Bangladesh’s greatest Test win

While Bangladesh has made good progress in limited-over cricket in recent years, the just-concluded Test at Mirpur is historic. To understand this clearly, we look at the the team’s 8 Test victories:

bangladesh-test-history

This is their first victory against a full-strength “regular” team, not a fellow minnow such as Zimbabwe-even if it was a 3-0 sweep as in 2014.

And we don’t count the two wins against a West Indies third XI which included many debutants who (apart from Kemar Roach) vanished without a trace. The stand-in captain Floyd Reifer witnessed clean-sweep losses in the Test as well as the ODI series. In the course of the series he talked about his team improving. A journalist asked him, “Have you been smoking something that sounds like your name?”

(Those familiar with American crime novels would know that “reefer” is one of the numerous synonyms for marijuana).

It should be remembered that Bangladesh came very close to winning their first Test back in 2003, but were thwarted by the last-wicket pair of Inzamam (138*) and debutant Yasir Ali (1*): http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/64045.html

Yasir Ali never played a Test again, but much was heard of another debutant Salman Butt in years to come.

 

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Those who missed the bus at Lord’s (Revised in Sep 2017)

The honours board at Lord’s are well known-anyone who scores a century or takes a fiver or a tenner gets his name on them, even if it is a neutral Test not involving England. If you need to brush up, see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_honours_boards

and for Indian players featured there, full details are here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/indian-cricketers-on-the-lords-honours-boards/

Also, the full list of names on the various boards have been covered in the last few posts on this blog.

However, note this extract from the Wikipedia article:

“A number of very distinguished players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Curtly Ambrose and Brian Lara are not named on the honours boards.”

It may be recalled that there was much heartbreak when Sachin failed to score a century in 2011, which was generally understood then to be his last Test there.

We now look at the aspect of prominent players failing to reach a board-worthy performance at Lord’s despite several opportunities. And there are some visitors who simply did not get to play enough at Lord’s.

Many English players whose career lasted about 5 years would have played 10+ Tests at Lord’s. Visiting players with long careers usually manage 4 Tests, unless they miss one Test or series. So we begin by identifying those who batted inĀ  at least 8 innings there. A further stipulation is that their batting position is 1 to 8, to eliminate tailenders without much batting ability.

So we have this for Most matches at Lord’s without a century:
Most matches wo century at Lord's

Atherton, Thorpe and Gatting played the most innings there without a century-particularly odd as Gatting played for Middlesex. Atherton did score 99 there and has the most fifties (7).

Visitors are led by Gavaskar and Tendulkar, followed by Faulkner, AW Nourse and Ponting. Lara played in only 3 Tests and 6 innings. The highest averages here are by Dexter (51.62) and FS Jackson (47.71).

While most of the batsmen here scored at least one fifty, some did not. They include Ramprakash (HS 40 in 13 innings), bowling all-rounder Emburey, Brearley, wicketkeeper Downton, Tendulkar, Faulkner and Ponting. The lowest average here is 10.38 by Ramprakash who was a specialist batsman, unlike some of the others. Then comes all-rounder Pringle (16.11) and another famous batsman Ponting (16.87). Tendulkar at least got into the 20s.

The highest averages here are by Dexter (50+) and FS Jackson (47+). Apart from Atherton’s 99, there are 90s by TE Bailey, JM Parks and FS Jackson.

Next, we take up bowlers who bowled at least 1000 balls (while bowling at no 1 to 5) and never took a five-for:

Most matches wo five-for at Lord's

Hoggard has the most Tests (11) and innings (20) here with a best of 4-27. However Edmonds has the best bowling figures of 4-6, while Hoggard has the most wickets (37). Gibbs, Lillee and Kumble are the only visitors here.

Ambrose and Warne did not bowl enough balls here.

The best bowling average here is Laker’s 24.43, followed by Wardle’s 26.78.

And one gets similar results if we look for those who made the same effort and never took a ten-for:

Most matches wo ten-for at Lord's

Here, Anderson has the most wickets (90) with a best of 9-73. He may, of course, play a few more Tests at Lord’s. He also has the most 5-fors (5) followed by Willis and Hadlee with 3. Oddly enough Anderson has more than twice the wickets of the next bowler Swann with 40. The best bowling average is by Willis with 18.76 followed by Illingworth with 19.85.

 

 

Unbeaten scores of 50+ on debut

Predictably, England won the first Test at Chittagong. Less predictable was the narrow margin of victory. Had they won, this would have been Bangladesh’s first Test win against a major team. We should not count the two victories against the West Indies third XI in 2009.

Sabbir Rahman made an unbeaten fifty on his debut. We now look into all those who achieved this feat on their debut.

For convenience, we break these instances into three sections, depending on whether the debutant’s team won, lost or drew/tied the match. There are a total of 73 such instances (including two cases where the debutant scored unbeaten fifty-plus scores in each innings).

We start with instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team won:

unb-50-debut-win

27 such instances, including the first-ever Test century and a double century (Rudolph). That is the highest unbeaten innings by a debutant, and DSBP Kuruppu (see below) is the only other batsman to score an unbeaten 200+.

SG Law and MN Nawaz were playing their only Tests. Van Zyl and Voges had contrasting careers after their debut.

We will later try to see which of them may have hit the winning runs.

Next, we consider instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team lost:

unb-50-debut-loss

18 such instances, including two innings by GC Grant. He was also captaining the West Indies on his debut. Barrett and Javed Omar carried their bats through the innings. Some famous names of the recent past are topped off by Sabbir Rahman and his 64*. Southee added a five-for to his 77*, thus becoming one of the handful of debutants to score a 50+ and 5wi.

We will later identify those who were left stranded at the end of the fourth innings.

Finally, we consider instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team drew or tied:

unb-50-debut-draw-tie

28 instances, including two innings by Azhar Mahmood. He is the only one to score an unbeaten hundred and unbeaten fifty on debut. Rowe is here as well, having scored 214 along with the 100* mentioned here. And Kuruppu has an unbeaten double century. Again, a few famous names from the recent past who are still going strong.

Coming back to our original query, we isolate those who scored their unbeaten fifty-plus in the 4th innings, and were thus batting at the time of victory:

unb-50-debut-win-4th

Only 8 such instances, including Gavaskar besides Gimblett, Lloyd and Lewis against India. In some cases they may have hit the winning runs. This could be checked from the ball-by-ball commentary if available, or from contemporary match reports.

Finally, we look at those who were left unbeaten with 50+ in the 4th innings when their team lost:

unb-50-debut-loss-4th

Naturally, Sabbir Rahman tops off this list. India was not involved in any of these instances.

There might have been cases of remaining unbeaten on 50+ in the 3rd innings when their team lost by an innings. The possible candidates are:

Barrett, Ranjitsinhji, Grant, Howarth, Javed Omar and Henriques.

A look at the scorecard shows only Howarth and Javed Omar being left unbeaten in the third innings, when their team lost by an innings. Howarth was at the other end when fellow debutant No 11 Ewan Chatfield suffered a potentially fatal injury when struck by a ball from Peter Lever.

The US Presidential elections and Indian place names

As the saturation coverage of the US elections will continue for a while, we may as well try to match their leader’s names to place names in India.

While the incumbent President Barack Obama came to India more than once, he does not seem to have visited this place:

barrackpore

His predecessor Jimmy Carter did indeed have a village near Gurgaon named after him. Supposedly his mother had been there with the Peace Corps at one time:

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

A halt station called Carterpuri (between Bijwasan and Gurgaon) was listed in the timetable for a few years, though it seems to have closed down long ago and no trace of it can be seen now. A new station called Palam Vihar Halt was built some years later in the same general area, though no trains appear to stop there now.

When Bill Clinton was President, the combination of him and the First Lady was referred to as Billary. Therefore, a logical place for them to visit is:

bellary-map

although it has now been renamed to:

ballari-new

If (somehow) Donald Trump wins, he could visit the small town of McDonald’s Choultry in Tamil Nadu, though the station (between Salem and Erode) was long ago renamed to:

magudan-chavadi

This name change in the 1970s was perhaps the first step against the McDonaldization of India.

We close with this one currently making the rounds on social media, presumably taken in around 1970:

bill-and-hillary

Also read this one: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/present-and-past-us-presidents/

A statistical tribute to Max Walker

As you would know, Australian pace bowler Max Walker passed away recently. He played an useful support role to the more flamboyant Lillee and Thomson. Oddly enough, he never played against India in his 34 Tests and 17 ODIs. Most of his teammates such as the Chappell brothers, Marsh, Lillee, Thomson and Mallett did play in at least one series against India.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/8137.html

I remembered him for a statistical quirk in his last Test, the final Test against England in 1977. This was a dead rubber match, which saw Walker and debutant Mike Malone putting on a century partnership for the 9th wicket. Being Packermen, they were not able to return to the Test team after the “amnesty”. They did get to play a few ODIs.

The scorecard of that Test: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63194.html

Now Walker (besides debutant Malone) made their highest Test scores (78 and 46) in their final Test. In fact Walker had never made a Test fifty before. This led me to study how many people had made their career-best score in their final Test.

This is not something which can be pulled out directly from Statsguru, but requires some additional work. If you stick to career-best scores of 50+, there are over 80 such instances so there isn’t much point in listing them all.

