Umesh Yadav the batsman

This is a rather convoluted record, I know.

Umesh Yadav is the only batsman to make two scores of 25+ with a strike rate of 250.00 and above:

25+ with highest strike rate

Above 200.00, there is only DA Warner to accompany Yadav with two such innings. For India, there are also PS Kumar (40 at 222) and Harbhajan (37 at 205).

Rohit Sharma the opener

These are those who have made centuries in both innings as an opener:

Century in each innings as an opener

The only other Indian player here is Gavaskar (on 3 occasions). Others with multiple appearances are Warner (3) and Hayden and Sutcliffe with 2. Some well-known openers such as Graeme Smith, Fredericks, Boycott and Hutton did not achieve this mark.

No one achieved this feat on his Test debut, as Rohit became an opener after playing several Tests in the middle order. Wasti did so in his second Test, although he had opened in the second innings of his debut.

We also look at those who scored 300 runs in a match while opening. These are in order of runs scored. Some made their 300 in one innings:

300+ in a test as opener

Rohit is 19th on this list and 4th for India, with Gavaskar leading and followed by two instances by Sehwag. Others with two instances are Hayden and Gayle.

While LG Rowe scored 214 and 100* on debut, he was not an opener in that match. He later scored 302 as an opener.

Another curiosity is Sutcliffe and Rohit having the same combination of 176 and 127.

Here we look at those who scored centuries as opener for India. This is up to Nov 01, 2019:

Most hundreds by India opener

Note that Rohit and Mayank Agarwal are side by side. Since Nov 1, the latter has moved ahead of Rohit as he now has 3 centuries AND three fifties.

Interestingly, Gavaskar and Sehwag have almost the same batting average.

Finally, we look at batting averages for all openers with 20+ innings and average of 45.00 and above. This is up to Nov 01, 2019 and does not include the ICC XI Test of 2005:

Best average as opener

We see a rather close bunching just above an average of 50.00, with Gavaskar, Hayden, Sehwag, WA Brown and EAB Rowan.



Batting recoveries 3: Doubling the score by the 8th wicket partners

The last post in our series on great batting recoveries covers cases where the 8th-wicket pair doubled the score after the 7th wicket fell. There are 24 such instances; 13 resulted in losses, 4 in draws and 7 in wins.

These matches are tabulated below:

Doubling the score after the 7th wicket fell

The highest such 8th-wicket partnership of 332 by Trott and Broad in that tainted Lord’s match of 2010, where it is very likely that Pakistan’s bowlers deliberately allowed them to add runs to satisfy the requirements of the fixers. The “genuine” highest partnership would then be the 313 by Akram and Saqlain in the only Test ever played at Sheikhpura.

The highest ratio of (8th wkt partnership)/( sum of 1st to 7th wicket partnerships) is 3.255 by Trott and Broad (102/7 to 434/8) followed by 2.423 by Absolom and Lord Harris (26/7 to 89/8). The lowest here is 1.053 by debutants Morkel and Vincent who went from 38/7 to 78/8.

Absolom and Harris did this as early as 1879, unlike the 9th wicket recoveries starting from 1946 and 10th wicket recoveries starting from 1980.

Soon afterwards Absolom became the first (and only?) Test player to be killed by sugar bags (or bananas?) falling from a ship’s crane.Also see

Lord Harris went on to bigger things, not necessarily in cricket. He did, however see England win in all his 5 Tests although he hardly contributed to these victories.

If you look at the ratio of (innings total)/(sum of 1st to 7th wicket partnerships) the highest is 4.333 where Blunt and Dickinson started the recovery from 21/7 to 64/8 which went on to 112. This was New Zealand’s first ever Test and noted for debutant MJC Allom’s hat-trick and 4 wickets in 5 balls. Next is 3.474 by Morkel and Vincent, who started with 38/7 and went to 78/8 and finally 170. This is a little better than 3.255 by Trott and Broad, 102/7 to 434/8 and finally 446.

The lowest is the anemic 1.250 by Pakistan in 2017, going from 36/7 to 78/8 and 81.

Of special note was the England-WI Test of 1966 which witnessed a 200+ stand for the 8th wicket (Graveney and Murray) as well as a 100+ stand for the 10th wicket (Higgs and Snow), taking them from 166/7 to 383/8, 399/9 and finally 527. This ended a series of heavy defeats by the West Indies, and marked the start of the short reign of the maverick captain DB Close.

Batting recoveries 2: Doubling the score by the 9th wicket partners

We have seen that there have been only 6 occasions when the 10th-wicket pair has doubled the score. The 9th-wicket pairs do slightly better with 9 such instances. 8 of these ended in losses and one was drawn.

This is the tabular list:

Doubling after 8th wicket fell

Ratio 1 is the ratio (9th wkt partnership) / (sum of 1st to 8th wkt partnerships)

Ratio 2 is the ratio (sum of 9th and 10th wkt partnerships) / (sum of 1st to 8th wkt partnerships)

The first such instances occurred in 1948, then 1967 and 1981 and more regularly since then.

