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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Tests between Australia and Pakistan-1

With this 3-0 sweep by Australia in Australia, this is the final record for Tests between the two countries:

overall-table

What is more important is that Pakistan has lost 3-0 in 4 successive test series in Australia, namely in:

1999-2000

2004-05

2009-10

2016-17

In between, on neutral venues Australia won 3-0 in SL and UAE in 2002-03, drew 1-1 in England in 2010, and Pakistan won 2-0 in UAE in 2014-15. No matches were drawn in these series.

We now look at the statistics for individual players:

Batting:

Most runs (750 and above):

most-runs

The first few places are predictable. Miandad, Border, Greg Chappell and Ijaz Ahmed scored 6 centuries apiece. The most 50+ scores were 14 by Border and Zaheer Abbas. followed by 13 by Miandad. Current players in this list include Younis Khan and Azhar Ali.

Highest scores (160 and above):

hs-scores

Among current players there are Azhar Ali, MT Renshaw, Younis Khan and SPD Smith.

Azhar Ali’s 205* is the highest for Pakistan in Australia, surpassing Majid Khan’s 158 in Melbourne in 1972-73. Younis Khan with 175* also surpassed this later in the series.

Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, complete list):

batting-avg

Interesting that Mark Taylor has a much higher average than the second-placed Ponting. Younis Khan is the only current player who has played 20 innings. He has the highest average among Pakistani players. This list goes down to McGrath and his likes with single-figure averages. Wasim Bari has a surprisingly low average.

Now for bowling performances:

Most wickets (20 and above):

most-wkts

The first few are predictable. Mohammed Amir and Yasir Shah are the only current players here.

The most fivers were by Warne (6) and Lillee (5).

The most tenners were also by Warne (2).

The best innings bowling (including all hauls of 7 or more wickets):

inningsbowl

None from the recent past. The table is headed by Sarfraz Nawaz’s freak performance in 1978-79, where his spell of 7 for 1 reduced Australia from 305/3 to 310 and defeat.

Best match bowling (including all hauls of 9 wickets and above):

matchbowl

Again, nothing from recent years. Fazal Mahmood’s record 13-114 in the first Test between these teams has remained a record since 1956, while Imran’s 12-165 in 1977 brought Pakistan it’s first victory in Australia.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls bowled, all instances):

bowling-avg

Fairly predictable, with no one from recent years.

It can also be seen that the best economy rates were 2.23 by Tauseef Ahmed, 2.25 by Iqbal Qasim and 2.40 by Imran. The best strike rates were 45.0 by Warne, 47.9 by McGrath and 59.8 by Wasim Akram.

To be continued.

 

Review of Australia-South Africa Tests-1

South Africa won the recent series 2-1, thus completing a hat-trick of successive Test series victories in Australia. They had earlier won 2-1 in 2008-09 an 1-0 in 2012-13. However, Australia was doing better in South Africa, winning 2-1 in 2008-09, drawing 1-1 in 2011-12 and winning 2-1 in 2013-14.

It may or may not be significant that Australia won the last Test which was a pink-ball Test, the second to be played in Australia.

Here we see the summary of all Tests between these teams:

aus-sa-summary

Australia still has a healthy lead across all venues. The long-forgotten neutral Tests were part of the Tri-Series in 1912, the only Test series of its kind. It was given up as a bad idea (appropriate as it was the year of the “Titanic”).

However these were the first neutral Tests ever played. Kelleway and Bardsley scored centuries at Lord’s, and their names finally went up on the “neutral” batting board there in 2010 when another Test between Australia and Pakistan was played there. Marcus North and Shane Watson got on the bowling board then. It was the only Test where Shahid Afridi led Pakistan, and was followed by the short and ill-starred reign of Salman Butt.

Coming back to the usual numbers:

Batting:

Most runs (800 and above):

aus-sa-runs

Amla and Warner are the only current players here. Note Bradman’s meteoric series, in which he became the only Test player to be left on 299 not out. No one has scored 199* in a Test, though there have been a few 99*s.

Harvey and Ponting scored 8 centuries each, followed by Hayden with 6.

The most scores of 50+ were made by Ponting (19), Kallis (15), de Villiers (14) and Harvey (13)

Highest innings (175 and above):

aus-sa-hs

Nothing from this low-scoring series, though there are some from 2012.

Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, average 30 and above):

aus-sa-bat-avg

Amla and Duminy represent the current players. Harvey has an average much higher than that of Graeme Pollock, the next in line.

Now for bowling:

Most wickets (30 and above):

aus-sa-wkts

Warne has by far the highest tally. Steyn, Siddle and Lyon represent the current players.

Best innings bowling:

aus-sa-innings-bowling

Nothing from the current players. Note the havoc which Grimmett used to cause.

Best match bowling:

aus-sa-match-bowling

Again, nothing from the current players though there is one by the recently-retired MG Johnson in 2014. Grimmett dominates here as well.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

aus-sa-bowling-avg

Grimmett and other old-timers occupy the top 3 places followed by Warne. Steyn, Siddle and Lyon are also there.

