Trivia - batting December 24, 2008

One huge partnership, and nothing else

All of us are familiar with the exploits of one batsman in a single innings

Since I have started work on a rather heavy and probably contentious analysis of Test captains, I have, inter alia, worked on a couple of interesting single-topic single-table posts, the first of which is this one.

All of us are familiar with the exploits of one batsman in a single innings. This list is led by Charles Bannerman who scored an unbeaten 165 out of 245 in the first ever Test innings played. This value of 67.3% has remained unsurpassed during all these 130 years. Slater came close with 66.8% and Laxman's Sydney masterpiece clocked in at 64.0%. It is not an easy task to score over two-thirds of the team total as proved by the longevity of Bannerman's achievement.

I started thinking about this type of a dominance, but from a partnership point of view. I wondered about single dominating partnerships, and very little else. The possibilities are fascinating. A huge partnership and very little else means that there exist(s) one or more huge batting collapses.

If this partnership was for an early wicket, there had to be an immediate batting collapse afterwards. If this was for one of the middle wickets, there have been batting slumps either side of the partnership. However, if there was a big partnership for a late wicket such as ninth, the batting team was looking at a huge disaster and possibly recovered.

With this background, let us look at the table. The only criteria I have considered is that a team has to be all out. This is the only way to ensure that the stated objective is met correctly. Otherwise India's score of 410 for 1, consisting of an opening partnership of 410 will, incorrectly, qualify. Similarly Amla's and Kallis' partnership of 330 out of a South African score of 422 for 3 will, mistakenly, qualify. Just two examples to illustrate the idea.

The excellent partnership between Strauss and Collingwood at Chennai, although not enough to prevent a great win by India, had a high 68.8% share of the team score. However this could not be considered since Pietersen declared the England innings. On the other hand, the dominating partnership of Gambhir and Dravid at Mohali would have made the cut in the appropriate table with a % of team total figure of 69.3.

Table of high % partnerships

No Year Test I For    Oth Ptshp  (Wicket)       Tot   %

1.1999 1451 2 WIN vs Aus 344 for Fifth wkt (431-79.8%) (Lara 213* & Adams 94)

2.2000 1526 2 SLK vs Saf 168 for Third wkt (216-77.8%) (Sangakkara 74 & Jayawardene 98)

3.1882 0007 2 AUS vs Eng 199 for Fourth wkt (260-76.5%) (ACBannerman 70 & McDonnell 147)

4.1968 0642 2 AUS vs Win 217 for Second wkt (284-76.4%) (Lawry 105 & IM Chappell 117)

5.1952 0351 1 IND vs Eng 222 for Fourth wkt (293-75.8%) (Hazare 89 & Manjrekar 133)

6.1985 1022 1 ENG vs Aus 351 for Second wkt (464-75.6%) (Gooch 196 & Gower 157)

7.1999 1477 1 WIN vs Nzl 276 for First wkt (365-75.6%) (Griffith 114 & Campbell 170)

8.2001 1547 2 ENG vs Pak 267 for Third wkt (357-74.8%) (Vaughn 120 & Thorpe 138)

9.1967 0623 3 PAK vs Eng 190 for Ninth wkt (255-74.5%) (Asif Iqbal 146 & Intekhab 51)

10.1985 1016 3 NZL vs Win 210 for Second wkt (283-74.2%) (Howart 84 & JJ Crowe 112)

The highest share of a single partnership is at a very high level of 79.8%. West Indies slumped to 34 for 4 when Lara and Adams got together and added 334 for the fifth wicket. Then West Indies slumped 378 for 5 to 431 all out. This follows the scenarios of two mini-collapses.

Sri Lanka lost the first 2 wickets for 2 runs. Then Sangakkara and Jayawardene added 168 and took them to 170 for 2. From this position they lost 8 wickets for 46 runs.

Similar story in the third entry. England slips to 15 for 3, then 199 gets added and then 7 wickets for 45 runs. All these three follow the same pattern.

Let us look at the seventh entry. Griffith and Campbell added 276 for the first wicket. Then all 10 wickets were lost for 89 runs. But the story does not end there.

From 276 for no loss West Indies lost their next 40 wickets for 599 runs and lost the series 0-2. Lara gave up the captaincy.

The ninth entry is interesting. Pakistan, 234 behind, collapsed to 65 for 8. Then Asif Iqbal and Intikhab Alam added a record 190 runs for the ninth wicket and avoided an innings defeat. Asif Iqbal's 146 was a wondeful essay of defiance.

The other partnerships which exceed 70% of the team total are shown below.

