Over to Fortress Brisbane

First we look at India’s performance at the Gabba ground in Brisbane, which has been holding Tests since 1931-32. India played its first Test here in 1947-48.

India has lost 6 of the 7 Tests here, with one being drawn.

Some points of interest:

The Test in 1947 was India’s first ever against Australia. India was dismissed for 58 and 98, thanks to left-arm paceman Ernie Toshack who took 5-2 (!) and 6-29. The match figures of 11-31 are the 4th most economical 10-wicket haul in all Tests.

India lost narrowly in 1977 against a weakened team led by RB Simpson, who was playing his first Test in 10 years. Gavaskar scored the first of his 3 second-innings centuries in this series.

The 2003 draw was significant as it was the first time that India had not lost the opening Test of a series in Australia. This was mainly due to captain Ganguly’s 144.

Australia has played 62 Tests at the Gabba. They have won 40, lost 8, drawn 13 and tied 1.

We look at their record since 1980:

Here we see that Australia has

won ALL 7 Tests in a row since Nov 2013.

and has not lost a test here since Nov 1988.

However, they had lost 3 Tests in a row from 1984 to 1986 before this.

So if India win (or even draw) this Test it would be a remarkable achievement-particularly as they may struggle to have 11 players fit in this match.

We also look at the Pant-Saha comparisons.

First, the dismissal rates for Indian players outside India since 2010 (when Saha made his debut).

Here we get Pant leading with 2.23 dis/innings, followed by Dhoni with 2.10 and Saha with 1.48

And batting averages for Indian players outside India for the same period:

First is Tendulkar with 57.03. Pant is 9th with 36.00 (2 centuries and one fifty), and Saha is 23rd with 27.28 (1 century and 3 fifties).

A pity that sloppy wicket-keeping is hidden by a higher career dismissal rate.

The Ashes since 1970

So the 2019 series was drawn 2-2, and Australia retained the Ashes which they held since winning the 2017-18 series.

Here we look at the history of the Ashes since the 1970-71 series, when England won the Ashes after a long gap-Australia had held them since 1958-59 so they were away from England throughout the 1960s. There were also longish droughts for England in the early 1920s and from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s.

Similarly, Australia had held the Ashes from 1989 to 2005, so the 1990s also passed without England getting hold of them. However, Australia has had the better of the contests since then (especially in Australia).

Ashes from 1970

A quick look at the list shows some captains who won the Ashes on two or more occasions, including Ian Chappell (2), Brearley (3), Border (3), Taylor (3), S Waugh (2), Strauss (2) and Cook (2).

Those who have lost the Ashes on two or more occasions are Border (3), Gooch (2), Atherton (2), Hussain (2), Ponting (3), Clarke (2) and Root (2).

Peter Siddle and the PJs

Peter Siddle has been in and out of the Australian team.

In 64 Tests before the start of the current Ashes series, he has scored 1080 runs and has taken 214 wickets. In the current Test, he was the second top-scorer and made 44 batting at number 10.

He has taken 8 fivers and a hat-trick, and also holds one batting record as he is the only  batsman to have scored two fifties in a Test while batting at No 9.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/7898.html

Older cricket fans would remember Raju Bharatan and his horrible puns. He would have a field day with Peter Siddle, as his surname rhymes with many other words (not all of them polite): diddle, fiddle, middle, piddle, riddle, griddle etc.

The British media had this to say after one of his good performances: “Peter goes from second fiddle to fecund Siddle”.

Not quite up to the standard of Shashi Tharoor, but a good try.

Highest score at No 8 in World Cup

Nathan Coulter-Nile’s 92 against the West Indies was the highest score by any No 8 batsman in the World Cup.

Here are the list of all such scores above 40:

World Cup No 8

It can be seen that the record score at No 8 was earlier 72* by HH Streak in 2003.

The previous highest score by Australia was somewhat further down at 43 by BJ Haddin in 2015. Nearby there is 42 by CH Morris of SA in 2019.

The best by India is a mere 28 by NR Mongia in 1999.

Review of India – Aus T20Is-2019

A total of 20 T20Is have been played between India and Australia. Here is the summary of all results:

Result table

And the summary of the matches in India:

Series history

Considering bilateral matches in a series of at least 2 matches, we see that the 2017 series was drawn 1-1 and this series was won 2-0 by Australia.

