Century on debut and never again (May 2021)

Scoring a century on Test debut is not as difficult as one may think. As many as 108 players have scored 110 centuries on their Test debut, including LG Rowe and Yasir Hameed who scored centuries in both innings.

There are several who failed to score a century after their debut. The full list (up to 15/05/2021) is given below.

Players can drop off this list (as Fawad Alam did after over 11 years). Some current players (from PP Shaw downwards) can be reasonably expected to score another century sooner or later.

The most Tests played here are 25 by Yasir Hameed and 24 by L Amarnath. The latter was an useful bowler and a relatively better captain (by Indian standards of those days).

The most 50s scored after debut are 8 by Yasir Hameed and 7 by SK Raina. The latter was more successful in limited-overs matches, and was one of the first to score a century in a T20I.

Now we look at those who never crossed 50 after their debut.

Ganteaume played in only one innings. RE Redmond is not here as he scored a century and a fifty in his only Test.

The most Tests played among these players are 12 by van Zyl and 10 by DR Smith.

Fawad Alam (again!) got off this list after over 11 years.

There do not seem to be any current players here.

Records of Zimbabwe-Pakistan Test series-May 2021

Another one-sided series which was a common feature of the last few months.

Here is a full record of Tests between these teams:

Zimbabwe has only won 3 of these Tests. But they have been significant, as the first win in 1994-95 was Zimbabwe’s first win (though they lost the series 2-1). The second in 1998-99 ensured Zimbabwe’s first series win abroad. And the third in 2013 was one of their rare drawn series against a major team.

Highlights of this series: Babar Azam won all 4 of his first 4 Tests as captain.

Abid Ali’s 215* is the highest for Pak v Zim in Zim, surpassing Younis Khan’s 200* in 2013. The Pak v Zim record is still Wasim Akram’s 257* in 1996 at Sheikhupura.

He also became the first to make a score of 215* in a Test. Several others have been dismissed on 215, most recently MA Agarwal and M Labuschagne.

Nauman Ali (97 and 5-86) came close to becoming the first to make a century +5wi for Pakistan against Zimbabwe. PA Strang had already done this for Zim v Pak in 1996.

Fawad Alam now has the most centuries (4) without a score between 50 and 99. The previous “record” was 3 centuries by Ravi Bopara. However, it should be mentioned that ED Weekes made 5 centuries before making his first fifty, and GA Headley went a step ahead with 6 centuries before stooping to a fifty.

The 2020-21 Test season

The season finally got over with Pakistan’s effortless 2-0 win over Zimbabwe.

The ICC Test ranking tables as on 11 May:

https://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/mens/team-rankings/test

It does not include Afghanistan and Ireland because of insufficient matches.

Then there is the table for the WTC Test Championship of 2019-21

https://www.icc-cricket.com/world-test-championship/standings

It is unclear what form the WTC will take in 2021-23 (or, indeed, if it will take place at all). If the restriction of the top 9 teams are taken, it may happen that Afghanistan will replace Bangladesh.

Records of the SL-BD Test series-2021

Sri Lanka won the series 1-0, with the first match being a dull draw. In the second Test, debutant Praveen Jayawickrama recorded the best bowling for SL on debut and also recorded the best bowling for any slow left-armer on debut, surpassing Alf Valentine’s record in 1950.

D Karunaratne’s 244 in the first Test is the best for SL v BD at home. The previous record was 222* by Sangakkara in 2007. However, the highest for SL v BD is 319 also by Sangakkara in 2013-14. He and GA Gooch are the only ones to score a triple century and century in the same Test. It is probably a first-class record as well.

We now look at the final WTC points table, as all the possible fixtures (barring the final) have been completed:

https://www.icc-cricket.com/world-test-championship/standings

Also, the ICC rankings (as distinct from the WTC tables:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/rankings/content/page/211271.html

This covers Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland as well. It is not clear how the 2021-23 WTC will play out, but it is possible that Afghanistan would challenge Bangladesh for the last place.

Praveen Jayawickrama’s records

Debutant left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s Test and series win against Bangladesh, especially as the first Test was played on a batting paradise.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/praveen-jayawickrama-1028665

In the second Test he took 6-92 and 5-86, making a total of 11-178.

This was the best by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut in an innings:

Note that his name appears twice here, for his 6-for as well as 5-for.

And the best match figures by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut:

We see that he is the first Sri Lankan bowler to take 10 wickets on debut.

Now let us see about left-arm spinners on debut:

Jayawickrama has the third-best figures here.

A more surprising result is obtained when we see the match bowling figures if this category on debut:

Here, he has the best match figures of debutants in this category, edging out the famous Alf Valentine’s figures in 1950.

