Saturday, December 29, 2007

Australia heading for another world record

The win against India today was Australia's 15th in a row since the Melbourne Test against South Africa in December 2005 when it registered a 184-run win. Australia is now heading for world record of most consecutive wins in Test cricket. The current record is of 16 consecutive wins also held by Australia between 1999 and 2001.
Interestingly Australia's victory march was interrupted by India last time. So, it will be interesting to see if India can stop them once again from achieving a new high.

Most consecutive wins in Test cricket
Mts For Period Captain (at start)
16 Australia 1999-2001 Steve Waugh
15* Australia 2005-2007 Ricky Ponting
11 West Indies 1984 Clive Lloyd
9 Sri Lanka 2001-2002 Sanath Jayasuriya
9 South Africa 2002-2003 Mark Boucher

*- unbroken sequence

UPDATE - With the 122-run win at Sydney Australia has equalled the World Record of most consecutive wins

India's largest defeats in Test cricket

Australia today handed India its third biggest defeat in Test matches. It was the sixth time India was losing a Test by 300 runs margin. Interestingly three of India's six biggest defeats have come against Australia. Also, all of these defeats have come after 1990.

Opponent Margin Venue Season Captain
Australia 342 runs Nagpur 2004-05 Rahul Dravid
Pakistan 341 runs Karachi 2005-06 Rahul Dravid
Australia 337 runs Melbourne 2007-08 Anil Kumble
South Africa 329 runs Kolkata 1996-97 Sachin Tendulkar
South Africa 328 runs Durban 1996-97 Sachin Tendulkar
Australia 300 runs Perth 1991-92 M Azharuddin

Note: India lost to West Indies at Kolkata in 1958-59 by innings and 336 runs, which remains India's largest ever innings defeat.

The "real" difference between two teams in Melbourne Test

This is how the openers, middle order batsmen and lower-order batsmen of the two sides performed in the Melbourne Test. The middle-order of both sides had almost identical success or failure depending upon how you perceive it.It was the performance of the openers (and to some extent lower order) that made all the difference in the end.

Balls Runs Avg SR
Australia 448 288 72.00 50.89
India 247 40 10.00 16.19

Middle Order (3-7)
Balls Runs Avg SR
Australia 475 275 27.50 57.89
India 478 244 24.40 51.04

Lower Order (8-11)
Balls Runs Avg SR
Australia 183 99 33.00 54.09
India 163 52 8.66 31.90

Slowest batting displays by Indian batsmen in a match

Rahul Dravid is continuing with his new found affection for the stonewalling. After getting support from Indian thinktank which did not find anything wrong with Dravid's first innings effort of scoring 5 runs off 66 balls, Dravid produced another gem in the second innings, scoring 16 in 114 balls. He might have tried to even 'better' his first innings performance, but an edge through gully -almost caught by diving Clarke- gave him a boundary and distorted his figures somewhat.

In all Dravid scored 21 runs in the match off 180 balls in more than four hours' stay at the wicket - a strike rate of 11.66. Dravid's performance is infact the third worst by any Indian in a match (batting in both the innings and facing at least 100 balls in the match). In fact three out of six worst performances for India have come from Dravid's bat only.

The following table lists the worst batting performances by Indian players in a match:

SR Batsman
10.41 RJ Shastri (15) v South Africa,Port Elizabeth,1992-93
11.01 ML Jaisimha (13) v Australia,Sydney,1967-68
11.66 R Dravid (21) v Australia,Melbourne,2007-08
13.72 AD Gaekwad (14) v England,Lord's,1979
15.75 R Dravid (23) v Australia,Nagpur,2004-05
15.86 R Dravid (23) v Australia,Melbourne,1999-00
16.04 RJ Shastri (30) v South Africa,Johannesburg,1992-93
16.42 CPS Chauhan (23) v England,Kanpur,1972-73
16.50 SM Patil (17) v England,Kolkata,1981-82
17.39 KS More (20) v Australia,Brisbane,1991-92

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Stonewalling at its best!

Ghosts of the Oval Test returned back to haunt Rahul Dravid today, who made a tortured 5 off 66 balls at Melbourne while opening the Indian innings.

