Gilchrist tops list of explosive Test batsmen

Published: Friday, October 29, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Explosive Indian batsmen - Kapil Dev and Virender Sehwag - have been endorsed by Wisden as explosive Indian batsmen - Kapil Dev and Virender Sehwag - have been endorsed by Wisden as two of world's fastest scoring Test players in a list which was topped by Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist.

According to a historic scientific research in the new edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanac Australia, all-rounder Kapil Dev was second in list while the Delhi-based opener is the fifth fastest in the world.

The full list - the Hurricane Hundred - is published in the 2004-05 edition of Wisden Australia, which will hit the stands on November 3.

It is the first serious undertaking ever attempted to calculate the batting strike rates of every Test cricketer since 1877, a website reported on Thursday.

Gilchrist comfortably tops the chart with a strike rate of 81.9 runs per 100 balls.

"It is fair to say that Gilchrist, taking both batting average and scoring speed into account, is the most dynamic batsman the game has ever seen," says Charles Davis, the Melbourne-based cricket scientist who conducted the research.

"One advantage he has, as with Viv Richards, is that he plays in a supremely dominant side. But even when he is exposed to predicaments demanding fierce resistance, his response is invariably aggressive."

The 'Hurricane Hundred', which took a minimum 1000 Test runs as qualification, also includes some old-timers like Donald Bradman who was placed in the 16th place.

Maurice Tate, the England all-rounder of the 1920s and '30s, is the third-fastest batsman while South African Jimmy Sinclair, who debuted in 1896, ranks fourth. In eighth place is the legendary Australian stroke-maker Victor Trumper, who hummed along at nearly 68 runs per 100 balls.

If the minimum qualification of 1000 Test runs is not taken into account, Englishman Gilbert Jessop is far ahead in his scoring abilities with a whopping 112 runs per 100 balls.

"This research invites us to reassess cricket's past, to see the giants of batting in a new and revealing light," says Christian Ryan, the editor of Wisden Australia.

"We always suspected Victor Trumper was something special, but we had to rely on hearsay and imagination and romanticised eyewitness accounts. Now we have hard scientific evidence," he was quoted as saying by the website.

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