Review of WI-SL Test series-April 2021-Part 1

The series was drawn 0-0. After this series, the overall Test table for matches between these teams was:

It is surprising that the West Indies have not won a single Test in Sri Lanka until now. Sri Lanka have won 2 in the West Indies.

We now look at individual performances:

Batting: 250 runs or more:

The most centuries are 5 by Lara followed with 3 by Sangakkara.

The most fifty-plus scores are 8 each by Sangakkara and Sarwan.

The most runs by a current player is only 479 by Chandimal.

Individual scores of 100 or more:

Again, current players do not have much presence here. The highest score in this series was 126 by Brathwaite, although Karunaratne had scored 186 in a previous series.

Best batting average (Min 15 innings, all cases:)

No current players here. The second position is a little surprising.

Best strike rate (Min 750 balls, 45.00):

No current players here either. The first two places are predictable.

Now for the bowling records:

Most wickets (10 or more):

The most 5-fors are 9 by Muralitharan (who else?), followed by 4 by Vaas.

Muralitharan (3) is the only one with more than one 10-for. Vaas, Herath and Gabriel have one apiece.

And naturally Muralitharan has by far the most wickets, followed by Vaas.

Best innings bowling (includes all cases of 6wi and above):

Nothing from this series, although Gabriel has 8-62 in 2018.

Best match bowling (8wm and above):

Again, the only notable performance by current players was in 2018 when Gabriel had 13-121.

Best bowling average (Minimum 1500 balls):

Roach is the only current player here.

The best bowling averages are by Vaas followed by Muralitharan.

The best economy rates are by Herath followed by Muralitharan

The best strike rates are by Herath followed by Muralitharan.

To be continued.

Dickwella and the elusive century

It is now common to reach various batting landmarks but miss out on making a century.

Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella now has a record 17 fifties without ever making a century.

Most fifties without a Test century:

The record had stood at 16 by Chetan Chauhan for 40 years.

And one can make 3000 runs without a century (though coming close with a 99):

Most runs without a Test century:

Dickwella is in second place to Shane Warne here. Chauhan is the only other one to cross 2000.

If you look carefully, most of the players in the above list are wicket-keepers or all-rounders. Laird, Brearley and Chauhan are among the exceptions.

We can also look at the

Highest batting averages without a century.

Here we consider with a minimum of 20 innings batted.

Here, the leader is the lesser-known Pakistani batsman Asim Kamal (who made 99 on debut). Current players are TD Paine and N Dickwella (again).

Finally, we look at

Highest score 95-99:

Of these, Mitchell Starc and Dickwella may yet make a century. Other current players who have a chance include AC Agar (not a Test regular), Dilruwan (MDK) Perera and DT Tiripano.

Some scored 95-99 on debut but never made a century. They include:

MDK Perera (primarily a bowler).

VH Stollmeyer (96 in his only Test innings)

Abdul Kadir

AC Agar (At no 11). But not considered a Test regular now.

Asim Kamal (one of only 3 debutants with 99s). The other two were AG Chipperfield and RJ Christiani who also had short Test careers but did make a century apiece.

And finally:

The longest wait for a maiden century:

A Kumble (118th of 132 Tests)

C Vaas (97th of 111 Tests)

SM Pollock (51st of 107 Tests)

ADR Campbell (47th of 60 Tests)

High scores on Test debut by Sri Lankan players

Pathum Nissanka became the fourth Sri Lankan player to score a century on debut.

Here is a list of all Sri Lankan players to have scored a 50 or more on Test debut.

Note that several members of the current Sri Lankan team are in this list. Chandimal and Kusal (MDKJ) Perera had scored two fifties on debut, along with Hasuranga (PWH) de Silva, Karunaratne, Dickwella and Dilruwan (MDK) Perera.

Afghanistan-the first 5 Tests

Afghanistan has now played 6 Tests, neatly divided into 3 losses and 3 wins.

Here we compare the performances in the first 5 Tests for all teams (except Ireland who have played only 3 Tests).

(1 point for a win, 0.5 for a draw)

We see that Australia and England have the best performance in their first 5 Tests, followed by Afghanistan, New Zealand and Pakistan.

Australia is the only team to win their first Test, and Zimbabwe the only one to draw their first Test. Zimbabwe in fact drew their first 2 Tests.

Bangladesh and South Africa lost their first 5 Tests in a row.

We now look at individual performances by Afghan players in the 6 Tests played so far.

Most runs (100 and more):

Note the consistency of Asghar Afghan and Rahmat Shah who each made four 50+ scores.

Highest scores (75 and above):

While H Shahidi has the only double century here, others have been more consistent.

