The Ashes since 1970

So the 2019 series was drawn 2-2, and Australia retained the Ashes which they held since winning the 2017-18 series.

Here we look at the history of the Ashes since the 1970-71 series, when England won the Ashes after a long gap-Australia had held them since 1958-59 so they were away from England throughout the 1960s. There were also longish droughts for England in the early 1920s and from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s.

Similarly, Australia had held the Ashes from 1989 to 2005, so the 1990s also passed without England getting hold of them. However, Australia has had the better of the contests since then (especially in Australia).

Ashes from 1970

A quick look at the list shows some captains who won the Ashes on two or more occasions, including Ian Chappell (2), Brearley (3), Border (3), Taylor (3), S Waugh (2), Strauss (2) and Cook (2).

Those who have lost the Ashes on two or more occasions are Border (3), Gooch (2), Atherton (2), Hussain (2), Ponting (3), Clarke (2) and Root (2).

1000 runs in Tests without a century

The 2019 Ashes ended in a 2-2 draw, like the 1972 edition. That was the last drawn Ashes series until now.

The “1000 and no century” club got its 52nd member in GOAT NM Lyon. He does not have a monopoly on this title as it was first used for Mohammed Ali (ex Cassius Clay) long ago.

1000 without century

Heading this list is Shane Warne, fittingly with a top score of 99 and over 3000 runs. Next is India’s opener (and later politician) CPS Chauhan with a top score of 97 and over 2000. No one else got up to 2000, though DL Murray got close.

Waqar Younis (top score 45) and now Lyon (top score 47) are the only ones who never crossed 50. As we can see above everyone else made at least one 50. Chauhan with 16 is followed by Dickwella and Mackay with 15.

The highest batting averages are 35+ by opener Laird, followed by Mackay (33+) and Chauhan (31+).

Warne, Starc, Surti, and DN Patel finished with a top score of 99.

At the other end of the scale are the 10/11 batsmen such as JM Anderson (9.68) who is the only one with a single-figure average. Waqar Younis and Muralitharan are next, with Zaheer Khan, Lyon, and Ambrose following.

Even Anderson did get up to 81 once. He, Ambrose and Muralitharan made precisely one fifty in their long careers.

Current players here include Dickwella, Southee, Philander, Starc and Steyn besides newcomer Lyon.

There were a few such as Kumble and Vaas who made one century towards the end of their careers. Otherwise they would be near the top of this list.

Bypasses of the Indian Railways

Many important stations of the Indian Railways have bypasses. These are used to reduce congestion, and especially where a reversal is eliminated.

While some are used mainly by goods trains, there is an increasing trend for more large junctions to be bypassed. In most cases a smaller station nearby is used as the “proxy” for long-distance trains to stop. Examples are Perambur for a few trains which skip MAS, Sevagram for Wardha Jn, Uslapur for Bilaspur, Pathankot Cantt (ex Chakki Bank) for Pathankot.

Here is a pdf file for all of the bypassed stations which I could think of. Additions and corrections are welcome.

Let us not consider “area bypasses” such as Vasai Road-Panvel or Gudur-Renigunta-Katpadi or Kharagpur-Asansol.

Bypasses on IR1

Perhaps we can think of a few more places where bypasses would be useful, such as Sawai Madhopur.

Trivia: the first custom-built bypass was probably the one at Shoranur which was commissioned in the early 1940s. Others which came up over the years due to realignments etc would be Allahabad-Chheoki and Podanur, (Yes, I know that the lines around Coimbatore have a complex history).

The best tailenders in Tests

Having studied the Indian tailenders here , we take a look at Test batsmen from 8 to 12 (!) in all Tests.

Minimum 20 innings, average 25.00

Tailenders (all)

Some of the players here also batted at 7 or higher. Jadeja’s only century and some of Kapil’s centuries came that way.

This list is headed by the relatively lesser known JDC Goddard who was the West Indies captain during the 1948-49 tour of India and the epochal 1950 tour of England.

The current players include (in descending order) Mahmudullah, Jadeja, JO Holder and Ashwin.

As most of us would be more familiar with recent players, we repeat the above exercise for players from 2000 onwards:

Minimum 20 innings, average 20.00 after 01 Jan 2000

Tailenders (all) since 2000

Here, only performances after 1 Jan 2000 are included. So the earlier careers of a few trans-millenials such as Boucher, Vettori, Pollock and Streak are not included here.

