When Test captains are sacked

The ill-starred Test at Cape Town might well be the first one in which a captain was dismissed in the middle of a match and a replacement named immediately. Statisticians will record Smith as captain  since he was “appointed captain” for the match even if he did not end the match as captain. There have been numerous cases when a captain was absent from part of the match due to injury or illness and someone else acted as captain for the remainder-perhaps as much as 4 days out of 5.

One such Test was this one in 2009: http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/13604/scorecard/401071/west-indies-vs-bangladesh-1st-test-bangladesh-tour-of-west-indies-2009

The appointed captain Mashrafe Mortaza missed over half the match due to injury, and Shakib al Hasan substituted for him. Admittedly this was a third XI of the West Indies, but this was still a landmark for Bangladesh as it was only their second Test win (and the first away from home). Shakib was the appointed captain for the second Test, which led to Bangladesh gaining their third Test victory as well as their first series win abroad.

Mortaza never captained Bangladesh in a Test again, and thus the tables show him with one Test as captain and a 100% success rate. Similar examples include Shastri and Rahane, though Rahane may again captain India soon if Kohli is absent for the proposed Test against Afghanistan. And one cannot help wondering if India’s Test performance in the late 80s and early 90s would have been better if Shastri had been the regular captain rather than his contemporaries Vengsarkar, Srikkanth and Azharuddin.

There have been captains sacked in the middle of a series (Gatting in 1988 for off-field activities, and Denness in 1975 for generally poor results capped by an alleged wrong decision after winning the toss at Birmingham). He was replaced by Greig who seemed to have done a better job in ensuring three draws in the next three Tests against Lillee and Thomson in their prime. Later, when Greig was firmly in place as captain he lost his position in early 1977 following the advent of World Series Cricket.

The 1988 home series against the West Indies saw England with four captains in five Tests (Gatting, Emburey, Emburey, Chris Cowdrey and Gooch). So did India in the 1958-59 home series against the West Indies although that story is more complicated.

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Review of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Tests in Feb 2018-2

Continuing our review of all Tests between these teams until now.

Fielding:

8 or more dismissals:

Dismissals

The lesser-known P Jayawardene has the most dismissals, most catches by a keeper and most stumpings. The better-known M Jayawardene has the most catches by a fielder. Mushfiqur is catching up.

Innings fielding (4 or more dismissals):

Innings dis

Dickwella equalled the record of 5 during this series. Sangakkara and Soumya have 4 catches as fielders.

Match fielding (5 or more dismissals):

Match dis

P Jayawardene has the record of 7, while M Jayawardene and Soumya have 5 catches as  fielders. Dickwella has the best figures from the current series.

Dismissal rate (minimum 20 innings fielded, all cases):

Dismissal rate

Sangakkara has the highest here, as P Jayawardene did not play enough matches here. Mushfiqur has done almost as well as Sangakkara. Among non-keepers the highest rate is inevitably by M Jayawardene.

All-round performances

Overall-see criteria in table:

AR overall

Shakib is the only all-rounder with respectable figures. Vaas did not play enough in these matches.

Match performances (50 and 5wi):

50 and 5wi

The one-man army Shakib Al Hasan again. His absence in this series must have hurt Bangladesh a lot.

Review of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Tests in Feb 2018-1

With the premature conclusion of the 2nd Test at Mirpur (Dhaka), Sri Lanka won the 2-Test series 1-0. The last series between these teams was less than a year ago when Bangladesh drew 1-1 in Sri Lanka.

20 Tests have been played between these teams. Sri Lanka leads 16-1 with 3 draws.

In Bangladesh, Sri Lanka has played 8 Tests and lead 6-0 with 2 draws.

In Sri Lanka, the 12 Tests have resulted in the hosts leading 10-1 with 1 draw.

Batting records:

Most runs (500 and above):

Runs

Sangakkara has the most centuries (7) followed by M Jayawardene and Ashraful with 5 each. For scores of 50+, Sangakkara again leads with 14, followed by Dilshan (8) and M Jayawardene, Mushfiqur and Samaraweera with 7 each.

