# Ben Stokes and the three dimensions

Not long ago, the BCCI was trying to justify the selection of at least one relatively undistinguished player for the World Cup on the grounds that he was a “3-dimensional player”.

It is true that being a good fielder is an asset to any player (whether they are batsmen or bowlers or both). Fielding, unlike batting and bowling, does not lend itself ready to numerical measures. One can count the catches taken by a fielder, but it is not so easy to evaluate the runs saved in the field or even the pressure put on the opposing batsmen by a good outfielder.

The case of a three-dimensional performance in a Test win comes up with Ben Stokes at the second SA v Eng Test at Cape Town, which was won by England by a large margin.

Stokes contributed 47, 0-34, 5c, 72, 3-35 and 1c in England’s 189-run victory:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19430/scorecard/1185305/south-africa-vs-england-2nd-test-icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021

That is 119 runs, 3 wickets and 6 catches.

We first look at the catching records for non-keepers

5 or more catches in an innings:

The record of 5 catches in an innings is shared by 13 players, Stokes being the latest. Many of these performances have come in recent years.

6 or more catches in a match:

The record is 8 by AM Rahane. de Villiers took 8 catches as a keeper when the regular keeper de Kock was injured at the beginning of the match. A total of 43 players (or 42 if you remove de Villiers) have made 6 or more catches as a non-keeper in a match.

AM Rahane and KL Rahul are the only current players with 7 or more catches in a match.

Some other current players (notably SPD Smith) have taken 6 catches in a match.

Coming back to Ben Stokes, we can round off and say that he scored 100, took 3 wickets and made 6 catches.

Who else has done this in Tests?

100 runs, 3 wickets and 6 catches in Tests:

Only two other players. Stokes is in good company here.

Suppose we consider only two “dimensions”. Who else has Stokes emulated?

100 runs and 3 wickets:

This has happened on 338 occasions, with several players doing this on multiple occasions. Stokes himself has done so on 6 occasions.

Sobers did this on 16 occasions, followed by Kallis with 13, Botham (10) and Shakib Al Hasan (9). Ashwin and Stokes (6 apiece) are the only current players.

So that is not a particularly rare achievement.

Now we try

3 wickets and 6 catches:

Only 5 times. Apart from Woolley, Kallis and Stokes there are Vogler and Jack Gregory from long ago.

Another permutation is

100 runs and 6 catches:

This has been done only on 10 occasions, including twice by SPD Smith. Also note that Hayden is the only one to make a century AND take 7 catches. Kallis is the only one with a double century AND 6 catches.

So Stokes has achieved a rare all-round feat of 100/3/6 which had been done only twice before, by Woolley and Kallis.

Parting shots:

Who is the only non-keeper to take 5 catches in an innings on debut?

And who is the only non-keeper to take 7 catches in a match on debut?

Finally:

Which current keeper took 5 catches in an innings and 7 in the match on debut?

# Test Fielding Records-2

Hope that you have read the first part.

Now we go on to the most neglected aspect of statistics – stumpings.

Most stumpings in an innings (4 and above):

The record is 5 by KS More, when he worked in tandem with Hirwani on his 16-wicket debut in 1987-88.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/31038.html

The previous record was shared by Australia’s Bert Oldfield, (the stumping champion whose 52 victims in the 1920s and 1930s are still a record) and India’s PK Sen (during India’s first-ever Test win in 1951-52, which coincided with the passing of King George VI).

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/7003.html

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/34741.html

While PK Sen was not as well known as Oldfield, he had his moments as in this Test against England. He also appears in trivia questions as the only Indian Test player who was born in a place which is now in Bangladesh. There were several who were born in places which are now in Pakistan, starting with Naoomal of the 1932 team (Karachi).

Then there is:

Most stumpings in a match (4 and above):

Oldfield dominates this list as one would expect. However, Sen had the record of 5 after that Test in 1951-52. More took over in 1987-88.

Also note V Rajindernath who took 4 stumpings and no catches in his only Test. He did not get to bat either, and thus he and JCW McBryan are the only ones who did not bat or bowl in their Test career. But McBryan did not take a catch.

We also look at the most stumpings in a career (20 and above):

Oldfield and Evans lead, with Dhoni in 3rd place and Kirmani in 4th.  The only other current player here is Sarfaraz Ahmed, though he is yet to catch up with his countrymen Wasim Bari and Kamran Akmal.

# Test Fielding Records-1

While batting and bowling records are well covered in most sources of cricket statistics, fielding receives lesser attention (as the data points are only for catches and stumpings). Here we take a closer look at this neglected field.

