Sri Lanka’s tour of India

Here is a short summary of Sri Lanka’s cricket performance in India:

Tests: 17. India lead 10-0, 7 draws.

ODIs: 48. India lead 34-11, 3 with no result. Sri Lanka has never won a bilateral series in India-though they did beat India twice during the 1996 World Cup on their way to the trophy.

T20Is: 5. India lead 3-2, and won the only bilateral series between the teams.

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Review of West Indies-Zimbabwe Tests

West Indies won this series 1-0 with one draw, when the second Test was drawn. The last draw involving Zimbabwe was in January 2005, when a Test in Bangladesh was drawn. From then till now Zimbabwe played in 26 Tests, including 23 losses and 3 wins (2 against Bangladesh and one against Pakistan). However, Zimbabwe did not play any Tests between Sep 2005 and Aug 2011.

Some Zimbabwe players ended their all-loss Test record. Chakabva now has seen 11 losses and 1 draw, while Sikandar has seen 8 losses and 1 draw. SC Williams has seen losses in all his 7 Tests, though the overall Test record is held by Alok Kapali with 17.

Zimbabwe’s captain AG Cremer also came out of the all-loss group. His 7 Tests as captain now have 6 losses and 1 draw.

Here we have a summary of all 10 Tests between these teams:

Results

WI leads 7-0 with 3 draws. They won all 4 Tests held in the West Indies and 3 out of 6 in Zimbabwe. All 3 draws were in Zimbabwe.

With this limited sample size there is no point in looking at averages, strike rates and the like. So we concentrate on overall tallies and innings and match performances.

Most runs (200 and above):

Runs

Gayle and H Masakadza scored 2 centuries apiece. These two players along with Sarwan are the only ones to make 3 scores of 50-plus. Gayle and Chanderpaul had played in all Tests between these teams except this series.

Highest individual scores (all centuries):

Innings

In this series H Masakadza made the highest score for Zim against WI. The previous record was 127* by Streak.

Also during this series WI’s no 8 and 9 batsmen (Holder and Dowrich) scored centuries. This was only the 2nd time this happened, after this one in the 1907-08 Ashes: http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17646/scorecard/62493/Australia-vs-England-3rd-Test-the-ashes/

In that match a top-order batsman Clem Hill was batting at No 9 for some reason (probably an injury). So this instance is the only one involving “genuine” No 8 and No 9 batsmen.

Bowling: 10 or more wickets:

Wkts

Price has the most wickets. He and S Shillingford are the only ones to have taken tenners. Shillingford is also the only one with 3 fivers. Several current players (led by Bishoo) are in the above table.

Best innings bowling (including all fivers):

Innings bowling

Shillingford and Price lead again.

Best match bowling (including all cases of 8wm and above): The same pair again head the table.

Match bowling

Some current players (notably Bishoo) are in these tables.

Fielding records (5 or more dismissals):

Overall fielding

Gayle has the most catches by a non-keeper.

Most dismissals in an innings (3 or more):

Innings fielding

Ervine and A Flower have the most catches in an innings.

Most dismissals in a match (4 or more):

match fielding

Interestingly a non-keeper Powell has the most dismissals.

All-round performances (overall):

AR overall

Fittingly the only name here is that of Zimbabwe’s leading all-rounder.

All-round match performances (50 and 5wi):

ARmatch

In this series Sikandar Raza became only the second Test player to make two eighty-plus scores along with a fiver (see more about this in the previous post).

 

 

An unusual all-round feat

Test matches between the West Indies and Zimbabwe have generally been one-sided. So it is a welcome change to see a strong performance by a Zimbabwe player.

Sikandar Raza became only the 15th player in all Tests to score two fifty-plus scores and take a fiver in the same Test:

AR Raza

In fact, he and Kallis are the only ones to make two scores of 80+ and take a fiver.

This list include some well-known and not so well-known players. Mankad (256) and Umrigar (228) have scored the most runs here-but in both cases India lost. Faulkner is the only other one here to have scored over 200 runs (when his team won).

There are a few other instances where the player’s team lost. Bhuvaneswar Kumar was the last to achieve this all-round feat, which resulted in a draw.

Sikandar Raza is probably the only Zimbabwe player who was born in Pakistan.

Review of Pakistan-Sri Lanka Tests

The 2-Test series in the UAE ended in a 2-0 win for Sri Lanka, which was the first defeat for Pakistan in the UAE since they moved there in 2010. The earlier series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the UAE have had an 1-0 win by Pakistan in 2011-12 and an 1-1 draw in 2013-14.

Here is the summary of all Tests between these teams:

Overall results

As we can see, the teams have been quite evenly matched-particularly in the UAE which has seen an equal number of wins by Pakistan, wins by Sri Lanka and draws.