We are more concerned about Ratio 1 here. The highest is 2.923 by Asif Iqbal and Intikhab Alam, and the lowest is 1.038 by Fleming and Doull.

The 10th wkt partnerships were rather small in these cases.

The best here is 2.923 (again Asif/Intikhab) and the lowest 1.058 (again Fleming/Doull).

Note the debutants Masvaure and more recently Muthusamy.

The last instance here is the record 195 by Boucher and Symcox, which is the only drawn match here.

The highest score by a No 10 here is 108 by Symcox, followed by fifties from several others starting with Madan Lal (63*).


Four wickets in an innings on debut and never again

In earlier posts we have covered topics such as:

We now extend this to four (or more) wickets in an innings on debut and never again:

Four+ wickets in innings

A total of 96 players took four or more wickets in an innings on debut. Of these, 11 took four or more in each innings. Those listed here never took a four+ again.

You can see the famous cases of CS Marriott (11 wickets in his only Test) and others with a 10-for on debut (SF Burke, HHH Johnson, F Martin and Mohammad Zahid) who did not even manage a four-for later.  Also WH Ashley with a 7-for in his only innings bowled. Most had rather short careers.

The best innings performances here are 8-215 (JJ Krezja), 7-81 (M de Lange) and 7-95 (WH Ashley).

Then there was the strange case of the two unrelated players SA Banerjee and SN Banerjee who both took 4wi on debut in the 1948-49 I vs WI series and never played again.

Differences between home and away bowling averages

Here, we consider the differences for the 261 players who have bowled at least 2000 balls in home and away/neutral Tests.

The full list of Home average-Away/Neutral average can be seen in this spreadsheet.

sorted home advantage

This is for Tests up to Oct 25, 2019. The 2005 Test involving the ICC XI is not included.

However, you may find it simpler to look at the top 40, whose home average has the greatest positive difference  with the away/neutral average. Or those who derive the greatest advantage from home conditions.

Note that some prominent players do not feature here as they have not bowled 2000 balls in one of the two categories.

Many of the current Pakistani players are not here because they have played few or no Tests at home.

Those with the strongest home advantage:

Bowling-max home advantage

We see that JDP Oram (NZ) followed by CR Woakes (Eng) and MH Miraj (BD) have the greatest home advantage, with Oram having a large lead. The leaders from other countries are  TW Wall (Aus), BC Strang (Zim), SLV Raju (Ind), RL Chase (WI), Abdul Qadir (Pak), BM McMillan (SA) and MDK Perera (SL). Some of them, particularly the spinners such s Miraj, Raju and Qadir are known to have done much better at home.

Those with the weakest home advantage:

Bowling-least home advantage

Some relatively lesser known names at the top, apart from Worrell who was not a regular bowler for most of his Test career. RDB Croft (Eng) leads by a large margin over the next FM Worrell (WI) and PJ Wiseman (NZ). The leaders from other countries are IK Pathan (Ind), GRJ Matthews (Aus), RAS Lakmal (SL), Mushtaq Mohammad (Pak) and AA Donald (SA). We have to go beyond the top 40 to find Shakib Al Hasan (BD) at #90 and PA Strang (Zim) at #120.

Pathan was fortunate to play two away series against the particularly weak teams of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

The median value is -3.36 (NAT Adcock, PH Edwards). This implies that an average bowler would be expected to have a home average about 3 more than his away/neutral average.

Those with a difference near zero are MA Holding (0.10) and HJ Tayfield and Shakib Al Hasan (-0.14). They are among the best bowlers from their countries, and did equally well at home and away.

More about bowling averages

Ever wondered about the average of Test bowling averages?

If we take all Tests up to Oct 25, 2019 and disregarding the Test involving the ICC XI in 2005, and a cutoff of 2000 balls bowled:

There are 613 bowlers fitting this criteria. A full statement:

Bowling averages-final

The bowling averages range from GA Lohmann’s 10.75 to EAR de Silva’s 129.00, which is the only 3-figure bowling average.

The average or mean bowling average is 34.45, which corresponds to that of JE Taylor and KD Mackay.

Looking at other measures of central tendency:

First quartile: 28.24 (SP Jones, RJ Sidebottom, HC Griffith)

Median: 32.92 (BL Cairns, L Amarnath)

Third quartile: 38.59 (AMB Rowan).

We also have the Economy Rate, which ranges from 1.31 runs/over for W Attewell to 4.16 for Shahadat Hossain.

The average is 2.75 (DK Lillee, RM Hogg)

And the Strike Rate, which ranges from 34.10 balls/wicket by GA Lohmann to 291.00 by EAR de Silva. Remember that they have the best and worst bowling averages as well.

We may as well have a closer look at them:

The average is 76.10 by Iqbal Qasim.

Next we will take up the difference between home and away bowling averages, as was done for batting averages in a recent post.