 46 boundaries, out of which 309 runs came on the first day of the Test. Even Walter Hammond (England, 295 runs in 1933) and destructive batsman Virender Sehwag (India, 284 runs in 2009) could not break this record. On the list of the most runs in a single day, Bradman appears twice in the top five, with his 271 runs on Day 2 against England in 1934 – again in Leeds.
Fastest to Reach 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 Test Runs
It took Sir Don Bradman the fewest number of matches to reach 1000 Test runs as he accomplished the feat in just 7 Test matches (13 innings). He kept repeating the feat by reaching every next milestone of 1000 runs in the fewest matches. He scored 2000 runs in just 15 matches, 3000 runs in 23 matches, 4000 runs in 31 matches, 5000 runs in 36 matches and 6000 runs in 45 matches.
Sir Donald Bradman’s Test matches per 1000 runs
|Runs||Matches per 1000 runs||Innings per 1000 runs||Total matches in career|
Most Runs in a Test Series
That’s another list that Sir Don Bradman tops to date. In the 1930 Ashes in England, Bradman scored a whopping 974 runs in 7 innings from five Tests. He produced four magical Test knocks, including a triple century, two double hundreds and a century. In addition, his highest ever score of 334 runs was registered in this series. No other batsman from England or Australia crossed 450 runs in the entire series which shows Bradman’s class.
Here are the top 5 run-getters in a series (World Test Championship is excluded):
|DG Bradman (AUS)||The Ashes (Australia in England), 1930||5||7||974||334||139.14|
|WR Hammond (ENG)||The Ashes (England in Australia), 1928/29||5||9||905||251||113.12|
|MA Taylor (AUS)||The Ashes (Australia in England), 1989||6||11||839||219||83.9|
|RN Harvey (AUS)||South Africa in Australia Test Series, 1952/53||5||9||834||205||92.66|
|IVA Richards (WI)||West Indies in England, 1976||4||7||829||291||118.42|
|CL Walcott (WI)||Australia in West Indies Test Series, 1955||5||10||827||155||82.7|
Most Runs in an Innings by Batting Position
In 1937, Bradman batted at number 7 against England in the third Test in Melbourne. He scored 270 runs in the fourth innings of the Test. He stood for 458 minutes, faced 375 balls and hit 22 fours in the process. Only four number-seven batsmen have scored a double century in the history of cricket, while Bradman’s 270 has been the most ever achieved by any number-seven batsman in the world.
Most Number of 200 Plus Scores – Overall
In 52 Tests, Bradman scored 200 or more runs on 12 occasions. It included 10 double centuries and 2 triple centuries. Again, this is the most by any batsman across the globe. Out of twelve 200 plus scores, he scored six double centuries and two triple centuries against England. He also scored two double tons against South Africa and one each against India and West Indies.
Most 200 Plus Scores in a Test Series
In 1930, Bradman scored 200 plus runs three times in five Tests matches against England, which was and still is the most accomplished by any batsman. It is the same series in which he made a record 974 runs and registered his career-best score of 334. He also scored 254 runs, 232 runs and 131 runs in the same series.
Most Runs in a Test Series by a Captain
Another record that goes to Bradman is the most runs by any captain in a Test series. While Sunil Gavaskar’s 732 runs in 1978-79 against West Indies and Graham Gooch’s 752 runs against India in 1990 have been remarkable captain performances, Sir Donald Bradman still holds the record of scoring the most runs as a captain – 810 runs in 5 Tests against England in the 1936-37 Ashes series in Australia. He produced 3 centuries and 1 half-century in the series.
Most Hundred-Plus Scores in Consecutive Matches
Between January 1937 and July 1938, Bradman scored a hundred or more runs in six consecutive Test matches. He has been the only cricketer to score six consecutive centuries. His all six knocks came against England. His first four centuries were in Australia, and the next two centuries came at the Lord’s and in Leeds. It included two double centuries (270 and 212 runs). Zaheer Abbas (in the 1980s) and Jacques Kallis (in the 2000s) scored five consecutive Test hundreds, but Bradman’s record is yet to be broken. In 1929-30 against England and 1931-32 against South Africa, Bradman remained unstoppable with four consecutive centuries.
Highest Test Batting Average for a 5-Test Series
When South Africa visited Australia in 1931-32, Bradman scored 806 runs in the five-Test series, including four centuries. He made these runs at an average of 201.50 which is the highest batting average by any batsman in a Test series with four or more Test matches. Having scored one double century (226) and two centuries (112 and 167) already in the series, his unbeaten score of 299 in the second innings of the fourth match took his average beyond 200 in the series. No other batsman achieved such a feat yet.
Other Achievements of Sir Donald Bradman
There are abundant records and achievements of Sir Donald Bradman. Below is a crisp list of his achievements.
- He was the first batsman in the history of cricket to score 2 triple centuries in Tests.
- Sir Donald Bradman, along with Bill Ponsford, recorded a 451-run partnership in 1934, the highest for Australia for any wicket.
- In 234 first-class matches, Sir Donald Bradman scored 28,067 runs at an average of 95.15, with the highest score of 452.
- He registered the highest 5th-wicket partnership (405 runs) in a Test along with Sid Barnes against England in Sydney on 13 December 1946.
- He was knighted in 1949. He was the only Australian cricketer to ever receive a knighthood and the first Test cricketer to receive the honour.
- In 1988, Bradman was voted the greatest male athlete of the past 200 years by the Australian Confederation of Sport.
- In 2000, he was voted the greatest cricketer of the 20th century by Wisden Cricket Almanack.
- He was also named Male Athlete of the Century in 1999 by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
- Overall, Bradman scored 26% of the team’s total runs during his Test career.
The work and achievements of Sir Donald Bradman for the game of cricket are extraordinary. Even during the 1932–33 Ashes series, when Douglas Jardine-led England employed infamous “Bodyline” tactics, Bradman scored at an average of 56.57, with one century and three half-centuries. Clearly, what was the worst for Bradman, was the best for the rest of the cricketers. That’s indeed the “Don” effect.
The most celebrated record of Sir Donald Bradman is the average of 99.94. He failed to reach the round figure of 100 in the international arena, but his average in first-class cricket was above 100. When it comes to the statistics, he is more than 66% better than the batsman placed second. Probably, in no other sport, the athlete at the top is that much better than the second-best. That’s who Bradman was. His legacy will remain as long as cricket is played and probably beyond that as well.
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