Summary of Australia-India Tests: 2

Hope that you have read Part 1.

We proceed to individual performances in

Bowling: 35 or more wickets:

The top 4 wicket-takers are spinners, with Kapil having the most wickets among pace bowlers. Lyon and Ashwin have the most wickets among current players.

Kumble has the most 5-fors (10) followed by Harbhajan, Lyon and Kapil with 7.

Harbhajan has the most 10-fors (3) followed by Kumble (2).

Best innings bowling (includes all 7wi or more):

Jasu Patel’s record stands for over 60 years. However, there was no instance of 7 or more wickets in an innings during this series.

Best match bowling (includes all 10wm or more):

No bowling effort from this series makes this list either. Among current players, Ashwin and Lyon have 12-fors. Note Krejza’s 8wi and 12wm on debut. But his career ended after another Test.

Davidson (1959-60) and Dymock (1979-80) both took 12wm at Kanpur, but India still won both Tests.

Bowling averages (Min 2000 balls, 35.00 or better):

Benaud, McGrath and Jadeja head the bowling averages.

Benaud and Nadkarni have the best economy rates.

McGrath and Jadeja have the best strike rates.

Fielding: (20 or more dismissals):

Led by Gilchrist and Dhoni, while Paine and Pant have the most among current players.

Dhoni has the most stumpings (15) followed by Kirmani (12).

The most catches by non-keepers are 46 by Dravid and 36 each by VVSL and Ponting.

Most dismissals in an innings (5 and more):

Paine made 5 dismissals at Adelaide during this series, although had taken 6 and 5 at Adelaide in 2018-19. There is also the 5 catches by Srikkanth in 1991-92, making him one of the non-keepers to share this record.

Most dismissals in a match (6 and more):

It may be hard to believe, but Pant holds the record with 11 dismissals at Adelaide in 2018-19. Haddin and Dhoni are next with 9. Among the non-keepers, Whatmore and ME Waugh have 6 catches.

Highest dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.600):

Haddin is the unexpected leader here, ahead of Gilchrist and Dhoni. Wade and Smith have the best averages among current players. ME Waugh and Simpson have the best averages among non-keepers.

All-round performances (see criteria in table):

Kapil clearly leads here, while the next three have the difference considerably worse than those of recognized all-rounders.

All-round match performances (50+ and 5wi):

Surti and Cummins have the best performances, although their teams lost those matches.

The vortex in Bhortex, and other stories

An average railfan would have seen the station of Bhortex in the WR timetable, and wondered how this “non-Indian” spelling came there. However, this is what you will see there:

This is in Maharashtra, on the Surat-Bhusaval section. You can see that it is spelt Bhortek (in English, Hindi and Marathi). A look at maps of the area confirms this. In fact, the timetable entry changed to Bhortex some years ago. It looks like a clerical error by the timetable department. But no one has bothered to change it. Bhortex also remains in the RBS site.

Another persistent error relates to this station:

This is in Punjab, near the Punjab-HP border on the Kangra Valley line. Anyone slightly familiar with Indian history would realize that the spelling is correct. This station serves the hill station of that name. But the NR timetables and the RBS site have chopped the last E for several years, and display Dalhousi Road today. This would again been a clerical error which no one has bothered to correct.

Now to Jharkhand, on the Gomoh-Daltonganj branch and not far from McCluskieganj we have:

The station is listed as Gumia. In the locality both Gumia and Gomia are used, especially as the only large industrial unit there uses Gomia. It appears that the local practice was initially to spell it Gumia, though Gomia became more widespread since the 1960s. Now even the station sign says Gomia, but the timetables and RBS still stick to the old name.

There are many instances of British names becoming Indianized, such as Worsleyganj becoming Waris Aleganj and McDonald’s Choultry becoming Magudan Chavadi. But there is one odd example from Bareilly in UP. You would have heard of the divisional headquarters at Izatnagar. Or is it Izzatnagar?

