Test captaincy and non-captaincy records

It is easy enough to get the full figures of Test captains from Statsguru:

Those who captained for 35 or more Tests:


And it is easy enough to find those who were non-captains in the most Tests:

Those who played 100 or more Tests as non-captains:

Non captains

While Tendulkar, Kallis and Chanderpaul did captain their team in some Tests, there are others (starting with Warne) who never captained at all. We now take a closer look at this category:

Those who played 80 or more Tests without ever captaining their teams:

Zero captains

SK Warne leads here with 144, with JM Anderson and VVS Laxman as runners-up. The highest for other Test teams are:

Sri Lanka-132 (M Muralitharan)

South Africa-101 (M Ntini)

West Indies-98 (CEL Ambrose)

New Zealand-86 (Sir RJ Hadlee)

Pakistan-76 (Mudassar Nazar)

Zimbabwe-67 (GW Flower)

Bangladesh-40 (Javed Omar)

In a few cases (e.g. Warne) they led their country in a few ODIs. Sometimes even that consolation was not there.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are a small number who captained their team in all their Tests. There are various reasons for this-mainly because only amateurs were considered suitable to lead England until Hutton in the 1950s. In some cases (notably SA) most players were inexperienced in the early years and there was a rapid turnover of players as well as captains. And there were strange cases like the Maharajdhirajkumar of Vizianagram which Indian cricket fans would know about.

So here is the full list of 24 players who captained their side in all their Tests:

Pure captains

The leader here is the long-forgotten South African Percy Sherwell of the early 20th century:


Interestingly, he was a wicket keeper-one of the few who played more than a handful of Tests as captain until Dhoni came along.

The only¬† instance of “pure captains” in recent years was LK Germon of NZ in the mid-90s. He was also a wicket keeper. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/37101.html

We also see James Lillywhite jnr of England who captained his side in the first 2 Tests ever played and never played another, CA Smith who played one Test but carved out a career in Hollywood and N Betancourt who seems to be here because at that time (in the West Indies) the captain had to be from the territory where the Test was played.

Tail piece: LK Germon does possess an odd record-he has scored the most runs on debut without scoring a fifty:

Germon record







The triple clean sweep

The triple clean sweep in all 3 formats of cricket has been recorded once before, when Pakistan visited Australia in 2009-10. Australia won the Tests 3-0, the ODIs 5-0 and the single T20I (admittedly by only 2 runs). You can see the details here:


The second Test was won by the comparatively narrow margin of 36 runs.

Then came the ODIs:


The first 4 ODIs were rather one-sided although Australia won the 5th one by 2 wickets.

And finally:


Australia won this by just 2 runs, making it a 9-0 sweep. Remember that this was in their home country.

Nothing like this was achieved until India visited Sri Lanka in 2017:

Tests 3-0 with Sri Lanka losing by big margins:


ODIs 5-0, all by handsome margins except one win by 3 wickets:


And the T20I by a good margin:


Thus India emulated Australia’s 9-0 triple clean sweep, with somewhat bigger margins of victory. But unlike Australia, they achieved this away from home.

Salute Virat Kohli and his men.

Kohli captained all 9 matches, but faced a bewildering array of captains:

Tests: Herath, Chandimal, Chandimal

ODIs: Tharanga, Tharanga, Kapugedara, Malinga, Tharanga

T20I: Tharanga

In contrast, the Australian captain Ponting faced M. Yousuf in the three Tests and 4 of the 5 ODIs, when Afridi came in for the last one. In the T20I it was Clarke vs Shoaib Malik.

Tail piece:

Earlier, India won a T20I series 3-0 in Australia in early 2016 which was believed to be the only clean sweep by a visiting team in Australia in any format of cricket in a series of at least 3 matches:


99s in ODI cricket

Inspired by Misbah-ul-Haq’s affinity for 99s, we had a few posts on Test 99s. We now turn our attention to 99s in ODIs.

Following my normal practice, the ODIs involving the ICC XI, Asia XI and Africa XI are not counted.

We start with the complete list of 99s in ODIs:

ODI 99 full

Sachin Tendulkar is the only one with three 99s

Sanath Jayasuriya is the only one with two 99s.

No one else has more than one.

Those who made 99 on ODI debut:

ODI 99 debut

A rather short list. So we may as well list all those who made 90 to 99 on debut:

ODI 90 plus debut

Note that no one other than Morgan and Patil crossed 95 on debut. Stephen Fleming also made 92 on Test debut.

Captains who made 99:

ODI 99 capt

Jayasuriya’s two 99s came when he was captain, while Tendulkar’s relatively short spells of captaincy did not see any of his three 99s.

Next we take up the subset of unbeaten 99s:


While there was only one instance of an unbeaten 99 while chasing a target in Tests (Alec Tudor), there are a few in ODIs. This is the full list of unbeaten 99s in the second innings of an ODI:

ODI 99 NO in 2nd innings

Only Patil ended on the losing side when his team was bowled out (and it was his ODI debut too). The other 6 instances were while chasing a target. In at least one case (that of Sehwag) it was alleged that the bowler deliberately bowled a no-ball to deny the batsman his century. Read more about it here:


But disciplinary action was taken:


Apart from the bowler Suraj Randiv, another player (Dilshan) was penalized for encouraging him to bowl a no-ball.

These unbeaten 99s do not include any by a captain.

So we extend this list to captains who have made 95 to 99:

ODI 95plus Capt

Both Sohail and Attapattu made 97 not out in successful chases.




Quiz involving IR and cricket

This is a little-known place near Dhanbad:


Why is this place significant in the history of Indian cricket?

Hint: It is associated with a prominent Indian captain. (Although it is in Jharkhand, the answer is not MS Dhoni).

Answer: It is the venue of a ground which has hosted first-class cricket, in addition to List A and T20 matches:


More details can be seen here:

Jharkhand stadia

As you can see, this stadium built by the Tata group has hosted recognized cricket matches from 1969 to 2009. Now take a look at this scorecard from 1983-84:


A hitherto unknown batsman from Hyderabad scored a double century against Central Zone. Admittedly it was not a very good bowling line-up, but it was the first time that most cricket fans of that time had heard of Mohammad Azharuddin

Arunabha Sengupta was the first to get it right.