Best performances in cricketing defeats-2

We now take a quick look at Test career figures of the best performances in defeats:

Batting: Highest averages with a minimum of 10 innings:


The top 3 places go to England regulars who played in Ashes series when Australia was generally stronger, though Bradman makes an entry lower down. And Hazare did better than later Indian greats. Current players here include DA Warner, AD Mathews and S Chanderpaul. The highest average from the recent past is that of A Flower closely followed by BC Lara.

Bowling: Best averages with a minimum of 10 innings bowled:


Mostly from the olden days, while McGrath and Akram are the only ones to have played in this century. The best economy and strike rates also seem to be from the distant past.

Wicket-keeping and fielding: minimum of 10 innings fielded:


Here we do have some of the moderns like Gilchrist and the much-maligned Kamran Akmal near the top. No non-keepers appear above, so we create a separate list for them:

Non-keepers: minimum of 10 innings fielded:


The person at the top of the list is a real surprise, while famous catchers like ED Solkar also appear.

Finally we look at all-round performance.

As usual, some tweaking is needed to consider “true” all-rounders. The criteria are given below-10 innings batted and bowled, batting average above 15, bowling average below 45 and at least two fifties and two four-fors in the matches in question:


Here there is an interesting mix of new and old, with the all-time greats such as Pollock, Kapil, Imran and RJ Hadlee in the middle although the lesser-known GA Faulkner and CL Cairns are at the top. We are also reminded that Gayle is a bowler of some ability.


Best performances in cricketing defeats-1

Every now and then when England does badly in an Ashes series we hear this wartime quote from Churchill:

In Defeat: Defiance,

So this seems to be a good time to look at team and individual performances in defeats. As we will see, scoring 500-plus or centuries in both innings may not be enough to save you or your team from defeat.

Here we consider all tests up to and including the one just concluded at Lord’s (and not the Aus vs ICC XI match of 2005).

Highest team totals (above 500):


Only one in the 3rd innings and none in the 4th.

Highest Individual innings (200 and above):


Here there is one in the 4th innings and none in the 3rd.

Now we consider 225 or more in the match.


This even includes a double and single century in the match.

Coming back to team performances, here we look at good bowling performances which still resulted in defeat.

Losing after bowling out the opposition for 100 or less:


Looking at individual performances, first in match bowling figures:

Best match bowling (12 wickets or more)


This is headed by a prominent Indian bowler who broke a 97-year old record. Also note the strange coincidences in the India vs Australia Tests of 1959 and 1979. All tests at this venue in the intervening 20 years had been drawn, giving it the reputation of the world’s dullest Test pitch. In each case, Australia lost after taking a first-innings lead. What was even stranger was that in each case an Australian left-arm pace bowler (Davidson, then Dymock) took 12 wickets. And Krejza was making his debut.

Now for innings bowling:

Best innings bowling (8 wickets or more):


This list is again headed by a prominent Indian bowler. The unfortunate JJ Krejza again figures here. He and the better-known AL Valentine were making their debuts. Valentine and his little pal Ramadhin both made their debuts here and recovered well enough to win the remaining three tests of the series. To refresh your memories:

Now to wicket-keeping and fielding:

8 or more dismissals in a match:


WAS Oldfield and Wasim Bari share the stumping record of 4, while six fielders have taken 6 catches. This includes a current player AN Cook.

6 or more dismissals in an innings:


Jacobs stands tall as he often did in the disintegrating West Indies team. The most stumpings is 4 by WAS Oldfield (who else?) and the most catches by a fielder is 5 by K Srikkanth (a world record he shares with several others).

Finally, all-round performance (a century and 5 wickets in an innings):


A rather short list which includes 2 Indian players.

In the next installment we will look at career figures in defeats.