Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar has missed out centuries on many occasionsThe agony of getting out in the nineties is one that only a batsman will be able to understand. Having done all the hard work to reach close to a century, missing out on it by just a whisker is bound to be painful.Also read: ICC T20 World Cup 2016: India vs New Zealand Match Predictions, Pitch Report, Match NewsThere have been a number of great batsmen in the history of Test cricket who have failed to get past the nervous nineties on quite a few occasions and missed out on adding to their tally of hundreds.Also Read: ICC T20 World Cup 2016: India vs New Zealand Match Predictions, Pitch Report, Match NewsHere we focus on 5 individuals who top the list for having scored the most nineties in a Test career:Also read: Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium Nagpur (VCA) Records
#5 Alvin Kallicharran
Even though the little West Indies southpaw of Indian origin, Alvin Kallicharran, is at par with AB de Villiers and Inzamam-ul-Haq with 8 nineties, he makes it to the top 5 in this list purely on the basis of the lesser number of innings (109).
The batsman who scored centuries in his first two innings in Test cricket did often end up missing on the three-figure mark on a few occasions. 3 of Kallicharran’s 8 nineties came against India to complement the 3 hundreds that he has against the same opposition.
Only one of the left-handed batsman’s score between 90 and 100 was an unbeaten innings, which was a 92 not out against Pakistan.
#4 Michael Slater
Former Australian opener Michael Slater is one among the players who have got most nineties in a Test career. Slater’s count of nineties surpasses the number of years he spent in international cricket as he had 9 of them in an 8-year long career.
Had he converted each of his scores in the range of 90 to a hundred, Michael Slater would have ended up having 23 centuries against his name. He got out in the nineties twice each against three oppostion countries - India, South Africa and Pakistan.
On two occasions, Slater was on 96 when he got out stumped against Pakistan and Sri Lanka respectively.
#3 Sachin Tendulkar
The man who mastered the art of scoring centuries, quite surprisingly, had a number of near-misses in his career as well. Sachin Tendulkar is third on the list of players who have scored the most nineties in Tests with 10 against his name. To go with that, Tendulkar also has the most international nineties with a combined figure of 28 in Tests and ODIs.
The ten 90s scored by the Master Blaster are evenly spread out through his 24-year long Test career. His first score in the range of 90 came in his 30th Test when he got 96 against Sri Lanka in January 1994.
On the other hand, the last 90 of his career came in his 184th Test played against the West Indies in November 2011, when he scored 94.
#2 Rahul Dravid
‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid has had his share of rendezvous with the nervous nineties, particularly early on in his career. Dravid is at par with Indian teammate Sachin Tendulkar in terms of the number of 90s he has scored (10), but the fact that he has played lesser innings makes him second on this list.
A high percentage of the class batsman’s nineties came in the early days of his Test career. During the period between June 1996, which was when he made his debut, and December 1997, Dravid got out in the 90s on as many as 4 occasions.
However, in the next 15 years of his illustrious career, he had just 6 scores in the range of 90 including an unbeaten knock of 91 against Australia.
#1 Steve Waugh
Although Steve Waugh is tied with Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, who also have 10 nineties each, he is on the top of the list simply because he has done it in fewer innings, 260 to be precise. Out of these, there were 2 occasions when Waugh finished unbeaten in the 90s.
The legendary Australian did not have any phases as such when it came to getting out in the nineties. However, there was one instance in his career when he missed his century by less than 10 runs in back-to-back innings.
This occurred during a Test series against the West Indies in the year 1988 when Steve Waugh was dismissed for 90 and 91 in successive Test innings.