Looking ahead to the Champions Trophy semi finals

Here we shall see that predicting on the basis of long-term form can be misleading.

This is being written after Pakistan beat England on Jun 14.

Let us look at all ODIs between England and Pakistan in 5 years up to Jun 13, 2017:

England led 7-2 in this period

In England, England led 4-1 (all in the summer of 2016). And the only match Pakistan won was at Cardiff.

No matches in Pakistan. On neutral grounds (UAE), England led 3-1.

So, on paper, it looked like Pakistan had no chance. But the result was something else.

Now let us do the same analysis for India and Bangladesh in the 5 years up to Jun 14, 2017

India led 5-2 with 1 no-result.

In India there were no matches.

In Bangladesh, India led 4-2 with 1 no-result

In neutral grounds (in Australia in the 2015 WC), India won 1-0

But it should be noted that the last series between India and Bangladesh was in Bangladesh in 2015, when Bangladesh won 2-1. Forgotten that already? See the series summary (and scorecards if you want):

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/870723.html

The key here was the “shock value” of  Mustafizur Rehman who made his debut here, with 5,6 and 2 wickets in the 3 matches. He was deservedly Man of the Series.

But then, he has not done too well in this tournament. See the details of his recent matches here: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/330902.html

So we see that India does have a strong record over Bangladesh in the last 5 years. Just like England had over Pakistan. India should not be overconfident (remember the World Cup of 2007?)

 

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The jinx in India-Pakistan matches

Note: This was written before the start of the 2017 Champions Trophy.

It is often said that India dominates Pakistan in ICC tournaments. Hence the “Mauka Mauka” ads which aired at the beginning of the 2015 World Cup.

Let us see take a closer look at the history of these encounters. First, the World Cup:

I v P World Cup

India and Pakistan never met in the World Cups of 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1987. They were somehow always drawn in different groups so they could have met only in the semi-finals or finals. It was not until 1992 that they met in the World Cup. In that tournament all teams played each other in the knockout stage.

They met in the quarter-finals in 1996, Super Six in 1999, and a pool match in 2003. India won all these matches so the feeling of a jinx over Pakistan kept growing.

In 2007, both India and Pakistan were jinxed and failed to proceed beyond the pool stage, being displaced by Bangladesh and Ireland respectively.

In 2011, India won in the semi-final and repeated this in a pool match in 2015. So India have won all 6 encounters.

If you want to see the scorecards, open this link and click on the blue square on the extreme right.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;opposition=7;orderby=start;team=6;template=results;trophy=12;type=team;view=results

Now we go to the T20 World Championship. We will come back to the Champions Trophy at the end.

I v P T20

The teams met twice in the inaugural championship in 2007. Though the match in the pool stage was a tie, India got the winner’s points as they won in the bowl-out which was then the method used to determine the winner of a tied match.

Then India won against Pakistan in the final. The teams did not meet in 2009 and 2010. India won the next three encounters in 2012, 2014 and 2016. All of these were in the group stages and not the semi-final or final. Thus India leads 5-0 (including the tie) in the World T20 Championship.

You can see the scorecards from this link:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=3;filter=advanced;opposition=7;orderby=start;team=6;template=results;trophy=89;type=team;view=results

For details of the bowl-out in the first match in 2007, see the commentary section rather than the scorecard.

But the story in the Champions Trophy is somewhat different:

I v P Chamions

India and Pakistan did not meet in 1998, 2000 or 2002 (when India shared the trophy with Sri Lanka). Pakistan won the first encounter in 2004 in the group stage. They did not meet in 2006. Pakistan won in 2009, also in the group stage. India finally won in 2013, in a group match on their way to the trophy.

So the jinx on Pakistan in ICC tournaments does not apply to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy, where they lead India 2-1. Let us see what happens when they meet on June 4. India currently has a higher ranking than Pakistan, but that has no bearing in high-tension encounters like these.

See the scorecards here:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;opposition=7;orderby=start;team=6;template=results;trophy=44;type=team;view=results

 

 

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.

 

Review of India-Zimbabwe T20I matches

Yes, even an embryonic series like this deserves a review 🙂

A total of 7 T20Is have now been played between these sides, all of them in Zimbabwe. India lead 5-2. CJ Chibabha and H Masakadza have played in all 7, while no Indian has played in more than 5.

There is not much point in calculating averages. strike rates and the like on such a small data set so we will confine ourselves to the best overall and match performances.

Batting-most runs (50 and above):

Batting overall

Chibhabha is far ahead of the rest while Raina has the most runs for India.

Batting-highest scores (40 and above):

Batting-innings

Raina and Chibhabha have the highest individual scores, although KM Jadhav made the highest score in the current series.

Bowling-most wickets (3 and above):

Bowling overall

Mpofu, AR Patel and newcomer Sran have taken the most wickets.

Bowling-best innings figures (2 and above):

Bowling-innings

The two best performances are by Sran (on debut) and Bumrah in the current series. The previous best was by AR Patel in the previous series.

Fielding-most dismissals (2 and above):

Fielding overall

AR Patel has the most dismissals. The best wicketkeeping figures are by Taibu.

Innings fielding-most dismissals (2 and above):

Fielding-innings

No one has taken more than 2 dismissals in an innings. Taibu is the only keeper here.

All-round overall (minimum 5 innings batted and bowled):

AR-overall

Chibhabha is the only one who has some pretensions of being an all-rounder.

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

AR-match

Chibhabha again.

