You can see that England’s 81 is their lowest total against India. The previous record was 101 in 1971 where Chandrashekhar took 6-38 to set up India’s first Test win in England.
And their previous lowest total in India was 102 in 1981-82, when Kapil and Madan Lal took fivers in the 4th innings.
Most economical 5-for by a spinner in a Test innings: Root’s 5-8 is in second place after Australia’s Ironmonger if you take the criteria of the least runs conceded in a 5-for:
Only Ironmonger’s 5-6 in 1931-32 has less runs conceded.
Let us also look at the same figure for all captains (regardless of bowling styles):
Here, Root’s innings bowling is second to AER Gilligan’s 6-7. But Gilligan was clearly a medium pacer. The previous record by a captain who was a spin bowler was 5-27 by BS Bedi v NZ in 1976-77. Next is Mushtaq Mohammad with 5-28.
And finally, the Devil makes a comeback here with a score of 66/6:
Though England has also faced 666/6 against India not long ago at Chennai in 2016-17, in KK Nair’s match.
There are unlikely to be any Test matches for a few months. So it is time to catch up with statistical details which are not readily available to to the average cricket follower.
Today we have bowling records for captains. These figures are correct on Aug 31 2020 and do not include the ICC XI v Aus Test of 2005.
The number of captains here are somewhat less than in the previous study on batting records, as there have been relatively few “pure” bowlers who have been captains. It can be seen that a significant proportion of captains here are batting all-rounders or even batsmen who did not get to bowl frequently.
We start with
Most wickets (25 or more):
Note that only 10 captains have taken more than 100 wickets. Of these, all except Bedi would be considered all-rounders. The only other pure bowlers here are Walsh, Willis and Waqar Younis since even Sammy, Streak and Kumble made at least one century in their Test career. Going still further down below 50 wickets, the pure bowlers are Fazal Mahmood, IWG Johnson, Herath and maybe a couple of others.
The highest number of wickets by an Indian player in this table is 111 by Kapil, followed by Bedi, Kumble and L Amarnath.
Current and recent players include JO Holder, Shakib Al Hasan, Herath and Cremer.
The most 5-fors are 12 by Imran and 9 by Benaud.
The most 10-fors are 4 by Imran and 2 by Intikhab.
Next we come to
Innings Bowling (including all instances of 7wi and above):
Kapil is the only one with a 9-wicket haul. This came in a Test which his team lost. Imran, Herath and Kapil again have 8-wicket hauls. Note the freakish 6 for 7 by Gilligan. Walsh had a 7-for and a 6-for in the same Test. That takes pride of place in the next table of
Match Bowling (including all instances of 9wm and above):
We see that Walsh’s 13-55 is clearly the best here, while Younis and Herath have more expensive 13-fors. Other good match bowling figures came from Imran, Gilligan and Border; the last rarely bowled and recorded the only 10-for in his career besides making 75. Also note Giffen’s 8-40.
Now we look at
Bowling Averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):
Fazal (19.14) and Imran have the best bowling averages. The best for India is by Bedi.
It can also be seen that TL Goddard (1.68) and HB Cave have the best bowling averages. The best for India is by Amarnath.
The best strike rates here are by Waqar Younis (40.3) and Willis. The best for India is by Kapil.
This list of 43 bowler-captains includes current and recent players in Holder, Shakib, Mathews and Creme.
The bottom position is held by Vivian Richards, who rarely bowled. Above him is Hooper who was more of a batting all-rounder. Simpson and Dexter were also among those who did not bowl regularly.
Next we will take up fielding performances by captains.
We look at other performances by captains in tests lost by their team. We will see that India is well represented here.
Best innings bowling (including all instances of 5wi and above):
Kapil is the only captain who has taken more than 7 wickets here. BS Bedi, Imran Khan and Courtney Walsh have multiple appearances. Current players include Shakib Al Hasan (multiple appearances), Graeme Cremer and Jason Holder.
Best match bowling (8wm and above):
Kapil again heads this, from that same match in 1983. Bedi is the only other one with a 10-for. Current players include Jason Holder and Graeme Cremer.
Best innings fielding (5 dismissals):
Includes a few current players such as Mushfiqur, SPD Smith and Sarfraz. Sammy and Smith are the only non-keepers here.
Best match fielding (6 dismissals):
Current player Sarfraz Ahmed tops this list along with AC Gilchrist, while MS Dhoni and SPD Smith also appear. SP Fleming and SPD Smith (twice) are the only non-keepers. Gilchrist was a “regular” stand-in captain.
Best all-round performance (50 and 5wi):
Holder and Shakib from the present, while Imran Khan has two appearances from the same series in 1982. The best performances would by by Imran (July 1982) and Holder.
It can be seen that he is the only wicket-keeper to score a century and to make 10 dismissals in an innings. This is made more clear here:
In fact, he shares the record for most dismissals in a Test with Jack Russell:
Note WP Saha in this table. Also that 3 of the 5 instances were in South Africa and that the two best performances were at Johannesburg.
His best in an innings is 6, while the record is 7 shared by Wasim Bari, Bob Taylor, IDS Smith and RD Jacobs.
However, he also had some low lights in Tests-being one of the few to get a “queen pair” – out second ball in each inning. And he is also one of the few to get a pair as a captain. He and tailender BS Bedi are the only captains to get a queen pair.
However, it is in the realm of strike rates in ODI matches that he is in a class by himself. That will be the next post.
Victories for New Zealand were few and far between in those days. At that time even India always considered them to be a lesser team. His tenure as captain included NZ’s first win against Australia in 1974, and earlier his 175 came close to bringing his team to an improbable win against England, making 440 and losing by 38 runs:
That was then the highest fourth-innings score in a loss, though it has since been surpassed.
Congdon was a part-time medium pacer. His best bowling and all-round performance came in a Test against India at Auckland in early 1976. By then Glenn Turner was captain. India won this Test, which was significant in several ways.
Congdon scored 54 and 54 besides taking 5-65. Apart from this:
Surender Amarnath scored a century on debut. Like his father, he never made a Test century after his debut.
Gavaskar won his first Test as captain and made a century as well. He was standing in for BS Bedi who made his debut as captain in the second Test of the series.
Prasanna’s 8-76 remains the best innings bowling for an Indian bowler in a Test outside India. His match figures of 11-140 were then the best for India outside India, though the record now stands at 12-104 by BS Chandrashekhar against Australia at Melbourne in early 1978. Chandrashekhar would not have minded getting a king pair in that match.
But India did not win that series against New Zealand. The 2nd Test was drawn with India in a weaker position. And the third Test saw the then little-known Richard Hadlee taking 7-23 (and 11-58) in bringing about an innings victory for NZ.