Arise, Sir Ravindra!

When we write about the exploits of Sir Ravindra Jadeja, we would later have to describe the exploits of Baron Ravichandran Ashwin, Lord Cheteshwar Pujara, the Honourable Virat Kohli and Prince Ajinkya Rahane (not to forget the evil Duke Rohit Sharma).

Today, however, we take up the all-round feat of scoring a fifty-plus and a five-plus in the same Test. This is not such a big deal, as it has been achieved on 197 occasions in all Tests, and several players including most of the famous all-rounders have done it more than once.

For the moment, we look at the 22 occasions where this was achieved by India in Tests:


Virtually every Indian all-rounder of note is there, including Kapil (4 times), Ashwin (3) and Bhuvaneswar Kumar (2). Also note the gallant efforts by Vinoo Mankad (1952) and Umrigar (1962) which did not prevent defeat. Note who is the most recent entrant.

However, only 7 of these efforts resulted in an Indian victory:


and you can see who the latest entrant was.

Now let us see the list of these performances in India-New Zealand Tests:


Only 5 occasions, 3 by NZ and 2 by India. And how many of these resulted in victory?


Only 2 such occasions, one featuring the nearly forgotten John Bracewell (who nevertheless brought New Zealand its second and last Test win in India). And Sir Jadeja, who got the man of the match award to go along with his knighthood.


KL Rahul’s short-lived record

For a short time between the second and third Tests in the current series, KL Rahul shared an obscure Test record with Ravi Bopara-they were the only batsmen to make 3 Test centuries with no fifty (i.e. no score between 50 and 99). As Rahul got out on 50, the record now goes back to Bopara. More details in my earlier post:

As we see, there are numerous players who scored one century and no fifty (including Agarkar and Ratra from India in recent years). A small number made two centuries and no fifties.

No one has scored 4 or more centuries with no fifties. The least number of fifties for the 4-century men is 3, shared by several including Shikhar  Dhawan, Kambli and  current players Dean Elgar and Usman Khawaja:

Four centuries

There is another statistical quirk which shows up whenever someone makes 163 or more runs on his debut (including both innings). The long-term record for the most runs in an one-Test career belongs to RE Redmond who made 107 + 56 = 163 in early 1973. Since then, over 20 players had scored over 163 runs on their debut and this held the record for the most runs in an one-test career (but only until they played their second Test). Another Kiwi JD Neesham was the last to hold this record, making 33 and 137* (170) on his debut against India in early 2014. But he soon played more Tests. Before that there was Rohit Sharma with 177 and Shikhar Dhawan with 187. Here is a list of the temporary record-holders who equalled or bettered Redmond’s record since 1973:

Redmond record

A few of these players, notably those from Pakistan, vanished from the scene almost as quickly as the hapless Rodney Redmond did. At least he had the satisfaction of seeing his son Aaron play 8 Tests, with two fifties and a top score of 81.

Another record for Brendon McCullum (Revised in Sep 2017)

As we all know, Brendon McCullum recorded the fastest ever Test century in the Christchurch Test when he crossed 100 in 54 balls.

He also became the only Test player to score a century in the last test of his career, while captaining his country. This is what you get from Statsguru:

Century in last career Test, while captain

Naturally, Smith can be discounted as we know he has not retired. So McCullum is the only one who qualifies.

This seemed a bit odd, so I repeated this check to identify those who scored a fifty in the last test of their career, while captaining their side. We get this:

50 plus in last career Test, while captain

This live link may be more useful:;class=1;debut_or_last=2;filter=advanced;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=25;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=5;opposition=6;opposition=7;opposition=8;opposition=9;orderby=start;qualmin1=1;qualval1=fifty_plus;team=1;team=2;team=25;team=3;team=4;team=5;team=6;team=7;team=8;team=9;template=results;type=batting

As many as 34 names here. But it includes some whose Test careers are not over, essentially everyone from Mushfiqur Rahim downwards excluding McCullum and now Misbah. So we remove Mushfiqur, Kohli, Mathews, AN Cook and SPD Smith.

So we are left with 29 who scored a fifty in their last Test when they were captaining. In some cases their retirement was known in advance, in other cases they may not have known they were playing their last Test.

McCullum has scored the most runs in the match (170) among these, though a few others have crossed 100 without making a century. The WI player RK Nunes is the only one to score two fifties in this category.

