# Ben Stokes and the three dimensions

Not long ago, the BCCI was trying to justify the selection of at least one relatively undistinguished player for the World Cup on the grounds that he was a “3-dimensional player”.

It is true that being a good fielder is an asset to any player (whether they are batsmen or bowlers or both). Fielding, unlike batting and bowling, does not lend itself ready to numerical measures. One can count the catches taken by a fielder, but it is not so easy to evaluate the runs saved in the field or even the pressure put on the opposing batsmen by a good outfielder.

The case of a three-dimensional performance in a Test win comes up with Ben Stokes at the second SA v Eng Test at Cape Town, which was won by England by a large margin.

Stokes contributed 47, 0-34, 5c, 72, 3-35 and 1c in England’s 189-run victory:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19430/scorecard/1185305/south-africa-vs-england-2nd-test-icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021

That is 119 runs, 3 wickets and 6 catches.

We first look at the catching records for non-keepers

5 or more catches in an innings:

The record of 5 catches in an innings is shared by 13 players, Stokes being the latest. Many of these performances have come in recent years.

6 or more catches in a match:

The record is 8 by AM Rahane. de Villiers took 8 catches as a keeper when the regular keeper de Kock was injured at the beginning of the match. A total of 43 players (or 42 if you remove de Villiers) have made 6 or more catches as a non-keeper in a match.

AM Rahane and KL Rahul are the only current players with 7 or more catches in a match.

Some other current players (notably SPD Smith) have taken 6 catches in a match.

Coming back to Ben Stokes, we can round off and say that he scored 100, took 3 wickets and made 6 catches.

Who else has done this in Tests?

100 runs, 3 wickets and 6 catches in Tests:

Only two other players. Stokes is in good company here.

Suppose we consider only two “dimensions”. Who else has Stokes emulated?

100 runs and 3 wickets:

This has happened on 338 occasions, with several players doing this on multiple occasions. Stokes himself has done so on 6 occasions.

Sobers did this on 16 occasions, followed by Kallis with 13, Botham (10) and Shakib Al Hasan (9). Ashwin and Stokes (6 apiece) are the only current players.

So that is not a particularly rare achievement.

Now we try

3 wickets and 6 catches:

Only 5 times. Apart from Woolley, Kallis and Stokes there are Vogler and Jack Gregory from long ago.

Another permutation is

100 runs and 6 catches:

This has been done only on 10 occasions, including twice by SPD Smith. Also note that Hayden is the only one to make a century AND take 7 catches. Kallis is the only one with a double century AND 6 catches.

So Stokes has achieved a rare all-round feat of 100/3/6 which had been done only twice before, by Woolley and Kallis.

Parting shots:

Who is the only non-keeper to take 5 catches in an innings on debut?

And who is the only non-keeper to take 7 catches in a match on debut?

Finally:

Which current keeper took 5 catches in an innings and 7 in the match on debut?

# Test Fielding Records-2

Hope that you have read the first part.

Now we go on to the most neglected aspect of statistics – stumpings.

Most stumpings in an innings (4 and above):

The record is 5 by KS More, when he worked in tandem with Hirwani on his 16-wicket debut in 1987-88.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/31038.html

The previous record was shared by Australia’s Bert Oldfield, (the stumping champion whose 52 victims in the 1920s and 1930s are still a record) and India’s PK Sen (during India’s first-ever Test win in 1951-52, which coincided with the passing of King George VI).

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/7003.html

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/34741.html

While PK Sen was not as well known as Oldfield, he had his moments as in this Test against England. He also appears in trivia questions as the only Indian Test player who was born in a place which is now in Bangladesh. There were several who were born in places which are now in Pakistan, starting with Naoomal of the 1932 team (Karachi).

Then there is:

Most stumpings in a match (4 and above):

Oldfield dominates this list as one would expect. However, Sen had the record of 5 after that Test in 1951-52. More took over in 1987-88.

Also note V Rajindernath who took 4 stumpings and no catches in his only Test. He did not get to bat either, and thus he and JCW McBryan are the only ones who did not bat or bowl in their Test career. But McBryan did not take a catch.

We also look at the most stumpings in a career (20 and above):

Oldfield and Evans lead, with Dhoni in 3rd place and Kirmani in 4th.  The only other current player here is Sarfaraz Ahmed, though he is yet to catch up with his countrymen Wasim Bari and Kamran Akmal.

