Preview: India’s Test record in England

India winning a Test in England is a rare event. They won their first Test there in 1971, 39 years after the first such contest. There have been only seven victories until now.

India has won twice at Lord’s, twice at Leeds and twice at Nottingham besides once at the Oval. The 2018 win was India’s only win of the series. A look at the scorecard shows that it was truly a team effort with several different players making important contributions:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/india-tour-of-england-2018-1119528/england-vs-india-3rd-test-1119551/full-scorecard

It was Rishabh Pant’s debut, in which he hit a six off his second ball.

So Nottingham ought to be one of India’s favorite grounds.

India have never won at the traditional venues of Manchester and Birmingham, or at the new venue of Southampton.

Schedule for the Tests:

  1. Aug 4-8: Nottingham
  2. Aug 12-16: Lord’s
  3. Aug 25-29: Leeds
  4. Sep 2-6: Oval
  5. Srp 10-14: Manchester

Next we will look at the records between these sides at Nottingham.

Stations which span different states…or countries

There are a few stations in India which span different states.

This one came to light recently. Dilwa is on the Gurpa-Gujandih ghat section near Gaya on the Delhi-Kolkata route.

It is nominally in Jharkhand, as mentioned here: https://indiarailinfo.com/station/map/dilwa-dlw/2738

However, you will see this on the platform:

Credits to Debapriya Chakraborty for this discovery.

A couple of other such stations are better known:

Navapur, nominally in Maharashtra on the Surat-Bhusaval section:

https://indiarailinfo.com/station/map/navapur-nwu/211

However, part of this station lies in Gujarat:

Not sure whether these markings are accurate.

One can make jokes about this bench being partly in a dry zone, enabling alcohol to be consumed only on one side.

Another one which has been round for a long time is Bhawani Mandi, nominally in Rajasthan:

https://indiarailinfo.com/station/map/bhawani-mandi-bwm/886

But you will see these signs:

Then there is Hili station in Bangladesh. The boundary commission decided that the railway line itself was to be the border between India and East Pakistan. This becomes apparent here:

Looking from the Indian side. The wall and the rail line are in Bangladesh.

Also see this picture taken from a Bangladeshi train:

Note the cows grazing just within Bangladeshi territory marked by the stone. Clearly they have no problem in crossing the border. Hope they know which side is safer for them.

More weird things happened in the partition of Berlin which became more stringent after the Berlin Wall came up in 1961. While a number of roads and railways were blocked by barriers, there were special cases like Wollank Strasse station on the S-Bahn (which was largely on the surface, unlike the U-Bahn which was largely underground):

This station actually lay in East Berlin. But this platform opened out to a street in West Berlin.

Trains ran through from one side of West Berlin to another, and passengers could board or get down here.

However, no train stopped on the other track-as the Berlin Wall was right next to it. And the East Berliners in the buildings on the right could see the West Berliners going about their lives at this station and beyond.

Bornholmer Strasse station, which featured in various novels and films set in the Cold War, is adjacent to this station:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Bornholmer_Stra%C3%9Fe_station

The first railway in Arunachal Pradesh

As you know, the first railway terminus in this state is Naharlagun which serves the capital Itanagar. There is also an intermediate station Gumto between Harmuti Jn (in Assam) and Naharlagun.

For a long time it used to be said that Bhalukpong was the first station in the state. While Bhalukpong town is in Arunachal Pradesh and spills in to Assam, the station is in Assam and just short of the border.

However, the first railway line to be laid in Arunachal Pradesh is a stretch of about 500 M between Dimow and Dipa on the Dhemaji-Murkong Selek section. It is not known whether the state government keeps an eye on infiltration on this route.

The genuine first station:

And the pretender:

Review of India-Sri Lanka T20Is

This T20I series in July 2021, like the ODI series which preceded it, only taught us that:

India C is better than Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is better than India D.

It was the first bilateral series in any format which Sri Lanka had won against India since July 2008.

A summary of all T20Is between these teams:

22 matches. India lead 14-7 with 1 no result.

In India: India lead 8-2 with 1 NR

In Sri Lanka: India lead 5-3

Neutral: Sri Lanka lead 2-1

A summary of individual performances follows. The number of matches is not enough for meaningful calculation of averages, strike rates and the like.

Most runs (100 or more):

Dhawan moved into the top position ahead of Kohli. MD Shanaka has the most runs by any current SL player.

RG Sharma is the only one with a century, while Kohli is the only one with 4 50+ scores.

Highest innings score (50 or more):

From this bowler-dominated series there is only SA Yadav’s 50.

Most wickets (8 or more):

YS Chahal and PVD Chameera from the current series are at the top. Chahal is the only one with 2 four-fors.

Best innings bowling (includes all cases of 4wi or more):

While the overall record is still Ashwin’s 4-8, it was almost surpassed by Hasuranga’s 4-9 in this series. There is also B Kumar’s 4-22 from this series.

