Aiden Markram is back

Refresh your memory here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/southafrica/content/player/600498.html

As readers of this column know, Aiden Markram has the longest palindromic name among international cricketers, with the competition coming from Rangy Nanan and Arun Lal. Apart from that, he had a good run at the start, with 97 on debut and a century in his second and third Tests. (It helps if you are playing at home in South Africa against Bangladesh for two Tests followed by Zimbabwe).

Anyway, he was a sort of lucky charm for South Africa as they won in each of his first 5 Tests. India broke this spell when they won the 3rd Test of the 2017-18 series.

He had a bad tour of India in 2019, making a second-ball pair (or silver pair) in the second Test before being dropped for the third.

Anyway he holds another peculiar record in all Tests. He has played the most Tests (19) without ever seeing a draw. 11 of these matches were won by South Africa and 8 were lost.

The record was earlier held by George Lohmann (18 Tests) of long ago, who saw 15 wins and 3 losses. Next is a current player KK Jennings with 17 (12 wins and 5 losses).

I wonder if anyone has told him of this record. At least it is better than being the 21st batsman to make a silver pair.

Quiz on old station names in India-1

Here we have a list of names of railway stations which were being used in timetables between the 1930s and 1970s.

Do you know the current names?

Answer in the Facebook comments section.

1. Begamabad

2.  Cambay

3.  Cannanore

4.  Chakki Bank

5.  Chicacole Road

6.  Chutiapara

7.  Contai Road

8.  Daman Road

9.  Ellis Bridge

10. Ellora Road

11. French Rocks

12. Futwah

13 Goya Gate

14 Hyderabad (MG)

15 Kankanadi

16 Kirkee

17 Kothapetta

18 Manipur Road

19 Margao

20 Mhow

 

Test Captaincy Updates-2

Continuing from Part 1:https://abn397.wordpress.com/2019/12/12/test-captaincy-updates-1/

We have seen which players have appeared in the most Tests, captained in the most Tests and have played in the most Tests while not captaining.

Now we look at those who 1) played their entire Test career as captains, and 2) played their entire Test careers NOT as captains.

The first list is relatively short:

Pure captains

Only 25 cases here. The top few are less-known except for LK Germon who was captain relatively recently. He was brought in as captain as the selectors felt that no other suitable captain could be found among the existing players. Sherwell and Germon were both wicketkeepers.

In some cases certain players were appointed captains as they were amateurs rather than professionals, or if they were from the “nobility” as in the case of “Vizzy” and his British counterparts. In the early days of West Indies cricket, the captain was chosen from the players of the territory where the match was being played.

But clearly the players listed above were not good enough to stay in the team if their presence as captains was not essential. Vizzy, for example, was clearly not competent enough either as a batsman or captain.

More recently, WTS Porterfield captained Ireland in their first 3 Tests.

It is also interesting to note that the last 5 players made only a single Test appearance, in which they captained. The best known was CA Smith, later known as Sir Audrey Smith of Hollywood where he typically played roles of elderly Englishmen.

Now we go on to those who never captained in Tests.

There are over 1500 who played 5 or more Tests without ever being captains. Here we list

Those who played 85 or more Tests without ever captaining:

Pure non captains

England’s current players Anderson and Broad are in the first and third places, Anderson having crossed Warne’s mark of 144 recently. The national record holders would therefore include Anderson (149 for England), Warne (144 for Australia), VVS Laxman (134 for India), Muralitharan (132 for Sri Lanka), Ntini (101 for South Africa), CEL Ambrose (98 for WI) and Sir Richard Hadlee (86 for New Zealand). Further down there is Mudassar Nazar with 76 for Pakistan, GW Flower (67 for Zimbabwe) and Javed Omar (40 for Bangladesh).

There may be various reasons why they were never considered suitable for captaincy. However, Warne did captain Australia in a few ODIs. The knowledgeable feel that he may have been a better captain than some of his contemporaries.

 

Test captaincy updates-1

It is easy enough to get updated tables like this:

(All these tables are updated to Dec 3, 2019):

Most Tests (120 and above)

Most Tests

Current players with the most Tests are Anderson (149), Broad (134) and Amla (124).

Another table which is easy to create:

Most Tests as Captain (40 and above):

Most Tests as captain

Kohli is the only current player here. He has captained in 53 Tests and has still to overtake Dhoni (60). He overtook Ganguly (49), Gavaskar and Azharuddin (47) not long ago.

But this one needs a little more work with Excel:

Most Tests NOT as Captain (105 and above):

Most Tests NOT as captain

Current players here are Anderson (149), Broad (134) besides recent retirees de Villiers (111) and Amla (110). Note that some, like Tendulkar and Kallis, have captained for a few Tests but others such as Anderson and Broad have never captained. More about these cases shortly.

