Finer points about Test captaincy-Part 2

Next, we look at those who played the most Tests without ever captaining their side:

Headed by England’s long-running JM Anderson with 160 Tests. (Actually, it has gone up to 162 in December 2022).

Next is his English teammate SCJ Broad with 146. Then there is the late SK Warne, whose record of 144 stood for several years.

Other prominent players here include Laxman (134), Muralitharan (132) and Mark Waugh (128).

While Anderson and Broad are expected to play a few more Tests, there are other active players such as NM Lyon (110), CA Pujara (96) and DA Warner (96) who will also add to their tally. However, there are no players from Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Zimbabwe here.

Next, we come to those who played the most Tests captaining their side in all of them:

This may sound impossible to the average cricket follower of today. But we have:

Most of them, starting with PW Sherwell and GC Grant, are from the early days of their country’s Test history. The one glaring exception is LK Germon, who captained New Zealand in all his 12 Tests in 1995-97. Apparently no other player of the team at that time was felt capable.

Many others got their captaincy not exactly on merit, often due to the bias in favour of amateurs and nobility in earlier times (e.g. Lord Harris, Calthorpe, Bligh and the prince Vizianagram). Or racial preferences where only players from certain races were thought fit to be captains (notably in the West Indies, and until recently in South Africa).

More batting feats on Test debut

In the past few posts we have looked at those who scored a century on debut and never scored another century. In some cases they did not even score a fifty. Here we look at some other points of interest:

Most runs on debut without a century (112 and more):

The first one is not so well known, and his 92 on debut remained his highest Test score in his 21 Tests: https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/bruce-laird-6250

The second, Clive Lloyd, scored many centuries and was one of the most successful batsmen and captains of the West Indies.

Fakhar Zaman is the most recent to do so (in 2018) but has played only 3 Tests with a highest score of 94.

There are many other famous names such as SM Gavaskar (highest score by an Indian player) and FM Worrell.

Not everyone here scored two fifties on debut. There are several with 95+ scores, the highest being 98 by AC Agar for Aus in 2013. This is the highest Test score by any No 11 batsman.

There are a mixture of well-known and not so well-known players here.

Similarly, we look at cases of

Most runs on debut without a 50-plus score

Led by Lee Germon (89) who became one the very few recent players to captain his team on debut. Ultimately he scored one fifty in his 12 Tests.

Most of the players here are lesser-known. In recent years S Muthusamy was unbeaten in both innings. (However, the record for two unbeaten innings on debut is 128* and 50* by Azhar Mahmood in 1997.

The best for India is 80 (45 and 35*) by Shubham Gill in 2020. Earlier the best for India was 74 (33 and 41) by Murali Vijay in 2008.

One more list we look at is

Most runs on debut with a century and a fifty:

The highest instance is 216 by Ranjitsinhji, who was also the first to score a century and 50+ on debut. The most recent is 170 by Shreyas Iyer in 2021. He is the only Indian player to achieve this.

RE Redmond would be known by anyone familiar with cricket trivia. After Ranji we have Umar Akmal (204), CG Greenidge (200) and PA Gibb (199). F du Plessis is another from recent times.

Analyzing Test captaincies-1

With the summer season of 2020 out of the way, we review Test captaincies up to Aug 31, 2020:

Most Tests

Headed by Tendulkar with 200. Anderson (156) and Broad (143) are unlikely to come near, although they may challenge Cook for the England record of 161.

Most Tests as captain:

GC Smith leads with 108. Kohli (55) will probably overtake Dhoni (60) but is unlikely to come near GC Smith. Root (44) is probably the only other captain who will move up a bit-but may not pass Cook’s England record of 59.

Most Tests not as captain:

Tendulkar again, with Anderson and Broad some distance behind.

The next logical question is to find who has played the

Most Tests without ever being captain:

The record was held by Warne for a long time. He has now been overtaken by Anderson with Broad just behind him. Other potential candidates like Ishant Sharma and Lyon are unlikely to come near. VVS Laxman has the India record of 134.

And finally

Those who were captains in all their Tests:

Many of them were from the glorious days of amateurs ruling the roost, although that does not apply to the first few names here. Germon and Porterfield are the only ones from recent times.

Also note the 5 who captained their sides in their only Tests. CA Smith was the only to have won their Test, and ultimately settled in Hollywood.

Also note the father-son duo of FT Mann and FG Mann.

Vizianagram or Vizzy joins his amateur English friends here.

More records of the India-SA Test at Vizag

The fourth day was dominated by the second century by Rohit Sharma, where he achieved something which no other opener had done in Tests so far, by making twin centuries in the first Test where he had opened. That was something which CG Greenidge and AJ Strauss narrowly missed, and was not achieved by a galaxy of renowned openers from Hobbs and Sutcliffe to Gavaskar and Graeme Smith.

The final day appeared to be ready for a quick finish when 7 wickets fell rapidly before lunch. The batsmen finally put up some fight to take the score from 70/8 to 161/9 to 191-one of the relatively few innings where the score was doubled after the 8th wicket fell.

S Muthusamy (49*), the No 7 batsman and debutant put on 91 for the 9th wicket with DL Piedt (56, his first fifty). Finally Muthusamy put on 30 for the 10th wicket with K Rabada (18).

While India won by 203 runs, there were a number of statistical highlights by the South African batsmen:

Highest score by No 8-11 batsman against India in the 4th innings:

Highest by 8-11 against India in the 4th innings

Piedt’s 56 is the highest such score in India. The only other tailend fifty in India was NJ Astle’s 51* in 2003. Also note Griffith’s 40* which helped WI force a draw in 1967.

Then we look more carefully at S Muthusamy’s 33* (at no 8) and 49* (at no 7). He also took Kohli’s wicket.

Highest totals without a dismissal on debut:

Most runs on debut with no dismissal-1

His 82 is in the middle of this table. AG Kripal Singh and RG Nadkarni are also here.

Highest totals with two not out innings on debut:

Most runs on debut with no dismissal in two innings

He is in 5th position here. Azhar Mahmood is the only one with an unbeaten century AND fifty on debut, and GC Grant the only other one with two unbeaten fifties on debut. Muthusamy’s 82 is the highest such total against India, ahead of CM Old’s 50 in 1972. AE Trott also took 8-43 on his debut

Highest totals on debut without a fifty:

Most runs on debut without 50

Muthusamy is in 6th place here, though the topper LK Germon (89) and AJ Pycroft (85) scored more against India. The best by India is 74 by M Vijay followed by 73 by Akash Chopra.

Highest total in all Tests without a fifty:

Most runs in any Test without a fifty

This was, predictably, headed by someone with two 49s. No debutant reached 90 without a fifty, the record being 89 by Germon listed above.  G Kirsten of SA is second here.

Finally we look at the highest scores by No 10 against India:

No 9 against India

Piedt is 4th on this list and the highest in the 4th innings. His 56 is higher than Verity’s 55* in the first innings.