Test Captaincy Updates-2

Continuing from Part 1:https://abn397.wordpress.com/2019/12/12/test-captaincy-updates-1/

We have seen which players have appeared in the most Tests, captained in the most Tests and have played in the most Tests while not captaining.

Now we look at those who 1) played their entire Test career as captains, and 2) played their entire Test careers NOT as captains.

The first list is relatively short:

Pure captains

Only 25 cases here. The top few are less-known except for LK Germon who was captain relatively recently. He was brought in as captain as the selectors felt that no other suitable captain could be found among the existing players. Sherwell and Germon were both wicketkeepers.

In some cases certain players were appointed captains as they were amateurs rather than professionals, or if they were from the “nobility” as in the case of “Vizzy” and his British counterparts. In the early days of West Indies cricket, the captain was chosen from the players of the territory where the match was being played.

But clearly the players listed above were not good enough to stay in the team if their presence as captains was not essential. Vizzy, for example, was clearly not competent enough either as a batsman or captain.

More recently, WTS Porterfield captained Ireland in their first 3 Tests.

It is also interesting to note that the last 5 players made only a single Test appearance, in which they captained. The best known was CA Smith, later known as Sir Audrey Smith of Hollywood where he typically played roles of elderly Englishmen.

Now we go on to those who never captained in Tests.

There are over 1500 who played 5 or more Tests without ever being captains. Here we list

Those who played 85 or more Tests without ever captaining:

Pure non captains

England’s current players Anderson and Broad are in the first and third places, Anderson having crossed Warne’s mark of 144 recently. The national record holders would therefore include Anderson (149 for England), Warne (144 for Australia), VVS Laxman (134 for India), Muralitharan (132 for Sri Lanka), Ntini (101 for South Africa), CEL Ambrose (98 for WI) and Sir Richard Hadlee (86 for New Zealand). Further down there is Mudassar Nazar with 76 for Pakistan, GW Flower (67 for Zimbabwe) and Javed Omar (40 for Bangladesh).

There may be various reasons why they were never considered suitable for captaincy. However, Warne did captain Australia in a few ODIs. The knowledgeable feel that he may have been a better captain than some of his contemporaries.

 

Best performances by losing captains-1

The 1st Test between England and India saw England winning, though Virat Kohli’s 149 and 51 attracted attention more as it was almost a solo performance. Let us see that best batting performances by captains whose side lost.

Best innings scores (140 and above):

Captains losing-innings scores

Only one double century here. Remember that this is only for captains, so there are higher scores like Lara’s 221 (when not captain) which do not appear here.

Tendulkar and Kohli (in Jan 2018) have scored more than Kohli’s 149 here. Pataudi and Kohli (yet again, this time from 2014) appear further down. Cook and Mushfiqur are other current players here.

Now for Best match totals (190 and above):

Captains losing-match scores

Here, Kohli has the highest among all losing captains with 256 in 2014. His 200 in this match is in third place for India, with Pataudi in second place. Cook also appears here.

Next we will look at the best bowling, fielding and all-round performances by losing captains. A number of current players figure in these.

 

Wicket-keepers who captained in Tests (Revised in Dec 2019)

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 04 Dec 2019):

WK-captain Dec 2019

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 the captaincy of ODIs and T20Is more recently.

There are some like Gilchrist, Boucher and Jacobs who captained only when the regular captain was temporarily unavailable. Some, like DL Murray and IDS Smith, had long Test careers but captained their side in precisely one Test.

The only current WK-captain is TD Paine (16). Sarfaraz Ahmed (13) was replaced in October 2019.

It remains to be seen how long Paine continues as captain. But he should be around for a few more Tests.

Dhoni has the most dismissals, followed by Alexander and Mushfiqur at a long distance.

Lee Germon is a special 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, Ireland, Afghanistan and the returning South Africa).

Germon is second on the list of those who captained their side in all their Tests. The leader was also a keeper:

Long ago PM Sherwell led South Africa in all his 13 Tests, a record for all countries. He was keeper in all these 13 Tests.

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. BB McCullum captained New Zealand 31 times, but was keeper in only 1 of them.

Other examples include KC Sangakkara (captained in 15 Tests, never as a keeper), AB 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. He has also bowled and taken a wicket while a designated keeper.

Here we summarize the batting performance of these captains. The batting average is for those who batted for 20 innings:

WK-captain batting Dec 2019

The highest batting average for long-term captains is Andy Flower’s 49.28, followed by Mushfiqur and Dhoni in the low 40s. Moin Khan did not play enough to reach 20 innings.

The dismissal rate, for those who fielded in at least 20 innings:

WK-captain fielding Dec 2019

While Sarfaraz is no longer captain, his dismissal rate as captain is second only to Paine’s. But he has been dropped altogether from the team. Moin Khan and Mushfiqur are at the bottom.

And finally we look at their performance as captains, considering the win/loss ratio. This is for those keepers who captained for at least 10 Tests:

WK captain-result

Interesting. We saw that Moin Khan performed worst as a keeper, but he did best as a captain. Similarly for FCM Alexander who did not do too well as a batsman or keeper. Next are Dhoni and Paine.

Taibu and Khaled Mashud failed to win a Test as captain, while Germon and Flower were just ahead with one Test apiece.

Quiz involving IR and cricket

This is a little-known place near Dhanbad:

Jamadoba

Why is this place significant in the history of Indian cricket?

Hint: It is associated with a prominent Indian captain. (Although it is in Jharkhand, the answer is not MS Dhoni).

Answer: It is the venue of a ground which has hosted first-class cricket, in addition to List A and T20 matches:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/ground/58171.html

More details can be seen here:

Jharkhand stadia

As you can see, this stadium built by the Tata group has hosted recognized cricket matches from 1969 to 2009. Now take a look at this scorecard from 1983-84:

http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1980S/1983-84/IND_LOCAL/DULEEP/SOUTH_CENTRAL_DULEEP_06-09JAN1984.html

A hitherto unknown batsman from Hyderabad scored a double century against Central Zone. Admittedly it was not a very good bowling line-up, but it was the first time that most cricket fans of that time had heard of Mohammad Azharuddin

Arunabha Sengupta was the first to get it right.