We now look at the fielding figures for Test captains. This includes both keepers and non-keepers.
Most dismissals (35 and above):
Led by Dhoni (211) followed by non-keepers GC Smith (152) and Fleming (132) and current keeper Paine (101)
A Flower and AJ Stewart had captained both as keepers and as non-keepers. Sangakkara and AB de Villiers never captained as a keeper.
Most catches by WK: 187 by Dhoni, almost double the next (97 by Paine).
Most stumpings: 24 by Dhoni, followed by Sherwell (16 from long ago)
Most catches by non-keeper: 152 by GC Smith, 132 by Fleming. The highest for India is 59 by Kohli
Most dismissals in an innings (5 and above):
Rashid Latif and Dhoni have the most dismissals (6).
Among non-keepers, the highest is 5 by VY Richardson, Fleming, GC Smith, Sammy and SPD Smith.
5 is still the world record for catches by a fielder in an innings. It is shared by several others. VY Richardson was the first to achieve this. He is better known as the (maternal) grandfather of the Chappells.
Most dismissals in a match (7 and above):
Here the record is 10 by Sarfaraz Ahmed, who had a relatively short spell as captain.
For non-keepers, it is 7 by Fleming. This was a share in the world record until AM Rahane took 8 catches.
And the most stumpings appear to be 3 by Dhoni in 2010.
Highest dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, and 0.65):
Here the results are a little surprising: Paine (2.244) followed by Sarfaraz (2.200) and Alexander. Dhoni is next.
Among fielders, the leader is SPD Smith(1.187) followed by DJG Sammy (1.075). Dravid (0.702) has the most for India.
You may also like to see this, which has the same dateline in May 2021.
There must be some crossing stations, but they are not listed.
Ennore -Ennore port:
Chennai Harbour (HOM) does not seem to have a connection to other stations in the area.
Note that this station is not the same as Karaikal (KIK).
Older timetables show local trains running from Waltair (present VSKP) to Vizagapatnam Town and then Vizagapatnam Port.
This had limited passenger services in the past when MG lines were still there. And even when NG lines of the Cutch State Railway served this area.
Next door, we have the ultramodern port at Mundra:
Even a separate station for the airport.
This had passenger services in the past. Long ago there were ferries between Navlakhi and Kandla.
Other port lines such as Hadmatiya-Jodiya, Jamnagar-Bedi and Khambaliya-Salaiya have been closed for a long time when they were still MG. Presumably they were not felt to be worth coverting to BG in the 1970s.
A BG line still exists from Jamnagar to Windmill which may be extended to Bedi port.
Kochi Harbour Terminus:
This was a busy passenger section in the past, but the conversion of the Ernakulam-TVC line in 1975 spelt the start of this station’s decline as a passenger station. Perhaps the last important express to go there was the 41/42 Cochin Express which continued till the late 80s (and was then extended to Alleppey).
Problems connected with electrification of the bridge after ERS played a part. A recent attempt to run a DMU between ERS and CHTS in late 2018 was deemed a failure-partly because of the long closures of LC gates. Goods services continued with diesel traction, but the original port lost much of its importance with the commissioning of the container terminal at Vallarpadam.
This is a new line built which branches off from Idapalli, before ERN.
Panamburu (New Mangalore port):
This line was built around 1970 and could be said to be the first step of the Konkan Railway from the southern end. The proper KR started from Thokur.
MRH had passenger trains in timetables of the mid-60s, though the important trains terminated at VSG.
Finally to Gujarat again:
This branch had passenger trains until the 80s.
Passenger trains still run up to Rajula City.
JNPT (near Mumbai):
There is no station named Nhava Sheva in RBS.
No station named Hazira either. There is a line accessible from Gothangam which reaches the Kribhco factory near Hazira. Presumably the line to the port is not complete.
We should remember that Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai ports have their own railway systems which are not part of any zonal railway. Details do not seem to be given in RBS. Part of the KPT’s lines became part of the Kolkata Circular Railway.
However the lines to Mundra and Pipavav are part of WR.
Continuing the study of how Test captains have performed in the bowling field.
There are relatively few bowlers who have been long-term captains. And several of them could better be classified as all-rounders.
