India v South Africa, 1st Test, Chennai, 5th day
March 30, 2008
The kings of the draw
Stats highlights from the first Test between India and South Africa in Chennai, which ended in a high-scoring draw
Stats highlights from the first Test between India and South Africa in Chennai, which ended in a high-scoring draw.
RP Singh shows how much he enjoyed bowling on the placid pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium
The last three Tests in Chennai have all been drawn, but the previous two - against Australia in 2004-05, and Sri Lanka in 2005-06 - were both severely affected by the weather.
Over the last two years, the Indians have been the masters of the draw. Of the 26 Tests they have played during this period, 50% have ended in a stalemate. The percentage is easily the highest among all teams. Pakistan is next with 40%, while Australia are at the bottom of the list with just one draw - against India, as you'd expect - in 17 matches. Of the 13 draws involving India, four have been at home [out of seven matches], while nine have happened overseas [out of 19].
There was little joy for bowlers throughout the game, with only 25 wickets falling over five days. An average of 59.92 runs were scored per wicket, making it one of the most batsman-dominated Tests at this venue - only twice have more runs been scored per wicket in Chennai, but one of them, the Test between India and Pakistan in 1960-61, was hosted at the Corporation Stadium. Overall, 25 Tests in India have had an average of more than 50 runs per wicket, with this game slotting in at 13th place.
Most of the batsmen who came out for a hit enjoyed themselves, but the ones who made the bulk of the runs were the openers. Apart from Virender Sehwag's 319, Neil McKenzie made 94 and 155 not out, while Graeme Smith and Wasim Jaffer chipped in with half-centuries. In all the openers from both teams scored 749 runs, which is second in the all-time list of openers' aggregate in a Test. The only occasion when they scored more also involved South Africa - against England at Edgbaston in 2003, the openers put together 811 runs in the match, with a double-century for Smith, and hundreds for Herschelle Gibbs and Michael Vaughan. (Click here for the complete list.)
McKenzie's total of 249 runs is the highest by a South African batsman in a Test against India. Hashim Amla, who made 240 runs in the match, is in second place. Both batsmen continued their excellent form: McKenzie has scored 475 runs in his last three innings, pushing his career average to 38.74, while Amla has scored three hundreds and two fifties in his last eight Tests.
In a match in which most batsmen filled their boots, the most prolific players from both camps missed out. Jacques Kallis managed just 32 runs in two innings - he has now gone ten innings without a century - while Sachin Tedulkar lasted only five deliveries, making his first duck at home since February 17, 1999, when Shoaib Akhtar famously yorked him with a scorcher.
The Indian seamers had a forgettable game, finishing with combined figures of 1 for 313. In home Tests where the Indian pace attack has finished with less than two wickets, this is the most expensive in terms of runs conceded.
The only bowler who managed a five-for here was Harbhajan Singh, who finished with match figures of 8 for 265. He had to work hard for his success, though, conceding more than 100 runs in both innings of a Test for the first time in his career. His eight wickets were much better returns than what Anil Kumble managed [3 for 163]. The two spinners have played together in 49 Tests so far, and barring injury or illness, the Ahmedabad match will see the two of them play their 50th Test together.
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.