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Bresnan stopped at 13

The England allrounder could have challenged Adam Gilchrist's record for most consecutive wins at the start of a career, if not for the rain at Edgbatson

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

June 13, 2012

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

Tim Bresnan trapped Marlon Samuels lbw, England v West Indies, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, 3rd day, June 9, 2012
Tim Bresnan had played 13 and won 13 before the draw at Edgbaston © AFP
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England had won all of Tim Bresnan's first 13 Tests before the Birmingham weather and an improbable West Indian batting performance consigned his 14th to a draw. With the victory at Trent Bridge, Bresnan had drawn level with Australian fast bowler Stuart Clark in second place, but the stalemate at Edgbaston meant he could not challenge Adam Gilchrist's record of 15 consecutive wins from the start of a career.

Gilchrist, who contributed significantly to those 15 wins with 992 runs at an average of 58, was well on course for a 16th before Australia were unexpectedly beaten at Eden Gardens in 2001. He made a first-ball pair in that match. Clark's run of victories also ended against India, when Australia lost his 14th Test in Perth in 2008.

Despite his all-round performances in England wins, Bresnan has not been a regular in their first XI, often playing only when one of the first-choice fast bowlers was unavailable. Bresnan averages 40 with the bat and 26 with the ball but his 14 Tests have spanned three years. His present run of four consecutive matches - the last in Sri Lanka and the three against West Indies - is the longest of his career.

Former West Indies allrounder Eldine Baptise holds the record for the longest career with a 100% win record - ten Tests. Nine of those matches were between 1983 and '84, but the next was six years later, in 1990. Baptiste scored 9 and took one wicket in an innings-and-32-run victory against England in Antigua and did not play again. He enjoyed one more famous victory over England, though, this time as coach of the Stanford Superstars in their $20 million victory in 2009.

Most consecutive wins at the start of a career
Player Span Mat Won Lost Draw Inns Runs Bat Av 100 Balls Wkts Bowl Av 5
AC Gilchrist (Aus) 1999-2001 15 15 0 0 21 992 58.35 2 0 0 - 0
SR Clark (Aus) 2006-2008 13 13 0 0 12 137 13.70 0 2920 62 20.20 1
TT Bresnan (Eng) 2009-2012 13 13 0 0 11 362 40.22 0 2841 52 25.46 1
EAE Baptiste (WI) 1983-1990 10* 10 0 0 11 233 23.30 0 1362 16 35.18 0
B Lee (Aus) 1999-2001 10 10 0 0 10 174 24.85 0 1726 48 19.37 3
TT Samaraweera (SL) 2001-2002 10 10 0 0 10 581 83.00 2 724 11 30.54 0
JM Gregory (Aus) 1920-1921 8 8 0 0 12 512 51.20 1 1960 40 22.20 2
JM Taylor (Aus) 1920-1921 8 8 0 0 11 324 29.45 0 0 0 - 0
AJ Strauss (Eng) 2004-2004 8 8 0 0 16 810 57.85 3 0 0 - 0
AA Mailey (Aus) 1920-1921 7 7 0 0 9 63 12.60 0 1925 46 25.69 4
CE Pellew (Aus) 1920-1921 7 7 0 0 11 460 46.00 2 6 0 - 0
RN Harvey (Aus) 1948-1950 7 7 0 0 10 687 98.14 4 24 0 - 0
KF Barrington (Eng) 1955-1959 7 7 0 0 9 409 45.44 0 282 5 27.00 0
GA Lohmann (Eng) 1886-1888 6 6 0 0 9 86 10.75 0 1119 38 10.00 4
TW Hayward (Eng) 1896-1897 6 6 0 0 9 299 37.37 1 158 2 58.00 0
HL Collins (Aus) 1920-1921 6 6 0 0 10 574 57.40 2 156 2 42.00 0
EA McDonald (Aus) 1921-1921 6 6 0 0 7 57 14.25 0 1487 28 28.03 1
DR Jardine (Eng) 1928-1929 6 6 0 0 9 427 53.37 0 6 0 - 0
DJ Terbrugge (SA) 1998-2002 6 6 0 0 6 14 14.00 0 880 20 21.20 1
PA Jaques (Aus) 2005-2008 6 6 0 0 10 573 57.30 2 0 0 - 0
ST Finn (Eng) 2010-2010 6 6 0 0 6 12 12.00 0 966 27 21.85 2
* denotes the player's entire career

Click here for the ODI tables.

