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:

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.

Aiden Markram is back (Updated to Jan 15, 2022)

Refresh your memory here:

As readers of this column know, Aiden Markram has the longest palindromic name among international cricketers, with the competition coming from Rangy Nanan and Arun Lal (besides Talat Ali and Naman Ojha).

Apart from that, he had a good run at the start, with 97 on debut and centuries in his second and third Tests. (It helps if you are playing at home in South Africa against Bangladesh for two Tests followed by Zimbabwe).

Anyway, he was a sort of lucky charm for South Africa as they won in each of his first 5 Tests. India broke this spell when they won the 3rd Test of the 2017-18 series.

He had a bad tour of India in 2019, making a second-ball pair (or silver pair) in the second Test before being dropped for the third.

Anyway he holds another peculiar record in all Tests. He has played the most Tests (29) without ever seeing a draw, up to Jan 15, 2022. 18 of these matches were won by South Africa and 11 were lost.

The record was earlier held by England’s George Lohmann (18 Tests) of long ago, who saw 15 wins and 3 losses. Next is a recent player KK Jennings (Eng) with 17 (12 wins and 5 losses). Alok Kapali (BD) shares this tally of 17 (0 wins and 17 losses). Once Markram encounters a drawn Test, the record goes back to Lohmann.

I wonder if anyone has told Markram of this record. At least it sounds more impressive than being the 21st batsman to make a silver pair.

More about bowling averages

Ever wondered about the average of Test bowling averages?

If we take all Tests up to Oct 25, 2019 and disregarding the Test involving the ICC XI in 2005, and a cutoff of 2000 balls bowled:

There are 613 bowlers fitting this criteria. A full statement:

Bowling averages-final

The bowling averages range from GA Lohmann’s 10.75 to EAR de Silva’s 129.00, which is the only 3-figure bowling average.

The average or mean bowling average is 34.45, which corresponds to that of JE Taylor and KD Mackay.

Looking at other measures of central tendency:

First quartile: 28.24 (SP Jones, RJ Sidebottom, HC Griffith)

Median: 32.92 (BL Cairns, L Amarnath)

Third quartile: 38.59 (AMB Rowan).

We also have the Economy Rate, which ranges from 1.31 runs/over for W Attewell to 4.16 for Shahadat Hossain.

The average is 2.75 (DK Lillee, RM Hogg)

And the Strike Rate, which ranges from 34.10 balls/wicket by GA Lohmann to 291.00 by EAR de Silva. Remember that they have the best and worst bowling averages as well.

We may as well have a closer look at them:

The average is 76.10 by Iqbal Qasim.

Next we will take up the difference between home and away bowling averages, as was done for batting averages in a recent post.