Part-time wicket keepers in Tests

Here we take up the cases where someone was not the nominated keeper in a Test, took over when the nominated keeper was unfit or unavailable and took one or more catch or stumping while doing so.

Catches as keeper while not nominated keeper:

These are all the 38 players who took at least 1 catch in their careers.

The number of Tests here are those when they were not nominated keepers. Some, notably de Villiers and Bairstow in recent years, have been nominated keepers in some Tests. These are not included in the above table.

Stumpings while not nominated keeper:

Similarly, these are the 15 players who have taken at least 1 stumping in their career as a non-keeper.

These lists overlap. It is better to consolidate them into a single list.

Consolidated list of players who have taken at least one catch as keeper and/or one stumping in Tests where they were not nominated keepers:

Among these 43 players, AB de Villiers has the most catches and most dismissals (12 each) followed by KC Sangakarra and TWM Latham (7 each).

The most stumpings are 2 by Tillakaratne, M Wasim and Christiani.

This also lists the total number of dismissals (as a fielder) in these Tests. The highest is 133 by de Villiers followed by 96 by Collingwood with a few others in the 90s.

Although it is not mentioned here, de Villiers played another 24 Tests as nominated keeper and took a further 89 catches and 5 stumpings there. Similarly, Collingwood never played any Test as a nominated keeper, so his career total of catches is 96 as shown above. Sangakkara played a further 48 Tests as nominated keeper and took 124 catches and 20 stumpings, to give him a total of 202 dismissals.

From the first two tables above, we can see that the most dismissals in a match by these keepers is 5 by Imrul Kayes, followed by 4 for several others. The case of Majid Khan’s 4 catches is particularly interesting, and deserves a separate post.

The best catchers in Tests

Here we look at the Test players with the highest dismissal rates, subject to a minimum of 20 innings fielded. These are correct as of Aug 31, 2020 and do not include the ICC XI Test of 2005.

Naturally, this will be headed by wicket-keepers who invariably get more catches than other fielders. But you would not have guessed that the highest average is by Rishabh Pant, who is generally not considered to be India’s best keeper at the moment.

The #2 is also not what you would expect. While Tim Paine did a good job as stopgap captain of Australia, you would not expect him to be so high up.

At #3 there is another current player in Quintun de Kock, who is likely to be SA’s next Test captain.

Going further down, we see NZ’s BJ Watling with 241 dismissals including 231 catches as a keeper, 10 catches as a keeper and 8 stumpings. But there is no non-keeper in the above list which goes down to a dismissal rate of 1.500.

Going still further down, the highest dismissal rate by a non-keeper is 1.060 by India’s ED Solkar (53 catches at 1.060). He is just ahead of AB de Villiers at 1.046, with 121 as a fielder and 106 as a keeper.

More notes on wicket-keeping and fielding in Tests

There are several prominent keepers like Gilchrist, Dhoni and Knott who played all their Tests as keepers. Others took on keeping duties for one or more Tests when the regular keeper was unavailable. And some took over the keeping duties in the middle of a Test and took catches as well as stumped batsmen.

Statsguru does list “catches as keeper” and “catches as fielder” in separate columns, so we can identify catches taken by short-term keepers. There are even a few cases of substitute fielders going on the field to keep wickets and accounting for catches and stumpings. These were in the earlier days.

Here we look at the cases of those who took at least 10 catches as a keeper and 10 as non-keeper.

There are numerous “multitaskers” from recent years, such as Watling (239 dismissals as keeper and 10 as a fielder). Others are ABD (106 and 121), Bairstow (186 and 11), Buttler (86 and 23) and Chandimal (72 and 15). We can see that ABD is the only one whose dismissals in both categories are roughly the same.

Now we look at those who played at least 5 Tests as keepers and 5 Tests as non-keepers:

From recent years there are Watling, de Villiers, Bairstow, Mushfiqur, Buttler, Chandimal, Wade, KD Karthik, Liton and Kusal Perera.

Karthik is the only Indian player here. Oddly enough, the only players from before 2000 are CL Walcott and WB Philips.

All-round records-Batting and fielding-2

Continued from here:

Looking at career figures (minimum 2000 runs and 100 dismissals):

These figures are correct up to 31 Aug 2020, and do not include the ICC XI Test in 2005.