Most wickets-25 and above:
A significant number have taken more than 100 wickets as captain. And most have been all-rounders. The highest number of wickets by a “pure” bowler is 106 by Bedi followed by 85 by Walsh. Kapil did only slightly better with 111.
Holder and Shakib lead among current players.
Most 5wi (2 and above):
As in the first table, Imran leads. Bedi has the most for India (8). Holder (7) and Shakib (4) lead among current players.
Most 10wm (all instances):
Imran and Intikhab are the only ones with more than one 10-for. Bedi and Kapil represent India, with Holder and newcomer Rashid Khan among current players.
Now for Bowling Averages (minimum 2000 balls bowled, all instances):
Fazal Mahmood, who captained in relatively few Tests has the best average followed by Imran.
The best by India is by Bedi and Kapil, with Holder and Shakib again leading among current players.
At the bottom we have some like Hooper and Richards who did not bowl in many of their Tests.
For Economy Rates, the best are 1.68 by TL Goddard and 1.86 by HB Cave.
For Strike Rates, the best are 40.3 by Waqar Younis and 45.6 by Bob Willis
The first of a series comparing Test captains by their basic skills rather than captaincy.
Data up to May 15, 2021. The ICC XI Test of 2005 is not included.
Most runs (2500 and above):
After all, Graeme Smith has played the most Tests as captain.
Kohli is in 4th position, the best for Indian players as well as current players. Root and SPD Smith are some distance behind, and Gavaskar still further behind.
Most centuries (6 and above):
Graeme Smith again. Kohli is in second place here and will probably overtake him. SPD Smith is next among current players. Gavaskar with 11 is next among Indian players.
Fifty-plus scores (18 and above):
Here is Graeme Smith yet again. Kohli is in 8th position here, which is the highest both for Indian players and current players. Root and Gavaskar are some distance behind.
Highest individual scores (225 and above):
Led by Lara with his world record 400*. Kohli with 254* is the first among Indian players and current players. Williamson (251) and Karunaratne (244) are next among current players. Kohli’s 243 is the second highest for Indian captains.
Highest batting average (Min 20 innings, 50.00):
Bradman’s 101.51 is far ahead of the next, who is SPD Smith with 70.36. Williamson (62.81) and Kohli (58.60) are the next among current captains. Tendulkar and Gavaskar are further down.
Next is the 19th-century player GA Lohmann (18), England’s leading pace bowler of that time.
Then there is the near-current player KK Jennings (17) who has some chance of playing again, along with Alok Kapali with his record 17 losses. Baptiste with his 10 wins is further down.
From India there is a current player HH Pandya (11).
Other current players include SO Hetmyer (16), Hasan Ali (13), KM Jarvis (13) and TA Blundell (10).
Of course, Markram will lose his status once he plays in a drawn Test, which means that the record will go back to the venerable George Lohmann.
South Africa last had a draw in March 2017. This was followed by 34 Tests with results. Thus a number of junior Test players from there have 5 or more Tests without a draw. This applies to most of the current team.
The Indian Railways have a number of routes which have goods traffic but little or no passenger traffic. Here are the route details for some of them. This is not supposed to be comprehensive. Details of port lines will be given in a subsequent article.
Was in timetables earlier, now being revived for goods.
Remember that Walajah Road was the first terminus for trains starting from Madras. It was called Arcot at that time.
For military traffic.
Manikgarh is just south of Balharshah. This route does not seem to have had any passenger trains. It is primarily for cement traffic.
This siding connecting Sarni town has existed for a long time. However, the distance is not mentioned here.
The Tadali-Ghugus section was listed in timetables of the 1970s. Now it only has goods services. There was/is a cement factory at Ghugus.
This was part of the Ferozepore-Lahore route in the past. Nowadays it has DMU services once a year where pilgrims come to commemorate the sacrifices of Bhagat Singh and others.
This was opened in the 80s to connect a cement plant at Jaggayapeta. It was later extended to Vishnupuram on the Nadikude-Bibinagar section. This could provide a connection with the North-South route with a point on the latter. So far, no passenger train has run here. This is apparently because low MPS on part of this route.
Was earlier in the timetable.
Bhauli has not had passenger service.
