A review of all South Africa-England Tests-Part 2

This continues the earlier post https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/a-review-of-all-south-africa-england-tests-part-1/

We now move on to fielding.

Most dismissals (20 and above):

SA-Eng Fielding

While Boucher leads this list, Mitchell has the most catches by a non-keeper and Evans has the most stumpings. de Villiers and Bairstow are also in this table.

Match fielding: 8 dismissals and above:

SA-Eng match fielding

While Russell holds the record, Bairstow and de Kock also feature here from the present series. The most by a non-keeper is 6 by Vogler long ago.

Innings fielding: 5 dismissals and above

SA-Eng innings fielding

Bairstow equalled the record held by Russell and Prior. Several non-keepers have taken 4 catches.

Best fielding ratio (20 innings, 0.80 and above)

SA-Eng fielding ratio

GC Smith has the best ratio among non-keepers while de Villiers has a double role here.

Finally all-round performance:


SA-ENG all round overall

Broad is the only current player and he just scrapes through. Kallis is near the top.

All-round match performance (fifty and 4wi):

SA-Eng all round match

This includes Hammond on his Test debut in 1927. Sinclair, Faulkner and Bill Edrich seem to have the best performances. The only current player here is Philander who missed this series. Oddly enough Kallis never made a fifty along with 4wi here.



A review of all South Africa-England Tests-Part 1

England’s recent 2-1 victory was a small milestone on the second-oldest Test rivalry which started in 1889 and is only surpassed by the Ashes. The early Tests were often one-sided though SA had a strong set of spinners, though just before the Great War SF Barnes took a record 49 wickets in 4 Tests against South Africa.

South Africa was often more competitive in later years. However, in the 145 Tests between the two countries, England lead South Africa 58-32 with 55 draws. In South Africa, England lead 31-19 with 31 draws in a total of 81 Tests. In England, England lead 27-13 with 24 draws in 64 Tests. There were no Tests between these countries between 1965 and 1994.

We now look at career figures after the recently concluded series. Interestingly, some long-standing records were surpassed or equaled by players on both sides.

Batting: Most runs (1000 and above)

SA-Eng batting

AN Cook is here as he is only 5 short of a thousand. Amla and de Villiers are the only other current players here, while Bruce Mitchell scored the most runs. Kallis has the most centuries (8) while Mitchell has the most 50+ scores (23)

Highest individual scores (175 and above):


Ben Stokes made the highest score (258) for England in South Africa, surpassing the 243 by Eddie Paynter in 1938-39. (That was at Durban, but in the 3rd Test of 1938-39 and not the 5th timeless Test of that series).

It was also the highest score by any No 6 batsman in any Test, surpassing 250 by KD Walters (Aus v NZ) in 1976-77. The previous record for an England No 6 was 178 by GA Hick against India in 1992-93.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings batted), 40 and above:

SA-Eng Bat Avg

Largely dominated by the old-timers, with only Amla, de Villers and Bell among current players.

Now to bowling:

Most wickets (40 and above):

SA-Eng Bowl

Several current players here, headed by Anderson and Morkel.

Best bowling averages (minimum 2000 balls, 25 and below):

SA-Eng Bowl Avg

Barnes inevitably heads this. Verity has the best economy rate with 1.45 and Barnes the best strike rate with 25.5

Best match bowling (12 and more wickets):

SA-Eng match bowling

Kangiso Rabada now has the best match figures of 13-144 for SA v Eng, surpassing the 13-192 by Hugh Tayfield in 1957.

Innings bowling (8 wickets and above):

SA-Eng innings bowling

Dominated by the old-timers, especially Barnes besides some startling returns by Lohmann and Briggs. The only entry from modern times is Devon Malcolm’s 9-57 in 1994.

This is long enough already, so we continue in a second part. See https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/a-review-of-all-south-africa-england-tests-part-2/

ABD and the record books (again)

AB de Villiers is no stranger to the record books for batting in ODIs. See


However, his luck ran out soon after he became South Africa’s captain in the ongoing Test series. He started with 36 and 0 (off 5 balls) in the 3rd test and then a second-ball duck in each innings of the 4th. This might be called a silver pair or queen pair, since the first-ball counterpart is called a golden pair or king pair.

There are relatively few captains who have scored pairs:

Captain with pair

This list includes some famous names like VS Hazare, FMM Worrell and R Benaud amongst others. AB de Villiers is 21st on this list (besides being the second South African after LJ Tancred in the 1912 tri-series).