At Oval in 2007 Dravid batted on the fourth day in a manner as if he was trying to save the game for India, forgetting that it was actually England (and not India) who was 319 runs behind! Dravid batted for 140 minutes on that day scoring a painful 12, which virtually grabbed India a draw from the jaws of victory. Dravid's batting at Melbourne today was no different from his Oval's effort as he managed a meagre 5 after struggling for about 98 minutes on the crease. He was perhaps trying to fetch India a draw, forgetting that it is only the second day of the match!

It was only after spending 64 minutes on the crease today that Dravid finally managed to open his account (off the 41st delivery he faced). Where does Dravid's performance stand? There have been quite a few 'better' performances than Dravid's today's stonewalling. New Zealand's Geoff Allott once batted for 101 minutes and still failed to open his account. But most of such performances came from lower order batsmen who had no or very little batting abilities or were batting under tremendous pressure. So, they can't really be blamed for their slow scoring. Dravid's performance is the fourth worst performance in entire Test history if we take into consideration the performances of the specialist batsmen only.

Longest wait in opening the account

Mins Batsman
70... Bill Murdoch (Aus)..... v England,Sydney,1882-83
67... Chris Tavare (Eng)..... v Pakistan,Lord's,1982
66... John Wright (NZ)........ v Australia,Wellington,1981-82
64... Rahul Dravid (Ind)...... v Australia,Melbourne,2007-08
63... Chris Tavare (Eng)...... v Australia,Perth,1982-83
62... Mark Taylor (Aus)....... v England,Sydney,1994-95

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

100 Test Heroes

Sourav Ganguly today became only the seventh Indian to complete century of Test matches.Interestingly he is the oldest among Indians to accomplish this feat at 35 years 171 days, breaking Sunil Gavaskar’s Indian record. Sachin Tendulkar is the youngest Indian to do so, while Rahul Dravid took least time (from the date of debut) in playing his 100th Test.

Indian players with 100 Test appearances

Player First Test 100th Test Time Span Age
Sunil Gavaskar Mar 6,1971 Oct 17,1984 13Y 225D 35Y 99D
v W.Indies,Port-of-Spain v Pakistan,Lahore
D.Vengsarkar Jan 24,1976 Nov 24,1988 12Y 305D 32Y 232D
v New Zealand,Auckland v New Zealand,Mumbai
Kapil Dev Oct 16,1978 Nov 15,1989 11Y 30D 30Y 313D
v Pakistan,Faisalabad v Pakistan,Karachi
S.Tendulkar Nov 15,1989 Sep 5,2002 12Y 294D 29Y 134D
v Pakistan,Karachi v England,The Oval
Anil Kumble Aug 9,1990 Dec 18,2005 15Y 131D 35Y 62D
v England, Manchester v Sri Lanka,Ahmedabad
Rahul Dravid Jun 20,1996 Mar 18,2006 9Y 271D 33Y 66D
v England, Lord's v England,Mumbai
Sourav Ganguly Jun 20,1996 Dec 26,2007 11Y 189D 35Y 171D
v England, Lord's v Australia, Melbourne

Note: Dravid's tally included World XI-Australia Super 'Test' played at Sydney in October 2005.His 100th game for India was against West Indies at St.John's in June 2006

The following table shows the career aggregate of Indians before the start of their 100th Tests:

Inns Runs Hs Avg 100s 50s 0s Wkts Avg
Sunil Gavaskar 174 8394 236* 52.46 30 36 10 1 177.00
Dilip Vengsarkar 159 6331 166 46.21 17 31 12 0 -
Kapil Dev 143 4087 163 31.20 6 21 12 347 29.02
Sachin Tendulkar 159 8351 217 57.99 30 33 10 27 43.74
Anil Kumble 126 1687 88 16.87 0 3 13 478 28.03
Rahul Dravid 167 8492 270 58.16 22 41 6 1 39.00
Sourav Ganguly 161 6346 239 43.17 15 30 9 32 49.47

Note: M Azharuddin ended his career with 99 Tests having scored 6215 runs (avg 45.04) with 22 centuries and 21 fifties

Kumble is the only player to see India WINNING in his 100th Test. Gavaskar, Kapil and Tendulkar’s 100th Tests were drawn games, whereas Vengsarkar and Dravid ended on the losing sides.

