Now for the third phase where we look at players who saw the most and least draws in their Test careers, for those who played in at least 5 Tests. These are for all Tests up to 30 Sep 2022 (except the ICC XI v Aus Test of 2005). A total of 1888 players have played in 5 or more Tests apiece,
It is easy enough to see who have seen the most draws. That is given in the next table. Naturally, this depends on how many Tests the player got to play in.
Headed by Kapil Dev (76) and Tendulkar (72) who are among the most capped Indian players. The first 4 names are from India, until Javed Miandad (62) takes 5th place.
There are no contemporary players here, the most recent being S Chanderpaul (48) who retired from Tests in 2015.
As mentioned above, the most by an Indian player is 76 by Kapil Dev.
These are those who have seen draws in all of their Tests.
That is a rather short list:
2 players, Gadkari of India and Shafiq Ahmed of Pakistan were unfortunate to see draws in each of their 6 Tests. Next there are one New Zealander, one Zimbabwean and another Indian with draws in each of their 5 Tests. All of PH Punjabi’s Tests came in an India-Pakistan series in 1954-55. (Also he was not born in Punjab but from faraway Karachi).
The record of 18 no-draws in 18 Tests was held by the 19th-century English bowler GA Lohmann for a long time. He had 15 wins and 3 losses.
This is the table for the most Tests (10 or more) without seeing a draw. As many as 121 players with more than 5 Tests qualify here:
In case Markram encounters a drawn Test now, he loses his record which will go back to Lohmann with 18.
Note the presence of Alok Kapali (all losses in 17 Tests) and E Baptiste (all wins in 10).
A quick summary of this and other connected posts will appear shortly.
But it is more interesting to see those who did the best on a percentage basis, as we will see below.
These are those who have seen losses in all of their Tests.
A total of 16 players saw losses in all their Tests (among those who played 5 or more Tests). They are listed below:
Not surprisingly, the first 6 places are from Bangladeshi players. The unlikely leader is Alok Kapali, an all-rounder who has other claims to fame such as being the first Bangladeshi (and first Hindu) to take a Test hat-trick. In second place is Mohammad Sharif, also from Bangladesh. He was a medium-pace bowler.
There is no contemporary player or Indian player here
Now we look at a list of 22 players who saw losses in 90% or more of their Tests.
However, there is still no contemporary player (unless you count SW Ambris who played his last Test in 2018). However, there are players from teams other than Bangladesh here, starting with J Middleton of South Africa (6 out of 6 losses).
And what about those who saw the least losses ?
A total of 69 players did not see any loss in their careers of 5 Tests or more.
Here we list those who played 7 or more Tests without seeing a loss:
This time it is headed by a relatively lesser-known Indian player Rajesh Chauhan. Like Eldine Baptiste and his comrades, he was fortunate to be in a lesser role (as 3rd spinner) in a fairly strong team. The next three (McCool, Loxton and Toshack) can best be described as fringe players in Australia’s invincibles of 1948. Ernie Toshack at least has the most economical 5-for (5 wickets for 2 runs) in all Tests. That was against India; he had 11-31 in the match.
The most recent player here is Aizaz Cheema of Pakistan, who played his last Test in 2012.
Next we will look at those who saw the most and least draws.
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 (besides Talat Ali and Naman Ojha).
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.