For measuring all-round performance over the year, I normally consider 20 innings batted and 2000 balls bowled. No one qualifies for these. An alternative set of criteria include 10 innings/1000 balls/1 fifty+/1 4+wi.
Then we get:
Stokes has the best performance, followed by Ashwin and Jansen. His batting average is considerably better than that of the others, while his bowling is not so good. Still, we find that his overall all-round performance is the best.
Finally, we look at all-round match performances: 50+ and 5+wi in a match
/Here we see that Jadeja’s century and 5+wi are the best performances here. Next would be SA’s unsung KA Maharaj, who also crossed 1000 runs/100 wickets in this period.
Now we have compiled the best individual performances for the year. It remains to see the best performances by Test debutants and captains.
Lyon and Rabada both have 47 wickets, with Rabada having a better average.
The most 5wi are 4 by P Jayasuriya and 3 by Lyon. The former made his debut this year.
4 players have taken 10 wm once.
Best innings bowling (including all 6wi or better):
The best performance was MJ Henry’s 7-23. followed by two t-fors by KA Maharaj against Bangldesh. SN Thakur’s 7-for against SA is the best for India. Also note two 6-fors by P Jayasuriya against Australia at Galle on his debut, and Abrar Ahmed’s 7-for against England on his debut.
Best match bowling (Including all 9wm or better):
Led by P Jayasuriya’a 12-177 against Australia on debut, and Abrar Ahmed’s 11-234 also on debut. RA Jadeja’s 9-for is the ebst for India.
Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls bowled, all instances):
Only three players have bowled enough. NM Lyon has the best bowling average as well as the best economy rate and strike rate.
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
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 series in 2021-22 resulted in a 2-1 win for South Africa, after India won the first Test. India has failed to win a Test series in SA, although they have won at least one series in all other countries. The best India has done there is an 1-1 draw in 2010-11. The 2021-22 series followed the pattern of 2006-07 where India won the first Test but lost the next two.
Here is an overall summary of Tests between these two countries:
SA leads India 17-15 overall. Both sides appear to have strong home advantages.
We now look at individual performances, starting with
Most runs (500 or more):
Led by Tendulkar and Kallis.
These two have the most centuries (7)
Amla, Kallis and Tendulkar have the most 50+ scores (12).
From the above table, the best by current players is 1236 by Kohli, followed by Rahane, Pujara and Elgar with 800+. RG Sharma is further down.
Highest innings (125 or more):
The highest by current players are 254* by Kohli, followed by double centuries by MA Agarwal and RG Sharma. But no one crossed 125 in this series.
Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, all instances):
Kallis has the highest average, followed by Kohli at some distance. Other current players here are Rahane, Elgar and Pujara.
Highest strike rates (Minimum 1000 balls faced, all instances):
Sehwag and Azharuddin lead here. Among current players there are RG Sharma (in 3rd place), Kohli and Rahane. Also note Dravid at the bottom of this list.
Most wickets (12 or more):
Led Kumble, followed by Steyn and Srinath at a distance. Ashwin (56) has the most by a current player, followed by Shami, Rabada and Jadeja. Also note M Jansen with 19 in his debut series.
The most 5-fors are 5 by Steyn and Ashwin. No one has taken more than one 10-for.
Best innings bowling (includes all 6wi and more):
The best performance was an 8-for by Klusener on his debut.
Current players here include SN Thakur, Ashwin and Ngidi.
Thakur’s 7-61 in this series is the best for India against SA, surpassing the earlier record of 7-66 by Ashwin (Nagpur, 2015) and 7-120 by Harbhajan (Cape Town, 2011) which was India’s best in SA.
Best match performances (includes all 8wm and more):
Led by Ashwin and Donald with 12-fors, and 10-fors by Steyn, Pollock and V Prasad.
Current players here include Ashwin, Jadeja and Ngidi.
Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls bowled, all instances):
Headed by Donald and Jadeja (!) Current players here include Jadeja, Shami, Ashwin and Rabada.
We now look at the other side of the coin-those who have failed to make enough hundreds to match their fifties. And of course we have to consider those who made enough fifties and runs but never a century.
First we look at those who scored at least one century and had the lowest conversion rate:
Headed by the all-rounders Goddard, Jadeja and Noble. Most in this list are not in the side primarily for their batting. But we do have specialist batsmen in Bavuma, Nourse, Wadekar, Contractor, Ramiz Raja and others.
Jadeja, Wadekar, Contractor and Prabhakar represent India.
Current players include Jadeja, Bavuma, Broad and Buttler.
Those who failed to make any century after numerous attempts are covered here:
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).