Travels in Chennai-ancient signboards

Our first stop is at Basin Bridge Jn (BBQ), where we have examples of ancient and modern signboards:

The food-minded may wish to hold a BBQ here, though you may have to first find a military hotel nearby.

Nearby there is Washermanpet, though the sign painters have some doubts about the name:

The official name is Washermanpet in the timetables. Also note the mis-spelling of the Hindi name. No picture of any new signboard seems to be available on the net.

Some years ago I have seen signs with Chromepet and Cromepet co-existing. Another well-known case is Hafizpet/Hafizpeta in the Hyderabad area.

An example of a run-down signboard in a totally run-down station:

Royapuram

Again, no picture of a new signboard is seen on the net. Tragic, as this station has the oldest surviving station building in India.  It was the first terminus in Madras where trains started running to Arcot (now Walajah Road) in 1856. The old terminuses in Mumbai and Kolkata had opened before this but the station buildings do not exist now. However, it now boasts a new electric loco shed.

Another station which is particularly obscure, as it does not seem to be mentioned in timetables even though it has a booking office which issues tickets. No picture of any new signboard can be located.

Pattabiram military siding

 

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Review of Australia-India T20Is (Oct 2017)

The current series was drawn 1-1 with one abandoned. Here is the complete record of matches between the two teams:

Overall

Australia recorded their first win in T20Is in India during the second match of this series.

We now look at individual records. The number of matches is not large enough to make comparisons of averages and strike rates meaningful, so we concentrate on aggregates and match and innings performances.

Batting-most runs (100 and above):

Runs

RG Sharma and MS Dhoni have played in all 15 of the matches between these teams. Warner has played the most (9) for Australia.

The only century was made by Watson. Kohli has made the most scores of 50-plus (4) while 3 others have 3.

Highest individual scores (60 and above):

Innings scores

This was a low-scoring series with Henriques’s 62* being the highest score.

Most wickets (5 and above):

Wkts

Ashwin, Bumrah and Watson share the top position.

Best innings bowling (all instances of 2wi and above):

Innings bowling

There are two 4-wickets hauls, by Ashwin in 2014 and by Behrendorff in the current series.

Behrendorff’s 4-21 is the best for Aus vs Ind in T20Is, surpassing the 3-11 by Bracken at Melbourne in 2008. In the same match, Zampa with 2-19 also surpassed the existing record of 2-23 (for Aus in Ind) by Watson in 2016.

Fielding (3 or more dismissals):

Fielding dismissals

Dhoni predictably has the most dismissals as well as stumpings, while Jadeja and Kohli have the most catches by non-keepers.

Best innings fielding (2 or more dismissals):

Innings fielding

While Dhoni and Paine have the most dismissals by a keeper, several non-keepers have taken 2 catches in an innings.

All-round match performance (Minimum 20 runs and 2 wickets):

AR match

Watson’s performance is clearly better.

Review of Pakistan-Sri Lanka Tests

The 2-Test series in the UAE ended in a 2-0 win for Sri Lanka, which was the first defeat for Pakistan in the UAE since they moved there in 2010. The earlier series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE have had an 1-0 win by Pakistan in 2011-12 and an 1-1 draw in 2013-14.

Here is the summary of all Tests between these teams:

Overall results

As we can see, the teams have been quite evenly matched-particularly in the UAE which has seen an equal number of wins by Pakistan, wins by Sri Lanka and draws.

We now look at individual statistics.

Batting: Most runs (750 and above):

Pak-SL runs

Sangakkara is far ahead of Younis who is also far ahead of the next (M. Jayawardene). Among those who played in this series, Azhar Ali is the only one with above 1000 runs although Asad Shafiq and others are catching up.

The most centuries are 10 by Sangakkara, followed by 8 by Aravinda and Younis.

The most scores of 50+ are 22 by Sangakkara, followed by 14 by Younis.

Highest individual scores (150 and above):

innings

This includes a triple century and several double centuries. This series was  somewhat low-scoring as the highest score was “only” 196 by Karunaratne. Note the Test at Faisalabad in October 1985 where two Pakistani batsmen scored double centuries in the same innings which were almost equal (203* and 206).

Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, average 30 and above):

Batting average

Sangakkara is well ahead of the others, while the next two Inzamam and Mathews have almost identical averages. Among those who played in this series, the highest averages are by Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Kaushal Silva.

Now for bowling:

Most wickets (20 and above):

Wkts

Herath has moved ahead of Muralitharan (like he has done against a few other teams). Saeed Ajmal has the most by Pakistan. Other current players here include Yasir Shah and Dilruwan Perera.

Herath has the most fivers (8) while three others have 5.

Herath is also the only one with more than one tenner.