All of the top players in the table above - Gilchrist, Clark, Bresnan, Baptiste and Brett Lee - were part of teams that were the best in the world. Bresnan still is. Sri Lanka, however, were not close to being No. 1 when Thilan Samaraweera played his first ten Tests, but they still won all of them. Apart from the Asian Test Championship final in 2002, all of the other matches were in Sri Lanka, and Samaraweera averaged 83 in ten innings.

Malcolm Marshall played the most Tests before experiencing defeat - 35 between 1978 and 1984. To put that in perspective, Dwayne Bravo played 23 Tests before he was part of a winning team. West Indies won 17 and drew 18 of Marshall's first 35 games and he took 161 wickets at an average of 22 in them. At second place in the table below is Keith Miller, who played 25 Tests before Australia lost with him in the XI, followed by three more Invincibles.

Of the Australians who formed the great sides of the 1990s and 2000s, only Andrew Symonds and Michael Hussey began their careers with undefeated streaks longer than Gilchrist's, because of the trip-ups in India or in Ashes dead rubbers. Australia won all but one of the first 20 and 17 matches respectively that Hussey and Symonds played. The one that got away was the Perth Test against South Africa in 2009, which was drawn because of Jacques Rudolph's fourth-innings century.

Most consecutive Tests without defeat at the start of a career
Player Span Mat Won Lost Draw Inns Runs Bat Av 100 Balls Wkts Bowl Av 5
MD Marshall (WI) 1978-1984 35 17 0 18 42 678 16.95 0 7620 161 22.11 12
KR Miller (Aus) 1946-1951 25 20 0 5 35 1372 45.73 2 4163 70 21.05 2
RR Lindwall (Aus) 1946-1951 23 18 0 5 28 551 21.19 1 4691 89 19.47 5
AR Morris (Aus) 1946-1951 23 18 0 5 37 2097 61.67 10 48 0 - 0
IWG Johnson (Aus) 1946-1951 22 17 0 5 29 456 17.53 0 4736 58 29.31 2
RK Chauhan (India) 1993-1998 21* 12 0 9 17 98 7.00 0 4749 47 39.51 0
MEK Hussey (Aus) 2005-2008 20 19 0 1 33 2120 84.80 8 30 0 - 0
D Tallon (Aus) 1946-1951 19 15 0 4 22 376 18.80 0 0 0 - 0
ATW Grout (Aus) 1957-1961 19 12 0 6 24 468 23.40 0 0 0 - 0
MJK Smith (Eng) 1958-1961 19 10 0 9 31 936 31.20 2 54 1 25.00 0
WA Johnston (Aus) 1947-1951 18 15 0 3 17 112 11.20 0 4860 87 17.64 3
KF Barrington (Eng) 1955-1961 17 10 0 7 27 1125 45.00 2 941 10 35.70 0
A Symonds (Aus) 2004-2008 17 16 0 1 25 923 41.95 2 1398 17 36.58 0
JM Gregory (Aus) 1920-1925 16 12 0 4 24 863 41.09 2 4378 76 26.46 4
L Hutton (Eng) 1937-1946 16 5 0 11 26 1468 61.16 5 104 2 35.00 0
RA Harper (WI) 1983-1986 16 12 0 4 20 303 17.82 0 2776 38 26.86 1
Shoaib Mohammad (Pak) 1983-1988 16 2 0 14 23 543 25.85 1 108 3 18.66 0

Click here for the ODI tables.

Former India spinner Rajesh Chauhan has the longest completed career without a Test defeat. He played 21 matches during the 1990s - 16 at home, four in Sri Lanka and one in New Zealand - of which India won 12 and drew nine. He contributed 47 wickets at an average of 39 to those results.

There are also those whose careers did not start with an abundance of wins or draws. Bert Sutcliffe, for example, whose 42-Test career began in 1947 and ended in 1965, before New Zealand achieved their maiden victory in Test cricket. His is the longest completed career without a Test win, and he is kept company by several of his team-mates, who had shorter careers, in the table below.

Pakistan did not win any of the first 28 matches that Mushtaq Mohammad, who was once the youngest century-maker in Test cricket, played. They lost 13 and drew 15 of those games. In his 29th Test, in Dunedin in 1973, Mushtaq made 201 and took seven wickets, becoming only the second player to score a double-century and take five wickets in an innings of a Test. Pakistan won by an innings and 166 runs

