Sachin Tendulkar was 17 when he lit up the Summer of Graham (Gooch) with a match-saving 119 not out at Old Trafford. It was his first Test century, in his ninth match. Nearly two-and-a-half years later, the 23-year-old Brian Charles Lara had the old-timers harking back to Sir Garfield Sobers as he stroked a magnificent 277 at the SCG. It was his fifth Test in the maroon cap. Half a decade later, Ricky Ponting was a year younger when he played his sixth Test. His maiden Test hundred (127) and a 268-run partnership with Matthew Elliott were pivotal in deciding the destination of the little urn.
Last week, two 19-year-olds from opposite sides of the world made brilliant debut hundreds on either side of the Tasman Sea. Adrian Barath’s effort was one of the few bright spots in an another depressing West Indian performance away from home, while Umar Akmal’s technique and poise couldn’t quite save Pakistan in a fascinating Test at Dunedin.
Both have been talked about for a while.
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