Just like any other sport, records are of vital importance in cricket and are a deciding factor in recognising the true worth of a player. However, that does not imply that cricketers with the best records are necessarily the finest in the business. But in most cases, the really good players are the ones who rack up these records.
There are quite a few cricketers who hold both good as well as dubious records under their belt. It means that while they have reigned supreme over others in achieving certain feats, they have managed to pick up a few embarrassing ones in their career as well.
Here are 5 cricketers who hold records that are completely contradictory to each other:
5. Sunil Gavaskar – Fastest ODI century by an Indian / Slowest ODI knock
Sunil Gavaskar is one of the most legendary figures in the history of Indian cricket and had a career which was full of records and milestones. At a certain point in his career, the iconic Mumbaikar held the record for the fastest century in a one-day international for India, which was also the second-fastest in world cricket at the time. In a 1987 World Cup match against New Zealand, he smashed a ton off just 88 balls and led India to a comfortable 9-wicket victory.
In a complete contrast, though, Gavaskar is also known to play the slowest knock in the history of ODI cricket. In India’s very first World Cup match back in 1975, the great opening batsman played at a snail’s pace and could manage just 36 runs off 174 balls at a poor strike rate of 20.68. Strangely enough, the innings came during a chase of 335 against England and the Indians lost by 202 runs despite having lost just 3 wickets.
4. Tillakaratne Dilshan – 2nd Highest T20I run-scorer / Most ducks in T20Is
Tillakaratne Dilshan may not have been at his best in Test cricket but he has managed to stamp his authority over the limited-overs game. Dlishan has been one of Sri Lanka’s top batsmen in both ODIs and T20Is and has been among their mainstays of their batting line-up. The 39-year old holds the record for being the 2nd highest run-scorer in T20I cricket behind Brendon McCullum with 1884 runs in 78 matches.
One of his records in the shortest format of cricket, though, is something Dlishan would want to ignore at best. The Sri Lankan icon currently has the most numbers of ducks in T20Is. In 77 innings, Tillakaratne Dilshan has been dismissed for no score on 10 occasions. However, this is certianly not something that has deterred him from scaling newer peaks in the format.
3. Ravichandran Ashwin – Fastest Indian to 100 Test wickets / Worst economy rate in a T20I match
India’s Ravichandran Ashwin has established himself as one of the best spinner in the world at present with some exceptional performances across all formats. The offie has been particularly impressive in Tests and has raced his way to 176 wickets in just 32 matches. In 2013, he became the fastest Indian bowler to claim 100 wickets in a career, achieving the milestone in a mere 18 Test matches.
Ashwin has also been highly productive in limited-overs cricket with 142 ODI and 50 T20I wickets already. However, he holds one of the most dubious bowling records in the shortest format, that of the worst economy rate for a bowler in a match. In a T20 international against Australia at Rajkot, the Tamil Nadu off-spinner gave away 41 runs in the 2 overs that he bowled for an economy of 20.50.
2. Sanath Jayasuriya – Fastest 50 in ODI cricket / Most ducks in ODIs
Sri Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya is among the most feared batsmen of all time and notched up a number of records during his glittering career. The ‘Matara Mauler’, as Jayasuriya was fondly called, did well in all three formats of the game and broke the myth that only cricketers who play by the book can achieve succes. The one record that he held for 19 years, broken just last year by AB de Villiers, was of scoring the fastest fifty in ODIs off just 17 balls.
Jayasuriya acheived this feat in a match against Pakistan at Singapore back in April 1996. One of his records in 50-over cricket, though, is not a very memorable one for the great cricketer and his numerous fans. Sanath Jayasuriya has recorded the most ducks in the format – 34 in 433 innings. However, it is a record that should not come as much of a surprise considering Jayasuriya’s knack of going after the bowlers from ball one.
1. AB de Villiers – Fastest ODI century / Most ducks in an ODI series
The phenomenal AB de Viliers is known to be arguably the best batsman in world cricket at present. The South African ace has batted with equal brilliance in all formats of the game but has been exceptionally great in ODI cricket. Just last year, de Villiers claimed the record for the fastest century in ODI cricket off just 31 balls along with two other feats – the quickest 50 and 150 in 50-over cricket.
But the incredible batsman is only human and has a forgettable records as well, the most prominent one being that of the most ducks in an ODI series. In the 2007 ICC World Cup, de Villiers picked up 4 ducks in the 10 matches that he played. This is a record that the Proteas master shares with three other batsmen, including great Australian batsman Greg Chappell.