Pakistan-a bastion crumbles.

First have a look at the entire history of Tests involving Pakistan at neutral venues:

Pakistan neutral

The 1999 match was part of the Asian Test championship which had the final played in Bangladesh, which was not a Test country at that time.

Apart from 9/11, an attack near the hotel where NZ’s team was staying in Karachi in early 2002 resulted in matches being moved out of the country. This began with a 3-Test series against Aus (with the first Test at Colombo and the next two at Sharjah). Australia won this 3-0.

After this, serious cricket returned to Pakistan for some years before the Lahore incident involving the SL team in Lahore in 2009 made it the last Test to be played in Pakistan.

Here are the matches played IN Pakistan since 1999:

Pakistan home

In this period Pakistan lost 2-1 to Sri Lanka in 2000, 1-0 to England later in 2000, 2-1 to India in 2004, and 1-0 to SA in 2007 before the end came in early 2009. The UAE become Pakistan’s adopted home from 2010 onwards, after one neutral series against Australia in England.

Although some series were drawn, Pakistan did record a 3-0 victory against England in 2012, and a 2-0 victory against Australia in 2014. While they beat WI 2-1 in late 2016, they lost 2-0 to Sri Lanka in the just concluded series. This involved their first loss at Abu Dhabi, and the first series loss in the UAE since 2010. And their last 3 Tests in the UAE have resulted in successive losses at Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Certain venues like Bridgetown and Karachi were regarded as “fortresses” where visiting teams hardly ever won there. There are even such fortresses in domestic cricket including the IPL.

But the UAE may not be a fortress any more-which resulted in Pakistan moving from 1 to 7 in the rankings quite rapidly.

 

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Review of South Africa-Bangladesh Tests (Oct 2017)

There have not been many Tests between these teams, so we can sum them up below:

SA-BD overall

SA has won 10 of the 12 Tests between these teams, and the two draws were in matches badly affected by rain. All 6 of the Tests in SA were won by SA, 5 by an innings. The sole exception was the first Test of this series, though that was practically an innings defeat as the sum of BD’s two innings was less than SA’s first innings.

With this small sample size, it is not worth studying averages but we look at other statistical points below:

Most runs (250 and above):

SA-BD batting

Several of these players played in the current series.

Amla and Smith scored 3 centuries apiece. They are also the only ones to make 4 scores of 50-plus.

Highest individual scores (75 and above):

SA-BD bat innings

One-sided indeed, although Mominul recorded BD’s highest score of 77 against SA. The previous record was 75 by H. Bashar in Bangladesh in 2003.

Most wickets (10 and above):

SA-BD wkts

Ntini and Steyn have a considerable lead over the others, though Bangladeshi bowlers also have a presence here.

Best innings bowling (including all 5wi and above):

SA-BD innings bowling

Interestingly, the three best bowling performances are by Bangladeshi bowlers-including Shakib who opted out of this series. Rabada’s two fivers in the current series are among the best for SA. Four bowlers have taken two fivers apiece.

Best match bowling (including all 7wm and above):

SA-BD match bowling

K Rabada’s 10-63 in the first Test is the best match analysis from either side. The only other 10-for is by PR Adams in 2003. For Bangladesh, the best is a 9-wicket haul by Shahadat in 2003.

Most fielding dismissals (5 and above):

SA-BD dismissals

Boucher is far ahead of the rest, while Liton Das moved on to BD’s highest tally of 8 dismissals. GC Smith has the most catches by a fielder (12).

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

SA-BD innings dismissals

Liton Das is the only one to challenge Boucher. Markram has the most catches by a fielder (3).

Most match dismissals (4 and above):

SA-BD match fielding

Again a near-monopoly by Boucher. Pollock is the only fielder with 4 catches in a match.

All-round performance (50 and 5wi):

SA-BD Match AR

Only one instance by one of the best all-rounders in all Tests.

 

 

The worst Test batsmen

At first glance, it seems to be simple enough. Take a cutoff of 20 innings and find who has the lowest average in Tests.

