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):
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
Finally, we look at centuries in the fourth innings:
It is clearly more difficult to make a century in the fourth innings than the other innings. The most centuries here is by Younis Khan (5), while 4 others have scored 4 each (GC Smith, RR Sarwan, RT Ponting and SM Gavaskar).
Among current players there are KS Williamson (3), AK Markram, BA Stokes and several others with 2.
Among Indian players, there are Gavaskar (4) and Tendulkar (3).
Those who loved the fourth innings:
W Watson (Eng) made both his centuries in the fourth innings.
No one else has scored 2 or more centuries in the fourth innings and none in other innings.
The next best is 2 out of 4 by JB Stollmeyer.
Those who hated the fourth innings:
There is a long list of prominent batsmen who scored many centuries but none in the fourth innings.
This is headed by SR Waugh (Aus) with 37 centuries. Next are SPD Smith (Aus) with 32, M Yousuf (Pak) with 24, JE Root and V Sehwag with 23.
It is just possible that Smith and Root will score a century in the fourth innings in the future. Or Smith may cross Waugh’s record of 37.
The first surprise here is that Bradman does not appear. Perhaps he did not bat enough in the third innings.
The leading batsman PBH May is a bit of a surprise. He is followed by JH Kallis and DCS Compton.
No current player appears in the top 10. The only players from recent times are K Sangakkara who retired in 2015 and HM Amla (2017). Batting in the third innings must have become more difficult in recent times.
From India there are M Amarnath and VVS Laxman.
Now for the fourth innings:
The cutoff here is 40.00.
Headed by Boycott, Gavaskar and Hobbs.
Current players here are KS Williamson (at 7), Kohli (at 8) besides recent player Younis Khan (at 9).
Other current players include AD Mathews (has he retired from Tests?), DA Warner, DM Bravo, Shakib Al Hasan, Asad Shafiq and R Taylor.
From India there are Gavaskar and Kohli in the top 10, followed by Dravid and Laxman.
It would seem that recent players have coped better with the fourth innings than with the third innings.
Another interesting topic to study would be the batters and bowlers who have done best in the fourth innings.
GC Smith has the most Tests, so it is not surprising that he has the most wins (53) Next are Ponting (47) and S Waugh (41). One can see (from the last column) that S Waugh, Bradman and Ponting have the highest win percentage.
The most wins by Indian captains are 36 (Kohli, 5th overall), 27 by Dhoni (10th ) and 21 by Ganguly (19th).
Current captains here are Kohli (36), Root (26), and Williamson (22).
Most losses (13 and above):
GC Smith again heads this list, closely followed by SP Fleming and Lara who led relatively weak teams.
The highest by Indian captains are 19 by Pataudi (11th overall), 18 by Dhoni (12th) and 15 by Kohli (19th). Also 14 by Azharuddin and 13 by Ganguly.
Current captains here are Root (19), Kohli (15) and BRM Taylor (13).
Most draws (13 and above):
Headed by Border (39), Gavaskar (30) and GC Smith (27).
For India the highest are 30 by Gavaskar (2nd overall), 23 by Kapil (8th) and 19 by Azharuddin (11th). Also 15 by Ganguly.
No current captains here. The most recent is AN Cook (13) who finished his term of captaincy in 2016.
At the time of writing, the 1st Test between India and England at Chennai has ended in defeat for the home side. Washington Sundar’s Test batting record is now 62 and 22 followed by 85* and 0, thus making two fifties in his first two Tests.
Not such a big deal, is it? 15 Indian players have made a century on Test debut (although a significant proportion of them never made another century). There are 44 instances of Indian players making at least one fifty on their debut, such as Sundar.
We now look at cases where they scored at least two scores of fifty-plus in their first two Tests. There are only 14 such instances. Let us look more closely at them.
1. Dilawar Hussain (1933-34): 59, 57; 13, 36. He and Gavaskar are the only Indian players to make two 50+ scores on Test debut.
2. DG Phadkar (1947-48): 51, 2; 55*, 13
3. AG Kripal Singh (1955-56): 100*; 63
4. SM Gavaskar (1970-71): 65, 67*; 116, 64* No less than four 50+ scores in his first two Tests. He and Dilawar are the only Indian players to score two fifties on Test debut.
