The Indian tail also wags

Data as of 14 Oct 2019:

Having seen how batsmen of no 8 and below have fared against India, we see how India’s tailend batsmen have done in Tests:

Innings of 90 and above by Indian batsmen at No 8 and below:

Indian tail innings

Dhoni and Ashwin are among the main contributors here. It is often forgotten that Saha has scored centuries (also two more while batting at 7 or higher).

There are relatively few newcomers here. RH Shodhan is the only debutant here, while Ratra, Ashwin and Pandya made their centuries at the start of their career. J Yadav soon dropped out of the Test reckoning. Kumble and Harbhajan made their centuries at a late stage of their careers.

It should be noted that Kapil usually batted at 7 or higher.

We now look at averages of those batting at 8 and below, subject to a minimum of 10 innings:

India tail averages

Dhoni expectedly has the highest average, while Saha is surprisingly second and Prabhakar third. Prabhakar also played many of his matches higher in the order.

Sandhu seems to have been better as a batsman than a bowler during his brief career. He still holds the record of the highest score by a debutant (71) at no 9.

Dhoni, Kapil, Ashwin and Harbhajan all have two centuries here. The most 50+ scores are by Kapil (15), Harbhajan (11) and Jadeja (10). Harbhajan did make rapid progress as a batsman since his debut.

Kumble has over 2000 runs here, while Kapil and several others have over a thousand. Saha, Ashwin and Jadeja are among the current players here.

Finally we look at centuries for the 8th to 10th wicket:

Indian tail partnerships

There are some large partnerships here, some of which were in a losing cause (such as the one between Azhar and Kumble). One which was significant was the 122 by Prasanna and Sardesai, which helped India to impose the follow-on on the West Indies and gain a psychological advantage which lasted till the end of the series.

The partnership between Tendulkar (248*) and Zaheer Khan (75) was then the record for the 10th wicket, until Root and Anderson overtook it against India. Both Tendulkar and Zaheer made their highest scores here. Another useful 10th-wicket partnership was the one between B Kumar and Shami, in which both scored fifties.

When the tail wagged (Aug 2019)

In the ongoing Test at Kingston, India registered a somewhat rare triumph of a fifty at No 9 along with a century partnership.

Fifty plus by No 9 batsmen from India:

Fifty by no 9 from India

Ishant Sharma’s 57 is a little below the middle. There are several Indians above him, led by J Yadav who vanished as quickly as he got into the team. Even a century at no 9 does not help.

Century partnership for the 8th wicket by India:

Indias 8th wicket century partnership

Again, the partnership of 112 by Vihari and Ishant isĀ  little below the middle. There is one against WI a little higher (120* by Dravid and Sarandeep in 2002).

For the sake of comparison, we also look at:

Fifty plus at No 9 against the West Indies:

Fifty by No 9 against WI

Here, too, Ishant is a bit lower than the middle. The highest for India is 79 by Kunderan in 1966-67. The highest for India in the West Indies is 68 by BS Sandhu. Oddly enough, Sandhu’s 71 against Pakistan in 1982-83 is the best on debut by a No 9 in all Tests.

Century partnerships for the 8th wicket against the West Indies:

cent parnership for 8th wkt against WI.

The Vihari – Sharma partnership is the 8th highest here, while the 120* by Dravid and Sarandeep is the 6th highest. The highest partnership of 217 was part of one of the more remarkable comebacks in all Tests, when Brian Close captained for the first time:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17312/scorecard/62995/england-vs-west-indies-5th-test-west-indies-tour-of-england-1966

This involved a recovery from 166/7 to 527 and fifty-plus from the No 9, 10 and 11 batsmen (Murray, Higgs and Snow).