Review of SA-Aus Test series, 2017-18 (II)

Continued from Part 1.

Another new record in this series was the margin of victory in the 4th Test:

Highest margins of victory in all Tests:

Margins of victory

South Africa recorded its highest margin of victory by runs, surpassing the 358-run win against New Zealand in 2007-08. Australia still holds the record for the heaviest defeat by 675 runs in 1928-29. That marked the debut of DG Bradman (18 and 1) who was made 12th man for the next Test (but ended up fielding most of the time) and then made 79 and 112 in the third Test.

South Africa’s heaviest defeat of Australia until now was by 309 runs in 2012-13.

Now we return to individual records-bowling:

Most wickets (40 and above):

Most wickets

Steyn and Johnson have the highest among contemporary players, while Morkel retired a little behind them. It is possible that Steyn will not play in Tests against Australia again, so it remains to be seen if Philander can catch up.

Innings bowling (including all instances of 7wi and better):

Innings bowling

A lot of entries by Grimmett, though Philander’s 6-21 in the final Test just gets in.

Match bowling (including all instances of 10wm and better):

Match bowling

Rabada’s 11-150 is the best for SA v Aus at home, surpassing the century-old 10-116 by CB Llewellyn in 1902-03. SA’s best against Aus remains Tayfield’s 13-165 in 1952-53.

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

Bowling average

Philander, MG Johnson, Steyn, Morkel and Lyon all find their place here.

The best average is by Grimmett followed by the lesser-known WJ Whitty.

The best economy rate is that of TL Goddard (1.72) followed by Grimmett.

The best strike rate is that of WJ Whitty (41.1) followed by Steyn.

Now for fielding records:

Most dismissals (25 and above):

Most dismissals

AB de Villiers is in second place with a combination of keeping and fielding dismissals. He might have a chance of displacing Boucher. de Kock is still working his way up. Ponting has the most catches by a fielder (35), just ahead of de Villiers (34, plus 17 as keeper). Kallis and GC Smith (33) are just behind.

Most innings dismissals (5 and above):

Innings fielding

While Grout and Lindsay have made 6 dismissals each, 3 others are among several who share the world record of 5 catches by a non-fielder. VY Richardson, maternal grandfather of the Chappells, was the first to do this in any Test back in 1935-36. The next to do this was Indian debutant Yajurvindra Singh in 1976-77. SPD Smith achieved this in what will be his last Test for some time.

Most match dismissals (7 and above):

Match dismissals

de Kock equalled the record of 8 dismissals in this series, while Paine took 7. No fielder has taken more than 6 catches in a match.

Best dismissal rate (minimum 20 innings, minimum 0.650):

Dismissal avg

Haddin has the best average among contemporary players. Simpson and MA Taylor have the best averages among non-fielders, though the “hybrid” ABD has a higher average.

All-round overall performances (see criteria below):

AR overall

Johnson, Goddard and Benaud lead Philander and others. Although Tayfield was not a recognized batsman, he did well enough to qualify for this list. Oddly enough Shaun Pollock and Kallis did not do too well against Australia.

All-round match performances (fifty-plus and 5wi-plus):

AR-match

A number of good performances with PJ Cummins¬† standing amidst the ruins of Australia’s collapse in the last Test. There are instances of 100/5wi by Kelleway (in one of the neutral Tests) and Benaud. And Steyn achieved the less common feat of 50/10wm, making his highest Test score.

 

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Review of SA-Aus Test series, 2017-18 (I)

The 4-Test series was won by South Africa 3-1, after Australia had won the first Test. This series will be long remembered for the happenings in the 3rd Test at Cape Town. However it was of historical interest as well, as will be apparent from this table:

Results of Australia-South Africa Test series since 1966-67:

Aus-SA series history

While South Africa had won several series in Australia since their readmission in 1991-92, they had not won any series at home since the pre-exile ones in 1966-67 and their swan song in 1970-71 until now. In the mean time they had won in Australia in 2008-09, 2012-13 and 2016-17. SA’s best performances at home were draws in 1993-94 and 2011-12.

Here is a summary of all Tests between the two teams:

Overall results

The neutral series was held as part of the Triangular series in England in 1912, not long after the Titanic sank. The experiment was not repeated in Tests afterwards.

We can see that Australia enjoys a healthy 52-26 lead overall. Unlike in many other series, South Africa did not seem to have much of a home advantage in the past.

We now move to individual performances in batting.

Most runs (750 and above):

Batting-runs

During this series AB de Villiers became the highest scorer for SA v Aus, overtaking Kallis. And he is only 64 runs behind Ponting’s overall record. Among current players, Amla and Warner have also made over 1000 runs, with others such as du Plessis catching up.

Highest innings (175 and above):

Highest innings

This includes the only unbeaten 299 in Tests. But bowlers have been dominant in the last few years, with only Amla’s and Clarke’s efforts in 2012-13 featuring here.

