Finer points about Test captaincy-Part 1

Here we look at

  1. Players who have played the most Tests
  2. Players who have captained in the most Tests
  3. Players who have been non-captains in the most Tests

Those who have played the most Tests (12 and more):

It is well known that Tendulkar has played the most Tests-200. The next few may not be that well remembered. Note that the number of Tests played as captain widely vary, starting from zero (see the entries for JM Anderson and his old comrade SCJ Broad) to 93 for Border-though even this is not a record, as we will see in the next section. JE Root has captained the most among current players, although he is not captain at the date of writing in late 2022.

Most Tests played as captain (50 or more):

Here we have the record by GC Smith of captaining the most times-108. The only 8 Tests he did not captain in were at the beginning of his career. Next are AR Border (93) and SP Fleming (80). Kohli is in 6th postion with 68 Tests (besides 34 not as captain).

Most Tests played not as captain (110 or more):

Tendulkar has played in 175 Tests not as captain, besides 25 as captain. Next is Kallis with 163 not as captain, and only 2 Tests as a captain. As you may guess, these were as a stand-in when the regular captain was unavailable. In third place is JM Anderson. who has played all his 160 Tests without ever being captain.

This leads us to other questions, such as:

Who have played the most Tests without ever being captain?

Is there anyone who has played all his Tests as captain?

The answers to these questions will be given in Part 2.

Actually, the #1 and #2 and the next few for the first question have already been identified, but there is no clue about the second question so far.

So please read Part 2 which will be put up within a day.

Test captaincy updates-1

It is easy enough to get updated tables like this:

(All these tables are updated to May 15, 2021):

Most Tests (120 and above)

Current players with the most Tests are Anderson (160) and Broad (146).

Another table which is easy to create:

Most Tests as Captain (40 and above):

Kohli is the only current player here. He has captained in 60 Tests and has equalled Dhoni (60). He overtook Ganguly (49), Gavaskar and Azharuddin (47) not long ago. Root is on 50.

But this one needs a little more work with Excel:

Most Tests NOT as Captain (90 and above):

Tendulkar and Kallis lead. The most by current players are 161 by Anderson and 146 by his team-mate Broad.

Now what about those who played the most Tests without ever captaining their sides (90 and above)?

Led by Anderson and Broad, who recently surpassed the long-standing record of Warne.

VVS Laxman (134) has the highest for India which will probably stand for a long time..

Other current players are Ishant Sharma (101) and NM Lyon (100).

Finally, those who played all their Tests as captains (all cases):

Most of them are from the olden days, except LK Germon (12). Perhaps there was an acute shortage of captaincy talent in New Zealand in the mid-90s. And there is Porterfield who captained Ireland in the only 3 Tests which they have played.

Note the 5 at the bottom who played only one Test, in which they were captain.

There are a fair number of the glorious amateurs and their counterparts like Vizianagaram.