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”

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Travels on Chennai’s local trains-1

Today we visit one of the little-known branches, and another which has not had passenger services for several years.

First the line from Pattabiram to Pattabiram Military Siding E Depot:

This map portion shows the line branching north of Pattabiram station.

https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir///@13.1218124,80.059481,16z?dcr=0

And here are the stations on the branch:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir///@13.137882,80.062249,16z?dcr=0

A typical timetable:

Pattabiram branch from MAS side

Note that the station of Pattabiram Military Siding (PTMS) does not seem to have been shown in the timetables for a long time, although trains stop there and tickets are issued from there.

PTMS ticket

It appears in the “official” Railways route guide:

Pattabiram branch

although this does not show Pattabiram station (PAB) where trains do stop, though on another platform a little away from the main line. Sometimes it is difficult to assess which official source is correct.

Similarly from the other direction:

Pattabiram5

Pictures of these stations:

Hindu CollegePattabiram E DepotPattabiram military sidingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now we come to the forgotten line from Villivakkam to Anna Nagar, which had EMU services for a few years in the early 2000s which stopped some years ago.

The story is told here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Nagar_railway_station

Pictures of these stations:

 

Villivakkam is also a famous railfanning spot as main line expresses get up to a good speed there.

 

Review of Australia-India ODIs, Oct 2017

With India’s 4-1 victory, they became No 1 in the ICC rankings for ODIs, while they had already held the No 1 position in Tests:

ICC rankings

This was India’s best victory in a bilateral ODI series against Australia. Here are the results of the past few series:

2009-10 in Ind: Aus won 4-2

2010-11 in Ind: Aus won 1-0

2013-14 in Ind: Ind won 3-2

2015-16 in Aus: Aus won 4-1

2017-18 in Ind: Ind won 4-1.

Here is a summary of all ODIs between the two countries:

Table

Australia enjoys a healthy 73-45 lead in all ODIs against India. For matches in India, Australia lead only 26-25. Oddly enough there are no tied matches here, although these teams have played in one of the only two tied Tests.

Moving on to individual records-Batting:

Most runs (750 and above):

Aus v I runs

The most centuries are 9 by Tendulkar, followed by 6 by Ponting and RG Sharma.

The most 50+ scores are 24 by Tendulkar, followed by 15 by Ponting.

RG Sharma and Dhoni have the most runs among current players, while Kohli is catching up.

Highest innings scores (125 and above):

Highest scores

RG Sharma dominates the higher positions. And he made the highest score of this series, 125, which is at the bottom of this list.

Highest batting averages (minimum 20 innings, 35.00):

Batting avg

RG Sharma leads the next in line, Hayden and Kohli, by a large margin. Dhoni is the only other current player in this list.

Highest strike rates (Minimum 500 balls, 80.00):

strike rate

The highest strike rate is by GJ Bailey, with Dhawan and several others bunched around the 100 mark. Those who played in the current series include SPD Smith, RG Sharma, Warner, Kohli and Finch. It is interesting to see that Rahane’s strike rate is a little higher than Dhoni’s.

Now for Bowling:

Most wickets (25 and above):

Wkts

Lee leads the table. No bowlers from the current series make the cut here, though MG Johnson and I Sharma of recent teams are here.

Lee took four 5-fors.No one else took more than one.

Lee also has the most 4-fors (4), followed by Agarkar and MG Johnson with 3.

Best innings bowling (including all five-fors):

Innings bowling

This is topped by two relatively unknown players followed by Agarkar and Starc. The current series did not see any good wicket-taking performances, with UT Yadav’s 4-71 being the best.

Bowling averages (Minimum 1000 balls bowled,35.00):

Bowl Avg

Lee is again far ahead of the next bowler. No current bowlers are seen here.

The best averages are by Lee and Johnson. the best economy rates are by Kapil and Shastri and the best strike rates are by Lee and Agarkar.