This data is correct as on 5 Oct 2017. As usual, the match with the ICC World XI is not counted.

Lowest Test batting averages (raw): Min 20 innings, batting average < 5.00

Worst batsmen-raw

Not CS Martin, though he is third on this list. No 2 is long forgotten and No 1 had a rather short career but became a commentator of some note.

Now these players are all those who were not in the team for their batting. If we want to isolate the specialist batsmen, we should tweak the conditions to:

Batting order 1 to 8, 20 innings. You could consider 1-7 or 1-6 as well.

Not more than two scores above 50.

Let us also eliminate the good bowlers by deleting anyone who bowled less than the standard cutoff of 2000 balls.

With these conditions we get these batsmen with an average below 20.00:

Worst batsman-stage 2

That looks a little more like it. Maybe we should also remove those who were wicket keepers for more than 20 innings, to remove those who were in the team as a keeper rather than a batsman:

Worst batsmen-final

Having removed the specialist keepers, we now have a final list of those who were the worst specialist batsmen, who batted from 1 to 8 and were not in the team for their bowling or keeping abilities. Only 23 here, with averages ranging from 12+ to 30+. There are some from recent years, headed by Jehan Mubarak (SL), MR Marsh (Aus) and HD Rutherford (NZ). Their “Gurus” were the old timers like Stricker of SA and the better known Midwinter who played for Aus and Eng.

One further adjustment would be to segregate the left-hand and right-hand batsmen from the above set:

Left-hand:

Left hand

Only 5 here.

Right-hand:

Right Hand

20 here. Saleem Elahi and Maqsood Ahmed (both RH) have entered here to make the total 25.

If LA Stricker was indeed the worst specialist batsman of all time, we should know more about him:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/47251.html 

And his left-handed counterpart, LSM Miller:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/37719.html

And the worst of the current batch, Jehan Mubarak:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/49633.html

A point of interest is that he is one of the few Test players to have been born in the US.

In the same vein, we can identify the worst specialist bowlers and wicketkeepers and alleged all-rounders, before we finally devise a “Worst-ever Test XI”

More about the honors boards at Lord’s-1

The feats of scoring a century, five wickets in an innings and ten wickets in a match in Test matches are documented on the boards at Lord’s. There are separate sets of boards for the home team (England), visiting teams and (more recently) teams in neutral Tests.

A total of 135 Tests have been played at Lord’s from 1884 to 2017. 133 involved England and only 2 were neutral. They were: Aus v SA in 1912 as part of the Triangular Tournament, and Aus v Pak in 2010.

3 Tests (including one neutral Test) were played in 1912 and 2010. From 1928 onwards (except in 1940-45) Lord’s has always had at least one Test. When England started hosting two visiting teams in 1965 (starting with NZ and SA) Lord’s always had a Test for each side. Since 2000 there have always been two teams and thus two Tests at Lord’s, except in 2010 when there were three.

Neutral Tests at Lord’s:

Neutral at Lord's

We first look at the scanty entries on the boards for neutral Tests:

Centuries:

Neutral at Lord's-Batting

Two from 1912 and none from 2010.

Five wickets in an innings:

Neutral at Lord's-Bowling

In contrast, there are two from 2010 and none from 1912. Watson and North recorded their first five-fors. In North’s case, he was an occasional bowler and this was his only five-for in Tests.

Ten wickets in an innings:

No instance. The two best match bowling figures are 6-55 by MJ North (as above) and 6-140 by Pakistan’s Mohammed Asif in the same match.

To be continued:

 

 

Review of England-West Indies Tests-1

The England-West Indies series of 2017 was won by England 2-1. It marked a comeback of sorts for the West Indies who won their first Test in England since 2000. They have not won a Test series in England since 1988, which was termed as a politically incorrect “dark greywash” as they won only by 4-0, instead of the 5-0 “blackwash” margins in 1984 and 1985-86.

Since then the West Indies have won some series against England at home, but never in England. They did draw in 1991 and 1995.

