India vs England at the Oval

The 4th and 5th Tests are scheduled for the Oval (Sep 2-6) and Manchester (Sep 10-14). India does not have a particularly good record at these venues, having won only one Test at the Oval and none at Manchester.

Results of all England-India Tests at the Oval:

England lead 5-1 with 7 draws. India’s only victory was the historic first victory in England in 1971.

Note the 5 successive draws from 1979 to 2007 and 3 successive losses from 2011 to 2018. It appears that the Oval is not as much of a batting paradise it was in the 70s until recent years.

Most runs (250 and above) at the Oval:

Root is the only current player here. Will be become the first to score centuries in 4 successive matches in a series?

Highest scores (all centuries) at the Oval:

The last Test in 2018 saw centuries from Root, Rahul, Pant and the now-retired Cook. And Gavaskar’s 221 came close to bringing an improbable win for India.

Most wickets (8 and above) at the Oval:

Anderson, Broad and even Ishant Sharma have done well here. Chandrasekhar played only one Test here.

Best innings bowling at the Oval (including all 5wi):

No current player here (as Jordan does not play Tests now).

Best match bowling at the Oval (including all 8wm):

Again, nothing from current players. It is interesting that Jordan was making his debut.

Most dismissals at the Oval:

Bairstow and Pant among current players. Bairstow and Cook have the most dismissals. Remember that Cook was a non-keeper.

All-round performances at the Oval:

No instances of 50+ and 5wi in the same match.

Review of WI-Pakistan Test series.

After this Test series was drawn 1-1:

A total of 54 Tests have been played between these countries. Pakistan lead 21-18 with 15 draws.

In the West Indies: Of 28 Tests, WI lead Pakistan 13-8 with 7 draws.

In Pakistan: Of 21 Tests, Pakistan lead 9-4 with 8 draws.

In neutral venues: Of 5 Tests, Pakistan lead 4-1 with 0 draws.

Babar Azam has captained Pakistan in 6 Tests, with 5 wins and 1 loss.

Most runs: 1214 by Mohammad Yousuf. From recent players, 951 by Azhar Ali.

Highest innings: 365* by Gary Sobers in 1957-58. In recent years 302* by Azhar Ali in 2016-2017

Highest batting average: 57.43 by Wasim Raja. From recent players, 50.05 by Azhar Ali.

Most wickets: 80 by Imran Khan. From recent players, 46 by Yasir Shah.

Best innings bowling: 8-29 by Colin Croft in 1976-77

In recent years 8-49 by D Bishoo in 2016-17

Best match bowling: 12-100 by Fazal Mahmood in 1958-59

In recent years 10-94 by SS Afridi in 2021.

Best bowling average: 19.56 by Colin Croft

Best economy rate: 2.05 by Lance Gibbs

Best strike rate: 39.6 by Waqar Younis

Most dismissals: 29 by Franz Alexander

Most by non-keeper: 23 by Vivian Richards and Younis Khan.

Highest dismissal rate 0.821 by Younis Khan.

(No regular keeper had played the cutoff of 20 innings fielded)

Match all-round performance: 121 & 56, 5-28 & 3-69 by Mushtaq Mohammad in 1976-77.

India vs England at Leeds

Leeds could well be described as another lucky venue for India. Only 6 Tests have been played between England and India here, and England lead 3-2 with one draw. However England have not won against India here since 1967 and have not avoided defeat since 1979.

Now look at the overall record of India’s victories in England:

India’s highest victories by innings as well as runs have come at Leeds.

Even in the defeat in 1967 (which was the start of a 3-0 sweep), India’s 3rd-innings total of 510 is the highest such score by a losing side.

We now look at the best individual performances at this venue in matches between these teams.

Highest innings (all centuries):

Boycott’s slow 246* led to him being dropped for the next Test.

Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly all scored centuries in the same innings in 2002.

Best innings bowling (all 4wi):

The top position is somewhat unexpected.

Also note Trueman’s 4-27 on debut in 1952 which helped in reducing India to 0 for 4 wickets (recovering to 26/5 and then 165).

Best match bowling (all 6wm):

Binny again heads this list, as does Trueman for England.

Best innings fielding (3 or more catches):

Note that several non-keepers took 3 wickets in an innings.

Best match fielding (4 or more catches):

More and Sehwag have the most catches for keepers and non-keepers respectively.

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

No instances.

India vs England at Lord’s

India’s record at Lord’s is not as good as it is at Nottingham.

Of the 18 Tests played there since 1932, England lead 12-2 with 4 draws.

India won only in 1986 and 2014. In 2014, that was the only Test which they won.

Record of all the results:

This also includes freakish results such as India ‘s 42 all out in 1974, which was their lowest Test score until recently.

India’s performance in their very first Test in 1932 was better than in several of the subsequent Tests at Lord’s.

