Mallett, Davidson and India

Australia lost two of its Test stalwarts on successive days; Ashley Mallett on Oct 29 and Alan Davidson on the 30th.

While Mallett was somewhat overshadowed by the Australian fast bowlers of his time, he often played an useful role as the sole spinner.

He did well bowling against India, as you can see here:

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/6472.html?class=1;template=results;type=bowling

His bowling average against India was his best against all Test countries. He only played one series against India, in 1969-70. He took 28 wickets including his only 10-for in the last Test at Madras, which gave Australia a 3-1 win. Indian fans of that period remember it more for Viswanath’s debut and numerous crowd disturbances.

Davidson is better-known for being the first to score over a 100 runs and take a 10-for in the same Test. This was at the Tied Test at Brisbane:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/west-indies-tour-of-australia-1960-61-61907/australia-vs-west-indies-1st-test-62888/full-scorecard

In later years this was overshadowed by the feats of Botham, Imran and Shakib who scored centuries along with 10-fors. No one else has emulated Davidson.

He did not do too well as a batsman against India: https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/4902.html?class=1;template=results;type=batting

But did somewhat better as a bowler:

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/4902.html?class=1;template=results;type=bowling

His bowling average against India was his best against all Test countries. His best innings figures (7-93) and match figures (12-124) were also against India.

This was at Kanpur in 1959-60, which marked India’s first win against Australia:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/australia-tour-of-india-1959-60-61422/india-vs-australia-2nd-test-62869/full-scorecard

Australia batted first, took a first-innings lead, and lost. An Australian left-arm pace bowler took 12 wickets.

20 years passed. 7 Tests were played at Kanpur and all were drawn (including the one against Australia in 1969-70).

In 1979-80, a weakened Australian team toured India.

The story was the same as in 1959-60:

Australia batted first, took a first-innings lead, and lost. An Australian left-arm pace bowler took 12 wickets.

The only difference was that the bowler was Dymock instead of Davidson:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/australia-tour-of-india-1979-80-61434/india-vs-australia-3rd-test-63243/full-scorecard

Like Davidson, Dymock took 5 wickets in the first innings and 7 in the second.

Unlike in 1959 when Jasu Patel took 14 wickets, here the spoils were shared by Kapil, Ghavri and Shivlal Yadav.

But these two Tests at Kanpur had a remarkable number of similarities, more than those of the two Australia-England Tests of 1877 and 1977.

The Ashes since 1970

So the 2019 series was drawn 2-2, and Australia retained the Ashes which they held since winning the 2017-18 series.

Here we look at the history of the Ashes since the 1970-71 series, when England won the Ashes after a long gap-Australia had held them since 1958-59 so they were away from England throughout the 1960s. There were also longish droughts for England in the early 1920s and from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s.

Similarly, Australia had held the Ashes from 1989 to 2005, so the 1990s also passed without England getting hold of them. However, Australia has had the better of the contests since then (especially in Australia).

Ashes from 1970

A quick look at the list shows some captains who won the Ashes on two or more occasions, including Ian Chappell (2), Brearley (3), Border (3), Taylor (3), S Waugh (2), Strauss (2) and Cook (2).

Those who have lost the Ashes on two or more occasions are Border (3), Gooch (2), Atherton (2), Hussain (2), Ponting (3), Clarke (2) and Root (2).

Peter Siddle and the PJs

Peter Siddle has been in and out of the Australian team.

In 64 Tests before the start of the current Ashes series, he has scored 1080 runs and has taken 214 wickets. In the current Test, he was the second top-scorer and made 44 batting at number 10.

He has taken 8 fivers and a hat-trick, and also holds one batting record as he is the only  batsman to have scored two fifties in a Test while batting at No 9.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/7898.html

Older cricket fans would remember Raju Bharatan and his horrible puns. He would have a field day with Peter Siddle, as his surname rhymes with many other words (not all of them polite): diddle, fiddle, middle, piddle, riddle, griddle etc.

The British media had this to say after one of his good performances: “Peter goes from second fiddle to fecund Siddle”.

Not quite up to the standard of Shashi Tharoor, but a good try.

Highest score at No 8 in World Cup

Nathan Coulter-Nile’s 92 against the West Indies was the highest score by any No 8 batsman in the World Cup.

Here are the list of all such scores above 40:

World Cup No 8

It can be seen that the record score at No 8 was earlier 72* by HH Streak in 2003.