Best innings bowling (all instances of 6wi and above):

innings bowling

Herath and Yasir Shah appear from the current series.

Best match bowling (all instances of 9wm and above):

Match bowling

Herath’s 11-wicket haul is the only one from the current series.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

Bowling average

The two Ws lead this table followed by Muralitharan and Herath.

To be precise, the best bowling averages are by Akram followed by Younis.

The best economy rates are by Akram followed by Abdur Rehman.

The best strike rates are by Younis followed by Akram (a reversal of the rankings for bowling average).

Now for fielding:

Most dismissals (15 and above):

Dismissals

Moin Khan has the most dismissals. However the fielder M. Jayawardene has more catches than him (37 to 35). Sarfraz Ahmed has the most stumpings (8). Younis Khan also has more catches (33) than any keeper other than Moin.

Note that several Sri Lankan players have played significant numbers of Tests as keepers and non-keepers. One of them (Dilshan) even took a few wickets as a bowler which theoretically makes him second to Walcott among the “triple all-rounders”.

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

Innings fielding

Chandimal is the only keeper with 6 dismissals. Two fielders have 4 dismissals.

Most match dismissals (6 and above):

match fielding

The lesser-known of the Jayawardenes (the keeper, not the fielder) has 9 dismissals followed by K. Akmal and Chandimal with 8. However, Sarfraz Ahmed has the best innings and match performances in the current series.

Highest dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.450 and above):

Dismissal rate

Headed by Moin Khan followed by Tillakaratne. Azhar Ali and Kaushal Silva appear from the current players, although Sarfraz Ahmed has not played enough in this series. However, he is soon likely to head this list.

Best overall all-round figures (see table for criteria):

AR-overall

The two best all-rounders of their teams at that time.

Best all-round match figures (fifty and fiver):

AR-match

Includes Saqlain (not really an all-rounder) and Dilruwan Perera from the current series, apart from Akram.

 

 

 

Chrome in Chromepet, Power in Powerpet

While travelling by train in the past, one would have often come across stations with strange-sounding names and wondered about the origin of the names. Now the internet has made it easy to answer these questions. To begin with, there is this suburban station between Chennai Beach and Tambaram:

Chrompet

It was listed in earlier maps and timetables as Chromepet. Now what is its connection with chrome?

The answer lies in: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromepet#Etymology

The name came from the Chrome Leather Works which used to have a large factory there.

Note the mismatch between the English and Hindi inscriptions.

Also in Chennai is this station with this antique signboard:

Washermanpet

As you would guess, the place gets its name from the humble dhobi:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washermanpet#History

Also note the misspelling of the Hindi inscription.

And this is its counterpart on the Singapore metro:

Dhoby Ghaut

The signboard reflects the run-down condition of Washermanpet and Royapuram, the latter being the oldest functioning station building on IR. It was the main terminus at Madras when trains started running in 1856. This signboard reflects the condition of the station which has somehow escaped demolition till now:

Royapuram

Finally, we visit this station next to Eluru in Andhra Pradesh:

Powerpet

Does it perhaps have something to do with the Marathas such as Sharad Pawar? Some of them spell their name as Powar*

However, Wikipedia has this to say:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerpet

in which the name is said to be in honour of Sir Power, a railway engineer. I could not find anything else about him. But it is wrong usage, as the correct form is Sir Ravindra Jadeja and not Sir Jadeja.

*The Powar clan, however does seem to be connected to this station near Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh:

Powarkheda

Pakistan-a bastion crumbles.

First have a look at the entire history of Tests involving Pakistan at neutral venues:

Pakistan neutral

The 1999 match was part of the Asian Test championship which had the final played in Bangladesh, which was not a Test country at that time.

Apart from 9/11, an attack near the hotel where NZ’s team was staying in Karachi in early 2002 resulted in matches being moved out of the country. This began with a 3-Test series against Aus (with the first Test at Colombo and the next two at Sharjah). Australia won this 3-0.

After this, serious cricket returned to Pakistan for some years before the Lahore incident involving the SL team in Lahore in 2009 made it the last Test to be played in Pakistan.

Here are the matches played IN Pakistan since 1999:

Pakistan home

In this period Pakistan lost 2-1 to Sri Lanka in 2000, 1-0 to England later in 2000, 2-1 to India in 2004, and 1-0 to SA in 2007 before the end came in early 2009. The UAE become Pakistan’s adopted home from 2010 onwards, after one neutral series against Australia in England.

Although some series were drawn, Pakistan did record a 3-0 victory against England in 2012, and a 2-0 victory against Australia in 2014. While they beat WI 2-1 in late 2016, they lost 2-0 to Sri Lanka in the just concluded series. This involved their first loss at Abu Dhabi, and the first series loss in the UAE since 2010. And their last 3 Tests in the UAE have resulted in successive losses at Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Certain venues like Bridgetown and Karachi were regarded as “fortresses” where visiting teams hardly ever won there. There are even such fortresses in domestic cricket including the IPL.