Most dismissals in an innings (6 and above):

The first keeper to take 6 catches/dismissals in an innings was Wally Grout in 1957-58.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/5449.html

The record was then shared by DT Lindsay, JT Murray and SMH Kirmani, the last instance being in 1975-76.

Wasim Bari then became the first to take 7 dismissals in an innings in 1978-79. He was followed by Bob Taylor (though that was overshadowed by Botham’s 13 wickets + century as well as a total eclipse) in 1979-80. Later Ian Smith and Ridley Jacobs joined the 7-catch club.

Most catches in an innings by a non-keeper (5 and above):

The first non-keeper to take 5 catches in an innings was Victor Richardson, who is nowadays better-known as the maternal grandfather of the Chappells. Some resemblance can be seen:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/7346.html

The second to do so was India’s Yajurvindra Singh on his debut in 1976-77. A total of 12 fielders have now reached the mark of 5 catches in an innings.

Now we look at match performances.

Most dismissals in a match (9 and above):

The first to make 9 dismissals was Australia’s Gilbert Langley in 1956 (Laker’s series).

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/6258.html

No one else took 9 in a match until 1979-80, when Bob Taylor took 10 (along with 7 in an innings in the match of Botham and the eclipse).

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/21494.html

Before anyone else could cross 10, the new record of 11 was set by RC Russell in 1995-96.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/19500.html

Subsequently several others have taken 10 dismissals (a total of 4 including WP Saha and Sarfaraz Ahmed) and 11 dismissals in a match (a total of 3 including AB de Villiers and Rishabh Pant).

And finally;

Most dismissals in a match by a non-keeper (7 and above):

The first to take 7 catches in a match was Greg Chappell in 1974-75. Unfortunately his grandfather did not see this as he had passed away a few years earlier, although he had lived long enough to see Ian Chappell make a good start in Tests.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/4558.html

And the second was Yajurvindra Singh on his debut in 1976-77.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/36072.html

Unfortunately he played only in 4 Tests.

Several others took 7 in a match. The next record of 8 catches was set by AM Rahane in 2015 (although India lost that Test).

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/277916.html

He continues to have that record to himself, although you will see ABD with 8 catches as a fielder. However, he took these 8 catches as a keeper substituting for the injured Q de Kock. He is listed as a non-keeper here as he was not the nominated keeper for this Test.

de Villiers was also the captain in this Test. This was a day-night Test against Zimbabwe which got over in 2 days.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18067/scorecard/1122310/south-africa-vs-zimbabwe-only-test-zim-in-sa-dec-2017-2017-18

Meanwhile, several others took 7 catches in a match. The last was KL Rahul in 2018.

# Highlights of the Adelaide Test-1

First, the wicket-keeping records:

RR Pant now has a share in the most dismissals in a match.

Incidentally, AM Rahane has the record for most dismissals by a non-keeper in a match:

Also note Yajurvindra and Rahul here.

de Villiers actually took 8 catches as a keeper as the specified keeper (de Kock) was unfit.

Pant took 6 catches in the first innings and 5 in the second. The innings record is 7, shared by 4 keepers.

# 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:

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:

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:

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:

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.

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.

# A small consolation for Steve Smith

During the third SA-Aus Test at Cape Town, SPD Smith perhaps became the first Test captain to be sacked in the middle of a match and told to hand over charge. However, he may draw small consolation from setting a minor fielding record.

These records are as of April 1, 2018. The ICC World XI v Aus Test is not counted.

Most catches in an innings by a captain (5 and above):

While wicketkeeper captains Latif and Dhoni have taken 6 catches in an innings, Smith equalled the non-keepers record for captains with 5 catches, along with VY Richardson, SP Fleming, GC Smith and DJG Sammy. There are a few non-captain fielders such as Yajurvindra Singh and AM Rahane who have also taken 5 catches in an innings.

We also look at match fielding performances by captains (6 dismissals and above):

While keeper Dhoni has the record of 9 dismissals (in his last Test), SP Fleming has the record of 7 for non-keeper captains. Smith has taken 6 catches in this Test and in one earlier match. In this case Rahane has the record for 8 catches by a non-keeper, though he was not captaining in that Test.

Finally, we look at overall fielding performances by captains (70 dismissals and above):

While Dhoni has the highest number of dismissals, he is followed by several non-keepers led by GC Smith and SP Fleming who have over a hundred catches. Steve Smith is fairly high up here, sandwiched between MA Taylor and Lara.