Captains who never won, never lost and never drew their Tests

The last of our survey of performances of Test captains.

Those who never won any Test:

This applies to 4 or more Tests.

The first two are predictably from the earlier Bangladeshi teams, although the number 3 is more surprising. He is followed by a Zimbabwean and a South African. The highest by India is surprisingly Vinoo Mankad with 6. Also note DK Gaekwad (lost all 4) and K Srikkanth (drew all 4).

The highest by a Test player is 42 Tests (23 losses, 19 draws) by B Sutcliffe, who was among the best batsmen from NZ for most of his career. He had captained his team in 4 Tests.

Those who never lost any Test:

This list is for 2 or more Tests.

W Armstrong heads this list with 10 Tests (8 wins and 2 draws) and DB Close and FG Mann both with 7. Current player AM Rahane has the best for India with 5 (4 wins and a draw). He is followed by Srikkanth with 4 draws.

The highest for any player is 21 (12 wins and 9 draws) by India’s RK Chauhan.

Those who never drew any Test:

These are for 4 or more Tests.

Headed by Waqar Younis with 17 (10 wins and 7 losses) and current Zimbabwean captain Brendan Taylor with 16 (a less impressive 3 wins and 13 losses). India’s best (?) is DK Gaekwad with 4 losses. Current South African Q de Kock also has 4. The trio of those with 4 wins out of 4 are also here: Bacher, Babar Azam and Lord Hawke.

The record for all Test players is held by current SA player AK Markram with 24 (14 wins and 10 losses) followed by GA Lohmann with 18 (15 wins and 3 losses).

Test captains with only wins, only losses and only draws

Those who won all the Tests in which they captained:

The record is 4, shared by A Bacher, current player Babar Azam and Lord Hawke of long ago. Three more have two, and the rest were lucky in their only opportunity (e.g. Ravi Shastri and Mashrafe Mortaza). In the latter case Shakib Al Hasan captained for most of the match.

For players who saw victory in all their Tests, the record is 10 by Eldine Baptiste.

Those who lost all the Tests in which they captained:

This is incomplete, but does include all those who captained in 2 or more Tests.

It is perhaps not surprising that the first two positions are by earlier captains of Bangladesh. The 3rd place goes to an Indian captain, who is currently the oldest living Indian Test player. There is also WTS Porterfield who has captained Ireland in all their three Tests. From recent times there is Mohammad Rizwan.

Some well-known players are here, such as AJ Lamb, AR Morris and RS Madugalle.

Players who lost all their Tests are led by Alok Kapali (17).

Those who drew all the Tests in which they captained:

The record is held by the unlikely K Srikkanth. He and Majid Khan were known to be aggressive batsmen.

There are a number of well-known players here including DL Murray, G Kirsten, GA Headley, IDS Smith, RR Lindwall and TW Graveney. India’s HR Adhikari gets credit here as he drew the Test after 3 successive heavy losses. He was the 4th Indian captain in that 5-Test series.

Players who drew all their Tests are CV Gadkari and Shafiq Ahmed (6 each).

Test captains with the most wins, losses and draws

Most wins (15 and above):

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.

Test captains with the best win-loss ratios

Here we have the raw data for all Test captains. Naturally the W/L ration is undefined for those with no losses:

Here we have everyone who captained in 2 or more Tests without a loss.

This list is headed by WW Armstrong of a century ago with 10 Tests including 8 wins and 2 draws, followed by DB Close (7 Tests, 6 wins and a draw).

Those with an all-win record are A Bacher, today’s Babar Azam and Lord Hawke who all captained in 4 Tests.

Also note AM Rahane with 5 Tests, 4 wins and a draw.

However, this list would be more meaningful if it was restricted to those who captained in 10 or more Tests.

Here we get:

As mentioned earlier, WW Armstrong is the only one here with no losses. Next come Jardine, Bradman and Steve Waugh. Waugh has the highest ration for those who captained in 25 or more Tests.

From India, V Kohli is the only one.

Elgar’s unusual record

South Africa’s 3-day rout of West Indies included an obscure record for captain Dean Elgar.

He is one of the few captains who won a Test without scoring a run, taking a wicket or a fielding dismissal. Here is the complete list of captains who achieved this:

Note that Babar Azam did the same earlier this year.

There are some famous names here (including Bradman in his last Test in 1948).

No Indian captain here, although Clive Lloyd did this against India in 1976. That was the Test famous for the bouncer barrage and India being 97 all out with 5 batsmen unable to bat due to various injuries.

Meanwhile, here is the short list of Indian players whose side won a Test without any contribution by them:

Ishant Sharma achieved this earlier in the year. There is also Pujara with one of his rare ducks.

Also note 3 separate players in the test against NZ at Chennai in 1955-56, which is remembered for the long-standing opening record of 413 by Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy.

TAIL PIECE: If you have any connection with Maharashtra, you can create memes about the Elgar Parishad.

Captains in one Test-May 2021

There are as many as 45 Test captains who were captain in exactly one Test:

From this we come to

Captains who won their only Test:

Only 10 of the 40, the most recent being Mashrafe Mortaza. Even in his case, he was injured soon after the match started and Shakib Al Hasan was the effective captain. This was Bangladesh’s first Test win abroad, though it was against what was virtually a 3rd XI of the West Indies.

Shastri is the only such captain from India. Perhaps India’s performance in the late 80s may have been better if he had captained.

CA Smith was playing in his only Test. Later he was better known as a Hollywood actor.

Captains who lost their only Test:

Not surprisingly, the 19 members here are almost twice the number of those who won their only Test. The latest was Ben Stokes, who was substituting for Joe Root.

