WELLINGTON: Adam Voges was dubbed the new “Don” as the impeccable Australian batsman scored another century against New Zealand on Saturday to lift his average to more than 100.
Voges ended the second day of the first Test in Wellington unbeaten on 176 as Australia reached 463-6 to stretch their first innings lead to 280.
The legendary Don Bradman, widely considered the greatest cricketer of all time, retired in 1948 with a Test average of 99.94 from an 80-innings career — a mark that has now been overtaken by Voges in his 19th Test innings.
The 36-year-old Voges will resume his innings on Sunday building on a 100.33 average and the Australians were quick to dub him the new “Don”.
“I already have,” said Usman Khawaja, Australia’s other batting hero who scored 140 and featured in a 168-run stand with Voges for the fourth wicket.
“He’s got an average higher than Don at the moment so I might just have to call him ‘Sir Voges’.”
Voges has scored centuries in his last three innings, posting 269 not out and an unbeaten 106 against the West Indies in December.
With his current innings of 176 he has now scored 551 since he was last dismissed, overtaking the previous record of 497 runs between dismissals held by India great Sachin Tendulkar.
Voges had an unexpected life in the last over of the first day on Friday when, on seven, he was bowled by Doug Bracewell.
The umpire called it a no ball but television replays showed it was a legitimate delivery.
Usman described Voges performance since then as “almost faultless” in 397 minutes at the crease.
“He’s batted very sensibly, patiently at the start, was hitting a lot of good shots straight to fielders, didn’t get frustrated with it,” he said.
“The way he’s been batting lately it feels like he’s not going to get out sometimes, and he’s making big hundreds which is important for the team.”
New Zealand were also full of praise for Voges with bowling coach Dimitri Mascarenhas saying his bowlers had not made it easy to score runs.
“Voges batted a lot of balls to get to his 100, 200 balls he had to face to get to his 100. So we didn’t make it easy for him and he still had to work pretty hard,” Mascarenhas said.
“But it’s pretty amazing. He’s in a rich vein of form and he’s just not getting out at the moment. We have to find a way to get him out.”
Voges received a late call up to Test cricket, playing his first international eight months ago against the West Indies and at 35 years of age became the oldest man to score a century on debut.
He has now scored five centuries.
Khawaja is also in top form since his Test recall last year after two years in the wilderness. However, from 23 innings since he played his first Test in 2011, his average is 51.05