Darren Gough picks the top five batters he bowled against in Test matches including Australia and South Africa legends

13 Aug

Darren Gough has named the top five batters he ever bowled against in Test match cricket.

The former England fast bowler took 229 wickets in 58 Test matches and 235 wickets in 159 one-day internationals in an international career that spanned more than a decade.

The talkSPORT host came up against some of the greatest batsmen during his career in the 1990s and 2000s.

Darren Gough picked the top five batters he faced

Gough made his selections on the eve of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s and two Australians made the list.

5. Brian Lara

The great batsman twice broke the world record for highest individual score in a Test match, both times against England.

He scored 375 in 1994 and then 400 not out in 2004 with both coming in the West Indies.

Lara scored 11,953 in 131 Test matches at an average of 52.88 during his illustrious career.

Brian Lara is fifth in Darren Gough’s list
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He also holds the record for highest individual score in first-class cricket, which was 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham.

Gough said: “Number five because he got two massive scores, and I didn’t play in either. I joked with him about that.

“I had decent success against him but when he was on fire you would just have to get your tent out. When he’s in he becomes very difficult to bowl against.”

4. Jacques Kallis

The South African is one of the game’s greatest all-rounders with phenomenal records with both bat and ball.

In 166 Tests, he hit 13,289 runs at an average of 55.37 and took 292 wickets. Kallis also has 11,579 ODI runs with 273 wickets in 328 matches.

Gough said: “In terms of all round cricketer he is the greatest. Early on, you fancied him against the short ball. Once he got past the new ball he’d go on and make a big score.”

Jacques Kallis is a South Africa legend
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3. Ricky Ponting

The Australian great is the current assistant coach of his national side after being appointed in February.

He is Australia’s leading run-scorer and is one of four people to surpass 13,000 Test match runs. He averaged 51.85 in 168 Tests and 42 in 375 ODIs.

Ponting is statistically one of the most successful captains in history with 48 victories in 77 Tests between 2004 and 2010. He also led them to World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007 while was also being involved in their 1999 success.

Gough said: “I had decent success against him but he took me to the cleaners on a few occasions. If he got in you couldn’t bowl short, he would pull me for six. Great competitor.”

Ricky Ponting is one of the most successful captains in history
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2. Martin Crowe

Perhaps one of the lesser known players on the list but he still had a fantastic international record.

He averaged 45.36 in 77 Test matches with 5,444 runs during his New Zealand career between 1982 and 1995.

Gough said: “I faced him early on in my Test debut. He introduced me to Test match cricket. He had so much time and he played me like I was a medium pacer.

“He made me realise I would have to keep up my game. I realised the difference in calibre.”

Martin Crowe is second in Darren Gough’s list
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1. Adam Gilchrist

Gilchrist is arguably the greatest wicket-keeper batsman to play the game and revolutionised the position.

His aggressive style of play made him difficult to bowl against in the Australian batting line-up.

In 96 Test matches, he scored 5,570 runs at an average of 47.60 while he scored 9,619 ODI runs in 287 games at an average of 35.89.

Gough said: “Every time he came in, I’d bowled 15 or 16 overs before he came in. He batted seven and averaged 50. He would come in and decide he would want to bat in a one day match.

“The reason England won the Ashes in 2005 was that Flintoff kept getting him out.”

Adam Gilchrist averaged 47.60 in Test matches
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