We are now almost at the end of our look back of the long journeys which could theoretically have been made wholly by metre gauge in the past. Today we take up Madras to Lucknow.
Those who have followed this blog for a while would know that this involves going up the line to Delhi. At Phulera we deviate from the Ringas route and proceed to Jaipur and Bandikui. From there, we head east to Bharatpur, Achnera, Mathura and beyond.
Next, we look at those who played the most Tests without ever captaining their side:
Headed by England’s long-running JM Anderson with 160 Tests. (Actually, it has gone up to 162 in December 2022).
Next is his English teammate SCJ Broad with 146. Then there is the late SK Warne, whose record of 144 stood for several years.
Other prominent players here include Laxman (134), Muralitharan (132) and Mark Waugh (128).
While Anderson and Broad are expected to play a few more Tests, there are other active players such as NM Lyon (110), CA Pujara (96) and DA Warner (96) who will also add to their tally. However, there are no players from Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Zimbabwe here.
Next, we come to those who played the most Tests captaining their side in all of them:
This may sound impossible to the average cricket follower of today. But we have:
Most of them, starting with PW Sherwell and GC Grant, are from the early days of their country’s Test history. The one glaring exception is LK Germon, who captained New Zealand in all his 12 Tests in 1995-97. Apparently no other player of the team at that time was felt capable.
Many others got their captaincy not exactly on merit, often due to the bias in favour of amateurs and nobility in earlier times (e.g. Lord Harris, Calthorpe, Bligh and the prince Vizianagram). Or racial preferences where only players from certain races were thought fit to be captains (notably in the West Indies, and until recently in South Africa).
Players who have been non-captains in the most Tests
Those who have played the most Tests(12 and more):
It is well known that Tendulkar has played the most Tests-200. The next few may not be that well remembered. Note that the number of Tests played as captain widely vary, starting from zero (see the entries for JM Anderson and his old comrade SCJ Broad) to 93 for Border-though even this is not a record, as we will see in the next section. JE Root has captained the most among current players, although he is not captain at the date of writing in late 2022.
Most Tests played as captain(50 or more):
Here we have the record by GC Smith of captaining the most times-108. The only 8 Tests he did not captain in were at the beginning of his career. Next are AR Border (93) and SP Fleming (80). Kohli is in 6th postion with 68 Tests (besides 34 not as captain).
Most Tests played not as captain (110 or more):
Tendulkar has played in 175 Tests not as captain, besides 25 as captain. Next is Kallis with 163 not as captain, and only 2 Tests as a captain. As you may guess, these were as a stand-in when the regular captain was unavailable. In third place is JM Anderson. who has played all his 160 Tests without ever being captain.
This leads us to other questions, such as:
Who have played the most Tests without ever being captain?
Is there anyone who has played all his Tests as captain?
The answers to these questions will be given in Part 2.
Actually, the #1 and #2 and the next few for the first question have already been identified, but there is no clue about the second question so far.
So please read Part 2 which will be put up within a day.
England inflicted a rare 3-0 victory in an away series when they defeated Pakistan in this series.
This was the only time Pakistan has lost a home series by 3-0 or more. Only Australia and India have avoided clean sweeps at home by 3-0 or more.
Looking at the overall records of Tests between England and Pakistan:
Total Tests 89, England lead 29-21 with 39 draws
In England: 56 Tests, England lead 24-12 with 20 draws
In Pakistan: 27 Tests, England lead 5-4 with 18 draws
Neutral venues: 6 Tests, England trail 0-5 with 1 draw
Looking at individual performances, starting with
Most runs, minimum 800:
Led by Cook and Inzamam. Root and Azhar Ali are there from this series, which marked the latter’s retirement from Tests. The most centuries are 6 by M Yousuf, followed by Cook and Inzamam with 5. The most 50+ scores are 15 by Inzamam.
Highest innings, minimum 175:
Nothing in the past few years except Crawley’s 267 in 2020.
Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings and 40.00):
Headed by M Yousuf and Saleem Malik, with AJ Stewart having the best average for England. Root represents current players.
Best batting strike rates (Minimum 1000 balls faced, SR above 50):
Headed by Pietersen, Root and Inzamam. Root represents current players.
The Navjivan Express started running in the late 1970s. It was the first train from South India to Gujarat. Until then the usual practice was to change at Bombay, and the interchange between CR and WR was puzzling to those travelling for the first time. However, it was theoretically possible to travel entirely by metre gauge between Madras and Ahmedabad. This beacame a little simpler with the opening of the Udaipur-Himatnagar line in the mid-1960s. Earlier the terminus was a relatively small station called Udaipur. This new line involved the construction of a larger station for Udaipur City, while the old Udaipur became Ranapratap Nagar.
This would be the MG route:
Today, there are numerous trains from the southern states to Ahmedabad and beyond.
Note that India has done this twice, against Afghanistan and England. No team has defeated India in less than 2 days.
There have not been any 1-day Test, though there are numerous first-class matches which finished in one day. One of them was the first ever Ranji Trophy match in 1934, which was between Madras and Mysore. The most recent one was in Sri Lanka in 2020.
There were many such one-day f-c matches in the earlier days. Here is a complete list: