Elgar’s unusual record

South Africa’s 3-day rout of West Indies included an obscure record for captain Dean Elgar.

He is one of the few captains who won a Test without scoring a run, taking a wicket or a fielding dismissal. Here is the complete list of captains who achieved this:

Note that Babar Azam did the same earlier this year.

There are some famous names here (including Bradman in his last Test in 1948).

No Indian captain here, although Clive Lloyd did this against India in 1976. That was the Test famous for the bouncer barrage and India being 97 all out with 5 batsmen unable to bat due to various injuries.

Meanwhile, here is the short list of Indian players whose side won a Test without any contribution by them:

Ishant Sharma achieved this earlier in the year. There is also Pujara with one of his rare ducks.

Also note 3 separate players in the test against NZ at Chennai in 1955-56, which is remembered for the long-standing opening record of 413 by Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy.

TAIL PIECE: If you have any connection with Maharashtra, you can create memes about the Elgar Parishad.

Test captains compared-fielding

We now look at the fielding figures for Test captains. This includes both keepers and non-keepers.

Most dismissals (35 and above):

Led by Dhoni (211) followed by non-keepers GC Smith (152) and Fleming (132) and current keeper Paine (101)

Fine-tuning:

A Flower and AJ Stewart had captained both as keepers and as non-keepers. Sangakkara and AB de Villiers never captained as a keeper.

Most catches by WK: 187 by Dhoni, almost double the next (97 by Paine).

Most stumpings: 24 by Dhoni, followed by Sherwell (16 from long ago)

Most catches by non-keeper: 152 by GC Smith, 132 by Fleming. The highest for India is 59 by Kohli

Most dismissals in an innings (5 and above):

Rashid Latif and Dhoni have the most dismissals (6).

Among non-keepers, the highest is 5 by VY Richardson, Fleming, GC Smith, Sammy and SPD Smith.

5 is still the world record for catches by a fielder in an innings. It is shared by several others. VY Richardson was the first to achieve this. He is better known as the (maternal) grandfather of the Chappells.

Most dismissals in a match (7 and above):

Here the record is 10 by Sarfaraz Ahmed, who had a relatively short spell as captain.

For non-keepers, it is 7 by Fleming. This was a share in the world record until AM Rahane took 8 catches.

And the most stumpings appear to be 3 by Dhoni in 2010.

Highest dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, and 0.65):

Here the results are a little surprising: Paine (2.244) followed by Sarfaraz (2.200) and Alexander. Dhoni is next.

Among fielders, the leader is SPD Smith(1.187) followed by DJG Sammy (1.075). Dravid (0.702) has the most for India.

You may also like to see this, which has the same dateline in May 2021.

Review of Pakistan-South Africa Test series-1

After this series was won 2-0 by Pakistan, this is the summary of the 28 Tests played between these teams:

This is only the second time Pakistan has won a Test series against South Africa. The previous occasion was in 2003-04, where the captains were Md Yousuf (win) and Inzamam (draw) vs Graeme Smith.

And Pakistan lost 3-0 when they last toured SA in 2018-19. Sarfraraz Ahmed was then the captain.

Babar Azam’s Test captaincy started with two wins.

The overall record:

Next we look at individual records.

Most runs (500 and above):

Azhar Ali is the only current player here.

The most centuries are 6 by Kallis and 4 each by de Villiers, Smith and Younis Khan. And the most 50+ scores are 14 by Kallis and 12 by Amla.

Highest individual scores (125 and above):

de Villiers has the best performance here. No one from the current series.

Highest batting average (Minimum 20 innings, all instances):

As in the earlier table, de Villiers leads by a distance. Azhar Ali is the only current player.

Highest strike rate (Minimum 1000 balls faced, all instances):

Similarly, led by de Villiers with Azhar Ali the only current player.

To be continued.

Lord Mayers of Chattogram

The West Indies has had many levels of aristocracy, such as Baron Constantine and Sir Frank Worrell. And the calypso men such as Lord Kitchener, Lord Beginner and Lord Relator.

So the tabloids in Barbados may well refer to Kyle Mayers as Lord Mayers of Chattogram.

(They might also be interested in what their heroine Rihanna says about India 🙂 )

Also his partner Nkrumah Bonner whose parents must have named him after the Ghanaian leader Kwame Nkrumah.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/westindies/content/player/348056.html

https://www.espncricinfo.com/westindies/content/player/314650.html

Both of them have been prominent in domestic cricket for a while, but would probably not been on this tour if not for Covid.

Here are some of the records set during the chase of 395:

Most runs on debut (innings scores):

5th position here among the 6 who scored 200+

Most runs in a match on debut:

4th among the 12 who have made 200 in their debut match. Yasir Hameed did not score a century after making two on debut. Others such as Foster, Umar Akmal and Kuruppu did not last long, and Rowe somewhat under-performed though he played Tests up to 1980. He did make 302 against England in 1974.

