Eclectic score cards for Tests

One of the first cricket books I acquired about 40 years ago was “Figures of Cricket” by Sudhir Vaidya which had records up to 1976. It was perhaps the only inexpensive book on cricket statistics available in India at that time. He brought out one more edition in 1990, and does not seem to have written any books after that.

One of the interesting topics in this was the “Eclectic score card” which listed the top scores for each batting position in Tests. (ODIs were not significant enough then to attract the attention of statisticians). As a tribute to Mr. Vaidya and his book, here are some eclectic score cards under different conditions. Points of interest are mentioned in the Remarks column.

First, the highest scores at all 11 positions for all Tests as of April 2016:


The record set by Ben Stokes earlier this year may not have attracted the attention it deserved. The previous record for No 6 was 250 by KD Walters, Aus v NZ in 1976-77.

While WW Read’s record has stood from 1884, there is one better-known record set in the very first Test in 1876-77 which still stands-Charles Bannerman scoring 67.34 per cent of his team’s innings. See Link

Next, the highest scores at all positions scored by Indian players:


Now we come to the highest scores made by debutants from all countries:


And finally, the highest scores made by debutants from India:


Plenty of food for thought here if you go through it closely. Will take up ODIs later, although data for T20Is may be too scanty at the moment.

DC traction on India’s railways-sidelights

Much has been written about the final days of DC traction in Mumbai, more specifically on the Harbour line from CSTM to Vashi which was the last holdout of this form of electrification on the Indian railways. This is not exactly true – the Kolkata metro will continue to be on 750 V DC indefinitely, and it is officially a part of the Indian Railways (unlike the metro systems in Delhi and elsewhere).

At its peak, the 1500 V DC system in Mumbai covered these sections:

WR: Colaba to Churchgate to Virar

CR: CST Mumbai to Pune and Igatpuri via Kalyan

CST Mumbai to Mahim and then in parallel to WR up to Andheri

CST Mumbai to Kurla via Harbour branch and then to Mankhurd,Vashi and Panvel.

(Mankhurd was the terminus until the 1990s).

Diva-Vasai Road

(Apart from CR and WR, some lines of the Bombay Port Trust were electrified with DC as well).

A typical news item about the conversion of the last route:

What most railfans may forget is that 3000 V DC existed on some routes out of Howrah for about a decade and 1500 V DC on one metre gauge route out of Chennai for several decades.

From an official IR publication of 1964, we can get the early history. It makes things simpler if we use the names of places which were prevalent at that time

The years of completion were:

Bombay VT to Poona and Igatpuri: 1930 (299 route km) on the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, predecessor of the CR

Churchgate to Virar: 1936 (60 route km) on the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway, predecessor of the WR.

Madras Beach to Tambaram: 1931 (29 route km, metre gauge) on the South Indian Railway, predecessor of the SR.


and Seoraphuli-Tarakeswar: 1958 (142 route km) on ER.

Coming back to Bombay, the VT-Reay Road section was opened in 1925 with electrification, as the 1 in 34 gradient at Sandhurst Road was felt to be an insurmountable obstacle to any other means of traction. Diesel traction existed but was not considered a serious option at that time.

Reay Road to Kurla had been running on steam since it was opened in 1910.The extension from Kurla to Mankhurd was completed by 1927 and was electrified in 1936.

The Karjat-Khopoli branch was one of the first lines opened in India (in 1856, when it became the railhead for Poona for some years). It seems to have been electrified only in the mid-90s and timetables of 1994 show diesel-hauled passenger trains on the CR main timetable (not the suburban timetable).

The Diva-Vasai Road line was built in the 1980s and was electrified with DC soon after it was opened.

On what is now the WR, electrification was completed to Borivli in 1928 and to Virar in 1936. Colaba was the terminus for long distance and local trains until Bombay Central was opened in 1930, and the lines between Colaba and Churchgate were electrified but this line itself was closed at the end of 1930. Churchgate has been the terminus for local trains since then.

The short stretch from Madras Beach to Tambaram was electrified at 1500 V DC in 1931. Apart from the EMUs on this route, long distance trains continued to run on steam from Madras Egmore. By 1967 the Tambaram-Villupuram section was electrified at the then standard voltage of 25 KV AC and the Beach-Tambaram section was converted to AC to enable through running up to Villupuram.

After independence, the first steps towards electrification of ER lines out of Howrah were taken with Howrah-Bandel-Burdwan and Seoraphuli-Tarakeswar being completed by 1958. These too were converted to AC in the mid-60s, and virtually all subsequent electrification in India was at 25 KV AC. The only exceptions were the extensions from Mankhurd to Vashi and then Panvel, Thane to Vashi and extensions,  and electrification of Karjat-Khopoli in the 90s which had to match the existing DC system in Mumbai.

Some of the DC locos from ER were converted to 1500 V DC and sent to CR, where they continued to serve for many years on the slopes of Bhor Ghat and Thull Ghat. Some EMUs were also converted and sent to WR and CR with mixed results.

More about DC locos, AC/DC locos and operational aspects to follow.

