We trawled through the annals to uncover the finest one-off Test appearances since records began.
International cricket is littered with players who were only fortunate enough to represent their country on one occasion. As it currently stands, there are 427 'One Test Wonders' in all. Of course, some may yet continue their international careers, but here we present a tribute to those cricketers who achieved the highest MRF Tyres ICC Player Ranking after their fleeting moment in the sun.
With the bat, five players have managed to top 400 points despite playing only one Test in their entire careers. New Zealander Rodney Redmond performed best of all, reaching 434 points after scoring 107 and 56 against Pakistan at Auckland in February 1973. He couldn’t adapt to wearing contact lenses and never represented his country again.
Next on the list is the man who famously has a batting average higher than Don Bradman. Andy Ganteaume played his solitary Test for the West Indies against England at Trinidad in 1948 and scored 112, which gave him 417 points. However, there was some controversy over his reluctance to pick up the pace when instructed to do so, and he was never selected again.
Lt-Gen. Yadavendra Singh – otherwise known as the Yuvraj of Patiala – was a great patron of the game and his father had donated the Ranji Trophy. However, his Test career extended to just a solitary match – against England at Chennai in 1934, in which he scored 24 & 60, to reach 416 points. After succeeding his father as Maharajah of Patiala in 1938 he pursued a political career. He later served as Indian delegate to the United Nations General Assembly and as India’s Ambassador to Italy and the Netherlands.
Zulqarnain Haider’s Test career got off to an inauspicious start when he was dismissed first ball by Stuart Broad in Pakistan’s first innings of 72 against England at Edgbaston in 2010. However, he fared much better second time around, making a battling 88 in four and a half hours. He managed to break a finger in the match, and that proved to be the end of his Test career, finishing with a tally of 411 points.
The final batsman to have flashed briefly in the pan was Vic Stollmeyer. The elder brother of opener Jeff, Vic was troubled by illness on the 1939 West Indian tour of England. His only Test was the third at The Oval, in which he hit a brilliant 96 in just 150 minutes. That proved to be his only innings at the highest level and he ended with 405 points.
With the ball, the leader is far more clear cut. Charles “Father” Marriott was picked to play the final Test for England against the West Indies at The Oval in the summer of 1933. Things didn’t look so good when he was dismissed for a duck by Manny Martindale, but he roared back to take 5/37 and 6/59 with his leg-breaks as England triumphed by an innings and 17 runs. Marriott turned 38 before England toured India the following winter, but he wasn’t selected for any of the Tests and never played again and ended his career with 397 bowling points.
Next comes Akila Dananjaya, who – unlike the rest of the names on this list – will have high hopes of extending his Test career beyond one match. His debut came against Bangladesh at Dhaka in February 2018 and he marked it by taking 3/20 and 5/24 with his off-spin as Sri Lanka emerged victorious by 215 runs. Those performances translated into a points tally of 314.
In third place is C.Aubrey Smith – the only England captain to star in a Hollywood film with Elizabeth Taylor – who reached 262 points after taking seven wickets in England’s first-ever Test in South Africa in 1889. Nicknamed ‘Round the Corner’ due to the nature of his run-up, he was a tall seamer who subsequently debuted on the London stage before moving to Hollywood in the 1920s. He single-handedly brought cricket to Hollywood and was knighted for his services to Anglo-American relations.
The only other bowler to manage to reach 250 points with the ball despite playing only one Test is South African left-arm medium-pacer ‘Gobo’ Ashley. He played in South Africa’s second-ever Test – against England at Cape Town in March 1889. His side were hopelessly outclassed, being dismissed for 47 and 43 in their two innings, with Ashley twice bowled by Johnny Briggs. However, in England’s innings of 292 he took 7/95 in 43.1 overs. That match was also his first-class debut and his figures remain the best for any bowler to have played just a solitary Test.
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