We have talked about Sir Richard Hadlee, Kapil Dev and Imran Khan in various other articles so it was not fair to leave out the fourth player in that conversation who is Sir Ian Botham. He was England's equivalent to the other 3 from 3 different countries as the Four greatest all rounders of all time and all 4 of them amazingly played at the same time and they wanted to outperform the other at all times. We will get into the detailed records of the great Ian Botham below.
Sir Ian Botham was one of the rare players during his time who played 100 Matches in both ODIs and Test cricket and he did exceedingly well in Test cricket whereas his numbers in ODI cricket are good as well. In 102 Test Matches that he played for England, he scored 5200 runs at a decent average of 33.55 with 14 Test hundreds to his name. And in the bowling department he bowled in 106 innings and took a mammoth 383 Test wickets at a very good bowling average of 28.40 and he had 27 5 Wicket hauls and 4 times he took 10 Wickets in a test match. So to choose only 5 performances from this list of greatness will be a tough task but let’s get to it.
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208 vs India (1982)
His highest test score came against India in the year 1982 and this innings was more like an ODI innings rather than a test match innings as it was looking like Ian Botham was in a hurry to catch the next flight from London to Manchester because he was striking throughout the innings at more than 92 and he absolutely smashed the good Indian bowling line-up and hit 19 fours and 4 sixes meaning a total of 100 runs in boundaries alone. He only took 226 balls to make his 208 and in the end the test match was drawn but it was one of the most brutal displays of test match batting by Sir Ian Botham.
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149* vs Australia (1981)
Not having this incredible innings in the third innings of the test match when England were down and out and from there to lead England to victory would have been a shame. This innings defined the legend of Ian Botham to the world as he loved playing ODI cricket in test matches and in this test match Australia made 401 in the guest innings and England got out for 174 and Australia enforced the follow on and this was a huge mistake. Ian Botham arrived at number 7 and from there on it was all England as he decimated the great Australia bowling attack and hit 149 runs not out in only 148 balls with 27 fours and 1 six which means 114 runs in boundaries and he batted at a strike rate of more than 100. He became a hero for England after this test match.
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8/34 vs Pakistan (1978)
After talking about his batting Performances let’s focus on his bowling in which he was very good at and especially in this test match against Pakistan in 1978 where he absolutely obliterated Pakistan with his swing and Seam in the second innings. England made 364 in the first innings but Pakistan could only make 105 in their first innings and obviously England followed on and what followed was a brutal display of swing bowling at its finest. Ian Botham just took wickets all the time in the second innings and none of the Pakistan batters was allowed to get a start which could hurt England. Ian Botham picked up 8/34 in this innings which made him an instant star.
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6/58 and 7/48 vs India (1980)
This was one of the very best performances by Ian Botham in his international career and it did not come in the home conditions of England but it came in Mumbai where the swing was not that much so this makes this bowling performance even more special. It was a one man show in both innings as in the first innings Ian Botham took wickets at regular intervals and India could only score 242 runs with Botham picking up 6 wickets in this Innings. In reply England made 296 so the match was in the balance but the bowling tha. Botham showed in the second innings made him stand out apart from everybody else as he single handedly took the match from India and won it fir England and he took 7 wickets in the second innings meaning a total of 13 wickets in the entire match.
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5/11 vs Australia (1981)
There were many performances to choose from to put on this final slot in this article but I have gone with one that is out of the ordinary and hear only a special player like him could do it. This was in the 1981 Ashes series and it was the test match in Edgbaston and the match was firmly in the grasp of Australia as they needed only 151 runs in the fourth Innings but that’s where Ian Botham stood up for his nation and took 5 wickets for just 11 runs and broke the back of the Australian team and England won an unlikely match by 29 runs. Ian Botham was someone who could win Matches out of any situation for England.
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