Anyway, I have listed all such cases of making their career-best score in their last Test, that score being 100 or more:

lasttest100-1

lasttest100-2

Of course, the 4 instances of 2016 should not really be here as all of them (especially Kohli and Rahane) will be playing for a long time to come. Note the strange case of Andy Sandham who made the world Test record in his last Test, though Bradman overtook it a few months later. The special cases of Ganteaume and Redmond would be familiar.

I also listed the Indian players who made their career-best score in their last Test, that score being 50 or more:

lasttestindia

The Yuvraj of Patiala (a.k.a. Yadavendra Singh) is the only Indian among the 15 who scored a fifty or more in his only Test. Leaving out Kohli and Rahane, there is only Vijay Merchant who made his highest score of 100+ in his last Test.

Review of India-New Zealand Tests-2

Hope you have read the first part:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/review-of-india-new-zealand-tests-1/

We now look at fielding records.

Overall dismissals (12+):

fielding-overall

Dhoni has the most dismissals (33) followed by IDS Smith, who took the most catches by a keeper (29). Dhoni has the most stumpings (5) while Fleming (20) and Dravid (17) have the most catches as fielders.

Most dismissals in an innings (4+):

fielding-innings

Kirmani, Dhoni and Watling share the record of 6 dismissals in an innings. When Kirmani achieved this in 1976 he had a share in the existing world record. Wadekar and Venkataraghavan took 4 catches as fielders.

Most dismissals in a match (5+):

fielding-match

While Watling has the record of 9 dismissals followed by Harford, Smith and Dhoni with 7, three fielders (Surti, Fleming and Jadeja) share the record of 5 catches.

Highest dismissal rates (minimum 20 innings fielded, rate 0.5):

fielding-rate

FM Engineer is the only keeper here, since other keepers (even Dhoni) did not play enough matches to qualify for 20 innings. Fleming and Taylor have the highest rates for non-keepers.

Finally we look at all-round performances.

Overall all-round performances:

(note the criteria at the top of the table)

ar-overall

Oddly enough, Harbhajan emerges on the top here (mainly on the strength of his two centuries in 2010). Bedi is also a surprise, though he did make his career-best score against NZ. Vettori is not here because of his poor bowling average above 45.

All-round match performances (Fifty and 5+):

ar-match

BR Taylor is the only one with a century and fiver, and is indeed the only debutant in all Tests to achieve this. Others such as Congdon and Bracewell also have creditable performances.

Review of India-New Zealand Tests-1

With the conclusion of India’s 3-0 clean sweep over New Zealand, a total of 57 Tests have been played between the two teams.

Overall, India leads 21-10 with 26 draws.

In India, the home team leads 16-2 with 16 draws. The only 2 Tests won by New Zealand were in 1969-70 and 1988-89.

In New Zealand, again the home team leads 8-5 with 10 draws. India’s 5 wins here include 3 in 1967-68 (India’s first Test and series wins abroad), one in 1975-76 and another in 2008-09.

Overall batting figures (600+ runs):

batting-overall

Among current players, Gambhir and R. Taylor lead.

Highest innings scores (150+):

batting-innings

Only Kohli and Rahane among current players. Strange that Mankad’s 231 in 1955-56 is still the highest by India against NZ. It was the record for India against all countries until Gavaskar made 236* against WI in 1983-84.

Highest batting averages (all instances of 20+ innings batted):

batting-avg

R. Taylor is the only current player here. The relative infrequency of Tests between the two countries means that many prominent batsmen have not reached the cutoff of 20 innings.

Now to bowling.

Most wickets (25+):

bowling-overall

Here we see Ashwin rapidly moving up the ranks with 27 wickets in this series. He has the most fivers (6) and tenners (3), moving ahead of the famous knight (not Sir Ravindra).

Best innings bowling:

bowling-innings

Ashwin moves into 4th position here. Venkataraghavan’s career-best innings figures came in his debut series.

Best match bowling:

bowling-match

R. Ashwin now has the best match bowling figures on either side. He surpassed his own record set in 2012, and took another tenner in this series. The “other” knight has the best figures for NZ, both in India and NZ.

Finally we look at the bowling averages (2000 + balls bowled):

bowling-avg

Only 12 bowlers make the cutoff, with relatively few from recent years. Indian spinners have the first 4 places in the list before Sir Richard makes an appearance.

It can also be seen that RG Nadkarni (who else?) has the best economy rate of 1.52 followed by Bedi and Venkataraghavan. Hadlee has the best strike rate of 47.7 followed by Prasanna and Zaheer. Note that Ashwin has bowled only 1415 balls so far (see the first bowling table) but has a strike rate of 31.4.

Also note Vettori’s unexpectedly poor average.

Enough for now, will take up fielding and all-round performances here.