In 1937, Australians Donald Bradman and Jack Fingleton shared a then record 346 runs stand against England at Melbourne. When Mahela Jayawardene and Prasanna Jayawardene shared a 351 runs stand against India in the recently concluded the test match, they erased the last test partnership record from before World War II. The 346 run Bradman – Fingleton stand was indeed a special one.
Bradman and Fingleton came in low down the order because, with the match in the balance, Australia sent in its specialist bowlers first. Batting was impossible on a wet wicket drying under the Melbourne sun. Bradman, as captain, reckoned the bowlers were as likely to survive as the specialist batsmen, with the time they took at the crease allowing the pitch to dry and become easier.
It worked brilliantly. Australia lost five wickets for 97 runs before Bradman, who usually batted at number three, came in at number seven to join Fingleton, usually an opener. Their stand of 346 runs turned not only the match, but a series and possibly Bradman’s career.
Australia had been two down in a five-match series. It ended by winning the series, 3-2, the only team ever to have won from two down. Bradman, in his first series as captain, had been under fire. His position was never again in serious question before his retirement, as Sir Donald, in 1948.
Source: The New York Times – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/21/sports/cricket/21iht-CRICKET.html?ref=global