Ask The Spider #20

Of all current captains, which has the best toss record and which has the worst?

By far the best is Daniel Vettori, with 69% correct calls (35 out of 51). Worst is Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik with only 37.5% (15 out of 40). Here is the complete list (Test, ODI and T20I combined):

Daniel Vettori (NZ) 68.0%
Anil Kumble (Ind) 55.6%
Graeme Smith (SA) 55.0%
Prosper Utseya (Zim) 54.3%
Chris Gayle (WI) 52.2%
Ricky Ponting (Aus) 51.1%
Mahendra Dhoni (Ind) 50.0%
Michael Vaughan (Eng) 46.4%
Mohammad Ashraful (Bang) 45.5%
Mahela Jayawardene (SL) 41.7%
Paul Collingwood (Eng) 37.9%
Shoaib Malik (Pak) 37.5%

What will be the World ODI XI prepared for years as follows: 1975; 1979; 1983; 1987; 1992; 1996; 1999; 2003; 2007. Eligibility criteria: For one to seven, more than 500 runs in last 2 years; for eight to eleven, more than 150 overs in last 2 years. Selection Criteria (based on performance in last 2 years): one-four, batsmen having highest average among those with more than 70 strike-rate; five-six, the remaining batsmen having best SR with more than 30 avg; seven, wicketkeeper with best SR with avg >25; eight-eleven: two bowlers with best averages among those with economy-rate <4.7-an-over and two among the remaining bowlers with best economy-rate and avg <35.

This week we’ll look at 2003. Using the same criteria as 2007, except with the top nine teams instead of the top eight (as Zimbabwe were considerably stronger in 2002 and 2003 than in 2006 and 2007), here is the team:

The top four with highest avg and >70 SR are:
RR Sarwan 689 @ 57.41, SR 80.20
DS Lehmann 558 @ 55.80, SR 83.65
A Flower 591 @ 53.72, SR 85.65
ML Hayden 1063 @ 53.15, SR 82.91
The next two are chosen with the best SR, >30 avg:
V Sehwag 1273 @ 41.06, SR 98.14
ME Trescothick 1043 @ 35.96, SR 94.73

AC Gilchrist 852 @ 30.42, SR 103.02

Top three averages with ER <5 are: AA Donald 189.3 ov, 42 @ 20.52, ER 4.54 GD McGrath 224.4 ov, 40 @ 20.57, ER 3.66 B Lee 201.1 ov, 46 @ 20.67, ER 4.72 The last bowler is chosen with the lowest ER and avg <35: SM Pollock 302.5 ov, 48 @ 25.37, ER 4.02 So (with four regular openers!) the final line-up is: 1 Marcus Trescothick 2 Matthew Hayden 3 Virender Sehwag 4 Andy Flower 5 Ramnaresh Sarwan 6 Darren Lehmann 7 Adam Gilchrist 8 Shaun Pollock 9 Brett Lee 10 Glenn McGrath 11 Allan Donald Hayden, Gilchrist, Pollock and McGrath appear on both the 2007 and 2003 WC XIs. Is there an instance when a non-regular bowler won the match for his team by his bowling? Please tell about the match.

Well, I suppose we need to define a couple of things first:
a) “non-regular bowler” (let’s say averages less than 10 overs/Test)
b) “won the match” (let’s say 10-wicket performance)

For Tests, that gives us one man – Allan Border. In the Fourth Test between Australia and West Indies at The SCG in 1988/89, Border (playing as captain) took 11 for 96, as well as scoring 75 in the first Australian innings. Wisden had this to say: “When Richards won the toss and West Indies reached 144 before losing their second wicket, the match looked to be slipping away from Australia at an early stage. But Border then embarked on an all-round performance seldom surpassed by a captain in Test cricket. Having bowled only two overs in the first three Tests, he now destroyed West Indies’ first innings, with some co-operation from the batsmen, by taking seven for 46 with the orthodox left-arm slows he had never thought worth taking seriously.”

His fourth-wicket partnership of 170 with David Boon in their first innings allowed Australia to build a crucial lead. In West Indies’ second innings, Border took four more wickets to take his match tally to eleven – he had never before taken more than four wickets in a First-Class match. This left Australia needing only 80 to win, and fittingly Border hit the winning runs.

Another bowler who took 10 in a match, and was certainly not a front-line specialist, was Michael Bevan. Amazingly, his feat came (to within a day) exactly 8 years after Border’s, for the same team against the same opposition, this time at Adelaide Oval. He grabbed 10 for 113 as Australia romped home by an innings and 183 runs.

As far as ODIs are concerned, there are probably too many instances of this (e.g. Viv Richards and Paul Collingwood) to cover.

Which team holds the record for the most number of 300+ scores in ODI cricket?

Unsurprisingly, Australia has registered most 300+ scores in ODI with 53. Here’s the full list:
53 Australia
47 Pakistan
43 India
35 West Indies
31 South Africa
23 Sri Lanka & New Zealand
20 England
11 Zimbabwe
1 Bangladesh

Which cricketer has the highest First-Class batting average without ever playing in a Test match?

Maharashtra’s Shantanu Sugwekar averaged 63.1 in his first class career, which spanned 15 years and included 85 matches, but never played a single Test match for India. He was selected in the national squad in 1992, however did not make the cut to the playing XI, and did not receive any chances since. He retired in 2002.

What is the longest wait for the first wicket in a ODI first-innings?

The longest first-wicket partnership by a team batting first in a ODI lasted 44 overs. Those behind it were arguably the greatest ODI opening partnership of them all, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar. In this case, they added 252 against Sri Lanka at Premadasa Stadium in 1998. Ganguly and Tendulkar were out in consecutive deliveries, however, and India lost another four wickets in the remaining 6 overs. In the end they won the match by just 6 runs.

Are there any cricketers who scored a century on Test debut, but never played again?

In the history of Test cricket, there have been only two cricketers who scored a hundred on debut but never again played in another game. The first, Andy Ganteaume, scored 112 in West Indies’ Second Test against England in 1948. One of the primary reasons why Ganteaume is believed to have not played another match is because his approach to the game while he was nearing his century was perceived as being selfish. He slowed down considerably despite West Indies being on top, putting personal interests above those of the team. In the second-innings, he was demoted down the order and did not get a chance to bat. Because he batted just once and scored 112, he is the only Test cricketer to have a batting average eclipsing that of Sir Donald Bradman. The second cricketer to have not player another Test despite a century on debut is New Zealand’s Rodney Redmond. Redmond scored 107 in the Kiwis’ Third Test against Pakistan in 1972/73. He followed up the hundred with 56 in the second innings, but failed to play again because of an eye problem. He averaged only 28.41 in the next New Zealand domestic season and was thenceforth overlooked for the national side.


Give the top world odi x1 team.(including all odi playing nations)

Comment by s.sharavanan | 12:00am BST 19 June 2008

Leave a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they have been approved

More articles by Richard Dickinson