The Lord's honours board includes names of some of the all-time best, but at the same time, eludes a list of equally glittering cricketers. Some of the best Test cricketers, despite their chequered careers, have missed out getting their names etched on the historic Lord's boards, which celebrates players who have scored a century, taken five wickets in a single innings, or taken 10 wickets in a match in either a Test or One Day International (ODI) at the iconic venue.
Some of the most prominent names to grace Test cricket – such as Don Bradman, Garfield Sobers, Viv Richards, Allan Border, Martin Crowe, Rahul Dravid and many others – find themselves on the board. However, it may baffle you to know that some of the modern-day greats have never taken a five-wicket-haul, or scored a century at the Mecca of cricket. Keeping this in mind, we have for you a star-studded Test XI of all time, comprising players that are absent from the Lord's honours board.
1. Sunil Gavaskar
Widely regarded as perhaps the greatest opening batsman of all time, the living legend Sunil Gavaskar has never scored a Test century at Lord's. Gavaskar has played five Tests at the iconic venue and although he has two half-centuries at Lord's, a three-figure mark has always eluded him. Gavaskar's highest Test score at Lord's is 59 scored in August of 1979. He has played 16 Tests in England and scored 1152 runs, including 542 during a four-Test series in 1979. However, it's not entirely true that Gavaskar isn't aware of what it feels like to get a century at the venue. In 1987, playing his final First-Class game, Gavaskar pulled his way to 188 for the Rest of the World XI against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) at Lord's, signing off in style.
2. Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden has scored 552 runs in 10 Tests in England with one century, but it was during the Oval Test of the epic 2005 Ashes series. Only twice has Hayden played at Lord's and his highest score at the venue is 34. Another contender for this spot was Virender Sehwag as the India opener and Hayden have almost identical Test records. That said, Sehwag's record in England is pretty average – 278 runs from six Tests – and since every other prominent Test opener has registered himself on the board, Hayden was our pick.
3. Jacques Kallis
Arguably the best all-rounder in the history of the game, Jacques Kallis has had a pretty ordinary run at Lord's scoring 54 runs from three matches at the venue. In 1998, playing his first Test at Lord's, Kallis did not get a chance to bat in the first innings and scored a duck in the second. He played his next Test at the venue 10 years later, scoring 7 and 13 as the match ended in a draw. His final Test at Lord's came four years later and the former South Africa all-rounder finished his career at Lord's with scores of 3 and 13. Ricky Ponting for a close second contender for No. 3, but the fact that he enjoys an ODI century at the venue, prompted us to go ahead with Kallis.
4. Sachin Tendulkar
100 international centuries; 51 in Tests, not one of them at Lord's. The great Sachin Tendulkar's Lord's numbers are pretty average, with a highest score of 37 in 2011. Tendulkar has played five Tests across five tours of England and while he has centuries at the Old Trafford, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and Leeds, international cricket's leading run-scorer has a total of 193 runs from five matches at Lord's. That said, like his idol Gavaskar, Tendulkar does in fact, has a century at Lord's, when he hit a lightning 125 to give the MCC a six-wicket win over Rest of the World in the Diana memorial match in 1998.
5. Brian Lara
Joining Tendulkar in the list of never hitting a Test century at Lord's is the man he has often been compared to in terms of the best batsman in the world tag. Brian Lara, the only player in history to score a Test 400, like Tendulkar was never successful at the Mecca of Cricket, tallying 126 runs from six Tests at the venue, with a highest of 54. His average at Lord's is a poor 22.66, in comparison to his career average which stands at an impressive 52.88.
6. MS Dhoni (Captain/Wicketkeeper)
After a lot of analysis between MS Dhoni and Adam Gilchrist for the wicketkeeper's slot, we went with the former India captain. Gilchrist has scored 521 runs from 10 Tests in England as compared to Dhoni, who is ahead with 778 runs from 12 Tests. At Lord's Gilchrist has batted only twice, scoring 126 runs with a highest of 90. Dhoni meanwhile has batted three times at Lord's, and piled 140 runs, including a match-saving 76 during the 2007 series, in which India beat England at home for the first time in 21 years.
7. Wasim Akram
The greatest left-arm fast bowler of all time, Wasim Akram has 53 wickets from 12 Tests in England, including two five-wicket-hauls – 6/67 at The Oval and 5/128 at Manchester during the 1992 series. However, Lord's hasn't been the best of venues for Akram, where he's picked 12 wickets from four Tests, including a best of 4/66 during the 1992 tour. While he may have 414 Test wickets, with the bat, Akram has scored 154 runs at Lord's with a highest of 45 not out.
8. Anil Kumble
The third-leading wicket-taker in the world, Kumble has bagged 55 wickets from 10 Tests, which is quite impressive, but his numbers take a hit when it comes to the home of cricket. Kumble has played three Tests at Lord's, in which he's taken 12 wickets with a best of 3/84 in 2002. Thrice has Kumble picked up three wickets in an innings, but couldn't go beyond it. In fact, Kumble is one of the best away spinners of all-time with 269 of his 619 wickets coming in overseas Tests
9. Shane Warne
Warne has played four Tests at Lord's picking up 19 wickets, thrice grabbing a four-wicket-haul, but that's the closest he came to taking five in an innings. Warne's best figures at the venue is 4/57 in 1993. If it is to be compared with Warne's performance in England, it will surprise you to know just how much the numbers escalate. From 22 Tests, Warne has grabbed 139 wickets in England, including a tally of 40 wickets in the 2005 Ashes and 34 during the 1993 Ashes. This includes eight five-wicket-hauls. Wow! Warne trumps Muttiah Muralitharan for our second spinner considering the former Sri Lanka spinner's five-wicket haul in an ODI in 1998.
10. Curtly Ambrose
With 405 wickets from 95 Tests, Curtly Ambrose has picked up 17 of those from four Tests at Lord's, including a best of 4/30 in 2000. Ambrose has, in fact, three four-wicket-hauls at Lord's but never claimed the fifth which would have put him on the honours board. His record in England is pretty decent – 88 wickets from 20 Tests, a best of 6/52 in a series draw in 1991 and with three five-wicket-hauls. Unfortunately, none was at Lord's
11. Dennis Lillee
Australian great Dennis Lillee was one of the first prominent fast bowlers, and even though he remains one of the greatest quicks to play Test, a five-wicket-haul at Lord's eluded him in his career. Lillee picked up 96 wickets from 16 Tests, which are remarkable numbers but add the Lord's criteria, it comes down to 17 wickets from four Tests. Lillee has two four-wicket-hauls at Lord's with a best of 4/43 in 1980.