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George Binoy and Travis Basevi dig into our stats database

Played 42, won 0

Cricketers who finished their careers with impressive records but were part of few or no victories

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

October 12, 2011

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John Emburey, Ian Botham and Graham Dilley during the 1986-87 Ashes, November 14, 1986
Graham Dilley was an impressive bowler but was part of only two Test wins © Getty Images
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Graham Dilley, the former England fast bowler who died on October 5, was part of remarkably few Test wins despite having a record most cricketers would gladly settle for. Dilley's victories - Headingley 1981 and Brisbane 1986-87 - were memorable and came in successful Ashes campaigns, but they were his only successes in a 41-Test career. His win/loss ratio is among the lowest for Test bowlers with averages of less than 30. This week's column is about cricketers who were part of few wins despite possessing impressive individual records.

Bert Sutcliffe, the former New Zealand batsman, played one more Test than Dilley did, but his team didn't win any of them. His 42-Test career is the record for the longest without a victory. Sutcliffe finished as New Zealand's second-highest run-scorer, with 2727 runs at an average of 40.10, having missed the three Tests his country won during his career (1947 to 1965) - at Eden Park in 1956, and at Newlands and in Port Elizabeth in 1962.

Charlie Davis played in 15 out of West Indies' 25 Tests between December 1968 and April 1973. He made 1301 runs at an average of 54.20, with four centuries and four fifties in 29 innings but was never part of a Test win. West Indies beat only New Zealand, in Auckland in 1969, during his period and Davis was not part of that team.

Lowest win/loss ratios for batsmen with Test averages over 40 (qualification - 20 innings)
Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Won Draw Lost W/L
B Sutcliffe (NZ) 1947-1965 42 76 8 2727 230* 40.10 5 15 0 19 23 0.00
CA Davis (WI) 1968-1973 15 29 5 1301 183 54.20 4 4 0 10 5 0.00
AD Nourse (SA) 1935-1951 34 62 7 2960 231 53.81 9 14 2 15 17 0.11
DL Houghton (Zim) 1992-1997 22 36 2 1464 266 43.05 4 4 1 13 8 0.12
JD Ryder (NZ) 2008-2011 16 29 2 1211 201 44.85 3 6 1 8 7 0.14
EAB Rowan (SA) 1935-1951 26 50 5 1965 236 43.66 3 12 2 12 12 0.16
MW Goodwin (Zim) 1998-2000 19 37 4 1414 166* 42.84 3 8 2 5 12 0.16
HW Taylor (SA) 1912-1932 42 76 4 2936 176 40.77 7 17 4 15 23 0.17
A Flower (Zim) 1992-2002 63 112 19 4794 232* 51.54 12 27 7 22 34 0.20
B Mitchell (SA) 1929-1949 42 80 9 3471 189* 48.88 8 21 4 21 17 0.23
LRPL Taylor (NZ) 2007-2011 30 55 1 2221 154* 41.12 5 12 4 10 16 0.25
VS Hazare (India) 1946-1953 30 52 6 2192 164* 47.65 7 9 3 16 11 0.27
KS Ranjitsinhji (Eng) 1896-1902 15 26 4 989 175 44.95 2 6 2 6 7 0.28
RR Sarwan (WI) 2000-2011 87 154 8 5842 291 40.01 15 31 14 28 45 0.31
Saeed Ahmed (Pak) 1958-1973 41 78 4 2991 172 40.41 5 16 5 20 16 0.31
JDB Robertson (Eng) 1947-1952 11 21 2 881 133 46.36 2 6 1 7 3 0.33
GM Turner (NZ) 1969-1983 41 73 6 2991 259 44.64 7 14 6 17 18 0.33
PR Umrigar (India) 1948-1962 59 94 8 3631 223 42.22 12 14 8 30 21 0.38
CH Gayle (WI) 2000-2010 91 159 6 6373 333 41.65 13 33 17 31 43 0.39
AH Jones (NZ) 1987-1995 39 74 8 2922 186 44.27 7 11 6 19 14 0.42
S Chanderpaul (WI) 1994-2011 133 227 36 9367 203* 49.04 23 55 28 43 62 0.45
RA Smith (Eng) 1988-1996 62 112 15 4236 175 43.67 9 28 14 20 28 0.50
BC Lara (ICC/WI) 1990-2006 131 232 6 11953 400* 52.88 34 48 32 36 63 0.50
PA de Silva (SL) 1984-2002 93 159 11 6361 267 42.97 20 22 19 38 36 0.52
DB Vengsarkar (India) 1976-1992 116 185 22 6868 166 42.13 17 35 18 64 34 0.52
M Amarnath (India) 1969-1988 69 113 10 4378 138 42.50 11 24 12 33 23 0.53
GA Headley (WI) 1930-1954 22 40 4 2190 270* 60.83 10 5 5 8 9 0.55
GA Faulkner (SA) 1906-1924 25 47 4 1754 204 40.79 4 8 8 3 14 0.57
Hanif Mohammad (Pak) 1952-1969 55 97 8 3915 337 43.98 12 15 9 31 15 0.60
Misbah-ul-Haq (Pak) 2001-2011 26 46 8 1712 161* 45.05 3 12 6 10 10 0.60

Among present batsmen with Test averages of more than 40, the lowest win/loss ratios belong to Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor. Ryder averages nearly 45 but his only Test win in 16 matches was against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2008. Taylor averages 41 after 30 Tests but has been part of only four victories.