Summary of the extreme points of India

Hope that some have found these posts informative. I am listing them below:

The southernmost points of India

The standard answer to this one is Kanyakumari (also called Cape Comorin), which is indeed the southernmost point on the Indian mainland. Unlike the other extreme points, this is well populated and linked to other parts of the country. It is officially at 8.078 N, 77.541 E. Here is the main tourist area:,+Tamil+Nadu+629702/@8.0829211,77.5446251,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x3b04ed3d2a087861:0x1e790e896aeffaa0

The southernmost point on the mainland would probably be the place marked “Hidden twin beach”.

The railway station seen on this map has trains to all corners of India, including Katra in Kashmir and Dibrugarh in Assam.

Kanyakumari was earlier in Travancore state, then Travancore-Cochin state and was finally transferred to Madras state (now Tamil Nadu) when linguistic states were formed.

But the true southernmost point of India lies in the Andaman and Nicobar islands (not the islands of Lakshwadeep as their southernmost point is around the same latitude as Thiruvananthapuram). To be precise, the southernmost point is a settlement called Indira Point on the southern tip of Great Nicobar island.

This article mentions that there are 4 households in this settlement with a total population of 27 (all males). It also mentions how many are literate and how many are from reserved categories. Presumably most (if not all) of them are connected with the lighthouse.

Here is a video of the area shortly after the tsunami of 2004:

Note how the lighthouse has sunk into the water. It is functioning again now.

There appears to be a helipad nearby. Also note the numerous small buildings near the lighthouse.

While tourism is being encouraged in some parts of the Andamans, even Indian citizens cannot visit Nicobar district without permission from the union territory’s government. There are ships and helicopter services to nearby Campbell Bay, which has India’s southernmost airport and naval base. This could be described as the southernmost village in India (population around 5700). Due to the military presence, it has amentities such as banks and a Kendriya Vidyalaya (school run by the federal government).

It is not often appreciated that these islands, particularly in the Nicobar group, are considerably closer to other countries than to India. This map should give an idea:,+Andaman+and+Nicobar+Islands+744302/@12.2829531,91.787832,6z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x30693681c618213f:0xf4a05f017d87b04a

The straight-line distances from Indira Point to various places in India:

Port Blair-554 Km

Chennai-1646 Km

Kolkata-1855  Km

And to some places in other countries:

Banda Aceh, Indonesia-215 Km

Phuket, Thailand-515 Km

Colombo-1538 Km

Yangon-1153 Km

Think about it. Indira Point is closer to Indonesia and Thailand than to Port Blair. And Yangon and Colombo are closer to it than any mainland Indian city.

The Andaman and Nicobar islands were occupied by Japanese forces during WW2, and were nominally governed by the Indian National Army.

Regarding the research stations in Antarctica starting with Dakshin Gangotri, it appears that India does not have any territorial claims over Antarctica while some other countries do.



The westernmost points of India

According to the Wikipedia article on “Extreme Points of India”,

the westernmost point of India is Guhar Moti in Lakhpat taluk of Kutch district of Gujarat. This article mentions that it is at 23.71307 N, 68.03215 E. This appears to be wrong as it gives a point in the sea. However, the village of Guhar Moti is actually at 23.6076 N, 68.5022 E

which you can see here:,+Gujarat+370601,+India/@23.6201256,68.5272452,14z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x395238a1259c106f:0x66b28d5fd5388930?hl=en

More about this place can be seen here and in line 55 of this

We note that the population of 242 (in the last census) includes 186 belonging to the scheduled castes, 55 to the scheduled tribes and 1 in the general category. In line 56, we see the nearby pilgrimage centre of Narayan Sarovar with a population of 1156. This is larger than the taluk HQ of Lakhpat which is described as a ghost town with a population of 500-odd. It did figure in the 2000 film “Refugee”, which marked the debut of Abhishek Bachchan and  Kareena Kapoor.

Some say that the temple at Koteshwar near Narayan Sarovar is the westernmost point of India, but you can see from the above link to Google maps that this is not true.

Remote as this area may be, it is well connected with roads. There was even a proposal to connect Koteshwar by rail to the nearest railhead at Naliya, but that may have to wait until the closed line from Bhuj to Naliya is converted from metre gauge to broad gauge. Naliya is also the site of India’s westernmost air force base, which hosts Mig-21 fighter aircraft. One of them shot down a Pakistani Navy aircraft near the border in 1999 (more about this below).

This part of Kutch district has a number of industries, mainly based on lignite (brown coal) which is mined nearby. The westernmost industrial unit in India may well be the Akrimota lignite power station on the coast, at 23.7721 N, 68.6442 E.

An overall view of the India-Pakistan border can be seen here

Note the complex border around the Sir Creek. The border is also disputed here, as India and Pakistan differ on the interpretation of a treaty signed between the government of Sind and the ruler of Kutch in 1914. The basic issue here is connected with borders formed by rivers-what happens when the river changes course? More details about the dispute and ongoing negotiations can be seen here:

Also read this:

Some literature mentions that the lights of Karachi can be seen from Koteshwar. This may not be true as the distance from here to the centre of Karachi is 200 km.

The border here consists of uninhabited marshlands, which are flooded during the monsoons. Patrolling by boats and aircraft is carried out by both countries. Also see:

The Kutch war of 1965 did not concern this area and was confined to the northern borders of Kutch.