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5 iconic cricketers and their 'bogey' grounds in Tests

Brian-Lara-Brisbane
Brian Lara averaged only 22 at Brisbane

Five of the most prolific Test batsmen in the last 20 years or so, enjoyed a tremendous amount of success wherever they played. Wielding their willows, these legends plundered a plethora of runs in the longest format of the game almost everywhere.

Challenging conditions or lethal bowling attacks - nothing could come in their way as they went on amassing runs at will in the longest format of the game. However, on some grounds, these legends found it tough to get going and that particular venue became sort of a bogey stadium for them.

Which are those venues? Well, here is the list.

Note: For our analysis, we only chose those grounds where these legends played at least 4 Test matches. Considering this fact, we couldn’t find substantial data for Kumar Sangakkara, who adorns the 5th spot of the highest run-getters’ list in Tests with 12,400 runs. So we chose the other 5 highest run scorers in Test match history.

5. Brian Lara - The Gabba, Brisbane

The Prince of the Caribbean was undoubtedly one of the greatest players of his generation. Impeccable timing, delectable strokes, quintessential flair - Lara was a delight to watch.

The southpaw tormented most of the bowling attacks on his day and he often meted out special treatment for some world class bowlers. With 11,953 runs in Tests, the southpaw’s penchant for big hundreds saw him recording scores like 375 and 400 in the longest format.

The genius had a great time against the mighty Australians as well. In fact, Lara played the second Test of his career at Brisbane in Australia and his first century in Tests too came against the same opposition when he scored that magnificent 277 in Sydney in 1993.

Lara played 19 Tests in Australia and averages 41.97. However, in the ground, where Lara played his first Test in Australia( the Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba), he has an abysmal record.

After scoring that 58 in his first Test at Brisbane, he went on to add only 118 runs in the next 3 matches he played at the ground to finish with 176 runs in 4 Tests at an abysmal average of 22. Lara even scored two ducks in the 8 innings he played at Brisbane, and apart from that fifty, he surely doesn’t have too many fond memories of Brisbane.

4. Rahul Dravid - M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore

Rahul Dravid
A dejected Rahul Dravid walks back after being dismissed by Brett Lee

The man who scored runs all over the world, has a dismal record at his home ground? Yes, it’s true. When we looked deep into his career stats, we found this interesting fact.

Undoubtedly, one of India’s all-time great Test players, Dravid finished his Test career with 13,288 runs at an average of 52.31 - the records often failed to gauge the impact this man had on the Indian Test side.

Inspired by his stupendous batting, India achieved memorable Test match victories overseas. Dravid should always be remembered for the way he approached his batting and how he helped the team’s cause time and time again.

However, the Karnataka boy only managed to score 304 runs in 8 Tests at an average of 21.71, which is very low compared to his standards.

With only two fifties, Rahul surely didn’t seem to like batting on the ground he grew up. It’s an interesting tale for sure.

3. Jacques Kallis - Headingley

Jacques Kallis
James Anderson celebrates the dismissal Jacques Kallis

One of the greatest modern day all-rounders, Jacques Kallis, was also a prolific Test batsman for South Africa. An ideal Test batsman with the ability to play the long handle- Kallis mesmerised the cricket intelligentsia with his classical approach to the game.

With a tally of 13,289 runs at an average of 55.37, his record speaks volumes about his incredible talent. Kallis scored runs all over the world and the bowlers found it excruciatingly tough to get through his rock-solid technique.

However, the legend was surely not at his best playing Tests in England, especially playing in Headingley. Kallis managed to score only 140 runs at an average of 20 in 4 Tests with no centuries or half-centuries.

Kallis averaged 35.33 in the 15 Tests he played in England and the average drops to 20 in Headingley.

2. Ricky Ponting - Lord’s

Ponting
Ricky Ponting averaged only 16.87 at Lord’s

One of Australia’s all-time greats, Ponting had an illustrious career with the bat for the Aussies in which he scored 13,378 runs at an average of 51.85 in the longest format of the game.

Undoubtedly, one of the best pullers and hookers of the cricket ball, Ponting’s ability to launch into any bowling attack was the signature of his game.

A gutsy customer, Ponting never backed away from the challenges and took them on with a spirited approach. However, when it comes to playing at Lord’s , this man seemed to have no answers at all.

Ponting averaged 16.87 in the 4 Tests he played at Lord’s and scored only 135 runs with the highest being 42. Compared to his overall performance in England where he averages 41.79 in 20 matches (18 against England and 2 against Pakistan), his average at the ground is a testament to the fact that he always struggled there.

1. Sachin Tendulkar- Lord’s

Sachin tendulkar
Sachin scored only 12 runs in his last Test innings at Lord’s

Tendulkar’s affair with Lord’s is surely an interesting tale. The man who scored runs all over the world didn’t manage to get a single fifty at Lord’s in either Tests or ODIs.

As we are considering the longer format of the game, Tendulkar averaged just 21.66 in the 5 Tests he played at Lord’s and scored only 195 runs with the highest being 37.

The batsman failed to get his name on the elite honours board at Lord’s and that must have surely crossed his mind. However, Tendulkar did make 125 in Lord’s in 1998, but that was for the Rest of the World against MCC in a special one-day charity match in memory of Princess Diana, Princess of Wales.

But an international hundred remained elusive for the maestro.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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