The following table lists Indian players performances in their 100th Tests along with the result of that Test:

Batting Bowling Fielding Result for India
Inns1 Inns2 Inns1 Inns2 Ct
Sunil Gavaskar 48 37 - - 3 Drawn
Dilip Vengsarkar 25 0 - - 2 lost by 136 runs
Kapil Dev 55 - 4-69 3-82 0 Drawn
Sachin Tendulkar 54 - 0-4 - 0 Drawn
Anil Kumble 21 29* 2-87 5-89 0 won by 259 runs
Rahul Dravid 52 9 - - 2 lost by 212 runs
Sourav Ganguly To be seen

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ganguly's feat

Sourav Ganguly today became only the third Indian batsman to aggregate 500 runs in a three-match series. At the end of fourth day's play, Ganguly's series aggregate stands at 506 runs at an average of 101.20. He, in fact, can get the Indian record on his name tomorrow. Virender Sehwag holds the distinction of highest run-aggregate in a three-match series for India. The details:
Batsman Series Mts Runs Avg 100 50
V Sehwag v Pak, 2004-05 3 544 90.66 2 1
SC Ganguly v Pak, 2007-08 3 506 101.20 2 1
VVS Laxman v Aus,2000-01 3 503 83.83 1 3
SM Gavaskar v Pak, 1978-79 3 447 89.40 2 2
SR Tendulkar v Aus,2000-01 3 446 111.50 2 1

Ganguly's performance is also the third best by any batsman in a three-match series against Pakistan as is detailed below:
Batsman Series Mts Runs Avg 100 50
V Sehwag (Ind) 2004-05 3 544 90.66 2 1
MA Taylor (Aus) 1998-99 3 513 128.25 1 2
SC Ganguly (Ind) 2007-08 3 506 101.20 2 1
DI Gower (Eng) 1983-84 3 449 112.25 2 2
BC Lara (WI) 2006-07 3 448 89.60 2 1

Monday, December 10, 2007

A dubious distinction for Team India

The 70 extras conceded by India in Pakistan's first innings are the second most conceded by any side in an innings in Test history. West Indies -with 71 extras against Pakistan about 20 years back- still top the chart, but it is highly unlikely that they will remain there tomorrow. India can become the first side to concede 100 extras in an innings.The following table lists the sides conceding most extras in an innings:

Ex Concd. by Against Venue Season
71 WI Pak (435) Georgetown 1987-88
70 Ind Pak (369-5) Bangalore 2007-08
68 WI Pak (291) Bridgetown 1976-77
65 SL Zim (319-8) Harare 1994-95

Most extras conceded by India
Ex Against Venue Season
70 Pak (369-5) Bangalore 2007-08
60 Eng (633) Birmingham 1979
58 SL (952-6) Colombo RPS 1997
55 Eng (477-4) The Oval 1990

Dinesh Karthik, already under-pressure for a pretty ordinary series with the bat so far, gave more ammunition to his critics with his performance behind the stumps today. The 31 byes allowed by Karthik are the maximum by any Indian keeper in a Test innings. He will struggle hard not to go beyond 37 tomorrow which are the maximum byes conceded by ANY keeper in an innings in Test history.

Most byes allowed by Indian keepers

Byes Opposition Venue Season Keeper
31 Pak (369-5) Bangalore 2007-08 Dinesh Karthik
29 Eng (559-8) Kanpur 1963-64 Budhi Kunderan
28 SL (952-6) Colombo RPS 1997 Nayan Mongia
24 SA (479) Bangalore 1999-00 Nayan Mongia
24 NZ (251-7) Mohali 1999-00 MSK Prasad

Younis - Yousuf pair sets a new record against India

Younis - Yousuf pair today made entry into the record books as the most prolific pair to bat against India. By the time Younis Khan was bowled trying to employ a reverse sweep against Harbhajan Singh, the duo had aggregated 1,372 runs in just nine innings -in which they have batted together against India- at a mind blowing average of 171.50, moving ahead of West Indian pair of Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes who had aggregated 1,325 runs in 30 innings against India. Interestingly two Ys took only nine innings to obliterate West Indian pair’s record!