Now we await more meaty stuff in the WI v Ind and Eng v Pak series coming up.

Tail piece: Although Zimbabwe’s captain AG Cremer could not do much in this series, he does hold a world Test record for the best 4-wicket innings bowling: 4-4 against Bangladesh.

 

Oddities in station signs in India-2

Continuing from this earlier post:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/oddities-in-station-signs-in-india-1/

Today we look at two station signs which are in 5 languages. 4-language signs are relatively common, particularly in states such as Telangana.

The better-known one is a district town in Karnataka:

Raichur station-5 languages

Being close to Telangana, it has Telugu as well as Kannada and Urdu.

If you travel from Raichur towards Mumbai, you will soon come to Krishna station, which is in Telangana just north of the Krishna river which appears to be the state border here:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo credits: Sudarshan (sorry I didn’t get your full name).

More details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna_railway_station

There may be a few more 5-language signs in India, though these are the only ones generally known.

This may also be of interest:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/station-signs-indian-languages-outside-south-asia/

India vs Zimbabwe ODI records

With the conclusion of India’s 3-0 sweep, India and Zimbabwe have played a total of 63 ODIs. India lead 51-10 with 2 ties. Results at different venues are summed up below:

Results summary

Zimbabwe has had its moments, particularly when they beat India during the 1999 World Cup. On that occasion India and Zimbabwe both qualified for the Super Six but did not proceed further.

Looking at batting records:

Most runs (500 and above):

Runs-above 500

Tendulkar and Ganguly have almost the same total runs scored. No one from recent years has crossed 500 runs.

The most centuries are 5 by Tendulkar and 3 by Ganguly. For fifty-plus scores, Andy Flower has 12 and Campbell has 11. Ganguly and Tenulkar have 10 each.

Highest individual scores (100 and above):

Scores above 100

No one needs to be reminded about the top score, which was also India’s first ODI hundred. The second place goes to the lesser-known of the Mongias. Andy Flower has the highest for Zimbabwe. There are several centuries among current players, including KL Rahul on his ODI debut.

Highest average (minimum 20 innings batted):

Batting average

Tendulkar, Ganguly and Andy Flower have the top spots. No current players.

Highest strike rate (minimum 500 balls faced):

Strike rate

Here we have Yuvraj Singh at the top. From current players there is only Rayudu.

Now for bowling.

Most wickets (10 and above):

Wickets above 10

The popular whipping-boy Agarkar is on top here, followed by Streak.

Best innings bowling (4wi and above):

Bowling-4wi and above

A Mishra and HH Streak have the best figures for their teams. JJ Bumrah has two 4-wicket hauls in the recent series.

Best bowling averages (minimum 1000 balls bowled):

Bowling average

Only three bowlers make the cut here. Agarkar has the best average, Kumble the best economy and Agarkar the best strike rate.

Now for fielding:

Most dismissals (10 and above):

Dismissals-10 and above

Andy Flower and Rahul Dravid have the most dismissals for their teams, with Dravid serving as a keeper in some matches.

The most stumpings are 5 by Andy Flower and Nayan Mongia, most catches by a keeper 21 by Andy Flower, and most catches by a fielder 20 by Campbell.

The most dismissals in an innings are 5 by Kirmani and Nayan Mongia, while for fielders it is 4 by VVS Laxman.

Highest dismissal rate (minimum 20 innings fielded):

Dismissal rate

Andy Flower tops again, while Azharuddin has the highest rate for fielders.

Now for all-round performances:

Overall (minimum 20 innings batted and 1000 balls bowled):

AR overall

Heath Streak is the only one who has put in enough batting and bowling to qualify. Some prominent all-rounders like Kapil did not play enough in this series.

Looking at all-round performances in a match (30 runs and 3 wickets):

AR-match

Ganguly and Crocker seem to have the best performances.

Oddities in station signs in India-1

First, we look at examples of station signs in some languages which you may not see often.

The only major station with Maithili:

Darbhanga station Maithili

And the only station in Manipur, which naturally has Manipuri:

Jiribam-manipuri

Note the brand new broad gauge line above.

As you would know, the language policy for railway stations (and most Central government buildings, such as post offices) would be to have English, Hindi and the regional language. If Hindi is the local language then there would be two languages on the board, and more if some other language is common in that area.

Examples of English + Hindi are common in Rajasthan , Haryana and Madhya Pradesh although a few stations do have Urdu as well.

From Rajasthan:

Note that the picture from Jaipur shows a metre gauge line which will not be around for long.

From Haryana:

 

Now we move to some states where English is the main official language (although other spoken languages are commonly used). You would probably not heard of most of these places:

Dimapur, Nagaland:

Dimapur

Bairabi, Mizoram: (This is from metre gauge days but broad gauge has now come here)

Bairabi

Mendipathar, Meghalaya:

Mendipathar

Naharlagun, Arunachal Pradesh:

Naharlagun

Note that in Hindi-speaking states the Hindi inscription is at the top. In most states the regional language (say Bengali or Tamil) is at the top. In the signs above from Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya English is at the top but in Arunachal Pradesh the Hindi inscription is at the top.

At the moment Sikkim is the only state with no railway line at all, though the mileage is negligible in several of the North-eastern states (Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland). In some states there is precisely one station about a kilometre inside the border. Assam and now Tripura are somewhat better served.

A typical trilingual sign would be this one in Gujarat, much beloved of cricket fans:

Sachin

Meanwhile, there are signs in four or even five languages elsewhere on the Indian railway network. More on these later.