Bowling (5 or more wickets overall):

Rashid Khan has more than twice the next (Amir Hamza)

Innings bowling (4 or more wickets):

Note the dominance of Rashid Khan here. He and Amir Hamza are the only ones to have taken 4wi. Hamza’s 5-74 against WI was on debut.

Match bowling (5 or more wickets):

The top three places are by Rashid Khan, and the next two by Amir Hamza. He took 6-79 on debut.

Most dismissals (4 or more):

While wicketkeeper A Zazai has 10 dismissals, I Zadran has the most (6) by a non-keeper.

All-round overall:

Rashid Khan is the only one who can be called an all-rounder.

All-round match (fifty and 5wi):

Here, too, the only standout performer is Rashid Khan. He was captaining his side, and scored a fifty and took over 10 wickets. The only other Test captains who did this are Imran Khan (v Ind 1982-83) and AR Border (v WI 1988-89).


Review of Tests between England and India, 1932-2021: (Part 2):

Hope you have read Part 1.

We now proceed to individual perfomances in bowling.

Most wickets (35 and above):

Current player JM Anderson leads by a large margin, while his partner SCJ Broad is also close to the top. Ashwin and I Sharma are also in the top half.

The most 5wis are 8 by Chandrasekhar and 6 by Ashwin and Botham.

Innings bowling (all instances of 7wi and above):

This includes 7-46 by JK Lever on debut, while Jadeja’s 7-48 in 2016 is the best in recent years.

Match bowling (all instances of 10wm and above):

The only one with 2 10wms is AV Bedser, who achieved this in his first two Tests in 1946.

Botham’s 13-114 marked the first instance of a century and 10+ wickets in the same match.

JK Lever’s 10-70 along with 50 on debut remains the only instance of 10wm plus fifty on debut.

AR Patel’s 11-70 is the only one in the a current series, although Ashwin has better figures from 2016.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls):

The averages are topped by the unexpected Illingworth and JK Lever. Anderson has the best average among current players.

The best economy rates are by Illingworth and Nadkarni.

The best strike rates are by JK Lever and Willis.

Best fielding performances:

Most dismissals (20 and above):

Dhoni has the most dismissals, although Kirmani has the most stumpings and AN Cook the most catches by a non-keeper.

Innings fielding performances (5 and above):

The most dismissals in an innings is 7 by RW Taylor, in the same Test of Botham’s century plus 13w. Yajurvindra Singh has the most by a non-keeper (5) which he made on debut. This remains a share in the world record of 5 catches in an innings, which is now held by several other players including AV Rahane.

Match fielding performances (6 and above):

This record is also held by RW Taylor’s 10 in Botham’s match.

Yajurvidra Singh and KL Rahul have 7 catches by non-keepers, Yajurvindra doing so on debut.

Highest dismissal rates (Minimum 20 innings fielded):

Not surprisingly, this list is headed by RW Taylor and Dhoni. Solkar has the highest by a non-keeper, followed by Dravid.

Bairstow and Buttler represent current players.

Career All-round performance (see criteria below):

Headed by R Ashwin and Kapil Dev. Current players such as MM Ali and BA Stokes are also there.

Match All-Round performance (50 and 5wi):

Includes century +13 wickets (Botham, 1980), century + 5 wickets (Mankad, Ashwin), and fifty + 10 wickets (JK Lever on debut, Jadeja. Also note B Kumar’s 50 + 5wi in successive Tests in 2014.

Review of Tests between England and India, 1932-2021: (Part 1):

The complete summary:

England leads overall 48-29, although in England the lead is 34-7 but in India they trail by 22-14

Looking at individual performances in batting:

Most runs (1000 and over):

We also see that the most centuries are 7 each by Tendulkar, Cook and Dravid. For 50+ scores, the most are 20 each by Tendulkar and Gavaskar followed by 16 each by Cook and Viswanath.

Root and Kohli have the most runs by current players.

Highest individual scores (175 and above):

During this series, JE Root made 218 at Chennai. This is now the highest for England in India, surpassing Gatting’s 207 at the same venue in 1984-85.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, 40.00):

Barrington surprisingly has the highest average, followed by Dravid and Pietersen. Among current players, the highest average of 54+ is by Root and 45+ by Kohli.

To conclude batting, we look at highest strike rates (Minimum 1000 balls faced, 50.00)

Kapil has the highest here, predictably followed by Sehwag and Botham. Among current players we have Buttler (62), Ashwin (57) and Bairstow (53).

To be continued.

Neutral Tests up to 2021

India will play New Zealand in the finals of the World Test Championship. This will be India’s first neutral Test, while Bangladesh is the only other team not to have played a neutral test so far.

Here is a summary of the 45 neutral Tests so far. It is long story, starting in the year of the Titanic.

