Australia’s Sir Donald Bradman, popularly known as ‘The Don’, was one of the greatest cricketers of the 20th century and the best batter to ever live. He was the top cricket player in the world throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Bradman was so superior to everyone else that comparing him with any other batter didn’t even make sense. He continued to be an absolute force in the Ashes. Australia only lost the Ashes once during this time, in 1932-33, when England developed the brutal and unfair ‘Bodyline’ bowling plan to stop him.
Brandman entered the crease 80 times, scoring 29 centuries. He only needed four runs in his last Test innings at The Oval in 1948 in order to end his international career with an average 100. However, he was dismissed for zero on the second delivery, a rare instance of human frailty that only served to increase his charm. All of those runs were completed by Bradman at a fast pace that confused his opponents and captivated onlookers.
Today, on his 114th birth anniversary, let’s take a look at some glittering records still held by The Don:
Highest batting average in Test cricket:
The record that Bradman has a batting average of 99.94 sets him apart from other cricketing legends. No one has come close to breaking this mark in the decades following his final innings as apart from Bradman, no one has been able to even record a batting average higher than 65. His unbeatable batting average during his 20-year career, which included 6996 runs in 52 Test matches and 80 innings, speaks volumes about his extraordinary hitting abilities. Bradman’s illustrious career has as many as 29 centuries and 13 half-centuries.
Most runs in a single day’s play:
Bradman set a record of more than 300 runs in a single day on 11 July 1930, while playing against England at Leeds, a record that has not been surpassed since. He scored 46 boundaries while scoring 334 runs in the first innings, 309 of which came on the opening day of the Test. The Aussie legend makes two appearances in the top five on the record of the most runs scored in a single day with his 271 runs on Day 2 against England in 1934 and it’s again in Leeds.
Fastest batter to reach 6,000 runs in Test:
Sir Don Bradman was the player who reached 1000 Test runs in the fewest matches, needing just 7 games (13 innings) to do it. He continued to repeat the feat by scoring 1000 runs in the fewest matches at each new milestone. In only 15 matches, he scored 2000 runs, followed by 3000 runs in 23 matches, 4000 runs in 31 matches, 5000 runs in 36 matches, and 6000 runs in 45 matches.
Most hundred-plus scores in consecutive matches:
In six straight Test matches between January 1937 and July 1938, Bradman crossed the 100-run mark. He is the only cricketer to have scored six straight hundreds. All six of his knocks came against England. His first four centuries were recorded in Australia, while the following two arrived in Leeds and at the Lord’s respectively. This streak also included two double centuries (270 and 212 runs).
Most runs against a single opponent:
Don Bradman simply adored playing England, and he did so frequently that he set the record for most runs ever scored against a single opponent. In 37 Test matches against England, Bradman has amassed a staggering 5,028 runs. The former Australian captain Steve Smith is ranked second on the list after scoring 2,800 runs against England, but he may not have a chance to surpass the enormous record set by the Australia great.
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