When you reach this station, you will see these signs:

So which is correct? In the vicinity you will see both varieties being used in shops and offices.

It was indeed Izatnagar to start with, named after a British railway manager named Alexander Izat. There is also an Izat Bridge elsewhere on the NER near Allahabad. But somehow the word “Izzat” crept in, and now features in the timetable and RBS.

But we can see that no one in the railways seems to care if the signs with different spellings are standing in close proximity.

More about Mr Izat and the Izat bridge here:

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Izat_Bridge

Other misspellings have lasted for a few years before being corrected. Examples would be “Duckyard Road” for this:

This is in Mumbai on the Harbour Branch. Far away in the Nilgiris, this station

was listed as “Hillgroove” for some years. (These mistakes may have been because “duckyard” and “groove” are valid English words).

There are, of course, numerous stations where you will find signboards with different spellings, often on the same platform. Some well-known ones are Hafizpet/peta and Washer(man/men)pet which you can still see today.

We close with a station in a relatively remote part of Rajasthan, between Bandikui and Bharatpur. It is listed as Tarchhera Baraoli Ran. This is what you will see there:

So someone, either at the NWR headquarters or the local painter has messed up.

But if you check Google maps for this locality (at 27.21 N, 77.10 E) it is shown as Talchera Baraoliran. That is what the sign says. So the timetable is wrong again.

Now, does this really matter to most people including railway passengers of the area? Not really, since they usually know where they are going regardless of what the timetable or sign says.

But it does seem to show that the station sign is more likely to be correct than the official website or timetable.

Anyone seeking to create a practical railway guide or map should keep this in mind. In most cases pictures of the sign can be found in the site https://indiarailinfo.com/ at the entry for the particular station.

Summary of Australia-India Tests: 1

Much has been said about the unexpected triumph at Brisbane, as in this:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2021/01/19/a-quick-update-from-brisbane/

Here we look at statistical summaries of all Tests between these countries.

While Australia still leads by a healthy 43-30, India has also developed a strong home advantage over the last few decades.

We now look at individual performances.

Batting-most runs (750+):

The most centuries in these Tests is 11 by Tendulkar, followed by Ponting, Smith and Gavaskar with 8 apiece.

The most scores of 50+ is 27 by Tendulkar, 20 by Ponting and 18 by VVS Laxman.

The total runs are also in the same order. Pujara and Smith have the most runs by current players.

Next we look at highest innings (175+):

While there have been many tall scores over the years, this was a low-scoring series. The highest score by current players is 204 by Pujara in 2012-13. Next is 202 and 193 (both by Pujara!). Kohli’s highest is 169 which does not appear above.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, 35.00):

Smith is followed by Boon and there is a large gap after that. Tendulkar has the highest average among Indian players. Pujara has the highest average among current Indian players, followed by Kohli and Rahane.

Highest strike rates (Min 1000 balls, 50.00):

Gilchrist is just ahead of Sehwag, and there is a long gap ahead of Warner. Other current players here are Smith, Kohli and Rahane. As you may expect, Pujara and Gavaskar are not in this list.

Thirimanne’s record

So England ultimately won the series against Sri Lanka 2-0, but there were some periods in both Tests where it seemed that the hosts had a chance of winning.

In the second Test, Lasith Embuldeniya took 7 wickets in the first innings and went on to take his first “tenner” in the match. It may have escaped notice that Lahiru Thirimanne took 5 catches as a fielder in the first innings, all of them off Lasith’s bowling.

See the scorecard: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/england-in-sri-lanka-2020-21-1242951/sri-lanka-vs-england-2nd-test-1243016/full-scorecard

There are several instances of non-keepers taking 5 catches in an innings:

However, Lahiru Thirimanne is the only one who took all 5 catches off the same bowler.

There are a few instances of a fielder taking 4 catches off the same bowler, as that of J Blackwood doing so against Sri Lanka off the bowling of KC Brathwaite. (That was a fluke instance as he never took 4 wickets in an innings in any other Test).

