Elgar’s unusual record

South Africa’s 3-day rout of West Indies included an obscure record for captain Dean Elgar.

He is one of the few captains who won a Test without scoring a run, taking a wicket or a fielding dismissal. Here is the complete list of captains who achieved this:

Note that Babar Azam did the same earlier this year.

There are some famous names here (including Bradman in his last Test in 1948).

No Indian captain here, although Clive Lloyd did this against India in 1976. That was the Test famous for the bouncer barrage and India being 97 all out with 5 batsmen unable to bat due to various injuries.

Meanwhile, here is the short list of Indian players whose side won a Test without any contribution by them:

Ishant Sharma achieved this earlier in the year. There is also Pujara with one of his rare ducks.

Also note 3 separate players in the test against NZ at Chennai in 1955-56, which is remembered for the long-standing opening record of 413 by Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy.

TAIL PIECE: If you have any connection with Maharashtra, you can create memes about the Elgar Parishad.

Captains in one Test-May 2021

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.

Taberer was playing his only Test.

They never saw draws in Tests

As many as 118 Test players played in 5 or more matches and never saw a draw. These are the top few:

This list is headed by a current player Aiden Markram:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/aiden-markram-600498

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.

They only saw draws in Tests

Continuing the series……

There is a very short list of those who played in at least 5 Tests, all of which were drawn.

None of these players are particularly well-known.

Shafiq Ahmed was supposed to be a specialist batsman but had a top score of 27. But the other players were not much better.

Vivian made his debut in the same Test where his team-mate BR Taylor scored a century and a five-for.

Jarvis made his debut in Zimbabwe’s first Test. His son KM Jarvis also played Tests for Zimbabwe.

Spare a thought for PH Punjabi (who was actually from Sind). His only Tests were in the horribly boring Pakistan-India series of 1954-55. Gadkari also played in this series.

Among these players, Gadkari was the only one to score a Test fifty (which came at No 9). None of them took more than 3 wickets in an innings.

Here we see those who saw draws in 80% or more in Tests:

From India, there are also Gopal Sharma and P Krishnamurthy (4 draws out of 5). There is no current player.

Also note GA Greenidge, who was not related to the two other Greenidges who played for the West Indies a little later. And MJC Allom, who took 4 wickets in 5 balls on his debut.

They never saw losses in Tests

After those who saw only losses, we move to those who never saw losses.

There are 70 players who played 5 or more Tests and never saw a loss. Here are the top few:

This starts with Rajesh Chauhan, an off-spinner who played for India in the mid-90s.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/rajesh-chauhan-27622

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).

They only saw losses in Tests

Continuing the series.

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.

They never saw wins in Tests

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).

They only saw wins in Tests

Updated on May 15, 2021

Here we look at the small number of Test players who saw only victories in their Test careers. As you may guess, this is a short list with only 5 names (who played 5 or more Tests).

Only wins:

The only new entrant here is KA Jamieson with 6 wins out of 6. Other recent players who were briefly on this list after 5 or more Tests include Imran Khan (Jr) and Sam Curran.

It goes without saying that a record like this is more due to being in the right place at the right time rather than the player’s merit.

Above 75% wins:

This is the full list of 36 players who had a win percentage of over 75% after a minimum of 5 Tests.

The highest from India is 5/6 by KK Nair, followed by newcomer Mohammed Siraj with 4/5.

Jamieson, Blundell and Siraj are the only current players here, since KK Nair seems to be unlikely to play for India again. Perhaps TD Astle will add to his 5 Tests for New Zealand.

AC Gilchrist is the only one with over 30 Tests. And the only others with over 20 Tests are Australians from around the same period.

Century on debut and never again (May 2021)

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.

There do not seem to be any current players here.

Praveen Jayawickrama’s records

Debutant left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s Test and series win against Bangladesh, especially as the first Test was played on a batting paradise.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/praveen-jayawickrama-1028665

In the second Test he took 6-92 and 5-86, making a total of 11-178.

This was the best by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut in an innings:

Note that his name appears twice here, for his 6-for as well as 5-for.

And the best match figures by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut:

We see that he is the first Sri Lankan bowler to take 10 wickets on debut.

Now let us see about left-arm spinners on debut:

Jayawickrama has the third-best figures here.

A more surprising result is obtained when we see the match bowling figures if this category on debut:

Here, he has the best match figures of debutants in this category, edging out the famous Alf Valentine’s figures in 1950.

Cricketers Deaths-2020

There are two lists here.

First for Test players:

and then for others (including prominent limited-overs players, female players, domestic players and others connected with the game):

The most well-known Test players here include ED Weekes, JH Edrich, JR Reid, DM Jones and CPS Chauhan.

Some of the deaths were clearly linked to Covid, notably that of CPS Chauhan.

A point of interest is that JE Manners was the longest-lived first-class player at the time of his death at 105. Another centenarian Vasant Raiji passed away at 100. For a few months he was the longest living first-class player.

Rajinder Goel was one of the leading wicket-takers in Indian domestic cricket but was unfortunate to play at a time when there were too many established spinners competing for Test places.

“Chuni” Goswami had a good record in domestic cricket but he was better known for his soccer skills. He captained India to a rare gold medal in the Asian Games besides playing in the Rome Olympics.

Who is Raghunath Chandorkar?

The name would not have been familiar even to sports writers in Mumbai until recently.

The basic information about his first-class career is here:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/raghunath-chandorkar-27863

Note that he has a younger brother, also a first-class cricketer, who is living at 87.

Now there is nothing remarkable about his cricket career (except perhaps that he played along with DB Deodhar and Vasant Raiji, the only other Indian f-c cricketers to cross 100).

In June 2020, he became India’s longest-living first class cricketer following the death of Vasant Raiji. Later in 2020 he celebrated his 100th birthday. Following the death of NZ player Alan Burgess in early 2021, Raghunath became the world’s oldest living first-class player.

This article seems to have the most recent picture of him:

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/sports-news-raghunath-chandorkar-becomes-third-indian-cricketer-to-complete-a-century-of-birthdays/364928

This live link gives the list of all first-class players who lived to be over 100:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_oldest_cricketers

If he is still living a little more than a year from now he will become India’s longest-living f-c player (after Deodhar). By July 2026, he would have become the oldest such player from all countries, (after John Manners). On the way he would pass the record of N Gordon, the only Test player here who lived to be a little over 103.

He may not be fully aware of his and other’s records, as he has been a patient of Dr Alzheimer for some time. He lives in an old-age home in Mumbai.