Sir Donald Bradman- The Journey from Bowral Boy to the Don of Cricket


27th August is embarked as the birthday of a man, who is considered as the greatest cricketer of all time, once in a century player or let just call him the Don of World cricket. He is none other than Sir Donald George Bradman.


He was the ODI batsman of the test format. Modern generations, who witnessed the flawless decimating techniques of Tendulkar’s, Lara or even Kohli didn’t know much about the first little master of Cricket Sir Donald Bradman. All the modern greats are no way closer to Don in terms of average, century per innings, double century innings and total number of triple centuries.

He was his own God. He set his own high yardsticks. With each innings, the yardstick goes higher, making it look like a just another world record. If Cricket would have been a part of Olympics, he would have won atleast 5 Gold’s for the country. He was the formidable juggernaut of his era, often called the “Bradman era”.

Let’s celebrate the 113 birthday of the batting genius  by unfurling the lost legends of Sir Donald Bradman.

Sir Donald Bradman- The King of Nervous Nineties


Statistics clearly indicate that Sachin Tendulkar mastered nervous nineties during his career. He nearly missed 15 centuries due to nervous nineties. No offense to Tendulkar fans, it was pure clean sarcasm. Sir Donald Bradman in his last match at the Oval only needed 4 runs to reach the mind blowing batting average of 100. He was deceived by a googly and adjudged bat and bat at golden duck.

It was the biggest disappointment of his life. He didn’t know the test will prove to be his final international appearance. His final average was 99.94. Unfortunate, but the greatest batsman died at the age of 92 becoming the victim of nervous nineties yet again.

The Controversial Bodyline Ashes Series

Bradman_in_AshesDuring 1930, Bradman was in sublime form hitting century in every match against England. England was down and out in the 1930 Ashes series, but noticed a big loophole in Bradman batting technique. During the oval test, they saw Bradman struggling against the perfume ball also called bouncers at the Oval test in 1930.

They developed a strategy to combat against Don Bradman by using leg theory against him. The English team held every player on the leg side and started bowling leg side bouncers directly attacking the batsman body. Finally, they took the measure of Sir Donald Bradman. He failed miserably in the three first class games against England before the Ashes series in 1930. His average was 17.16 in 6 innings.

Bradman withdrew his name from the first test. He wasn’t happy with the body line attack and complained the cricket administrators. The probable reason given to the media was a nervous breakdown. The Australian team was slaughtered by the English team and everyone expected Bradman entry in the second test.

He didn’t disappoint and arrived at the crease with Australia struggling at 67/2. A record breaking attendance of 63,993 people was recorded at MCG. His entrance was honored with standing ovation as if the crowd got their messiah to protect them from mighty English. The bowler delivered the ball, Bradman shuffled to play the hook shot, but the bowl stayed low and it was all over for him.

It was a stunned silence in the crowd after seeing their hero departs, although he bounced back in the second innings. He made unbeaten 103 in the second innings, helping his team leveling the series. During the rest three tests, Bradman bat didn’t do much talking and the English team won the rest 3 matches. His aggregate score was 396 runs at an average of 56.57.

This is the only black spot in the 20 years long illustrious career of Sir Donald Bradman.

World Records held by Sir Donald Bradman

Don_Bradman_World_RecordsBradman retired in 1948 after playing Cricket for more than 20 years, he is still the leader of pack in the list of all time cricket world record:-

  • He was the first player to score century of centuries in the first class cricket. He achieved the feat against India in 1947 at Sydney cricket ground. 64 years later Sachin Tendulkar followed his predecessor’s legacy by scoring 100 International centuries.
  • He has the highest batting average of all time (99.94)
  • He has the highest test batting ratings of all the time (961), way higher than Sachin Tendulkar (898 points), Brian Lara (911 points) and Vivian Richards (938 points).
  • He has scored the most number of runs in a single day (308 runs) followed by W.Hammond (295 runs) and Virender Sehwag (284 runs). He is featured thrice in the list of most number of runs in a single day.
  • He has scored the most number of double centuries (12). He has scored most number of double centuries in a series (3).
  • He has scored the most number of triple centuries (2) sharing the world record with Chris Gayle, Virender Sehwag and Brian Charles Lara
  • He has scored the most runs in a single series (974 runs). The first player to score 900 runs in a series. He scored 4 hundreds during the series. His highest score was 334.
  • He scored most number of centuries in a single session (6 times).
  • He took minimum matches to reach 1000 runs (7 matches), 2000 runs (22 innings), 3000 runs (33 innings), 4000 runs (48 innings), 5000 runs (56 innings), 6000 runs (68 innings)
  • He has scored most runs against an opponent (5018 vs England)
  • He scored 29 centuries in 80 matches, which scored a century per 2.75 innings
  • He scored 3 centuries in 3 consecutive Test matches twice in his year. He scored 3 consecutive centuries in the last 3 matches in 1937-38 series. Secondly, he scored 3 centuries in the first 3 tests of the 1938 series.
  • Out of his 29 test centuries, he scored 19 test centuries against England in 37 matches. He scored 4 centuries against India in 5 test matches at a staggering average of 178.75. He scored 4 centuries against South Africa in 5 matches with the help of 4 centuries and at a remarkable average of 201.50. The only opponent, he struggled against was West Indies. He scored 2 centuries in 5 matches at an average of 74.50.

Also Check : Sachin Tendulkar Records

When Don Watched Sachin Tendulkar Bat on TV

Bradman_with_SachinDuring the India tour to Australia in 1991-92 Sachin Tendulkar stole all the limelight and became the apple of everyone’s eyes. Don Bradman was watching Sachin bat on TV and called his wife saying “Doesn’t this boy play like me”. His wife responded by highlighting the similarities between the two.

He rated Tendulkar above Lara, Graeme Pollock, Vivian Richards and every modern day greats. He even invited Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne for the dinner in 1998 to express his fondness and admiration for these players.



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