It can be seen that the best economy rate is by Goddard (1.72) and the best strike rate is by Whitty (41.1) followed by Steyn with 46.2

To be continued

Those who missed the bus at Lord’s (Revised in Sep 2017)

The honours board at Lord’s are well known-anyone who scores a century or takes a fiver or a tenner gets his name on them, even if it is a neutral Test not involving England. If you need to brush up, see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_honours_boards

and for Indian players featured there, full details are here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/indian-cricketers-on-the-lords-honours-boards/

Also, the full list of names on the various boards have been covered in the last few posts on this blog.

However, note this extract from the Wikipedia article:

“A number of very distinguished players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Curtly Ambrose and Brian Lara are not named on the honours boards.”

It may be recalled that there was much heartbreak when Sachin failed to score a century in 2011, which was generally understood then to be his last Test there.

We now look at the aspect of prominent players failing to reach a board-worthy performance at Lord’s despite several opportunities. And there are some visitors who simply did not get to play enough at Lord’s.

Many English players whose career lasted about 5 years would have played 10+ Tests at Lord’s. Visiting players with long careers usually manage 4 Tests, unless they miss one Test or series. So we begin by identifying those who batted inĀ  at least 8 innings there. A further stipulation is that their batting position is 1 to 8, to eliminate tailenders without much batting ability.

So we have this for Most matches at Lord’s without a century:
Most matches wo century at Lord's

Atherton, Thorpe and Gatting played the most innings there without a century-particularly odd as Gatting played for Middlesex. Atherton did score 99 there and has the most fifties (7).

Visitors are led by Gavaskar and Tendulkar, followed by Faulkner, AW Nourse and Ponting. Lara played in only 3 Tests and 6 innings. The highest averages here are by Dexter (51.62) and FS Jackson (47.71).

While most of the batsmen here scored at least one fifty, some did not. They include Ramprakash (HS 40 in 13 innings), bowling all-rounder Emburey, Brearley, wicketkeeper Downton, Tendulkar, Faulkner and Ponting. The lowest average here is 10.38 by Ramprakash who was a specialist batsman, unlike some of the others. Then comes all-rounder Pringle (16.11) and another famous batsman Ponting (16.87). Tendulkar at least got into the 20s.

The highest averages here are by Dexter (50+) and FS Jackson (47+). Apart from Atherton’s 99, there are 90s by TE Bailey, JM Parks and FS Jackson.

Next, we take up bowlers who bowled at least 1000 balls (while bowling at no 1 to 5) and never took a five-for:

Most matches wo five-for at Lord's

Hoggard has the most Tests (11) and innings (20) here with a best of 4-27. However Edmonds has the best bowling figures of 4-6, while Hoggard has the most wickets (37). Gibbs, Lillee and Kumble are the only visitors here.

Ambrose and Warne did not bowl enough balls here.

The best bowling average here is Laker’s 24.43, followed by Wardle’s 26.78.

And one gets similar results if we look for those who made the same effort and never took a ten-for:

Most matches wo ten-for at Lord's

Here, Anderson has the most wickets (90) with a best of 9-73. He may, of course, play a few more Tests at Lord’s. He also has the most 5-fors (5) followed by Willis and Hadlee with 3. Oddly enough Anderson has more than twice the wickets of the next bowler Swann with 40. The best bowling average is by Willis with 18.76 followed by Illingworth with 19.85.

 

 

Kings of the fourth-innings chase (Revised-Jan 17, 2018)

This was originally written in July 2015. For some reason it started getting some views again during the 2nd Test between South Africa and India in January 2018. So I thought of revising it.

We also see which bowlers have been most successful under these conditions. Here we consider all Tests ending up to January 17, 2018. The batsmen are arranged by order of averages. GC Smith is the only one to have over 1000 runs in successful chases.

A cutoff of 15 innings is considered:

4th innings-batting

GC Smith also has the most centuries (4) and 50+ scores (10).

It is also interesting to see which bowlers have been most successful in terminating 4th-innings run chases.

Here we take a minimum of 1500 balls bowled:

4th innings-bowling

While Warne is the only one with over 100 wickets taken in Tests where a side is bowled out in the 4th innings, Ashwin and McGrath have the best averages. Herath (85) and McGrath (83) are next to Warne.

The best economy rate is (unexpectedly) by RA Jadeja followed by Ray Illingworth. And the best strike rate is by Waqar Younis followed by Ashwin.

Herath (10), Muralitharan (7) and Ashwin (6) have the most fivers. Ashwin and Jadeja can be called the twin destroyers in the 4th innings at present.

While we are at it, let us see about

Fielding under these conditions (again with a minimum of 15 innings fielded) and minimum 0.500 dismissals/innings:

Fielding-4th innings

Gilchrist has the most dismissals with 52, while he and Haddin have the most catches (47). Gilchrist also has the most stumpings with 5. M. Jayawardene has the most catches (27) by a non-keeper followed by Ponting with 26. When we look at dismissals per innings, Haddin (2.173) has the highest followed by Gilchrist, Healy and Boucher. Among non-keepers, M. Jayawardene (1.285) is followed by Redpath.