When the tail wagged against India

Indian bowlers have often been frustrated by lower-order batsmen. This happened in the first Test of this series as well as the first innings of the second Test.

Here we list all scores in Tests of 70 and above from No 8-11 (sorry, 12) against India:

Highest tailend scores against India

This includes several debut scores (including 137* by Neesham, 105 by BR Taylor, 103* by Samaraweera to begin with) as well as career-best scores of 173 by IDS Smith, 137* by Neesham, 107 by Christiani and numerous others such as MA Starc, MD Marshall, TT Bresnan and even Anderson and Muralitharan. The most recent entry is KA Maharaj with 72.

We also look at the averages (with a minimum of 10 innings) for those who batted at 8-12 against India:

Tail against India

Vettori, Broad and Starc have scored the most runs here. Starc, JO Holder and Broad have done well in recent years.

Finally, partnerships of 90+ from the 8th wicket onward against India:

Tail partnerships against India

Ironically the highest such partnership is for the last wicket, when Anderson scored his only Test fifty. From the current series we have Maharaj and Philander with 109 for the 9th, and Muthusamy and Piedt with 91 for the 8th.

 

 

Two fifties in a match in India-WI Tests

GH Vihari became the latest to make two scores of 50+ in a Test for India against the Wes Indies. Here is the full list of those who have achieved this:

Two fifties I v WI

This includes 3 matches of Gavaskar in the 1971 series, where he made his debut on 06/03/1971. He is the only debutant here.

In 1962, Umrigar added a fiver to his two fifty-plus scores.

Two cases of centuries in both innings by Gavaskar (1971 and 1978).

The corresponding performances for the West Indies against India:

Two fifties WI v I

Only 23 such performances, compared to 33 by India.

They include Weekes’s pair of centuries in 1948, as part of his five in  successive innings.

And Sobers added a fiver to his century and fifty in 1962.

Lloyd and Greenidge were making their debuts.

Only Weekes made centuries in both innings.

The Test debutants of 2018

The last of a series of reviews of Test cricket in 2018. Here we identify the good performances on Test debut.

Batting:

40 runs or more in an innings:

innings above 40

3 centuries headed by PP Shaw, and numerous other 50s.

There are several instances of 40+ in both innings, with Fakhar Zaman with 50+ in both innings. This will be seen more clearly here:

80 runs or more in match:

match above 80

Fakhar Zaman’s 160 shares the second place among those who made two scores between 50 and 99 on debut.

The most is by the lesser-known BM Laird with 167 (Aus v WI, 1979-80) followed by CH Lloyd with 160 (WI v Ind, 1966-67).

Bowling:

3 or more wickets in an innings:

innings above 3w

5 instances of fivers, led by Bilal Asif and L Ngidi. Vihari and Bumrah took 3-fors for India. Ireland has TJ Murtagh and SR Thompson in their debut Test, while Yamin Ahmadzai represents Afghanistan on their debut.

6 or more wickets in match:

match above 6w

Dananjaya’s 8-44 is the best for Sri Lanka on debut. The previous record was 8-132 by BAW Mendis (SL v Ind, 2008). Ireland has TJ Murtagh in their debut Test. Bilal Asif took 6 in the first innings and none in the second.

Fielding:

2 or more dismissals in an innings:

innings above 2 dis

RR Pant leads here. His 5 dismissals equaled the record for India, though Yajurvindra Singh was a non-keeper. 3 Indian keepers made 4 dismissals in an innings on debut, all in the 1950s.

3 or more dismissals in a match:

match above 3 dis

RR Pant leads again with 7 dismissals. No one else has more than 3. MA Agarwal is one of those who took 3 as a non-keeper

Pant’s 7 dismissals equaled the Indian record with non-keeper Yajurvindra Singh. Several Indian keepers took 5 on debut, along with non-keepers RR Singh (only Test) and SS Das.

All-round performances:

30 runs and 3 wickets in match:

match 30r 3w

3 instances, with probably SR Thompson’s being the best.

30 runs and 3 dismissals:

match 30r 3c

3 instances, with Foakes being the only keeper and MA Agarwal having the best by a non-keeper. Also note MS Harris’s 26 and 26.

Fifty on Test debut by Indian players

Centuries on Test debut are well documented:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/239555.html

Here we look at those who scored  one or more scores of 50 to 99 on debut.