Out of nine occasions on which these two batted together against India, they were involved in six century partnerships and two fifty partnerships - indeed a mind-blowing performance.
Most prolific pairs against India:
Batsmen Inns Runs Hs Avg 100 50
Mohammad Yousuf & Younis Khan (Pak) 9 1372 319 171.50 6 2
CG Greenidge & DL Haynes (WI) 30 1325 296 45.68 2 6
Javed Miandad & Zaheer Abbas (Pak) 13 1137 287 103.36 4 3
Javed Miandad & Mudassar Nazar (Pak) 9 993 451 110.33 4 1
S Chanderpaul & CL Hooper (WI) 14 962 293 68.71 3 1
ML Hayden & JL Langer (Aus) 20 949 147 47.45 2 8
G Boycott & GA Gooch (Eng) 14 774 145 64.50 2 5
WM Lawry & RB Simpson (Aus) 9 753 191 83.66 2 5
ST Jayasuriya & RS Mahanama (SL) 3 671 576 223.66 1 1
MA Atherton & GA Gooch (Eng) 7 661 225 94.42 3 0

Although the pair’s average dipped from 185.71 (before today) to 171.50 after today’s “failure”, it still is the highest for any pair aggregating at least 1,000 runs against a specific country. The pair is well ahead of some of the great names in the game’s history as is shown below:

Most successful pairs against a particular country:
Batsmen Opp Inns Runs Hs Avg 100 50
Mohammad Yousuf & Younis Khan (Pak) Ind 9 1372 319 171.50 6 2
DG Bradman & WH Ponsford (Aus) Eng 6 1012 451 168.66 2 1
DPMD Jayawardene & KC Sangakkara (SL) SA 8 1304 624 163.00 4 2
Javed Miandad & Zaheer Abbas (Pak) Ind 13 1137 287 103.36 4 3
ML Hayden & RT Ponting (Aus) SA 13 1135 201 94.58 4 6
B Mitchell & AD Nourse (SA) Eng 17 1300 190 86.66 4 6
JB Hobbs & H Sutcliffe (Eng) Aus 30 2452 283 84.55 11 9

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Reaching hundred with a six

Iran Pathan reached his maiden Test hundred in style - hitting Danish Kaneria for a six to move from 96 to 102. He, in the course, became only the seventh Indian to perform this feat. Tendulkar has done so as many as four times!

The following table lists Indian batsmen reaching the three figure mark with a six. Pathan follows into the foot-steps of Kapil Dev, who also performed this feat while scoring his maiden Test hundred. Sehwag also reached his triple hundred with a six.
Batsman Bowler Opponent Venue Season
Polly Umrigar (130) Sonny Ramadhin West Indies Port-of-Spain 1952-53
Kapil Dev (126*) Norbert Phillip West Indies Delhi 1978-79
Sachin Tendulkar (179) Courtney Walsh West Indies Nagpur 1994-95
Sachin Tendulkar (122) Min Patel England Birmingham 1996
M Azharuddin (163*) Gavin Robertson Australia Calcutta 1997-98
Sachin Tendulkar (113) Daniel Vettori New Zealand Wellington 1998-99
Sachin Tendulkar (126) Colin Miller Australia Chennai 2000-01
Rahul Dravid (233) Jason Gillespie Australia Adelaide 2003-04
Virender Sehwag (309) Shoaib Akhtar Pakistan Multan 2003-04
Irfan Pathan (102) Danish Kaneria Pakistan Bangalore 2007-08

Highest innings by Indian batsmen

Sourav Ganguly completed his maiden double century in Bangalore Test. His innings is now the seventh highest by an Indian batsman. Incidentally Ganguly's 239 is the highest score by an Indian left-hander. The following table has the details:

Highest innings by Indian batsmen
Score Batsman Opponent Venue Season
309 V Sehwag v Pakistan Multan 2003-04
281 VVS Laxman v Australia Kolkata 2000-01
270 R Dravid v Pakistan Rawalpindi 2003-04
254 V Sehwag v Pakistan Lahore 2005-06
248* SR Tendulkar v Bangladesh Dhaka 2004-05
241* SR Tendulkar v Australia Sydney 2003-04
239 SC Ganguly v Pakistan Bangalore 2007-08
236* SM Gavaskar v West Indies Chennai 1983-84
233 R Dravid v Australia Adelaide 2003-04
231 MH Mankad v New Zealand Chennai 1955-56

Highest innings by Indian left-handers

Runs Batsman Opponent Venue Season
239 SC Ganguly v Pakistan Bangalore 2007-08
227 VG Kambli v Zimbabwe Delhi 1992-93
224 VG Kambli v England Mumbai 1992-93
173 SC Ganguly v Sri Lanka Mumbai 1997-98
169 Yuvraj Singh v Pakistan Bangalore 2007-08

