Monday, November 26, 2007

Statistical Highlights, Delhi Test

· India went into this Test with only two specialist pacers (Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel). While the strategy of playing with two pacers seems to be a defensive one, it has paid rich dividends for India at least in recent times. Out of 12 such Tests played since 2005, India has won 8 and lost only one. Interestingly India has a higher winning percentage in away matches than the matches at home during this period!

· Anil Kumble became India’s 30th Test captain -third from Karnataka after Gundappa Viswanath and Rahul Dravid. At 37 years 36 days he became the third oldest player to lead India in a Test and 24th oldest captain in Test annals.

· Kumble also became the most ‘experienced’ player in Test cricket history to lead a Test side. Kumble had appeared in 118 Tests before making his captaincy debut,which puts him ahead of Steve Waugh's record who led Australia for the first time after playing 111 Tests.

· In the first innings Shoaib Malik became the first Pakistan captain to register a duck in India.Seven players had led Pakistan before in India and none of them had ever been dismissed for a duck.

· Kumble’s dismissal of Kamran Akmal in the first innings was his 50th wicket at Feroz Shah Kotla.He thus became the first Indian bowler to take 50 wickets on a particular venue.

· The ninth wicket partnership of 87 runs between Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Sami is Pakistan’s best for this wicket against India, surpassing 70 between Mohammad Yousuf & Shoaib Akhtar at Rawalpindi and also between Mohammad Sami & Fazl-e-Akbar at Multan in 2003-04.

· Kumble’s first innings figures of 4-38 are the best by an Indian captain on debut.Previous best was Kapil Dev’s 4-45 v West Indies at Kingston in 1982-83.

· Sachin Tendulkar’s run-out was his fifth such dismissal in Test cricket. Interestingly three of these dismissals have come against Pakistan. The previous instances were at Faisalabad in 1989-90 and at Kolkata in 1998-99.

· The sixth wicket partnership of 115 runs between VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni is India’s best for this wicket against Pakistan obliterating the partnership between Vijay Hazare and Gul Mahomed in 1952-53.

· When Rahul Dravid snapped up Salman Butt in first slip off the bowling of Anil Kumble in the second innings, it provided the 50th instance of 'c Dravid b Kumble' entry appearing in a Test scorecard. The Kumble-Dravid pair became only the third bowler-fielder combination to be involved in 50 dismissals after Murali-Jayawardene (63) and Warne-Taylor (51).

· Zaheer Khan has taken his tally of wickets to 35 in seven Tests at an average of 21.91 in 2007. Only South Africa’s Dale Steyn (39 wickets in six Tests) has taken more.

· When he hit Mohammad Sami between mid-on and mid-wicket to take his score from 23 to 27 on day four, Sachin Tendulkar surpassed Allan Border's tally to become second highest run-scorer in Test cricket behind Brian Lara. Border had accumulated 11,174 runs in 156 Tests (and 265 innings), but Tendulkar overhauled his tally taking 15 Tests and 37 innings lesser.

· The Delhi Test provided only the sixth instance of India winning a Test after chasing a fourth innings target of 200 runs or more. Interestingly this is only the second such instance on Indian soil. The earlier one was about 43 years back - versus Australia at Bombay in 1964-65.

· The win against Pakistan is India's seventh consecutive win at Feroz Shah Kotla. Overall also Kotla has been a lucky ground for India as far as chasing a fourth innings target is concerned. India has been made to chase a fourth innings target on 8 occasions at Kotla - winning six and drawing two. The six wins at Kotla (chasing a fourth innings target) are the maximum for India on any ground.

· Anil Kumble became only the seventh Indian player to start his captaincy stint with a win. Others to do so are - Polly Umrigar, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag.

· Kumble won his tenth Man of the Match award in Tests, which takes him at par with Tendulkar's tally. However, Tendulkar has played 141 matches as against Kumble's 119 so statistically speaking Kumble's performance carries more weight. Both Kumble and Tendulkar have also won FOUR man of the series awards.
· Kumble became the first Indian player to win MoM award on the captaincy debut.