Review of England-India Tests, 2021-2022 (Pt 1)

The series was drawn 2-2 with 1 draw. India however retained the Pataudi trophy by virtue of their win in India in early 2021.

This is only the second drawn series for India in England, the first being 1-1 in 2002. They had won only in 1971, 1986 and 2007.

The jinx at Birmingham continued, as India have lost 7 and drawn 1 at this venue.

The overall summary:

Note England’s strong home advantage, although India is coming up.

Proceeding to individual performances, starting with

Batting:

Most runs (800 and more):

JE Root has come within a whisker of overtaking Tendulkar’s total of 2535, and has overtaken Gavaskar. Kohli and Pujara are next among current players.

Root has the most centuries (9) followed by Cook, Dravid and Tendulkar with 7.

Gavaskar and Tendulkar have the most 50+ scores (20), followed by Root with 19.

Highest innings scores (180 and more):

The highest score in recent years was 218 by Root in early 2021.

Spare a thought for KK Nair who made India’s highest against England but played only 6 Tests overall.

Highest batting averages (Min 20 innings, 35.00):

Root is in second place, after Barrington. Kohli and Pujara are next among current players.

Highest strike rates (Minimum 1000 balls faced, 45.00):

Pant has the best strike rate among current players, after Kapil and Sehwag. Buttler and Ashwin are a little below, followed by Bairstow. Many of the higher strike rates are from recent years.

Next we take up

Bowling:

Most wickets (40 and more):

Anderson leads by a large margin over Chandrashekhar. Ashwin and Broad are next among current players.

Chandra has the most 5-fors (8) followed by 6 by Anderson, Ashwin and Botham.

Bedser is the only one with 2 10-fors, which came in his first 2 Tests.

Best innings bowling (includes all 7wi and above):

Nothing much from recent years. The 3 best performances were 50 or more years ago.

Best match bowling (includes all 10wm and above):

While there a few from recent years, such as Ashwin’s 12-for in 2016, we can also note AR (Axar) Patel’s 11-for in 2021 which is the best in any pink-ball Test. Note Bedser’s twin 11-wicket hauls at the start of his career. And JK Lever’s 50 and 10-for on debut.

Best bowling average (Minimum 2000 balls bowled, maximum 35.00):

The bowling averages are headed by Illingworth and JK Lever,

The best economy rates are by Illingworth and Nadkarni

The best strike rates are by JK Lever and Willis.

To be continued.

The “double” of a fifty+ and 10wm in the same Test.

Hope you have read the related piece https://abn397.wordpress.com/2021/02/19/the-double-of-a-century-and-5wi-in-the-same-test/

We now look at the converse: a fifty-plus and ten wickets in an innings in the same match.

This is a little rarer than the earlier case. It has occurred 30 times, compared to 33 times for the earlier case.

Multibaggers are rarer here. We have 3 instances by Sir Richard Hadlee and 2 by Shakib Al Hasan. That’s all. Botham is here, but only for one instance. Ashwin, Sobers and Mushtaq are not here. But there are others such as Bevan and Border who would not usually be considered to be all-rounders.

The most recent instance was by Stuart Broad during one of the Covid Tests of 2020.

Earlier we saw that Bruce Taylor was the only one to score a century and take 5wi on debut. That was against India in 1965.

There is only instance of someone scoring a 50+ and taking 10 wickets on debut. This was John Lever for England v India in 1976. What is even stranger is that India’s S Venkataraghavan appeared in both of these Tests.

Among current and recent players there are MM Ali, SCJ Broad, RA Jadeja, Dilruwan Perera, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan and DW Steyn. The only other player from India is Kapil Dev (who never made a century and 5wi together).

Also note AK Davidson, who scored 44 and 80 and took 11 wickets in the tied Test in 1960. He was the first to score over 100 runs and 10 wickets in a match. He had this record to himself until Botham scored a century and took 13 wickets against India in early 1980. Imran Khan and Shakib later followed with a century and 10 wickets in 1983 (against India, who else?) and 2014 (against Zimbabwe).

Ten wickets on Test debut

We have earlier seen that as many as 105 players have scored a century on Test debut. 40 of them never scored a century again, and 19 did not even score a fifty again.

We follow the same theme here with the feat of 10 wickets in the match on debut (Fivers on debut will be dealt with separately).

Ten-wicket hauls on debut are far rarer than centuries on debut-since there are only 15 such instances up to 30 Sep 2019.

10 wm on debut

The column “Inngs” indicates the breakup of wickets in the innings – for example F Martin took 6 wickets in each innings. Clearly it is possible to take 10 wickets with only one fiver, as in the case of Bedser (7 and 4) or Valentine (8 and 3).

