Washington Sundar’s good start

At the time of writing, the 1st Test between India and England at Chennai has ended in defeat for the home side. Washington Sundar’s Test batting record is now 62 and 22 followed by 85* and 0, thus making two fifties in his first two Tests.

Not such a big deal, is it? 15 Indian players have made a century on Test debut (although a significant proportion of them never made another century). There are 44 instances of Indian players making at least one fifty on their debut, such as Sundar.

We now look at cases where they scored at least two scores of fifty-plus in their first two Tests. There are only 14 such instances. Let us look more closely at them.

1. Dilawar Hussain (1933-34): 59, 57; 13, 36. He and Gavaskar are the only Indian players to make two 50+ scores on Test debut.

2. DG Phadkar (1947-48): 51, 2; 55*, 13

3. AG Kripal Singh (1955-56): 100*; 63

4. SM Gavaskar (1970-71): 65, 67*; 116, 64* No less than four 50+ scores in his first two Tests. He and Dilawar are the only Indian players to score two fifties on Test debut.

5. J Arun Lal (1982-83): 63,1; 51

6. M Azharuddin (1984-85): 110; 48, 105

7. R Dravid (1996): 95; 84, 8

8. SC Ganguly (1996): 131; 136, 48 These two played their debut and second Tests together.

9. DJ Gandhi (1999-2000): 0, 75; 88, 31*

10. SK Raina (2010): 120; 62, 41*

12. RG Sharma (2013-14): 177; 111* Centuries in his first two innings, but not in the same Test.

12. PP Shaw (2018-19): 134; 70, 33*

13. MA Agarwal (2018-19): 76, 42; 77

14. W Sundar (2020-21): 62, 22; 85*,0

Some, like Dilawar, Arun Lal and Gandhi never scored a Test century.

Of these, only Gavaskar made four 50+ scores in his first two Tests. This is probably a world Test record. No one else from India made three 50+ scores in his first two Tests.

A quick update from Brisbane

As you know, India won the series 2-1 after making 329/7 in the 4th innings (Gill 91, Pujara 56, Pant 89*, Hazlewood 4-55).

India thus won two consecutive Test series against Australia, both times in away series.

This was India’s first win at Brisbane in 7 attempts. Earlier they had lost 5 and drawn only once (in 2003-04).

It was Australia’s first loss at Brisbane since 1988-89. It also ended their streak of 7 successive wins at this venue.

India at Brisbane:

Australia at Brisbane since 1988. After that loss to the West Indies, Australia were unbeaten in 31 Tests across over 32 years, with 24 wins and 7 draws.

Totals in Aus-Ind Tests at Brisbane over the years:

Now we take a closer look at all 4th-innings totals at Brisbane:

While the top score in the 4th innings is 450 by Pakistan in 2016-2017, we can see that:

India’s 329/7 is the highest 4th innings score to win, surpassing Australia’s 236/7 against WI in 1951-52.

The highest score which any visiting team has made to win here was a mere 170/3 by England in 1978-79-and that was against a deplenished Australian team unlike in the present match.

We also look at Aus v Ind Tests at this venue:

Highest individual scores (60+)

Labuschagne made the only century in this Test although Gill and Pant came close.

Toohey (82) and Sundar (62) made the highest scores by Test debutants here.

Best innings bowling (4wi and above):

Siraj and Cummins took fivers in this Test. Also remember that Toshack’s 5-2 in the first Test between these countries has the most economical 5wi in all Tests. WM Clark took 4-46 and 4-101 on Test debut.

And finally

Best match bowling (6wm and above):

Toshack’s 11-31 is the only tenner here. It has the 4th lowest runs conceded in all Tests, surpassed only by Ironmonger’s 11-24, McGrath’s 10-27 and Briggs’s 15-28.

The best match bowling in this Test was 7-155 by the unheralded SN Thakur.