A quick update from Brisbane

As you know, India won the series 2-1 after making 329/7 in the 4th innings (Gill 91, Pujara 56, Pant 89*, Hazlewood 4-55).

India thus won two consecutive Test series against Australia, both times in away series.

This was India’s first win at Brisbane in 7 attempts. Earlier they had lost 5 and drawn only once (in 2003-04).

It was Australia’s first loss at Brisbane since 1988-89. It also ended their streak of 7 successive wins at this venue.

India at Brisbane:

Australia at Brisbane since 1988. After that loss to the West Indies, Australia were unbeaten in 31 Tests across over 32 years, with 24 wins and 7 draws.

Totals in Aus-Ind Tests at Brisbane over the years:

Now we take a closer look at all 4th-innings totals at Brisbane:

While the top score in the 4th innings is 450 by Pakistan in 2016-2017, we can see that:

India’s 329/7 is the highest 4th innings score to win, surpassing Australia’s 236/7 against WI in 1951-52.

The highest score which any visiting team has made to win here was a mere 170/3 by England in 1978-79-and that was against a deplenished Australian team unlike in the present match.

We also look at Aus v Ind Tests at this venue:

Highest individual scores (60+)

Labuschagne made the only century in this Test although Gill and Pant came close.

Toohey (82) and Sundar (62) made the highest scores by Test debutants here.

Best innings bowling (4wi and above):

Siraj and Cummins took fivers in this Test. Also remember that Toshack’s 5-2 in the first Test between these countries has the most economical 5wi in all Tests. WM Clark took 4-46 and 4-101 on Test debut.

And finally

Best match bowling (6wm and above):

Toshack’s 11-31 is the only tenner here. It has the 4th lowest runs conceded in all Tests, surpassed only by Ironmonger’s 11-24, McGrath’s 10-27 and Briggs’s 15-28.

The best match bowling in this Test was 7-155 by the unheralded SN Thakur.

The 4th innings in Brisbane

As you know, India needs 328 to win and has made 4/0 at the close of the 4th day.

The weather prospects on Tuesday, 19th January are not great. See this or any similar site:

https://www.bbc.com/weather/2174003

Now we look at past performances in the 4th innings at Brisbane, going back all the way to 1931.

Here we have all 4th innings scores above 100.

The highest to win is 236/7 by Australia in 1951-52.

The highest to win against Australia is 170/3 by England in 1978-79 (when Australia a weak Packerized team and lost the series 5-1).

The highest to draw is 278/6 by England in 1962-63

There is also a tie by Australia who made 232 against WI in 1960-61.

The highest to lose is 450 by Pakistan in 2016-17 (lost by 39 runs). Then there is 370 by England in 2006-07 (lost by 277, chasing 648). Then there are two losses by India in 1967-68 (355, lost by 39) and in 1977-78 (324, lost by 16).

So it is not impossible to make 300+ in the last innings. It may be possible to grind out a draw (although Vihari and Ashwin are not here now). For anything else either Australia has to bowl exceptionally well or India’s first 5 have to bat exceptionally well (to make 324 in less than a day).

A rain-ruined draw is the most likely outcome.

Review of Tests in 2020-Part 1

After Covid had done its worst, only 22 Tests were played in 2020 (i.e. Tests starting in the calendar year 2020). The corresponding figures were 48 in 2018 and 40 in 2019-and the latter was a World Cup year.

A quick summary of Test results:

All 4 of India’s Tests were away (2 vs NZ and 2 vs Aus) and that meant that their results were poorer than usual. England and New Zealand are clear leaders here.

We now look at individual performances. The number of matches is not enough to make meaningful comparisons of averages, strike rates and the like.

Batting-Most runs (250 and above):

Stokes and newcomer Sibley are at the top. India does have one representative (Rahane) near the cutoff of 250 runs. Stokes and Sibley were the only ones with 2 centuries, while Pope made 5 scores above 50. 4 others made 4 scores above 50.

Highest innings scores (90 and above):

Here you see all the centuries made along with the near misses (a 98 and 2 95s). Newcomer Crawley and (inevitably) Williamson have the only 250+ scores.

There is only one score here from India (Rahane’s 112 at Melbourne).

Bowling- 8 or more wickets:

Broad and Southee lead at a distance. Bumrah and Ashwin lead for India.

There are two 10-fors (Broad and Lyon) and four players have taken two 5-fors (Anderson, newcomer Jamieson, Lyon and Southee).

Best innings bowling (5wi and above):

While the best innings bowling is by Sikandar Raza of Zimbabwe, Broad and Holder also have 6-wicket hauls. Ishant Sharma has the only fiver for India.

Best match bowling (8wm and above):

After Broad and Lyon, there are several with 9wm. There is no Indian bowler here.

To be continued:

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.