England will host India at Lords on Thursday. This will be the 2000th Test match! The first match now designated as a Test was in March 1877 at the MCG. The 1000th was played between Pakistan and New Zealand in November 1984. Test matches come thick and fast in 2011 and so I wonder how long it will be before the 3000th Test match. Of course that always assumes there is a 3000th Test match and that we are not just playing Twenty20 cricket. I am pretty confident that Test cricket will outlast the Twenty20 fascination mainly because Test matches, by far, produce the best cricket.
A few comments on the last 1999 matches:
A tied Test match is a one in a thousand happening: there have been two (both concerning Australia)
There have only been seven matches abandoned without a ball being bowled. Old Trafford and Dunedin hosted two each. Old Trafford ‘s were prior to World War II.
Only three tests have been won by a side that was made to follow-on. Not unexpectedly the recent two at Headingley and Kolkata are infamous . Australia was on the receiving end of all three turnarounds.
Sachin Tendulkar, who will play in the 2000th Test match, has scored 51 Test centuries. His nearest competitor is Jaques Kallis who has 40.
Muttiah Muralitharan has taken ten wickets in a match 22 times. His nearest competitor is Shane Warne who did it ten times (yes Murali more than doubled Warne’s ten wicket haul count)
Don Bradman has the highest batting average in Tests at an astonishing 99.94. His nearest competitor is currently Jonathan Trott at 62.23. Jonathan will also play in the 2000th Test.