We now look at individual statistics.

Batting: Most runs (750 and above):

Pak-SL runs

Sangakkara is far ahead of Younis who is also far ahead of the next (M. Jayawardene). Among those who played in this series, Azhar Ali is the only one with above 1000 runs although Asad Shafiq and others are catching up.

The most centuries are 10 by Sangakkara, followed by 8 by Aravinda and Younis.

The most scores of 50+ are 22 by Sangakkara, followed by 14 by Younis.

Highest individual scores (150 and above):

innings

This includes a triple century and several double centuries. This series was  somewhat low-scoring as the highest score was “only” 196 by Karunaratne. Note the Test at Faisalabad in October 1985 where two Pakistani batsmen scored double centuries in the same innings which were almost equal (203* and 206).

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

Batting average

Sangakkara is well ahead of the others, while the next two Inzamam and Mathews have almost identical averages. Among those who played in this series, the highest averages are by Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Kaushal Silva.

Now for bowling:

Most wickets (20 and above):

Wkts

Herath has moved ahead of Muralitharan (like he has done against a few other teams). Saeed Ajmal has the most by Pakistan. Other current players here include Yasir Shah and Dilruwan Perera.

Herath has the most fivers (8) while three others have 5.

Herath is also the only one with more than one tenner.

Best innings bowling (all instances of 6wi and above):

innings bowling

Herath and Yasir Shah appear from the current series.

Best match bowling (all instances of 9wm and above):

Match bowling

Herath’s 11-wicket haul is the only one from the current series.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

Bowling average

The two Ws lead this table followed by Muralitharan and Herath.

To be precise, the best bowling averages are by Akram followed by Younis.

The best economy rates are by Akram followed by Abdur Rehman.

The best strike rates are by Younis followed by Akram (a reversal of the rankings for bowling average).

Now for fielding:

Most dismissals (15 and above):

Dismissals

Moin Khan has the most dismissals. However the fielder M. Jayawardene has more catches than him (37 to 35). Sarfraz Ahmed has the most stumpings (8). Younis Khan also has more catches (33) than any keeper other than Moin.

Note that several Sri Lankan players have played significant numbers of Tests as keepers and non-keepers. One of them (Dilshan) even took a few wickets as a bowler which theoretically makes him second to Walcott among the “triple all-rounders”.

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

Innings fielding

Chandimal is the only keeper with 6 dismissals. Two fielders have 4 dismissals.

Most match dismissals (6 and above):

match fielding

The lesser-known of the Jayawardenes (the keeper, not the fielder) has 9 dismissals followed by K. Akmal and Chandimal with 8. However, Sarfraz Ahmed has the best innings and match performances in the current series.

Highest dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.450 and above):

Dismissal rate

Headed by Moin Khan followed by Tillakaratne. Azhar Ali and Kaushal Silva appear from the current players, although Sarfraz Ahmed has not played enough in this series. However, he is soon likely to head this list.

Best overall all-round figures (see table for criteria):

AR-overall

The two best all-rounders of their teams at that time.

Best all-round match figures (fifty and fiver):

AR-match

Includes Saqlain (not really an all-rounder) and Dilruwan Perera from the current series, apart from Akram.

 

 

 

Pakistan-a bastion crumbles.

First have a look at the entire history of Tests involving Pakistan at neutral venues:

Pakistan neutral

The 1999 match was part of the Asian Test championship which had the final played in Bangladesh, which was not a Test country at that time.

Apart from 9/11, an attack near the hotel where NZ’s team was staying in Karachi in early 2002 resulted in matches being moved out of the country. This began with a 3-Test series against Aus (with the first Test at Colombo and the next two at Sharjah). Australia won this 3-0.

After this, serious cricket returned to Pakistan for some years before the Lahore incident involving the SL team in Lahore in 2009 made it the last Test to be played in Pakistan.

Here are the matches played IN Pakistan since 1999:

Pakistan home

In this period Pakistan lost 2-1 to Sri Lanka in 2000, 1-0 to England later in 2000, 2-1 to India in 2004, and 1-0 to SA in 2007 before the end came in early 2009. The UAE become Pakistan’s adopted home from 2010 onwards, after one neutral series against Australia in England.

Although some series were drawn, Pakistan did record a 3-0 victory against England in 2012, and a 2-0 victory against Australia in 2014. While they beat WI 2-1 in late 2016, they lost 2-0 to Sri Lanka in the just concluded series. This involved their first loss at Abu Dhabi, and the first series loss in the UAE since 2010. And their last 3 Tests in the UAE have resulted in successive losses at Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Certain venues like Bridgetown and Karachi were regarded as “fortresses” where visiting teams hardly ever won there. There are even such fortresses in domestic cricket including the IPL.

