The top off spinner of India and the world, Harbhanjan Singh, will become the 10th Test player to represent the great cricketing nation in 100 matches.
The master spinner started his career against Australia in the longer versions of the game on March 25, 1998, at M Chinnaswammy Stadium, Bangalore, and picked up two wickets in his first match. He has played 99 Tests and grabbed 408 wickets at an average of 32.27 runs per wicket, the best of 8-84 in an innings and 15-217 in a match. The 32-year-old appeared in his last Test against England that was played on November 23, 24, 25 and 26, 2012, at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The right arm spinner will enter his 100th Test on February 22, 2013, at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai.
Harbhajan Singh was excited about joining the distinguished class of players and thanked his fellow team mates who have supported him throughout his career. He said,
“God has been very kind. Big thanks to all my team-mates and great seniors like Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Srinath, Rahul Dravid, Laxman. They have been fantastic. I don’t think I would have achieved this without their support, and would like to thank each and every one who supported me and stood by me. Just want to go out and enjoy this big match.”
Below, we will take a brief look at the careers of nine players who have played 100 Tests for India.
1- Sachin Tendulkar – 194
The little master made his debut vs. Pakistan on November 15, 1989, at National Stadium, Karachi. The master blaster has appeared in 194 Tests for India and is the only player in the world who has played so many matches for a country followed by the two Australian greats, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh who took part in 168. The 39-year-old has plundered 15645 runs at a gigantic average of 54.32, the best of unbeaten 248 with 51 hundreds and 66 fifties.
2- Rahul Dravid – 164
The wall of Indian batting started his career against England on June 20, 1996, at Lord’s, London. He played 164 Tests for the nation and is the fourth among the top four in all time greats list who had the honour of playing so many games. The 40-year-old has retired from international cricket and has smashed 13288 runs at an excellent average of 52.31, the best of 270 with 36 centuries and 63 half centuries.
3- VVS Laxman – 134
Laxman was another formidable middle order batsman of India who served the nation with an excellent record. Laxman played his first Test vs. South Africa on November 20, 1996, at Gujarat Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad. He took part in 134 matches and he generated 8781 runs at an average of 45.97, the best of 281 with 17 tons and 56 fifties. The 38-year-old has called it a day from the international cricket after playing his last Test against Australia on January 24-28, 2012, at Adelaide.
4- Anil Kumble – 132
The leg break googly bowler has won quite a few Tests for the country with his superb bowling. He started his career against England on August 9, 1990, at Old Trafford, Manchester, and played his last game vs. Australia on October 29- November 2, 2008, at Delhi. Kumble played 132 Tests and grasped 619 wickets averaging 29.65, the best of 10-74 in an innings and 14-149 in a match.
5- Kapil Dev – 131
One of the most successful captains and all rounders of India who led the Blue Shirts for the first ever World Cup in 1983. He made his debut against Pakistan on October 16, 1978, at Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad and walked in his last Test vs. New Zealand, on March 19-23, 1994, at Hamilton. Kapil Dev played 131 Tests, clinched 434 wickets at an average of 29.64, the best of 9-83 in an innings and 11-146 in a match. He has scored 5248 runs averaging 31.05, the highest of 163 with 8 hundreds and 27 fifties.
6- Sunil Gavaskar – 125
He was one of the finest opening batsmen of his time and has scored plenty of runs during his career all over the world. Gavaskar made his debut against West Indies on March 6, 1971, at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad and played his last match vs. Pakistan on March 13-17, 1987, at Bangalore. The right hand batsman played 125 Tests, hammered 10122 runs at a superb average of 51.12, the best of unbeaten 236 with 34 centuries and 45 fifties.
7- Dilip Vengsarkar – 116
He was one of the most elegant middle order batsmen of his time and played numerous valuable innings for the country. Vengsarkar entered in international cricket against New Zealand, on January 24, 1976, at Eden Park, Auckland and played his last Test vs. Australia on February 1-5, 1992, at Perth. He played 116 games, scored 6868 runs at an average of 42.13, the best of 166 with 17 hundreds and 35 half centuries.
8- Sourav Ganguly – 113
Ganguly was a top order batsman and an intelligent captain and has led India to many victories. He made his debut against England on June 20, 1996, at Lord’s, London and went into bat for the last time from November 6-10, 2008, vs. Australia at Nagpur. Ganguly played 113 Tests and he scored 7212 runs averaging 42.17, the top score of 239 with 16 centuries and 35 fifties.
9-Virender Sehwag – 102
Sehwag is a fearful opening batsman who always believes in attacking rather than surrendering against the bowlers. He played his first Test vs. South Africa on November 3, 2001, at Goodyear Park, Bloemfontein. The 34-year-old has played 102 matches and has piled up 8559 runs at an awesome average 50.05, the best of 319 with 23 tons and 32 half centuries.