Review of England-New Zealand Tests-2023 (Part 2)

Hope you have read Part 1.

Continuing with individual performances in Bowling:

Most wickets (50 or more):

Headed by Sir Richard. He is followed by three current players (Broad, Anderson and Southee) with Boult and Wagner a little further down. Sir Richard also has the most 5-fors (8).

Best innings bowling (including all 7wi or better):

None in recent years.

Best match bowling (including all 10wm or better):

Note the top two by Underwood (and 3 of the top 4 performances).

The only recent one is Leach’s 10-for in 2022.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, 30.00 or better):

Underwood’s average is by far the best. Boult, Anderson and Broad are also seen here.

Underwood has the best bowling average, economy rate and strike rate. In second place are Willis, Illingworth and Caddick respectively.

Now for Fielding:

Most dismissals (25 or more):

Parore and Bob Taylor have the most dismissals. SP Fleming has the most by a non-keeper. TG Evans has the most stumpings. From recent years there are Blundell and Root.

Most innings dismissals (5 or more):

C Read is the only one with 6 dismissals in an innings. There is only Blundell from recent years.

Most match dismissals (6 or more):

Blundell is among the three keepers with 8 catches in a match. Allan Lamb has the most (6) by a fielder

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.700 or better):

Here, Ian Smith has the best average followed by Parore and Watling. Fleming has the most by a fielder. Latham and Root represent current players.

All-round performances:

Overall (see criteria in the table):

Headed by Botham, followed by Hadlee and Cairns at a distance.

Match performance (50 and 5wi):

Many entries here. Of special note are those with a century and 5wi, including Botham (1978 and 1984).

Those with a 50 and 10wm include Greig, Hadlee (1986) and Nash. Nash was the first to achieve this at Lord’s.

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).

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.

Review of Pakistan-England Tests (Dec 2022)-Part 2

Hope you have read Part 1.

Now we look at individual performances in

Bowling:

Most wickets (35 and above):

Qadir and Anderson share the record with 82 wickets. Anderson had played in part of this series. His long-term partner Broad is next with 67.

Best innings bowling (including7wi or more):

Led by Qadir and Botham, the latter taking 8-34 at Lord’s. The best in this series was 7-114 by Abrar Ahmed who was making his debut.

Best match bowling (including 10wm or more):

Led by Underwood and Qadir who each took 13 wickets. In this series Abrar Ahmed took 11-234 on debut

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

The best bowling averages are by Anderson followed by Broad. The best economy rates are by Iqbal Qasim and DA Allen. The best strike rates are by Waqar Younis and Anderson.

Now for

Fielding:

Most dismissals (20 and above):

Headed by Wasim Bari, followed by Kamran Akmal and Knott. Bari and Sarfraz Ahmed have the most stumpings with 4. Root has the most catches by a fielder with 25.

Best innings fielding (5 or more dismissals):

Sarfraz Ahmed took 5 dismissals on 2 occasions, while GO Jones did so twice. No fielder took more than 4 catches.

Best match fielding (7 dismissals or more):

Wasim Bari and Kamran Akmal took 8 dismissals in a match. No fielder took more than 6.

Dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings and 0.600):

Led by Knott and RW Taylor, followed by Wasim Bari. Root has the best rate for fielders.

All-round performances:

Overall (see criteria in table):

Broad and Botham have the best performances.

Match performances

50+ and 5wi in the match

Of these, the best would be Botham’s century and 8wi, and Qadir’s 61 and 10wm. Honourable mention to Imran Khan’s 100 runs and 8wm in 1982.

Most Tests: home, away and neutral

At the start of the 2nd Test between England and South Africa at Manchester, it was mentioned that JM Anderson was the first to play 100 Tests at home.

This is true. Let us also look who has played the most Tests overall, away and neutral.

These figures include all those playing in the Manchester Test of 2022, and do not include the ICC XI v Aus Test of 2005.

Most Tests (125 or more):

Tendulkar (200) is followed by Anderson (174) and SR Waugh (168). The next from India is Dravid (163).

Also: Anderson (174), Broad (158), Warne (144) and VVS Laxman (134) have played the most Tests without ever captaining their sides.

Most Tests at home (60 or more):

Anderson leads with 100, followed closely by Tendulkar (94), Broad and Ponting (91 each). the next from India is again Dravid (70).

Most Tests away (other than neutral venues), 60 or more.

Tendulkar leads with 106, followed by Dravid with 93. Next is Chanderpaul with 81. Ponting, Anderson and Broad are further down.

And finally,

Most Tests at neutral venues (7 or more):

As you may guess, Pakistani players dominate this list starting with Asad Shafiq (30), Azhar Ali (29) and Younis Khan (28).

The highest by a non-Pakistani player is 8 by R Herath, followed by several others with 7. These include some NZ players who played in the WTC final against India in England in 2021.