The current players can be seen at the bottom, from Mushfiqur Rahim downwards.

It may be more meaningful to segregate the figures of dismissals for 1) designated wicket-keepers and 2) not designated wicket-keepers

Designated wicket-keepers: 2000 runs and 100 dismissals:

The most runs here are by Boucher (5498) and Gilchrist (5475), with several in the 4000s. The most dismissals are by Boucher (553) and Gilchrist (409). From India, we have Kirmani and Dhoni.

Not designated wicket-keepers: 2000 runs and 100 dismissals:

The most runs here are by Ponting (13278), Dravid (13265) and Kallis (13206) with several others above 10000. The most dismissals are by Dravid (209) and M Jayawardene (205).

From India we have Gavaskar, Azharuddin, Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman.

Also note those with over 100 wickets: Sobers, Botham, Hooper, Warne and Kallis. #3 and #4 would usually not be considered great all-rounders.

Next, we will look more closely at those who played sometimes as designated wicket-keepers and sometimes not.

All-round records-batting and fielding-1

When all-round records are tabulated in statistical articles, they invariably refer to feats of batting and bowling.

Here we look at feats of batting and fielding in the same match.

First, for wicket-keepers:

Century and 5 dismissals in an innings:

This did not occur in Tests until 1966. The best match performance would appear to be by de Villiers with a century and 11 dismissals in a match. Also consider Lindsay and Prior.

Watling appears here 3 times (twice in Wellington) along with Prior and Bairstow (twice each).

India has been on the receiving end twice: SAR Silva in 1985 and BJ Watling in 2014.

For non-keepers:

Century and 4 dismissals in an innings:

Bowling efforts have also been added where relevant.

We can see that Kallis’s feat in 2012 is clearly the best here, as he is the only double centurion here. Next would be Woolley.

Weekes did this against India in 1953, and was followed by fellow West Indian Viv Richards in 1989. Rahane did this for India against Sri Lanka in the course of the 3-0 sweep in Sri Lanka in 2017.

Next, we will look at career all-round performance for batting and fielding.

(To be continued)

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.

Comparing Indian wicketkeepers

There is a lot of debate about who is better suited to be India’s wicketkeeper. Let us compare the keeping and batting averages for all those who have kept for India.

Test keepers – dismissal rate (min 20 innings fielded):

See the 1st position (Pant) and 6th (Saha).

Now see the batting figures:

Test keepers – batting average (min 20 innings):

Here, coincidentally, Pant is still first and Saha 6th.

Now for ODIs:

ODI keepers – dismissal rate (min 20 innings fielded):

Neither Pant nor Saha have played enough to appear on this table, although Karthik and Dhoni are near the top.

ODI keepers – batting average (min 20 innings):

They don’t appear here either, although the table is headed by Dhoni, Dravid and Karthik.

For T20Is, Dhoni is the only one to have batted and fielded enough.

Coming back to Test fielding figures, the best match figures for all Test players are:

Note that Pant has a share in the world record, while Saha has a share in the runners-up record.

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:

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.

Most sixes in a Test match and innings

First we look at the most sixes in an innings:

The present record of 12 sixes is by the unlikely batsman Wasim Akram in 1996-97. He surpassed the long-standing record of 10 by WR Hammond in 1932-33. That was in the course of the then Test record of 336*. It is often forgotten, as it is sandwiched between Bradman’s 334 in 1930 and Hutton’s 364 in 1938.

And Hayden’s 380 was the record between Lara’s 375 in 1993-94 and 400* in 2003-04.

After 2000 there have been several near-misses (twice by Brendan McCullum) but no one has got past 12.

India’s record is 8 shared by Navjot Sidhu (1993-94) and Mayank Agarwal in 2019-20.

As you will see now, the 12 sixes hit by Akram were also a record for a Test match up to 2019.

Most sixes in a Test match:

As you can see, the record is now held by Rohit Sharma with 13 sixes in 2019-20. He made 6 sixes in 176 and 7 in 127.

Next is Akram with 12 followed by several others from recent years.

As above, the next highest from India are Sidhu and MA Agarwal.

Another quaint record RG Sharma made was being the first to score centuries in each innings in his first Test as an opener.

Astle’s 11 sixes in 222 was not enough to save his team from defeat.

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.

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