Create
Notifications
New User posted their first comment
Advertisement

Desmond Haynes: A giant of the game

Desmond Haynes
Desmond Haynes: Underappreciated?
Himank Bhanot
ANALYST
Modified 20 Dec 2018, 14:00 IST
Preview
Advertisement

West Indies’ tour to Australia in 1979/80 was to be their most successful. They went on to win both the Test and One-Day series and stamped their dominance on the cricketing hemisphere which they were to preserve emphatically for the next 15 years. While they lost an acrimonious rubber to New Zealand in 1980, (which was to be their only series loss till 1995) it was this series which proved to the world that them making Tony Grieg grovel in 1976 was no ‘jab-inspired’ fluke.

In the 4th match of the One Day Competition at Melbourne, Australia put West Indies into bat. Just as Greg Chappell’s decision looked like getting vindicated with the early dismissal of Gordon Greenidge, Viv Richards made a mockery of any such thoughts with a dominant 153 not out, carting the much vaunted Australian bowling attack to all parts of (a big) MCG. West Indies won the match by 80 runs, and Richards was given the Man of the Match award.

But what is quickly forgotten is that during his innings, he was involved in a then ODI record partnership of 205 for the 2nd wicket. The batsman, the quiet sheet anchor with whom he forged it was Desmond Haynes, whose innings of 80 was easily overshadowed by Richards’. 

One can count many such instances of Haynes’ support act not given its due since for much of his career; he was always seen in the shadow of Greenidge, Lloyd and Richards.

A technically sound and elegant right-hand batsman, Haynes has more to his credit than being just a counterfoil to the stroke play of Richards & Co. There is evidence of his talent in a clip of him smacking Chetan Sharma for three coruscating hook shots in 1989, and in another where he metes out the same treatment to Jeff Thomson in 1983. 

In addition to appreciating his batting talents, it is time we also take a look at a career which was for many years was a benchmark when it concluded.

Test Career

Haynes started his career with three consecutive half-centuries vs. Australia in 1978 and went on to register three centuries (all overseas) in the first ten tests that he played. His career can be divided into three parts. 

He had a relatively ordinary run from 1980 to mid-1988 where his average (36.72) was easily the lowest amongst all specialist West Indies batsmen.

It is from 1988 onwards that Haynes truly came into his own and significant it was because the form of erstwhile top batsmen in Richards and Greenidge was beginning to wane and it was Haynes along with Richie Richardson who prolonged West Indies’ undefeated run.

Advertisement

 

Period

Mtchs

Inns

n.o.

Runs

Average

100s

50s

3 Mar'78 - 19 Jun'80

10

18

1

918

54.00

3

5

10 Jul'80 - 3 Aug'88

65

109

13

3526

36.73

6

22

4 Aug'88 - 8 Apr'94

41

75

11

3043

47.55

9

12

Table 1: Haynes Career Summary

It is from 1988 onwards that Haynes emerged as one of the top batsmen in the world. His overall aggregate was exceeded only by Richie Richardson amongst West Indians, and for batsmen who scored at least 2500 runs in this period, Haynes’ average was only bettered by Gooch, Steve Waugh, Richardson and Boon. His century tally is also exceeded only by Boon, Taylor and Gooch.

But more than his aggregates, it was his contribution in pivotal matches that mark him out as a special player. 7 out of his nine centuries in this period came in wins, and 5 of them were in games that decided the outcome of series he scored them in.

Batsman

Mat

Inns

NO

Runs

Ave

100

50

David Boon

61

110

15

4668

49.13

12

21

Mark Taylor

54

97

6

4275

46.97

12

24

Graham Gooch

41

76

2

3956

53.45

11

20

Allan Border

62

101

17

3831

45.6

5

29

Robin Smith

48

90

14

3333

43.85

8

23

Richie Richardson

40

71

5

3272

49.57

9

17

Desmond Haynes

41

75

11

3043

47.54

9

12

Steve Waugh

47

71

14

2819

49.45

7

13

Alec Stewart

36

68

4

2536

39.62

6

13

Table 2: Top Batsmen (Aug 1988-Apr 1994)

West Indies headed into the 4th test match in the Wisden Trophy, 1990 1-0 down. England had registered its first victory over West Indies since 1973 at Kingston. A series defeat to England would have effectively put a final nail in the coffin of West Indian dominance. 

But Desmond Haynes had other ideas, his steady 109 in West Indies’ 2nd Innings ensured that West Indies gave England an ambitious 356 run target in the 4th innings, any hopes of achieving which were polished off by Curtly Ambrose.

But Haynes didn’t stop there, in the 5th test at Antigua he smashed a cracking 167 and added 298 for the first wicket with Gordon Greenidge (149) to hand over an innings defeat to the Englishmen and put paid to any hopes they had of winning a rubber vs. West Indies. It would take them a further ten years to win one.