But the UAE may not be a fortress any more-which resulted in Pakistan moving from 1 to 7 in the rankings quite rapidly.

 

Review of South Africa-Bangladesh Tests (Oct 2017)

There have not been many Tests between these teams, so we can sum them up below:

SA-BD overall

SA has won 10 of the 12 Tests between these teams, and the two draws were in matches badly affected by rain. All 6 of the Tests in SA were won by SA, 5 by an innings. The sole exception was the first Test of this series, though that was practically an innings defeat as the sum of BD’s two innings was less than SA’s first innings.

With this small sample size, it is not worth studying averages but we look at other statistical points below:

Most runs (250 and above):

SA-BD batting

Several of these players played in the current series.

Amla and Smith scored 3 centuries apiece. They are also the only ones to make 4 scores of 50-plus.

Highest individual scores (75 and above):

SA-BD bat innings

One-sided indeed, although Mominul recorded BD’s highest score of 77 against SA. The previous record was 75 by H. Bashar in Bangladesh in 2003.

Most wickets (10 and above):

SA-BD wkts

Ntini and Steyn have a considerable lead over the others, though Bangladeshi bowlers also have a presence here.

Best innings bowling (including all 5wi and above):

SA-BD innings bowling

Interestingly, the three best bowling performances are by Bangladeshi bowlers-including Shakib who opted out of this series. Rabada’s two fivers in the current series are among the best for SA. Four bowlers have taken two fivers apiece.

Best match bowling (including all 7wm and above):

SA-BD match bowling

K Rabada’s 10-63 in the first Test is the best match analysis from either side. The only other 10-for is by PR Adams in 2003. For Bangladesh, the best is a 9-wicket haul by Shahadat in 2003.

Most fielding dismissals (5 and above):

SA-BD dismissals

Boucher is far ahead of the rest, while Liton Das moved on to BD’s highest tally of 8 dismissals. GC Smith has the most catches by a fielder (12).

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

SA-BD innings dismissals

Liton Das is the only one to challenge Boucher. Markram has the most catches by a fielder (3).

Most match dismissals (4 and above):

SA-BD match fielding

Again a near-monopoly by Boucher. Pollock is the only fielder with 4 catches in a match.

All-round performance (50 and 5wi):

SA-BD Match AR

Only one instance by one of the best all-rounders in all Tests.

 

 

The worst Test batsmen

At first glance, it seems to be simple enough. Take a cutoff of 20 innings and find who has the lowest average in Tests.

This data is correct as on 5 Oct 2017. As usual, the match with the ICC World XI is not counted.

Lowest Test batting averages (raw): Min 20 innings, batting average < 5.00

Worst batsmen-raw

Not CS Martin, though he is third on this list. No 2 is long forgotten and No 1 had a rather short career but became a commentator of some note.

Now these players are all those who were not in the team for their batting. If we want to isolate the specialist batsmen, we should tweak the conditions to:

Batting order 1 to 8, 20 innings. You could consider 1-7 or 1-6 as well.

Not more than two scores above 50.

Let us also eliminate the good bowlers by deleting anyone who bowled less than the standard cutoff of 2000 balls.

With these conditions we get these batsmen with an average below 20.00:

Worst batsman-stage 2

That looks a little more like it. Maybe we should also remove those who were wicket keepers for more than 20 innings, to remove those who were in the team as a keeper rather than a batsman:

Worst batsmen-final

Having removed the specialist keepers, we now have a final list of those who were the worst specialist batsmen, who batted from 1 to 8 and were not in the team for their bowling or keeping abilities. Only 23 here, with averages ranging from 12+ to 30+. There are some from recent years, headed by Jehan Mubarak (SL), MR Marsh (Aus) and HD Rutherford (NZ). Their “Gurus” were the old timers like Stricker of SA and the better known Midwinter who played for Aus and Eng.

One further adjustment would be to segregate the left-hand and right-hand batsmen from the above set:

Left-hand:

Left hand

Only 5 here.

Right-hand:

Right Hand

20 here. Saleem Elahi and Maqsood Ahmed (both RH) have entered here to make the total 25.

If LA Stricker was indeed the worst specialist batsman of all time, we should know more about him:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/47251.html 

And his left-handed counterpart, LSM Miller:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/37719.html

And the worst of the current batch, Jehan Mubarak:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/49633.html

A point of interest is that he is one of the few Test players to have been born in the US.

In the same vein, we can identify the worst specialist bowlers and wicketkeepers and alleged all-rounders, before we finally devise a “Worst-ever Test XI”