Mallett, Davidson and India

Australia lost two of its Test stalwarts on successive days; Ashley Mallett on Oct 29 and Alan Davidson on the 30th.

While Mallett was somewhat overshadowed by the Australian fast bowlers of his time, he often played an useful role as the sole spinner.

He did well bowling against India, as you can see here:

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/6472.html?class=1;template=results;type=bowling

His bowling average against India was his best against all Test countries. He only played one series against India, in 1969-70. He took 28 wickets including his only 10-for in the last Test at Madras, which gave Australia a 3-1 win. Indian fans of that period remember it more for Viswanath’s debut and numerous crowd disturbances.

Davidson is better-known for being the first to score over a 100 runs and take a 10-for in the same Test. This was at the Tied Test at Brisbane:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/west-indies-tour-of-australia-1960-61-61907/australia-vs-west-indies-1st-test-62888/full-scorecard

In later years this was overshadowed by the feats of Botham, Imran and Shakib who scored centuries along with 10-fors. No one else has emulated Davidson.

He did not do too well as a batsman against India: https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/4902.html?class=1;template=results;type=batting

But did somewhat better as a bowler:

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/4902.html?class=1;template=results;type=bowling

His bowling average against India was his best against all Test countries. His best innings figures (7-93) and match figures (12-124) were also against India.

This was at Kanpur in 1959-60, which marked India’s first win against Australia:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/australia-tour-of-india-1959-60-61422/india-vs-australia-2nd-test-62869/full-scorecard

Australia batted first, took a first-innings lead, and lost. An Australian left-arm pace bowler took 12 wickets.

20 years passed. 7 Tests were played at Kanpur and all were drawn (including the one against Australia in 1969-70).

In 1979-80, a weakened Australian team toured India.

The story was the same as in 1959-60:

Australia batted first, took a first-innings lead, and lost. An Australian left-arm pace bowler took 12 wickets.

The only difference was that the bowler was Dymock instead of Davidson:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/australia-tour-of-india-1979-80-61434/india-vs-australia-3rd-test-63243/full-scorecard

Like Davidson, Dymock took 5 wickets in the first innings and 7 in the second.

Unlike in 1959 when Jasu Patel took 14 wickets, here the spoils were shared by Kapil, Ghavri and Shivlal Yadav.

But these two Tests at Kanpur had a remarkable number of similarities, more than those of the two Australia-England Tests of 1877 and 1977.

Cricketing coincidences-1

This begins with a listing of all those who have scored a fifty-plus and taken a 5-wicket haul on Test debut:

It is not a long list.

50 & 5wi on debut

Only 8 instances in Test history. There is only one instance of a century and fiver, which is by Bruce Taylor for NZ v Ind in 1964-65. And there is only one instance of a fifty and 10 wickets, which is by John Lever for Eng v Ind in 1976-77.

Look at the scorecards and you will find something surprising.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62966.html

and

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63174.html

These matches were both against India in India and were separated by almost a dozen years. Bruce Taylor had retired in 1973. But one Indian player who had made his debut just before Taylor was still around in 1976 and continued playing until 1983.

He was S. Venkataraghavan, who played in both of these Tests.

And a minor coincidence: There were only three Test players with the surname Banerjee. All of them played in only one Test despite doing fairly well on debut.

SA (Mantu) Banerjee: 5 wickets in the match v WI in 1948-49: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62692.html

SN (Shute) Banerjee: 5 wickets in the match v WI in 1948-49, which came close to being India’s first Test victory:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62694.html

ST Banerjee: 3 wickets in the match v Aus in 1991-92:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63565.html

However, their arch rivals the Chatterjees and the Mukherjees have not produced any Test players yet. Only a few ODI players.