Now for Fielding:

Most dismissals (minimum 15):

Fielding dismissals

No surprises among the first two, while Wade and Kohli make up the current players. Tendulkar has the highest for non-keepers (31), followed at some distance by Azharuddin and Ponting with 18. Dhoni has the most stumpings. Dravid had played both as a keeper and non-keeper.

Most dismissals in an innings (4 and above):

Innings dismissals

Gilchrist has the most dismissals, while Clarke has the most catches as a non-keeper. Nothing from the current series.

Highest dismissal rates (Minimum 20 innings, 0.450):

Dismissal rate

No surprises in the first two places, while DM Jones has the best dismissal rate among the non-keepers. Dhoni and Kohli are the only current players.

All-round performances:

Overall performances (see criteria in table):

AR overall

Somewhat oddly, the first 3 places go to batsmen who occasionally bowled, while two better-known all-rounders make up the rear.

All-round match performances (Minimum 30 runs and 3 wickets):

AR match

The best performances would be those of Tendulkar, Kapil and Watson (Hyderabad). Also note one of Azharuddin’s rare bowling performances.

We are not done with Australia yet, as the T20I series is still to come. See the past records here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/summary-of-t20is-between-australia-and-india/

 

Station signs then and now

Rajshahi, Bangladesh in late 1971:

Rajshahi station-old

Rajshahi today:

Rajshahi station-new

Dinajpur, Bangladesh also in late 1971. The two pictures from 1971 appear to have been taken by Indian military personnel:

Dinajpur old

Dinajpur today:

Dinajpur new

Karachi Cantt in the 1940s (from a film taken by a British soldier): Possibly young L. K. Advani appears in it somewhere.

Karachi Cantt-1

Karachi Cantt today:

Karachi Cantt new (2)

Lahore Jn, probably around 1940:

Lahore-just-before-Partition

Lahore Jn today:

Lahore today

 

 

 

Palindromic names for cricketers

Aiden Markram started his Test career with 97 against Bangladesh in 2017-18. His surname appears to be the longest example of a palindromic name among Test players.

The previous record (if one may call it that) was by Rangy Nanan who played one Test for the West Indies in 1980-81. There are 3-letters palindromic surnames like that of Arun Lal. The player generally known as S. Madan Lal actually had the surname Sharma.

Moving away from cricket, there was the Cambodian leader Lon Nol (who was overthrown by the non-palindromic Pol Pot) and Malayalam, the language spoken in Kerala state. This state has produced relatively few international cricketers, examples being S. Sreesanth and Sanju Samson. There is also Karun Nair, though he has not spent much time in that state.

More about palindromes and palindromic surnames here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palindrome .

The longest palindrome generally known is “Able was I ere I saw Elba”, allegedly declared by Napoleon. A Canadian specialty is “He peed deep, eh?”.

Tail piece: Along the way I discovered the Quetta-born cricketer Arun Lal, who is one of Baluchistan’s leading first class players: http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/39834.html

More about the honors boards at Lord’s-3

Having seen the honors boards for neutral Tests and for England, we now look at the corresponding boards for visitors playing Tests at Lord’s.

First, the 105 centuries by visitors:

Centuries at Lord's-1

Centuries at Lord's-2

Centuries at Lord's-3

The highest score here is 259 by GC Smith for SA in 2003.

India’s DB Vengsarkar is the only visitor to score 3 centuries at Lord’s, while several others have scored 2.

Centuries in each innings were made by Headley (106 and 107 for WI, 1939).

Centuries on debut were made by Graham (107 for Aus, 1893) and Ganguly (131 for Ind, 1996). Ganguly’s 131 is the highest by anyone making his Test debut at Lord’s. Graham was the first visitor to score a century at Lord’s.

Now we look at the 85 five-fors by visitors:

5-for at Lord's-1.JPG

5-for at Lord's-2

The best innings bowling by a visitor is 8-38 by McGrath for Aus in 1997, which is just behind Botham’s 8-34.

CTB Turner, Hadlee and McGrath took 3 five-fors apiece, and several others took 2.

Five-fors by visitors in each innings:

5wi in both innings at Lord's

Massie’s effort was on debut, and remains the best bowling for Australia in any Test. It was also the best match bowling by any debutant until India’s Hirwani inched ahead with 16-136 in 1987.

