Summing up of results of captaincies

For Tests up to 04 Dec 2019:

WINNING ALL THEIR TESTS:

A Bacher (4)

Lord Hawke (4)

LOSING ALL THEIR TESTS:

Khaled Mashud (12)

Khaled Mahmud (9)

DRAWING ALL THEIR TESTS:

K Srikkanth (4)

Majid Khan (3)

Saeed Ahmed (3)

NEVER WINNING A TEST:

Mohammad Ashraful (13)

IT Botham (12)

Khaled Mashud (12)

NEVER LOSING A TEST:

WW Armstrong (10)

DB Close (7)

FG Mann (7)

NEVER DRAWING A TEST:

Waqar Younis (17)

Shakib Al Hasan (14)

Captains who drew everything and never drew anything

We have seen the Test captains who won all their Tests, did not win any of their Tests, lost all their Tests and did not lose any Test.

Finally we look at the last categories of those who drew all their Tests and did not draw any Test.

Captains who drew all their Tests:

All draws

An unlikely leader who drew all 4 Tests in India’s 1989-90 tour of Pakistan. That was generally a dull series, though it did see the debuts of Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis.

Then there are Majid Khan and Saeed Ahmed who drew all their 3 Tests. Strange when we we remember that Srikkanth and Majid were among the more aggressive batsmen of their time.

There are many others (mainly stand-ins) who drew the 1 or 2 Tests they captained in. The better-known are Bardsley, Murray, Kirsten, Headley, Lindwall and Graveney. Headley should have captained the West Indies earlier but for the earlier policy of having one captains of European descent.

And finally:

Captains who never drew any of their Tests:

Never drew

There are a total of 85 captains in this category. We are listing the 27 who captained in 4 or more Tests.

There are those who won all (Bacher and Hawke) and those who lost all (the two Khaleds of Bangladesh, today’s KC Brathwaite and DK Gaekwad of earlier times).

And there are those who won some and lost some but never drew-such as the leaders Waqar Younis (10 wins, 7 losses) and Shakib al Hasan (3 wins, 11 losses).

Perhaps they deserve credit for their determination to get results rather than draws.

Captains who lost everything and never lost anything

Here we look at other aspects of the performances of Test captains. We had started with those who won all their Tests and those who never lost any. Now we look at their converses:

Captains who lost all their Tests:

All losses

As one may guess, the first two (both with the first name Khaled) were from Bangladesh and lost all their 12 and 9 Tests respectively. Next is WI’s KC Brathwaite who lost all his 5 Tests and India’s DK Gaekwad (4)

There are a total of 38 captains who lost all their Tests, but the above includes only the 21 who lost all their Tests from 2 onward.  Recent additions are Mominul Haque with 2 and WTS Porterfield with 3.

Then there were the

Captains who never lost any Test:

Never lost

There are actually 50 such cases, but we consider only the 24 cases for 2 or more Tests shown above.

At the top is Warwick Armstrong (8 wins and 2 draws)  Brian Close (6 wins and 1 draw) and FG Mann (2 wins and 5 draws). From India there is Srikkanth (4 draws in a single series). In recent years there is AM Rahane (2 wins).

Test captaincy updates-3

Coming back to records up to 3 Dec 2019:

A total of 334 players have captained in Tests. Here are those who have captained in the most, along with their win/loss/draw records:

Captain in most Tests-Dec 2019

Kohli is now 12th on this list, somewhat ahead of Root and Steve Smith. He needs 8 more Tests to overtake Dhoni (besides other recent captains such as Cook and Misbah).

Some simple parameters for ranking include the percentage of wins and the win/loss ratio.

We consider these for the 157 who were captains in at least 10 Tests.

Ranked by percentage of wins:

Captains with highest win percentage-Dec 2019

Headed by Australia’s “Big Ship” Warwick Armstrong, who led the team to successive 5-0 and 3-0 Ashes wins after the Great War. Virat Kohli is 4th, after Steve Waugh and Don Bradman. Other current or near-current captains here are Kane Williamson (#12), Faf du Plessis (#18), SPD Smith (#19) and Joe Root (#30). The next from India is Dhoni (#40) and 45.00%.

At  the very bottom are M Ashraful (13 Tests and no wins) along with Ian Botham (!) and Khaled Mashud (12 Tests and no wins). Just above them are SA’s Alan Melville and Zimbabwe’s Tatenda Taibu (10 winless Tests).

We can also look at the ranking by Win-Loss Ratio for the same set of 157 captains:

Captains with highest Win-loss ratio-Dec 2019

Note that Armstrong has 8 wins and 2 draws with no losses, and thus has an undefined win-loss ratio. Everyone else with at least 10 Tests has at least one loss, starting with the second-ranked Douglas Jardine (born in Bombay).