Highest innings (including all centuries) at this venue:

Here we have the highest score for England against India, as well as the first instance in first-class cricket of a triple century and century in the same test (see Gooch’s 123 in the middle of the above list). Mankad’s 184 remains the highest for India here almost 70 years later.

DB Vengsarkar is the only visiting batsman to score three successive centuries at Lord’s. SC Ganguly’s century was the highest score by anyone making his Test debut here until 2021, when D Conway made 200 for NZ.

Agarkar made his only Test century here. His next highest score was 41. Even so, he succeeded in scoring a century at Lord’s which neither Gavaskar nor Tendulkar could achieve. In fact, Tendulkar did not cross 50 either.

Best innings bowling at this venue (Minimum 5wi):

Bedser’s 7-49 came on his debut. Soon he became the only one to take two successive 11-wicket hauls in his first two Tests. Ishant Sharma recorded India’s best figures in 2014. Further down there is Mankad’s 5-196 to accompany his 184 and 72. CM Old’s 5-21 in 1974 contributed to India’s 42 all out. M Nissar’s 5-93 came on his (and India’s) first Test.

Best match bowling at this venue (Minimum 8wm):

Bedser and Allen lead here, while Kapil Dev has the best for India.

Best innings fielding at this venue (Minimum 4 dismissals):

JT Murray’s 6 dismissals were then a share in the world record for an innings.

Best match fielding at this venue (Minimum 6 dismissals):

However, no one has taken more than 6 dismissals in a match.

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

The best performances here are Mankad’s (1952) and and Kapil (1982).

Mankad and Botham are the only players from any country to score 100/5wi at Lord’s.

Note the unheralded B Kumar’s feat in 2014.

After this Test we will look at the additions (if any) to the Indian players on the various Honours Boards at Lord’s. There were no entries in 2018.

Kohli and the ducks

Kohli’s golden duck in the first Test is attracting attention. Let us look at the long relationship of Indian captains and ducks.

First, the summary of all ducks scored by Indian Test captains:

These are arranged in order of ducks scored in the entire career as captain. (See the last column).

Did you notice that Kohli has crept ahead of Dhoni’s record of captaining India in 58 Tests?

Kohli, Dhoni and Pataudi have the most ducks. While Ganguly, Azharuddin and Gavaskar captained in more Tests than Pataudi, they had considerably less ducks.

Pankaj Roy is one who scored a duck in his only Test as captain.

NJ Contractor played the most Tests (12) without ever making a duck.

Vizianagaram oddly enough did not make a duck in 3 Tests although his batting average was only 3.50

Now for golden ducks:

Kohli has the most (3) while a few others have 2.

Now for silver ducks (out 2nd ball):

Kohli has 2 along with Pataudi and Bedi, while Dhoni has 3. Bedi in fact had a pair of silver ducks, which one may call a “queen pair” to match the king pair for one who is out first ball in each innings. That was during John Lever’s unique debut (50 +10wm).

Finally, bronze (brazen?) ducks (out 3rd ball):

Dhoni has 2, while Pankaj Roy had one in his only Test as captain.

Lowest T20I totals by major teams

Today (Aug 9) Australia reached a new low in T20Is by being dismissed for 62 by Bangladesh, who had won the series 4-1.

T20I statistics have now become quite meaningless with the advent of a large number of weak teams. This listing includes only matches between Test teams (and totals with 8 or more wickets down):

You can see that this 62 is Australia’s lowest T20I score. India is slightly better with 74 (though that was long ago).

India at the Olympics-over the years

At the 2021 Olympics, India won a total of 7 medals (1 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze).

There are different ways of ranking countries at a particular Olympics.

In the traditional way, first the # of Golds are taken, followed by the # of Silvers and finally the # of Bronzes.

That way, India is 48th. A total of 93 countries won at least one medal. India is between Romania and Venezuela (both #46) and Hong Kong (China) at #49. This puts India around the median of the countries which won at least one medal.

If you take the number of medals, India is at #33 along with Iran, Belgium, Belarus, Austria and Azerbaijan.

The final table is here:

https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/olympic-games/en/results/all-sports/medal-standings.htm

Looking at India’s performance over the years (starting in 1900, then from 1920 onwards):

Ranked in the traditional manner:

Ranked by the number of medals:

While 2021 is the best by either criteria, the rankings from #2 downward are different.

While the two silvers in 1900 are recorded in the IOC official record, some in India feel that they should not be.

Read more about this here:

India in the 4th innings in England

India is set to make 209 to win the first Test at Nottingham. Rain is also likely to affect play on the 5th day, although they have already made 52/1

First we look at all of India’s performances in the 4th innings in England (50 and above):

India did chase 73 to win in 2007, which enabled India to win the series.

Their only higher winning totals are 136/5 (Lord’s, 1986) and 174/6 (Oval, 1971).

That 174/6 gave India its first victory in England, and still remains their best successful chase in England.

We also look at all winning 4th-innings scores by visiting teams in England above 50:

Some famous victories here, such as Australia’s win against a declaration at Leeds in 1948.