Coming to individual performances:

Batting:

100 or more runs:

Runs-100

Kohli is far ahead of the others. Watson and Maxwell are the only ones to score centuries. The most 50+ scores are by Kohli (6 with no centuries) and 3 each by RG Sharma, Watson and Yuvraj.

Highest individual scores (50 and above):

Maxwell’s 113* was the highest for Australia in India, surpassing AJ Finch’s 89 in 2013.

Innings-50

Bowling:

Most wickets (5 and above):

Bowling-5

Bumrah has moved into the lead.

Best innings bowling (includes all 3wi and above):

Innings bowl-3

Bumrah’s 3-16 is the best for India at home, surpassing the earlier 3-26 by Vinay Kumar in 2013. The overall best performance was by Ashwin in the 2014 World Championship.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (4 or more dismissals):

Fielding-4

Dhoni has the most stumpings and catches by a keeper. Kohli has the most catches by a non-keeper.

Best innings dismissals (2 and above):

Innings field

All-round performance:

100 runs and 5 wickets:

AR-overall

Clearly they are the best all-rounders in these teams.

Match performance (20 runs and 2 wickets):

AR-match

Watson’s effort is the best here.

The same teams continue with a 5-match ODI series.

Review of Aus-SL Tests-2019 (2)

Hope that you have seen Part 1.

We now move on to Bowling:

Most wickets (15 and above):

Most wickets-15

Note Herath’s late surge after Muralitharan retired. Starc heads the current players.

The most 5wis are 6 by Herath and Starc. The most 10wms are 2 by Warne and Starc.

Best innings bowling (6wi and above):

Innings-6wi

Cummins has the best figures among current players.

Best match bowling (9wm and above):

Match-9wm

In this series, Cummins (10-62 at Brisbane) and Starc (10-100 at Canberra) surpassed the previous mark for Australia vs Sri Lanka at home. It was earlier held by Siddle (9-104 at Hobart in 2012).

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

Bowl avg-all

Herath and Warne have the best bowling averages.

Vaas and Warne have the best economy rates.

Herath and Warne have the best strike rates.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (12 and above):

Dismissals-12

Gilchrist and Healy have the most catches by a keeper (32) and Gilchrist also has the most stumpings (5). The most catches by a non-keeper are 20 by M Jayawardene. Only Kusal Mendis represents current players here with 12 dismissals.

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

Innings dismissals

This time Hayden has the most catches by a fielder with 4.

Most match dismissals (6 and above):

Match dismissals

Healy and Gilchrist yet again, while Hayden’s 7 catches as a non-keeper were a share in the world record at that time.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.5):

Dismissal rate-0.5

Sangakkara has the highest dismissal rate, while M Jayawardene has the highest by a non-keeper.

All-round overall performance (see criteria):

AR-overall

Only Vaas meets these criteria.

All-round match performance (50 and 5wi in match):

AR-match

Only two such performances.

 

 

Summary of India’s tours to Australia

This was India’s first victory in a Test series in Australia, in 12 Test series going back to 1947-48.

This was India’s first victory in a bilateral ODI series in Australia. This was only the second such series, Australia having won the first in 2015-2016.

If you count ODI series with more than 3 teams, India had won the Commonwealth Bank series in 2007-08, where Australia was the losing finalist and Sri Lanka was the third participant.

And there was the B & H World Championship in 1984-85, where Pakistan was the losing finalist and all 7 Test teams of that period took part. India won all 5 of their matches, and the series was immortalized by Shastri’s Audi.

India did not win this T20I series, which was drawn 1-1 with one “no result”. However India had won the only other 3-match series in 2015-16 3-0. That was the only time that a visiting team had made a clean sweep of any series in Australia in a series of 3 or more matches in ANY format of cricket.

The worst defeat for Australia at home would appear to be England’s 2-0 victory in the 1886-87 Test series. Or perhaps England’s 5-1 victory against a Packerized team in 1978-79.

To put it differently, this was the first time that Australia failed to win a series in ANY format of cricket during a tour. Perhaps they will have better luck with Sri Lanka in the latter half of their season. Sri Lanka is to play 2 Tests and no other matches.

While many teams have separate captains for Tests, ODIs and T20Is, India had Virat Kohli as captain in all 3 formats.His counterpart was TD Paine in Tests and AD Finch in ODIs and T20Is.

