Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Record Breaking Test...

The recently concluded 1st test between Pakistan and India was a classic. Many would remember it for it being one of the most exciting tests between the 2 neighbors, however there are several other reasons, which make this test memorable. Several records were broken and created during this match. I'll go on to the relatively smaller ones before talking about the most significant one.

Anil Kumble won his 10th man of the match award in tests equalling Sachin Tendulkar's 10 awards, which is an Indian record. The list is headed by Jacques Kallis with 19, followed by Murali (18), Wasim Akram and Shane Warne - 17 each. Click here for the full list.

When India won the match, Sachin returned to the pavilion unbeaten on 56. In my previous blog I had mentioned that if Sachin leads the team to victory it would be one of the rare occasions where he would have returned not out in a chase. Sachin has 24 not outs in his test career, but only 12 of them are in matches that India has won. Out of the 12, 7 of those have come when India has chased a total successfully. However, 56* is Sachin's highest 'not out' score and his first score above 50 in matches that India have won while chasing a total. His other not outs have come when India have chased totals of less than 150 with the highest being 44* vs NZ when India were chasing a target of 82.

Anil Kumble got the man of the match award in his 1st test as captain. I couldn't find stats of which other captains have managed this feat, but I doubt there are many. Waqar Younis comes to mind when he captained Pakistan for the first time against Zimbabwe in 1993 and took 13 wickets, but I don't recall others.

Now to the big one. During his unbeaten 56, Sachin went past Allan Border's 11,174 runs to become the 2nd highest run scorer in tests. Now only 746 runs separate him and the retired Brian Lara at the top.

Sachin got there in 37 fewer innings than Border, however Lara has managed the 746 more in 4 more innings than Sachin. Barring injury, next year should see Sachin celebrating on being the highest test run scorer ever.
I reckon Ricky Ponting will break all batting records before calling it a day.

Make your pitch on this post...

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12 Pitched:

  1. KC said...

    i have an issue with the test being called a classic ... yes, for the first 3.5 days it was well-fought - but nothing stands out in the match as such.

    it was two average teams trying to press advantage, and the more controlled one won the game at the end.

    but what a player this sachin guy is.

  2. Obaid said...

    Yeah, I also agree with KC. The game was hardly a classic... the first 3 days were very forgettable with scrappy cricket. There was some excitement on the 4th day and some great batting by India on the 4th and 5th days to win it.

  3. Q said...

    I beg to differ KC and Obaid.

    I watched days 2 and 3 LIVE ball by ball and caught the highlights of the other days.

    Obaid - it was definitely not scrappy cricket but a very well fought out battle between bat and ball on all days.

    KC - I agree that Pakistan is an average team in tests, but India is a strong team, especially at home.

    Anyhow, reasons why I call it a classic:

    1. By the end of the 3rd day, no one knew which way the match would go. Each team kept taking the advantage back from the other.

    2. Misbah's and Laxman's rearguard actions in the 1st innings were better innings than a 150 scored on a batsman's paradise against mediocre bowling.

    3. It was a difficult pitch to bat on - ball swung throughout the day, reverse swing by the 30th over and spin as well - watching the batsmen trying to survive for a change was great watching. No one was settled at the crease. Sami was beating Dravid all ends up after Dravid had faced 80 balls. Imagine.

    4. Match turning moments - Misbah and Sami partnership on day 1, Tanvir's second spell on day 2, Laxman and Dhoni partnership day 2, Kaneria's spell day 3, Butt-Hameed partnership day 3, Kumble's spell day 3, Zaheer Khan's spell day 4, Shoaib's spell day 4, Sachin-Saurav partnership day 4.

    I believe there were too many mini battles within this test, which definitely made it a classic. As good as the Khi one in 2006 and the Mohali one in 2005.

  4. KC said...

    Q - well-fought, yes. Classic - no.

    Agreed that the rearguard from Laxman/Misbah was good - but can you compare it to the rearguards by Laxman/Dravid or Inzy/Mushy against Aussies. I dont think so.

    The batting, barring Laxman/Misbah/Tendulkar was bad. The bowling barring Shoaib in second innings was average.

    I think the problem of Aussies continuous domination and Pakistan's dismal showings of late has really blurred the lines between a classic and a good match.

    From where I sit, classic means two superlative teams performing to their full potential, and the tension/drama/result hinged in balance till the last session of the match. It wasn't the case here, despite some good moments scattered here and there.

  5. Q said...

    KC - I'll agree that the match will not feature in any top 10 list of great matches and probably isn't a classic. But it was a great match and much better test cricket than what we witnessed recently in the SA v NZ series, Aus v SL, and SA v Pak.

    Although Sanga's 192 is above all, SL had lost the match way before that.

    As for the batting. I don't think there was bad batting - ignoring the tail, out of the top 7 of each side the only dismissals due to bad shots or bad batting were of:

    Hameed and Younis in the 1st innings and Yousuf and Misbah in the 2nd. The rest got out due to good bowling, good catching, or something to do with the pitch.

    None of the Indian batsmen played bad shots - they were taken down in the 1st innings by very good bowling and sharp fielding. In their 2nd, Ganguly probably played a bad shot but the rest again were due to Shoaib's brilliance.

  6. Straight Point said...

    i wont call it a tough test match...
    i would remember this test match as the one in which whenever one team was on the verge of putting another team out of match completely gave the initiative on platter...to play perfect host/guest...in the end somehow ball remained in the hands of india...

  7. Q said...

    Straight Point - At the end of day 3, Pakistan were 167 ahead with 5 wickets in hand. Misbah and Akmal were at the crease, both on 20 odd, and both who had attacked the Indians before close of play.

    At that time I believed the ball was in Pakistans hand. They blew it in the morning by losing last 5 wickets for 32.

    I think u say what u say cause before the test even began everyone had written Pakistan off completely saying they didnt stand a chance. So even if they seemed ahead the perception that people had was that India will win...

  8. Sam said...

    Hello Q, predictions for 2nd test ? I guess another India win ? The only bowler from Pak who looked like taking wkts is down and out.

    Its a pity to see a low key India - pak series and on top of it a lame Pak side.

    You guys miss the great man. Alas he was shunted out so rudely.....

  9. Q said...

    Welcome to wellpitched Sam. Hope u like the blog.

    Shoaib Akhtar, Malik, Misbah are all doubtful for the next test, which is definitely disappointing for Pakistan. Its going to be tough for them in the next test.

    Wait for my preview for the predictions Sam ;-)

    But I disagree - I don't think its a low key series. A Pakistan-India series can never be low key.

  10. Uncle J rod said...

    Another record was broken during the match. Zaheer Khan broke the jelly bean eating record set in England.

  11. Straight Point said...


    yo proved my point by stating the facts...that by the end of day three pak was with advantage...at the end of day two india had advantage and it can go on...

    thats why i said that whenever one team had the option of shutting other team out they gave away the advantage...it was like Lahore train kissa...you catch first...

  12. Q said...

    Uncle J - was it Zaheer eating the jelly beans or KP?

    Straight Point - Agreed..

    Sam - where are u :-)

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