Highest innings by Indian left-handers against Pakistan

Runs Batsman Venue Season
239 SC Ganguly Bangalore 2007-08
169 Yuvraj Singh Bangalore 2007-08
122 Yuvraj Singh Karachi 2005-06
112 Yuvraj Singh Lahore 2003-04
110 DH Shodhan Calcutta 1952-53
102 SC Ganguly Calcutta 2007-08
102 Irfan Pathan Bangalore 2007-08

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A rare feat for Yuvraj

Yuvraj's 169 in Bangalore Test was not just the highest of his Test career, it was a treat for the spectators as well. Scoring 169 runs in just two sessions is no mean achievement by any yardstick. Yuvraj, in fact, performed the rare feat of scoring a century in a session. Only three Indians have done so before Yuvraj (not two as mentioned at various places in Indian media) - none on the first day of the match.

Yuvraj's innings - session wise

Balls Runs SR 4s/6s
Upto Lunch 4 0 0.00 -
Lunch to Tea 96 67 69.79 12
Tea to close 103 102 99.02 16/1

Indian batsmen scoring a hundred in a session

Runs Batsman Opp Venue Season Day Session
103 M Azharuddin (179) v Eng Manchester 1990 3rd Lunch-Tea
121 VVS Laxman (167) v Aus Sydney 1999-00 3rd Tea-Close
109 V Sehwag (254) v Pak Lahore 2005-06 4th Lunch-Tea
102 Yuvraj Singh (169) v Pak Bangalore 2007-08 1st Tea-Close

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sami in a new role

Mohammad Sami is turning out to be more successful with the bat than with the ball for Pakistan in this series.

In three innings in the series so far Sami has batted for more than seven hours and has been involved in two useful partnerships with Misbah-ul-Haq. In the first innings of Delhi Test, Misbah and Sami added 87 runs for the ninth wicket – the highest partnership for this wicket for Pakistan against India and remained unbeaten on 28 till the end. In the second innings of Delhi Test, he could contribute only 5 but more importantly defied the Indian bowlers for about an hour.

At Kolkata today he batted for nearly three hours for his 38 runs stitching a partnership of 91 runs with Misbah for the seventh wicket.

How important has been Sami for Pakistan can be gauged from the fact that once he was dismissed, the innings folded in no time. In first innings of Delhi Test, he remained unbeaten till the end. In the second innings, he was the ninth wicket to fall and innings folded just two minutes and one ball later. At Kolkata today,he was the seventh wicket to fall and last three wickets fell within 28 minutes and 32 balls.
Sami with the bat in the series so far
Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
Delhi Test - 1st inns 28* 194 101 3 1
Delhi Test - 2nd inns 5 53 25 1 0
Kolkata Test - 1st inns 38 177 123 2 1

A rare feat for Wasim Jaffer

In the Kolkata Test Wasim Jaffer followed his first innings marathon innings of 202 with yet another impressive show in the second dig,scoring 56 at a brisk pace. Jaffer, in the course, became only the fifth Indian batsman to score a double century and a fifty in the same Test. Jaffer is only the second Indian opener after Sunil Gavaskar to perform this feat.

Jaffer is the first Indian to do so against Pakistan. In fact there had been only two previous such instances against Pakistan.

Indian batsmen scoring a double hundred & a fifty in the same Test
Batsman Scores Opp Venue Season
SM Gavaskar 124 & 220 WI Port-of-Spain 1970-71
SM Gavaskar 205 & 73 WI Mumbai WS 1978-79
R Dravid 200* & 70* Zim Delhi 2000-01
VVS Laxman 59 & 281 Aus Calcutta 2000-01
R Dravid 222 & 73 NZ Ahmedabad 2003-04
R Dravid 233 & 72* Aus Adelaide 2003-04
SR Tendulkar 241* & 60* Aus Sydney 2003-04
W Jaffer 202 & 56 Pak Calcutta 2007-08

A double hundred & a fifty in the same Test against Pakistan
Batsman Scores For Venue Season
MA Taylor 334* & 92 Aus Peshawar 1998-99
MS Sinclair 204* & 50* NZ Christchurch 2000-01
W Jaffer 202 & 56 Ind Calcutta 2007-08