Those who captained in only one Test

There are as many as 49 Test players (starting with HH Massie in 1885 and ending with TD Paine in 2018) who captained their sides in exactly one Test. Of these, 5 were playing their only Test, the best-known being the future Hollywood resident CA Smith. Let us have a closer look at how they did.

In many cases they happened to captain the side when the regular captain was unavailable due to injury or illness (or other reasons, as in 2018). In the earlier years some teams such as South Africa were not quite settled and had to frequently make changes. And West Indies in the early years had an informal rule that the captain for a particular Test had to be from the country where it was being played.

11 of these captains won the only Test they captained in:

Only win

A short list, with some well-known players such as Brown, Harvey, Shastri and Rahane. Mortaza was particularly lucky as he was injured for most of the match while Shakib deputised for him in Bangladesh’s second Test win and the first away from home. Of these, only Rahane might captain his team again. But that would only be if the incumbent is unavailable for some reason.

22 lost the only Test they captained in:

Only loss

A number of well-known players are here who had long careers but were not considered as regular captains for various reasons. DB Carr did play in only 2 Tests but this one Test was India’s first-ever victory. Afridi the unpredictable captained his only Test at Lord’s.

Everyone here from Hafeez downwards might captain their teams again (except Watson who has retired from international cricket).

And 16 drew the only Test they captained in:

Only Draw

A sprinkling of well-known players here. Headley should have captained the West Indies earlier but for the long-established principle that only white men could captain the side. Adhikari’s draw made him a hero at that time as India had just lost 3 Tests in a row, all by heavy margins.

As the last such event was in 2001, there is no current player who might captain his side again.

A small consolation for Steve Smith

During the third SA-Aus Test at Cape Town, SPD Smith perhaps became the first Test captain to be sacked in the middle of a match and told to hand over charge. However, he may draw small consolation from setting a minor fielding record.

These records are as of April 1, 2018. The ICC World XI v Aus Test is not counted.

Most catches in an innings by a captain (5 and above):

Captains-innings fielding

While wicketkeeper captains Latif and Dhoni have taken 6 catches in an innings, Smith equalled the non-keepers record for captains with 5 catches, along with VY Richardson, SP Fleming, GC Smith and DJG Sammy. There are a few non-captain fielders such as Yajurvindra Singh and AM Rahane who have also taken 5 catches in an innings.

We also look at match fielding performances by captains (6 dismissals and above):

Captains-match fielding

While keeper Dhoni has the record of 9 dismissals (in his last Test), SP Fleming has the record of 7 for non-keeper captains. Smith has taken 6 catches in this Test and in one earlier match. In this case Rahane has the record for 8 catches by a non-keeper, though he was not captaining in that Test.

Finally, we look at overall fielding performances by captains (70 dismissals and above):

Captains-overall fielding

While Dhoni has the highest number of dismissals, he is followed by several non-keepers led by GC Smith and SP Fleming who have over a hundred catches. Steve Smith is fairly high up here, sandwiched between MA Taylor and Lara.

 

 

Wicket keepers who captained in ODIs and T20Is

Tim Paine inspired this post https://abn397.wordpress.com/2018/03/31/wicket-keepers-who-captained-in-tests/ which deserves a follow-up for other formats.

Wicket keepers who captained in ODIs:

WK cap-ODI

(This is as on 31 March 2018 and does not include matches involving multinational sides such as World XI, Asia XI and Africa XI).

MS Dhoni is far ahead of anyone else. The runner-up in Tests, Mushfiqur Rahim is somewhat further down here.

As in Tests, there are some “hybrids” who did not keep wickets in all their matches. They include:

KC Sangakkara: kept wickets in all his 45 matches as captain (though he did not keep while captaining in Tests).

AJ Stewart: captained in 41 ODIs, 39 while keeping and 2 when not keeping.

AB de Villiers: captained in 103 ODIs, 30 as keeper and 73 as non-keeper.

LD Chandimal: captained in 7 ODIs but was not keeper in any.

R Dravid: captained in 79 ODIs, 5 as keeper and 74 as non-keeper.

(This list is not exhaustive).

We may see Australia’s new keeper-captain TD Paine here soon. Gilchrist and Healy from Australia are already there.

Now for T20Is:

Wicket keepers who captained in T20Is:

WK-captain (T20I)

(This is as on 31 March 2018 and does not include matches involving multinational sides such as the World XI).

MS Dhoni is again head and shoulders above everyone else. His Test runner-up Mushfiqur Rahim is runner-up here, unlike in ODIs.

A few curiosities:

KC Sangakkara captained in 22 T20Is and was keeper in all of them (unlike in his Test captaincy where he never kept).

AB de Villiers captained in 18 T20Is, 11 as keeper and 7 as non-keeper.

LD Chandimal captained in 26 T20Is, 10 as keeper and 16 as non-keeper.

(This list is not exhaustive).

And Australia’s Paine is set to join his compatriots Gilchrist and Haddin on this list.