Most runs in 4th innings on debut:

Mayers does top this list, surpassing India’s AA Baig who had provided a small silver lining to the 5-0 sweep in 1959. None of the other debutants except Yasir Hameed figured in successful chases.

Highest partnerships in successful chases (not only for debutants):

6th in this all-time list. No other instance where both were debutants. Gilchrist was playing his 2nd Test.

Most runs in unbeaten innings in successful run chase:

Here too Mayers is far ahead of the rest. No one else scored a century under these conditions. Next in line is a recent player Bancroft who was part of the Smith-Warner axis and probably will not play again.

This list also includes Lloyd, Lewis and Gimblett against India, besides Gavaskar for India against the West Indies. Maybe in some cases they hit the winning runs, but we need to check accounts of the match or commentary transcripts if available. It can be seen that Mayers did hit the winning run (a single).

Finally, we look at the cases of unbeaten 100+ scores in successful run chases (all instances, not only debutants):

Here Mayers is second only to Greenidge. India has Tendulkar and VVS near the bottom. There are also Haynes, Richards and Mark Taylor against India. But the next highest debutant after Mayers is Bancroft, as described above.

Tail piece: The WI captain Kraigg Brathwaite recorded his first win. His first 5 Tests as captain were losses.

Analyzing Test captaincies – 6

Finally we look at captains with the most wins, most losses and most draws.

Most wins (14 and more):

Here, and in the rest of the post, we will see that the toppers will generally be those who captained in the most Tests. GC Smith with 53 wins had captained in the most Tests (108). RT Ponting is next with 47 wins.

Among current players, V Kohli has the most wins (33). That is also the most by an Indian captain.

Most losses (12 and more):

Unsurprisingly, it is also headed by GC Smith with 28 losses. Next is SP Fleming with 27.

Among current captains, JO Holder has the most losses (19). For India, MAK Pataudi leads with 19.

Most draws (12 and more):

For a change, this is headed by another captain AR Border with 39 draws (including 1 tie). Next is SM Gavaskar with 30. He was well known for his defensive captaincy. Like Border, he had a weak Test team most of the time. GC Smith is third with 27.

Among recent captains, AN Cook leads with 13 draws.

Analyzing Test captaincies – 4

Here we look at captains with no wins, no losses and no draws.

No Wins:

These are captains in 4 or more Tests with no wins.

Headed by M Ashraful of Bangladesh with 13 (12 losses and 1 draw). The next (IT Botham) is more surprising. Another Bangladeshi Khaled Mashud also has 12.

In recent years there are AG Cremer (8) and KC Brathwaite (5).

From India there are MH Mankad (6), S Venkataraghavan (5) and others with 4.

No losses:

These are captains in 2 or more Tests with no losses.

WW Armstrong with 10 heads this list, with 8 wins and 2 draws.

Next are DB Close and FG Mann with 7.

In recent years there is only AM Rahane with 2; both of these wins were when he was standing in for Kohli.

From India we also have Srikkanth with 4 (all draws).

No draws:

These are captains in 3 or more Tests with no draws.

Headed by Waqar Younis (17, 10 wins and 7 losses). The next is Shakib with 14 (3 wins and 11 losses).

Others from recent times (other than Shakib) include R Herath, KC Brathwaite and RAS Lakmal with 5.

Brathwaite has 5 losses out of 5.

From India there is DK Gaekwad with 4 (all losses). He is presently India’s oldest living Test player.

Analyzing Test captaincies – 3

Now we look at the ranking of captains by simple criteria such as win-loss ratios and win percentage.

Win-loss ratios (raw):

All of those listed here have a win-loss ratio of infinity-since they never lost a Test. A few like Srikkanth and Majid Khan managed to draw all their Tests.

As this table is not very meaningful, we repeat this with a restriction of a minimum of 10 Tests:

These are limited to those with W/L ratios above 2.00

This list of 31 is headed by Warwick Armstrong with 8 wins, no losses and 2 draws. Others have lost at least one Test. The first few are generally considered to be among the best captains although they had relatively short careers. And not everyone would agree with Jardine’s tactics.

Current captains are Kohli (#16) and Williamson (#25). They should be around for a while.

Also note that these two are the only representatives of India and New Zealand respectively among the top 31 (who have W/L ratio above 2.00)

West Indies is headed by Richards and Lloyd (as you may expect). Pakistan is headed by Zaheer Abbas (whom you would not expect). Similarly SM Pollock is the top SA captain here (though there is also A Bacher with 4 wins in 4 Tests).

From the upper table, special mention should be made of DB Close (6 wins and 1 draw in 7 Tests).

We also look at

Percentage of wins (raw):

Somewhat meaningful, although those with short careers (A Bacher and Lord Hawke) have an advantage with 4 wins out of 4. The latter was a poor batsman but somehow managed to win 4 Tests and played in one other victory, thus seeing victory in all his 5 Tests.

