In 140 years of Test cricket, there have been a total of 2,243 Tests. In this period, there have been batsmen who have gone past 10,000 runs in Tests. There have been bowlers who have taken over 500 wickets. However, in the first Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Port Elizabeth, one batsman entered a very unique club. (SCORECARD)
On the third day of the first Test, in the 51st over of South Africa’s second innings, Nuwan Pradeep and Hashim Amla became part of history. In the sixth ball of the over, Pradeep bowled a full and straight delivery on middle and leg stump, Amla looked to work it to mid wicket but missed and was struck on the pad. Sri Lanka appealed and Amla was given out LBW. This was the 10,000th instance of a batsman being dismissed LBW in Tests.
The statistical journey of the Leg Before Wicket mode of dismissal is fascinating. This dismissal has won Tests for nations, given the bowlers plenty to cheer and has made batsmen more careful in adopting a negative technique. Here are some fascinating stats about the LBW mode of dismissal.
First LBW dismissal: The first Test was played between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1876. The first batsman to get out LBW was England’s Harry Jupe. He was trapped LBW by Australia fast bowler Tom Garrett for 63. Australia won the match by 45 runs.
First Indian batsman to be dismissed LBW: During India’s first tour to England in 1932, they played only one Test at Lord’s. England made 259 in their first innings. In response, India got off to a tepid start. Naoomal Jaoomal was the first Indian batsman to be given out LBW when he was dismissed for 33 by Walter Robins.
First Indian bowler to effect an LBW decision: This too happened in the same Lord’s Test. The honour of becoming the first Indian bowler to get an LBW went to CK Nayudu. He got rid of Eddie Paynter for 14.
First LBW dismissal in a Test in India: England played the first ever Test in India. The first match at the Gymkhana Club in then Bombay saw England bowler Stan Nichols get the first LBW in India. The batsman was Syed Wazir Ali and he was dismissed for 36.
First LBW dismissal using DRS: The Decision Review System was introduced on a trial basis in 2008 during India’s Test series in Sri Lanka . It was formally introduced in the 2009 series between Pakistan and New Zealand. Imran Farhat was trapped LBW by Chris Martin for 22. Though he challenged the decision, it was unsuccessful.
WHIPPING UP A STORM
Most memorable LBWs in Test cricket
1 Sachin Tendulkar, Shoulder before wicket, not LBW in Adelaide Test in 1999
It remains one of the most controversial decisions in Test cricket. During the Adelaide Test of 1999 between Australia and India, Glenn McGrath bowled a bouncer and Tendulkar took his eyes off as he ducked. However, the ball did not rise and the batsman was hit on the shoulder. Australia appealed and umpire Daryll Harper raised the finger.
2 An LBW makes a Test historic
September, 1986. Chennai. First Test, India vs Australia. Dean Jones’ magnificent 210 has helped Australia post 574/7 dec. Kapil Dev’s 119 helped India to 397 and Australia declared at 170/5, setting the hosts a target of 348. Sunil Gavaskar’s 90 and Ravi Shastri’s unbeaten 48 gave India a chance to pull off a historic win. However, Greg Mathews and Ray Bright chipped away. With two balls remaining and one wicket in hand, Maninder Singh was on strike to Matthews. The batsman was adjudged LBW, thus ensuring a tie. It was the second tied match in Test history, after the Brisbane Test between Australia and West Indies in 1960.
3 Pakistan and West Indies involved in an LBW war of attrition
The first Test between West Indies and Pakistan in Providence, Guyana witnessed an LBW battle of attrition. In the first innings, five West Indies batsmen fell LBW. Pakistan matched West Indies’s effort and had LBWs even in their innings. While West Indies had four more in the second innings, Pakistan suffered a record six LBW dismissals in the final innings to lose by 40 runs. It was a match which did not feature a single fifty.
4 Zimbabwe and New Zealand on the receiving end of an LBW nightmare
The maximum number of batsmen to be out LBW in a single innings is seven. That mark is held by New Zealand and Zimbabwe. This occurred twice, in 2003 and 2005. During New Zealand’s Test against Australia in Christchurch in 2005, seven batsmen fell LBW while Zimbabwe’s batsmen had a similar nightmare against England in Chester-le-Street in 2003.
India the King of LBWs
India dominate in batting and bowling when it comes to LBWs. An Indian bowler is on top of the pile when it comes to LBW dismissals while an Indian batsman has been dismissed LBW the most number of times in Tests.
Anil Kumble, who picked 619 wickets in 132 Tests, had 156 of his victims as LBW, which constitutes about 25% of his victims. In fact, spinners dominate the LBW dismissal percentage. Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralithan had 150 of his victims LBW out of 800 while Australian leg spinner Shane Warne is third with 138 of his 708 victims. Among fast bowlers, Wasim Akram leads the list with 119. However, the pace bowler has the highest percentage of LBW victims in the list.
India leads the list when it comes to batsmen being dismissed LBW as well. On top of the pile is Sachin Tendulkar, who was dismissed a record 63 times in 200 Tests. Shivnarine Chanderpaul of West Indies and Graham Gooch of England are the others to be dismissed LBW for over 50 times in Tests.
The LBW has been an integral part of cricket dismissals since Test cricket began. In 2016, it has scaled the 10,000 summit. Keep going, Mr. LBW!