'Beefy' wasted no time in announcing his arrival on the world stage, making Australian captain Greg Chappell his first victim in a spell where he would go on to finish with figures of 20 overs, 5 maidens, 74 runs and 5 wickets. He also claimed the wicket of Rodney Marsh, and Australia were bundled out for 243 on the first day.
Botham then went on to make a tidy 25 runs in England's first innings as the hosts took a 121 run lead. Even though he did not pick up any Australian wickets in the second innings, he was instrumental in stifling the middle order and finished with an economy rate of 2.40 in his 25 over spell. The visitors set England a target of 188 which was chased down at walking pace on the fifth day for the loss of three English wickets, making Botham's Test debut a successful one.
England would go on to win the Test series 3-0, and Botham's legend grew after he was instrumental in England winning the Ashes in 1981 with captivating bowling and batting performances. He was a mainstay of the English cricket team till his international retirement in 1992 after featuring in the World Cup, where he got the wicket of a young Sachin Tendulkar.
Botham finished his Test career with 383 wickets in 102 matches, and 5200 runs. He also has 145 ODI wickets to his name, along with 2113 runs. In 2007, Botham was knighted by the queen in her birthday honours, confirming his status as one of the greatest players the game has ever seen.
First Published: July 28, 2018, 1:13 PM IST