The above table could be easily pulled out of Statsguru. Getting a list of those who have made a “queen pair” is not so straightforward, but you can see the results below. I have made sure that everyone on this list was dismissed second ball for zero in both innings, according to the Cricinfo records. This may not be a complete list as a number of matches before 2000 do not have full records of balls faced in an innings. Anyway:

Queen Pair

AB de Villiers is not the first captain on this list as tailender BS Bedi suffered this indignity in 1976-77. GD McGrath is the only one to appear here twice, and that too in successive Tests. Other points of interest are mentioned in the “Remarks” column.

Although most of the players listed above were tailenders, the exceptions include OG Smith, Mudassar Nazar and de Villiers.

Update: As on 09 Jul 2017 there were two more instances of queen pairs:

17 Babar Azam, Pak v WI, Bridgetown, 30/04/2017

18 LA Dawson, Eng v SA, Lord’s, 06/07/2017

More on the topic of zeroes and pairs can be seen in this earlier post:


The strange case of Hardus Viljoen

The South African cricketer had a good Test debut, hitting his first ball for a four and then taking a wicket (of the opposing captain AN Cook) off his first ball. He ended up with a relatively modest return, as you can see from the scorecard:


Apparently he is only the second achieve this double on debut. The first was M Henderson of New Zealand, in his county’s first ever Test:


That match is more remembered for MJC Allom’s hat-trick (and 4 in 5) on debut. And Henderson never played in a Test again.

Coming back to Hardus Viljoen, he may well avoid Henderson’s fate and play in more Tests. But there is something odd about him.

Those who compile cricketing records like everything to be black and white, with every run scored and ball bowled being accounted for. But what if even a person’s name is uncertain? That happens often enough in parts of South Asia where a person may have a given name, a middle name, a surname and perhaps several other names. Now we have a mystery from South Africa.

Starting with this Wikipedia article:


His name is listed as Gerhardus C Viljoen, with Hardus apparently being a contraction or nickname. But what does the C stand for?

The Wikipedia article has links to two of the major databases:


which gives his full name as GC Viljoen



which states that “GC is his name, not his initials”

Of course, there are a number of people who have initials which do not mean anything-including an US president, no less.

This is the relevant bit about Harry S Truman’s middle name:

“Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884, in Lamar, Missouri, the oldest child of John Anderson Truman (1851–1914) and Martha Ellen Young Truman (1852–1947). His parents chose the name Harry after his mother’s brother, Harrison “Harry” Young (1846–1916). They chose “S” as his middle initial to please both of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young. The “S” did not stand for anything, a common practice among the Scots-Irish.

This is perhaps the most famous picture of President Truman, after the 1948 elections:


Here are a few more people who have initials which do not stand for anything:


Even the fans of MAD magazine would not know Alfred E. Neuman’s middle name.


Review of India-South Africa Tests

After India concluded its 3-0 victory with a record 337-run win, a total of 33 Tests have been played between the two countries. Overall, South Africa leads 13-10 with 10 draws.

In India, India leads 8-5 with 3 draws, while in South Africa the hosts lead 8-2 with 7 draws. India had earlier won 2-1 in 1996-97 and 1-0 in 2004-05 but are yet to win a series in SA. The best they managed was 1-1 in 2010-11.

We now look at statistics for all Tests between these two countries.


Most runs (500 and more):

I v SA most runs

Fittingly, Tendulkar and Kallis scored almost the same number of runs, the most centuries (7 each) and even the most scores above 50 (12 each).

Highest individual scores (150 and more):

I v SA indiv scores

However, it is Sehwag and Amla who have the highest individual scores.

Highest averages (minimum 20 innings batted):

I v SA best avg

Kallis is far ahead of everyone else. You can also see that Sehwag has the highest strike rate.


Most wickets (20 and above):

I v SA bowling

Kumble and Steyn have the most wickets for their countries and these records should stand for a long time. Steyn has the most fivers (5) while several have taken one tenner each. And SA seemed to be Sreesanth’s favourite opponents.

Best innings bowling (6 or more wickets):

I v SA innings bowling

The record stands with Klusener who achieved this on debut. These remained his career-best innings figures, and he was considered more as a batting all-rounder for most of his career. Ashwin took over the Indian record from Harbhajan during this series.

Best match bowling (8 or more wickets):

I v SA match bowling

Here, too, Ashwin took over the Indian record in this series. But Donald’s figures from the first series remain the SA record.

We now look at

Bowling averages (minimum 2000 balls bowled):

I v SA bowling avg

Kallis is not in this list as he did not bowl enough against India. Donald and Pollock lead the averages. Pollock also has the best economy rate (2.26) and Steyn the best strike rate (41.5). We might expect Ashwin and Jadeja to be high on these lists once they have bowled enough to qualify.


Most dismissals (15 and more):

I v SA fielding dismissals

Boucher has the most dismissals, while Kallis has the most among the non-keepers. Also note de Villiers’s double act as a keeper and fielder.