Indian players:

india 50 on debut

Some points of note:

Dilawar Hussain and SM Gavaskar scored fifties in each innings on debut.

The Yuvaraj of Patiala (father of current Punjab CM Amarinder Singh) was playing in his only Test.

A few of these players went on to successful careers, notably Amar Singh, Mankad, Phadkar, Nadkarni, Gavaskar, Dravid, Laxman and Pujara.

But here are quite a few who ended their careers with 5 or less Tests and/or are forgotten to most cricket fans. These include the 2-Test players Kanitkar (senior), P Roy (junior), Rajput and Badrinath.

The jury is still out on Pandya. Let us hope that Vihari and MA Agarwal do better.

It is also worthwhile to look at all such Test players since 2014:

50 on debut from 2014-2019 jan

Note fifties in both innings by MDKJ Perera and Fakhar Zaman.

The most successful among these include MDK Perera, MDKJ Perera, JO Holder, Dickwella, Buttler, Dowrich, Handscomb, Pandya, Markram, Roshan Silva, Imam and Finch. And there are several others who are unlikely to play Tests again.

 

Alastair Cook’s career-1

In the next few days, much will be written about Alastair Cook’s career and records. Here, we look back at his Test debut which was against India in 2006:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/14681/scorecard/239025/india-vs-england-1st-test-england-tour-of-india-2005-06

Other debutants included Monty Panesar and S. Sreesanth, who remained in the headlines one way or another for a period almost as long as Cook’s career.

Cook is one of a handful of players to have scored two fifties on Test debut. This is somewhat rarer than scoring a century on debut.

Cook debut

While some on this list are counted among the all-time greats, others did not have much of a career and are completely forgotten.

The Rishabh and Rahul show

(Figures as on August 23, 2018)

While Virat Kohli was Man of the Match, the twin fielding feats of Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul played a large part in India’s victory at Nottingham.

First we look at fielding performances on debut, with reference to Rishabh:

Innings fielding on debut:

Innings fielding debut

Rishabh’s 5 dismissals is the best for India on debut by a wicketkeeper, though Yajurvindra had taken 5 as a non-keeper. A few Indian keepers had earlier taken 4 catches in an innings on their debut.

Match fielding on debut:

Match fielding debut

Here, both Rishabh and Yajurvindra made 7 dismissals on debut. Rishabh’s 7 is the best by any Indian keeper on debut. Some Indian keepers had made 5 dismissals on debut.

Note that Yajurvindra’s 5 in the innings and 7 in the match remain the best by any debutant non-keeper.

We look at fielding performances by non-keepers.

(This is for all matches, not merely on debut).

Innings fielding:

Innings fielding non keeper

The world record is 5, shared by the fielders listed above. The first to achieve this was VY Richardson, maternal grandfather of the Chappell brothers. Several current and recent players can be seen. KL Rahul is one of many who took 4 catches (in the 4th innings, to add to the 3 he took in the first innings).

Match fielding:

Match fielding non keeper

While current player Rahane is the only one to take 8 catches in a match (which, by the way, India lost), KL Rahul is one of several to take 7 catches. Note that no one had taken 7 catches in a match until Greg Chappell in 1974.

 

 

Best innings fielding on Test debut

This is being written in the middle of the 3rd Eng v Ind Test.

These figures may have concerned the player’s first or second innings as  a fielder.

Innings catches debut

Note the only non-keeper Yajurvindra Singh, who took as many catches as Rishabh Pant.

He had a short career of 4 Tests, as did Maclean.

Emery played only one Test, as he had the misfortune to play in the Healy era.

Previous encounters between Afghanistan and India

Afghanistan’s first Test gets under way at Bengaluru on Jun 14. We look at past encounters between the teams in limited overs cricket.

There is not much to write about. The teams have met only in one ODI and two T20Is and India have won all of them.

The ODI was in the course of the 2014 Asia Cup. India won by 8 wickets.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8532/scorecard/710307/afghanistan-vs-india-9th-match-asia-cup-2013-14/

The two T20Is were in the World T20I Championships in 2010 and 2012. India won by 7 wickets and by 23 runs.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8604/scorecard/412679/afghanistan-vs-india-3rd-match,-group-c-world-t20-2010/

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8604/scorecard/533274/afghanistan-vs-india-3rd-match,-group-a-world-t20-2012-13/

A sobering thought for Afghanistan: Among the other 11 Test teams, only Australia have won their first Test and only Zimbabwe drew their first Test. The other 9 all lost their maiden Test efforts.