There is at least one instance for India. AL Wadekar took 4 catches off BS Bedi in an innings at Christchurch in 1967-68.

While Lasith took a further 3 wickets in England’s second innings, Thirimanne failed to take another catch. However, his 5 catches off the same bowler may also be a match record in all Tests.

The Test debutants of 2020

These are the players who made their Test debut in 2020:

This list is in chronological order of debut.

No really outstanding performances. We look through the good performances:

Batting: 40 or more in an innings:

PJ Malan (SA) 84 v E

KT Kasuza (Z) 63 v SL

Hasuranga de Silva (SL) 59 v SA

J da Silva (WI) 57 v NZ

GD Philips (NZ) 52 v A

S Gill (I) 45 v A

KA Jamieson (NZ) 44 v I

80 or more in the match:

PJ Malan (SA) 89 v E

S Gill (I) 80 v A

While Malan has the best innings and match scores, he is not in the current Test team of SA. Similarly Philips is not in the current NZ team. Gill is likely to make further progress, as he did with 91 in the decisive Test at Brisbane.

Bowling: 4 or more wickets in an innings:

The only fiver is by BE Hendricks, who is not in the current SA team. Jamieson with 4-39 can be said to be the bowling find for NZ, as he went on to make a 10-for.

8 or more wickets in the match:

None. The best are

6-100 by L Sipamla (SA) v SL

6-175 by BE Hendricks (SA) v E

5-77 by Mohammed Siraj (I) v A

Fielding: Most dismissals in an innings:

2 by J da Silva (WI) and by Mohammed Siraj (I)

Most dismissals in a match:

Again, 2 by J da Silva (WI) and by Mohammed Siraj (I).

da Silva is a keeper and Siraj is not.

Oddly, no one made a stumping on debut this year.

Best all-round performances:

KA Jamieson (44, 4-39) and 1 catch

Hasuranga de Silva (59, 4-171) and 1 catch.

Clearly Jamieson had the more impressive all-round debut.

Review of Tests in 2020-Part 2

Hope you have read Part 1.

We continue with individual performances

Fielding – 8 or more dismissals:

Led by Buttler and Watling. The most catches by a fielder are 14 by Root and Stokes.

From India, Pant has 12 catches as a keeper.

The most stumpings is 3 by Dickwella.

Innings dismissals -4 and above:

5 dismissals by 4 players, including a non-keeper in Stokes. He also gets a share in the world record of 5 catches held by several players. Pant has 4 catches in an innings.

Match dismissals – 5 and above:

Dominated by de Kock and Watling. Among non-keepers, Stokes and Pope have 6 catches each.

All-round match performances (50 and 5wi):

Broad achieved the rare double of a fifty and 10wm. The next best performance was by Sikander Raza with 100+ runs and 8 wickets.

In Part 3, we will look at the performances of debutants in 2020.

More presidential notes

Joseph Biden, President no 46, was born on 20/11/1942. When sworn in on 20/01/2021, he was at 78+ the oldest to be sworn in as President. The previous record was held by Ronald Reagan (b. 06/02/1911) when sworn in for the second time on 20/01/1985. He was then almost 74.

The oldest President to be sworn in for the first time was Donald Trump (14/06/1946) who was 70+ when sworn in on 20/01/2016. Earlier it was Reagan who was almost 70 when sworn in on 20/01/1981.

At one time it was felt that Bernard Sanders might be elected President. Born on 08/09/1941, he is over a year older than Biden and would have set the same records.

Biden is the second Catholic President (after JFK) and the second to be born in Pennsylvania (after James Buchanan of 1857-1861), the predecessor of Abraham Lincoln. Buchanan figures quite high in the rankings of “Worst President”, though Trump may ultimately get this title. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_presidents_of_the_United_States

The US has not had a First Gentleman yet, though Bill Clinton came close to it in 2016. Now there is a Second Gentleman, who is Jewish for good measure.

Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, CA in 1964. She has a chance of becoming President in 2025 (or earlier, if Tippecanoe’s Curse reappears). She would then be the second President after Nixon to be born in CA.

A quick update from Brisbane

As you know, India won the series 2-1 after making 329/7 in the 4th innings (Gill 91, Pujara 56, Pant 89*, Hazlewood 4-55).

India thus won two consecutive Test series against Australia, both times in away series.

This was India’s first win at Brisbane in 7 attempts. Earlier they had lost 5 and drawn only once (in 2003-04).

It was Australia’s first loss at Brisbane since 1988-89. It also ended their streak of 7 successive wins at this venue.

India at Brisbane:

Australia at Brisbane since 1988. After that loss to the West Indies, Australia were unbeaten in 31 Tests across over 32 years, with 24 wins and 7 draws.

Totals in Aus-Ind Tests at Brisbane over the years:

Now we take a closer look at all 4th-innings totals at Brisbane:

While the top score in the 4th innings is 450 by Pakistan in 2016-2017, we can see that:

India’s 329/7 is the highest 4th innings score to win, surpassing Australia’s 236/7 against WI in 1951-52.

The highest score which any visiting team has made to win here was a mere 170/3 by England in 1978-79-and that was against a deplenished Australian team unlike in the present match.

We also look at Aus v Ind Tests at this venue:

Highest individual scores (60+)

Labuschagne made the only century in this Test although Gill and Pant came close.

Toohey (82) and Sundar (62) made the highest scores by Test debutants here.

Best innings bowling (4wi and above):

Siraj and Cummins took fivers in this Test. Also remember that Toshack’s 5-2 in the first Test between these countries has the most economical 5wi in all Tests. WM Clark took 4-46 and 4-101 on Test debut.

And finally

Best match bowling (6wm and above):

Toshack’s 11-31 is the only tenner here. It has the 4th lowest runs conceded in all Tests, surpassed only by Ironmonger’s 11-24, McGrath’s 10-27 and Briggs’s 15-28.

The best match bowling in this Test was 7-155 by the unheralded SN Thakur.

The 4th innings in Brisbane

As you know, India needs 328 to win and has made 4/0 at the close of the 4th day.

The weather prospects on Tuesday, 19th January are not great. See this or any similar site:

https://www.bbc.com/weather/2174003

Now we look at past performances in the 4th innings at Brisbane, going back all the way to 1931.

Here we have all 4th innings scores above 100.

The highest to win is 236/7 by Australia in 1951-52.

The highest to win against Australia is 170/3 by England in 1978-79 (when Australia a weak Packerized team and lost the series 5-1).

The highest to draw is 278/6 by England in 1962-63

There is also a tie by Australia who made 232 against WI in 1960-61.

The highest to lose is 450 by Pakistan in 2016-17 (lost by 39 runs). Then there is 370 by England in 2006-07 (lost by 277, chasing 648). Then there are two losses by India in 1967-68 (355, lost by 39) and in 1977-78 (324, lost by 16).

So it is not impossible to make 300+ in the last innings. It may be possible to grind out a draw (although Vihari and Ashwin are not here now). For anything else either Australia has to bowl exceptionally well or India’s first 5 have to bat exceptionally well (to make 324 in less than a day).

A rain-ruined draw is the most likely outcome.

Review of Tests in 2020-Part 1

After Covid had done its worst, only 22 Tests were played in 2020 (i.e. Tests starting in the calendar year 2020). The corresponding figures were 48 in 2018 and 40 in 2019-and the latter was a World Cup year.

A quick summary of Test results:

All 4 of India’s Tests were away (2 vs NZ and 2 vs Aus) and that meant that their results were poorer than usual. England and New Zealand are clear leaders here.

We now look at individual performances. The number of matches is not enough to make meaningful comparisons of averages, strike rates and the like.

Batting-Most runs (250 and above):

Stokes and newcomer Sibley are at the top. India does have one representative (Rahane) near the cutoff of 250 runs. Stokes and Sibley were the only ones with 2 centuries, while Pope made 5 scores above 50. 4 others made 4 scores above 50.

