Analyzing Test captaincies – 5

Today we look at captains whose tenure included:

Only wins

Only losses

Only draws.

Only wins (complete list):

16 instances here. Bacher and Lord Hawke had the best stretches of 4 wins out of 4. In the former case all 4 wins came in a single series against Australia. In the latter case they were part of 5 wins out of 5 in his Test career, although he was a specialist (?) batsman with a single-figure batting average.

Those with 2 wins out of 2 are mainly stand-ins (Rahane and Jacobs) in recent times. Similarly for those who won their only Tests as captain (eg Shastri, Harvey, WA Brown).

Rahane is the most recent player here.

Only losses (2 or more):

Headed by the Bangladeshi duo of Khaled Mashud (12) and Khaled Mahmud (9) in their team’s early years.

However, there is also KC Brathwaite (5) from WI in recent years along with Porterfield who has led Ireland in all 3 of its Tests. DK Gaekwad, now India’s oldest living player, has 4 losses. (In that series Pankaj Roy captained for 1 Test, which was also lost).

Some other well-known players found here are AJ Lamb, AR Morris, JE Emburey and RS Madugalle.

And FL Reifer, captaining the WI third XI against Bangladesh at home. When he talked of winning the series, local journalists asked “Are you smoking something # which sounds like your name?”

# Reefer, a term for marijuana or ganja

Only draws (complete list):

The list of 21 is headed by Srikkanth (all 4 in a single series against Pakistan in Pakistan). Majid and Saeed also drew all 3 Tests in a single series.

There is no one here since BA Murphy (1 Test in 2001). Well-known players not mentioned so far include DL Murray, G Kirsten, GA Headley, MA Butcher, RR Lindwall and TW Graveney. Practically all of the 1 or 2-Test captains were stand-ins.

Srikkanth and Adhikari are the only ones from India. This did not help Srikkanth much as he was promptly replaced by Azharuddin. And Adhikari stopped a sequence of 3 heavy losses with a draw where his team narrowly escaped defeat.

IPL 2020-the end run

This is written after the 48th match on October 28. With only CSK out of the running, it is possible to work out scenarios where all 7 of the other teams could qualify for the last 4.

We now look at the last stages of the IPLs of the last three editions.


After league stage, we had:

  1. Mumbai -> Winner
  2. Pune -> Runner up
  3. Hyderabad -> 4th
  4. Kolkata -> 3rd

We see that No 1 went on to win, No 2 went on to be runner up and so on.


  1. Hyderabad -> Runner up
  2. Chennai -> Winner
  3. Kolkata -> 3
  4. Rajasthan -> 4


  1. Mumbai -> Winner
  2. Chennai -> Runner up
  3. Delhi -> 3
  4. Hyderabad -> 4

One can, of course, look back all the way to 2008. But from the above sample, we see that

The #1 and #2 will be the winner and runner-up, though not necessarily in that order.

The #3 and #4 will NOT be the winner and runner-up.

Now let us see how this empirical law works this time.

After match 48, this was the table:

Down South

Completing our study of station names including directions.

The word South is Dakshin/Dakshina/Dakkhin in several languages including Hindi, Bengali, Kannada and Telugu.

This listing is not supposed to be comprehensive.

We start with

Here, South is transliterated into both languages.

Similarly here:

This pair from Andhra Pradesh is more interesting:

In the older sign above, South is transliterated into both languages.

In the newer sign, the correct Hindi and Telugu words are used.

And this station does not appear to have any passenger services.

The correct Hindi and Kannada words have been used here.

“South” also appears in the middle of a name, like in this station on the Kanpur-Banda section:

Guest appearances:

This was known as Ernakulam South from the late 1930s to the late 1950s. However, a fair number of local people persist in using the old name (as in the case of Ernakulam Town) which still causes trouble to visitors.

Simlarly, Ashokapuram was earlier known as Mysore South (long before Mysuru appeared).

There are a number of stations in Bengal which start with Dakkhin. The best known must be:

However, the place name may not originally have anything to do with the word South.

Another is

There is indeed a better-known Barasat in the Kolkata area, though this station is far from there.

One may argue that this (below) is not really a separate station. But you can see this sign inside the Sealdah complex:

Thanks to S Aravind, Ganesh Iyer and others for their suggestions.

Comparing Indian wicketkeepers

There is a lot of debate about who is better suited to be India’s wicketkeeper. Let us compare the keeping and batting averages for all those who have kept for India.