Majri-Rajur was earlier in the timetable. Passenger trains still run from Majri to Wani and then to Pimpalkhuti and Adilabad. And coal trains still run from Rajur colliery.
Better known as the eastern-most point served by IR. It is a coal loading point. The closed Lekhapani station is a few km further east on an unconverted MG line.
Tuli is in Nagaland. The Amguri-Tuli section was earlier in the timetable with passenger services.
Was constructed long ago when Umred was on the Nagpur-Nagbhir NG line. Umred Colliery is a few km short of Umred station. So far no passenger trains have run here. This extension could open up another route for trains from Nagpur towards the south-east.
For iron ore traffic. Ranajitpura station is located in the town of Donnamalai Township. This has never had passenger trains. Tornagallu is the site of the Vijayanagar airport.
Also for iron ore traffic. Vyasa Colony is the replacement for the closed Gunda Road junction which had an unsatisfactory location for BG traffic. Swamihalli was an MG terminus earlier.
Another iron ore line. The section beyond Karampada to Kiriburu and Meghataburu is closed.
The station Rakshi serves a place commonly spelt as Roxy.
An unofficial passenger service has sometimes operated here with a coach attached to a goods train. Even otherwise, local people are known to travel on the goods trains.
Not listed in the timetable. A number of steel plants were to come up near Daitari.
Colliery line in Chhattisgarh.
If one studies the old maps of the Dhanbad coalfields area, you can see many routes where passenger trains have not run or a long time (or never). Jharia is one station which is unlikely to see any restoration of traffic.
There are a few short routes which are not covered here. In most cases they are built to connect mines or heavy industries.
NTPC runs a few long lines with intermediate stations, though they are not part of IR.
The lines connecting ports will be covered in part 2.
Scoring a century on Test debut is not as difficult as one may think. As many as 108 players have scored 110 centuries on their Test debut, including LG Rowe and Yasir Hameed who scored centuries in both innings.
There are several who failed to score a century after their debut. The full list (up to 15/05/2021) is given below.
Players can drop off this list (as Fawad Alam did after over 11 years). Some current players (from PP Shaw downwards) can be reasonably expected to score another century sooner or later.
The most Tests played here are 25 by Yasir Hameed and 24 by L Amarnath. The latter was an useful bowler and a relatively better captain (by Indian standards of those days).
The most 50s scored after debut are 8 by Yasir Hameed and 7 by SK Raina. The latter was more successful in limited-overs matches, and was one of the first to score a century in a T20I.
Now we look at those who never crossed 50 after their debut.
Ganteaume played in only one innings. RE Redmond is not here as he scored a century and a fifty in his only Test.
The most Tests played among these players are 12 by van Zyl and 10 by DR Smith.
Fawad Alam (again!) got off this list after over 11 years.
Another one-sided series which was a common feature of the last few months.
Here is a full record of Tests between these teams:
Zimbabwe has only won 3 of these Tests. But they have been significant, as the first win in 1994-95 was Zimbabwe’s first win (though they lost the series 2-1). The second in 1998-99 ensured Zimbabwe’s first series win abroad. And the third in 2013 was one of their rare drawn series against a major team.
Highlights of this series: Babar Azam won all 4 of his first 4 Tests as captain.
Abid Ali’s 215* is the highest for Pak v Zim in Zim, surpassing Younis Khan’s 200* in 2013. The Pak v Zim record is still Wasim Akram’s 257* in 1996 at Sheikhupura.
He also became the first to make a score of 215* in a Test. Several others have been dismissed on 215, most recently MA Agarwal and M Labuschagne.
Nauman Ali (97 and 5-86) came close to becoming the first to make a century +5wi for Pakistan against Zimbabwe. PA Strang had already done this for Zim v Pak in 1996. That was the same match in which Wasim Akram scored 257*.
Fawad Alam now has the most centuries (4) without a score between 50 and 99. The previous “record” was 3 centuries by Ravi Bopara. However, it should be mentioned that ED Weekes made 5 centuries before making his first fifty (that too in 5 successive innings), and GA Headley went a step ahead with 6 centuries before stooping to a fifty.
It is unclear what form the WTC will take in 2021-23 (or, indeed, if it will take place at all). If the restriction of the top 9 teams are taken, it may happen that Afghanistan will replace Bangladesh.