Highlights of the 3rd SA-Eng Test

The 3rd Test of the South Africa-England series ended in an innings victory for England. They lead 2-1 with one to go. A number of statistical landmarks occurred in this match.

First, you can see the scorecard:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19430/scorecard/1185306/south-africa-vs-england-3rd-test-icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021

Newcomer Oliver Pope was Player of the Match. He became one of the few to score a century and take 6 or more catches as a non-keeper:

Ollie Pope all-round

You can see that Hayden’s and Kallis’s performances were the best here.

Also see what Ben Stokes did in the previous Test (100 runs/3 wickets/6 catches):

Stokes all-round match

Joe Root had never taken more than 2 wickets in an innings until this Test. He did improve upon this, but suffered the indignity of conceding the most runs in an over. He got a share in this  negative record:

Most runs off an over

His best innings bowling analysis “improved” from 2-9 to 4-87.

Dane Paterson scored 39* at No 11 on debut, which is the fourth highest such score:

Dane Paterson debut

The previous highest by a South African No 11 on debut was 22* by PW Sherwell back in January 1906. Unlike in this Test, this score helped SA to win by one wicket. Sherwell was captaining AND keeping on his debut.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17651/scorecard/62483/south-africa-vs-england-1st-test-england-tour-of-south-africa-1905-06

This last-wicket partnership of 99 is the second highest for SA vs Eng:

SA v Eng last wicket

Preview: Zimbabwe-Sri Lanka Test series

Zimbabwe hosts Sri Lanka in a two-Test series:

1) 19th Jan at Harare

2) 27th Jan at Harare

A current preview:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19724/preview/1212541/zimbabwe-vs-sri-lanka-1st-test-sri-lanka-in-zimbabwe-2019-20

Interestingly, on 19th Jan three international matches all commence at 13.30 IST.

This Test will have far less viewer interest than the India-Australia ODI at Bengaluru and the ongonig SA-England Test at Port Elizabeth.

One should also note that Zimbabwe has not yet won a Test against Sri Lanka in 18 attempts. Their record includes 13 losses and 5 draws-and 3 of these draws were back in 1994.

But they came close to winning the last Test in 2017.

Here is something which I wrote at that time:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/tests-between-sri-lanka-and-zimbabwe/

Test matches of 2019: All-round performance

Finally we look at all-round performances. For overall performances we have this (see the criteria):

AR overall

Even by these modest standards we only get two who meet the criteria of all-rounders. Jadeja has clearly done better than Stokes, although the latter is more likely to make an impact.

Then we have

Match performances: Fifty and fiver in the same match:

AR match

Here we have two contrasting performances. While Chase was largely responsible for an unexpected WI win, Rashid Khan’s criteria was the best all-round performance from Afghanistan in a Test. He was also the captain.

R.I.P. Bapu Nadkarni

Rameshchandra Gangaram “Bapu” Nadkarni was one of the legendary figures of the bad old days of pre-1971 Indian Test cricket, as he played from 1955 to 1968. His last Test was the 4th  of the long-forgotten Indian tour of New Zealand which the visitors won 3-1. That was the first time India ever won a Test outside India, and naturally the first series win as well.

Typically, he signed off with 2-1-1-1, an economy of 0.50 while Prasanna and Bedi (with a little help from Surti) dismissed the home team for 101 facing 374.

He could be described as one of the most economical bowlers in Test history, as you can see here. He is 4th on the all-time list, after Attewell, Gladwin and TL Goddard.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283265.html

And the famous 32-27-5-0 at Chennai with an economy rate of 0.156 is here too:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283292.html

While that is first on the all-term economy list, he also has the 3rd position of 14-11-3-0 (0.214) which was also in that yawn-inducing series of 1963-64.

He was also good enough batsman to score a century and 7 other fifty-plus scores in Tests.

Anyway, this should give you a fair idea of his career.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/31760.html

As an afterthought, let us look how he compares with other left-arm spinners:

Left-arm spinners (minimum 2000 balls):

Ranked by economy rate (less than 2.25):

Nadkarni career bowling

No prize for guessing who tops this list. Also note that Mankad, Bedi, Doshi and Raju are in the bottom half of the table.