Batting | Bowling | Fielding | All-round | Partnership | Team | Umpire and referee | Aggregate/overall

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Match results
TeamResultMarginTossBatOppositionGroundStart Date
Australiawoninns & 88 runswon1stSouth AfricaManchester27 May 1912investigate this query
South Africalost10 wicketswon1stAustraliaLord’s15 Jul 1912investigate this query
South Africadrawwon1stAustraliaNottingham5 Aug 1912investigate this query
Sri Lankalostinns & 175 runswon1stPakistanDhaka12 Mar 1999investigate this query
Pakistanwon170 runswon1stWest IndiesSharjah31 Jan 2002investigate this query
West Indieslost244 runswon2ndPakistanSharjah7 Feb 2002investigate this query
Australiawon41 runswon1stPakistanColombo (PSS)3 Oct 2002investigate this query
Pakistanlostinns & 198 runswon1stAustraliaSharjah11 Oct 2002investigate this query
Australiawoninns & 20 runswon1stPakistanSharjah19 Oct 2002investigate this query
Pakistanlost150 runswon2ndAustraliaLord’s13 Jul 2010investigate this query
Australialost3 wicketswon1stPakistanLeeds21 Jul 2010investigate this query
South Africadrawwon1stPakistanDubai (DSC)12 Nov 2010investigate this query
Pakistandrawwon2ndSouth AfricaAbu Dhabi20 Nov 2010investigate this query
Pakistandrawwon2ndSri LankaAbu Dhabi18 Oct 2011investigate this query
Sri Lankalost9 wicketswon1stPakistanDubai (DSC)26 Oct 2011investigate this query
Sri Lankadrawwon1stPakistanSharjah3 Nov 2011investigate this query
Englandlost10 wicketswon1stPakistanDubai (DSC)17 Jan 2012investigate this query
Pakistanwon72 runswon1stEnglandAbu Dhabi25 Jan 2012investigate this query
Pakistanwon71 runswon1stEnglandDubai (DSC)3 Feb 2012investigate this query
South Africalost7 wicketswon1stPakistanAbu Dhabi14 Oct 2013investigate this query
Pakistanlostinns & 92 runswon1stSouth AfricaDubai (DSC)23 Oct 2013investigate this query
Pakistandrawwon2ndSri LankaAbu Dhabi31 Dec 2013investigate this query
Sri Lankawon9 wicketswon2ndPakistanDubai (DSC)8 Jan 2014investigate this query
Sri Lankalost5 wicketswon1stPakistanSharjah16 Jan 2014investigate this query
Pakistanwon221 runswon1stAustraliaDubai (DSC)22 Oct 2014investigate this query
Pakistanwon356 runswon1stAustraliaAbu Dhabi30 Oct 2014investigate this query
Pakistanwon248 runswon1stNew ZealandAbu Dhabi9 Nov 2014investigate this query
New Zealanddrawwon1stPakistanDubai (DSC)17 Nov 2014investigate this query
Pakistanlostinns & 80 runswon1stNew ZealandSharjah26 Nov 2014investigate this query
Pakistandrawwon1stEnglandAbu Dhabi13 Oct 2015investigate this query
Pakistanwon178 runswon1stEnglandDubai (DSC)22 Oct 2015investigate this query
Pakistanwon127 runswon1stEnglandSharjah1 Nov 2015investigate this query
Pakistanwon56 runswon1stWest IndiesDubai (DSC)13 Oct 2016investigate this query
Pakistanwon133 runswon1stWest IndiesAbu Dhabi21 Oct 2016investigate this query
Pakistanlost5 wicketswon1stWest IndiesSharjah30 Oct 2016investigate this query
Sri Lankawon21 runswon1stPakistanAbu Dhabi28 Sep 2017investigate this query
Sri Lankawon68 runswon1stPakistanDubai (DSC)6 Oct 2017investigate this query
Pakistandrawwon1stAustraliaDubai (DSC)7 Oct 2018investigate this query
Pakistanwon373 runswon1stAustraliaAbu Dhabi16 Oct 2018investigate this query
New Zealandwon4 runswon1stPakistanAbu Dhabi16 Nov 2018investigate this query
Pakistanwoninns & 16 runswon1stNew ZealandDubai (DSC)24 Nov 2018investigate this query
New Zealandwon123 runswon1stPakistanAbu Dhabi3 Dec 2018investigate this query
Irelandlost7 wicketswon1stAfghanistanDehradun15 Mar 2019investigate this query
West Indieswon9 wicketswon2ndAfghanistanLucknow27 Nov 2019investigate this query
Afghanistanlost10 wicketswon1stZimbabweAbu Dhabi2 Mar 2021investigate this query