Oddities: Ben Stokes vs Ireland

After England won their Test against Ireland, we see that their captain Ben Stokes did not bat or bowl during this match. He did take one catch.

Stokes thus became the 5th captain to win a Test without batting or bowling. Now you can see that the other 4 instances involved captains who were wicket-keepers.

Thus Stokes became the first captain to win a Test without batting, bowling or wicket-keeping.

Cumulative Test bowling records (World and India)

Here we look at how the record for the best innings bowling has progressed.

The very first Test in 1877 saw Australia’s TK Kendall taking 7-55 against England.

7-55, TK Kendall, A vs E, Melbourne, 15/03/1877

7-44, FR Spofforth, A vs E, Oval, 28/08/1882

7-28, W Bates, E vs A, Melbourne, 19/01/1883

8-35, GA Lohmann, E vs A, Sydney, 25/02/1887

8-11, J Briggs, E vs SA, Cape Town, 25/03/1889

9-28, GA Lohmann, E vs SA, Johannesburg, 02/03/1896

10-53, JC Laker, E vs A, Manchester, 26/07/1956

In the first 20 years the record changed hands frequently. Then GA Lohmann’s 9-28 became the record for over 60 years. JC Laker’s record has stood for over 66 years.

Next we look at the corresponding Indian records.

India’s first Test had M Nissar taking a 5-for at Lord’s.

5-93, M Nissar, vs E, Lord’s, 25/06/1932

5-90, M Nissar, vs E, Mumbai, 15/12/1933

7-86, L Amar Singh, vs E, Chennai, 10/02/1934

8-55, MH Mankad, vs E, Chennai, 06/02/1952

8-52, MH Mankad, vs P, Delhi, 10/10/1952

9-102, SP Gupte, vs WI, Kanpur, 12/12/1958

9-69, JM Patel, vs A, Kanpur, 19/12/1959

10-74, A Kumble, vs P, Delhi, 04/02/1999.

The current record by Kumble has stood for over 24 years. Before that, JM Patel’s record had stood for over 39 years.

Cumulative records for highest Test innings (India)

Now we look at the cumulative records in Tests for India.

L Amar Singh scored the first 50 for India in their very first Test in 1932. L Amarnath made the first century the following year.

L Amar Singh, 51 vs E, Lord’s, 25/06/1932

L Amarnath, 118 vs E, Mumbai, 15/12/1933

V Merchant, 128 vs E, Oval, 17/08/1946

VS Hazare, 145 vs A, Adelaide, 13/01/1948

VS Hazare, 164* vs E, Delhi, 02/11/1951

MH Mankad, 184 vs E, Lord’s, 19/06/1952

PR Umrigar, 223 vs NA, Hyderabad, 19/11/1955

MH Mankad, 223 vs NZ, Mumbai, 02/12/1955

MH Mankad, 231 vs NZ, Chennai, 06/01/1956

SM Gavaskar, 236* vs WI, Chennai, 24/12/1983

VVS Laxman, 281 vs A, Kolkata, 11/03/2001

V Sehwag, 309 vs P, Multan, 28/03/2004

V Sehwag, 319 vs SA, Chennai, 21/03/2008

Points of interest: See how the record changed hands three times in the 1955-56 season.

Mankad held the record from late 1955 to late 1983, 28 years. The next highest stretch is 19 years by Sehwag from 2004 to the present.

One batsman outscoring two innings of the opponents

In Test cricket, there have been 5 instances where a batsman scored more than the opponent’s totals in two innings. First we look at instances where one innings of the batsman was more than the runs made in two innings by the opposing team.

1. R Abel (120), E v SA (47 & 43), Cape Town, 1888-89

2. L Hutton (364), E v A (201 &123), Oval, 1938

3. DG Bradman (185), A v I (58 & 98), Brisbane, 1947-48

4. Inzamam-ul-Haq (329), P v NZ (73 & 246), Lahore, 2002

5. ML Hayden (119), A v P (59 & 53), Sharjah, 2002-03

One step below, we look at the 4 instances where one batsman’s total in two innings was more than the runs made in two innings by the opposing team.