Advertisement

Hs 111 vs. Australia in the 2nd test of the 1991 Frank Worrell trophy was an effective counterfoil to Richardson’s ballistic 182 which set up a 1-0 score line for the series, one from which the Australians never recovered. 

Similar was the significance of his twin hundreds vs. Pakistan (143 & 125) in 1993. Significant because he was by then the most experienced batsman in the team and had to carry a greater load of setting up the innings for the likes of Lara, Hooper and Athurton to build upon.

Haynes’ partnership with Greenidge remains the most prolific opening pair in Test History. The pair holds the record for having played the most innings, scored the most runs and had more hundred-plus partnerships than any other opening pair.

Partners

Span

Inns

NO

Runs

Ave

100

50

Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes (WI)

1978-1991

148

11

6482

47.31

16

26

Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer (AUS)

2001-2007

113

4

5655

51.88

14

24

Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss (ENG)

2006-2012

117

2

4711

40.96

12

18

Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya (SL)

1997-2007

118

7

4469

40.26

9

24

Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag (IND)

2004-2012

87

3

4412

52.52

11

25

Michael Slater and Mark Taylor (AUS)

1993-1999

78

2

3887

51.14

10

16

Bill Lawry and Bob Simpson (AUS)

1961-1968

62

3

3596

60.94

9

18

Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe (ENG)

1924-1930

38

1

3249

87.81

15

10

Chetan Chauhan and Sunil Gavaskar (IND)

1973-1981

59

Advertisement

3

3010

53.75

10

10

Table 3: Top Opening Pairs in Tests

One of the defining features of Desmond Haynes’ career was his prolific run-scoring at home. Amongst West Indian batsmen who have scored at least 2000 runs at home, Haynes’ average is exceeded only by Walcott, Weekes, Sobers, Lara and Chanderpaul. Through his career span, he was clearly the most prolific West Indian batsman at Home, exceeding the averages of Richardson, Richards and Greenidge by a fair margin.

Considering all batsmen into account, only Zaheer Abbas, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sunil Gavaskar exceed Haynes’ home average (56.05) during his career span.

Batsman

Mat

Inns

NO

Runs

Ave

100

50

Clyde Walcott

25

42

5

2584

69.83

11

9

Everton Weekes

23

40

5

2420

69.14

7

10

Gary Sobers

44

75

14

4075

66.8

14

12

Brian Lara

65

111

5

6217

58.65

17

26

Shiv Chanderpaul

81

133

27

6187

58.36

19

32

Desmond Haynes

49

84

15

3868

56.05

10

22

Richie Richardson

42

70

6

3217

50.26

10

11

Table 4: Highest home average for West Indian batsmen

Player

Mat

Inns

NO

Runs

Ave

100

50

Zaheer Abbas

28

37

8

2224

76.68

8

5

Mhd Azharuddin

26

33

1

2003

62.59

9

4

Sunil Gavaskar

50

78

6

4082

56.69

14

17

Dilip Vengsarkar

53

78

12

3716

56.3

13

15

Desmond Haynes

49

84

15

3868

56.05

10

22

Javed Miandad

54

76

9

3715

55.44

12

13

Mudassar Nazar

32

47

6

2158

52.63

7

8

Richie Richardson

38

62

5

2988

52.42

9

11

Robin Smith

29

54

10

2291

52.06

7

14

Martin Crowe

31

50

4

2371

51.54

8

7

Greg Chappell

28

49

5

2225

50.56

8

7

Table 5: Highest Home Averages (Mar’78-Apr’94)

Haynes ‘contribution in matches won at home is second only to Gary Sobers in the history of West Indian cricket. His average of 66.34, coupled with eight centuries is comfortably ahead of his contemporaries Richardson, Richards and Greenidge. A fact which is not appreciated as Haynes’ average overseas games is not up to the mark (33.50).

I believe that performance on home pitches is as vital a component of a cricketer’s evaluation as any other and overseas averages should not become the sole criterion to measure batsman quality. 

Player

Mat

Inns

NO

Runs

Ave

100

50

Gary Sobers

11

17

3

1322

94.42

5

3

Desmond Haynes

30

Advertisement

54

13

2720

66.34

8

14

Shiv Chanderpaul

27

42

10

2101

65.65

8

10

Brian Lara

22

37

3

2076

61.05

5

12

Richie Richardson

25

40

5

1918

54.8

6

7

Viv Richards

28

37

2

1766

50.45

6

8

Gordon Greenidge

26

44

7

1832

49.51

5

8

Chris Gayle

17

30

5

1006

40.24

3

5

Table 6: Averages in matches won in West Indies

Haynes’ ability to see off the new ball was second to none, to this date he remains the only batsmen to have carried his bat through a Test innings thrice.