Bacher did not do too well himself but had a good team and a demoralized Australian team to contend with.

As in the case of W/L ratios, we will get more useful results with a restriction of a minimum of 10 Tests:

This list of 28 is of those with a win percentage of a minimum of 50%.

This may fit in better with general perceptions, though Warwick Armstrong is still at the top with 80%. Here Steve Waugh is above Bradman unlike in the upper table. Others like Kohli and Williamson are ranked higher than in the upper table.

Kohli, Williamson, Paine, Root and du Plessis are the current captains although the last-named intends to step down. And SPD Smith may make a comeback.

It is interesting to see the most successful captains from their countries:

WW Armstrong (Aus)

WG Grace (Eng) ?!

V Kohli (Ind)

FMM Worrell (WI)

Waqar Younis (Pak) ?!

KS Williamson (NZ)

SM Pollock (SA)

Note that Waqar Younis has 10 wins, 7 losses and no draws. This is also a record, which we will see later.

CH Lloyd is not here as his win % is less than 50.

There are still more studies of captaincy coming up.

Analyzing Test captaincies – 2

Today we look at those who captained their sides in only one Test.

There are 46 such cases.

First, the 10 who won that Test:

CA Smith is the only one here whose Test career ended with a win. He did take 5 wickets in an innings and seven in the match, which was the first Test ever played in South Africa. But this Test status of this series was decided several years later.

He finally ended up in Hollywood: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._Aubrey_Smith

He was unfit for the second Test, and another player MP Bowden captained for his only Test. He died in Rhodesia in 1892, and Wisden’s obituary did not mention that he had played in Tests.

This list includes many prominent players, notably Harvey, Bill Brown and Shastri. Shastri was fortunate in having ND Hirwani take 16 wickets on debut.

Mashrafe Mortaza was also fortunate in that he was injured early in the Test and still gets credit for the win where Tamim Iqbal captained for most of the Test. It was Bangladesh’s first Test win abroad and second overall – though the West Indies was effectively fielding a third XI due to boycotts by many players.

Next, the 20 who lost that Test:

This includes Craig Ervine, Tom Latham and Ben Stokes from 2020, and two prominent players from India in Chandu Borde and Pankaj Roy. Also 3 who were playing their only Tests – two South Africans and one West Indian from the early days of their teams.

Other prominent players here are Gordon Greenidge, John Edrich, Mohammed Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Shane Watson and Tamim Iqbal.

DB Carr is lesser known and played only 2 Tests. His captaincy saw India winning their first Test. He was vice-captain of that England team, while the captain was the equally undistinguished ND Howard who played his only 4 Tests during that series.

Finally, the 16 who drew that Test:

None from recent years. HR Adhikari is the only one from India, who was credited with ending a sequence of 3 successive losses (although India came close to losing that Test as well).

There are a number of well-known players here, such as Deryck Murray, Gary Kirsten, George Headley, Mark Butcher, Ray Lindwall and Tom Graveney. Also note another early South African playing in his only Test.

George Headley would have captained the West Indies earlier and in more than one Test, but for the policy of only having captains of European ancestry.

Analyzing Test captaincies-1

With the summer season of 2020 out of the way, we review Test captaincies up to Aug 31, 2020:

Most Tests

Headed by Tendulkar with 200. Anderson (156) and Broad (143) are unlikely to come near, although they may challenge Cook for the England record of 161.

Most Tests as captain:

GC Smith leads with 108. Kohli (55) will probably overtake Dhoni (60) but is unlikely to come near GC Smith. Root (44) is probably the only other captain who will move up a bit-but may not pass Cook’s England record of 59.

Most Tests not as captain:

Tendulkar again, with Anderson and Broad some distance behind.

The next logical question is to find who has played the

Most Tests without ever being captain:

The record was held by Warne for a long time. He has now been overtaken by Anderson with Broad just behind him. Other potential candidates like Ishant Sharma and Lyon are unlikely to come near. VVS Laxman has the India record of 134.

And finally

Those who were captains in all their Tests:

Many of them were from the glorious days of amateurs ruling the roost, although that does not apply to the first few names here. Germon and Poterfield are the only ones from recent times.

Also note the 5 who captained their sides in their only Tests. CA Smith was the only to have won their Test, and ultimately settled in Hollywood.

Also note the father-son duo of FT Mann and FG Mann.

Vizianagram or Vizzy joins his amateur English friends here.

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)

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.

 

Best performances by losing captains-2

Hope that you have read part 1: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/best-performances-by-losing-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):

Captains losing-innings bowling scores

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):

Captains losing-match bowling scores

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):

Captains losing-innings fielding

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):

Captains losing-match fielding

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):

Captains losing-all round

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.