# Test Fielding Records-1

While batting and bowling records are well covered in most sources of cricket statistics, fielding receives lesser attention (as the data points are only for catches and stumpings). Here we take a closer look at this neglected field.

Most dismissals in an innings (6 and above):

The first keeper to take 6 catches/dismissals in an innings was Wally Grout in 1957-58.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/5449.html

The record was then shared by DT Lindsay, JT Murray and SMH Kirmani, the last instance being in 1975-76.

Wasim Bari then became the first to take 7 dismissals in an innings in 1978-79. He was followed by Bob Taylor (though that was overshadowed by Botham’s 13 wickets + century as well as a total eclipse) in 1979-80. Later Ian Smith and Ridley Jacobs joined the 7-catch club.

Most catches in an innings by a non-keeper (5 and above):

The first non-keeper to take 5 catches in an innings was Victor Richardson, who is nowadays better-known as the maternal grandfather of the Chappells. Some resemblance can be seen:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/7346.html

The second to do so was India’s Yajurvindra Singh on his debut in 1976-77. A total of 12 fielders have now reached the mark of 5 catches in an innings.

Now we look at match performances.

Most dismissals in a match (9 and above):

The first to make 9 dismissals was Australia’s Gilbert Langley in 1956 (Laker’s series).

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/6258.html

No one else took 9 in a match until 1979-80, when Bob Taylor took 10 (along with 7 in an innings in the match of Botham and the eclipse).

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/21494.html

Before anyone else could cross 10, the new record of 11 was set by RC Russell in 1995-96.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/19500.html

Subsequently several others have taken 10 dismissals (a total of 4 including WP Saha and Sarfaraz Ahmed) and 11 dismissals in a match (a total of 3 including AB de Villiers and Rishabh Pant).

And finally;

Most dismissals in a match by a non-keeper (7 and above):

The first to take 7 catches in a match was Greg Chappell in 1974-75. Unfortunately his grandfather did not see this as he had passed away a few years earlier, although he had lived long enough to see Ian Chappell make a good start in Tests.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/4558.html

And the second was Yajurvindra Singh on his debut in 1976-77.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/36072.html

Unfortunately he played only in 4 Tests.

Several others took 7 in a match. The next record of 8 catches was set by AM Rahane in 2015 (although India lost that Test).

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/277916.html

He continues to have that record to himself, although you will see ABD with 8 catches as a fielder. However, he took these 8 catches as a keeper substituting for the injured Q de Kock. He is listed as a non-keeper here as he was not the nominated keeper for this Test.

de Villiers was also the captain in this Test. This was a day-night Test against Zimbabwe which got over in 2 days.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18067/scorecard/1122310/south-africa-vs-zimbabwe-only-test-zim-in-sa-dec-2017-2017-18

Meanwhile, several others took 7 catches in a match. The last was KL Rahul in 2018.

# The Rishabh and Rahul show

(Figures as on August 23, 2018)

While Virat Kohli was Man of the Match, the twin fielding feats of Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul played a large part in India’s victory at Nottingham.

First we look at fielding performances on debut, with reference to Rishabh:

Innings fielding on debut:

Rishabh’s 5 dismissals is the best for India on debut by a wicketkeeper, though Yajurvindra had taken 5 as a non-keeper. A few Indian keepers had earlier taken 4 catches in an innings on their debut.

Match fielding on debut:

Here, both Rishabh and Yajurvindra made 7 dismissals on debut. Rishabh’s 7 is the best by any Indian keeper on debut. Some Indian keepers had made 5 dismissals on debut.

Note that Yajurvindra’s 5 in the innings and 7 in the match remain the best by any debutant non-keeper.

We look at fielding performances by non-keepers.

(This is for all matches, not merely on debut).

Innings fielding:

The world record is 5, shared by the fielders listed above. The first to achieve this was VY Richardson, maternal grandfather of the Chappell brothers. Several current and recent players can be seen. KL Rahul is one of many who took 4 catches (in the 4th innings, to add to the 3 he took in the first innings).

Match fielding:

While current player Rahane is the only one to take 8 catches in a match (which, by the way, India lost), KL Rahul is one of several to take 7 catches. Note that no one had taken 7 catches in a match until Greg Chappell in 1974.

