JT Tyldesley, a fleet-footed right-handed stroke-maker, was born on this day. The Englishman made almost 40,000 first-class runs in a long career with Lancashire and England. He played 31 Tests, making 112 in his second Test to set up a 210-run victory over South Africa in Cape Town in 1898-99. He was popularly known as ‘Johny’.
Mushtaq Mohammad, the wristy batsman and a cunning legspinner, was born on this day. The Pakistani was officially the youngest Test player (15 years and 124 days, against West Indies in Lahore in 1958-59) and the youngest Test centurion (17 years and 82 days, against India in Delhi in 1960-61) at the time. He was once considered the world’s best allrounder with a batting average of almost 40 and a bowling average under 30.
Marvan Atapattu, the solid and one of the most consistent batsmen, was born on this day. Though the Sri Lankan started his Test career with one run in six innings, the selectors gave him a second chance in 1996-97 South Africa series. Almost 7 years after his debut, Atapattu finally reached double figures in a Test. While he was calm and composite on the field, his off-field outburst against the selectors caused a lot of controversy. After the end of his playing days, he worked as a batting coach.
Viv Richards and Gordon Greenidge, two all-time greats of cricket, made their Test debuts in the first Test between West Indies and India in Bangalore. Though Richards fell cheaply in both the innings, Greenidge made a mark by scoring 93 and 107. He even became the first West Indian to make a hundred on Test debut overseas.
Neil McCallum , the middle-order batsman, was born on this day. The Scottish made a mark though he played for a lesser-known cricketing nation. McCallum started his one-day career with a half-century against Pakistan. Eight matches later he made his maiden century, against Kenya, in Nairobi. Scotland won that match off the last ball.
Adam Gilchrist and Justin Langer produced one of the greatest victories in Test cricket in Hobart. Australia were down at 126 for 5 chasing 369 against Pakistan. Young Gilchrist playing only his second Test joined Langer and changed the match in their favour. Gilchrist scored a bold 149 of 163 balls to take Australia home with a victory.