Highest innings scores (90 and above):

Here you see all the centuries made along with the near misses (a 98 and 2 95s). Newcomer Crawley and (inevitably) Williamson have the only 250+ scores.

There is only one score here from India (Rahane’s 112 at Melbourne).

Bowling- 8 or more wickets:

Broad and Southee lead at a distance. Bumrah and Ashwin lead for India.

There are two 10-fors (Broad and Lyon) and four players have taken two 5-fors (Anderson, newcomer Jamieson, Lyon and Southee).

Best innings bowling (5wi and above):

While the best innings bowling is by Sikandar Raza of Zimbabwe, Broad and Holder also have 6-wicket hauls. Ishant Sharma has the only fiver for India.

Best match bowling (8wm and above):

After Broad and Lyon, there are several with 9wm. There is no Indian bowler here.

To be continued:

Welcome to Kevadiya

The route from Vadodara is given below:

Note that a narrow gauge line existed from Vishvamitri (VS) in the past. The section between VS to Dabhoi was converted to broad gauge some years ago. The less important narrow gauge branch to Chandod was later converted but did not seem to have any BG passenger service until now.

More recently, with the advent of the Statue of Unity it was decided to extend the broad gauge line a further 32 km to the dam township called Kevadiya Colony. This station was finally called Kevadiya. Electrification was also expedited from Dabhoi.

Here you can get the list of trains serving Kevadiya:

https://erail.in/trains-between-stations/kevadiya-KDCY/vadodara-jn-BRC

and

https://erail.in/trains-between-stations/vadodara-jn-BRC/kevadiya-KDCY

There has been some talk of this line (and indeed) the Statue of Unity being an unnecessary expenditure which may not be of much use to the nation. There are various arguments for and against this.

The long-distance trains will provide additional connectivity from some cities (especially Chennai) towards Surat and Vadodara where there may be a need for more capacity. And additional services from Ahmedabad and Mumbai towards these cities.

The Jan Shatabdi between Ahmedabad to Kevadiya will include Vistadome coaches, for what they are worth.

Over to Fortress Brisbane

First we look at India’s performance at the Gabba ground in Brisbane, which has been holding Tests since 1931-32. India played its first Test here in 1947-48.

India has lost 6 of the 7 Tests here, with one being drawn.

Some points of interest:

The Test in 1947 was India’s first ever against Australia. India was dismissed for 58 and 98, thanks to left-arm paceman Ernie Toshack who took 5-2 (!) and 6-29. The match figures of 11-31 are the 4th most economical 10-wicket haul in all Tests.

India lost narrowly in 1977 against a weakened team led by RB Simpson, who was playing his first Test in 10 years. Gavaskar scored the first of his 3 second-innings centuries in this series.

The 2003 draw was significant as it was the first time that India had not lost the opening Test of a series in Australia. This was mainly due to captain Ganguly’s 144.

Australia has played 62 Tests at the Gabba. They have won 40, lost 8, drawn 13 and tied 1.

We look at their record since 1980:

Here we see that Australia has

won ALL 7 Tests in a row since Nov 2013.

and has not lost a test here since Nov 1988.

However, they had lost 3 Tests in a row from 1984 to 1986 before this.

So if India win (or even draw) this Test it would be a remarkable achievement-particularly as they may struggle to have 11 players fit in this match.

We also look at the Pant-Saha comparisons.

First, the dismissal rates for Indian players outside India since 2010 (when Saha made his debut).

Here we get Pant leading with 2.23 dis/innings, followed by Dhoni with 2.10 and Saha with 1.48

And batting averages for Indian players outside India for the same period:

First is Tendulkar with 57.03. Pant is 9th with 36.00 (2 centuries and one fifty), and Saha is 23rd with 27.28 (1 century and 3 fifties).

A pity that sloppy wicket-keeping is hidden by a higher career dismissal rate.