After looking at those who scored the highest lone century, we look at those who took only one five-for and see who did the best.
This includes all 7wi and better.
The highest here is by Lance Klusener, who was making his debut. He never scored a five-for in Tests again, but did do so in ODIs. Second is SJ Snooke who had a shorter career. But he did take a ten-for, unlike Klusener. Then there is JJ Krejza who took 12 wickets on debut (which his team lost) and played only one more Test
There are many who do better on debut than in their later matches. Here we have Klusener, Krejza, Kendall (in the very first Test), Zahid, de Lange, Ashley (only one innings in his career).
Among current players there is only KC Brathwaite who bowled occasionally until his “breakthrough”.
From India, there are Agarkar (6/41), Ramchand (6/49) ,Abid Ali (6/55 on debut) and Shinde (6/91).
Now we consider the best innings figures by those who took only one four-for.
The first few names also appear in the first list: Emmett, de Lange, Hornibrook, Ashley and Brathwaite.
Debutants include Ashley (only test and innings), Kirtley and Coldwell.
Current players include Brathwaite and ML Cummings (not Pat !).
From India there are Agarkar, Ramchand and Shinde.
Agarkar’s only score above 50 was a century, along with his only 4+wi was a 6-for.
There are players who score several Test centuries. And some score only one. Here we look at the highest innings by players who scored exactly one century:
Led by KK Nair’s 303*, and followed by RE Foster’s 287 on debut and Z Crawley’s recent 267.
Apart from Foster, Mayers, Kuruppu and Conway have the highest lone centuries on debut.
From India, KK Nair is accompanied by ML Apte and NR Mongia.
What about those who made only one score above fifty?
This list is still headed by KK Nair, with the next being D Lloyd and B Kuruppu.. They all made full use of their opportunities once they crossed fifty.
Nair’s second highest score is only 26. For Lloyd it is 49 and for Kuruppu 46. Lloyd started off with 46 and 214* against India’s weak 1974 team, and thus temporarily had a Test average of 260.00 which dipped sharply during the Ashes tour later that year.
There are a few debutants here: Kuruppu, Bannerman, SC Griffith and Hartigan among others.
In recent years there have been Nair, Patterson and Yasir Shah.
From India, Nair is accompanied by A Ratra, RH Shodhan, Agarkar and Pataudi (Sr)
As we will see, Agarkar made only one score above fifty (and made it a century) and only one four-for (which was a 6-for).
Note that the above list includes relatively few lower-order batters. Most are recognized batsmen who got few opportunities. (Ganteaume’s single Test and a few others who played less than 5 Tests.)
Afterthought: KK Nair may well have the record for the highest ratio of highest and second-highest scores: 303/26 = 11.65
Apart from Nair, Sobers (365*) and RB Simpson (311) made their first century a triple. Unlike him, they scored many more centuries after that.
The fourth-innings chase is often regarded as the ultimate challenge for a batter. Let us see who have done the best in successful chases.
Most runs: (400+):
GC Smith is the clear leader here. He also has the most centuries (4) and most 50+ scores (10, followed by contemporaries Hayden, Ponting and JL Langer with 7). Also note CG Greenidge’s 214*.
Tendulkar, Dravid and Sehwag have the most runs for India.
Williamson and Karunaratne are the only current players here, with Amla, Cook and Younis from recent years.
Bradman is not here (but when he batted, a fourth innings chase was often not needed by Australia).
Highest scores in these cases (115 and above):
A total of 76 centuries have been scored here.
Only two double centuries, with KR Mayers scoring his on debut. The next highest in recent years was 153* by K Perera in 2019. There are Morris and Bradman in the same Test at Leeds in 1948, which was the only successful 400+ chase until India followed in 1976. (Years later, MA Butcher emulated Bradman’s 173* at Leeds).
The highest from India are not in the above list.
Viswanath (112) and Gavaskar (102) made their centuries in the same match in 1976, while Tendulkar and Laxman have made 103*.
Highest averages (Minimum 15 innings):
These 21 entries are the only ones with 15 or more innings. GC Smith leads here as well, with Ponting close behind.
From the recent past there are Cook and Amla. Tendulkar, Dravid and Sehwag represent India.
Kisrsten and Dravid are among those who did not score a century, although Hutton has a 98*.
We will take up bowling in 4th-innings wins in the next part.
we had explored an all-MG route between Delhi and Madras which existed in 1976, as well as the extremities of metre gauge at Kot Kapura and Tiruchendur at that time,
In 1976, the extremities of metre gauge were Varvala (near Okha) in the west and Lekhapani (near Ledo) in the east. These were also the extremities of IR as broad gauge had not spread to these areas yet.
Here, we travel from Okha (the western-most terminus) to Lekhapani.
Names are as they were in 1976. There do not seem to have been any instances of inflated distances on this route.
WEST TO EAST BY METRE GAUGEIN 1976
End of WR
End of NER
As you can see, this route passes through only three of the existing zones at that time.
It passed through the states of GJ, RJ, UP, BR, WB, AS and NL.
While the Sonpur-Muzaffarpur-Samastipur-Barauni section was already broad gauge, most of the long-distance trains continued to run on MG as the BG lines were too limited in these areas.
The Ledo-Lekhapani section had very limited services of one pair of trains per day. It was opened in the late 1950s after conversion of a privately-owned 2’0″ NG line. Later, it was not found worthwhile to convert to BG so Ledo remains the eastern-most passenger station. The BG line continues a little further east to Tirap Siding where coal is loaded on goods trains.
A possible set of trains for this route (from 1976) are:
Okha-Mahesana Janata Express to Mahesana
Various express trains to Jaipur or Bandikui.
Various express/passenger trains to Achhnera or Agra Fort.
Vaishali Express to Siliguri. (Yes, at that time it started from Agra Fort).
Various express trains to Tinsukia (Assam Mail was direct, otherwise change at NBQ).
Various passenger trains to Ledo.
One passenger train to Lekhapani.
Today, we have through BG trains from Gujarat to Assam.
The first surprise here is that Bradman does not appear. Perhaps he did not bat enough in the third innings.
The leading batsman PBH May is a bit of a surprise. He is followed by JH Kallis and DCS Compton.
No current player appears in the top 10. The only players from recent times are K Sangakkara who retired in 2015 and HM Amla (2017). Batting in the third innings must have become more difficult in recent times.
From India there are M Amarnath and VVS Laxman.
Now for the fourth innings:
The cutoff here is 40.00.
Headed by Boycott, Gavaskar and Hobbs.
Current players here are KS Williamson (at 7), Kohli (at 8) besides recent player Younis Khan (at 9).
Other current players include AD Mathews (has he retired from Tests?), DA Warner, DM Bravo, Shakib Al Hasan, Asad Shafiq and R Taylor.
From India there are Gavaskar and Kohli in the top 10, followed by Dravid and Laxman.
It would seem that recent players have coped better with the fourth innings than with the third innings.
Another interesting topic to study would be the batters and bowlers who have done best in the fourth innings.
While the near-complete removal of metre gauge from all important routes starting from the late 1970s, it would be a surprise to younger railfans that as late as 1976 it was possible to travel from Delhi Jn to Madras Egmore wholly by metre gauge. There was, of course, no such train but by a series of reasonably good MG expresses it was possible to make this journey of 2772 km. (In contrast, the standard GT express route would be 2182 km from Delhi Jn to Madras Central).
Let us begin our journey from Delhi Jn. I have taken the distances from the 1976 All India Time Table. Spelling of names are from that period. Inflated distances were being charged between Khandwa and Hingoli, so I have taken actual distances.
Delhi Serai Rohilla
Perhaps someone can look at the timetables of that period and see the timings, and then arrive at a timetable for the proposed Delhi-Madras MG Express.
It would pass through DL, HR, RJ, MP, MH, AP and TN. (TG did not exist then).
From the timetables of that period, this trip should have been possible with changes at Ajmer, Secunderabad, Pakala and Villupuram. But there may have been long waiting times at these places.
Suggested trains: Delhi-Ahmedabad JJ Express, Ajmer-Kacheguda Passenger, SC-Tirupati Venkatadri Express up to Pakala, various passenger trains to Villupuram, various express trains to Madras Egmore.
The train with the longest run on this route was the Ajmer/Kacheguda Passenger with 1326 km.
Appendix: North to South on Metre Gauge.
At that time, Jammu Tawi was the northern-most station, but the northern-most MG station was Kot Kapura.
Similarly, Trivandrum Central was on BG since early 1976 and was the southern-most station. This was about 2 km south of Tiruchendur’s parallel of latitude. That was the southern-most MG station.
We now look at the “Northern Extension” from Rewari to Kot Kapura:
And the “Southern Extension” from Villupuram to Tiruchendur:
So our fictional North-South MG Express would run from Kot Kapura to Tiruchendur via Rewari and Villupuram. We can see from the above distance tables that it would come to be
2782-83+343-159+552 = 3435 Km
Coming soon: West to East by Metre Gauge in 1976 (Okha to Lekhapani)
Continuing with individual performances in Bowling:
Most wickets (40+):
Anderson has by far the most wickets. However, the most five-fors are by Chandrasekhar (8) followed by Ashwin and Botham with 6. Bedser is the only one with two ten-fors (which came in his first two Tests).
After Anderson and Ashwin, other current players include Broad, Ishant, Moeen and Jadeja.
Best innings bowling (including all case of 7wi or better):
The first few entries are from long ago, though Jadeja, Ishant and Broad are here. Ishant has the best figures for India in England (that too at Lord’s)
Best match bowling (including all cases of 10wm or better):
Interestingly, none of the two leading current Indian players (Ashwin and AR Patel) played in this series. Only Jadeja and Anderson represent the current players.
Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, maximum 35.00):
The best bowling averages are by Illingworth and Lever who played in relatively less matches. Anderson, Broad and Ashwin have the best averages among current players.
The best economy rates are by Illingworth and Nadkarni (who else?)
The best strike rates are by Lever and Willis.
Now for Fielding:
Most dismissals (30 or more):
Dhoni and Knott lead, although Kirmani has the most stumpings. Cook, Gavaskar and Dravid have the most catches by non-keepers.
Innings dismissals (5 or more):
Taylor and JT Murray lead, with current players Bairstow, Pant and Buttler bringing up the rear.
Yajurvindra has the most catches as a non-keeper, which came on his debut. He is still the only non-keeper to achieve this on debut.
Match dismissals (7 or more):
Led by RW Taylor, whose 10 was a Test record at that time.
There are Buttler (8). Bairstow, Pant and Rahul from among current players. Yajurvindra and Rahul have the best among non-keepers. Yajurvindra and Pant were making their debuts. Yajurvindra’s 7 catches are still the record by a fielder on debut.
Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.75):
Pant tops this list, with Buttler, Bairstow and Rahul among current players here.
Solkar and Rahul have the best dismissal rates among non-keepers.
Finally, all-round performances:
Overall (see criteria from table):
Ashwin has by far the best record here, with MM Ali and Jadeja the next among current players.
Unexpected names here include Borde and Shami.
Match performances (50 and 5wi):
Many outstanding feats here, notably Botham’s century and 13 wickets in 1980. There are also century/5wis by Mankad and Ashwin, and fifty/10wms by Lever and Jadeja. JK Lever remains the only one to achieve this on debut.
Botham, B Kumar and Ashwin appear here twice.
However, there was no such instance from this series.