We now look at overall performances:

Eng-WI results

The West Indies still enjoy an overall 55-48 lead, though they do seem to enjoy a strong home advantage.

Coming to individual performances:

Batting:

Most runs (1000 or more):

Runs

Only Cook among current players has crossed 1000, besides Chanderpaul from recent times.

Sobers has the most centuries (10) followed by Headley and Richards (8 each). A few English players including Cook have made 6.

Richards and Sobers have the most fifty-plus scores (23) followed by Chanderpaul with 21. Boycott has the most for England (20).

Highest innings (175 or more):

Innings

Lara and his two world records at St John’s lead the way, while Sandham’s 325 was the first-ever triple century in Tests. Cook’s 243 is the only innings in this list from the current series, while Root had made 182* in 2015.

During the current series SD Hope made 147 and 118*, his first two Test centuries. Oddly enough they were the first instance of centuries in both innings at Headingley in over 500 first-class matches.

Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings and 35.00):

Batting average

Inevitably, Cook and Chanderpaul are the only current and near-current players here.

Bowling:

Most wickets (35 or more):

Wickets

Dominated by the long-serving Ambrose and Walsh. Anderson and Broad are further down.

The most 5wis are 8 by Ambrose and 7 by Gibbs. Trueman has the most for England with 6.

The most 10wms are 2 by Ambrose, Gibbs, Trueman and Valentine. Valentine’s 11-wicket haul was on debut, in the only Test the West Indies lost in the epochal 1950 series.

Best innings bowling (including all cases of 7wi and above):

Innings bowling

Anderson’s career best 7-42 is here along with Stokes’s from this series.

Best match bowling (including all cases of 10wm and above):

Match bowling

This includes Anderson’s 9-73 from the current series. There is also CS Marriott’s 11-wicket haul in his only Test, which is the only case of a bowler taking 10 or more wickets in his only Test.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, 35.00 or less):

Bowling avg

Again dominated by the WI fast bowlers of the 1980s. though Anderson and Broad also figure here.

Garner (17.93) and Ambrose (18.79) have the best averages.

But the spin pair of Valentine (1.78) and Ramadhin (1.84) have the best economy rate.

Marshall (45.5) and Holding (46.7) have the best strike rates.

To be continued.

 

 

 

 

India-Sri Lanka T20Is (Sep 2017)

India won the only T20I of this series, and this won all Tests, ODIs and T20Is of the tour. This 9-0 sweep appears to be the first time that a visiting team has achieved this. Earlier, India won a T20I series 3-0 in Australia in early 2015 which was believed to be the only clean sweep by a visiting team in Australia in any format of cricket in a series of at least 3 matches:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/category/australia-t20/ 

Summarizing the 11 T20Is between these teams:

Results table

India lead SL 7-4. Interestingly, Sri Lanka have lost all 3 matches at home against India.

MS Dhoni is the only one to have played in all 11 matches. He captained India in the first 10. Raina and Rohit Sharma have played in 10.

Batting:

100 or more runs:

T20I runs

Kohli moved into first position during this match. Several other current players are in this table. While no one has scored a century, Kohli has scored the most fifties (4) followed by Sangakkara (3).

Highest innings (50 and above):

T20I innings

Kohli made the highest score during the last match, surpassing Sangakkara’s record.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 5 innings, all cases):

T20I Bat avg

Some like Kohli and Sangakkara have not played sufficient matches to appear here, so Mathews tops this list. M Jayawardene and Rohit Sharma are surprising low in this table.

The highest strike rates are by Gambhir (151.11), Kapugedara (141.04) and Yuvraj (140.90).

Bowling (4 or more wickets):

T20I wkts

Oddly enough the most wickets by a Sri Lankan bowler is only 5.

Best innings bowling (3wi or more):

T20I innings bowl

The best are 4-wicket hauls by Ashwin and Dinda, while Shanaka has the best for Sri Lanka.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 5 innings, all instances):

T20I bowl avg

Ashwin has by far the best average, while Perera’s average is the best for Sri Lanka but is considerably higher. Ashwin also has the best economy rate and strike rate.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (3 or more):

T20I dismissals

Dhoni leads here, with Raina having the most for a non-keeper.

