More on Ireland’s maiden Test

Ultimately Ireland lost against Pakistan, but they performed better than most other Test teams on their maiden appearance. But then, the team had considerable international experience before they played in the Test.

We all know that B Rankin had played one Test for England. He has also played in ODIs and T20Is for England and Ireland.

Similarly EC Joyce has played in ODIs and T20Is for England and Ireland.

All 11 members of the team had played T20Is earlier. T Kane is the only one who had not played in an ODI.

Another potential player was Eoin Morgan who played 16 Tests for England with two centuries, besides ODIs for England and Ireland and T20Is for England. He could well have played here, but appears to prefer his present position as England’s ODI captain.

Probably Afghanistan’s Test team will have a similar bank of experience, except that they would never have played an international match in their home country.

Advertisements

Performances in maiden Tests of teams (June 2018)

With Ireland  and Afghanistan now in the Test arena, we look at performances in the maiden Tests for all teams. Australia and England played their maiden Tests against each other on 15 Mar 1877.

Maiden Tests

Of the 12 teams, only Australia won and only Zimbabwe drew. The 10 remaining teams lost, including West Indies, Pakistan and Afghanistan by an innings. The maiden Tests of Australia, England and Ireland were relatively closely fought.

Ireland’s 5-wicket loss is the lowest losing margin by wickets by a team playing their debut Test. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh lost by 7 and 9 wickets respectively.

In contrast, Afghanistan’s loss by an innings and 262 runs is the worst losing margin by a debutant team.

By runs alone, England lost by 45 runs and India by 158.

In contrast, Afghanistan suffered the heaviest defeat here and the only one in a 2-day Test, being dismissed twice on the second day.

The best scores in maiden tests are 165* by C Bannerman, 145 by Aminul Islam, 121 by DL Houghton and now 118 by KJ O’Brien. Only South Africa, New Zealand and Afghanistan failed to record a fifty on debut. AB Tancred actually scored 29 in both innings. India, Pakistan and the West Indies just scraped through with fifties.

In all cases the bowler with the best innings bowling and best match bowling are the same. The best innings bowling here is 7-55 by Kendall in the very first Test, like his compatriot Bannerman. The next best is 6-132 by Naimur Rehman. There are a few other 5-fors.

The best match bowling is also from the very first Test, 8-89 by England’s A Shaw. Kendall with 8-109 is second.

Also note the all-round performance of New Zealand’s RC Blunt who has the highest score, best innings bowling and best match bowling¬† in his team’s maiden Test.

Some of these Tests involved players who had already represented other countries. These are Amir Elahi (India) and AJ Traicos (South Africa) who were therefore not making their Test debuts.

In the recent maiden Test of Ireland, B Rankin was the only one from his team who had played in Tests earlier, having played once for England. Everyone mentioned in the above table other than Elahi, Traicos and Rankin were making their Test debut.

Tail piece: The best batting and bowling figures by Afghanistan were by relatively lesser known players.

 

Test batting performances of 2017

Here we look at individual batting performances for the calendar year 2017.

Most runs (750 and above):

Most runs-750

SPD Smith and five others crossed 1000. Smith had the most centuries (6) followed by Elgar and Kohli with 5.

Smith also had 9 scores of 50-plus, which was attained by several others. But it is his Ashes counterpart Root who has 10 such scores. KL Rahul (who scored less than 750 runs and does not appear above) had 9 scores of 50+ with a top score of 90. You can also see Dickwella who failed to convert any of his 6 fifties.

Also Elgar has the most 4s (43) and Warner and Mushfiqur the most 6s (7) in the above table. A closer look shows that de Grandhomme (15) actually had the most 6s though he scored only 293 runs.

Highest individual innings (150 and above):

Innings score -150

The highest score was 244* by AN Cook practically at the end of the year, while he and Kohli also made 243. Cook’s 244* is the first Test score at that number (though Bradman was once dismissed on 244). This 244* is also the highest score by anyone carrying his bat through an innings, surpassing GM Turner’s 223* in 1972.

Kohli has three double centuries while Elgar joined the somewhat exclusive 199 club.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, all instances):

Batting average-all

Although Pujara and Kohli scored over 1000 runs they batted in less than 20 innings, so they do not appear here. So we have SPD Smith heading this table with Elgar a distant second.

Highest strike rates (Minimum 1000 balls faced, 50.00 and above):

Batting SR-50

Here we have Kohli closely followed by Dickwella, with Smith considerably behind.

Two centuries in a match:

2 centuries in match

Only one instance. They were Hope’s maiden centuries, and enabled the West Indies to win a Test in England for the first time since 2000.

Next we will take up bowling.

Landmark-the 4000th Test century (Updated in July 2017)

 

During the long break between Test matches between mid-May and early August, one can look back at the landmarks passed during the 2016-17 season. Practically any Test series which starts between May and September is considered to be the 2017 season.

One landmark which went unnoticed was the neat round figure of 4000 Test centuries which was achieved by Roston Chase in his ultimately futile 101* in the fourth innings at Roseau.

Here are the landmark centuries, which can be easily identified through Statsguru. Here we have included the Aus v ICC World XI Test which started on 14/10/2005. And Matthew Hayden scored 111 in this match. Some may feel that this should not be counted as a “real” Test. That correction can also be made.

For the moment, we do include Hayden’s century in the list.

100th: J.Sharp, 105, Eng v Aus, match starting 09/08/1909

500th: RN Harvey, 178, Aus v SA, 31/12/1949

1000th: WM Lawry, 205, Aus v WI, 26/12/1968

1500th: GS Chappell, 115, Aus v Eng, 10/12/1982

2000th: ME Waugh, 137, Aus v Eng, 05/08/1993

2500th: RT Ponting, 144, Aus v Eng, 16/08/2001

3000th: W Jaffer, 100, Ind v Eng, 01/03/2006

3500th: KC Sangakkara, 168, SL v SA, 26/12/2011

4000th: RL Chase, 101*, WI v Pak, 10/05/2017

Note the high proportion of Australian batsmen in these landmark centuries.

Now if you disregard the ICC XI Test and Hayden’s century, the numbers from 3000 onward will change:

3000th: AN Cook, 104*,Eng v Ind, 01/03/2006 (and Jaffer moves to 2999. This was Cook’s Test debut)

3500th: TT Samaraweera, 102, SL v SA, 26/12/2001 (Sangakkara moves to 3499)

4000th: JT Root, 190, Eng v SA, 06/07/2017 (Chase moves to 3999)

Afterthought: These landmarks were found using Statsguru’s listing, going by the date of start of the Test and then in alphabetical order of the player’s names. But the order of completion of the century can be different. My old friend Sreeram Acehbdfg points out that if you take the order of completion of the century, then it was IM Chappell (165) who scored the 1000th century rather than his team-mate WM Lawry, in the Test between Aus and WI starting 26/12/1968.

Similarly, No 2000 appears to be R Mahanama, 151, SL v Ind, 04/08/1993. There might be other instances like this.