5. J Arun Lal (1982-83): 63,1; 51
6. M Azharuddin (1984-85): 110; 48, 105
7. R Dravid (1996): 95; 84, 8
8. SC Ganguly (1996): 131; 136, 48 These two played their debut and second Tests together.
9. DJ Gandhi (1999-2000): 0, 75; 88, 31*
10. SK Raina (2010): 120; 62, 41*
12. RG Sharma (2013-14): 177; 111* Centuries in his first two innings, but not in the same Test.
12. PP Shaw (2018-19): 134; 70, 33*
13. MA Agarwal (2018-19): 76, 42; 77
14. W Sundar (2020-21): 62, 22; 85*,0
Some, like Dilawar, Arun Lal and Gandhi never scored a Test century.
Of these, only Gavaskar made four 50+ scores in his first two Tests. This is probably a world Test record. No one else from India made three 50+ scores in his first two Tests.
Finally we look at captains with the most wins, most losses and most draws.
Most wins (14 and more):
Here, and in the rest of the post, we will see that the toppers will generally be those who captained in the most Tests. GC Smith with 53 wins had captained in the most Tests (108). RT Ponting is next with 47 wins.
Among current players, V Kohli has the most wins (33). That is also the most by an Indian captain.
Most losses (12 and more):
Unsurprisingly, it is also headed by GC Smith with 28 losses. Next is SP Fleming with 27.
Among current captains, JO Holder has the most losses (19). For India, MAK Pataudi leads with 19.
Most draws (12 and more):
For a change, this is headed by another captain AR Border with 39 draws (including 1 tie). Next is SM Gavaskar with 30. He was well known for his defensive captaincy. Like Border, he had a weak Test team most of the time. GC Smith is third with 27.
Among recent captains, AN Cook leads with 13 draws.
These are those who have made centuries in both innings as an opener:
The only other Indian player here is Gavaskar (on 3 occasions). Others with multiple appearances are Warner (3) and Hayden and Sutcliffe with 2. Some well-known openers such as Graeme Smith, Fredericks, Boycott and Hutton did not achieve this mark.
No one achieved this feat on his Test debut, as Rohit became an opener after playing several Tests in the middle order. Wasti did so in his second Test, although he had opened in the second innings of his debut.
We also look at those who scored 300 runs in a match while opening. These are in order of runs scored. Some made their 300 in one innings:
Rohit is 19th on this list and 4th for India, with Gavaskar leading and followed by two instances by Sehwag. Others with two instances are Hayden and Gayle.
While LG Rowe scored 214 and 100* on debut, he was not an opener in that match. He later scored 302 as an opener.
Another curiosity is Sutcliffe and Rohit having the same combination of 176 and 127.
Here we look at those who scored centuries as opener for India. This is up to Nov 01, 2019:
Note that Rohit and Mayank Agarwal are side by side. Since Nov 1, the latter has moved ahead of Rohit as he now has 3 centuries AND three fifties.
Interestingly, Gavaskar and Sehwag have almost the same batting average.
Finally, we look at batting averages for all openers with 20+ innings and average of 45.00 and above. This is up to Nov 01, 2019 and does not include the ICC XI Test of 2005:
We see a rather close bunching just above an average of 50.00, with Gavaskar, Hayden, Sehwag, WA Brown and EAB Rowan.
Rohit Sharma’s 176 and 127 marks the 86th occasion of two centuries in an innings in all Tests. He is the 70th batsman to achieve this, as several have done so on 2 or 3 occasions.
Among Indian players we have him as the 6th player on the 9th occasion:
Among those who opened in both innings, he is the 24th to do so on the 30th occasion.
He became the first to score a century in both innings while opening for the first time.
We know that the only two to score centuries in both innings on debut are Lawrence Rowe and Yasir Hameed. They both batted at No 3.
CG Greenidge had a near miss with 93 and 107 on debut vs Ind at Bengaluru on 22/11/1974 where he opened. Similarly for AJ Strauss with 112 and 83 on debut vs NZ at Lord’s on 20/05/2004. Then there was Wajahatullah Wasti who scored 133 and 121* while opening in his second Test, though he had opened in the second innings of his debut Test.
Rohit Sharma had scored 177 on debut vs WI at Kolkata on 06/11/2013 and 111* in his next innings in his 2nd Test. He batted at No 6 in those innings.
He scored 13 sixes in this match (6 +7). This is a record in all Tests, surpassing the record set by Wasim Akram.
The previous record for India was 8 by NS Sidhu in his 124 vs SL at Lucknow on 18/01/1994.
Finally, this was the 58th instance of scoring over 300 in a Test match. The 8 Indians who have achieved this on 9 occasions are: