Batting last in Tests in India

It is difficult to win a Test in India when the target is over 100, particularly if you are facing Indian bowling.

Here is a list of matches won with the target 100 or more on Indian grounds:


Note that the best score by a visiting side is 276/5, by the West Indies team including Viv Richards who scored a century. Australia could successfully chase a target over 100 only once, making 195/2 coincidentally also at Bengaluru. Mark Taylor scored a century on that occasion.

Here are the highest innings scores (50 and above) in successful chases of targets of 100 or more:


We see the centuries by Viv Richards and Mark Taylor here. Sachin Tendulkar is the only  other one to make a century under these conditions.

Clive Lloyd was making his Test debut, adding to his 82 in his first innings. AR Lewis was also making his debut, and was captain at this stage. He made up for his duck in his first innings.

And these are the best innings bowling figures in Tests won by the bowling side in the 4th innings, where the target was 100 or more:


The top spot is Kumble’s ten-for, followed by Klusener’s 8-64 (the best by a visiting bowler) and Hirwani’s 8-75 on debut (adding to 8-61 in his first innings). Ashwin makes numerous appearances here, accompanied by several other Indian spinners.




Poor performers in the fourth innings

Following up on our earlier piece

we now look at those who have generally performed badly in the fourth innings.

These figures are all up to and including the Tests at the Oval and Colombo (PSS), and do not include the ICC-Aus Test of 2005.

First, batting. We look at those who have played at least 10 innings in the fourth innings for the losing side.




As one may guess, it starts with renowned batsmen such as CS Martin. But there are some batsmen with a generally good record who have done quite badly in this group, starting with HP Tillakaratne, IM Chappell, Kamran Akmal, SR Waugh, JC Adams and SP Fleming who averaged less than 20. In contrast, those who did best in this situation were GA Gooch, JB Hobbs and Mushfiqur Rahim who are the only ones with an average of over 40.

Now for bowling, where at least 10 innings were bowled in the fourth innings for a losing side. This list is relatively shorter with only 22 entries compared to over 100 for batting.


FH Edwards has a particularly bad average here, followed by part-timer MN Samuels. Botham. Harbhajan and Vettori are among others with averages above 50.

Walsh, Akram and Willis have done best under these conditions.

Finally, fielding. We consider wicket-keepers who have fielded in at least 10 innings for the losing side in the fourth innings:


While Mushfiqur Rahim has the worst figures here, better-known keepers such as IDS Smith, TG Evans and IA Healy also did not do well. RD Jacobs, MV Boucher and RC Russell did best under these conditions.

Kings of the fourth-innings chase

Pakistan’s victory in the third Test against Sri Lanka represented Test cricket at its best-particularly in the unexpected fightback in the fourth innings which was the highest total of the match. It is often said that batting in the fourth innings and winning is the best test of a batsman’s quality. Here we look at the best batsmen in successful run chases in the 4th innings.

We also see which bowlers have been most successful under these conditions. Here we consider all Tests ending up to July 7, 2015. The batsmen are arranged by order of averages. While GC Smith is the only one to have over 1000 runs in successful chases, there a few who average over 100 under these conditions. A cutoff of 10 innings is considered:;filter=advanced;innings_number=4;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=25;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=5;opposition=6;opposition=7;opposition=8;opposition=9;orderby=batting_average;qualmin1=10;qualval1=innings;result=1;size=100;spanmax1=07+Jul+2015;spanval1=span;team=1;team=2;team=25;team=3;team=4;team=5;team=6;team=7;team=8;team=9;template=results;type=batting

Notice the large gap between the leader Younis Khan and the next three (Greg Chappell, Graham Thorpe and David Boon). It is also interesting to see which bowlers have been most successful in terminating 4th-innings run chases. Here we take a minimum of 10 innings bowled:;filter=advanced;innings_number=4;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=25;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=5;opposition=6;opposition=7;opposition=8;opposition=9;orderby=bowling_average;qualmin2=10;qualval2=innings_bowled;result=1;size=100;spanmax1=07+Jul+2015;spanval1=span;team=1;team=2;team=25;team=3;team=4;team=5;team=6;team=7;team=8;team=9;template=results;type=bowling

While Warne is the only one with over 100 wickets taken in Tests where a side is bowled out in the 4th innings, Ambrose, Marshall and McGrath have the best averages. The best economy rate is (unexpectedly) by Ray Illingworth followed by Gibbs and Ambrose (again). And the best strike rate is by Ambrose (yet again) followed by Donald and Waqar Younis. While we are at it, let us see about fielding under these conditions (again with a minimum of 10 innings fielded).;filter=advanced;innings_number=4;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=25;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=5;opposition=6;opposition=7;opposition=8;opposition=9;orderby=dismissals;qualmin1=10;qualval1=innings_fielded;result=1;size=100;spanmax1=07+Jul+2015;spanval1=span;team=1;team=2;team=25;team=3;team=4;team=5;team=6;team=7;team=8;team=9;template=results;type=fielding

Gilchrist expectedly has the most dismissals with 52, while he and Haddin have the most catches (47). But the most stumpings are by old-timer Oldfield (with 7). M. Jayawardene has the most catches (27) by a non-keeper followed by Ponting with 26. When we look at dismissals per innings, Knott (2.333) has the highest followed by Haddin, Bob Taylor and Gilchrist. Among non-keepers, M. Jayawardene (1.285) is followed by Redpath.

Ironically, the two kings of the fourth innings did meet in one three-test series in 2000, when Ambrose was about to end his Test career and when Younis was just starting his. West Indies won this series 1-0, though none of these Tests involved Pakistan batting in the last innings.