Those who missed the bus at Lord’s (Revised in Aug 2018)

The honors board at Lord’s are well known-anyone who scores a century or takes a fiver or a tenner gets his name on them, even if it is a neutral Test not involving England. If you need to brush up, see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_honours_boards

and for Indian players featured there, full details are here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/indian-cricketers-on-the-lords-honours-boards/

However, note this extract from the Wikipedia article:

“A number of very distinguished players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Curtly Ambrose and Brian Lara are not named on the honours boards.”

It may be recalled that there was much heartbreak when Sachin failed to score a century in 2011, which was generally understood then to be his last Test there.

We now look at the aspect of prominent players failing to reach a board-worthy performance at Lord’s despite several opportunities. And there are some visitors who simply did not get to play enough at Lord’s.

Many English players whose career lasted about 5 years would have played 10+ Tests at Lord’s. Visiting players with long careers usually manage 4 Tests, unless they miss one Test or series. So we begin by identifying those who batted in  at least 8 innings there. A further stipulation is that their batting position is 1 to 8, to eliminate tailenders without much batting ability.

So we have this for Most matches at Lord’s without a century:

Lord's batting flops

Atherton, Thorpe and Gatting played the most innings there without a century-particularly odd as Gatting played for Middlesex. Atherton did score 99 there and has the most fifties (7).

Visitors are led by Gavaskar and Tendulkar, followed by Azhar Ali,  Faulkner, AW Nourse and Ponting. Lara played in only 3 Tests and 6 innings. The highest averages here are by Dexter (51.62) and FS Jackson (47.71).

While most of the batsmen here scored at least one fifty, some did not. They include Ramprakash (HS 40 in 13 innings), bowling all-rounder Emburey, Brearley, wicketkeeper Downton, Tendulkar, Faulkner and Ponting. The lowest average here is 10.38 by Ramprakash who was a specialist batsman, unlike some of the others. Then comes all-rounder Pringle (16.11) and another famous batsman Ponting (16.87). Tendulkar at least got into the 20s.

Apart from Atherton’s 99, there are 90s by TE Bailey, JM Parks and FS Jackson.

Next, we take up bowlers who bowled at least 1000 balls (while bowling at no 1 to 5) and never took a five-for:

Lord's bowling flops-1

Hoggard has the most Tests (11) and innings (20) here with a best of 4-27. However Edmonds has the best bowling figures of 4-6, while Hoggard has the most wickets (37). Lillee (17 wkts), Kumble and Gibbs are the only visitors here.

Ambrose and Warne did not bowl enough balls here.

The best bowling average here is Laker’s 24.43, followed by Wardle’s 26.78.

And one gets similar results if we look for those who made the same effort and never took a ten-for:

Lord's bowling flops-2.JPG

Here, Anderson has the most wickets (103) with a best of 9-43. He may, of course, play a few more Tests at Lord’s. He also has the most 5-fors (6). Oddly enough Anderson has almost twice the wickets of the next bowler Willis with 47. The best bowling average is by Willis with 18.76 followed by Illingworth with 19.85.

Sir Richard Hadlee has the most wickets by a visitor (26).

 

 

Review of West Indies-India Test series, 2016

As we all know, India won “only” 2-0 with 2 drawn which meant it is not the No 1 Test team any longer. Fear not, India has many home Tests coming up while Pakistan has to visit New Zealand and Australia in the coming months.

A total of 94 Tests have been played between the two countries. WI leads 30-18 with 46 draws. In WI there have been 49 Tests, where WI lead 16-7 with 26 draws. Even in the 45 Tests in India, WI lead 14-11 with 20 draws.

However, the last time WI defeated India in a Test was over a decade ago, in May 2002 at Kingston. That 2001-02 series was the last time WI won a Test series against India. India have since won in India in 2002-03, in WI in 2006, in India in 2011-12, in India in 2013-14, and now in WI in 2016.

And the last time WI won a Test in India was at Mohali in Dec 1994. They last won a Test series in India in 1983-84. The series in India in 1987-88 and 1994-95 were drawn.

Now for the specifics in 2016:

Batting:

Most runs (850 and above):

Batting (overall)

No current players in this list.The most centuries are 13 by Gavaskar, followed by 8 for Richards and Sobers. The most scores of 50+ are 20 by Gavaskar, followed by 19 (Lloyd), 18 (Dravid) and 17 (Chanderpaul).

Highest innings scores (175 and above):

Batting innings

Not much high scoring in recent years in WI, though Kohli made 200 in this series.

Highest batting averages (minimum 20 innings and average 35.00):

Batting average

Sobers is far ahead of Gavaskar and three others who have averages above 60. ED Weekes scored over 1000 runs and had a batting average over 100 but played less than 20 innings. Similarly Walcott had an average of almost 70 but did not play enough innings. (See the first table above).

Now to bowling, which includes the best match bowling by a debutant in all Tests.

Most wickets (30 and above):

Bowling-overall

Kapil has a comfortable lead over the next-placed Marshall and Kumble.