Test keepers – dismissal rate (min 20 innings fielded):

See the 1st position (Pant) and 6th (Saha).

Now see the batting figures:

Test keepers – batting average (min 20 innings):

Here, coincidentally, Pant is still first and Saha 6th.

Now for ODIs:

ODI keepers – dismissal rate (min 20 innings fielded):

Neither Pant nor Saha have played enough to appear on this table, although Karthik and Dhoni are near the top.

ODI keepers – batting average (min 20 innings):

They don’t appear here either, although the table is headed by Dhoni, Dravid and Karthik.

For T20Is, Dhoni is the only one to have batted and fielded enough.

Coming back to Test fielding figures, the best match figures for all Test players are:

Note that Pant has a share in the world record, while Saha has a share in the runners-up record.

Analyzing Test captaincies – 4

Here we look at captains with no wins, no losses and no draws.

No Wins:

These are captains in 4 or more Tests with no wins.

Headed by M Ashraful of Bangladesh with 13 (12 losses and 1 draw). The next (IT Botham) is more surprising. Another Bangladeshi Khaled Mashud also has 12.

In recent years there are AG Cremer (8) and KC Brathwaite (5).

From India there are MH Mankad (6), S Venkataraghavan (5) and others with 4.

No losses:

These are captains in 2 or more Tests with no losses.

WW Armstrong with 10 heads this list, with 8 wins and 2 draws.

Next are DB Close and FG Mann with 7.

In recent years there is only AM Rahane with 2; both of these wins were when he was standing in for Kohli.

From India we also have Srikkanth with 4 (all draws).

No draws:

These are captains in 3 or more Tests with no draws.

Headed by Waqar Younis (17, 10 wins and 7 losses). The next is Shakib with 14 (3 wins and 11 losses).

Others from recent times (other than Shakib) include R Herath, KC Brathwaite and RAS Lakmal with 5.

Brathwaite has 5 losses out of 5.

From India there is DK Gaekwad with 4 (all losses). He is presently India’s oldest living Test player.

Covid update-a comparison of active cases in different countries

From the Worldometers site

we can get various sets of data as well of graphs. Today we look at the graphs of “active cases” which give an idea of how the cases are being tackled in various countries.

By removing deaths and recoveries from total cases, we get “currently infected cases” or “active cases” (cases still awaiting for an outcome).

There are some loose ends here, such as:

1) Definitions of recovery vary from country to country.

2) Some major countries (UK, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden) do not provide this figure, so the graphs cannot be plotted.

3) In some countries (especially those which have been undemocratic for a long time) all the figures are suspect.

First, we look at a sample of graphs from countries which appear to be controlling the spread of Covid effectively.

New Zealand:




You can see that active cases have risen and then fallen to almost zero rapidly. Strangely, one of the best graphs is that of


Now let us see example where the spread has been partly contained:




Now we look at places which are still badly affected, and those which have lapsed after initial success:




And finally, the global figure:

Which also shows a failure at the worldwide level. It can be shown that the rise in global figures is largely being driven by the European countries including Russia.

Analyzing Test captaincies – 3

Now we look at the ranking of captains by simple criteria such as win-loss ratios and win percentage.

Win-loss ratios (raw):

All of those listed here have a win-loss ratio of infinity-since they never lost a Test. A few like Srikkanth and Majid Khan managed to draw all their Tests.

As this table is not very meaningful, we repeat this with a restriction of a minimum of 10 Tests:

These are limited to those with W/L ratios above 2.00

This list of 31 is headed by Warwick Armstrong with 8 wins, no losses and 2 draws. Others have lost at least one Test. The first few are generally considered to be among the best captains although they had relatively short careers. And not everyone would agree with Jardine’s tactics.

Current captains are Kohli (#16) and Williamson (#25). They should be around for a while.

Also note that these two are the only representatives of India and New Zealand respectively among the top 31 (who have W/L ratio above 2.00)

West Indies is headed by Richards and Lloyd (as you may expect). Pakistan is headed by Zaheer Abbas (whom you would not expect). Similarly SM Pollock is the top SA captain here (though there is also A Bacher with 4 wins in 4 Tests).

From the upper table, special mention should be made of DB Close (6 wins and 1 draw in 7 Tests).