11.1927 0068 2 ENG vs Saf 230 for Second  wkt  (313-73.5%)
12.1946 0277 2 IND vs Eng 124 for First   wkt  (170-72.9%)
13.1999 1472 2 AUS vs Pak 327 for Fifth   wkt  (451-72.5%)
14.1993 1240 4 ZIM vs Pak 135 for Second  wkt  (187-72.2%)
15.1933 0230 3 IND vs Eng 186 for Third   wkt  (258-72.1%)
16.2001 1551 3 ZIM vs Win 164 for First   wkt  (228-71.9%)
17.1997 1391 2 PAK vs Win 298 for First   wkt  (417-71.5%)
18.2000 1494 1 PAK vs Win 206 for Sixth   wkt  (288-71.5%)
19.1980 0875 1 WIN vs Nzl 162 for Fourth  wkt  (228-71.1%)
20.1912 0129 4 AUS vs Eng  46 for Second  wkt  ( 65-70.8%)
21.2005 1774 3 ENG vs Pak 175 for Third   wkt  (248-70.6%)
22.1960 0497 1 PAK vs Ind 246 for Second  wkt  (350-70.3%)
23.1907 0093 2 SAF vs Eng  98 for Fourth  wkt  (140-70.0%)
A footnote to the previous article on Australia:

South Africa let go many opportunities during the Perth Test. However they took advantage of the last one offered in a decisive manner and this wonderful win by South Africa, against all odds, has clearly proved that Australia have genuinely lost their edge. This is not just a passing phase. Not that they would drop down like West Indies in the 90s. They would still be one of the 3/4 teams which compete for the top spot.

India's tactics on the fourth and fifth days at Mohali were disappointing. Unfortunately individual records again took priority over team requirements. A very aggressive captain would have declared at the start of play on the fifth day. A positive captain would have declared at 175 for 4. Unfortunately, at least during this test, Dhoni has shown to be neither.

Before anyone pounces on me, please read further. The way India played in this Test is perfect for a team aspiring for the second position but not sufficient if India is aiming to unseat Australia from the top position. All efforts should have been made for a 2-0 result, even accepting a 5% possibility of a 1-1 result.

Please peruse this excellent Cricinfo article by S Aga, if you have not already done so.

Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on December 30, 2008, 16:53 GMT

    (continued) Further, i have an idea for a new analysis: (1)best batting line-ups example of criteria for inclusion: 7 or 8 batsman at least 6 out of which appeared together in 20 different tests each of the 7(or 8) appeared in atleast 10 tests with other 5 batsman of above line-up and all have avg. > 25(or 30)

    Then compare them by say total test runs, average per wicket etc.

    Similarly,(2)best bowling line-up either 4 or 5 bowlers all 4(or 5) of which played together in atleast 20 tests and all have atleast 2.5 (or 3) dismissals per test. Then compare by total wkts, bowling avg of entire attack,etc.

    If you do analysis with some such criteria, it will be interesting to compare the west indies bowling line-up with aussie line-up of mcgrath,warne,lee,gillespie and also to see how the great batting line-ups(wi, aussie, indian recent middle order, pak in time of zaheer abbas) compare with each other. [[ Something similar to what you have suggested has been done in my earlier article on Team strengths titled "Why Australia's 2001 line-up is the best ODI side". However this was for ODIs and I have yet to do one for Tests. Will do so in future. Ananth: ]]

  • testli5504537 on December 30, 2008, 16:40 GMT

    i follow your columns avidly and fully agree with u about dhoni's captaincy. By his 'Mohali' feat, he joins Dravid(who let off england by not enforcing follow-on in last test in england to win only by 1-0) and Ganguly(who let go a chance to win a series in australia in 2003-04 by not enforcing follow-on) If india is to be a serious contender for no. 1, it should look to win every test especially at home.

    Regarding your last article about australia, i feel gilchrist, mcgrath and warne were all equally important in oz dominance and their greatness should not be judged by whom the team is missing more and who has been successfully replaced. They are probably best oz pacer,spinner and wk of all time and would walk into any side of an age. Continued

  • testli5504537 on December 28, 2008, 11:56 GMT


    Just a comment on your footnote about the Aussies. Without wishing to say "I told you so", but can you really see an Aussie team with McGrath and Warne at their peak, letting the Saffers score 400+ for the loss of only 4 wickets? And as I write this, the Aussies have just let SA off the hook and allowed them to post another 400+. I agree whoel-heartedly with your point that although the Aussie will no longer be the dominant force they have been for the past decade, they will still be one of the top 2 or 3 teams (maybe even still the best) for the foreseeable future. I also agree with your comment about India - there is no way that Steve Waugh or Ricky Ponting with a full strength Aussie team would have acted so defensively - they would have risked the slight chance of defeat to go for the win rather than settling for the certain draw - however we should be too critical of Dhoni - he's still establishing himself and his team - and he's doing a pretty good job so far... [[ Jeff It is depressing to see such a direction-less Australian team. I feel Lee could have been given a break and replaced by Tait or Bollinger. I am sure you understand my comments about Dhoni. I feel he has the skills, tactical acumen and personal charisma to say to everyone, mainly the Indian supportes, that "I am ready to take the 5% chance of defeat to gain a 95% chance of win.". Then, and then only, can India hope to be a consistent no.1 team, as Australai was. Unfortunately people mistake this as "criticizing Dhoni". Ananth: ]]