 

 

India-West Indies T20I review-Dec 2019

The 3-match series in India was won by India with  2-1 margin. Earlier this year India had won 3-0 in a series spread over the USA and West Indies.

Here is a summary of the 17 T20I matches between these teams:

Ind v WI T20I results

These can be summarized as:

Results summary

India still has a healthy 10-6 lead.

Individual records: Batting

Most runs (100 and above):

Batting-100 total

The trio of RG Sharma, Kohli and Rahul have the most runs. While E Lewis is the only one with 2 centuries, Sharma and Kohli each have five 50+ scores.

Highest innings (75 and above):

Innings-75

Kohli and Rahul scored 90s in this series.

Most wickets (5 and above):

Bowling-most wickets

Jadeja leads now, with K Yadav and B Kumar from the current series.

Best innings bowling (3wi and above):

Innings bowling

None of these performances are from the current series. But note DL Chahar’s 3-4 from earlier this year.

Fielding: Most dismissals (4 and more):

Fielding-most dismissals

RG Sharma has the most catches followed by Pollard. Dhoni, Pant and Ramdin have the most dismissals as a keeper.

Most innings dismissals (3 and above):

innings dismissals

KD Karthik has the most dismissals by a keeper.

Best all-round match performances (20 runs and 2 wickets):

AR-match.JPG

Bravo’s performance in the 2009 World Championship is one of the best in all T20Is.

Why Ecuador?

Swami Nithyananda seems to have captured the imagination of a section of the population, who are anxious to migrate to the Nation of Kailasa:

https://newstodaynet.com/index.php/2019/12/10/12-lakh-applied-for-kailasa-citizenship-nithyananda/

But where is it? The above report (as well as the official website)  https://kailaasa.org/

do not make it clear. Some newspaper reports say that he made his way to Ecuador via Nepal, and that he purchased an island from that country. Some news websites with muddled geography stated that this island was near Trinidad & Tobago, which is a few thousand km away from Ecuador.

But why Ecuador, anyway? In recent years it had hosted the fugitive Julian Assange at its embassy in London until they got tired of him. To refresh your memory see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange  and the climax at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47907600

However, Ecuador is supposed to have a long association with people who have a problem with India. This goes back to the Khalistan movement. From the Wikipedia article on the Khalistan movement, we see:

“Embassies in Britain and other European countries were opened by Chohan. It is reported that with the assistance of a wealthy Californian supporter, a peach magnate, he opened an Ecuadorian bank account to support his operation.”

Some years later, a Sikh writer tried to find out what the Khalistan supporters had achieved in Ecuador. His report:

https://www.sikhglobalvillage.com/stories_sikhecuador1.htm

So there is some history of the Ecuadorean government getting involved with dubious activities connected with India.

Meanwhile, humorists on Facebook and elsewhere have to generate material about the Swami and his country. It is known that Ecuador has an island province including the Galapagos islands and its famed flora and fauna, including this fellow:

Galapagos tortoise 2

One could imagine him being cuddled by the Swami.

 

 

Test cricket returns to Pakistan

The last Test in Pakistan was scheduled to be played from March 1 to 5, 2009.

There was no play after the second day. A contemporary report:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/22788732/sl-cricketers-injured-terror-attack

And the scorecard, for what it is worth:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/13778/scorecard/388994/pakistan-vs-sri-lanka-2nd-test-sri-lanka-tour-of-pakistan-2008-09

Since then, Pakistan has played Tests only away or at neutral venues (mainly in UAE, also 2 in England). There have been a small number of T20Is and ODIs played in Pakistan in the past few years:

T20Is in Pakistan since March 2009:

T20Is in Pak since 2009

ODIs in Pakistan since March 2009:

ODIs in Pak since 2009

It is also apparent that any Pakistani player who made his Test debut since 3 March 2009 would never have played at home until now. They are:

Pakistani Test debutants after Mar 2009

It can be seen that these 46 players include the present captain (Azhar Ali) and the previous captain (Sarfaraz Ahmed) who made their debuts in 2010, besides key players such as Asad Shafiq and Shan Masood. There is also Fawad Alam who made his debut in Sri Lanka in 2009 but has not played any Test since that series, but may well play in the forthcoming series.

And there are others such as Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Amir who came and went without ever playing in a home Test.

You can see a review of past Tests between Pakistan and Sri Lanka here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2017/10/13/review-of-pakistan-sri-lanka-tests/

Note that their last meeting was in the UAE in late 2017, when Sri Lanka won 2-0. They were among the very few teams to beat Pakistan in a series in the UAE.