Die-hard cricket fans will be well versed with most of the significant records in the game. Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar holds a plethora of batting records - most runs, centuries and matches in both Tests and ODIs. Among players with at least ten innings, Australian great Sir Donald Bradman possesses the highest Test batting average of 99.94. West Indian ace Brian Lara has two of the three highest individual scores in Test matches.
Sri Lanka’s spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan is the only player to take over 500 wickets in both Tests, and ODIs. Not surprisingly, the off-spinner has the most wickets in either format by any player. England's Jim Laker, who is the first bowler to take all ten wickets in a Test innings, is the only one to take 19 wickets in a Test match.
However, there are a few interesting records in the names of famous cricketers most fans are not aware of. Here is a look at five such lesser-known records in the game.
#1. Shane Warne: Most Test runs in a career without a hundred
Australian spin sensation Shane Warne played 145 Tests for his country in which he scalped 708 wickets at an average of 25.4, taking 37 five-wicket hauls in an innings and ten ten-wicket match hauls. Impressive, isn't it?
However, Warne wasn’t a lousy batsman at all. In 199 Test innings, he scored over 3,000 runs (3,154 to be precise), bagging 12 fifties at an average of 17.32. Warne's highest Test score of 99 came against New Zealand in Perth in 2001.
Replying to New Zealand's formidable first-innings total of 534, Warne came out to bat at number eight and top-scored for his side, with 99. The leg-spinner, on the cusp of a maiden Test ton, tried to hit left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori on the leg-side, only to be caught.
Replays, however, proved that it was a no-ball that wasn’t called, which robbed Warne of a Test hundred. Warne's tally of 3154 Test runs is a record by any player not to have scored a century.
#2. Misbah-ul-Haq: Most ODI runs in a career without a century
Warne's equivalent record in ODIs belongs to a batsman, Misbah-ul-Haq, though.
The former Pakistan captain is perhaps best known for playing the ill-fated scoop shot in the 2007 T20 World Cup final that sealed India's title triumph.
Misbah-ul-Haq also played in 162 ODI games, scoring 5122 runs at a decent average of 43.4. The right-hander has 42 fifties in the format but has no hundred against his name. Not surprisingly, the former Pakistan skipper, who has an ODI top score of 96 not out, holds the records for most fifties and runs in ODIs without a century.
Misbah-ul-Haq's highest ODI score of 96 not out came in a 2013 Champions Trophy game against the West Indies at The Oval in London. This was the match in which Denesh Ramdin controversially claimed a dropped catch when the Pakistan batsman had not yet opened his account. Despite Haq's heroics, Pakistan scored an underwhelming 170 and lost the game by two wickets.
The next player on the list of most ODI ODI runs without a ton is another Pakistani, Wasim Akram, who scored 3717 runs in 356 games. After Misbah-ul-Haq, New Zealand's Andrew Jones (25) has the most ODI fifties without having scored a century.
#3. Brian Lara: Most runs in a Test match in a losing cause
This stat may seem straight out of an episode from Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
In the third Test of the 2001 series between West Indies and Sri Lanka in Colombo, Brian Lara played two imperious knocks of 221 and 130. However, the Windies ended up losing the game by ten wickets.
How? Well, it was a sparkling one-man show from Lara, as the other players floundered. The southpaw dazzled his way to a double ton in the first innings, but the team only managed 390. Ramnaresh Sarwan (69) and Carl Hooper (56) could not convert their fifties into more significant scores.
After Hashan Tillakaratne’s unbeaten 204 led Lanka to a mammoth 627 in response, the Windies managed only 262 in their second essay, with Lara again scoring more than 50% of his team's runs. Thus, despite a fabulous match tally of 351 runs from their best player, West Indies went on to lose the game and the series.
#4. Don Bradman: Most runs in a Test innings batting at number 7
Have you ever heard of a player coming out to bat at number seven in a Test match, and amassing 270 runs? Only a once-in-a-generation batsman like Sir Don Bradman could have achieved this.
The story behind Bradman’s unbelievable milestone is as unique as the feat itself. Down 0-2 in the 1937 Ashes series against England, Australia were rolled over for a paltry 200 in the first innings of the third Test in Melbourne. England responded with 76 for nine declared on a pitch that was virtually unplayable for batsmen due to the wet conditions.
Realising the same, captain Bradman decided to reverse the batting order so that his leading batsmen did not have to face the music in unplayable conditions. The move proved to be a masterstroke. The pitch had considerably eased off once Bradman came out to bat at number seven. He went on to smash 270 from 375 balls as Australia posted a mammoth 564 in their second innings, and won the game by 365 runs.
It was only the second Test match double hundred by a player coming out to bat at no. 7, a feat that has been subsequently emulated by only four other players. Bradman's 270 at no. 7, however, is the highest score by a player batting at that position.
#5. Sanath Jayasuriya: Most ducks in ODIs
You would typically expect a non-batter like a tailender to hold the record for most ducks in ODIs. But that is not the case.
Former Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya, an explosive batsman during his playing days, has the most ducks by any player in one-day internationals.
In 445 ODI games, Jayasuriya amassed 13430 runs at an average of 32.36, scoring 28 hundreds and 68 fifties. However, the left-hander was dismissed on 34 occasions without opening his scoring, which indicates that Jayasuriya was a nervous starter.
But, as his record proves, once Jayasuriya got his eye in, he was a difficult batsman to stop, especially in Asian conditions where the ball did not do a lot.
Shahid Afridi (30 ducks) and Wasim Akram (28) follow the Sri Lankan on the list of most ducks in one-day international cricket.