  • testli5504537 on December 28, 2008, 7:54 GMT

    I had made a comment during the test match at Mohali. I also read Aga's column. I will repeat my comment. India could always have pushed for the win. In not doing so there were perhaps 2 reasons. 1) You have already elucidated one 2) Since the English came back after the Bombay blasts, Do you not think it is possible that India would not have wanted to rub it in their faces? - considering the fog as a good excuse for lack of time. Dhoni is very good. He would have become only the second captain to have won five tests in a row. Why did he stop? If the ICC set up the Test match system in a professional manner which I do not have the space to descibe now, most issues that are being discussed will be moot. I am for preserving Test Cricket and also other forms of cricket. Happy New Year [[ I am sorry I did not post my reply. I do not feel that there was any slackening of ambition to win against England There was no such indication on the field. I also feel that there should be no such concessions on the field. Give all the England Test players who came a gift each but then play to win. I am sure Dhoni, after a few more years of Test captaincy, will take this, more aggressive, view. Pl also read my earlier responses and the one to Jeff. Ananth: ]]

  • testli5504537 on December 27, 2008, 10:42 GMT

    Beneath the picture of this article "Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara were involved in a stand that yielded more than 77% of their team's total runs against South Africa in Durban in 2000 © AFP" is written. their partnership was 600+ but it didnt happen in Durban as you have mentioned it happened in Colombo and furher I have serious doubts of the year mentioned also.

    thanks [[ This partnership indeed happened at Durban during 2000. The full scores. SA: 420 all out Slk: 216 all out (Kumar & Mahila added 168 out of this) SA: 140 for 7 Slk: 149 for 6. What you are referring to is their partnership of 624 against South Africa at Colombo during 2006. However that innings does not qualify since Slk declared at 756 for 5. I hope your doubts are cleared. Ananth: ]]

  • testli5504537 on December 27, 2008, 6:54 GMT

    That partnership between Asif Iqbal & Intikhab Alam must have been an amazing one. I remember watching that Sabina Park 1 on TV. Simply magnificent batting by Lara. I think NZ were as bad as Bangladesh in their first 50 tests. It took them around 27 years to get to their first test victory. Correct me if i am mistaken.

  • testli5504537 on December 27, 2008, 4:00 GMT

    There is no use in bashing Dhoni. Who wants to lose the Home Series? Even AUs team wuld have done samething with the current set of bowlers

  • testli5504537 on December 27, 2008, 1:17 GMT

    I think there should be a slight correction to the Lara/Adams partnership as it begun at 54-4 when Pedro Collins the night watchman, retired hurt. I was at Sabina Park that Sunday and saw most of the partnership which by my calculation would have been 324.The percentage would reduce by less than 1% so it would still remain the highest of all time. [[ Robert, Unfortunately this information is not available on the scorecards in a soft form. You are right. Problem would have been if Pedro Collins retired hurt at 154 for 4. Thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • testli5504537 on December 26, 2008, 21:59 GMT

    Ananth, once again a fascinating analysis! Keep up the good work. I agree with your criterion for taking innings in which a team was all out. But I guess it wont hurt much to include innings in which 8 or more wickets have fallen (in those cases you would only ignore scores by nos. 10 and 11 which I feel will not affect the overall numbers much). I am looking forward to your analysis on ODIs. Another query is, is it possible for you to present an analysis of cases where two batsmen have dominated the team's score (again keeping your criterion for a team being all out or 8 wickets or more if you agree with that argument). I believe in most cases it will co-incide with the current analysis on one partnership dominating an innings. For example I remember the test match between India and South Africa at cape town when Sachin scored 169 and Azhar scored 115 in a total of 359 (79% of the team total while their partnership was 222 (62% and hence didint feature in ur current list). [[ Anand, The scope for extending the analysis has been given in a strong manner. Ananth: ]]

  • testli5504537 on December 26, 2008, 19:12 GMT

    If you were watching the same test match in Mohali, you would know that there was really no chance to force a decision with the amount of play that was possible due to fog. There was only one full session of play possible. Anything before lunch or after tea was a matter of chance and the batting team always had an option to accept the bad light. Given that India was already one up, there was really no need to open any doors for England when you knew there wasn't a realistic chance of winning the match. It's one thing to be brave, its another to be foolish. I am glad that MSD understands the difference between bravery and foolishness. [[ Rajesh I was as critical of England at Chennai. I have written that England lost the match on the fourth day and not the fifth. If India wants to compete with Australia and South Africa for the top position, they should seize every bit of opportunity that comes their way, as they did at Chennai. It is possible that there was only a 5% chance of a win. Pray what was the chance for India when they chased 387 or South Africa when they chased 414. No more than 5%. Ananth: ]]

  • No featured comments at the moment.