Notes from the Johannesburg Test

This was the 6th Test played by India at this venue and their first defeat:

It is however difficult for South Africa and other teams to chase 200 or even 150 at this venue. Their 243/3 is their highest winning chase here. These are the only times it has happened:

Winning chases over 150 at Johannesburg:

The SA captain Dean Elgar was left on 96 not out at the end. There are several instances of being stranded in the 90s in a winning chase:

While there is only one 99 here, there are 98s by several including SC Ganguly and other famous names such as Hutton, GS Chappell and Atherton.

AL Wadekar was another Indian player who got up to the 90s when the target was reached.

Onwards to Cape Town:

India has never won at this venue. But if one fortress fell at Johannesburg, perhaps another can fall at Cape Town:

India vs SA at Cape Town:

India has 2 draws and 3 losses here.

Shardul Thakur’s record:

Here are the best innings bowling performances in India-South Africa Tests:

SN Thakur’s 7-61 in SA’s first innings was the best for India v SA. The previous best was 7-66 by R Ashwin at Nagpur in 2015. The previous best for India v SA in SA was 7-120 by Harbhajan Singh at Cape Town in 2011.

His match bowling figures of 8-108 were not so impressive.

Markram again

AK Markram has played 28 Tests. 17 were won by SA, 11 lost and none drawn.

His 28 Tests are the most played by anyone who has not seen a draw. Next is GA Lohmann from 19th-century England, whose 18 Tests included 15 wins and 3 losses.

Aiden Markram is back (Updated to Jan 15, 2022)

Refresh your memory here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/southafrica/content/player/600498.html

As readers of this column know, Aiden Markram has the longest palindromic name among international cricketers, with the competition coming from Rangy Nanan and Arun Lal.

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/palindromic-names-for-cricketers/

Apart from that, he had a good run at the start, with 97 on debut and centuries in his second and third Tests. (It helps if you are playing at home in South Africa against Bangladesh for two Tests followed by Zimbabwe).

Anyway, he was a sort of lucky charm for South Africa as they won in each of his first 5 Tests. India broke this spell when they won the 3rd Test of the 2017-18 series.

He had a bad tour of India in 2019, making a second-ball pair (or silver pair) in the second Test before being dropped for the third.

Anyway he holds another peculiar record in all Tests. He has played the most Tests (29) without ever seeing a draw, up to Jan 15, 2022. 18 of these matches were won by South Africa and 11 were lost.

The record was earlier held by England’s George Lohmann (18 Tests) of long ago, who saw 15 wins and 3 losses. Next is a recent player KK Jennings (Eng) with 17 (12 wins and 5 losses). Alok Kapali (BD) shares this tally of 17 (0 wins and 17 losses). Once Markram encounters a drawn Test, the record goes back to Lohmann.

I wonder if anyone has told Markram of this record. At least it sounds more impressive than being the 21st batsman to make a silver pair.