We also look at

Percentage of wins (raw):

Somewhat meaningful, although those with short careers (A Bacher and Lord Hawke) have an advantage with 4 wins out of 4. The latter was a poor batsman but somehow managed to win 4 Tests and played in one other victory, thus seeing victory in all his 5 Tests.

Bacher did not do too well himself but had a good team and a demoralized Australian team to contend with.

As in the case of W/L ratios, we will get more useful results with a restriction of a minimum of 10 Tests:

This list of 28 is of those with a win percentage of a minimum of 50%.

This may fit in better with general perceptions, though Warwick Armstrong is still at the top with 80%. Here Steve Waugh is above Bradman unlike in the upper table. Others like Kohli and Williamson are ranked higher than in the upper table.

Kohli, Williamson, Paine, Root and du Plessis are the current captains although the last-named intends to step down. And SPD Smith may make a comeback.

It is interesting to see the most successful captains from their countries:

WW Armstrong (Aus)

WG Grace (Eng) ?!

V Kohli (Ind)

FMM Worrell (WI)

Waqar Younis (Pak) ?!

KS Williamson (NZ)

SM Pollock (SA)

Note that Waqar Younis has 10 wins, 7 losses and no draws. This is also a record, which we will see later.

CH Lloyd is not here as his win % is less than 50.

There are still more studies of captaincy coming up.

Up North

There seems to be only one station with “North” as a prefix:

While North is transliterated into Hindi, the word Uttor in Assamese is used.

Due to space constraints, the name in English is written as a single word.

Also in Assam there is

where North is transliterated into both Hindi and Assamese.

In the vicinity of Visakhapatnam there is

Here, the word for North is a prefix both for Hindi and Telugu.

Next to Coimbatore:

Interesting. The Tamil word Vadakku is used here, which is then transliterated into Hindi. There are several better-known instances like this in the Chennai area.

In Kerala, there is Vadakara (formerly Badagara).

The word Vadaka is North in Malayalam. However, the place name may not have intended to say this.

There are a few others like this in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Still in Tamil Nadu:

It is easy to check that the station and locality are “North”. However just the initial for N is used in all three languages.

Finally, this station was known as Ernakulam North from the time it was opened in the late 1930s until the late 1950s.

Local people still habitually refer to it as North station, which can cause problems to outsiders who do not know this. Like the case of Cantt station for Varanasi Jn.

Kalupur for Ahmedabad and Nampalli for Hyderabad are different cases since these stations never officially had these names.

Thanks to Ganesh Iyer and Milan Chatterjee for more ideas.

East is East

Here we explore the stations in India with the suffix “East”. There do not seem to be any with the prefix.

It is not supposed to be a comprehensive list.

The best known one is Bengaluru East:

Including its predecessor above.

Here, the Hindi word and Kannada word seem to be correct translations.

Now to smaller places like Kundara in Kerala:

While Hindi is correct, Malayalam is still East transliterated.

Next to Andhra Pradesh:

Hindi and Telugu appear to be correct.

Tamil Nadu is more complicated. We start with a smaller city:

This was the old station for ages, until a new Kanchipuram station came up to its west. The Tamil word “Kizhaku” seems to be correct.

But Madurai East is different:

Here, a short form similar to E Madurai has been used unlike in the case of Kanchipuram.

Salem East was a small station closed long ago. And Tirupati East became Tirupati even earlier, probably in the 1960s.

It is interesting to see that naming conventions vary even within the same state.

Tailpiece: East can be a middle word, as in Sone East Bank up to the 1940s. Now it is Son Nagar:

Analyzing Test captaincies – 2

Today we look at those who captained their sides in only one Test.

There are 46 such cases.

First, the 10 who won that Test:

CA Smith is the only one here whose Test career ended with a win. He did take 5 wickets in an innings and seven in the match, which was the first Test ever played in South Africa. But this Test status of this series was decided several years later.

He finally ended up in Hollywood:

He was unfit for the second Test, and another player MP Bowden captained for his only Test. He died in Rhodesia in 1892, and Wisden’s obituary did not mention that he had played in Tests.

This list includes many prominent players, notably Harvey, Bill Brown and Shastri. Shastri was fortunate in having ND Hirwani take 16 wickets on debut.

Mashrafe Mortaza was also fortunate in that he was injured early in the Test and still gets credit for the win where Tamim Iqbal captained for most of the Test. It was Bangladesh’s first Test win abroad and second overall – though the West Indies was effectively fielding a third XI due to boycotts by many players.