Marshall has the most fivers (6) followed by Harbhajan with 5.

No one has more than one tenner.

Best innings bowling (7wi and above):

Bowling-innings

Kapil leads here, followed by the long-forgotten Jack Noreiga whose 9-wicket haul is still a record for WI in all Tests. Hirwani’s debut can be seen here. Ashwin’s 7-83 at North Sound is the new record for India in WI, surpassing SP Gupte’s 7-162 in 1952-53.

Best match bowling (9wm and above):

Bowling-match

Hirwani’s 16-136 is the best debut performance in all Tests, just ahead of RAL Massie’s 16-137 in 1972. Newcomer ML Cummins had the best match bowling in this series. Also note Shami’s debut in 2013-14. It may be surprising to see that Ishant Sharma has the best match bowling for India in WI.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls bowled, all instances):

Bowling-average

Ashwin and Harbhajan have the best averages for India.

The best economy rates are 1.68 by GE Gomez (not Larry Gomes), 1.83 by Gibbs and 1.87 by Valentine. The best for India is 2.38 by Bedi.

The best strike rates are 42.6 by Hall, 43.8 by Ashwin and 45.2 by Roberts.

Now for fielding, which includes some world stumping records in the Hirwani and More show at Chennai in 1987.

Most dismissals (15 and above):

Fielding overall

Note Walcott’s dual role.

Most stumpings: 9 by More.

Most catches by a keeper: 58 by Dujon

Most catches by a non-keeper: 39 by Richards.

Best innings fielding: 6 by W Saha at North Point in 2016. Several others have 5 dismissals, including Sammy (non-keeper and share in world record) and More (5 stumpings, a world record).

Best match fielding: 8 by Dhoni, followed by More and Saha with 7. More’s 7 included 6 stumpings (another world record). The most by a non-keeper is 6 by Solkar, during India’s first win over WI in March 1971.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings fielded, 0.400 and above):

Fielding average

While Dhoni and Dujon lead this table, the best averages by a non-keeper is by Azharuddin followed by Lara.

All-round overall performances (note the criteria):

AR-overall

Sobers is far ahead of the others.

All-round match performance (at least one 50+ and one 5wi):

AR-match

Several instances of a century and 5wi here including 2 by Ashwin. In this series Ashwin and newcomer Chase achieved this. Perhaps Ashwin’s feat in 2011 would be the best. Umrigar’s feat in 1962 is also notable as he did not bowl regularly.

 

Down memory lane: the cricket calypsos of 1950 and 1971

Veteran cricket watchers would have heard these at some time or the other. Now they are easily available on the net.

The most famous cricket calypso would be “Cricket, lovely cricket” composed by Lord Kitchener and sung here by Lord Beginner.

A little background here. The West Indies was then a group of colonies firmly under the Union Jack, with the general conditions as well as racial discrimination being what you would expect from the British at that time. The West Indies had been playing Tests since 1928 and had shown a lot of improvement after a whitewash in their first series. By 1950 they had won a few Tests and even a series against England in 1948. But they had never won a Test in England.

The trend looked set to continue when the first Test was won by England by a big margin: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62709.html

Ramadhin and Valentine made their debuts, the latter taking 8 wickets in the first innings and 3 in the second (besides a pair). Ramadhin had a less impressive 2 wickets in each innings.

Then came the second Test-at Lord’s, no less. Now hear it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06P0RdZyjT4

and see the scorecard: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62710.html

Or better, still, see the scorecards of the whole series here: http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1950S/1950/WI_IN_ENG/

This famous picture was taken just after the end: http://caribbean-beat.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/style-1_0.jpg

Lord Kitchener is the one with the guitar. It is said that he composed the song within 30 minutes and led the troupe of West Indian fans dancing through London celebrating the victory. A more detailed account can be seen here: http://caribbean-beat.com/issue-100/triumph-calypso-cricket#axzz3Q7iVHLC9

Years passed and the West Indies team rose to greater heights. Most of the colonies became independent countries. But the team had its ups and downs – as in 1971. But there still was a calypso there. In case you need to refresh your memory, see the series scorecards here: http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1970S/1970-71/IND_IN_WI/

It was, in a sense, Indian cricket’s coming of age as it was the first time they had won a Test series against one of the big powers away from home. There was, of course, the 3-1 victory in New Zealand in 1968 which was not given much importance.

In fact, India had never won a Test (let alone a series) against the West Indies until then. And they did not win a Test against them in India until 1974-75 and a series against them in India until 1978-79.

Here is the calypso, composed by Lord Relator:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V2UUuKcIeA

and the lyrics:   http://andynarell.net/calypso/lyrics/1gav.html

(Note the PJ about Uton Dowe)

Do not pay too much attention to the visuals as they seem to have been hastily put together much later-you can see Roberts, Holding and Chandrashekhar and others (Alan Knott!) who were not part of the series.

There may have been other cricket-based songs later on, but these are probably the best known. There are a few famous poems as well.