Kohli is 9th here, ahead of all other contemporaries. Next is Williamson (#18), GC Smith (#33) and SPD Smith (#35). The next from India is Ganguly (#42) and 1.62

At  the bottom are the same quintet listed above, with Ashraful logically at the bottom with 0 wins in 13 Tests followed by Botham and the others.

Among those who captained in less than 10 Tests, a notable performance was that of England’s Brian Close (7 Tests, 6 wins and 1 draw).

 

 

 

Captains in only one Test

There are a total of 43 captains who led their Test teams only once. This is for data up to Dec 3, 2019 at the end of the Aus-Pak and NZ-Eng series.

In many cases they happened to captain the side when the regular captain was unavailable due to injury or illness (or other reasons, as in 2018). In the earlier years some teams such as South Africa were not quite settled and had to frequently make changes. And West Indies in the early years had an informal rule that the captain for a particular Test had to be from the country where it was being played.

Some won, some lost and others drew.

Those who won:

Only win

Prominent stand-in captains include Bill Brown, Neil Harvey and Ravi Shastri. Shastri was fortunate to have Hirwani making his debut. CA Smith played his only Test and went on to make a career in Hollywood.

Mortaza was particularly lucky as he was injured for most of the match while Shakib deputised for him in Bangladesh’s second Test win and the first away from home. That was against what can best be called a West Indies C team, as those from the A and B Test teams boycotted the series.

Those who lost:

Only loss

DB Carr is remembered by Indian cricket historians as that loss in 1952 corresponded to India’s first victory. He was a stand-in for ND Howard.

Prominent stand-in captains include Pankaj Roy and Chandu Borde (whose teams were “whitewashed”), John Edrich, Gordon Greenidge, Dwayne Bravo, Mohammad Hafeez and Shane Watson.

And Shahid Afridi impulsively decided to stop playing Tests after this loss. That was one of the few neutral Tests at Lord’s. He was replaced by Salman Butt, and we know how that turned out.

N Betancourt captained because of the prevalent West Indies practice of having the captain from the territory where the Test was being played.

Those who drew:

Only Draw

Prominent stand-ins include George Headley, Ray Lindwall, Tom Graveney, Deryck Murray and Gary Kirsten.

Headley should have captained the West Indies earlier but for the long-established principle that only those of European ancestry could captain the side.

Hemu Adhikari was thought to have done a good job as his team had lost the last three Tests by heavy margins. He was India’s 4th captain in the final match of a 5-Test series.

Also note the five who captained in their only Tests: CA Smith (Eng), AR Richards (SA), JH Anderson (SA), N Betancourt (WI), HM Taberer (SA).

 

Test Captaincy Updates-2

Continuing from Part 1:https://abn397.wordpress.com/2019/12/12/test-captaincy-updates-1/

We have seen which players have appeared in the most Tests, captained in the most Tests and have played in the most Tests while not captaining.

Now we look at those who 1) played their entire Test career as captains, and 2) played their entire Test careers NOT as captains.

The first list is relatively short:

Pure captains

Only 25 cases here. The top few are less-known except for LK Germon who was captain relatively recently. He was brought in as captain as the selectors felt that no other suitable captain could be found among the existing players. Sherwell and Germon were both wicketkeepers.

Tail piece: LK Germon does possess an odd record-he has scored the most runs on debut without scoring a fifty; 48 + 41 = 89.

We also see James Lillywhite jnr of England who captained his side in the first 2 Tests ever played and never played another,

In some cases certain players were appointed captains as they were amateurs rather than professionals, or if they were from the “nobility” as in the case of “Vizzy” and his British counterparts. In the early days of West Indies cricket, the captain was chosen from the players of the territory where the match was being played.

But clearly the players listed above were not good enough to stay in the team if their presence as captains was not essential. Vizzy, for example, was clearly not competent enough either as a batsman or captain.

More recently, WTS Porterfield captained Ireland in their first 3 Tests.

It is also interesting to note that the last 5 players made only a single Test appearance, in which they captained. The best known was CA Smith, later known as Sir Audrey Smith of Hollywood where he typically played roles of elderly Englishmen.

Now we go on to those who never captained in Tests.

There are over 1500 who played 5 or more Tests without ever being captains. Here we list

Those who played 85 or more Tests without ever captaining:

Pure non captains

England’s current players Anderson and Broad are in the first and third places, Anderson having crossed Warne’s mark of 144 recently. The national record holders would therefore include Anderson (149 for England), Warne (144 for Australia), VVS Laxman (134 for India), Muralitharan (132 for Sri Lanka), Ntini (101 for South Africa), CEL Ambrose (98 for WI) and Sir Richard Hadlee (86 for New Zealand). Further down there is Mudassar Nazar with 76 for Pakistan, GW Flower (67 for Zimbabwe) and Javed Omar (40 for Bangladesh).

There may be various reasons why they were never considered suitable for captaincy. However, Warne did captain Australia in a few ODIs. The knowledgeable feel that he may have been a better captain than some of his contemporaries.

 

RIP Bob Willis-some notes on his career

Basic details can be seen here: http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/22462.html

He captained England in 18 Tests in 1982-84, when the team won 7, lost 5 and drew 6.

There are relatively few “pure” bowlers who had extended runs as captains. This is an attempt to list them:

Bowler captain (Willis)

Botham did not do well as a batsman or bowler (or indeed as a captain) during his tenure.

Willis also holds a record of taking the most wickets (325) without ever taking a 10-for. These are the bowlers with this distinction with 200 or more wickets:

Most wkts with out 10WM

While Siddle may play a few more Tests, he is unlikely to come close to 325 wickets. Morne Morkel and Brett Lee may have surpassed this after a few more Tests if they had not retired.

For comparison, we see who has taken the most wickets without ever taking a five-for:

Most wickets without 5wi

While Hendrick was certainly a specialist bowler, most of the others here were considered all-rounders. Some were batsmen who bowled occasionally. We can see that NJ Astle has the most wickets without a 4-for.

And finally, he may be one of the few cricketers who legally changed their name to that of someone whom he admired. However, Bob Dylan outlived him. (He is only 8 years older than Willis).

Willis was not much of a batsman, with a top score of 28* and  career Test average of less than 12. He normally batted at No 10 or 11. However, he normally did stay long enough to help other batsmen to add more runs. The best such instance was in this Test in 1980:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17053/scorecard/63269/england-vs-west-indies-4th-test-west-indies-tour-of-england-1980

England made 370 and the West Indies 265 in reply. In the 3rd innings, England collapsed to 92/9 when Willis came in to join Willey (who was not considered to be an established batsman at that time; he had two fifties with a top score of 62* at that time). So England led by 197 with 3:30 hours left, and surely the West Indies would make light work of a target of around 200. But this did not happen. Wisden 1981 had this to say:

“At The Oval, July 24, 25, 26, 28, 29. Drawn. Considering a complete day was lost to the weather, that only 29 wickets fell, and that West Indies averaged 12.3 overs an hour, the fourth Test was a much better match than it might have been. Its main features were Gooch’s tremendous attacking 83 which inspired England’s best batting of the summer, a West Indian collapse that put them in momentary danger of a follow-on, and an unbroken last-wicket stand of 117 between Willey and Willis that saved England from defeat.

How England came to be 92 for nine in their second innings after making 370 in the first is something that requires no explanation to anyone familiar with the brittleness of their batting, or with the potency of Holding, Croft and Garner. When Willey and Willis came together a West Indian victory looked likely with England only 197 ahead and with three and a half hours left. Yet they played with exemplary coolness and courage, and after a surprisingly short time showed no sign of being parted.

West Indies were badly handicapped by injuries to Croft and Garner, but Holding and Marshall were still relatively fresh when the ninth wicket fell twenty-five minutes after lunch. Willis’s 24 not out equalled his highest score in 80 innings for England and followed a sequence of ten innings in which he had only once reached double figures. Sadly, because of his lost bowling form, it proved to be his last Test innings of the season.

For all that was owed to the ungainly effectiveness of Willis’s lunging forward stroke, it was to Willey that England were mainly indebted for survival. Ironically, he would not even have been playing had Greenidge caught him at 13 in the Old Trafford Test a fortnight earlier – an escape which enabled him to add 62 not out to an aggregate of 90 in his ten previous innings for England. It was to his reputation as a fighter that Willey owed his continued presence in the side, and at The Oval he justified the selectors’ faith in him. Arriving at 67 for six, thirty-five minutes before lunch, he showed the full face of the bat to the West Indian fast bowlers from the moment he came in. He held concentration and resolve as Botham, Knott and Dilley were briskly swept aside, resourcefully protected Willis from the strike and, when the West Indian effort faded, availed himself of a well-deserved first hundred.”

While this was not noticed at the time, it was the first time that a 10th-wicket pair succeeded in doubling the score (from 92/9 to 209/9). This happened after over a hundred years of Tests, and has indeed happened only on 6 occasions from 1980 to 2019 as detailed here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2019/11/13/batting-recoveries-1-doubling-the-score-by-the-10th-wicket-partners/

So the West Indies held on to their 1-0 lead going into the final Test which was also drawn. Later that decade they beat England 5-0 in England in 1984, 5-0 in the West Indies in 1985-86 and 4-0 again in England in 1988. Hence the wisecracks about the “blackwash” being followed by a “dark grey wash” in 1988.