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).

1000 runs in Tests without a century

The 2019 Ashes ended in a 2-2 draw, like the 1972 edition. That was the last drawn Ashes series until now.

The “1000 and no century” club got its 52nd member in GOAT NM Lyon. He does not have a monopoly on this title as it was first used for Mohammed Ali (ex Cassius Clay) long ago.

1000 without century

Heading this list is Shane Warne, fittingly with a top score of 99 and over 3000 runs. Next is India’s opener (and later politician) CPS Chauhan with a top score of 97 and over 2000. No one else got up to 2000, though DL Murray got close.

Waqar Younis (top score 45) and now Lyon (top score 47) are the only ones who never crossed 50. As we can see above everyone else made at least one 50. Chauhan with 16 is followed by Dickwella and Mackay with 15.

The highest batting averages are 35+ by opener Laird, followed by Mackay (33+) and Chauhan (31+).

Warne, Starc, Surti, and DN Patel finished with a top score of 99.

At the other end of the scale are the 10/11 batsmen such as JM Anderson (9.68) who is the only one with a single-figure average. Waqar Younis and Muralitharan are next, with Zaheer Khan, Lyon, and Ambrose following.

Even Anderson did get up to 81 once. He, Ambrose and Muralitharan made precisely one fifty in their long careers.

Current players here include Dickwella, Southee, Philander, Starc and Steyn besides newcomer Lyon.

There were a few such as Kumble and Vaas who made one century towards the end of their careers. Otherwise they would be near the top of this list.

The best tailenders in Tests

Having studied the Indian tailenders here , we take a look at Test batsmen from 8 to    12 (!) in all Tests.

Minimum 20 innings, average 25.00

Tailenders (all)

Some of the players here also batted at 7 or higher. Jadeja’s only century and some of Kapil’s centuries came that way.

This list is headed by the relatively lesser known JDC Goddard who was the West Indies captain during the 1948-49 tour of India and the epochal 1950 tour of England.

The current players include (in descending order) Mahmudullah, Jadeja, JO Holder and Ashwin.

As most of us would be more familiar with recent players, we repeat the above exercise for players from 2000 onwards:

Minimum 20 innings, average 20.00 after 01 Jan 2000

Tailenders (all) since 2000

Here, only performances after 1 Jan 2000 are included. So the earlier careers of a few trans-millenials such as Boucher, Vettori, Pollock and Streak are not included here.

Here, Boucher is followed by the already forgotten MD Craig, Mahmudullah, Prior and Jadeja. Those currently playing include Mahmudullah, Jadeja, Holder and Ashwin.

Vettori has the most centuries (5) and 50+ scores (20). In contrast, Australia’s NM Hauritz has only one fifty but still manages a batting average of above 20. Similarly for SA’s AJ Hall and England’s TT Bresnan with two fifties apiece.

 

 

India’s best tailenders

Ishant Sharma’s heroics and his maiden Test fifty reminded us of the importance of having tailenders who can score some runs. Or, failing that, at least stay around long enough for other batsmen to score some more runs. Ishant was perhaps more of the second type.

We have a quick look at the best performers at 8-11 in the three formats.

For Tests and ODIs  a cutoff of 20 innings is used. For T20Is it is 10 innings.

Test batting averages at 8-11:

Indian tailenders

RA Jadeja’s average is now above Kapil Dev’s. Remember that both of them and a few others like Nadkarni scored centuries up to No 7 as well.

Kapil, Ashwin and Harbhajan have two centuries here. Others with centuries are Kirmani, IK Pathan, Kumble and Agarkar.

Here Agarkar has the lowest average by a century-maker and Ishant the lowest by a fifty-maker.

The lowest average here is by Maninder Singh, followed by Chandrashekhar and Doshi which most would have guessed.

In ODIs, we have:

Indian Tailenders (ODI)

The highest averages are by Pathan and Chetan Sharma. Sharma has scored a century batting lower.

Pathan and Agarkar are the only ones here with 2 fifties. The lowest average by a fifty-scorer is by Praveen Kumar.

The lowest average is by Sreesanth, followed by Ishant Sharma and Nehra.

For T20Is, no one has 20 innings so we take the cutoff of 10 innings instead.

Indian tailenders - T20I

Ashwin and Harbhajan are the only ones who qualify here. Neither has scored a fifty.

 

Afghanistan and Ireland in Tests-2

More highlights from their short Test history:

Fielding:

Most dismissals (3 and above):

Afg-Ire dismissals

The most by a non-keeper is 4 by Stirling.