Most runs in an over, across formats

Starting with T20Is:

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/284226.html

The record of 36 was first achieved by Yuvraj vs Broad in 2007, and later equalled by K Pollard vs A Dananjaya in 2021. As you can see, they were perfect 6 X 6s without the aid of no-balls and wides. No other batsman from India has scored 26 or more.

Now to ODIs:

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/278847.html

This was first achieved by HH Gibbs (SA) vs DLS van Bunge (NL) in the 2007 World Cup. It was equalled by JS Malhotra (USA) v G Toka (PNG) in 2021. Both of these were perfect 6 x 6s.

The best for India is 32 (SS Iyer 31, R Pant 1) vs RL Chase (WI) in 2019.

And for Tests:

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/233006.html

Bumrah vs Broad in 2022 would be fresh in your minds. See Footnote 3 in this link

The previous record was 28 by BC Lara (WI) v RJ Peterson (SA) in 2003.

The next best for India is 26 by HH Pandya vs PM Pushpakumara (SL) in 2017.

The only entry before 1980 is the 25 by B Sutcliffe (19) and RW Blair (6) vs HJ Tayfield in 1953-and that was an 8-ball over. There was an human-interest angle here, as Blair had just learnt of his fiancee’s death in NZ’s worst rail accident. And the SA fast bowlers had injured more than one NZ batsman.

Australia-England series review-2

Hope you have seen the first part:

Continuing with individual performances in

Bowling:

Most wickets (90 or more):

Headed by Warne and Lillee. Current players are headed by Broad (131), Anderson (112) and Lyon (101).

Best innings bowling (including all 8wi or more):

Headed by Laker. SCJ Broad is in 4th place with 8-15 in 2015. No one else from recent times, unless you count McGrath’s 8-38 in 1997.

Best match bowling (including all 12wm or more):

Laker heads this table as well, with Massie’s freak debut in second place. From recent years the best is 12-246 by Warne in 2005.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, 25.00 or less):

Here we do have some current players such as PJ Cummins (20.75) and Hazlewood (24.45).

Lohmann has the best bowling average (13.01), Attewell the best economy rate (1.31) and Ferris the best strike rate (42.2)

Now we look at

Fielding:

Most dismissals (40 or more):

Headed by RW Marsh (148), though there are several current players such as Paine, SPD Smith and Bairstow. The specialist stumper Oldfield has 31 stumpings besides 59 catches. Among fielders, the highest is 61 by GS Chappell. Current players include SPD Smith (46).

Most dismissals in an innings (5 or more):

Several keepers have taken 6 in an innings. No fielder has more than 4. Oldfield has 4 stumpings.

In this series, Carey and Billings each took 5 catches on debut.

Most dismissals in a match (7 or more):

Several keepers have taken 9 in a match. Also note GS Chappell’s 7 as a fielder. He was the first Test player to achieve this, although several others have equaled this (and India’s Rahane has taken 8).

In this series AT Carey took 8 dismissals on debut. All 8 were catches, which is a record in all Tests. Others have taken 8 on debut but included one or more stumpings.

See https://abn397.wordpress.com/2021/12/11/alex-careys-records-in-the-brisbane-test/

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.75):

Headed by Gilchrist and Haddin, with Bairstow, Buttler and SPD Smith from current players. LC Braund has the best (0.973) among pure fielders.

All-round performances:

Career figures (see criteria in table):

KR Miller leads by a large margin. Stokes represents the current players.

Match performances (50 and 5wi):

A long list. The best would be those with 100/5wi (JM Gregory, Botham) and with 50/10wm (W Bates, Trumble and Woolley).

Australia-England series review-1

Australia won this series 4-0 and came within one wicket of making it 5-0. They had already achieved this against England in 1920-21, 2006-07 and 2013-14.

Last-wicket pairs thwarting defeat are more common than one would imagine. Here is a complete list of these instances in Tests:

This was only the second such instance in Aus-Eng Tests. The earlier one was at Manchester in 2005.

India also appears a number of times in this list, both as thwarter and thwartee.

Here is the summary of matches between Australia and England. Remember that there are some Tests which are not considered as Ashes contests.

Australia’s dominance at home is clear, and they almost lead England in England as well.

We now look at individual performances, starting with

Batting:

Most runs (2000 and more):

Many famous names here. Bradman has the most centuries (19) followed by Hobbs with 12.

Bradman also has the most 50+ scores (31) followed by Border with 29.

You will struggle to find current players here. They are SPD Smith with 3044 with Root just scraping in with 2016. Going a little further back there is Cook with 2493.

Highest innings (200 or more):

In recent years there are 244* by Cook (2017), 239 and 215 by Smith (2017 and 2015).

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, 45.00 or more):

SPD Smith is No 4 (after Bradman, Sutcliffe and Barrington). No one else from the last few years, unless you count CJL Rogers who played a few Tests in 2013-2015.

