Finally, we look at captaincy records. Most teams have had more than one captain during the year:
At first glance, this shows RG Sharma and SPD Smith having a W/L ratio of infinity. However they have captained in only 2 and 1 Tests respectively. If we consider those who captained in a minimum of 5 Tests, then we have BA Stokes (9.00) at the top, followed by PJ Cummins (6.00). Others such as KC Brathwaite (1.50) are far behind.
The most Tests captained in are 11 by D Elgar, followed by Stokes and Cummins (10 each) and Babar Azam (9). Several failed to win any Test, led by JE Root (5) and Shakib Al Hasan (lost all 4).
For measuring all-round performance over the year, I normally consider 20 innings batted and 2000 balls bowled. No one qualifies for these. An alternative set of criteria include 10 innings/1000 balls/1 fifty+/1 4+wi.
Then we get:
Stokes has the best performance, followed by Ashwin and Jansen. His batting average is considerably better than that of the others, while his bowling is not so good. Still, we find that his overall all-round performance is the best.
Finally, we look at all-round match performances: 50+ and 5+wi in a match
/Here we see that Jadeja’s century and 5+wi are the best performances here. Next would be SA’s unsung KA Maharaj, who also crossed 1000 runs/100 wickets in this period.
Now we have compiled the best individual performances for the year. It remains to see the best performances by Test debutants and captains.
England won the 3-test series 2-1, with all three Tests finishing within 3 days of play. The 3rd Test at the Oval lost the first day due to the weather and the second day to the queen’s demise, but still finished soon after the start of what was the scheduled 5th day. Stokes was the last English captain of the Elizabethan era. Earlier, SA won by an innings in the first Test and England won by an innings in the second Test.
A summary of Tests between these teams:
The upper table is for all tests since the beginning. England leads by a large margin both at home and abroad. This is not surprising as SA was a weak team for many of its earlier Tests, when they only played against England and Australia.
I thought it would be more useful to look at the record after SA returned to Tests in the 1990s. Here, England still leads at home and abroad but with a narrower margin.
We now look at individual performances, starting with
Most runs (1200 and above):
As we will see in the later tables, many of the aggregate records are from the pre-1990 period. Thus Kallis has the most runs of the post-1990 batsmen but is fifth overall. Next is GC Smith (6th overall).
Kallis has the most centuries (8), followed by several others with 7.
B Mitchell has the most 50+ scores (23), followed by Hammond and HW Taylor with 20. The most by a recent player is 16 by Kallis.
Highest individual scores (180 and above):
Here, the top few scores are from recent players. None from this low-scoring series.
Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings and 40.00):
GC Smith has the highest average among recent players, followed by Amla. However, the highest averages are by Hammond and Hobbs from the early days.
Highest strike rates (Minimum 1000 balls faced and 45.00):
Here Stokes leads by a good margin over de Kock. None of the pre-1990 players are here.
Queen Elizabeth became monarch on 6 February 1952. On that day DB Carr was captaining England for the first time, in the 5th Test vs India at Madras. The second day was declared a rest day due to the death of King George VI. However, there was enough time for India to record their first Test win against any country:
Over 70 years later, the Queen passed away on 8 September 2022. This was the scheduled first day of the 3rd Test vs South Africa at the Oval. This time the captain was BA Stokes. His team succeeded in winning against South Africa in a little over two days play:
Here we look at the figures relating to Tests between these teams, after England won 3-0 in 2022.
First, a summary of all Test results:
As NZ was a weak team for a long time, England leads by a large margin. There have been a few 3-0 sweeps in the past. NZ has done a little better at home. They have won a few series at home and away.
We now proceed to individual performances:
Most runs (750 and above):
JE Root now has the most runs (1388) in E v NZ Tests. Next is GA Gooch with 1148.
Among current NZ players, KS Williamson has the most runs (853) which is far behind JG Wright’s record of 1518.
The most centuries are 5 by MD Crowe, and the most fifty-plus scores are 11 by Wright and R Taylor.
Highest innings scores (150 and above):
The highest scores in this series were 190 by DJ Mitchell and 176 by JE Root, far behind the triple centuries of Hammond and J Edrich. Hammond’s 336* was a world Test record (surpassing Bradman’s 334) until Hutton overtook it with 364 in 1938.
Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings and 35.00):
Cowdrey leads by a large margin. Root (49.57) and Williamson (37.08) have the highest averages among current players.
Highest strike rate (Minimum 1000 balls faced and 45.00):
McCullum leads by a large margin. Next is Stokes with 63.32. The highest by a current NZ player is 49.43 by Mitchell.
Bowling-most wickets (30 and above):
Sir Richard Hadlee leads with 97, and current player Broad is next with 84. Boult (70) has the most by a current NZ player. He is in the fourth position after Anderson (74).
Hadlee has the most 5wi (8), and Underwood the most 10wm (3).
Best innings bowling (including all 7wi):
No major innings hauls in this series, although Anderson and Broad have done well in the past.
Best match bowling (including all 10wm and above):
There was one ten-for by MJ Leach in this series.
Best bowling average (Minimum 2000 balls bowled, all instances):
DL Underwood leads by a large margin. TA Boult has the best among current players, followed by Anderson, Broad and others.
Underwood has the best bowling average, economy rate and strike rate. The second-best are Willis, Illingworth and Caddick respectively.
Headed by Warne and Lillee. Current players are headed by Broad (131), Anderson (112) and Lyon (101).
Best innings bowling (including all 8wi or more):
Headed by Laker. SCJ Broad is in 4th place with 8-15 in 2015. No one else from recent times, unless you count McGrath’s 8-38 in 1997.
Best match bowling (including all 12wm or more):
Laker heads this table as well, with Massie’s freak debut in second place. From recent years the best is 12-246 by Warne in 2005.
Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, 25.00 or less):
Here we do have some current players such as PJ Cummins (20.75) and Hazlewood (24.45).
Lohmann has the best bowling average (13.01), Attewell the best economy rate (1.31) and Ferris the best strike rate (42.2)
Now we look at
Most dismissals (40 or more):
Headed by RW Marsh (148), though there are several current players such as Paine, SPD Smith and Bairstow. The specialist stumper Oldfield has 31 stumpings besides 59 catches. Among fielders, the highest is 61 by GS Chappell. Current players include SPD Smith (46).
Most dismissals in an innings (5 or more):
Several keepers have taken 6 in an innings. No fielder has more than 4. Oldfield has 4 stumpings.
In this series, Carey and Billings each took 5 catches on debut.
Most dismissals in a match (7 or more):
Several keepers have taken 9 in a match. Also note GS Chappell’s 7 as a fielder. He was the first Test player to achieve this, although several others have equaled this (and India’s Rahane has taken 8).
In this series AT Carey took 8 dismissals on debut. All 8 were catches, which is a record in all Tests. Others have taken 8 on debut but included one or more stumpings.