A statistical tribute to Max Walker

As you would know, Australian pace bowler Max Walker passed away recently. He played an useful support role to the more flamboyant Lillee and Thomson. Oddly enough, he never played against India in his 34 Tests and 17 ODIs. Most of his teammates such as the Chappell brothers, Marsh, Lillee, Thomson and Mallett did play in at least one series against India.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/8137.html

I remembered him for a statistical quirk in his last Test, the final Test against England in 1977. This was a dead rubber match, which saw Walker and debutant Mike Malone putting on a century partnership for the 9th wicket. Being Packermen, they were not able to return to the Test team after the “amnesty”. They did get to play a few ODIs.

The scorecard of that Test: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63194.html

Now Walker (besides debutant Malone) made their highest Test scores (78 and 46) in their final Test. In fact Walker had never made a Test fifty before. This led me to study how many people had made their career-best score in their final Test.

This is not something which can be pulled out directly from Statsguru, but requires some additional work. If you stick to career-best scores of 50+, there are over 80 such instances so there isn’t much point in listing them all.

Anyway, I have listed all such cases of making their career-best score in their last Test, that score being 100 or more:

lasttest100-1

lasttest100-2

Of course, the 4 instances of 2016 should not really be here as all of them (especially Kohli and Rahane) will be playing for a long time to come. Note the strange case of Andy Sandham who made the world Test record in his last Test, though Bradman overtook it a few months later. The special cases of Ganteaume and Redmond would be familiar.

I also listed the Indian players who made their career-best score in their last Test, that score being 50 or more:

lasttestindia

The Yuvraj of Patiala (a.k.a. Yadavendra Singh) is the only Indian among the 15 who scored a fifty or more in his only Test. Leaving out Kohli and Rahane, there is only Vijay Merchant who made his highest score of 100+ in his last Test.

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Making the most of limited chances-Allround performances

We conclude this series with a look at those who put in a good all-round performance in their only opportunity in international cricket. We will look at batting + bowling as well as batting + fielding in the three formats of the game.

We start with Tests:

30-plus runs and 3-plus wickets in their only Test:

All round-30 runs and 3 wkts in only Test

Heading the list is MF Malone, one of the Packermen who was given a chance in the final Test of a series which Australia had already lost. It would clearly be the best all-round performance for someone who played only one Test. Next would come that of JP Faulkner. He is a key member of Australia’s current limited-overs teams and will probably play a few more Tests.

30-plus runs and 3-plus dismissals in their only Test:

Allround-30 runs and 3 dismissals in only Test

Again, some relatively lesser-known players. Ronchi and Ojha can be expected to play again. L Ronchi’s performance, for the moment, is the best for any keeper who played in only one test. NV Ojha would be next.

Passailaigue is the only non-keeper here. He put on 487* for the 6th wicket with George Headley in 1931-32 which is still the world first-class record for this wicket.

Now for ODIs:

10 or more runs and 1 or more wicket in their only ODI:

10 runs and 1 wicket in only ODI

After scraping the bottom of the barrel, we have these 8 ODI players. India’s leading spinner of the 70s is there along with a few other Test players such as AV Mankad, ADG Roberts and JR Hammond. Fittingly Chandrashekhar has the best bowling here, while AV Mankad has the highest score.

10 or more runs and 1 or more dismissal in their only ODI:

10 runs and 1 dismissal in only ODI

ADG Roberts appears in both of these lists. Other famous names are Bill Lawry and the now-familiar Phil Emery.

Finally we move to T20Is:

10 or more runs and 1 or more wicket in their only T20I:

10 runs and 1 wicket in only T20I

Famous names include Tendulkar (in India’s first T20I), Rafique (Bangladesh’s first genuine all-rounder) and Gillespie. The list is headed by Scott Borthwick who also played one Test and two ODIs.

Gillespie scored the most runs (!) while Hitchcock is the only one to take 2 wickets.

10 or more runs and 1 or more dismissal in their only T20I:

10 runs and 1 dismissal in only T20I

12 in this list, and some of them like Tendulkar, Borthwick and Fayyaz appear again.

Dinesh Mongia, like Tendulkar, made his only T20I appearance in India’s first ODI. He has the highest score here,while no one has more than one dismissal. Nixon is the only one to make a stumping.

There are a number of Test players here including Read, Nafees, Tendulkar, Key, Reifer and Kieran Powell.

This concludes our series on those who did well in their only opportunity in international cricket.