At Nottingham, the highest winning scores by visitors are:

209/8 by WI in 1980 (This was the only result of the 5-Test series).

158/3 by Aus in 2001

132/6 by Aus in 1981

115/1 by WI in 1991

103/0 by WI in 1950 (The year of Ramadhin and Valentine).

98/2 by Aus in 1948

77/2 by NZ in 1986

73/3 by Ind in 2007 (The only result of the series).

It is significant that India will have to equal the existing record of 209 at Nottingham if they are to win. The only positive note is that they are already almost a quarter of the way there with only one wicket down.

UPDATE: Rain prevented any play on the 5th day. The match was drawn.

India vs England at Nottingham

Here is the full record of India-England Tests at this venue:

The teams are level 2-2 here. India won the last one in 2018, with contributions from Kohli, Bumrah, H Pandya, Pant and Rahul.

Centuries at this venue:

Kohli and Buttler scored centuries the last time around. In fact Kohli made 97 and 103. However, Root had made 154* in 2014.

Four-fors at this venue:

Note Pandya and Bumrah from 2018, although Broad did still better in 2011.

Best match bowling at this venue:

Zaheer Khan’s bowling helped win the match in 2007, as did Bumrah and Pandya in 2018.

Best innings and match performances in fielding at this venue:

Note Pant and Rahul taking 7 catches apiece in 2018. Pant was making his Test debut.

It is worth looking at the best fielding performances on debut.

Innings:

Pant has the best innings fielding figures for an Indian keeper on debut. (Also note Yajurvindra Singh’s record for a non-keeper).

Match:

Pant’s match figures were also the best for an Indian keeper on debut (Also see Yajurvindra Singh’s record).

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

Note Hardik Pandya’s performance in 2018, although Broad’s 2011 performance appears to be the best at this venue.

Preview: India’s Test record in England

India winning a Test in England is a rare event. They won their first Test there in 1971, 39 years after the first such contest. There have been only seven victories until now.

India has won twice at Lord’s, twice at Leeds and twice at Nottingham besides once at the Oval. The 2018 win was India’s only win of the series. A look at the scorecard shows that it was truly a team effort with several different players making important contributions:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/india-tour-of-england-2018-1119528/england-vs-india-3rd-test-1119551/full-scorecard

It was Rishabh Pant’s debut, in which he hit a six off his second ball.

So Nottingham ought to be one of India’s favorite grounds.

India have never won at the traditional venues of Manchester and Birmingham, or at the new venue of Southampton.

Schedule for the Tests:

  1. Aug 4-8: Nottingham
  2. Aug 12-16: Lord’s
  3. Aug 25-29: Leeds
  4. Sep 2-6: Oval
  5. Srp 10-14: Manchester

Next we will look at the records between these sides at Nottingham.

Stations which span different states…or countries

There are a few stations in India which span different states.

This one came to light recently. Dilwa is on the Gurpa-Gujandih ghat section near Gaya on the Delhi-Kolkata route.

It is nominally in Jharkhand, as mentioned here: https://indiarailinfo.com/station/map/dilwa-dlw/2738

However, you will see this on the platform:

Credits to Debapriya Chakraborty for this discovery.

A couple of other such stations are better known:

Navapur, nominally in Maharashtra on the Surat-Bhusaval section:

https://indiarailinfo.com/station/map/navapur-nwu/211

However, part of this station lies in Gujarat:

Not sure whether these markings are accurate.

One can make jokes about this bench being partly in a dry zone, enabling alcohol to be consumed only on one side.

Another one which has been round for a long time is Bhawani Mandi, nominally in Rajasthan:

https://indiarailinfo.com/station/map/bhawani-mandi-bwm/886

But you will see these signs:

Then there is Hili station in Bangladesh. The boundary commission decided that the railway line itself was to be the border between India and East Pakistan. This becomes apparent here:

Looking from the Indian side. The wall and the rail line are in Bangladesh.

Also see this picture taken from a Bangladeshi train:

Note the cows grazing just within Bangladeshi territory marked by the stone. Clearly they have no problem in crossing the border. Hope they know which side is safer for them.

More weird things happened in the partition of Berlin which became more stringent after the Berlin Wall came up in 1961. While a number of roads and railways were blocked by barriers, there were special cases like Wollank Strasse station on the S-Bahn (which was largely on the surface, unlike the U-Bahn which was largely underground):

This station actually lay in East Berlin. But this platform opened out to a street in West Berlin.

Trains ran through from one side of West Berlin to another, and passengers could board or get down here.

However, no train stopped on the other track-as the Berlin Wall was right next to it. And the East Berliners in the buildings on the right could see the West Berliners going about their lives at this station and beyond.

Bornholmer Strasse station, which featured in various novels and films set in the Cold War, is adjacent to this station:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Bornholmer_Stra%C3%9Fe_station