Review of England-West Indies Tests-1

The England-West Indies series of 2017 was won by England 2-1. It marked a comeback of sorts for the West Indies who won their first Test in England since 2000. They have not won a Test series in England since 1988, which was termed as a politically incorrect “dark greywash” as they won only by 4-0, instead of the 5-0 “blackwash” margins in 1984 and 1985-86.

Since then the West Indies have won some series against England at home, but never in England. They did draw in 1991 and 1995.

We now look at overall performances:

Eng-WI results

The West Indies still enjoy an overall 55-48 lead, though they do seem to enjoy a strong home advantage.

Coming to individual performances:

Batting:

Most runs (1000 or more):

Runs

Only Cook among current players has crossed 1000, besides Chanderpaul from recent times.

Sobers has the most centuries (10) followed by Headley and Richards (8 each). A few English players including Cook have made 6.

Richards and Sobers have the most fifty-plus scores (23) followed by Chanderpaul with 21. Boycott has the most for England (20).

Highest innings (175 or more):

Innings

Lara and his two world records at St John’s lead the way, while Sandham’s 325 was the first-ever triple century in Tests. Cook’s 243 is the only innings in this list from the current series, while Root had made 182* in 2015.

During the current series SD Hope made 147 and 118*, his first two Test centuries. Oddly enough they were the first instance of centuries in both innings at Headingley in over 500 first-class matches.

Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings and 35.00):

Batting average

Inevitably, Cook and Chanderpaul are the only current and near-current players here.

Bowling:

Most wickets (35 or more):

Wickets

Dominated by the long-serving Ambrose and Walsh. Anderson and Broad are further down.

The most 5wis are 8 by Ambrose and 7 by Gibbs. Trueman has the most for England with 6.

The most 10wms are 2 by Ambrose, Gibbs, Trueman and Valentine. Valentine’s 11-wicket haul was on debut, in the only Test the West Indies lost in the epochal 1950 series.

Best innings bowling (including all cases of 7wi and above):

Innings bowling

Anderson’s career best 7-42 is here along with Stokes’s from this series.

Best match bowling (including all cases of 10wm and above):

Match bowling

This includes Anderson’s 9-73 from the current series. There is also CS Marriott’s 11-wicket haul in his only Test, which is the only case of a bowler taking 10 or more wickets in his only Test.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, 35.00 or less):

Bowling avg

Again dominated by the WI fast bowlers of the 1980s. though Anderson and Broad also figure here.

Garner (17.93) and Ambrose (18.79) have the best averages.

But the spin pair of Valentine (1.78) and Ramadhin (1.84) have the best economy rate.

Marshall (45.5) and Holding (46.7) have the best strike rates.

To be continued.

 

 

 

 

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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:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2009%2F10;view=season

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

Then came the ODIs:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2009%2F10;view=season

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

And finally:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2009%2F10;view=season

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:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2017;view=season

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

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2017;view=season

And the T20I by a good margin:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2017;view=season

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:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/category/australia-t20/

Clean sweeps in Test series

Clean sweeps of Test series of 3,4 and 5 matches are not as rare as one may think. Here is Cricinfo’s listing:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283942.html

India has recorded clean sweeps at home earlier (and have faced 5-0 sweeps against England and the West Indies as well, but never at home). India had already won against England 3-0 in 1992-93, against Sri Lanka 3-0 (all by an innings) in 1993-94, against Australia 4-0 in 2012-2013 and now 3-0 against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.

This is not, however, the first time India have won 3 Tests in an away series. They defeated New Zealand 3-1 in 1967-68, achieving India’s first Test and series win outside India. This series is often forgotten, probably because of New Zealand’s low standing at that time and also because India had just endured a 3-0 loss in England followed by a 4-0 loss in Australia.

There were also mini-sweeps (2-0) by India in Bangladesh (2004-05 and 2009-10) and in Zimbabwe (2005-06). Similarly India lost 2-0 to South Africa at home in 1999-2000.