  1. EH Hendren (169 & 45), E v A (122 & 66), Brisbane, 1928-29
  2. CG Greenidge (134 & 101), WI v E (71 & 126), Manchester, 1976
  3. JL Langer (191 & 97), A v P (197 & 72), Perth, 2004-05
  4. D Karunaratne (158* & 60), SL v SA (126 & 73), Galle, 2018.

Reference: https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/has-any-side-made-more-than-ireland-s-492-in-a-test-and-still-lost-by-an-innings-ask-steven-1372538

Team performance in the first 4 Tests

Ireland has played (and lost) its 4th Test. Here we look at how all the Test teams performed in their first 4 Tests:

Afghanistan LWWL

Australia WLWL

Bangladesh LLLL

England LWLW

India LLDL

Ireland LLLL

New Zealand LDDD

Pakistan LWLD

South Africa LLLL

Sri Lanka LLDL

West Indies LLLD

Zimbabwe DDLL

We see that Bangladesh, South Africa and Ireland each lost all 4 of their first 4 Tests.

The best performances were by Australia and England with 2 wins and 2 losses. Their first 4 Tests were against each other, hence the mirror-image results.

Australia and Zimbabwe are the only teams which did not lose their first Test.

WTC Points Table after league matches (March 2023)

The last of the league matches in the 2021-23 WTC got over on 20th March. Here is the points table:

Note that Australia has a good lead over India, and that South Africa came close to displacing India from second place.

We also see the ICC points table for the same date:

Note that the first 3 positions are the same as in the WTC points table.

So the result of the Australia vs India final may seem to be a foregone conclusion. However, as the Oval is generally considered to be a good batting track, both sides have a chance of winning.

Review of SA-WI Tests (2023)-Part 1

South Africa won the series 2-0, continuing their dominance over the West Indies.

These teams have played 32 Tests. SA leads 22-3 with 7 draws.

In SA, the hosts lead 14-1 with 2 draws.

IN WI, SA lead 8-2 with 5 draws.

However, WI had won the one-off Test which marked SA’s return to Tests in early 1992.

We look at individual records, starting with Batting:

Most runs (750 or more):

Kallis leads by a large margin, while the next two (Lara and S Chanderpaul) have almost the same total. No current player has crossed 750.

Highest innings (150 or more):

Gayle’s 317 is over a hundred more than the second-placed 213.

The only current player here is T Bavuma with 172.

The most centuries were 8 by Kallis, followed by 7 for GC Smith

The most 50+ scores were 20 by Kallis, followed by 13 for S Chanderpaul and Lara.

Highest batting average, minimum 20 innings and 35.00:

de Villiers leads by a large margin. No current player qualifies.

Highest strike rate (Minimum 1000 balls and 45.00):

Gayle is closely followed by GC Smith. No current player here.

To be continued.

Review of England-New Zealand Tests-2023 (Part 2)

Hope you have read Part 1.

Continuing with individual performances in Bowling:

Most wickets (50 or more):

Headed by Sir Richard. He is followed by three current players (Broad, Anderson and Southee) with Boult and Wagner a little further down. Sir Richard also has the most 5-fors (8).

Best innings bowling (including all 7wi or better):

None in recent years.

Best match bowling (including all 10wm or better):

Note the top two by Underwood (and 3 of the top 4 performances).

The only recent one is Leach’s 10-for in 2022.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, 30.00 or better):

Underwood’s average is by far the best. Boult, Anderson and Broad are also seen here.

Underwood has the best bowling average, economy rate and strike rate. In second place are Willis, Illingworth and Caddick respectively.

Now for Fielding:

Most dismissals (25 or more):

Parore and Bob Taylor have the most dismissals. SP Fleming has the most by a non-keeper. TG Evans has the most stumpings. From recent years there are Blundell and Root.

Most innings dismissals (5 or more):

C Read is the only one with 6 dismissals in an innings. There is only Blundell from recent years.