Most innings dismissals (3 and above):

Afg-Ire innings dis

Most match dismissals (3 and above):

Afg-Ire match dis

Wilson has the most dismissals here, while the best by non-keepers are 3 by Strling and I. Zadran.

All-round performances:

Overall (see criteria):

Afg-Ire AR overall

These two players have made an encouraging start.

Match performance (50 and 5wi):

Afg-Ire AR match

Only one instance here, but it is the relatively rare combination of a fifty and 10 wickets. This has been achieved 29 times in all Tests.

Rashid is only the third Test caption to achieve this:

Captain with 50 & 10 wkts

He is in august company, though it may be a while before he becomes PM of his country.

 

Afghanistan and Ireland in Tests-1

Afghanistan and Ireland have each played 3 Tests, including one between themselves. Here is the record of these matches:

Afg-Ire Tests

Afghanistan have made rapid progress, starting with a two-day defeat in their first Test followed by two wins, the latest against the higher-rated Bangladesh. Ireland have lost all three Tests, putting up a good fight in the first two but abjectly collapsing to 38 all out in the third. They did however dismiss England for 85 in that Test.

We now look at individual performances, starting with

Batting:

Most runs (100 and above):

Afg-Ire runs

Rahmat Shah, KJ O’Brien and Asghar Afghan (former Stanikzai) have the most runs. The only centuries are by Rahmat and O’Brien, the latter on debut. Rahmat and Asghar have 3 scores of 50+.

At the other end of the scale, Murtagh became the first No 11 batsman in any Test to score 25+ in each innings during Ireland’s second Test.

Highest innings (75 and above):

Afg-Ire innings.JPG

Bowling:

Most wickets (8 and above):

Afg-Ire wkts

Rashid Khan has by far the best total here. He has 3 fivers and the only tenner here. Murtagh is the only other with a fiver.

Best innings bowling (4wi or more):

Afg-Ire innings bowl

Note Rashid’s two fivers in the same match, while Murtagh’s 2018 figure is the best on debut from either side. Murtagh also became the first Irish player to appear on the Lord’s honours board.

Best match bowling (6wi and above):

Afg-Ire match bowl

Rashid Khan has the two best performances here.

To be continued

 

 

Review of India-West Indies Tests (2019)-2

Bowling:

Most wickets (25 or more):

I v WI wkts

Kapil has the highest tally here, while Ashwin and I Sharma have the highest among current players.

Best innings bowling (All instances of 6wi or more):

I v WI innings bowling.JPG

While Kapil has the best performance here, spare a thought for JM Noreiga who played only in 4 tests but still had the best innings performance for the West Indies in all Tests.

Ashwin (2016) and Bumrah in this series have the best figures among current players.

Best match bowling (All instances of 9wm or more):

I v WI match bowling

Hirwani’s match figures are the best for India in all Test. UT Yadav (2018) and I Sharma (2019) have the best figures among current players.

Best bowling average (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

I v WI bowl avg

Hall and Walsh have the best bowling averages, while Ashwin and I Sharma have the best among current players. It can also be seen that GE Gomez and Gibbs have the best economy rates, and that Hall and Roberts have the best strike rate.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (15 or more):

I v WI dismissals

Dujon has the most dismissals and catches, Dhoni the most stumpings and Richards the most catches by a non-keeper.

Most dismissals in an innings (4 and more):

I v WI innings fielding

WP Saha is the only one with 6 dismissals in an innings.  SD Hope made 5 dismissals in this series. DJG Sammy has the most catches by a non-keeper with 5 in 2013, which is a share in the world record. Also note KS More’s 5 stumpings which is a world record.

Most dismissals in a match (6 and more):

I v WI match dismissals

Dhoni has the most dismissals here (8) while More’s 6 stumpings is a world record. Both his records came in Hirwani’s record bowling performance. The most catches by a non-keeper are 6 by ED Solkar, in India’s first victory against WI in 1971.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.500):

I v WI dismissal rate

Dhoni has the best rate here followed by Dujon. While CL Walcott played some of his Tests as a keeper, the best rate by a non-keeper is 0.800 by Azharuddin.

All-round performances:

Overall (see criteria in table):

I v WI AR overall

Sobers has by far the best record here, followed by Ashwin who is again far ahead of Kapil. JO Holder and Chase have the best record among current players, while Mankad had a relatively poor record against WI.

Match performance (50 and 5wi):

I v WI AR match

This includes the century/5wi double by OG Smith, Umrigar, Sobers, Ashwin (twice) and Chase.