Batting averages in the third and fourth innings of Tests-September 2021

Hope you have seen these:

abn397.wordpress.com/2021/09/20/batting-averages-in-the-first-and-second-innings-of-tests-september-2021/

We now proceed to the third innings:

The cutoff here is 50.00

The first surprise here is that Bradman does not appear. Perhaps he did not bat enough in the third innings.

The leading batsman PBH May is a bit of a surprise. He is followed by JH Kallis and DCS Compton.

No current player appears in the top 10. The only players from recent times are K Sangakkara who retired in 2015 and HM Amla (2017). Batting in the third innings must have become more difficult in recent times.

From India there are M Amarnath and VVS Laxman.

Now for the fourth innings:

The cutoff here is 40.00.

Headed by Boycott, Gavaskar and Hobbs.

Current players here are KS Williamson (at 7), Kohli (at 8) besides recent player Younis Khan (at 9).

Other current players include AD Mathews (has he retired from Tests?), DA Warner, DM Bravo, Shakib Al Hasan, Asad Shafiq and R Taylor.

From India there are Gavaskar and Kohli in the top 10, followed by Dravid and Laxman.

It would seem that recent players have coped better with the fourth innings than with the third innings.

Another interesting topic to study would be the batters and bowlers who have done best in the fourth innings.

India vs England at Leeds

Leeds could well be described as another lucky venue for India. Only 6 Tests have been played between England and India here, and England lead 3-2 with one draw. However England have not won against India here since 1967 and have not avoided defeat since 1979.

Now look at the overall record of India’s victories in England:

India’s highest victories by innings as well as runs have come at Leeds.

Even in the defeat in 1967 (which was the start of a 3-0 sweep), India’s 3rd-innings total of 510 is the highest such score by a losing side.

We now look at the best individual performances at this venue in matches between these teams.

Highest innings (all centuries):

Boycott’s slow 246* led to him being dropped for the next Test.

Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly all scored centuries in the same innings in 2002.

Best innings bowling (all 4wi):

The top position is somewhat unexpected.

Also note Trueman’s 4-27 on debut in 1952 which helped in reducing India to 0 for 4 wickets (recovering to 26/5 and then 165).

Best match bowling (all 6wm):

Binny again heads this list, as does Trueman for England.

Best innings fielding (3 or more catches):

Note that several non-keepers took 3 wickets in an innings.

Best match fielding (4 or more catches):

More and Sehwag have the most catches for keepers and non-keepers respectively.

All-round performances (50+ and 5wi):

No instances.

Batting on all 5 days of a Test

RJ Burns took his appointed place on the short list of those who have batted on all 5 days of a Test:

Batting on all 5 days of Test

In some cases there would have been curtailment of play, but some play was possible on each of the 5 days. This does not include Tests which finished in 4 or less days. While there have been Tests played over 6 or more days, there is no such instance there.

Oddly enough, this did not occur until 1960 and Jaisimha had the record to himself until 1977. Several others followed Boycott in quick succession, although there was a 15-year gap between 1984 and 1999.

The lowest totals are by Pujara (74) followed by Jaisimha with 94.

In at least one case, the player (Boycott) can be said to have played a major role in his team’s win. There are some where his team lost (Lamb, Griffith, Burns).

 

A closer look at centuries in fourth innings of Tests

Note: All data correct as of April 15, 2018. The Test involving the ICC XI in 2005 is excluded.

We first look at the best averages in the fourth innings:

4th innings averages

Boycott, Gavaskar and Hobbs top this table though there is very little difference between their averages.

We now look at those who scored the most centuries in the fourth  innings (3 and above):

Century in fourth innings

Younis Khan leads with 5 centuries, followed by Ponting, Gavaskar, GC Smith and Sarwan with 4. Bradman is also here with 3. Among current players, there is only Williamson with 3.

Now let see who disliked the fourth innings. These players made the most centuries (20 and above) without ever making one in the fourth innings:

SR Waugh (32), Mohammad Yousuf (24), SPD Smith and V Sehwag (23 each), IR Bell and MC Cowdrey (22 each), DC Boon (21) and G Kirsten (21). Of these only Smith may get a chance to change these figures.

Conversely, there are those who love batting in the fourth innings. Apart from Younis Khan and his companions at the top of the table, there are those who scored all their centuries in the fourth innings:

There are several who scored their only century in the 4th innings. The only current player is Shan Masood. And there is only one who scored his only 2 centuries in the 4th innings: W Watson (Eng) of the 1950s. Honourable mention to JB Stollmeyer (2 out his 4 centuries came in the fourth innings).

So we conclude that the 4th innings is indeed the most difficult innings to score in. Bowlers may have a different opinion about the 4th innings.

 

Test batting averages across innings

There is often a significant difference in how batsmen perform in different innings. This is apparent when we look at those with the highest averages in Tests (for those who have batted in at least 20 innings).

Data is correct up to April 3, 2018. The ICC XI v Aus Test of 2005 is not counted.

First we look at the averages for Tests as a whole, for a minimum of 20 innings batted across innings;

Highest batting averages in Tests (50 and above):

Overall averages for all innings

You do not need to be reminded about the man with 99.94. The next two are also well known in recent years. Some, like Kambli, are lucky to scrape through. Other contemporary players listed above include Kohli, Root, Younis Khan, de Villiers, Pujara and Williamson.

Most of those who are generally regarded as great batsmen are here-even though some like H Sutcliffe, GE Tyldesley and CA Davis never made a double century.

Now we look at the different innings. The 20-innings cutoff is applied in each case.

Highest batting averages in first innings of Tests (55 and above):

1st innings averages

Bradman and Steve Smith are still in the top 3, but then there is considerable variation. Hassett and Azhar Ali averaged less than 50 in all innings but did much better in the first innings. Voges, Graeme Pollock and Headley did not play enough Tests. Barrington and Weekes seemed to have particularly relished batting in the first innings.

Contemporary players here include Steve Smith, Azhar Ali, Pujara, Ross Taylor, du Plessis, Root and a few others.

Moving on to the second innings.

Highest batting averages in second innings of Tests (55 and above):

2nd innings averages

Bradman is still at the top, followed relatively closely by Kohli. Other contemporary players include Steve Smith, Williamson, Root, de Villiers, Younis Khan and AN Cook. Tendulkar just scrapes through the 55-mark, some distance behind Gavaskar who did not do too well in the first innings.

Now to the third innings.

Highest batting averages in third innings of Tests (50 and above):

3rd innings averages

Bradman now drops out of the table altogether, with May and Kallis taking the two top spots. Here the differences between the top players are comparatively smaller. Contemporary players here are headed by Amla and Azhar Ali.

Finally the fourth innings, where survival skills are particularly important:

Highest batting averages in fourth innings of Tests (40 and above):

4th innings averages

As we can see, it is as difficult to average 40 here as it is to average 50 overall. Boycott, Gavaskar and Hobbs are bunched together at the top. And some like Bradman did not need to do much in the fourth innings as they and their teams generally scored enough in the first and second innings. Some, such as Ranatunga, Misbah and Hutton did not even score centuries in the fourth innings and probably benefited by a number of not-out innings.

Contemporary players here include Younis Khan, AD Mathews, Misbah-ul-Haq, Warner, Ross Taylor and Mohammad Hafeez.

Comparison of centuries made in different innings will be taken up next.