When Everton Weekes gave India a batting lesson and created a record that still stands
In the year 1948-49, West Indies visited a newly independent India for the first time as the two countries played a five-match Test series. India were yet to win a Test match, having played 15 matches so far and lost 10 out of those.Updated: Jul 02, 2020 19:26 IST
Sir Everton Weekes’ passing has brought an end to an era in world cricket. The legendary batsman was a colossal figure in Caribbean cricket, helping West Indies emerge as a force to reckon with in the late 1940s and 50s before Clive Lloyd’s West Indian team went on to rule the roost in world cricket.
In the year 1948-49, West Indies visited a newly independent India for the first time as the two countries played a five-match Test series. India were yet to win a Test match, having played 15 matches till then, out of which they had lost 10.
The first two matches were drawn while India gave themselves a great chance of chasing down a big fourth innings target at Eden Gardens in the third Test but it eventually ended in a draw as time ran out. Everton Weekes, who had scored a century in his last Test innings, against England at Kingston, before coming to India, kept the runs flowing for his team.
He slammed 128 in Delhi, a majestic 194 in Bombay, before scoring 162 and 101 in both the innings of the Calcutta Test. As a result of this he became the first batsman in Test cricket history to score five centuries in consecutive innings.
Little did the 23-year-old know that his record would outlast him. Yes, the record stands till date even as Weekes bid adieu to the world at the ripe age of 95. The fact that no other batsman, apart from Rahul Dravid who scored four centuries in a row in 2002, has come close to this record in modern day cricket manifests the true impact of Weekes’ achievement.
Weekes in fact would have made it six in a row but he was unfortunately run out for 90 in the first innings of the Madras Test that West Indies went on to win and eventually won the series 1-0.
It was an early lesson for the Indians too, who would go on to register their first Test win in the next series they played against England.
The International Cricket Council too paid its respects to Weekes by listing his record of five consecutive Test centuries in a tweet.
❇️ 141 v England, Kingston— ICC (@ICC) July 2, 2020
❇️ 128 v India, Delhi
❇️ 194 v India, Mumbai
❇️ 162 v India, Kolkata
❇️ 101 v India, Kolkata
The only batsman to make centuries in five consecutive Test innings: Sir Everton Weekes 🙌 pic.twitter.com/OhbLfzXt86