Winning all their Tests

Almost 2400 Tests have been played up to the end of August 2020, and over 3000 players have played in one or more Tests.

(Note: These records do not include the Aus v ICC XI Test of 2005-06)

How many do you think played at least 5 Tests and saw their team winning all of them?

You may think it is a large number. No, it is only 4:

The forgotten Eldine Baptiste has seen his team win in all the 10 Tests he played between 1983 and 1990. He could bat a bit, and was usually the fourth pace bowler in a strong West Indies attack. See this:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/westindies/content/player/51211.html

10 Tests, one fifty and an innings best of 3-31. Useful, but not particularly distinguished. He was lucky to be constantly picked for a good team.

The cases of recent player GJ Bailey and KA Archer from the 1950s are similar.

Bailey was more successful in limited-over cricket, where he captained Australia: https://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/4451.html

All his 5 Tests came in one home Ashes series in 2013-14

KA Archer was the elder brother of RG Archer. Both were contemporaries of Lindwall and Miller.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/3978.html

Lord Hawke was from the era of less talented amateurs, as you will see here:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/14101.html

5 Tests as a specialist batsman, and a batting average in single figures. He also captained England in 4 Tests (which, naturally, were all won).

Now that was a rather incomplete list. So we look at those who played at least 5 Tests and saw their team win in at least 75% of them:

33 names here. The most recent name is TD Astle (son of Nathan) of New Zealand who played in 2020. Others from 2017 include KK Nair, WD Parnell and JM Bird. KK Nair is the only one from India, and he is probably not going to play a Test again.

Afterthoughts:

But there were others who had even longer winning streaks at the start of their careers.

Adam Gilchrist played 95 Tests, of which his team won 72, lost 11 and drew 12 (75.79% as above). They won all of his first 15 Tests from 5 Nov 1999 to 27 Feb 2001, until Harbhajan, VVS and Dravid spoilt Australia’s party at Kolkata.

Records of this type are not well documented, but the next in line seem to be Stuart Clark and Tim Bresnan with victories in each of their first 13 Tests.

Clark’s winning streak was from 16 Mar 2006 to 2 Jan 2008, and his career figures were 18 wins, 2 losses and 4 draws (75.00 as above).

He appears to have some Indian connection as his parents were Anglo-Indians who had migrated to Australia. As in Gilchrist’s case, his successful run ended when India won against Australia. This time it was at Perth.

Bresnan’s winning streak was from 6 May 2009 to 25 May 2012. He finished with 15 wins, 4 losses and 4 draws (65.22%).

More recently, SM Curran saw victory in his first 7 Tests. He now has 19 Tests with 13 wins, 4 losses and 2 draws (68.42%).

AK Markram saw victory in his first 5 Tests. He now has 20 Tests with 12 victories, 8 losses and no draws (60.00%).