Highest strike rates (Minimum 1000 balls faced, 50.00 or more):

Oddly enough, SCJ Broad has the 4th highest strike rate (after Gilchrist, Flintoff and Prior). And Warne is 5th. Warner, SPD Smith and Stokes are also here.

To be continued.

Review of Tests in 2020-Part 2

Hope you have read Part 1.

We continue with individual performances

Fielding – 8 or more dismissals:

Led by Buttler and Watling. The most catches by a fielder are 14 by Root and Stokes.

From India, Pant has 12 catches as a keeper.

The most stumpings is 3 by Dickwella.

Innings dismissals – 4 and above:

5 dismissals by 4 players, including a non-keeper in Stokes. He also gets a share in the world record of 5 catches held by several players. Pant has 4 catches in an innings.

Match dismissals – 5 and above:

Dominated by de Kock and Watling. Among non-keepers, Stokes and Pope have 6 catches each.

All-round match performances (50 and 5wi):

Broad achieved the rare double of a fifty and 10wm. The next best performance was by Sikander Raza with 100+ runs and 8 wickets.

In Part 3, we will look at the performances of debutants in 2020.

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.

The other double: 50 + 10 wkts in a match

Most of those who follow Test cricket know about the double of a century and 5wi in a match. This has been done 32 times, with the last occasion being the present WI player Roston Chase in 2016.

The lesser-known double is that of 50 and 10wm, which is slightly rarer and has been done on 30 occasions. Stuart Broad joined this list in the 3rd Test against West Indies in 2020.

50 and 10 wkts in match on 28-7-2020

This seems to be a little harder to achieve compared to the other double. Sir Richard Hadlee is the only one to do it 3 times and Shakib Al Hasan the only one to do it twice. Kapil, Botham and Imran duly appear here. “Sir” Jadeja is the only other player from India here.

In a mirror of Bruce Taylor’s 100 + 5wi against India on his debut in 1965, only one player John Lever hasĀ  managed 50 + 10 wm also against India in 1976. Oddly enough S Venkataraghavan was in India’s team on both occasions.

There are some odd cases here involving players who were not generally considered all-rounders, such as Qadir, Border, Bevan and Steyn. And others who had short careers such as Lever, Nash and Craig. But most of the big names of the past few decades are there.

The elite group with a century and 10-for includes Botham, Imran, Shakib and honorary member Davidson with 100 runs and 10-for.

Broad achieved this in the nick of time, taking the last wicket of the match to complete his tenner.

Batting recoveries 3: Doubling the score by the 8th wicket partners

The last post in our series on great batting recoveries covers cases where the 8th-wicket pair doubled the score after the 7th wicket fell. There are 24 such instances; 13 resulted in losses, 4 in draws and 7 in wins.

These matches are tabulated below:

Doubling the score after the 7th wicket fell

 

The highest such 8th-wicket partnership of 332 by Trott and Broad in that tainted Lord’s match of 2010, where it is very likely that Pakistan’s bowlers deliberately allowed them to add runs to satisfy the requirements of the fixers. The “genuine” highest partnership would then be the 313 by Akram and Saqlain in the only Test ever played at Sheikhpura.

The highest ratio of (8th wkt partnership)/( sum of 1st to 7th wicket partnerships) is 3.255 by Trott and Broad (102/7 to 434/8) followed by 2.423 by Absolom and Lord Harris (26/7 to 89/8). The lowest here is 1.053 by debutants Morkel and Vincent who went from 38/7 to 78/8.

Absolom and Harris did this as early as 1879, unlike the 9th wicket recoveries starting from 1946 and 10th wicket recoveries starting from 1980.

Soon afterwards Absolom became the first (and only?) Test player to be killed by sugar bags (or bananas?) falling from a ship’s crane.Also see https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/22972852/the-curious-affair-charlie-absolom

Lord Harris went on to bigger things, not necessarily in cricket. He did, however see England win in all his 5 Tests although he hardly contributed to these victories.

If you look at the ratio of (innings total)/(sum of 1st to 7th wicket partnerships) the highest is 4.333 where Blunt and Dickinson started the recovery from 21/7 to 64/8 which went on to 112. This was New Zealand’s first ever Test and noted for debutant MJC Allom’s hat-trick and 4 wickets in 5 balls. Next is 3.474 by Morkel and Vincent, who started with 38/7 and went to 78/8 and finally 170. This is a little better than 3.255 by Trott and Broad, 102/7 to 434/8 and finally 446.

The lowest is the anemic 1.250 by Pakistan in 2017, going from 36/7 to 78/8 and 81.

Of special note was the England-WI Test of 1966 which witnessed a 200+ stand for the 8th wicket (Graveney and Murray) as well as a 100+ stand for the 10th wicket (Higgs and Snow), taking them from 166/7 to 383/8, 399/9 and finally 527. This ended a series of heavy defeats by the West Indies, and marked the start of the short reign of the maverick captain DB Close.