Best dismissal ratio (for 20 or more innings fielded):

I v SA fielding ratio

Boucher and Dhoni lead the table, while GC Smith leads the non-keepers though “hybrid” de Villiers is above him.

All-round performance (overall):

I v SA allround

With these criteria Kallis does not qualify due to less bowling, so Pollock heads the list.

All-round performance (match)-minimum 50 runs and 5 wickets.

I v SA match allround

Oddly enough Kallis does not figure here either. Probably Boje and Philander have the best match performances.

India is not playing Tests for a while, but the cricket statisticians hardly get to rest.



ODIs between India and South Africa in India-a review

After the one-sided decider at Mumbai, the record of ODIs between India and South Africa stands as:

Total ODIs: 76: SA lead 45-28 with 3 no result

In India:  28:     SA trail 13-15

In SA:     28:     SA lead 21-5 with 2 NR

Neutral:  20:     SA lead 11-8 with 1 NR

We now concentrate on the matches played in India including the just-concluded series.

Batting: All those who have scored 250 or more runs:

Total runs

Tendulkar is far ahead although ABD shows signs of catching up in the next series.

Highest individual scores:

Here we have everyone who has scored centuries:


Tendulkar still leads with the first-ever ODI double century. RG Sharma and Kohli are next, while du Plessis just failed to cross GC Smith’s record of 134* for SA. You can see that ABD’s strike rate in his last century is by far the highest among these centuries, 195 while he also has the second and third highest strike rates with 172 and 142 respectively. He has the most centuries (5).

Looking at career averages and strike rates (for those who have batted in at least 10 innings):

Batting avg-SR

Kallis and ABD have the highest averages. ABD inevitably has the highest strike rate followed by Dhoni.

Now for bowling:


Kumble has the most wickets followed closely by Donald and Steyn (who might not play too many more ODIs in India). Rabada may well rise rapidly on this table.

Best innings bowling:


Oddly enough the record performance occurred in the first series in 1991-92. M Morkel and Rabada recorded 4-wicket hauls in this series.

Now for bowling averages and other parameters, with a minimum of 500 balls bowled.


Kumble has the best bowling average and economy rate, while Steyn has the best strike rate (as well as the worst economy) in this table.



Boucher leads Dhoni, although Dhoni has the most stumpings. Azharuddin and Cronje have the most catches by non-keepers.

Dismissals in an innings:


Boucher has the most dismissals (5) followed by Dhoni and the lesser-known SS Dighe with 4. Azharuddin, Kohli and DA Miller have each taken 3 catches as non-keepers.

Dismissals per innings (for a minimum of 10 innings):


Boucher again leads Dhoni, while Azharuddin and Cronje have the best rate among non-keepers.

All-round performances:


Even if we reduce the qualification to 5 innings and 250 runs, only Tendulkar makes the cut with the help of  his little-used bowling.

For match bowling (minimum 30 runs and 3 wickets) we get:


Clearly Kallis has the best performance here followed by Klusener, while IK Pathan has the best for India.

T-20 International matches between India and South Africa

With the third match at Kolkata completely washed out, South Africa won the series 2-0 with no draw. Thus concluded the only bilateral series (and the only T20Is) between India and South Africa in India.

A total of 10  T20Is (where play got started) have been played between India and South Africa, with India still having a slight edge at 6-4.

Not much by way of statistics for these 10 matches, so they won’t take much time to go through.



Rohit Sharma, Raina and de Villiers have scored the most runs. Dhoni has played in all 10 matches between these teams, though Raina and de Villiers have only missed one apiece.


Rohit Sharma and Raina have scored the only centuries, 106 and 101 respectively. Sharma’s century came in a losing cause in this series. Raina is one of the few international players to have centuries in all 3 formats. Ingram’s 78 is the best for South Africa.

Here we take those who batted in at least 5 innings:


Duminy and Sharma have the highest averages, while Kohli, Raina and Albie Morkel have the highest strike rates.

Now to bowling:


Ashwin has the most wickets (10) while the best for SA is 4 by Botha and Albie Morkel.


RP Singh has the best innings figures of 4/13 which came in the 2007 World cup. Albie Morkel’s 3/12 in this series is the best for SA.

Considering those who bowled in at least 5 innings:


It is easy to see that Ashwin has the best average and strike rate while Harbhajan has the best economy.

Now to fielding:


de Villiers and Sharma have the most dismissals with 8 and 7 respectively. Boucher and Dhoni (3) have the most for keepers.

It can also be seen that several players have taken 3 dismissals in an innings.

For those who fielded in at least 5 innings:


de Villiers and Sharma have by far the highest rate of dismissals per innings, while Dhoni has the highest rate for pure keepers.


No one has reached the modest overall target of 100 runs and 5 wickets.

The best match performance is this modest effort of


in the 2012 world cup.