Highlights of the Adelaide Test-2

India’s win in the first Test at Adelaide was prophetic-as it was the first time that India had won the opening Test of a series in Australia. In due course India won in Australia for the first time.

Here is a summary of the opening Tests of all series played by India in Australia:

1947: Lost; lost series 4-0 with 1 draw

1967: Lost, lost series 4-0

1977: Lost, lost series 3-2

1981: Lost, series drawn 1-1 with 1 draw

1985: Drawn, series drawn 0-0 with 3 draws

1991: Lost, lost series 4-0 with 1 draw

1999: Lost, lost series 3-0

2003: Drawn, series drawn 1-1 with 2 draws

2007: Lost, lost series 2-1 with 1 draw

2011: Lost, lost series 4-0

2014: Lost, lost series 2-0 with 2 draws

2018: Won, won series 2-1 with 1 draw.

Also note the draws of 1985 and 2003 which marked the start of a drawn series, although the loss in 1981 also marked a drawn series.

So in 11 of the 12 series, the opening Test was a good indicator of the result of the series.

Highlights of the Adelaide Test-1

First, the wicket-keeping records:

Pant wk record

RR Pant now has a share in the most dismissals in a match.

Incidentally, AM Rahane has the record for most dismissals by a non-keeper in a match:

Rahane record

Also note Yajurvindra and Rahul here.

de Villiers actually took 8 catches as a keeper as the specified keeper (de Kock) was unfit.

Pant took 6 catches in the first innings and 5 in the second. The innings record is 7, shared by 4 keepers.

 

 

 

 

Records of “Ashes” ODIs-2

Continuing the studies of past ODIs involving England and Australia.

Bowling:

Most wickets (20 and above):

Wkts above 25

Brett Lee leads by a large margin over the runner-up McGrath. Rashid and Ali lead among current players.

Brett Lee is the only one to have taken more than one fiver. He also has taken the most (4) 4+ hauls.

Best innings bowling (including all 5wi):

Bowling 5wi+

Not much from recent times, the best being 5-35 by Tom Curran earlier in 2018. Bichel’s 7-34 came in a hard-fought World Cup match. Similarly for Gilmour’s 6-14 in the semi-final of the first World Cup. Both of them made useful contributions with the bat as well, 34* by Bichel and 28* by Gilmour (useful when the team is 39/6 chasing 94).

Best bowling averages (Minimum 1000 balls, all cases):

Bowling average-all

McGrath and Lee lead, with Rashid and Ali lead amongst the present players.

The best economy rate is 4.02 by Botham, and the best strike rate 29.8 by Rashid.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (15 and above):

Dismissals above 15

Gilchrist leads but Buttler is quickly catching up. Buttler also has the most stumpings.

The most dismissals by non-keepers are 18 by Strauss and 17 by Clarke and Ponting.

Most dismissals in an innings (4 and above):

Dismissals in innings-4+

Gilchrist is the only one with 6 dismissals.

Dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.500):

Dismissals per innings above 0.5

Gilchrist and Buttler lead. Root has the best amongst non-keepers.

All-round performances:

Career (see criteria in table):

AR-overall

Surprisingly Collingwood comes up higher than Botham and Johnson, mainly because of his batting.

Match performance (Minimum 30 runs and 3 wickets):

AR-match

The best performance here would be Bichel’s in the 2003 World Cup, probably followed by Maxwell’s in 2015.

 

 

New records in List A and ODI cricket

Here are the highest scores in List A cricket as on 20 Jun 2018:

List A record scores on 20-6-2018

Live link for all scores of 375 and above:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/117937.html

England’s 481/6 is the highest ever ODI score and the second-highest List A score.

The previous ODI record score was England’s 444/3 against Pakistan in 2016-also at Nottingham!

It is also surprising that No 2 and No 3 on this list were both made on June 19, 2018 with India A also getting into the act.

And that Trent Bridge, Nottingham accounts for No 2, 4 and 5 on the list.

The highest List A and ODI score made against Australia is 438/9 by SA at Johannesburg in 2006, which was then a record in all ODIs, besides an 1-wicket win against a supposedly impregnable score of 434/4 made by Australia (which was an ODI record for a few hours).

We now look at the record defeats in List A matches.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283904.html

England’s 242-run defeat of Australia is quite far down in List A matches and even in ODIs.