We may as well see the list of all those who scored centuries in the last Test of their career, regardless of captaincy:

Century in last Test

This live link may be more useful:

Here we have a total of 42. We remove current players who are likely to keep playing for a while: Hafeez, Rahane, SE Marsh, Amla, SC Cook, de Kock, Burns and SPD Smith. This leaves 34 who scored centuries in their last Test (unless McCullum makes a comeback). In contrast, 100 players scored 102 centuries on debut (Remember Rowe and Yaseer Hameed).

Naturally our old friends AG Ganteaume and RE Redmond are there, as their first and last Tests were the same. Others who scored centuries on debut and last Tests are Duff (104 & 146), Ponsford (110 & 266), Greg Chappell (108 & 182) and Azharuddin (110 & 102). In case SE Marsh does not play another Test he will also join this club with 141 & 182.

Centuries in their last Test include those by Sandham (325, the first Test triple century) and double centuries by Ponsford, Nurse, Aravinda de Silva (last f-c match) and (strangest of all) night-watchman Gillespie making his only Test century.

CAG Russell is the only one to score centuries in both innings of his last Test. He was the first English player to score centuries in both innings of a Test.

Overview of Tests between Australia and New Zealand

With the conclusion of the pink-ball Test at Adelaide, Australia won the 3-Test series against New Zealand 2-0. So far 55 Tests have been played between these countries, and Australia lead 29-8 with 18 draws. In Australia there have been 31 Tests with Australia leading 17-3 with 11 draws, and in New Zealand Australia leads 12-5 with 7 draws.

Of the three victories by New Zealand in Australia, two were in 1985-86 (thanks mainly to Sir Richard Hadlee) and one in 2011-12.

We now look at figures for all Tests between these countries. The first was at Wellington in 1945-46 and was the first Test in any country after WW2. The result was so one-sided that matches between these countries did not resume until 1973-74.

It is worth looking at the scorecard of that first Test, in which several of Bradman’s invincibles made their debuts. Bradman himself did not play, and Australia’s captain was WA Brown.

First we look at the most runs (750 and above):

Aus v NZ-most runs

Dominated by players of the past, only Ross Taylor from the present. Border has the most hundreds (5), while he and Boon have the most (11) scores above 50.

Now for highest averages (for a minimum of 20 innings batted):

Aus v NZ-highest averages

Langer is somewhat unexpectedly at the top. Only McCullum is there among current players. And the one at the bottom is predictable.

Highest individual scores (150 and above):

Aus v NZ-highest indiv scores

Here there is more contribution from the current players-as the record scores for Australia and New Zealand were made in the current series by Warner and Taylor respectively. Interestingly no one had made 290 in Tests before.

Now for bowling-most wickets (25 and above)

Aus v NZ-most wickets

Headed by Sir Richard and Mr Shane. Only MG Johnson from current players.

Next we come to bowling averages (minimum 2000 balls bowled):

Aus v NZ-best bowling avgs

The same pair at the top, with Cairns senior and junior just above the hapless Chris Martin at the bottom.

The best economy rate is 2.08 by the under-rated Chatfield, while Hadlee has the best strike rate of 46.9.

Best innings bowling: (6wi and above)

Aus v NZ-best innings bowling

Dominated by Hadlee, with only Hazlewood from recent times.

Best match bowling: (8wm and above)

Aus v NZ-best match bowling

As above, dominated by Hadlee (with a bit of Warne) with only Hazlewood from recent times.

Now for fielding-most dismissals: (20 and above)

Aus v NZ-most dismissals

Rod Marsh has the most dismissals (58) and catches as a keeper (57), Smith the most stumpings (5) and Border the most catches as a non-keeper (31).

Looking at dismissals per innings: (minimum 20 innings fielded)

Aus v NZ-best dismissal rate

Rod Marsh leads with 2.230, while MA Taylor has the best rate by a non-keeper (1.136)

Coming to the end, we look at all-round performance.

The criteria for determining who is an all-rounder are debatable, anyway you can see what I have used at the top of this table.

Best all-round performance (career):

Aus v NZ-overall allround

Warne surprisingly comes out on top as he was more successful with the bat than Hadlee in these Tests.

Finally we come to best all-round performance in a match: (at least 50 runs and 5 wickets)

Aus v NZ-match allround

Hadlee’s fifty plus 15 wickets would take pride of place, including the best match bowling by anyone scoring a fifty in the same match. CL Cairns’s 2001 performance is also noteworthy, while Dodemaide achieved the rare feat of a fifty and fiver on debut.

(All this will have to be revised when Australia visits New Zealand in February 2016).