There are as many as 45 Test captains who were captain in exactly one Test:
From this we come to
Captains who won their only Test:
Only 10 of the 40, the most recent being Mashrafe Mortaza. Even in his case, he was injured soon after the match started and Shakib Al Hasan was the effective captain. This was Bangladesh’s first Test win abroad, though it was against what was virtually a 3rd XI of the West Indies.
Shastri is the only such captain from India. Perhaps India’s performance in the late 80s may have been better if he had captained.
CA Smith was playing in his only Test. Later he was better known as a Hollywood actor.
Captains who lost their only Test:
Not surprisingly, the 19 members here are almost twice the number of those who won their only Test. The latest was Ben Stokes, who was substituting for Joe Root.
India has two prominent players in Borde and Pankaj Roy.
DB Carr played only in 2 Tests overall. This loss was India’s first win in any Test, which oddly enough coincided with the death of King George VI. The captain appointed for that series was the equally undistinguished ND Howard who played his only 4 Tests in that series.
AR Richards, JH Anderson and N Betancourt were playing in their only Tests.
Captains who drew their only Test:
The most recent was BA Murphy in 2001. From India there is HR Adhikari. Prominent players here include DL Murray, G Kirsten, RR Lindwall and TW Graveney.
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)
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.
Next is the 19th-century player GA Lohmann (18), England’s leading pace bowler of that time.
Then there is the near-current player KK Jennings (17) who has some chance of playing again, along with Alok Kapali with his record 17 losses. Baptiste with his 10 wins is further down.
From India there is a current player HH Pandya (11).
Other current players include SO Hetmyer (16), Hasan Ali (13), KM Jarvis (13) and TA Blundell (10).
Of course, Markram will lose his status once he plays in a drawn Test, which means that the record will go back to the venerable George Lohmann.
South Africa last had a draw in March 2017. This was followed by 34 Tests with results. Thus a number of junior Test players from there have 5 or more Tests without a draw. This applies to most of the current team.
Again, this feat of longevity is more due to being in the right place in the right time. At that time India needed to play 3 spinners in most Tests (Chauhan along with Kumble and Raju) as the pace attack was in transition (Kapil’s final days and Srinath just starting off).
Next there are McCool, Loxton and Toshack who were fringe members of Bradman’s invincibles of the late 1940s.
From India there are also KK Nair and CV Gadkari (whom we will meet later). They played 6 Tests without seeing a loss.
Among current players there are KA Jamieson (6 wins out of 6) and Mohammad Siraj (4 wins and one draw out of 5).
Next we come to those who played in 5 or more Tests and saw losses in all of them:
The first 6 places all go to Bangladesh players, who are not particularly well known. Alok Kapali was a bits-and-pieces all-rounder whose main claim to fame is being the first Bangladeshi (and first Hindu) to take a Test hat-trick.
There are a sprinkling from other countries. The most recent is SW Ambris of the West Indies.
We now look at those who experienced losses in 90% of their Tests:
Only 6 names are added, all from Bangladesh. Interestingly there is no one from Zimbabwe here.
We have already seen a very short list of players who played in 5 or more Tests and saw wins in all of them.
As you may guess, the number of players who never saw wins is somewhat larger.
There are, in fact, 164 players who played in at least 5 Tests and never saw a victory. The leaders are listed below.
The list is headed by Bert Sutcliffe who could be described as one of the best batsmen of NZ in his time. He was a little unlucky to miss the 3 Tests which NZ did win during his career, including the first one against New Zealand in 1955-56 and two in South Africa in 1961-62.
Next is Bryan Strang, who was a key player for Zimbabwe in its earlier years. He was also unlucky to miss the first few Test victories of his team.
Then we have Shahriar Nafees and several others from Bangladesh.
The most Tests by an Indian player in this category is 18 by BK Kunderan.
Among current players, there are Taskin Ahmed of Bangladesh (7) and MD Shanaka of Sri Lanka (6).
Scoring a century on Test debut is not as difficult as one may think. As many as 108 players have scored 110 centuries on their Test debut, including LG Rowe and Yasir Hameed who scored centuries in both innings.
There are several who failed to score a century after their debut. The full list (up to 15/05/2021) is given below.
Players can drop off this list (as Fawad Alam did after over 11 years). Some current players (from PP Shaw downwards) can be reasonably expected to score another century sooner or later.
The most Tests played here are 25 by Yasir Hameed and 24 by L Amarnath. The latter was an useful bowler and a relatively better captain (by Indian standards of those days).
The most 50s scored after debut are 8 by Yasir Hameed and 7 by SK Raina. The latter was more successful in limited-overs matches, and was one of the first to score a century in a T20I.
Now we look at those who never crossed 50 after their debut.
Ganteaume played in only one innings. RE Redmond is not here as he scored a century and a fifty in his only Test.
The most Tests played among these players are 12 by van Zyl and 10 by DR Smith.
Fawad Alam (again!) got off this list after over 11 years.