The previous Test entrant Ireland had one previous Test player in Boyd Rankin. Afghanistan has none. But as in the case of Ireland, most of the team have long experience in ODIs and T20Is.

Performances in maiden Tests of teams (June 2018)

With Ireland  and Afghanistan now in the Test arena, we look at performances in the maiden Tests for all teams. Australia and England played their maiden Tests against each other on 15 Mar 1877.

Maiden Tests

Of the 12 teams, only Australia won and only Zimbabwe drew. The 10 remaining teams lost, including West Indies, Pakistan and Afghanistan by an innings. The maiden Tests of Australia, England and Ireland were relatively closely fought.

Ireland’s 5-wicket loss is the lowest losing margin by wickets by a team playing their debut Test. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh lost by 7 and 9 wickets respectively.

In contrast, Afghanistan’s loss by an innings and 262 runs is the worst losing margin by a debutant team.

By runs alone, England lost by 45 runs and India by 158.

In contrast, Afghanistan suffered the heaviest defeat here and the only one in a 2-day Test, being dismissed twice on the second day.

The best scores in maiden tests are 165* by C Bannerman, 145 by Aminul Islam, 121 by DL Houghton and now 118 by KJ O’Brien. Only South Africa, New Zealand and Afghanistan failed to record a fifty on debut. AB Tancred actually scored 29 in both innings. India, Pakistan and the West Indies just scraped through with fifties.

In all cases the bowler with the best innings bowling and best match bowling are the same. The best innings bowling here is 7-55 by Kendall in the very first Test, like his compatriot Bannerman. The next best is 6-132 by Naimur Rehman. There are a few other 5-fors.

The best match bowling is also from the very first Test, 8-89 by England’s A Shaw. Kendall with 8-109 is second.

Also note the all-round performance of New Zealand’s RC Blunt who has the highest score, best innings bowling and best match bowling  in his team’s maiden Test.

Some of these Tests involved players who had already represented other countries. These are Amir Elahi (India) and AJ Traicos (South Africa) who were therefore not making their Test debuts.

In the recent maiden Test of Ireland, B Rankin was the only one from his team who had played in Tests earlier, having played once for England. Everyone mentioned in the above table other than Elahi, Traicos and Rankin were making their Test debut.

Tail piece: The best batting and bowling figures by Afghanistan were by relatively lesser known players.

 

Bevan Congdon R.I.P. – and his Indian connection

Bevan Congdon, who was one of New Zealand’s major players in the 1960s and 1970s, died a few days ago a day before his 80th bithday.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/36611.html

Victories for New Zealand were few and far between in those days. At that time even India always considered them to be a lesser team. His tenure as captain included NZ’s first win against Australia in 1974, and earlier his 175 came close to bringing his team to an improbable win against England, making 440 and losing by 38 runs:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17229/scorecard/63108/england-vs-new-zealand-1st-test-new-zealand-tour-of-england-1973/

That was then the highest fourth-innings score in a loss, though it has since been surpassed.

Congdon was a part-time medium pacer. His best bowling and all-round performance came in a Test against India at Auckland in early 1976. By then Glenn Turner was captain. India won this Test, which was significant in several ways.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17181/scorecard/63156/new-zealand-vs-india-1st-test-india-tour-of-new-zealand-1975-76/

Congdon scored 54 and 54 besides taking 5-65. Apart from this:

Surender Amarnath scored a century on debut. Like his father, he never made a Test century after his debut.

Gavaskar won his first Test as captain and made a century as well. He was standing in for BS Bedi who made his debut as captain in the second Test of the series.

Prasanna’s 8-76 remains the best innings bowling for an Indian bowler in a Test outside India. His match figures of 11-140 were then the best for India outside India, though the record now stands at 12-104 by BS Chandrashekhar against Australia at Melbourne in early 1978. Chandrashekhar would not have minded getting a king pair in that match.

But India did not win that series against New Zealand. The 2nd Test was drawn with India in a weaker position. And the third Test saw the then little-known Richard Hadlee taking 7-23 (and 11-58) in bringing about an innings victory for NZ.