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 (Revised-Jan 17, 2018)

This was originally written in July 2015. For some reason it started getting some views again during the 2nd Test between South Africa and India in January 2018. So I thought of revising it.

We also see which bowlers have been most successful under these conditions. Here we consider all Tests ending up to January 17, 2018. The batsmen are arranged by order of averages. GC Smith is the only one to have over 1000 runs in successful chases.

A cutoff of 15 innings is considered:

4th innings-batting

GC Smith also has the most centuries (4) and 50+ scores (10).

It is also interesting to see which bowlers have been most successful in terminating 4th-innings run chases.

Here we take a minimum of 1500 balls bowled:

4th innings-bowling

While Warne is the only one with over 100 wickets taken in Tests where a side is bowled out in the 4th innings, Ashwin and McGrath have the best averages. Herath (85) and McGrath (83) are next to Warne.

The best economy rate is (unexpectedly) by RA Jadeja followed by Ray Illingworth. And the best strike rate is by Waqar Younis followed by Ashwin.

Herath (10), Muralitharan (7) and Ashwin (6) have the most fivers. Ashwin and Jadeja can be called the twin destroyers in the 4th innings at present.

While we are at it, let us see about

Fielding under these conditions (again with a minimum of 15 innings fielded) and minimum 0.500 dismissals/innings:

Fielding-4th innings

Gilchrist has the most dismissals with 52, while he and Haddin have the most catches (47). Gilchrist also has the most stumpings with 5. M. Jayawardene has the most catches (27) by a non-keeper followed by Ponting with 26. When we look at dismissals per innings, Haddin (2.173) has the highest followed by Gilchrist, Healy and Boucher. Among non-keepers, M. Jayawardene (1.285) is followed by Redpath.