Most dismissals in an innings (2 or more):

T20I innings dis

Dhoni expectedly leads here.

Best dismissal rate (minimum 5 innings, 0.400):

T20I dismissal rate

Dhoni leads here again, while Raina leads among non-keepers.

All-round performance

(Minimum 5 innings batted and bowled):

T20I AR overall

Raina surprisingly leads here, followed by Yuvraj.

All-round match performance (Minimum 20 runs and 2 wickets):

T20I AR match

Yuvraj’s performance is clearly the best here.

 

India-Sri Lanka ODI records-Sep 2017

With the conclusion of India’s 5-0 sweep, the full record of the 155 ODIs between these countries is summarized below:

Summary

While India enjoys an overall 88-55 lead, the current series also brought India to a 28-27 lead for matches played in Sri Lanka.

We now look at individual performances.

Batting:

1000 and more runs:

SL v Ind-runs

The names at the top are no surprise. Dhoni and Kohli have the most runs among current players. Mathews and Tharanga just cross the 1000-run mark.

Kohli and Tendulkar have scored 8 centuries each, followed by Jayasuriya with 7.

Tendulkar has 25 scores of 50-plus, followed by Sangakkara with 24.

Innings scores of 120 and above:

SL v Ind-innings

While Rohit Sharma’s world record ODI score of 264 has pride of place, Dhawan (132*) and Kohli (131) had the highest scores in this series. No Sri Lankan batsman crossed 120.

Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, 30.00):

SL v Ind-Bat avg

Dhoni and Kohli have the highest averages, with Dhoni benefiting from a large number of not out innings where he finished. (He was not dismissed in the four innings he played in this series.) Mathews and Rohit Sharma are some distance behind.

Highest strike rates (minimum 500 balls faced, 80.00):

SL-Ind SR

Sehwag leads by a large margin over Jayasuriya and Dhawan. Several other current players are here, with Tharanga just making the cut.

Bowling:

Most wickets (25 and above):

SL v Ind-Wkts

Muralitharan has unsurprisingly taken the most wickets, although he is closely followed by Vaas and Zaheer. A few current Sri Lankan players are towards the bottom. The current Indian bowlers have not played enough matches.

Robin Singh is the only bowler with two fivers, while Ajantha Mendis is the only one with four four-fors.

Best innings bowling (including all 5wi and better):

SL v Ind-innings bowling

Muralitharan predictably leads here. Newcomer A Dananjaya has the best figures in the current series, while Bumrah and B Kumar also recorded their maiden fivers in ODIs.

Best bowling averages (minimum 1000 balls, maximum 40.00):

SL v Ind-Bowl avg

Agarkar has the best average followed by Ajantha Mendis. The best economy rates are by Kapil (3.92) and Harbhajan (4.19). The best strike rates are by Agarkar (24.7) and Ishant Sharma (27.3). While Agarkar and Ishant Sharma were generally expensive, they seem to have done best against Sri Lanka.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (20 and above):

SL v Ind-dismissals

Dhoni has the most dismissals and stumpings, although Sangakkara has more catches as a keeper. The most catches by a non-keeper is by M Jayawardene.

Most dismissals in an innings (4 and above):

SL v Ind-Innings fielding

Dhoni has the most dismissals as well as most stumpings in an innings. M Kaif has the most catches by a non-keeper (4), which was a World Cup record which was later equaled by two others in 2015.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.450):

SL v Ind dis avg

Dhoni has the highest dismissal rate, while Kohli has the highest among non-keepers. Dravid and several others kept in some of their matches.

All-round performances (overall)-see criteria:

SL v Ind AR overall

Mathews has the best overall performance here, with Irfan Pathan some distance behind. Others such as Kapil and Vaas did not play enough matches between these teams.

All-round performances (match)-minimum 40 runs and 4 wickets:

SL v Ind AR match

Only two instances, with Ganguly having the best figures.