Highest averages (Minimum 2000 balls and minimum 35.00)

Batting average

The upper range has RN Harvey far ahead of the next two, Graeme Pollock and Clarke. Then there is another long gap before Warner, de Villiers and the rest including current players du Plessis and Amla.

To be continued.

 

Wicket-keepers who captained in Tests

Australia’s Tim Paine became the latest of the relatively few wicket-keepers to have captained in a Test. Here is the full list (as on 31 Mar 2018):

WK-cap

Relatively few keepers have had extended runs as captains. However the top two on this list are current players, even though MS Dhoni retired from Tests a few years ago and from ODIs and T20Is more recently.

There are some like Gilchrist and Boucher who captained only when the regular captain was temporarily available. It remains to be seen whether Paine will captain his side after this Test-though Australia does not seem to have much choice at the moment.

New Zealand’s LK Germon appears to be an odd case as he captained his side in all his 12 Tests. He is the only player from an established side to have captained in a Test on his debut in recent years. The last before him was Tony Lewis in 1972. (Obviously we do not count Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and the returning South Africa).

A few such as AJ Stewart played numerous Tests as keeper and non-keeper. The above list only includes the Tests where he was keeper. He also opened the batting in some of these matches. He captained England a total of 15 times, 12 as keeper and 3 as non-keeper.

Other examples include KC Sangakkara (captained in 15 Tests, never as a keeper), AM de Villiers (captained in 3 Tests, none as keeper), R Dravid (25 Tests, none as keeper) and LD Chandimal (captained in 10 Tests, none as keeper). But they have captained in ODIs and T20Is as keepers. More about these later.

Note that Taibu somehow took one catch as a fielder when he temporarily relinquished his keeping duties.

When Test captains are sacked

The ill-starred Test at Cape Town might well be the first one in which a captain was dismissed in the middle of a match and a replacement named immediately. Statisticians will record Smith as captain¬† since he was “appointed captain” for the match even if he did not end the match as captain. There have been numerous cases when a captain was absent from part of the match due to injury or illness and someone else acted as captain for the remainder-perhaps as much as 4 days out of 5.

One such Test was this one in 2009: http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/13604/scorecard/401071/west-indies-vs-bangladesh-1st-test-bangladesh-tour-of-west-indies-2009

The appointed captain Mashrafe Mortaza missed over half the match due to injury, and Shakib al Hasan substituted for him. Admittedly this was a third XI of the West Indies, but this was still a landmark for Bangladesh as it was only their second Test win (and the first away from home). Shakib was the appointed captain for the second Test, which led to Bangladesh gaining their third Test victory as well as their first series win abroad.

Mortaza never captained Bangladesh in a Test again, and thus the tables show him with one Test as captain and a 100% success rate. Similar examples include Shastri and Rahane, though Rahane may again captain India soon if Kohli is absent for the proposed Test against Afghanistan. And one cannot help wondering if India’s Test performance in the late 80s and early 90s would have been better if Shastri had been the regular captain rather than his contemporaries Vengsarkar, Srikkanth and Azharuddin.

There have been captains sacked in the middle of a series (Gatting in 1988 for off-field activities, and Denness in 1975 for generally poor results capped by an alleged wrong decision after winning the toss at Birmingham). He was replaced by Greig who seemed to have done a better job in ensuring three draws in the next three Tests against Lillee and Thomson in their prime. Later, when Greig was firmly in place as captain he lost his position in early 1977 following the advent of World Series Cricket.

The 1988 home series against the West Indies saw England with four captains in five Tests (Gatting, Emburey, Emburey, Chris Cowdrey and Gooch). So did India in the 1958-59 home series against the West Indies although that story is more complicated.

Review of Australia-England Tests-2

Hope you have read Part 1, which was the previous post on this blog.

Looking at fielding:

Most dismissals (50 and above):

Dismissals

Marsh leads, followed by Healy and Knott. In 5th place is the stumping specialist WAS Oldfield with the record of 31 stumpings. He also holds the world record of 52 stumpings in Tests. The most catches by a non-keeper is 61 by Greg Chappell, followed by Border and Botham with 57 each. From recent years there are Haddin and Prior.

Most dismissals in an innings (5 and above):

Fielding-innings

Most of the regulars are here, including Oldfield with 4 stumpings. No non-keeper has taken 5 catches in an innings.

Most dismissals in a match (7 and above):

Fielding-match

Note Langley’s 9 dismissals during Laker’s series in 1956, which stood as a world record for over 2 decades when it was surpassed by Wasim Bari and soon after by RW Taylor.

Greg Chappell’s 7 catches in 1974 was then a world record for non-keepers, which was equalled by several others including Yajurvindra Singh and surpassed only recently by Rahane’s 8 in 2015.

Highest dismissal rates (Minimum 20 innings, 0.750 and above):

Dismissal rate

Interesting that Gilchrist and Haddin have the top positions, ahead of other big names. The highest rate for non-keepers is by the long-forgotten LC Braund, followed by WG Grace and AW Greig.

