August 27th is the birth anniversary of Sir Don Bradman – a great cricketer who ruled the cricketing world with the power of his bat. Born on August 27th, 1908, he achieved the distinction of scoring runs in Test cricket at an amazing average of 99.94 per innings.

He had needed just a boundary in that last Test innings of his to take his average to 100 and complete 7,000 runs. But it never happened. It was on August 14th, 1948 when Bradman came out to bat at The Oval on August 14, 1948, at the fall of the first Australian wicket, the spectators rose to their feet and applauded. When he arrived at the wicket, the England captain Norman Yardley called all the players around him and sang: “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” They gave him three cheers. But, almost unnaturally, Bradman missed that googly from Eric Hollies. He was bowled, for a duck on the second ball he faced.

Donald George Bradman thus ended his astonishing Test career with 6,996 runs, averaging 99.94 per innings which is considered most popular figure in Australia. Other greats in the game have averages around 60. Bradman scored a century once in every three innings. Once, he scored 309 runs in a day in a Test match. He dominated cricket like no other dominated any sport.

Nicknamed ‘THE DON’ he started playing cricket when he was 16.He scored a big triple hundred in one of his first games, and earned selection to the New South Wales team. When he was just 16, he caused Bill O’Reilly, the great Australian leg-spinner whom Bradman rated as the finest bowler he ever faced, to momentarily think of a sport other than cricket. In a beautifully written article in 1978, which was published

a news paper on the occasion of Bradman’s 70th birthday, he recalled how he was massacred by this `jockey-sized school boy.’
In November 1928, at 20, the Don made his Test debut. Cricket was never the same again.
Like in his last Test, he did not score heavily in his first. At Brisbane, against England, he was out for 18 in the first innings and scored only one run in the second. But in the next Test at Melbourne he scored his maiden hundred in the second innings, after making 79 in the first innings. After hitting 40 and 58 at Adelaide, he hit another hundred at Melbourne, 123. He ended the series with 468 runs, averaging 66.86.
In 1930 he went to England and scored runs at will. The Test series turned out to be his most productive ever, as he scored a triple hundred, two double hundreds and a hundred. He scored 974 from seven innings of the five Test matches for an incredible average of 139.14.

Vaibhav Gulati

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