Most dismissals (5 or more):

Dominated by Dhoni, while HH Pandya has the most catches by a non-keeper.

Most dismissals in an innings (3 or more):

Dhoni again.

Best all-round match performances (Minimum 20 runs and 2 wickets):

Yuvraj’s 60* and 3-23 is clearly the best. No good performances in this series.

Mike Hendrick’s Test record

Mike Hendrick, who had played 30 Tests for England in 1974-81, passed away on July 27 at the age of 72.

He first played in the Lord’s Test against India in 1974. He took Solkar’s wicket with this third ball, and India lost with Gavaskar top-scoring in each innings with 101 and 58.

By the time his Test career ended, he had 87 wickets but without a single five-for. This remains a record.

Here is the list of all who took over 50 Test wickets without a five-for:

No current player is likely to surpass this record. The best for India is 47 by RK Chauhan.

Note that NJ Astle has the most wickets without a 4-for. Let us have a look at the corresponding table:

(Those who took over 40 wickets without a 4-for):

Tendulkar is in third position here.

Captains who never won, never lost and never drew their Tests

The last of our survey of performances of Test captains.

Those who never won any Test:

This applies to 4 or more Tests.

The first two are predictably from the earlier Bangladeshi teams, although the number 3 is more surprising. He is followed by a Zimbabwean and a South African. The highest by India is surprisingly Vinoo Mankad with 6. Also note DK Gaekwad (lost all 4) and K Srikkanth (drew all 4).

The highest by a Test player is 42 Tests (23 losses, 19 draws) by B Sutcliffe, who was among the best batsmen from NZ for most of his career. He had captained his team in 4 Tests.

Those who never lost any Test:

This list is for 2 or more Tests.

W Armstrong heads this list with 10 Tests (8 wins and 2 draws) and DB Close and FG Mann both with 7. Current player AM Rahane has the best for India with 5 (4 wins and a draw). He is followed by Srikkanth with 4 draws.

The highest for any player is 21 (12 wins and 9 draws) by India’s RK Chauhan.

Those who never drew any Test:

These are for 4 or more Tests.

Headed by Waqar Younis with 17 (10 wins and 7 losses) and current Zimbabwean captain Brendan Taylor with 16 (a less impressive 3 wins and 13 losses). India’s best (?) is DK Gaekwad with 4 losses. Current South African Q de Kock also has 4. The trio of those with 4 wins out of 4 are also here: Bacher, Babar Azam and Lord Hawke.

The record for all Test players is held by current SA player AK Markram with 24 (14 wins and 10 losses) followed by GA Lohmann with 18 (15 wins and 3 losses).

The Sri Lankan cricketer with the shortest name

We are familiar with Sri Lankan international cricketers with long names, such as Chaminda Vaas and Chanaka Welegedara .

These two have played together in various national teams several times.

The Sri Lankan player with the shortest name is less obvious. It would appear to be Isiru Udana who has played in a number of ODIs and T20Is over the decade.

A more likely choice would be Roy Dias of the early Test sides. However, his full name was Roy Luke Dias and the scorecards usually put him down as R.L. Dias.

You can see that the other player’s full name is Isuru Udana Tillakaratna. However, this name does not appear in scorecards or media reports.

Update: Isuru Udana retired from international cricket a few days after this was published.

Summary of India-Sri Lanka ODI matches

With this 2-1 victory, India continued its dominance of bilateral ODI series against Sri Lanka. The last such series in Sri Lanka in Aug 2017 was a 5-0 win by India (with similar results in Tests and T20Is).

Sri Lanka has never won an ODI bilateral series in India.

Overall summary of results:

Trivia note: the first ODI between these teams was won by Sri Lanka in the 1979 World Cup.

Batting:

1000 and more runs:

Also see that the most centuries are 8 each by Kohli and Tendulkar, and the most 50+ scores are 25 by Tendulkar and 24 by Sangakkara.

The highest total by those who played in this series is 1111 by Dhawan, although Kohli has the most by current players.

Highest innings (120 and more):

While the world record of 264 remains with RG Sharma, there is no other century in this series.

Batting averages (Min 20 innings and 25.00):

Kohli is second here followed by other current players such as Mathews and RG Sharma. But no one who played in this series is here.

Strike rates (Minimum 500 balls faced, 75.00):

S Dhawan is second on this list, and is the only one here who played in the current series. RG Sharma and Kohli follow him.

Bowling:

Most wickets (20 and above):

The only one with two five-fors is RR Singh. The only only one with 4 four-fors is BAW Mendis. I. Sharma is among those with 3.

The only one on this list who played in the current series is B Kumar at the bottom.

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

No such instance from this series, although Bumrah and B Kumar are there from earlier series.

Bowling averages (Minimum 1000 balls bowled, all instances):

Among current and near-current players, there are Mathews, T Perera and R Jadeja.

