Stuart Law : Test batsman without an average : Batting average is an important indicator of a batsman’s performance in any format of the game. A high average in Tests is an indicator of the capability of the batsman to score big under different conditions and against different oppositions.
Australian cricketer, Stuart Grant Law, born on 18th October, 1968, made his First Class debut for Queensland and led the side to win five Sheffield Shield Titles to become the most successful captain in the domestic sector, as also the all-time leading scorer for Queensland in First Class cricket.
Featuring in 367 First Class games (601 innings), Law has scored 27,080 runs at an impressive average of 50.52 with 263 as his individual best. He also has 79 centuries and 128 half-tons to his credit.
With such an impressive First Class record any player would have been expected to represent his country for a significant period of time.
However, it was very different for this Australian cricketer. Although he made his ODI debut in 1994-95, he was never called up for national duty in the longer format unless Steven Waugh made himself unavailable for the First Test against Sri Lanka that was played at West Australian Cricket Association Ground, Perth, between 8th December, 1995 and 11th December, 1995.
Ricky Ponting also made his Test debut in that match.
Chasing Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 251/10, the Aussies plundered 617 runs losing only 5 wickets and declared their innings.
Major contributions coming from the blades of Michael Slater (219), skipper Mark Taylor (96), Mark Waugh (111) and Ricky Ponting (96) was also bolstered by a fine innings of an unbeaten 54* runs off 118 deliveries, in an innings that lasted 153 minutes, by Stuart Law.
In the process Law also put up a fifth wicket partnership of 121 runs alongwith the other debutant, Ponting.
All these contributions helped Australia take a massive first innings lead of 366 runs. They were also successful in restricting the Lankans to 330/10 in their second knock and won the game by an innings and 36 runs.
The innings victory did not give another opportunity for Law to wield his bat.
Subsequently Law was dropped as Steve Waugh returned to the team.
With the strong middle order set up in the Australian squad at that time, with the likes of David Boon, Mark Waugh, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting all justifying in retaining their respective places with impeccable performances, Law could never make it to the Test squad.
Law’s Test career thus came to an end with only one outing. Having scored an unbeaten 54* runs and not getting to bat in the second knock, he remained with NO AVERAGE in Tests.
He, however, featured in 54 ODIs (51 innings) and scored 1.237 runs at an average of 26.89 with 110 as his personal best.
Law was selected as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1998. In 2007, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.
*Info from various sources