And Nadkarni has one more record-the first Test player to die in the 2020s.

 

 

 

 

Test matches of 2019-Fielding

Individual performances in fielding:

Most dismissals (12 or more):

Fielding dismissals

Australian captain Paine leads by a large margin over the next, de Kock.

The best by a non-keeper was 25 by Root, England’s captain.

M Rizwan took over as Pakistan’s keeper from former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Buttler and Hope played some (but not all) of their matches as keepers.

The most stumpings were 4 by JL Bairstow.

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

Innings dismissals-4

de Kock is the only one with 5 dismissals.

Klaasen took 4 dismissals on debut. Other new faces here are RR Pant and Mohammad Rizwan.

Root, Warner and SPD Smith took 4 catches apiece as non-keepers.

Most match dismissals (6 or more):

Match dismissals-6

Sarfaraz Ahmed took 10 dismissals before he lost his captaincy as well as his place in the team. Paine and de Kock were next with 8. New faces here include GC Wilson, RR Pant and Mohammad Rizwan.

Warner and SPD Smith took 6 catches as non-keepers.

Best dismissal rate (Min 15 innings, 0.5):

Dismissal rate 0.5

Paine has by far the best dismissal rate (2.521), followed by Watling.

The best by a non-keeper is 1.312 by SPD Smith.

Test matches of 2019-Batting

We now look at individual batting performances.

Most runs (500 or more):

Runs-500

The top scorer here is M Labuschagne who had made his debut in 2018 with little impact, but he soon showed his class. The returning SPD Smith came second, while his former deputy Warner did not fare so well.

Others in this list who had made their Test debuts in 2018 or 2019 are RJ Burns, MA Agarwal, TM Head and JL Denly.

Several players made 3 centuries. Labuschagne had the most 50+ scores (10) and the next highest was 7.

Labuschagne scored the most 4s (129) while RG Sharma scored the most 6s (20).

Highest innings (125 or more):

Bat inngs-125

One triple by Warner and 6 doubles, including 2 by newcomer Agarwal and one by the rejuvenated RG Sharma. Labuschagne’s highest was 185, but he made a double at the beginning of 2020. The longest innings was 473 balls in Watling’s 205.

Sharma and Smith made centuries in each innings:

Cent in both innings

Sharma’s 13 6s in the match is a new Test record. The previous record was 12 by Wasim Akram in a single innings:

Most 6s in match-all time

Highest batting averages (Min 15 innings, all instances):

Bat avg

Labuschagne yet again, with Head and Warner following at a distance.

There are even a couple of single-digit averages by tailenders. This seems to show that Broad’s batting is now negligible.

Highest batting strike rates (Minimum 750 balls faced, all instances):

Batting SR

de Kock leads by a distance over Babar Azam, who also has a large lead over R Taylor. And Watling showed that a low overall strike rate does not prevent one from scoring a double century.

 

 

Test matches of 2019-General summary

The summary of all the Tests played in the calendar year 2019. Here the teams are ranked by win/loss ratio. India is at the top with 7 wins and no losses, while Ireland and Bangladesh lost all their matches. Australia and Afghanistan (!) are next to India. Zimbabwe did not play any Test in this year, though they will resume in January 2020.

WL ratios

The ICC ranking tables at the end of the year are more meaningful:

ICC rankings

A more realistic assessment, with Afghanistan overtaking Zimbabwe besides Ireland.

According to this, New Zealand is India’s closest rival with South Africa, England and Australia in joint third position (though they are actually separated by small fractions).

Then there is the new contest, the World Test Championship. Not all Test countries are involved. Even among the 9 countries involved, not all Test series are counted. An example is the 2-Test tour of England to New Zealand. This was the WTC points table at the end of the year:

WTC champ

It is still at an early stage, but it does seem that the other teams will not find it easy to catch up with India and Australia. By the middle of January, Australia had moved up to 296 and England to 86.