High­est in­di­vid­ual score in a Test at Lord’s

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - Fraser Azharud­din Gooch Kapil Dev (all-rounder) Gooch More

Prab­hakar), Micky [Ste­wart, the team man­ager] gave me a mild b------ing. He told me: “What did you get out for? You should have got the record!” (The high­est Test score was then Sir Garry Sobers’s 365, one ahead of Len Hut­ton’s Eng­land record of 364.)

We made 650-odd but it was not easy when we came to bowl. Azharud­din played one of the best in­nings I have seen – a stun­ning hun­dred off 80-odd balls. He was the se­cond-best player I ever bowled at af­ter Brian Lara. If you put it on off stump, he would hit you through mid­wicket. Then, if you bowled three inches wider, he’d slap you through back­ward point.

I was feel­ing good right from the first ball. Af­ter the [1989] tour to Pak­istan, I had changed my grip and de­cided to bat more ag­gres­sively. You can say it was a once-in-a-life­time knock for me. I was un­der pres­sure for hav­ing put Eng­land in. So, I had to make amends and prove a point. I ac­tu­ally found Fraser easy to han­dle be­cause he made you play every ball. I like bowlers who make you play every ball. You had to watch out, though, be­cause he was so ac­cu­rate. He bowled a splen­did line, close to the wicket, slight move­ment. He trou­bled the bats­men right through the se­ries. I think he was the dif­fer­ence.

Since you ask, yes, I did nip in with a wicket (San­jay Man­jrekar, caught be­hind for 18). I hope the poor guy didn’t take it too hard! But the at­tack was built around Gus. He liked to give it the old teapot, moan­ing away, but he was at his peak around that

Gra­ham Gooch – Eng­land v In­dia, 1990

Graeme Smith – South Africa v Eng­land, 2003

Don Brad­man – Aus­tralia v Eng­land, 1930

Wally Ham­mond – Eng­land v Aus­tralia, 1938

Jonathan Trott – Eng­land v Bangladesh, 2010 time. I thought I had caught Kapil [Dev] off him at se­cond slip, straight in. Un­for­tu­nately, there were no re­plays in those days. You had to wait for the um­pire’s de­ci­sion, and when Nigel Plews asked Dickie Bird – who was at square leg – Dickie said: “I can’t help you, Nigel.” Then what hap­pened was Kapil hit Ed­die Hem­mings for four sixes in four balls, all into the build­ing site at the Nurs­ery End, to save the fol­low-on. It was all the more frus­trat­ing be­cause, as soon as we got Kapil off strike, Gus fin­ished the in­nings with the next ball.

Hon­estly, had it been five wick­ets in hand I would not have tried. We were the last pair and I had no choice but to hit. The fol­low-on was star­ing at us. The first two sixes I did plan, but the third and fourth hap­pened be­cause of the flow. I could do that be­cause I thought I was in good nick. I kept telling Hiru [Naren­dra Hir­wani]: “Let us do it in sin­gles,” only to mis­lead the bowlers! I waited and grabbed the chance when it be­came des­per­ate.

I was not a happy bunny. I went back out to the wicket with im­pe­tus, spit­ting feath­ers. When you have a sniff of a chance, you have to drive it home. I was brought up with Mike Brear­ley and Keith Fletcher. In county cricket, you can­not get points sit­ting in the pavil­ion.

‘Gooch was the best opener I have played against. Never heard him speak at the crease. He would just bat and bat and bat’

Gooch was not the bats­man who would get bogged down. He loved to stay pos­i­tive. He had got a hun­dred against us on a seam­ing pitch in 1986 (114 at Lord’s). It was as good as any. Gooch was the best opener I

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