# Best innings fielding on Test debut

This is being written in the middle of the 3rd Eng v Ind Test.

These figures may have concerned the player’s first or second innings as  a fielder.

Note the only non-keeper Yajurvindra Singh, who took as many catches as Rishabh Pant.

He had a short career of 4 Tests, as did Maclean.

Emery played only one Test, as he had the misfortune to play in the Healy era.

# New Zealand-South Africa Tests review-II

T

Having covered the general history and batting aspects in Part I, we now turn our attention to bowling, fielding and all-round performances.

Bowling-most wickets (20 and more):

Steyn and CS Martin lead. Kallis and Vettori do not seem to have done too well here.

The most 5wis are by Steyn (6), Martin and Ntini (4 each).

The most 10wis are 2 by Steyn.

Best innings bowling (All cases of 6wi and above):

The two best performances are from the distant past, though KA Maharaj has done well in this series.

Best match bowling (all cases of 9wm and above):

CS Martin’s 11-wicket haul was instrumental in NZ’s only home victory against SA. Philander has the best figures in recent years.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, complete list):

The best economy rates are 1.43 by Tayfield and 2.03 by JR Reid.

The best strike rates are 33.0 by Steyn (who else?) and 49.6 by Martin.

Fielding-most dismissals (10 and more):

The old-timer John Waite leads, although Boucher has more catches (but less stumpings) than Waite. de Villiers has 9 dismissals as keeper and 13 catches as a fielder. The most catches by pure fielders are 18 by GC Smith and 16 by Kallis. De Kock is moving up rapidly.

Best innings fielding figures (5 dismissals and above):

Best match fielding figures (6 and above):

The most catches by a fielder are 5 by WR Endean.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.500):

Waite is far ahead, while GC Smith has the highest for pure fielders. De Kock has not played enough yet, and is likely to be the leader in due course.

All-round performance (see the criteria):

Surprisingly, neither Kallis nor S. Pollock meet these relaxed criteria so we are only left with Reid and Vettori. And Vettori’s bowling average is truly disastrous.

All-round match performance (50 and 5wi):

Oddly enough, the better-known all-rounders  such as Kallis and S.Pollock do not appear here. In case you were wondering, Sir Richard Hadlee’s career neatly fitted into South Africa’s years of absence.

# Fielding fails in Tests

We have looked at those who failed to make a single fielding dismissal in their T20I and ODI careers. Today we conclude with Tests.

No fielding dismissals in Tests: 12 and more innings:

No fielding dismissals in Tests: 7 or more Tests:

The record for innings is shared by Fleetwood-Smith and the current Imran Khan with no dismissals in 18 innings, followed by Arshad Khan and Tony Lewis with 17. Imran had a few other statistical oddities tagged on, including not facing a ball for several Tests as well as seeing his side winning his first 5 Tests. Tony Lewis was appointed captain on his Test debut in 1972-73, the last such appointment by England.

For matches, Fleetwood-Smith again has the record of 10 Tests shared with Kuruvilla and Warnaweera. Also note the current player Steve O’Keefe creeping up the tables with 7 Tests and 12 innings without making a dismissal. Imran Khan is here too and near the top with 9 Tests.

However, until recently the record of most Tests and innings without a dismissal was held by Pakistan’s comeback kid Mohammad Amir who did not take a catch in his first 19 Tests and 37 innings. There was much celebration in his 20th Test and 38th innings when he caught Darren Bravo off Zulfiqar Babar at Sharjah in 2016-17. He also took 3-71 in that innings, though the West Indies went on to win their first Test against Pakistan on a neutral ground.

What about wicket-keepers who failed to make any dismissal? There are several who made their debut without a dismissal, but only one who had no dismissal in his career (which lasted for 1 Test):

Humayun Farhat at least did score 20+ in both innings. He is the brother of Imran Farhat.

Finally, is there anyone who never fielded in his Test career? Statsguru cannot find anyone:

You may be thinking of JCW MacBryan, who did not bat, bowl or take a catch in his one-Test career. But he did field for 66 overs. It would be interesting to know if he ever touched the ball. Anyway, he had a sufficiently distinguished first-class career including being one of the Wisden Five in 1925 besides an Olympic gold medal in hockey.