It’s difficult to achieve a milestone in Test cricket. And when a player does near a milestone, he is done in with an untimely declaration by a captain in Test cricket. There have been a few instances when cricketers have been done with an untimely declaration in Test cricket. Cricwizz takes a look at few such players who were left rueing a missed opportunity.
Recently, Australian opener David Warner scored 335* against Pakistan in the Adelaide Test. He missed the chance to have a go after Brian Lara’s record of 400* as Australian skipper Time Paine made an early declaration.
Many netizens called it an untimely declaration as Warner was in top form to go after Lara’s record. He scored at a strike rate of 80.14 to have easily surpassed Lara’s record.
Warner, however, went past Sir Don Bradman’s record of 334. Warner was given a guard of honour following his record ton. He said he knew the declaration was coming and so has no hard feelings for being missing the chance to go after 400.
The Multan Test against Pakistan in 2004 was famous for Virender Sehwag’s 309, the first triple ton ever by an Indian cricketer then.
But the Test was marred with an unwanted controversy as Sachin Tendulkar was stranded on 194* after captain Rahul Dravid declared the innings. Sachin was visibly displeased and Dravid apologized for it as well.
Dravid said the declaration was done in the best interests of the team. But Sachin didn’t buy the logic as the team wasn’t pressing for a win then. But Sachin and Dravid buried the hatchet for the welfare of the team.
Virat Kohli is a team’s man and doesn’t hesitate to take tough and harsh decisions. And when it comes to him, he makes sure he follows what he preaches to the T.
In the 2019 Pune Test against South Africa, Kohli declared the innings while he was still batting at 254, and giving up the chance to go for a triple ton as there was still half a session left to play. But once Ravindra Jadeja fell for 91, Kohli declared the innings.
Netizens said Kohli deserved the chance to go after a triple ton. He had in past delayed the declaration to let Karun Nair complete a triple ton.
But Kohli’s decision to declare innings when he was batting on 254* paid dividends as India reduced South Africa to 36/1 at stumps. India went on to win the Test and series 3-0.
In the Peshawar Test against Pakistan in 1998, Mark Taylor had ended Day 2 at 334* and looked good to score a 400.
But the next day, he declared the innings, choosing to go after Pakistan batting line-up in the best interest of the team rather than for individual glory.
Taylor was hailed for his declaration for the team’s cause. Co-incidentally, Taylor equalled the then highest Test score of 334 by Sir Don Bradman. He said his knock is a tribute to the Aussie legend.