Former Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman is counted as the greatest Test batsman of all time. No other player from any other generation has been able to match up to his records and achievements in red-ball cricket in the last century. Bradman’s legacy lives on even in the 21st century, more than five decades after he retired from Test cricket. Following his retirement from the longest format of the game, Bradman worked as an administrator in Cricket Australia and during that time his legacy only increased. He passed away in 2001 at the age of 92 after battling pneumonia.
In the 1930 and 40s, Bradman was counted as the best cricketer in the world as everyone else looked pale in his comparison. In 1930 Ashes, Bradman scored 974 runs – the highest individual score by a batsman in the bilateral Test series. Some of Bradman’s biggest knock has come against Australia’s bitter rivals England. And, the Aussie team lost just one Ashes series to England in his era in 1932-33. However, that series was marred with controversies as England bowlers kept bowling Bradman on his bodyline. Despite England spooky plan, Bradman averaged 56 in that series.
Overall, Bradman represented Australia in 52 Tests and walked to bat on the crease on 80 occasions. He finished his career with 29 centuries and 13 fifties under his name. In his last Test innings, Bradman needed to score just four runs to finish his career at an average of 100. However, in a rare occurrence, the ace cricketer was removed for a duck. Bradman’s falling in his last innings, however, did not damper his stature, rather it only added to his everlasting appeal.
Bradman finished his career with 6996 runs in Tests and 28,067 runs in First-Class cricket. Many veteran masters and experts of the game have opined in the past that Bradman was not a “classically beautiful” player. But, it was rather the high-speed manner in which he scored runs that kept spectators entranced and his opponents in shock.
Here are some of the many records held by Don Bradman:
He has the highest batting average in Test: 99.94
Most runs in a bilateral series: 974 (vs England)
Most double hundred in Test cricket: 12
Joint number of triple centuries in Test: 2
Fastest Aussie cricketer to 1000 Test runs
The only player to score more than 5000 Test runs against a single opponent: England (5028)
Most runs in Test cricket in a single day’s play: 309 vs England in Leeds (1930)