Bradman’s feat remains unparalleled. ‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if Clarke can not cook should’. That’s the kind of spirit that supporters of both teams have been converging on the causes of the Ashes Tests in this series of five games that mean level at 1-1. England beat Australia in the first comprehensive test, but the hard-nosed Aussies bounced Backed superbly to crush England in the Lord blows by a margin of 405 runs.
The third Test starts at Edgbaston today and probably thousands throng the stadium to see which team emerges as the best team on this occasion.
Supporters of Australia in team colors are everywhere in groups led by former greats like Kim Hughes and Keith Stackpole copies of his men.
For Australian is definitely not a sacrilege to talk about the exploits of the legendary Sir Don Bradman when a show like this is if you play here or at home.
‘The Don’, as it was called, was a unique athlete and if he had not played cricket, have been so good in any sport like golf, rugby and snooker.
In 52 Tests he averaged 99.94. If he had scored four more runs in his last test inputs at the Oval in 1948 where he was hit by a duck in the second delivery that face he would have had an incredible average of 100 runs per innings. That proves to us all that he was a mortal too.
On his first trip to England in 1930 he set a record of 957 runs with 254 in the Lord and a triple (309) century in a day at Headingley. By the time he finished his twenty-year Test career in 1948, he had scored 6,996 runs with 29 hundreds in 52 Tests, reaching only six sixes in those tests.
He played 37 tests against arch-rivals England in which he made 5,028 runs at an average of 89.78 with 19 centuries.
Recently, when the explosive West Indian batsman Chris Gayle hammered 30-ball hundred for the Warriors of Pune in IPL, I recalled another unique feat of Bradman in a party of people in Australia broke a century in three scales of eight ball playing for Blackheath against Lithgow in New South Wales.
He was invited along with his teammate, Oscar NSW Bill Wendell to play at the opening of a new field of concrete in Lithgow.
In the first long shot by Bill Black, Bradman hit 33 runs. In the second he patched on another bowler 40 runs and the third on Bill Wendell had one and then Bradman hit two sixes and one which was followed by another single by Wendell. Bradman then hit two fours and a six, scoring 27 of the 29 runs scored in that over. It reached his century in 18 minutes off 22 deliveries.
In his most famous book Farewell to Cricket, the Don has a ball by ball account of his power batting amazing is how it was:
First envelope; 66424461; Second on: 64466464; Third time: 1 * 6,611,446 (denotes runs scored by Wendell).
The bat with which the Don scored those runs it was used by a lot of first-class games until it went bankrupt and was presented to Peter Sutton, mayor of Lithgow against who had scored a hundred. He ran his hands many times and now rests in Bradman Foundation.
Despite all the power hitting in the game today and bats used as a hammer, it is hard to believe that if anyone ever be able to match the kind of performance Sir Don had shown in cricket .