The current series included wins by 304 runs followed by two innings wins (though the first Test was effectively an innings defeat as the total of Sri Lanka’s two innings was less than India’s first innings total). Again, this is not new as India had won all 3 Tests by an innings at home against the same opposition in 1993-94. Other examples of this kind include the West Indies losing all 3 Tests by an innings in their first series against England in 1928.

West Indies is the only team to win 4-0 or 5-0 away. They won 5-0 against England in England in 1984, and followed this with 5-0 at home in 1985-86 against the same opponents.

There was a tinge of black humour in reportage of these West Indies victories in the 1980s. Earlier the term “whitewash” was commonly used for a clean sweep, so it was but natural that a 5-0 victory by the West Indies would be called a “blackwash”, as in 1984 and 1985-86. By 1988 England had improved a bit and lost the 5-Test home series 4-0. This was dubbed a “dark grey wash”.

3-0 sweeps away from home are not too common. They are:

Eng in NZ, 1962-63

Aus in NZ, 1999-2000

Aus in SL, 2003-04

Aus in SA, 2005-06

And in neutral venues:

Aus v Pak, 2002-03

Pak v Eng, 2011-12.

There have been many near-clean sweeps of 4-0 and 4-1 in 5-Test series. In the 6-Test series which were played between the 1970s and 1990s, we have two examples of 5-1 margins:

Aus v WI in Aus, 1975-76

Eng v Aus in Aus, 1978-79

 

A landmark win for Bangladesh

Bangladesh has now completed 100 Tests. They marked the 100th Test with their 9th Test victory. Here are the 9 Test victories in chronological order:

BD wins

This can be summarized as:

Won 1-0 at home vs Zimbabwe in 2004-05

Won 2-0 away vs West Indies in 2009

Drew 1-1 away vs Zimbabwe in 2013

Won 3-0 at home vs Zimbabwe in 2014-15

Drew 1-1 at home vs England in 2016-17

Drew 1-1 away vs Sri Lanka in 2016-17

Today’s win was their first Test victory against Sri Lanka (and in Sri Lanka).

At this point we can review the performances of Bangladeshi players in these 9 Test victories.

Runs: 100 and above:

BD batt-overall

Tamim, Shakib and Mushfiqur played in 8 of the 9 wins. They only missed the one in 2004-05. Tamim scored 4 centuries and 2 fifties in these matches, as you can see in the table below.

Highest innings (90 and above):

BD batt-innings

Bowling (5 or more wickets):

BD bowl overall

Shakib far ahead of the others with Taijul as a surprise second, with newcomer Miraz rapidly moving up.

Best innings bowling (5wi and above):

BD bowl innings

The one-Test heroes Taijul and Enamul head the list. Otherwise there is mainly Shakib, but do not forget Mahmudullah’s fiver on debut as well as the emergence of MH Miraz.

Best match bowling (7 or more wickets):

BD bowl-match

Headed by Miraj and Shakib. Shakib scored a century in the same match.

Most fielding dismissals (5 and above):

BD field-overall

Headed by Mushfiqur who kept in all but the 2005 match. Khaled Mashud was the keeper then. Mahmudullah and Mominul have the most catches as non-keepers.

Innings fielding dismissals (3 or more):

BD field-innings

Mainly Mushfiqur, though Soumya Sarkar has the most (4) catches by a non-keeper.

Match fielding dismissals (4 or more):

BD field-match

As above, headed by Mushfiqur for keepers and Soumya for non-keepers.

All-round performance (minimum 250 runs and 5 wickets):

BD AR overall

Shakib followed by Mahmudullah (who was dropped for the current match).

All-round performance in match (fifty and five-for):

BD AR match

Includes M. Rafique, the only all-rounder in the early Tests and two efforts by Shakib. This includes the century and ten wickets at Khulna, which puts him on the same level as Botham and Imran.

You can also see this piece written at the time of the victory over England a few months ago:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/bangladeshs-greatest-test-win/