Highest individual scores (125 and above):

Innings

Sangakkara scored 319 and 105 in the same Test, becoming only the second (after Gooch) to score a triple century and century in the same Test. In this series we also saw Mominul Haque scoring 176 and 105, becoming the first from Bangladesh to score centuries in both innings of a Test. His 176 was the highest by Bangladesh against Sri Lanka at home, surpassing the 136 by Ashraful in 2006. However Mushfiqur’s 200 at Galle in 2013 remains the highest for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka.

Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings):

Bat avg

Sangakkara has an average more than double that of runner-up Ashraful.

Batting strike rate (Minimum 1000 balls faced):

Batting SR

However, Dilshan and M Jayawardene have the highest strike rates, with Dilshan having a much higher figure than the runner-up.

Bowling figures:

Most wickets (15 and above):

Wkts

Muralitharan leads followed by Herath and then Shakib, with the first two far ahead of the rest. MDK (Dilruwan) Perera and a few other current players also figure on this list.

As you may expect, Muralitharan has the most 10-fors (4) and 5-fors (11). Herath is the only other one with a 10-for.

Best innings bowling ( 5wi and above):

Innings bowling

Note Muralitharan’s dominance here. From the current series we only have Dananjaya who was making his debut.

Best match figures (7wm and above):

Match bowling

Muralitharan dominates this list as well, while Dananjaya has the best match figures by a debutant for Sri Lanka. Taijul’s 8-159 is the best for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka, surpassing the 6-154 by Shakib at Colombo in March 2017. The best for Bangladesh in Bangladesh was 6-204 by Shakib at Chittagong in Dec 2008. His absence in this series seems to have made a lot of difference.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls):

Bowling avg

Muralitharan has the best bowling average, economy rate and strike rate. Herath and Shakib follow at a distance.

To be continued.

 

Test all-round performances of 2017

Overall performance (see criteria below):

AR overall

Nothing out of the way. Moeen Ali and Jason Holder are the best of a weak field.

Ali did however achieve the relatively rare feat of a fifty and 10 wickets in a match. More on that below.

Match performances (Fifty and 5wi):

AR match

The 9 instances include two each by Jadeja and Ali. While Ali and Shakib achieved the 50/10wm double, there were no instances of 100/5wi. But Sikandar Raza’a two 80s and a 5wi may rank among the best all-round performances in a losing cause. Something like a lite version of Vinoo Mankad at Lord’s in 1952.

Review of Australia-Bangladesh Tests

The story of Tests between these countries is simply told:

Full history

Australia have won 5 of the 6 Tests against Bangladesh, 3 of them by an innings. But the last series was drawn 1-1. Bangladesh’s last venture was a 1-1 draw in Sri Lanka.

This series saw Bangladesh’s first Test victory against Australia, and they had a chance of winning the series.

With such a small sample, it is not worthwhile to look at the aggregates and averages. But we can look at innings and match performances.

Highest innings (100 and above):

Innings scores

The highest score here is by a tailender playing as a nightwatchman. It was his only Test century, which came in his last Test.

Lehmann, Steve Waugh and Warner scored 2 centuries. S Nafees is still the only BD player to score a century against Australia. Warner scored centuries in successive innings in this series.

Best innings bowling (including all cases of 5wi or better):

Innings bowling

While MacGill still holds the overall record, Lyon has the three next best performances which were all recorded in the current series. Shakib also recorded two five-fors.

Best match bowling (8wm and above):

Match bowling

Lyon recorded the best match figures for this series with 13-154 in the second Test, besides 9-161 in the first. His 22 wickets is the second highest in a 2-Test series, surpassed only by Herath’s 23 vs Pakistan in 2014. Muralitharan has also taken 22 in 2 Tests. Shakib also recorded the best match figures for BD v Aus.

The best series bowling performances for those playing 2 Tests are given here:

2 Test series

Best innings fielding (3 dismissals):

Innings fielding

The much-maligned Wade appears here.

Best match fielding (4 or more dismissals):

Match fielding

Gilchrist and Wade share the record, with Wade making 3 stumpings. Handscomb has the most (4) by a non-keeper.

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

AR match

Shakib Al Hasan is the only one to record this. It is in fact one of the best all-round performances in all Tests as he scored a fifty (coming close to a hundred) besides two five-fors. Relatively few all-rounders have achieved this:

Fifty plus two fivers

A small series, but with more than its share of points of statistical interest.