But the UAE may not be a fortress any more-which resulted in Pakistan moving from 1 to 7 in the rankings quite rapidly.

 

Review of South Africa-Bangladesh Tests (Oct 2017)

There have not been many Tests between these teams, so we can sum them up below:

SA-BD overall

SA has won 10 of the 12 Tests between these teams, and the two draws were in matches badly affected by rain. All 6 of the Tests in SA were won by SA, 5 by an innings. The sole exception was the first Test of this series, though that was practically an innings defeat as the sum of BD’s two innings was less than SA’s first innings.

With this small sample size, it is not worth studying averages but we look at other statistical points below:

Most runs (250 and above):

SA-BD batting

Several of these players played in the current series.

Amla and Smith scored 3 centuries apiece. They are also the only ones to make 4 scores of 50-plus.

Highest individual scores (75 and above):

SA-BD bat innings

One-sided indeed, although Mominul recorded BD’s highest score of 77 against SA. The previous record was 75 by H. Bashar in Bangladesh in 2003.

Most wickets (10 and above):

SA-BD wkts

Ntini and Steyn have a considerable lead over the others, though Bangladeshi bowlers also have a presence here.

Best innings bowling (including all 5wi and above):

SA-BD innings bowling

Interestingly, the three best bowling performances are by Bangladeshi bowlers-including Shakib who opted out of this series. Rabada’s two fivers in the current series are among the best for SA. Four bowlers have taken two fivers apiece.

Best match bowling (including all 7wm and above):

SA-BD match bowling

K Rabada’s 10-63 in the first Test is the best match analysis from either side. The only other 10-for is by PR Adams in 2003. For Bangladesh, the best is a 9-wicket haul by Shahadat in 2003.

Most fielding dismissals (5 and above):

SA-BD dismissals

Boucher is far ahead of the rest, while Liton Das moved on to BD’s highest tally of 8 dismissals. GC Smith has the most catches by a fielder (12).

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

SA-BD innings dismissals

Liton Das is the only one to challenge Boucher. Markram has the most catches by a fielder (3).

Most match dismissals (4 and above):

SA-BD match fielding

Again a near-monopoly by Boucher. Pollock is the only fielder with 4 catches in a match.

All-round performance (50 and 5wi):

SA-BD Match AR

Only one instance by one of the best all-rounders in all Tests.

 

 

The worst Test batsmen

At first glance, it seems to be simple enough. Take a cutoff of 20 innings and find who has the lowest average in Tests.

This data is correct as on 5 Oct 2017. As usual, the match with the ICC World XI is not counted.

Lowest Test batting averages (raw): Min 20 innings, batting average < 5.00

Worst batsmen-raw

Not CS Martin, though he is third on this list. No 2 is long forgotten and No 1 had a rather short career but became a commentator of some note.

Now these players are all those who were not in the team for their batting. If we want to isolate the specialist batsmen, we should tweak the conditions to:

Batting order 1 to 8, 20 innings. You could consider 1-7 or 1-6 as well.

Not more than two scores above 50.

Let us also eliminate the good bowlers by deleting anyone who bowled less than the standard cutoff of 2000 balls.

With these conditions we get these batsmen with an average below 20.00:

Worst batsman-stage 2

That looks a little more like it. Maybe we should also remove those who were wicket keepers for more than 20 innings, to remove those who were in the team as a keeper rather than a batsman:

Worst batsmen-final

Having removed the specialist keepers, we now have a final list of those who were the worst specialist batsmen, who batted from 1 to 8 and were not in the team for their bowling or keeping abilities. Only 23 here, with averages ranging from 12+ to 30+. There are some from recent years, headed by Jehan Mubarak (SL), MR Marsh (Aus) and HD Rutherford (NZ). Their “Gurus” were the old timers like Stricker of SA and the better known Midwinter who played for Aus and Eng.

One further adjustment would be to segregate the left-hand and right-hand batsmen from the above set:

Left-hand:

Left hand

Only 5 here.

Right-hand:

Right Hand

20 here. Saleem Elahi and Maqsood Ahmed (both RH) have entered here to make the total 25.

If LA Stricker was indeed the worst specialist batsman of all time, we should know more about him:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/47251.html 

And his left-handed counterpart, LSM Miller:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/37719.html

And the worst of the current batch, Jehan Mubarak:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/49633.html

A point of interest is that he is one of the few Test players to have been born in the US.

In the same vein, we can identify the worst specialist bowlers and wicketkeepers and alleged all-rounders, before we finally devise a “Worst-ever Test XI”