Next, the 20 who lost that Test:

This includes Craig Ervine, Tom Latham and Ben Stokes from 2020, and two prominent players from India in Chandu Borde and Pankaj Roy. Also 3 who were playing their only Tests – two South Africans and one West Indian from the early days of their teams.

Other prominent players here are Gordon Greenidge, John Edrich, Mohammed Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Shane Watson and Tamim Iqbal.

DB Carr is lesser known and played only 2 Tests. His captaincy saw India winning their first Test. He was vice-captain of that England team, while the captain was the equally undistinguished ND Howard who played his only 4 Tests during that series.

Finally, the 16 who drew that Test:

None from recent years. HR Adhikari is the only one from India, who was credited with ending a sequence of 3 successive losses (although India came close to losing that Test as well).

There are a number of well-known players here, such as Deryck Murray, Gary Kirsten, George Headley, Mark Butcher, Ray Lindwall and Tom Graveney. Also note another early South African playing in his only Test.

George Headley would have captained the West Indies earlier and in more than one Test, but for the policy of only having captains of European ancestry.

Why does this station exist? – continued.

While most railway routes run between major cities, the stations in between would include fairly large stations which may not be justified by the local population. These could be junctions which have to be at particular locations, or loco sheds and watering/coaling points at suitable intervals preferably with a good water supply, or workshops which need space as well as a suitable supply of skilled and unskilled labor.

I am giving a few samples of each case. This is not meant to be an exhaustive listing, and anyone who wants to enumerate all cases in each category is welcome to do so.

Junctions in small places:

Amla, Arakkonam, Bhusaval, Bina, Daund, Dornakal, Gomoh, Gudur, Guntakal, Itarsi, Jolarpettai, Katni, Kazipet, Kharagpur, Khurda Road, Kiul, Lumding, Manmad, Mughal Sarai, Shoranur, Tundla, Villupuram, Viramgam.

(Of course, some like Mughal Sarai are not too far from larger urban centres.)

Rajasthan has a number of these, e.g. Bandikui, Bayana, Degana, Luni, Marwar, Merta Road, Phulera, Ratangarh.

Loco sheds in small places:

(These include those which are not junctions):

Abu Road, Balharshah, Bitragunta, Dongargarh, Gangapur City, Jhajha.

Major railway workshops/offices in small places not counted so far:

Adra, Alipur Duar, Chakradharpur, Chittaranjan, Dahod, Danapur, Jagadhri, Jamalpur, Kapurthala, Marhaura, Mariani, Podanur, Rangiya, Rewari, Yelahanka.

Sometimes one can guess why a steam loco shed (or at least a watering point) was located at a particular place, considering that steam locos had to stop every 150-200 km.

Considering the Mumbai-Delhi (WR) route:

Valsad is 194 km from MMCT and 197 km from Vadodara.

Gangapur City is 171 km from Kota and 153 km from Mathura.

Try to see the logic of the location of Bitragunta, Dongargarh, Jhajha etc.

However, Balharshah gets in because it was the terminus of the Nizam’s State Railway for a long time before the GIPR reached it.

Most sixes in a Test match and innings

First we look at the most sixes in an innings:

The present record of 12 sixes is by the unlikely batsman Wasim Akram in 1996-97. He surpassed the long-standing record of 10 by WR Hammond in 1932-33. That was in the course of the then Test record of 336*. It is often forgotten, as it is sandwiched between Bradman’s 334 in 1930 and Hutton’s 364 in 1938.

And Hayden’s 380 was the record between Lara’s 375 in 1993-94 and 400* in 2003-04.

After 2000 there have been several near-misses (twice by Brendan McCullum) but no one has got past 12.

India’s record is 8 shared by Navjot Sidhu (1993-94) and Mayank Agarwal in 2019-20.

As you will see now, the 12 sixes hit by Akram were also a record for a Test match up to 2019.

Most sixes in a Test match:

As you can see, the record is now held by Rohit Sharma with 13 sixes in 2019-20. He made 6 sixes in 176 and 7 in 127.

Next is Akram with 12 followed by several others from recent years.

As above, the next highest from India are Sidhu and MA Agarwal.

Another quaint record RG Sharma made was being the first to score centuries in each innings in his first Test as an opener.

Astle’s 11 sixes in 222 was not enough to save his team from defeat.