The best averages are by Agarkar and BAW Mendis.

The best economy rates are by Kapil and Harbhajan.

The best strike rates are by Agarkar and I Sharma.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (15 and above):

Dhoni has the most catches and stumpings. The most catches by a non-keeper are by M Jayawardene.

Most dismissals in innings (4 and above):

Dhoni is the only one with 5 dismissals, while M Kaif is the only non-keeper with 4 catches. Saha is the only other keeper from recent times.

Best dismissal rate (minimum 20 innings, 0.400)

Dhoni again leads here, while Kohli has the best among current players.

All-round performance:

Overall (see criteria in table):

Somewhat unexpectedly, Mathews and IK Pathan turn out to be the best all-rounders here.

Match (30 runs and 3 wickets):

The best performances here are by Ganguly, RR Singh, Thushara and Prabhakar.

Test captains with only wins, only losses and only draws

Those who won all the Tests in which they captained:

The record is 4, shared by A Bacher, current player Babar Azam and Lord Hawke of long ago. Three more have two, and the rest were lucky in their only opportunity (e.g. Ravi Shastri and Mashrafe Mortaza). In the latter case Shakib Al Hasan captained for most of the match.

For players who saw victory in all their Tests, the record is 10 by Eldine Baptiste.

Those who lost all the Tests in which they captained:

This is incomplete, but does include all those who captained in 2 or more Tests.

It is perhaps not surprising that the first two positions are by earlier captains of Bangladesh. The 3rd place goes to an Indian captain, who is currently the oldest living Indian Test player. There is also WTS Porterfield who has captained Ireland in all their three Tests. From recent times there is Mohammad Rizwan.

Some well-known players are here, such as AJ Lamb, AR Morris and RS Madugalle.

Players who lost all their Tests are led by Alok Kapali (17).

Those who drew all the Tests in which they captained:

The record is held by the unlikely K Srikkanth. He and Majid Khan were known to be aggressive batsmen.

There are a number of well-known players here including DL Murray, G Kirsten, GA Headley, IDS Smith, RR Lindwall and TW Graveney. India’s HR Adhikari gets credit here as he drew the Test after 3 successive heavy losses. He was the 4th Indian captain in that 5-Test series.

Players who drew all their Tests are CV Gadkari and Shafiq Ahmed (6 each).

Test captains with the most wins, losses and draws

Most wins (15 and above):

GC Smith has the most Tests, so it is not surprising that he has the most wins (53) Next are Ponting (47) and S Waugh (41). One can see (from the last column) that S Waugh, Bradman and Ponting have the highest win percentage.

The most wins by Indian captains are 36 (Kohli, 5th overall), 27 by Dhoni (10th ) and 21 by Ganguly (19th).

Current captains here are Kohli (36), Root (26), and Williamson (22).

Most losses (13 and above):

GC Smith again heads this list, closely followed by SP Fleming and Lara who led relatively weak teams.

The highest by Indian captains are 19 by Pataudi (11th overall), 18 by Dhoni (12th) and 15 by Kohli (19th). Also 14 by Azharuddin and 13 by Ganguly.

Current captains here are Root (19), Kohli (15) and BRM Taylor (13).

Most draws (13 and above):

Headed by Border (39), Gavaskar (30) and GC Smith (27).

For India the highest are 30 by Gavaskar (2nd overall), 23 by Kapil (8th) and 19 by Azharuddin (11th). Also 15 by Ganguly.

No current captains here. The most recent is AN Cook (13) who finished his term of captaincy in 2016.

Test captains with the best win-loss ratios

Here we have the raw data for all Test captains. Naturally the W/L ration is undefined for those with no losses:

Here we have everyone who captained in 2 or more Tests without a loss.

This list is headed by WW Armstrong of a century ago with 10 Tests including 8 wins and 2 draws, followed by DB Close (7 Tests, 6 wins and a draw).

Those with an all-win record are A Bacher, today’s Babar Azam and Lord Hawke who all captained in 4 Tests.

Also note AM Rahane with 5 Tests, 4 wins and a draw.

However, this list would be more meaningful if it was restricted to those who captained in 10 or more Tests.

Here we get:

As mentioned earlier, WW Armstrong is the only one here with no losses. Next come Jardine, Bradman and Steve Waugh. Waugh has the highest ration for those who captained in 25 or more Tests.

From India, V Kohli is the only one.

Stations in the news-Jul 2021

The section from Mahesana to Varetha has been converted to broad gauge and electrified. The last station on the MG route Taranga Hill is now off the railway map.

The route includes Vadnagar and its famous tea stall. Read this:

The new look of Vadnagar station:

The new terminus at Varetha as it earlier was:

Presumably it has been improved now.

And the now abandoned station of Taranga Hill:

Until recently these DMUs were the only trains running between Mahesana and Taranga Hill. In the 1970s there was also a passenger train from Ahmedabad.