The previous highest score by Australia was somewhat further down at 43 by BJ Haddin in 2015. Nearby there is 42 by CH Morris of SA in 2019.

The best by India is a mere 28 by NR Mongia in 1999.

The last flight of Ross Gregory

Ross Gregory’s name may not be familiar to today’s cricket fans. But in 1937 he was thought to be the next big thing in Australia’s batting, scoring 23, 50 and 80 in his first (and only) three Test innings soon after he turned 21.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/5436.html

While he did not play on the 1938 tour of England, he would have been expected to play when international cricket resumed after the war. Unfortunately, he died in a wartime flying accident on June 10, 1942.

The official details of this incident are taken from an Australian military website:

Ross Gregory 001

We see that he was the observer on a RAF Wellington bomber of 215 squadron, which exploded in the air near Gafargaon. This was then in Mymensingh district of Bengal, not Assam as mentioned in some references. It was about 50 km from the Assam border at that time.

The crew of 6 included 4 Australians including the two pilots, plus 2 from the RAF. Pilot Officer Ross Gregory was the only officer aboard.

215 squadron was then known to be based in Pandaveswar (near Asansol) and engaged in bombing and supply dropping missions in Burma. Later this airfield was used by the US forces for bombing and transport missions.

A file picture of this model of aircraft:

1920px-WellingtonBomber

This appears to have been an accident, as there is no mention of enemy action. This was well within India’s territory where Japanese fighters rarely came. Probably a load of bombs or other ordnance exploded in the air.

The location map of this region is given below:

Gafargaon

The town of Gafargaon is slightly to the west of the centre. It is now the headquarters of Gafargaon upazila (sub-district) in Mymensingh district of Mymensingh division of Bangladesh.

While several Test players died in military action during World War 2, this appears to be the only such case in Asia. The best known casualties were Hedley Verity (in Italy) and Ken Farnes (flying accident in England).

As mentioned in the above military record, the location of the graves could not be found after the war and thus they are listed as “Missing with no known grave”.

Note: David Frith wrote a biography:

The Ross Gregory Story. Melbourne: Lothian Books. 2003. ISBN 0734405987.

It is currently available on Amazon co uk and other sites.

Review of India – Aus T20Is-2019

A total of 20 T20Is have been played between India and Australia. Here is the summary of all results:

Result table

And the summary of the matches in India:

Series history

Considering bilateral matches in a series of at least 2 matches, we see that the 2017 series was drawn 1-1 and this series was won 2-0 by Australia.

Coming to individual performances:

Batting:

100 or more runs:

Runs-100

Kohli is far ahead of the others. Watson and Maxwell are the only ones to score centuries. The most 50+ scores are by Kohli (6 with no centuries) and 3 each by RG Sharma, Watson and Yuvraj.

Highest individual scores (50 and above):

Maxwell’s 113* was the highest for Australia in India, surpassing AJ Finch’s 89 in 2013.

Innings-50

Bowling:

Most wickets (5 and above):

Bowling-5

Bumrah has moved into the lead.

Best innings bowling (includes all 3wi and above):

Innings bowl-3

Bumrah’s 3-16 is the best for India at home, surpassing the earlier 3-26 by Vinay Kumar in 2013. The overall best performance was by Ashwin in the 2014 World Championship.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (4 or more dismissals):

Fielding-4

Dhoni has the most stumpings and catches by a keeper. Kohli has the most catches by a non-keeper.

Best innings dismissals (2 and above):

Innings field

All-round performance:

100 runs and 5 wickets:

AR-overall

Clearly they are the best all-rounders in these teams.

Match performance (20 runs and 2 wickets):

AR-match

Watson’s effort is the best here.

The same teams continue with a 5-match ODI series.

Summary of India’s tours to Australia

This was India’s first victory in a Test series in Australia, in 12 Test series going back to 1947-48.

This was India’s first victory in a bilateral ODI series in Australia. This was only the second such series, Australia having won the first in 2015-2016.

If you count ODI series with more than 3 teams, India had won the Commonwealth Bank series in 2007-08, where Australia was the losing finalist and Sri Lanka was the third participant.

And there was the B & H World Championship in 1984-85, where Pakistan was the losing finalist and all 7 Test teams of that period took part. India won all 5 of their matches, and the series was immortalized by Shastri’s Audi.

India did not win this T20I series, which was drawn 1-1 with one “no result”. However India had won the only other 3-match series in 2015-16 3-0. That was the only time that a visiting team had made a clean sweep of any series in Australia in a series of 3 or more matches in ANY format of cricket.

The worst defeat for Australia at home would appear to be England’s 2-0 victory in the 1886-87 Test series. Or perhaps England’s 5-1 victory against a Packerized team in 1978-79.

To put it differently, this was the first time that Australia failed to win a series in ANY format of cricket during a tour. Perhaps they will have better luck with Sri Lanka in the latter half of their season. Sri Lanka is to play 2 Tests and no other matches.

While many teams have separate captains for Tests, ODIs and T20Is, India had Virat Kohli as captain in all 3 formats.His counterpart was TD Paine in Tests and AD Finch in ODIs and T20Is.

Highlights of the Adelaide Test-2

India’s win in the first Test at Adelaide was prophetic-as it was the first time that India had won the opening Test of a series in Australia. In due course India won in Australia for the first time.

Here is a summary of the opening Tests of all series played by India in Australia:

1947: Lost; lost series 4-0 with 1 draw

1967: Lost, lost series 4-0

1977: Lost, lost series 3-2

1981: Lost, series drawn 1-1 with 1 draw

1985: Drawn, series drawn 0-0 with 3 draws

1991: Lost, lost series 4-0 with 1 draw

1999: Lost, lost series 3-0

2003: Drawn, series drawn 1-1 with 2 draws

2007: Lost, lost series 2-1 with 1 draw

2011: Lost, lost series 4-0

2014: Lost, lost series 2-0 with 2 draws

2018: Won, won series 2-1 with 1 draw.

Also note the draws of 1985 and 2003 which marked the start of a drawn series, although the loss in 1981 also marked a drawn series.

So in 11 of the 12 series, the opening Test was a good indicator of the result of the series.

Highlights of the Adelaide Test-1

First, the wicket-keeping records:

Pant wk record

RR Pant now has a share in the most dismissals in a match.

Incidentally, AM Rahane has the record for most dismissals by a non-keeper in a match:

Rahane record

Also note Yajurvindra and Rahul here.

de Villiers actually took 8 catches as a keeper as the specified keeper (de Kock) was unfit.

Pant took 6 catches in the first innings and 5 in the second. The innings record is 7, shared by 4 keepers.

 

 

 

 

New records in List A and ODI cricket

Here are the highest scores in List A cricket as on 20 Jun 2018:

List A record scores on 20-6-2018

Live link for all scores of 375 and above:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/117937.html

England’s 481/6 is the highest ever ODI score and the second-highest List A score.

The previous ODI record score was England’s 444/3 against Pakistan in 2016-also at Nottingham!

It is also surprising that No 2 and No 3 on this list were both made on June 19, 2018 with India A also getting into the act.

And that Trent Bridge, Nottingham accounts for No 2, 4 and 5 on the list.

The highest List A and ODI score made against Australia is 438/9 by SA at Johannesburg in 2006, which was then a record in all ODIs, besides an 1-wicket win against a supposedly impregnable score of 434/4 made by Australia (which was an ODI record for a few hours).

We now look at the record defeats in List A matches.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283904.html

England’s 242-run defeat of Australia is quite far down in List A matches and even in ODIs.

We now look at record ODI totals as on 20 June 2018:

ODI record totals-20 Jun 2018

Live link for ODI scores above 350:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/211599.html

Highest win margins in ODIs  as on 20 Jun 2018:

ODI winning margins on 20 June 2018

Live link: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283902.html

This is the highest winning margin for England in all ODIs

and the highest losing margin for Australia.

Finally we look at “Ashes” ODIs:

Highest totals:

Ashes ODI totals

A big jump over the previous record of 342, where one of these scores was made on June 16 in the previous ODI at Cardiff.

Highest victory margins:

Ashes ODI margins

From this we see that the previous highest margin in an Aus v Eng ODI was 162 runs by Australia back in Feb 1999. The highest winning margin by England was “only” 101 runs even further back in 1977.

 

 

The Al-Jazeera Report Analyzed-1

Anyone who follows cricket (even the Test purists) should watch the report. Numerous bits and pieces can be seen on Youtube and directly on various news sites. But to get a full idea of the extent of the match-fixing industry it is well worth watching the hour-long report:

Some of the key takeaways:

How is it that a key man of the D company is freely functioning in Mumbai apparently without interference from the Mumbai police or anyone else? (One is struck with his quiet confidence and thorough knowledge of the “business”).

A relatively minor domestic player like Robin Morris seems to have made a lot more money from fixing than in his regular cricket career. Even if he had somehow got into IPL he would not have earned much. And he seems to have a particularly dumb sidekick who, unlike him, did play in a few Tests and ODIs.

Then there is the Morris – Rajkumar plan to organize T20 tournaments all over the world-whose only purpose is to make money through fixing. Almost like a never-ending Ponzi scheme or perpetual motion machine.

Although Al-Jazeera did not mention this, someone has already made a start in a “fraudulent” tournament in the UAE earlier this year. This was so blatantly a fixed tournament that the UAE authorities had to throw them out. A sample report:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-31/bizarre-scenes-uae-t20-league-icc-match-fixing-investigation/9377680

Other reports from that period can be found through Google. Not sure what ultimately happened there. But it sounds quite similar to what Morris (mainly) and Rajkumar were talking about. Clearly the players in this tournament had not been “trained” properly.

The allegations regarding Test matches pertain to

1) India vs England at Chennai in Dec 2016, the 5th Test which India won by an innings to take the 5-Test series 4-0: three English players (presumably specialist batsmen) are alleged to have manipulated the scoring rate. They have denied the charges. (Any guesses?) Here is the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/10732/scorecard/1034817/india-vs-england-5th-test-england-tour-of-india-2016-17/

Those who followed the match closely on TV or the net may be able to figure out who the guilty trio are. I am not hazarding any guess, except that they would probably be 1-7 in the batting order.

Afterthought: Was even the bowling fixed? Did that allow Karun Nair to make a triple hundred (which is still the ONLY score he has made above 50 in a Test)?

2) India vs Australia at Ranchi in March 2017. This was the third of 4 Tests, the only drawn Test of the series. India won 2-1. Here two Australian players (presumably specialist batsmen) similarly manipulated the scoring rate. Al-Jazeera said that there was no reply from them so far. Here, too we can try to guess who they may be, batting at 1 to 7. Here is the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/10839/scorecard/1062575/india-vs-australia-3rd-test-ind-v-aus-2016-17/

3) Sri Lanka vs India at Galle in July 2017. This was the first Test of the series, in which India won all three Tests by heavy margins. This time no players were involved, but merely manipulation of the pitch by the curator (?) and others. (But what was the bet? Merely that the match would be high-scoring). It was, in the sense that India made 600 batting first. But the Sri Lankan batsmen did so badly that they lost by over 300 runs in what was effectively an innings defeat, as India would have won by an innings if they had imposed the follow-on.

Galle has a history of pitch manipulation. The former curator, Test bowler J. Warnaweera, was suspended for 3 years by the ICC in early 2016 for non-cooperation with ICC investigators. This is with reference to earlier matches at Galle.

Here is the scorecard, for what it is worth:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17891/scorecard/1109602/sri-lanka-vs-india-1st-test-sl-v-ind-2017/

The Sri Lankan leg needs a little more study as most of the characters are quite unknown even in neighboring countries.

To be continued.

A small consolation for Steve Smith

During the third SA-Aus Test at Cape Town, SPD Smith perhaps became the first Test captain to be sacked in the middle of a match and told to hand over charge. However, he may draw small consolation from setting a minor fielding record.

These records are as of April 1, 2018. The ICC World XI v Aus Test is not counted.

Most catches in an innings by a captain (5 and above):

Captains-innings fielding

While wicketkeeper captains Latif and Dhoni have taken 6 catches in an innings, Smith equalled the non-keepers record for captains with 5 catches, along with VY Richardson, SP Fleming, GC Smith and DJG Sammy. There are a few non-captain fielders such as Yajurvindra Singh and AM Rahane who have also taken 5 catches in an innings.

We also look at match fielding performances by captains (6 dismissals and above):

Captains-match fielding

While keeper Dhoni has the record of 9 dismissals (in his last Test), SP Fleming has the record of 7 for non-keeper captains. Smith has taken 6 catches in this Test and in one earlier match. In this case Rahane has the record for 8 catches by a non-keeper, though he was not captaining in that Test.

Finally, we look at overall fielding performances by captains (70 dismissals and above):

Captains-overall fielding

While Dhoni has the highest number of dismissals, he is followed by several non-keepers led by GC Smith and SP Fleming who have over a hundred catches. Steve Smith is fairly high up here, sandwiched between MA Taylor and Lara.