Our next long trip by metre gauge from North to South involves the Hassan-Mangalore line which was opened in 1979. So we use the route and station names as they were in timetables of the early 1980s. As before, we provide the present station names when they have changed significantly.
Compare the 2845 km with 2524 km by the present BG trains between Nizamuddin and MAQ by the Konkan route, which was not fully opened until the late 1990s. There would also be a nasty ghat section between Hassan and Mangalore.
Here we look at the teams with the lowest rankings in various formats.
Tests: Zimbabwe is in 10th place with Bangladesh above. Ireland and Afghanistan are not ranked as they have not played enough Tests.
ODIs: Papua New Guinea is in 20th place, with Nepal above.
T20Is: Turkiye, Thailand, Eswatini, Seychelles, Estonia and Cameroon all have zero points and are ranked between 79 and 84. Eswatini and Estonia have played the most matches, so we may consider them at the bottom. Estonia is the only ex-Soviet Union country which plays international cricket.
Women’s Tests: No rankings as very few matches are played.
Women’s ODIs: Zimbabwe in 11th place, with Ireland above it.
Women’s T20Is: Eswatini, Singapore, Norway and Peru all have zero points and are ranked between 50 and 53. Singapore has played the most matches, and thus can be considered to be the bottom team.
Special note: China and Russia are not seen in these rankings. But some former Communist countries such as Bulgaria and Romania are there along with Estonia.
Since you must be fed up of Madras Egmore by now, we now start from Delhi Jn and make our way to Vasco-da-Gama entirely by metre gauge. Incidentally, the present BG trains via the Konkan line travel 2094 km from Nizamuddin to Madgaon compared to 2401 km here.
As in the earlier routes, we work from the train services available in 1976. New place names have been added in case of changes.
Many have done well on their Test debut. Here is a brief summary of the numbers:
Century on debut : 110 players have scored 112 centuries on their Test debut. This includes LG Rowe and Yasir Hameed who each scored two centuries on debut.
Double centuries on debut: Out of the 112 centuries mentioned above, only 7 were double centuries, headed by RE Foster’s 287 of long ago and with today’s D Conway at the bottom with exactly 200.
5 wickets in an innings: 101 players have taken 5wi on debut 112 times. 11 had taken two fivers on debut. The best innings figure is 8-43 by AE Trott
10 wickets in a match: 10wm on debut has been achieved by 17 players. This includes the 11 mentioned in the entry before this, besides others with combinations like 6+4 or 7+3. The two best performances are 16-136 by ND Hirwani, followed by 16-135 by RAL Massie.
So a double century on debut is the most difficult to achieve. However, as many as 13 players have made 200 runs in their debut match, headed by LG Rowe with 314 (214 + 100*). Next is RE Foster with 306 (287 + 19).
We will look deeper into 10wm on debut shortly. This category has found it most difficult to replicate their debut feat.
In the past few posts we have looked at those who scored a century on debut and never scored another century. In some cases they did not even score a fifty. Here we look at some other points of interest:
Most runs on debut without a century(112 and more):
For a change, we move to the early 60s when you could travel from Madras to Poona by metre gauge via Bangalore. No one in his right mind would do this, as the BG trains on the Madras-Bombay route would do Madras-Poona in 24 to 28 hours without any change. Several changes would be needed on MG, but this should not have deterred MG fans.
In 1962, everything was steam on the BG and MG routes.
The BG route from Madras to Poona was 1087 KM, much shorter than the all-MG route given below:
Point of interest-this route is on SR all the way, as it is before the Partition of 1966.
Here we look at the cases of those who scored a century on Test debut but never made a fifty after that:
Note the special case of AG Ganteaume who scored a century in his only Test (in fact his only Test innings). Perhaps this list should also include RE Redmond who scored 107 and 56 in his only Test in 1973. However, his son AJ Redmond played 8 Tests with a top score of 83.
The longest spell of tolerance by the selectors was for van Zyl (12 Tests) and DR Smith (10).For India there was Pataudi Sr (3 Tests for India, all as captain) and Shodhan (also 3 Tests).
The highest scores here are by Kuruppu (201*) and Ibadulla (166) besides the first of these unfortunates C Bannerman (165*)
Many players have score2 centuries on Test debut, starting with Charles Bannerman in the very first Test in 1877. But a significant number have never made a century again. This even includes one who made 2 centuries on debut (Yasser Hameed).
A total of 110 players have made 112 centuries on Test Debut. Lawrence Rowe accompanies Yasser Hameed in making 2 centuries on debut. But 39 of these (over 35% ) never scored another century. Here is the list:
You can also see that some did not even cross fifty after their debut. They will be tabulated next.
Footnote: Fawad Alam was stuck on this list for over 11 years from 2009 to 2020 before he scored his second century and a few more.