All-round performances:

Overall (see criteria below):

AR-overall

Many distinguished all-rounders here, led by Miller and followed by the lesser-known Bates and W Barnes from the 19th century. Even Warne finds a place here. Broad is the only current player here, with MG Johnson from recent years.

Match performances (50 and five-for):

AR-match

A long list, with the last two instances by MG Johnson while Broad has one from 2009. There are a number of 50 + tenners here, most recently by Woolley in 1912. And many instances of the more common 100 + fiver, most recently by Botham in 1981. Also note AE Trott’s debut in 1895.

 

 

Review of Australia-England Tests-1

You might wonder why the title does not refer to Ashes Tests. That is because all Tests between the teams have not had the Ashes at stake, such as the 3-Test series in 1979-80 and a few one-off Tests in the 1970s and 80s.

The results of all these Tests are summarized here:

Results table

Australia leads by a healthy 144-108 margin, besides 95-57 at home. At home, England have a slender 51-49 lead which may vanish with one bad series.

Looking at the individual performances, starting with batting:

Most runs (2000 and above):

Runs-above 2000

Only Cook and Smith among current players, with Clarke and Pietersen from the recent past. Bradman’s total is still the record, with no one else crossing 3700.

Highest innings (200 and over):

Innings-200

From the recent series we have Cook (244*) and Smith (239). Smith also has 215 from 2015. Cook’s 244* was significant as the highest score in any Test by an opener carrying his bat through the innings. The previous record in all Tests was 223* by GM Turner for NZ v WI in 1972. In matches between Aus and Eng, the previous record was 206* by WA Brown in 1938, which is listed above. The record for England was 156* by Hutton in 1951.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, 45.00):

Bat Ave-above 45

Bradman again heads this list. Among current players Smith is the highest, though in 9th position overall. Warner is also there. There is no one else from the recent past, as Cook’s 40.20 is below the cutoff of 45.

Now for bowling:

Most wickets (75 and above):

wkts-75

Warne leads here, while the current players are Anderson (104) and Broad (95). From the recent past there is MG Johnson (87).

Best innings bowling (including all 8wi and above):

Innings-8wi

Laker has the top two spots. No example from the current series, although Broad’s 8-15 is in 4th place overall.

Best match bowling (including all instances of 12wm and above):

12wm

Headed by Laker and followed by Massie’s freak debut. Nothing from current or recent players, except Warne’s 12-246 in 2005.

Best bowling averages (minimum 2000 balls, below 25.00):

Bowl avg-25

Dominated by the 19th-century players. Of those who played in 2000 or later, the best is by RJ Harris (20.63) and McGrath (20.92). Next are Warne and MacGill towards the bottom.

We see that the top two in this table are Lohmann and Ferris from long ago. For economy rate, the best are Attewell (1.31) and Ironmonger (1.74) who do not appear above because of their higher average. For strike rate, it is Ferris (42.2) and Lohmann (42.2).

To be continued.

 

Review of Australia-Bangladesh Tests

The story of Tests between these countries is simply told:

Full history

Australia have won 5 of the 6 Tests against Bangladesh, 3 of them by an innings. But the last series was drawn 1-1. Bangladesh’s last venture was a 1-1 draw in Sri Lanka.

This series saw Bangladesh’s first Test victory against Australia, and they had a chance of winning the series.

With such a small sample, it is not worthwhile to look at the aggregates and averages. But we can look at innings and match performances.

Highest innings (100 and above):

Innings scores

The highest score here is by a tailender playing as a nightwatchman. It was his only Test century, which came in his last Test.

Lehmann, Steve Waugh and Warner scored 2 centuries. S Nafees is still the only BD player to score a century against Australia. Warner scored centuries in successive innings in this series.

Best innings bowling (including all cases of 5wi or better):

Innings bowling

While MacGill still holds the overall record, Lyon has the three next best performances which were all recorded in the current series. Shakib also recorded two five-fors.

Best match bowling (8wm and above):

Match bowling

Lyon recorded the best match figures for this series with 13-154 in the second Test, besides 9-161 in the first. His 22 wickets is the second highest in a 2-Test series, surpassed only by Herath’s 23 vs Pakistan in 2014. Muralitharan has also taken 22 in 2 Tests. Shakib also recorded the best match figures for BD v Aus.

The best series bowling performances for those playing 2 Tests are given here:

2 Test series

Best innings fielding (3 dismissals):

Innings fielding

The much-maligned Wade appears here.

Best match fielding (4 or more dismissals):

Match fielding

Gilchrist and Wade share the record, with Wade making 3 stumpings. Handscomb has the most (4) by a non-keeper.

All-round match performances (50 and 5wm):

AR match

Shakib Al Hasan is the only one to record this. It is in fact one of the best all-round performances in all Tests as he scored a fifty (coming close to a hundred) besides two five-fors. Relatively few all-rounders have achieved this:

Fifty plus two fivers

A small series, but with more than its share of points of statistical interest.