Hirwani (16-136) just edged out Massie’s record of 16-137. These remain the best match figures for India and Australia. The only better Test figures are 19-90 by Laker and 17-159 by SF Barnes. The only other 16-wicket haul is by Muralitharan (16-220).

From the last three columns we can see that CS Marriott played only one Test, and Martin, Burke and Krezja only two.

The more durable ones were Bedser (51 Tests), Grimmett (37)  and Valentine (36).

And that 11 of these 15 (i.e. all except Richardson (4), Grimmett (7), Bedser (5) and Valentine (2) ) did not ever take a ten-wicket haul again. They are listed here:

10 wickets on debut and never again

The most durable among these were JK Lever (21 Tests), Hirwani (17) and Farnes (15). Farnes was one of the casualties of WW2. Lever remains the only one to take ten wickets and score a fifty on debut. He did not score a fifty again.

And these 7 players never even took a fiver after their debut:

10 wickets in a match on debut and no fiver again

Massie survived the longest with 6 Tests, followed by Zahid with 5.

Best debut bowling against India

The second Test at Centurion was noted for various things such as silly runouts and young Ngidi’s bowling. Here we look at the best bowling figures on debut against and for India (all figures as of 17 Jan 2018).

Best against India-innings (5wi): 

Debut bowling against India-I

Ngidi is in 5th position here, while his compatriot Klusener leads. That was to remain Klusener’s best in Tests, as in the case of Lever. Krezja’s effort came in a defeat for his team, and he played only one Test after this. Hazlewood is another current player in this list, while B Lee, like Bedser, had a long career.

Bedser and Pollard made their debut together. BR Taylor remains the only one in all Tests to make a century and take a fiver on debut. We will come to Lever’s similar record in a moment.

Best against India-match (7wm):

Debut bowling against India-M

The luckless Krezja tops this table. Bedser is second, and he followed with another 11-wicket haul in his second Test to start a long career for England. His partner Pollard is also here, though he had a relatively short career. Ngidi is relatively lower in this table as he took only one wicket in the first innings.

Hazlewood is the only other current player to appear here. Other famous names include B Lee and Trueman.

In an odd case of symmetry, JK Lever was the only one in all Tests to score a fifty and take a ten-for on debut. India’s S Venkataraghavan was in the Indian team on both occasions.

We also look at the corresponding figures for Indian bowlers on debut.

Best for India-innings (5wi):

Debut bowling for India-I

Hirwani steals the show here. He had a slightly better career than RAL Massie, who also took 16 wickets on debut. Ashwin and Shami are in the current team, as is Mishra from recent times. Nissar’s effort came in India’s first-ever Test.

Best for India-match (7wm):

Debut bowling for India-M

Hirwani again leads, with the best match figures in all Tests by a debutant. His 16-136 was just ahead of Massie’s 16-137. Shami, Ashwin and Mishra appear here as well. Doshi and Yadav had moderately successful careers.

The other Test all-rounders-1

We start with the scorecard of the  England-South Africa Test at Lord’s:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-south-africa-2017/engine/match/1031437.html

Moeen Ali achieved the double of a fifty and 10 wickets in the match.

Now, the standard definition of a good all-round performance in a Test is a century and a fiver. Cricinfo provides this as a direct link: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/282793.html

There are 32 such instances at the time of writing.

The achievement of a fifty and 10wm is somewhat less common though the instances can be easily be got from Statsguru:

Fifty and 10 wickets in a Test (as on Jul 11, 2017)

10wm and fifty

27 entries here, the most recent entrants here being Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja and Dilruwan Perera. Sir Richard Hadlee is the only one to do this 3 times. No one else has done it more than once.

Also note that Alan Davidson was the first to score a hundred runs and take 10 wickets in a match (though without a century). This was in the Brisbane tied Test of 1960. He held this record for over 19 years. It was not until 1980 that Botham became the first to score a century and take 10 wickets in a match. Imran repeated this a few years later and Shakib followed much later.

While the list of those who scored a century and 5wi is mostly populated by the better-known all-rounders ranging from Sobers to Botham to Ashwin, the second list has a few unexpected names. These include bowlers who were not considered recognized batsmen but somehow managed a fifty: e.g. JK Lever (on debut), Abdul Qadir, DW Steyn and PS de Villiers. Then there are non-regular bowlers (notably AR Border and MG Bevan) who were not regular bowlers but somehow managed a ten-wicket haul.

In several cases these were the only fifties or ten-fors the player achieved in their Test careers. The strangest case may be that of JK Lever, who is the only one to score a fifty and take ten wickets on his debut. He did not achieve either of these again in his 21-Test career.