Review of Australia-England Tests-1

You might wonder why the title does not refer to Ashes Tests. That is because all Tests between the teams have not had the Ashes at stake, such as the 3-Test series in 1979-80 and a few one-off Tests in the 1970s and 80s.

The results of all these Tests are summarized here:

Results table

Australia leads by a healthy 144-108 margin, besides 95-57 at home. At home, England have a slender 51-49 lead which may vanish with one bad series.

Looking at the individual performances, starting with batting:

Most runs (2000 and above):

Runs-above 2000

Only Cook and Smith among current players, with Clarke and Pietersen from the recent past. Bradman’s total is still the record, with no one else crossing 3700.

Highest innings (200 and over):

Innings-200

From the recent series we have Cook (244*) and Smith (239). Smith also has 215 from 2015. Cook’s 244* was significant as the highest score in any Test by an opener carrying his bat through the innings. The previous record in all Tests was 223* by GM Turner for NZ v WI in 1972. In matches between Aus and Eng, the previous record was 206* by WA Brown in 1938, which is listed above. The record for England was 156* by Hutton in 1951.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, 45.00):

Bat Ave-above 45

Bradman again heads this list. Among current players Smith is the highest, though in 9th position overall. Warner is also there. There is no one else from the recent past, as Cook’s 40.20 is below the cutoff of 45.

Now for bowling:

Most wickets (75 and above):

wkts-75

Warne leads here, while the current players are Anderson (104) and Broad (95). From the recent past there is MG Johnson (87).

Best innings bowling (including all 8wi and above):

Innings-8wi

Laker has the top two spots. No example from the current series, although Broad’s 8-15 is in 4th place overall.

Best match bowling (including all instances of 12wm and above):

12wm

Headed by Laker and followed by Massie’s freak debut. Nothing from current or recent players, except Warne’s 12-246 in 2005.

Best bowling averages (minimum 2000 balls, below 25.00):

Bowl avg-25

Dominated by the 19th-century players. Of those who played in 2000 or later, the best is by RJ Harris (20.63) and McGrath (20.92). Next are Warne and MacGill towards the bottom.

We see that the top two in this table are Lohmann and Ferris from long ago. For economy rate, the best are Attewell (1.31) and Ironmonger (1.74) who do not appear above because of their higher average. For strike rate, it is Ferris (42.2) and Lohmann (42.2).

To be continued.

 

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Involved in all ten dismissals in an innings

If you are reading this, you would be aware that bowlers have taken all ten wickets in an innings on two occasions-Jim Laker in 1956 and Anil Kumble in 1999.

You may have imagined that there must have been some other instances where someone took wickets and catches when added together totaled ten. This thought may have occurred to many in the Ind vs Eng Test at Chennai, when “Sir” Ravindra Jadeja took 7 wickets and 3 catches in the 3rd innings: http://www.espncricinfo.com/india-v-england-2016-17/engine/match/1034817.html

However, this was not so. Look at the scorecard of this innings carefully:

Jadeja Chennai

Jadeja took 7 wickets, missing out on Bairstow, Dawson and Rashid. He did catch Bairstow and Rashid but was NOT involved in the dismissal of Dawson. His third catch was the caught-and-bowled dismissal of Jennings. So he had a hand in 9 of the 10 dismissals.

To identify all these cases, we look at the instances of

10 wickets (no doubt)

9 wickets plus 1 or more catches

8 wickets plus 2 or more catches

7 wickets plus 3 or more catches (e.g. Sir Ravindra)

There are no instances of 6 wickets and 4 or more catches.

These cases are summarized below:

All Ten

By the process used in Jadeja’s example we identify only FOUR such cases: Laker, Kumble, Hadlee and Tayfield where the bowler had a hand in all ten wickets. The match scorecards can be seen here:

Laker: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62814.html

Kumble: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63829.html

Hadlee: http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/engine/match/63415.html

Tayfield:http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62823.html

The cases of Laker and Kumble need no explanation.

In Hadlee’s case, he caught Lawson off VR Brown’s bowling to add to his 9 wickets.

In Tayfield’s case, he caught Insole off Goddard’s bowling to add to his 9 wickets, which included his second catch of Cowdrey (caught and bowled).

And this list does include a genuine knight in Sir Richard Hadlee, unlike the unrecognized knight from Saurashtra.