‘Dream’ Test debut reduced to nought : Every cricketer, worth his salt, want to have a ‘dream’ debut and then carry on from there to have a long cherished career and leave a footprint for others to follow.
Rodney Ernest Redmond, born on 29th December, 1944, in Whangare, the northern-most city of New Zealand, was no different.
The left-handed batsman and a slow-left arm bowler, who could hit powerfully off the front foot, made his Test debut for New Zealand at the age of 28 years, in the third Test against Pakistan, played at Eden Park, Auckland, between 16th and 19th February, 1973.
Chasing Pakistan’s first innings total of 402/10, New Zealand opened their innings with the debutant Redmond accompanying Glenn Turner.
The opening pair stayed together and put on 159 runs on the board after which Redmond was dismissed by Pervez Sajjad, being caught by Mushtaq Mohammad.
Redmond scored his maiden Test century and notched up 107 runs, studded with 20 fours, in an innings that lasted 145 minutes. His knock also included five successive boundaries off Majid Khan and was scored almost at ‘a-run-a-ball.’
In addition to Redmond’s century, Glenn Turner (58), Brian Hastings (110) and a very significant contribution of 68 runs by the No 11 batsman, Richard Collinge, helped New Zealand also to notch up 402 runs for the loss of 10 wickets.
The 10th wicket partnership of 151 runs in 155 minutes between Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge was a world record at that point of time.
Pakistan scored 271/10 in their second knock which ended well into the fourth day. The Test match being a four-day affair, did not give enough time for New Zealand to put up a fight.
However, Redmond carried forward his ‘good work’ of the first innings and scored a wonderful half-century (56) in his second knock and helped his team to notch up 92 runs for the loss of 3 wickets.
The Test match ended in a draw.
Thus Redmond had a debut worth remembering, ending up with a score of 163 runs in two innings.
Subsequently, he was also selected for the tour of England in 1973. However, his form slumped and he could score only 483 runs at an average of 28.41 in the tour games. He also had issues with his vision, as a result of which he never made it to the Test squad.
As such it was dream debut that ended in a nought for the youngster.
Redmond is the only other batsman, in addition to the West Indian, Andrew Gordon Ganteaume, who scored a century in an innings of the only Test played in his career.
Rodney also featured in two IDIs for New Zealand but with very little success.
He featured in 53 First Class games scoring 3,134 runs (in 100 innings) at an average of 33.69 with an unbeaten 141* as his personal best score with 5 centuries and 16 half centuries.
At 71 years of age, Redmond is leading a peaceful life at Perth.