India has two prominent players in Borde and Pankaj Roy.

DB Carr played only in 2 Tests overall. This loss was India’s first win in any Test, which oddly enough coincided with the death of King George VI. The captain appointed for that series was the equally undistinguished ND Howard who played his only 4 Tests in that series.

AR Richards, JH Anderson and N Betancourt were playing in their only Tests.

Captains who drew their only Test:

The most recent was BA Murphy in 2001. From India there is HR Adhikari. Prominent players here include DL Murray, G Kirsten, RR Lindwall and TW Graveney.

Taberer was playing his only Test.

Test captains compared-all round performance

Records up to May 15, 2021 (after Zim-Pak series).

Overall records (see criteria below):

Imra, Sobers and Pollock lead here. Most would be called genuine all-rounders (during their tenure as captain) except for the last 3.

Kapil and L Amarnath represent India. Shakib and JO Holder are the current players, though they are not likely to captain in future.

Match performances (50 and 5wi):

This is in chronological order.

The only double century (219) here is by the long-forgotten DS Atkinson. That was in the context of a match-saving 7th-wicket partnership of 347 with CC Depeiaza.

There is another 150+ score by Sobers in 1966.

There are several others with a century and 5wi, led by Imran with a century and 11 wickets. Even Border has a fifty and 11 wickets with his occasional bowling. More recently Rashid Khan made a fifty and took 11 wickets for Afghanistan.

Test captains compared-bowling

Continuing the study of how Test captains have performed in the bowling field.

There are relatively few bowlers who have been long-term captains. And several of them could better be classified as all-rounders.

Most wickets-25 and above:

A significant number have taken more than 100 wickets as captain. And most have been all-rounders. The highest number of wickets by a “pure” bowler is 106 by Bedi followed by 85 by Walsh. Kapil did only slightly better with 111.

Holder and Shakib lead among current players.

Most 5wi (2 and above):

As in the first table, Imran leads. Bedi has the most for India (8). Holder (7) and Shakib (4) lead among current players.

Most 10wm (all instances):

Imran and Intikhab are the only ones with more than one 10-for. Bedi and Kapil represent India, with Holder and newcomer Rashid Khan among current players.

Now for Bowling Averages (minimum 2000 balls bowled, all instances):

Fazal Mahmood, who captained in relatively few Tests has the best average followed by Imran.

The best by India is by Bedi and Kapil, with Holder and Shakib again leading among current players.

At the bottom we have some like Hooper and Richards who did not bowl in many of their Tests.

For Economy Rates, the best are 1.68 by TL Goddard and 1.86 by HB Cave.

For Strike Rates, the best are 40.3 by Waqar Younis and 45.6 by Bob Willis

Test captains compared-batting

The first of a series comparing Test captains by their basic skills rather than captaincy.

Data up to May 15, 2021. The ICC XI Test of 2005 is not included.

Most runs (2500 and above):

After all, Graeme Smith has played the most Tests as captain.

Kohli is in 4th position, the best for Indian players as well as current players. Root and SPD Smith are some distance behind, and Gavaskar still further behind.

Most centuries (6 and above):

Graeme Smith again. Kohli is in second place here and will probably overtake him. SPD Smith is next among current players. Gavaskar with 11 is next among Indian players.

Fifty-plus scores (18 and above):

Here is Graeme Smith yet again. Kohli is in 8th position here, which is the highest both for Indian players and current players. Root and Gavaskar are some distance behind.

Highest individual scores (225 and above):

Led by Lara with his world record 400*. Kohli with 254* is the first among Indian players and current players. Williamson (251) and Karunaratne (244) are next among current players. Kohli’s 243 is the second highest for Indian captains.

Highest batting average (Min 20 innings, 50.00):

Bradman’s 101.51 is far ahead of the next, who is SPD Smith with 70.36. Williamson (62.81) and Kohli (58.60) are the next among current captains. Tendulkar and Gavaskar are further down.

Highest strike rates (Min 1000 balls faced, 50.00):

Exact figures for balls faced are lacking for some who played before 2000. However, it should be clear that Kapil Dev would have the highest strike rate.

Shakib Al Hasan has the highest among current players, although he may not captain his side again. Even SPD Smith may come back.

Kohli can be said to have the highest strike rate among undisputed present captains.

Best performances by losing captains-2

Hope that you have read part 1: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/best-performances-by-losing-captains/

We look at other performances by captains in tests lost by their team. We will see that India is well represented here.

Best innings bowling (including all instances of 5wi and above):

Captains losing-innings bowling scores

Kapil is the only captain who has taken more than 7 wickets here. BS Bedi, Imran Khan and Courtney Walsh have multiple appearances. Current players include Shakib Al Hasan (multiple appearances), Graeme Cremer and Jason Holder.

Best match bowling (8wm and above):

Captains losing-match bowling scores

Kapil again heads this, from that same match in 1983. Bedi is the only other one with a 10-for. Current players include Jason Holder and Graeme Cremer.

Best innings fielding (5 dismissals):

Captains losing-innings fielding

Includes a few current players such as Mushfiqur, SPD Smith and Sarfraz. Sammy and Smith are the only non-keepers here.

Best match fielding (6 dismissals):

Captains losing-match fielding

Current player Sarfraz Ahmed tops this list along with AC Gilchrist, while MS Dhoni and SPD Smith also appear. SP Fleming and SPD Smith (twice) are the only non-keepers. Gilchrist was a “regular” stand-in captain.

Best all-round performance (50 and 5wi):

Captains losing-all round

Holder and Shakib from the present, while Imran Khan has two appearances from the same series in 1982. The best performances would by by Imran (July 1982) and Holder.