Test Captaincy Updates-2

Continuing from Part 1:https://abn397.wordpress.com/2019/12/12/test-captaincy-updates-1/

We have seen which players have appeared in the most Tests, captained in the most Tests and have played in the most Tests while not captaining.

Now we look at those who 1) played their entire Test career as captains, and 2) played their entire Test careers NOT as captains.

The first list is relatively short:

Pure captains

Only 25 cases here. The top few are less-known except for LK Germon who was captain relatively recently. He was brought in as captain as the selectors felt that no other suitable captain could be found among the existing players. Sherwell and Germon were both wicketkeepers.

Tail piece: LK Germon does possess an odd record-he has scored the most runs on debut without scoring a fifty; 48 + 41 = 89.

We also see James Lillywhite jnr of England who captained his side in the first 2 Tests ever played and never played another,

In some cases certain players were appointed captains as they were amateurs rather than professionals, or if they were from the “nobility” as in the case of “Vizzy” and his British counterparts. In the early days of West Indies cricket, the captain was chosen from the players of the territory where the match was being played.

But clearly the players listed above were not good enough to stay in the team if their presence as captains was not essential. Vizzy, for example, was clearly not competent enough either as a batsman or captain.

More recently, WTS Porterfield captained Ireland in their first 3 Tests.

It is also interesting to note that the last 5 players made only a single Test appearance, in which they captained. The best known was CA Smith, later known as Sir Audrey Smith of Hollywood where he typically played roles of elderly Englishmen.

Now we go on to those who never captained in Tests.

There are over 1500 who played 5 or more Tests without ever being captains. Here we list

Those who played 85 or more Tests without ever captaining:

Pure non captains

England’s current players Anderson and Broad are in the first and third places, Anderson having crossed Warne’s mark of 144 recently. The national record holders would therefore include Anderson (149 for England), Warne (144 for Australia), VVS Laxman (134 for India), Muralitharan (132 for Sri Lanka), Ntini (101 for South Africa), CEL Ambrose (98 for WI) and Sir Richard Hadlee (86 for New Zealand). Further down there is Mudassar Nazar with 76 for Pakistan, GW Flower (67 for Zimbabwe) and Javed Omar (40 for Bangladesh).

There may be various reasons why they were never considered suitable for captaincy. However, Warne did captain Australia in a few ODIs. The knowledgeable feel that he may have been a better captain than some of his contemporaries.

 

Unbeaten scores of 50+ on debut

Predictably, England won the first Test at Chittagong. Less predictable was the narrow margin of victory. Had they won, this would have been Bangladesh’s first Test win against a major team. We should not count the two victories against the West Indies third XI in 2009.

Sabbir Rahman made an unbeaten fifty on his debut. We now look into all those who achieved this feat on their debut.

For convenience, we break these instances into three sections, depending on whether the debutant’s team won, lost or drew/tied the match. There are a total of 73 such instances (including two cases where the debutant scored unbeaten fifty-plus scores in each innings).

We start with instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team won:

unb-50-debut-win

27 such instances, including the first-ever Test century and a double century (Rudolph). That is the highest unbeaten innings by a debutant, and DSBP Kuruppu (see below) is the only other batsman to score an unbeaten 200+.

SG Law and MN Nawaz were playing their only Tests. Van Zyl and Voges had contrasting careers after their debut.

We will later try to see which of them may have hit the winning runs.

Next, we consider instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team lost:

unb-50-debut-loss

18 such instances, including two innings by GC Grant. He was also captaining the West Indies on his debut. Barrett and Javed Omar carried their bats through the innings. Some famous names of the recent past are topped off by Sabbir Rahman and his 64*. Southee added a five-for to his 77*, thus becoming one of the handful of debutants to score a 50+ and 5wi.

We will later identify those who were left stranded at the end of the fourth innings.

Finally, we consider instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team drew or tied:

unb-50-debut-draw-tie

28 instances, including two innings by Azhar Mahmood. He is the only one to score an unbeaten hundred and unbeaten fifty on debut. Rowe is here as well, having scored 214 along with the 100* mentioned here. And Kuruppu has an unbeaten double century. Again, a few famous names from the recent past who are still going strong.

Coming back to our original query, we isolate those who scored their unbeaten fifty-plus in the 4th innings, and were thus batting at the time of victory:

unb-50-debut-win-4th

Only 8 such instances, including Gavaskar besides Gimblett, Lloyd and Lewis against India. In some cases they may have hit the winning runs. This could be checked from the ball-by-ball commentary if available, or from contemporary match reports.

Finally, we look at those who were left unbeaten with 50+ in the 4th innings when their team lost:

unb-50-debut-loss-4th

Naturally, Sabbir Rahman tops off this list. India was not involved in any of these instances.

There might have been cases of remaining unbeaten on 50+ in the 3rd innings when their team lost by an innings. The possible candidates are:

Barrett, Ranjitsinhji, Grant, Howarth, Javed Omar and Henriques.

A look at the scorecard shows only Howarth and Javed Omar being left unbeaten in the third innings, when their team lost by an innings. Howarth was at the other end when fellow debutant No 11 Ewan Chatfield suffered a potentially fatal injury when struck by a ball from Peter Lever.