Review of NZ-Eng Test series, 2017-18 (I)

New Zealand won the series 1-0 with one draw. Victories for New Zealand against England are quite rare; they have won at home only once before, in 1983-84 and now in 2017-18. In England, they have won only in 1986 and 1999. This was therefore their first series win against England since 1999, almost a generation ago.

Here is a summary of all Tests between these sides:

Overall summary

The highlight (or rather lowlight) of the series was England’s dismissal for 58 in the first innings of the series. It sent cricket followers searching for England’s lowest totals. It was more than their lowest total of 45 against Australia over a century ago, which they still won by 13 runs. But it is still quite far down, besides being the lowest-ever total in a pink-ball Test:

England’s lowest Test totals (75 and below):

England lowest scores

It was indeed their lowest total against New Zealand, less than the 64 which marked New Zealand’s first Test victory against England in 1977-78 spearheaded by the up-and-coming Richard Hadlee while Geoff Boycott captained England for a short time.

We now look at individual performances.

Most runs (750 and above):

Most runs

John Wright is the unlikely leader here, ahead of Martin Crowe. The latter does have the most centuries (5) while the former has the most scores of 50+ (11). 4 others have 10 scores of 50+

Cook and R Taylor are the only current players here.

Highest individual scores (150 and above):

Highest innings

We do have Walter Hammond’s 336* (then a world record surpassing Bradman’s 334) and 227, which gave him 563 runs in the series at 563.00 which no one is likely to overtake. There is also JH Edrich’s 52 4s in an innings which is still a record (Sehwag is next with 47 in his 254).

The last few series have been quite low-scoring as the only recent 150+ scores were by Cook in 2015 and H Rutherford in 2013.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings and average 35.00):

Batting average

The top two names are somewhat unexpected. Once again, there are only Cook and Taylor among current players.

To be continued.

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England-South Africa Tests (2017)-2

We now look at bowling records.

Most wickets (35 and above):

Most wickets

Unlike in batting, here the names at the top are from recent times. JM Anderson leads the England tally with 84 wickets, just overtaking the century-old record of 83 by SF Barnes. Morkel is next with 79 while Broad, Rabada and Moeen Ali are also here.

Best innings bowling (includes all instances of 8wi):

Best innings bowling

Most are from the olden days, except for DE Malcolm’s 9-wicket haul in 1994. Note the dominance of Lohmann and Barnes.

Best match bowling (includes all instances of 10wm):

Best match bowlng

From this series we only have Ali’s 10-112 at Lord’s. However, Rabada has the best figures for South Africa. Barnes appears here several times.

Bowling averages (minimum 2000 balls, below 35.00):

Bowl Avg

Barnes inevitably at the top, with Morkel, Broad and Anderson further down. Others such as Rabada and Ali have not bowled enough.

The best economy is by H Verity (1.45), followed by Goddard (1.67) and Laker (1.68)

The best strike rate is by Barnes (25.5) followed by Blythe (41.7) and Vogler (42.2)

Fielding:

Most dismissals (20 and above):

Most dismissals

MV Boucher has by far the most dismissals (103) with TG Evans at 53. Evans however has more stumpings. The most catches by a non-keeper is 43 by Mitchell. Current players here include de Villiers, Bairstow, de Kock and Cook.

Most dismissals in an innings (5 and above):

innings fielding

Only Bairstow from recent times.

Most dismissals in a match (7 and above):

Match fielding

de Kock made 7 dismissals in the current series. Bairstow made 9 in the previous series.

Dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.700 and above):

Dismissal rate

Boucher has by far the best dismissal rate, while GC Smith has the best among non-keepers. de Villiers, who has played both as a keeper and non-keeper, also ranks fairly high. Bairstow has not completed 20 innings yet.

All-round performance

Overall (note the criteria):

AR-overall

Surprisingly Hammond, a batsman who bowled a little, tops this list ahead of more established all-rounders such as Kallis and Pollock. Broad just makes the cut.

Match performance (Fifty and 5wi):

AR-match

Two such performances by Moeen Ali in this series. Hammond did this on his debut.

Ali achieved the somewhat uncommon feat of a fifty and 10 wickets in the same Test-and that too at Lord’s. This has been achieved only 27 times in all Tests. The only one to do this at Lord’s until now was New Zealand’s DJ Nash in 1994.