Summary of Test matches in 2021: Overall summary: Part 1

Here we look at the performance of teams in the calendar year 2021:

There are various ways of ranking. We start with this one, which is transparent in calculation and where data is correct as on 31 Dec.

Ranked by win-loss ratio:

Pakistan is first, followed by Australia and New Zealand tied for second. Next is India, with Bangladesh predictably at the bottom with Zimbabwe just above.

A more sophisticated method is the ICC ranking table. See this live link:

When I checked this on Jan 1, 2022 it had been updated only up to Dec 8, 2021.

Here the rankings were:

  1. India (124)
  2. New Zealand (121)
  3. Australia (108)
  4. England (107)

Here the rankings take into account a period of more than 1 year.

Zimbabwe is at the bottom and Bangladesh just above it.

It is difficult to say what the latest rankings would be.

And finally, the points table for the World Test Championship (2021-23):

The live link:

On Jan 1, 2022 the ranks (according to percentage of points) were listed as:

  1. Australia and Sri Lanka (100)
  2. Pakistan (75)
  3. India (64.28)

Of course, these can change considerably before the final is held in mid-2023.

Analyzing Test captaincies – 3

Now we look at the ranking of captains by simple criteria such as win-loss ratios and win percentage.

Win-loss ratios (raw):

All of those listed here have a win-loss ratio of infinity-since they never lost a Test. A few like Srikkanth and Majid Khan managed to draw all their Tests.

As this table is not very meaningful, we repeat this with a restriction of a minimum of 10 Tests:

These are limited to those with W/L ratios above 2.00

This list of 31 is headed by Warwick Armstrong with 8 wins, no losses and 2 draws. Others have lost at least one Test. The first few are generally considered to be among the best captains although they had relatively short careers. And not everyone would agree with Jardine’s tactics.

Current captains are Kohli (#16) and Williamson (#25). They should be around for a while.

Also note that these two are the only representatives of India and New Zealand respectively among the top 31 (who have W/L ratio above 2.00)

West Indies is headed by Richards and Lloyd (as you may expect). Pakistan is headed by Zaheer Abbas (whom you would not expect). Similarly SM Pollock is the top SA captain here (though there is also A Bacher with 4 wins in 4 Tests).

From the upper table, special mention should be made of DB Close (6 wins and 1 draw in 7 Tests).

We also look at

Percentage of wins (raw):

Somewhat meaningful, although those with short careers (A Bacher and Lord Hawke) have an advantage with 4 wins out of 4. The latter was a poor batsman but somehow managed to win 4 Tests and played in one other victory, thus seeing victory in all his 5 Tests.

Bacher did not do too well himself but had a good team and a demoralized Australian team to contend with.

As in the case of W/L ratios, we will get more useful results with a restriction of a minimum of 10 Tests:

This list of 28 is of those with a win percentage of a minimum of 50%.

This may fit in better with general perceptions, though Warwick Armstrong is still at the top with 80%. Here Steve Waugh is above Bradman unlike in the upper table. Others like Kohli and Williamson are ranked higher than in the upper table.

Kohli, Williamson, Paine, Root and du Plessis are the current captains although the last-named intends to step down. And SPD Smith may make a comeback.

It is interesting to see the most successful captains from their countries:

WW Armstrong (Aus)

WG Grace (Eng) ?!

V Kohli (Ind)

FMM Worrell (WI)

Waqar Younis (Pak) ?!

KS Williamson (NZ)

SM Pollock (SA)

Note that Waqar Younis has 10 wins, 7 losses and no draws. This is also a record, which we will see later.

CH Lloyd is not here as his win % is less than 50.

There are still more studies of captaincy coming up.