Greatest Batter v Bowler Rivalries in Test Cricket

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Cricket has thrown up some great batter v bowler rivalries over the years and we have taken a look at five of the best.

India legend Sachin Tendulkar

Although a team sport, individual battles are crucial in cricket and the sport’s history is peppered with some iconic rivalries between batter and bowler. 

Here is a look at five of the greatest…

Sachin Tendulkar v Glenn McGrath

India legend Sachin Tendulkar could strike fear into the most accomplished bowlers but it appeared he may have met his match at the 1999 World Cup when he was dismissed by Aussie paceman Glenn McGrath for a duck.

Whenever the pair squared up it seemed Tendulkar approached McGrath with greater caution than other bowlers and the Australian claimed the scalp of the iconic batter six times in Test matches.

Viv Richards v Dennis Lillee

Australia and the West Indies were the two dominant forces in Test cricket throughout the 1970s and 1980s and whenever the sides collided, the battle between batter Viv Richards and bowler Dennis Lillee was captivating.

Richards was dismissed by his Aussie counterpart on nine occasions but managed to average 48.73 in Tests featuring Lillee so arguably had the upper hand. 

Kevin Pietersen v Shane Warne

The late great Shane Warne was known for his swagger and being vocal on the field but appeared to meet his match in the 2005 Ashes series when he faced England maverick Kevin Pietersen.

Pietersen came up trumps in that meeting with a series-winning century at the Oval but when the rivals reconvened for the 2006/07 Ashes, Warne got his revenge, bowling the England willow-wielder around his legs. 

Although it may not have always seemed like it on the field, the pair shared a mutual admiration for one another and that makes their rivalry one of the most iconic in the sport.

Brian Lara v Muttiah Muralitharan

With a record 800 Test wickets to his name, Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan made light work of tying the world’s greatest batters up in knots but no one handled the spinner quite like Brian Lara.

It was in a Test in Colombo back in 2001 that Lara marked himself out as one of the finest batters to have ever lived, striking 221 and 130 in his two innings against a Lankans team spearheaded by Muralitharan, who dismissed the Windies legend five times throughout his career.

Steve Waugh v Curtly Ambrose

When Australia took the title of the world’s best Test side from the West Indies in their famous 1995 Tour of the Caribbean, the rivalry between Steve Waugh and Curtly Ambrose played centre stage.

With his team 1-0 down in the four-match Test tussle, Ambrose picked up five-wicket haul in the third Test to level the series, nearly coming to blows with Waugh at one stage after the Australian told him to return to his mark rather than stare him down following a bouncer.

One week later, though, Waugh responded with a double century in the final Test to win the series for Australia and prompt a shift in international cricket supremacy.

Liam Flin is an occasional contributor to the MansionBet Blog. He holds a keen interest football, cricket, cycling and esports. See his insights & tips here.
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