Jack Cowie, the fast bowler, played for New Zealand between 1937 and 1949, when they were good at drawing Tests, not winning them. Cowie took 41 wickets at an average of 21, but New Zealand drew seven and lost two of those nine Tests. He is the first on the list of bowlers with averages below 30 and the lowest win-loss ratios.

Kemar Roach has the lowest win-loss ratio among present bowlers who average below 30 in Tests. Roach has 40 wickets at 29.90 each but West Indies have won only one of his 12 Tests, against Pakistan in Providence in 2011. That match and the victory at St George's Park against South Africa in 2007 are the only two wins Roach's captain, Darren Sammy, has been part of after 16 Tests.

Lowest win/loss ratios for bowlers with Test averages less than 30 (qualification - 2000 balls)
Player Span Mat Balls Runs Wkts BBI Ave 5 Won Draw Lost W/L
J Cowie (NZ) 1937-1949 9 2028 969 45 6/40 21.53 4 0 7 2 0.00
CB Llewellyn (SA) 1896-1912 15 2292 1421 48 6/92 29.60 4 1 2 12 0.08
HC Griffith (WI) 1928-1933 13 2663 1243 44 6/103 28.25 2 1 2 10 0.10
BR Taylor (NZ) 1965-1973 30 6334 2953 111 7/74 26.60 4 2 13 15 0.13
GR Dilley (Eng) 1979-1989 41 8192 4107 138 6/38 29.76 6 2 24 15 0.13
KAJ Roach (WI) 2009-2011 12 2294 1196 40 6/48 29.90 2 1 5 6 0.16
DW Headley (Eng) 1997-1999 15 3026 1671 60 6/60 27.85 1 2 3 10 0.20
HH Streak (Zim) 1993-2005 65 13559 6079 216 6/73 28.14 7 8 20 37 0.21
FJ Cameron (NZ) 1961-1965 19 4570 1849 62 5/34 29.82 3 2 8 9 0.22
JN Crawford (Eng) 1906-1908 12 2203 1150 39 5/48 29.48 3 2 2 8 0.25
RO Collinge (NZ) 1965-1978 35 7689 3393 116 6/63 29.25 3 4 15 16 0.25
SP Gupte (India) 1951-1961 36 11284 4403 149 9/102 29.55 12 3 22 11 0.27
JJ Ferris (Aus/Eng) 1887-1892 9 2302 775 61 7/37 12.70 6 2 0 7 0.28
DJG Sammy (WI) 2007-2011 16 2992 1347 46 7/66 29.28 4 2 7 7 0.28
AIC Dodemaide (Aus) 1987-1992 10 2184 953 34 6/58 28.02 1 1 6 3 0.33
Mohammad Amir (Pak) 2009-2010 14 2867 1484 51 6/84 29.09 3 3 2 9 0.33
CTB Turner (Aus) 1887-1895 17 5179 1670 101 7/43 16.53 11 4 2 11 0.36
JJC Lawson (WI) 2002-2005 13 2364 1512 51 7/78 29.64 2 3 2 8 0.37
RG Nadkarni (India) 1955-1968 41 9165 2559 88 6/43 29.07 4 7 17 17 0.41
Mohammad Asif (Pak) 2005-2010 23 5171 2583 106 6/41 24.36 7 6 4 13 0.46
C Blythe (Eng) 1901-1910 19 4546 1863 100 8/59 18.63 9 5 4 10 0.50
ST Clarke (WI) 1978-1982 11 2477 1170 42 5/126 27.85 1 1 8 2 0.50
RM Ellison (Eng) 1984-1986 11 2264 1048 35 6/77 29.94 3 3 2 6 0.50
Mushtaq Mohammad (Pak) 1959-1979 57 5260 2309 79 5/28 29.22 3 9 31 17 0.52
RM Hogg (Aus) 1978-1984 38 7633 3503 123 6/74 28.47 6 9 13 16 0.56
SB Doull (NZ) 1992-2000 32 6053 2872 98 7/65 29.30 6 9 7 16 0.56
GA Faulkner (SA) 1906-1924 25 4227 2180 82 7/84 26.58 4 8 3 14 0.57
BS Chandrasekhar (India) 1964-1979 58 15963 7199 242 8/79 29.74 16 14 20 24 0.58
BS Bedi (India) 1966-1979 67 21364 7637 266 7/98 28.71 14 17 22 28 0.60
GE Palmer (Aus) 1880-1886 17 4517 1678 78 7/65 21.51 6 5 4 8 0.62

  • In one-day internationals, Gavin Hamilton has the smallest win percentage for batsmen with an average greater than 35. Hamilton averaged 35.17 in 38 ODIs, of which Scotland won only 10, giving him a win percentage of 27.70. Andy Flower's 29.40 win percentage is the lowest for batsmen from a Full Member nation. Zimbabwe won 59 of Flower's 213 ODIs.

Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for Cricinfo and other ESPN sports websites. George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket

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