The following visitors took 5-fors on their Test debut at Lord’s:

5wi at Lord's on debut

Massie’s 8-53 is the best here. Nissar’s debut was in India’s first Test.

Visitors who took 10 wickets in a match at Lord’s:

10-for at Lord's

Ramadhin’s effort came in WI’s first victory in England (and the calypso “Cricket, lovely Cricket”).

Massie has the best match bowling figures at Lord’s. And he is the only visitor to take a 10-for on debut at Lord’s.

Looking at all-round performances, the following visitors have scored centuries and taken five-fors at Lord’s (though they may not be in the same Test):

Century and 5-for at Lord's

Mankad is the only visitor to score a century and take a five-for in the same Test at Lord’s (184 and 5-196 for Ind in 1952), while Miller did so in different Tests. Thus Botham and Miller were the only ones to do this at Lord’s. Mankad’s efforts (which included another fifty) were not enough to prevent defeat for his side.

DJ Nash (56 and 11-169 for NZ in 1994) is the only visitor to score a fifty and take 10 wickets in a match at Lord’s. He and MM Ali are the only ones to do this at Lord’s.

This concludes our summary of batting and bowling performances which find their place on the various honors boards at Lord’s.

Now you may well ask “But wait! Where are Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Ponting and Lara? Or Lillee, Warne and Ambrose?”

Good questions, which deserve a separate post.

 

 

More about the honors boards at Lord’s-2

We now look at the honors boards in England’s dressing room.

A total of 129 centuries were made for England:

Eng-century at Lord's-1

Eng-century at Lord's-2

Eng-century at Lord's-3

The most centuries by an English batsman are 6 each by Gooch and Vaughan.

Centuries in both innings were made by Gooch (333 and 123 v Ind in 1990) and Vaughan (103 and 101* v WI in 2004). Gooch’s 333 is also the only Test triple century at Lord’s. This was also the first instance of a triple century and century in a first-class match. Some years later Sangakkara repeated this in a Test against Bangladesh.

The next highest score for England here is 240 by Hammond v Aus in 1938.

Those who scored a century on debut were Hampshire (107 v WI, 1969), Strauss (112 v NZ, 2004) and Prior (126* v WI, 2007).

Next we look at the 95 five-fors by England:

Eng-5wi at Lord's-1

Eng-5wi at Lord's-2

Eng-5wi at Lord's-3

The most five-fors are 8 by Botham followed by 5 each by Anderson and Trueman. Anderson may yet add to this.

The best performance here is 8-34 by Botham vs Pakistan in 1978, and he also scored a century in that match. Eight-wicket hauls have been made on 4 occasions by Botham (twice), Verity and Underwood.

There are numerous cases of five-fors in both innings. The most recent instance was by Woakes vs Pak in 2016.

It seems to be easier for debutants to take a five-for than to score a century at Lord’s. Here are those who took a five-for on debut:

Eng-5wi on debut at Lord's

Cork has the best figures here. No one has taken five-fors in each innings on debut.

And finally, we look at the rather shorter list of the 17 who took 10wm for England:

Eng-10wm at Lord's

Underwood is the only one to do so twice.

Verity’s 15-wicket haul is the best here.

Bedser is the only one to do so on debut.

And MM Ali is the only English player to score a fifty and take a ten-for in a Test at Lord’s. He finished the match with a hat-trick.

There are some who have scored both a century and a five-for at Lord’s (though not always in the same Test):

Eng-100 and 5wi at Lord's

Botham (108 and 8-34 v Pak in 1978) is the only one to do so in the same Test.

Those who scored both a century and ten-for at Lord’s:

Eng-100 and 10wm at Lord's

None of them scored a century and took 10 wickets in a match (in fact, this has happened only 3 times in all Tests, Botham being the first to do so.) Oddly enough, Allen and Broad scored their only Test centuries at Lord’s.

Finally, in the third part, we will look at the boards for visiting teams.