Player

Occasions

Desmond Haynes

3

Bill Woodfull

2

Len Hutton

2

Glenn Turner

2

Bill Lawry

2

Table 7: Openers carrying the bat in Tests

One-day international career

Desmond Haynes ODI.jpg
Desmond Haynes was a force in ODIs as well

While his test credentials are imposing enough, Haynes’ one day record is a cut above it. When he retired in 1994, he was the most prolific ODI batsman of all time. He had played the most matches, scored the most runs and had the most number of centuries to his name. His numbers were the summit that top batsmen were out to scale. Tendulkar overtook his century tally in 1998, and his runs tally was surpassed by Azharuddin the same year.

Haynes made his ODI debut vs. Australia in 1978, and his score of 148 n.o remains the highest score made in an ODI debut.

Like most great batsmen, Haynes reserved his best for the (second) most dominant side of his era, Australia. His six centuries are the second most scored vs. Australia by any batsman and 4th best on the all -time list against all opposition. 

Player

Advertisement

Mat

Inns

NO

Runs

Ave

100

50

Sachin Tendulkar

71

70

1

3077

44.59

9

15

Desmond Haynes

64

64

8

2262

40.39

6

13

Viv Richards

54

50

7

2187

50.86

3

20

Brian Lara

51

50

3

1858

39.53

3

15

Kumar Sangakkara

46

46

4

1813

43.16

2

12

Jacques Kallis

50

50

2

1660

34.58

1

13

Mahela Jayawardene

56

54

5

1629

33.24

0

16

Jonty Rhodes

55

52

12

1610

40.25

0

10

Table 8: Most Runs vs. Australia

Haynes’ record vs. Pakistan is also nothing short of extraordinary. His runs tally vs. Pakistan is 9th on the all-time list and the second-best vs. Pakistan after Sachin Tendulkar.

Haynes was at his peak between Jan 1984 and Nov 1989; his numbers were way ahead of his contemporaries. Part of it can be credited to the fact that he was an opener, but there are opening batsmen sitting way below him on this list.

He scored almost 850 runs more than the next batsman (Viv Richards), and his average of 50.07 is also the highest by any batsman in that period. 15 of his 17 career centuries were also scored in the period in consideration, placing him at nine centuries more than both Greenidge and Richards.

Player

Mat

Inns

NO

Runs

Ave

100

50

Desmond Haynes

115

114

19

4757

50.07

15

25

Viv Richards

115

100

14

3902

45.37

6

28

Javed Miandad

105

102

21

3822

47.18

4

28

Richie Richardson

119

117

16

3484

34.49

2

28

Allan Border

116

110

15

3101

32.64

2

22

Dean Jones

82

81

14

2959

44.16

3

22

Kris Srikkanth

97

97

3

2814

29.93

4

19

Rameez Raja

95

94

5

2806

31.52

2

19

Geoff Marsh

76

76

4

2805

38.95

7

11

Salim Malik

99

92

12

2747

34.33

4

16

David Boon

79

77

0

2576

33.45

2

15

Gordon Greenidge

63

62

5

2547

44.68

6

14

Table 9: Top Batsmen (Jan 1984-Nov 1989)

Haynes’ love for his home pitches is evident in ODIs too; keeping a cut off for 2000 runs, Haynes’ average at home is the highest of all time and is 9 points more than the next places Virat Kohli. Only Tendulkar, Ponting, Kohli and Amla have more centuries at home than Haynes.

What’s startling about this statistic is that the next placed West Indian on the list is Brian Lara with an average of 44.16, almost 23 points less than Haynes’. His contribution to his team’s fortunes at home can simply not be understated.

Player

Advertisement

Mat

Inns

NO

Runs

Ave

100

50

Desmond Haynes

49

49

11

2573

67.71

10

12

Virat Kohli

68

65

10

3202

58.21

11

18

MS Dhoni

105

95

29

3811

57.74

6

22

Inzamam ul Haq

75

64

17

2674

56.89

4

17

Michael Bevan

93

80

29

2849

55.86

2

19

Hashim Amla

51

51

3

2674

55.70

11

13

AB DE Villiers

84

81

13

3565

52.42

8

23

Ajay Jadeja

60

56

15

2129

51.92

4

14

Mohammad Yousuf

71

66

12

2767

51.24

7

20

Table 10: Highest Average in home matches (min 2000 runs)

Desmond Haynes’ legacy is not recognised because he was surrounded by some of the game’s greats through the majority of his career. It is a deeper dive into his numbers which brings out the big picture, and Haynes fits into it like a champion. It is time we speak of him in the breath which was hitherto reserved for Richards, Greenidge and Lloyd.

Published 14 Dec 2016, 19:03 IST
Advertisement
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now
❤️ Favorites Edit