We now look at record ODI totals as on 20 June 2018:

ODI record totals-20 Jun 2018

Live link for ODI scores above 350:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/211599.html

Highest win margins in ODIs  as on 20 Jun 2018:

ODI winning margins on 20 June 2018

Live link: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283902.html

This is the highest winning margin for England in all ODIs

and the highest losing margin for Australia.

Finally we look at “Ashes” ODIs:

Highest totals:

Ashes ODI totals

A big jump over the previous record of 342, where one of these scores was made on June 16 in the previous ODI at Cardiff.

Highest victory margins:

Ashes ODI margins

From this we see that the previous highest margin in an Aus v Eng ODI was 162 runs by Australia back in Feb 1999. The highest winning margin by England was “only” 101 runs even further back in 1977.

 

 

The Al-Jazeera Report Analyzed-1

Anyone who follows cricket (even the Test purists) should watch the report. Numerous bits and pieces can be seen on Youtube and directly on various news sites. But to get a full idea of the extent of the match-fixing industry it is well worth watching the hour-long report:

Some of the key takeaways:

How is it that a key man of the D company is freely functioning in Mumbai apparently without interference from the Mumbai police or anyone else? (One is struck with his quiet confidence and thorough knowledge of the “business”).

A relatively minor domestic player like Robin Morris seems to have made a lot more money from fixing than in his regular cricket career. Even if he had somehow got into IPL he would not have earned much. And he seems to have a particularly dumb sidekick who, unlike him, did play in a few Tests and ODIs.

Then there is the Morris – Rajkumar plan to organize T20 tournaments all over the world-whose only purpose is to make money through fixing. Almost like a never-ending Ponzi scheme or perpetual motion machine.

Although Al-Jazeera did not mention this, someone has already made a start in a “fraudulent” tournament in the UAE earlier this year. This was so blatantly a fixed tournament that the UAE authorities had to throw them out. A sample report:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-31/bizarre-scenes-uae-t20-league-icc-match-fixing-investigation/9377680

Other reports from that period can be found through Google. Not sure what ultimately happened there. But it sounds quite similar to what Morris (mainly) and Rajkumar were talking about. Clearly the players in this tournament had not been “trained” properly.

The allegations regarding Test matches pertain to

1) India vs England at Chennai in Dec 2016, the 5th Test which India won by an innings to take the 5-Test series 4-0: three English players (presumably specialist batsmen) are alleged to have manipulated the scoring rate. They have denied the charges. (Any guesses?) Here is the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/10732/scorecard/1034817/india-vs-england-5th-test-england-tour-of-india-2016-17/

Those who followed the match closely on TV or the net may be able to figure out who the guilty trio are. I am not hazarding any guess, except that they would probably be 1-7 in the batting order.

Afterthought: Was even the bowling fixed? Did that allow Karun Nair to make a triple hundred (which is still the ONLY score he has made above 50 in a Test)?

2) India vs Australia at Ranchi in March 2017. This was the third of 4 Tests, the only drawn Test of the series. India won 2-1. Here two Australian players (presumably specialist batsmen) similarly manipulated the scoring rate. Al-Jazeera said that there was no reply from them so far. Here, too we can try to guess who they may be, batting at 1 to 7. Here is the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/10839/scorecard/1062575/india-vs-australia-3rd-test-ind-v-aus-2016-17/

3) Sri Lanka vs India at Galle in July 2017. This was the first Test of the series, in which India won all three Tests by heavy margins. This time no players were involved, but merely manipulation of the pitch by the curator (?) and others. (But what was the bet? Merely that the match would be high-scoring). It was, in the sense that India made 600 batting first. But the Sri Lankan batsmen did so badly that they lost by over 300 runs in what was effectively an innings defeat, as India would have won by an innings if they had imposed the follow-on.

Galle has a history of pitch manipulation. The former curator, Test bowler J. Warnaweera, was suspended for 3 years by the ICC in early 2016 for non-cooperation with ICC investigators. This is with reference to earlier matches at Galle.

Here is the scorecard, for what it is worth:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17891/scorecard/1109602/sri-lanka-vs-india-1st-test-sl-v-ind-2017/

The Sri Lankan leg needs a little more study as most of the characters are quite unknown even in neighboring countries.

To be continued.