Most match dismissals (6 or more):

Blundell is among the three keepers with 8 catches in a match. Allan Lamb has the most (6) by a fielder

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.700 or better):

Here, Ian Smith has the best average followed by Parore and Watling. Fleming has the most by a fielder. Latham and Root represent current players.

All-round performances:

Overall (see criteria in the table):

Headed by Botham, followed by Hadlee and Cairns at a distance.

Match performance (50 and 5wi):

Many entries here. Of special note are those with a century and 5wi, including Botham (1978 and 1984).

Those with a 50 and 10wm include Greig, Hadlee (1986) and Nash. Nash was the first to achieve this at Lord’s.

Draw with 9 wickets down:

The second Test between Pakistan and New Zealand at Karachi in 2023 ended in an exciting draw, with Pakistan 9 down in the fourth innings and needing to make 15 runs to win.

The scorecard: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/new-zealand-in-pakistan-2022-23-1339576/pakistan-vs-new-zealand-2nd-test-1339610/full-scorecard

The full list of the 25 Tests which were drawn with the 4th innings having 9 wickets down:

Today’s match is 6th on the list of highest 9-down scores in the 4th innings.

India was the first team to achieve this. The last entry here is from 1946, where India ended with 152/9 needing another 126 to win. Bedser took 11 wickets in his 2nd Test, having also done so in his debut in the previous Test.

India also ended up needing only one run to win in 2011 after reaching 242/9. This was R Ashwin’s debut. It is not a tie, but would have been one if the 10th wicket had fallen.

Another exciting finish was in 1963, when England ended with 228/9 needing 6 runs to win. They had got this far because Colin Cowdrey had come out to bat after his arm was fractured.

While today’s match had an exciting finish, there have been many others where the survival skills of No 11 batsmen have been tested for long periods.

Tests in 2022-Bowling records

Continuing with the Test performances of 2022:

Most wickets-20 or more:

Lyon and Rabada both have 47 wickets, with Rabada having a better average.

The most 5wi are 4 by P Jayasuriya and 3 by Lyon. The former made his debut this year.

4 players have taken 10 wm once.

Best innings bowling (including all 6wi or better):

The best performance was MJ Henry’s 7-23. followed by two t-fors by KA Maharaj against Bangldesh. SN Thakur’s 7-for against SA is the best for India. Also note two 6-fors by P Jayasuriya against Australia at Galle on his debut, and Abrar Ahmed’s 7-for against England on his debut.

Best match bowling (Including all 9wm or better):

Led by P Jayasuriya’a 12-177 against Australia on debut, and Abrar Ahmed’s 11-234 also on debut. RA Jadeja’s 9-for is the ebst for India.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls bowled, all instances):

Only three players have bowled enough. NM Lyon has the best bowling average as well as the best economy rate and strike rate.

Tests in 2022-Team records

Here we consider all Tests which were played in 2022:

Here are the Test teams arranged by W/L ratios:

Australia is far ahead of other teams, with England in second place. They are followed by the West Indies and India.

Now we look at the ICC ranking table (updated on 25 Dec 2022):

Here Australia leads again, followed by India, England and South Africa.

This has nothing to do with the World Test Championship which has an entirely different calculation method. This is the position of WTC points on 31 Dec 2022:

Here, India is in second place after Australia. The positions may change after all the matches are played in the beginning of 2023.

To be continued with other statistics connected with batting, bowling etc.

Narrow victories by India in Tests:

By wickets:

1 wkt: v Aus at Mohali, 2010

2 wkts:v Aus at Mumbai (Brabourne), 1964

2 wkts:v Aus at Chennai, 2001

3 wkts:v WI at Chennai, 1979

3 wkts:v Aus at Brisbane, 2021

3 wkts:v BD at Mirpur, 2022

By runs:

13 runs: v Aus at Mumbai (Wankhede). 2004

No other instance for 20 runs or less.

Note that Australia has most often been caught in these results.