Here, Boucher is followed by the already forgotten MD Craig, Mahmudullah, Prior and Jadeja. Those currently playing include Mahmudullah, Jadeja, Holder and Ashwin.

Vettori has the most centuries (5) and 50+ scores (20). In contrast, Australia’s NM Hauritz has only one fifty but still manages a batting average of above 20. Similarly for SA’s AJ Hall and England’s TT Bresnan with two fifties apiece.

More on concentration camps

There is now talk of large-scale detention camps in various parts of India, like here:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/assam-india-detention-camps-bangladesh-nrc-list-a9099251.html

which is uncomfortably close to places like this:

Auschwitz

This sign was not only at Auschwitz, but at several similar camps.

And who invented the idea of concentration camps? Not Hitler and his pals.

This little video explains further (though you can always look up further references about the conduct of the Boer War).

India’s best tailenders

Ishant Sharma’s heroics and his maiden Test fifty reminded us of the importance of having tailenders who can score some runs. Or, failing that, at least stay around long enough for other batsmen to score some more runs. Ishant was perhaps more of the second type.

We have a quick look at the best performers at 8-11 in the three formats.

For Tests and ODIsĀ  a cutoff of 20 innings is used. For T20Is it is 10 innings.

Test batting averages at 8-11:

Indian tailenders

RA Jadeja’s average is now above Kapil Dev’s. Remember that both of them and a few others like Nadkarni scored centuries up to No 7 as well.

Kapil, Ashwin and Harbhajan have two centuries here. Others with centuries are Kirmani, IK Pathan, Kumble and Agarkar.

Here Agarkar has the lowest average by a century-maker and Ishant the lowest by a fifty-maker.

The lowest average here is by Maninder Singh, followed by Chandrashekhar and Doshi which most would have guessed.

In ODIs, we have:

Indian Tailenders (ODI)

The highest averages are by Pathan and Chetan Sharma. Sharma has scored a century batting lower.

Pathan and Agarkar are the only ones here with 2 fifties. The lowest average by a fifty-scorer is by Praveen Kumar.

The lowest average is by Sreesanth, followed by Ishant Sharma and Nehra.

For T20Is, no one has 20 innings so we take the cutoff of 10 innings instead.

Indian tailenders - T20I

Ashwin and Harbhajan are the only ones who qualify here. Neither has scored a fifty.

 

Afghanistan and Ireland in Tests-2

More highlights from their short Test history:

Fielding:

Most dismissals (3 and above):

Afg-Ire dismissals

The most by a non-keeper is 4 by Stirling.

Most innings dismissals (3 and above):

Afg-Ire innings dis

Most match dismissals (3 and above):

Afg-Ire match dis

Wilson has the most dismissals here, while the best by non-keepers are 3 by Strling and I. Zadran.

All-round performances:

Overall (see criteria):

Afg-Ire AR overall

These two players have made an encouraging start.

Match performance (50 and 5wi):

Afg-Ire AR match

Only one instance here, but it is the relatively rare combination of a fifty and 10 wickets. This has been achieved 29 times in all Tests.

Rashid is only the third Test caption to achieve this:

Captain with 50 & 10 wkts

He is in august company, though it may be a while before he becomes PM of his country.

 

More on cricketing knights (Sep 2019)

Geoff Boycott and Andrew Strauss are the latest additions to the cricketing knights of England:

https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/49641823

Which was not without controversy in Boycott’s case.

More on this topic in my earlier post in 2017:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/sir-geoffrey-and-the-real-knights/

Afghanistan and Ireland in Tests-1

Afghanistan and Ireland have each played 3 Tests, including one between themselves. Here is the record of these matches:

Afg-Ire Tests

Afghanistan have made rapid progress, starting with a two-day defeat in their first Test followed by two wins, the latest against the higher-rated Bangladesh. Ireland have lost all three Tests, putting up a good fight in the first two but abjectly collapsing to 38 all out in the third. They did however dismiss England for 85 in that Test.

We now look at individual performances, starting with

Batting:

Most runs (100 and above):

Afg-Ire runs

Rahmat Shah, KJ O’Brien and Asghar Afghan (former Stanikzai) have the most runs. The only centuries are by Rahmat and O’Brien, the latter on debut. Rahmat and Asghar have 3 scores of 50+.