Shakib Al Hasan’s all round feat

Bangladesh’s first Test victory against Australia came in their fifth attempt, having lost all four of the previous Tests. Two were in Australia and two were at home.

The main architect of this victory was Shakib Al Hasan with a fine all-round performance, which we will look at in more detail:

While the feat of a century + fiver is well documented, the “converse” of a fifty and ten wickets is not. But it can easily be got from Statsguru.

Fifty and ten wickets in a Test:

50 +10wm

Only 28 such instances in all Tests. The only ones who have done this on more than one occasion are Sir Richard Hadlee (3 times) and now Shakib Al Hasan (twice). Kapil and India’s false knight also make appearances (while R. Ashwin does not). Moeen Ali was the last entry before Shakib.

Kapil and Jadeja are the only ones from India.

If you take the still rarer feat of a fifty and two five-fors:

Fifty plus two fivers

Only 14 instances-including two by Sir Richard and two by Shakib. None from India.

While we are at it, let us take the analogous case of two fifties and one five-for:

2 fifties and fiver

Only 14 instances, including four from India. Mankad, Umrigar and Surti could not save their team from defeat, while B. Kumar’s neglected batting helped in a draw.

No one has achieved this more than once.

No one has scored two fifties AND two five-fors in a Test. From the above we see that the nearest approaches were by Davidson in 1960 (44, 80, 5wi and 6wi) and Vettori in 2008 (55*, 76, 5wi and 4wi).

There have, however been four instances of 100 runs and 10 wickets in a match-in which Shakib figures again:

100 runs and 10 wickets

A landmark win for Bangladesh

Bangladesh has now completed 100 Tests. They marked the 100th Test with their 9th Test victory. Here are the 9 Test victories in chronological order:

BD wins

This can be summarized as:

Won 1-0 at home vs Zimbabwe in 2004-05

Won 2-0 away vs West Indies in 2009

Drew 1-1 away vs Zimbabwe in 2013

Won 3-0 at home vs Zimbabwe in 2014-15

Drew 1-1 at home vs England in 2016-17

Drew 1-1 away vs Sri Lanka in 2016-17

Today’s win was their first Test victory against Sri Lanka (and in Sri Lanka).

At this point we can review the performances of Bangladeshi players in these 9 Test victories.

Runs: 100 and above:

BD batt-overall

Tamim, Shakib and Mushfiqur played in 8 of the 9 wins. They only missed the one in 2004-05. Tamim scored 4 centuries and 2 fifties in these matches, as you can see in the table below.

Highest innings (90 and above):

BD batt-innings

Bowling (5 or more wickets):

BD bowl overall

Shakib far ahead of the others with Taijul as a surprise second, with newcomer Miraz rapidly moving up.

Best innings bowling (5wi and above):

BD bowl innings

The one-Test heroes Taijul and Enamul head the list. Otherwise there is mainly Shakib, but do not forget Mahmudullah’s fiver on debut as well as the emergence of MH Miraz.

Best match bowling (7 or more wickets):

BD bowl-match

Headed by Miraj and Shakib. Shakib scored a century in the same match.

Most fielding dismissals (5 and above):

BD field-overall

Headed by Mushfiqur who kept in all but the 2005 match. Khaled Mashud was the keeper then. Mahmudullah and Mominul have the most catches as non-keepers.

Innings fielding dismissals (3 or more):

BD field-innings

Mainly Mushfiqur, though Soumya Sarkar has the most (4) catches by a non-keeper.

Match fielding dismissals (4 or more):

BD field-match

As above, headed by Mushfiqur for keepers and Soumya for non-keepers.

All-round performance (minimum 250 runs and 5 wickets):

BD AR overall

Shakib followed by Mahmudullah (who was dropped for the current match).

All-round performance in match (fifty and five-for):

BD AR match

Includes M. Rafique, the only all-rounder in the early Tests and two efforts by Shakib. This includes the century and ten wickets at Khulna, which puts him on the same level as Botham and Imran.

You can also see this piece written at the time of the victory over England a few months ago:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/bangladeshs-greatest-test-win/