At the other end of the scale, Murtagh became the first No 11 batsman in any Test to score 25+ in each innings during Ireland’s second Test.

Highest innings (75 and above):

Afg-Ire innings.JPG

Bowling:

Most wickets (8 and above):

Afg-Ire wkts

Rashid Khan has by far the best total here. He has 3 fivers and the only tenner here. Murtagh is the only other with a fiver.

Best innings bowling (4wi or more):

Afg-Ire innings bowl

Note Rashid’s two fivers in the same match, while Murtagh’s 2018 figure is the best on debut from either side. Murtagh also became the first Irish player to appear on the Lord’s honours board.

Best match bowling (6wi and above):

Afg-Ire match bowl

Rashid Khan has the two best performances here.

To be continued

 

 

Ram Jethmalani’s records

TheĀ  late Ram Bulchand Jethmalani was born on Sep 14, 1923 and thus passed away a few days short of what would have been his 96th birthday. While formerly a Rajya Sabha member of the BJP in 2010-16, he was now representing Bihar on an RJD ticket. He was the oldest Rajya Sabha member at this time, and may well have been the oldest ever Rajya Sabha member.

Here is the “seniority list” of current RS members:

https://rajyasabha.nic.in/rsnew/member_site/memage.aspx

The oldest member now is Motilal Vora at 90, followed by Manmohan Singh a little short of 87.

In the present Lok Sabha, the oldest member now is Shafiqur Rahman Barq representing the SP, from Sambhal (UP). He is 89.

http://loksabhaph.nic.in/Members/MemberBioprofile.aspx?mpsno=3657

While HD Deve Gowda did not get elected to this Lok Sabha, he is younger than Mr Barq as he is now 86.

In the previous Lok Sabha, the oldest member appears to have been LK Advani, born in Nov 1927 and was thus 91+ at the time his term was completed in May 2019.

Coming back to the Rajya Sabha, older references mention the oldest member to have been Rishang Keishing of Manipur, who was 93 when he left the Rajya Sabha in 2014. He had earlier been the Chief Minister of Manipur.

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

So it appears that Ram Jethmalani was the oldest ever member of the Rajya Sabha, and perhaps the oldest from both houses of parliament.

His daughter Rani was also a lawyer of some repute, but had passed away in 2012.

There would be several parliamentarians who lived to a greater age, such as Morarji Desai and Gulzarilal Nanda who both crossed 99.

Making sense of the Women’s T20 World Championship of 2020

This is one area where Wikipedia is more informative than Cricinfo.

With the conclusion of the qualifying rounds, Bangladesh and Thailand join the “big 8” to make up the 10 teams.

Whatever you need to know is here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_ICC_Women%27s_T20_World_Cup

Also see the results of the 2018 championship, when India lost in the semi-finals to England, who in turn lost to Australia in the final:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_ICC_Women%27s_World_Twenty20

The durable dictator

You have heard of “Indira is India”. In the same way “Mugabe was Zimbabwe”.

He was effectively the only leader of independent Zimbabwe and did improve the conditions of the common people in the early years of his rule. Later things did not go well and he faced widespread opposition before the armed forces deposed him in 2017, after 37 years in power.

You can read an overview of his life here:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-49604152

And he features in many lists of durable leaders:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest-living_state_leaders

He is only 98th on this list, as he lived to be 95 years and 195 days.

Many of those higher in this list are little-known or from little-named countries.

The longest-living well known persons here would be

Y Nakasone, PM of Japan in the 1980s, still living at 101+

Perez de Cuellar, PM of Peru and UN Secretary-General, still living at 99+

Prem Tinsulananda, PM of Thailand, lived to be 98+

The Indian duo of Gulzarilal Nanda and Morarji Desai both crossed 99.

Also see this:

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

Note Mahathir Mohammad, serving as PM of Malaysia at 94+

followed by Queen Elizabeth 2 at 93+

Robert Mugabe was President until he was deposed at 93+

However, Malawi’s Hastings Banda was President for Life until 1994 when he was deposed at 96+

In contrast, the oldest US President was Ronald Reagan who was 77+ at the end of his second term. The longest lived US President is Jimmy Carter (born Oct 1, 1924 and presently 94+. Earlier this year he overtook George Bush (senior) who lived to be 93+