Most consecutive Tests without victory at the start of a career
Player Span Mat Won Lost Draw Inns Runs Bat Av 100 Balls Wkts Bowl Av 5
B Sutcliffe (NZ) 1947-1965 42* 0 23 19 76 2727 40.10 5 538 4 86.00 0
Habibul Bashar (Ban) 2000-2004 32 0 29 3 63 2138 34.48 3 234 0 - 0
Khaled Mashud (Ban) 2000-2004 31 0 28 3 59 1002 19.26 1 0 0 - 0
Mushtaq Mohammad (Pak) 1959-1973 28 0 13 15 49 1602 35.60 4 1392 18 36.00 0
JR Reid (NZ) 1949-1956 26 0 16 10 47 1373 30.51 3 3865 37 36.78 0
BC Strang (Zim) 1995-2001 26* 0 16 10 45 465 12.91 0 5433 56 39.33 1
Javed Omar (Ban) 2001-2004 25 0 23 2 50 1030 21.02 1 6 0 - 0
Mohammad Ashraful (Ban) 2001-2004 23 0 20 3 45 1112 26.47 2 672 7 72.71 0
DJ Bravo (WI) 2004-2007 23 0 16 7 42 1404 34.24 2 3558 45 43.37 2
BW Sinclair (NZ) 1963-1968 21* 0 10 11 40 1148 29.43 3 60 2 16.00 0
Shahadat Hossain (Ban) 2005-2009 21 0 19 2 40 198 7.07 0 3116 50 43.76 2
Shahriar Nafees (Ban) 2005-2011 21* 0 19 2 42 1126 26.80 1 0 0 - 0
AR MacGibbon (NZ) 1951-1956 20 0 13 7 35 595 19.83 0 4443 46 37.19 0
RW Blair (NZ) 1953-1964 19* 0 13 6 34 189 6.75 0 3525 43 35.23 0
D Ramdin (WI) 2005-2007 19 0 13 6 34 704 24.27 0 0 0 - 0
L Amarnath (India) 1933-1952 18 0 8 10 34 742 23.93 1 3294 36 33.80 2
Javed Burki (Pak) 1960-1965 18 0 5 13 35 1157 35.06 3 42 0 - 0
BK Kunderan (India) 1960-1967 18* 0 7 11 34 981 32.70 2 24 0 - 0
P Willey (Eng) 1976-1981 18 0 9 9 34 861 29.68 2 971 5 81.20 0
Tapash Baisya (Ban) 2002-2004 18 0 16 2 35 346 11.93 0 2870 31 59.12 0

Click here for the ODI tables.

Sutcliffe and the other winless New Zealand players, however, fought out a fair number of draws. New Zealand drew 19 and lost 23 of Sutcliffe's 42 matches. That wasn't the case for a lot of Bangladesh players, though. Habibul Bashar and Khaled Mashud, for example, were part of only three draws, and no wins, in careers that comprised 32 and 31 Tests. Bangladesh lost all 17 Tests that Alok Kapali played.

Most consecutive defeats at the start of a career
Player Span Mat Won Lost Draw Inns Runs Bat Av 100 Balls Wkts Bowl Av 5
Alok Kapali (Ban) 2002-2006 17* 0 17 0 34 584 17.69 0 1103 6 118.16 0
Hannan Sarkar (Ban) 2002-2004 13 0 13 0 26 617 23.73 0 0 0 - 0
Tapash Baisya (Ban) 2002-2004 12 0 12 0 24 163 8.57 0 2012 23 55.21 0
Mohammad Sharif (Ban) 2001-2007 10* 0 10 0 20 122 7.17 0 1651 14 79.00 0
Mehrab Hossain (Ban) 2000-2003 9* 0 9 0 18 241 13.38 0 12 0 - 0
Sanwar Hossain (Ban) 2001-2003 9* 0 9 0 18 345 19.16 0 444 5 62.00 0
Mohammad Rafique (Ban) 2000-2004 9 0 9 0 18 177 11.80 0 2807 42 28.09 3
Mushfiqur Rahim (Ban) 2005-2008 9 0 9 0 18 285 16.76 0 0 0 - 0
Surendranath (India) 1958-1959 8 0 8 0 16 113 9.41 0 1924 20 39.25 2
D Ganga (WI) 1998-2000 8 0 8 0 14 182 13.00 0 0 0 - 0
Akram Khan (Ban) 2000-2003 8* 0 8 0 16 259 16.18 0 0 0 - 0
EH Hendren (Eng) 1920-1921 7 0 7 0 14 336 24.00 0 0 0 - 0
CH Parkin (Eng) 1920-1921 7 0 7 0 14 129 10.75 0 1683 24 40.41 1
TR Gripper (Zim) 1999-2000 7 0 7 0 14 175 12.50 0 124 1 81.00 0
Talha Jubair (Ban) 2002-2004 7* 0 7 0 14 52 6.50 0 1090 14 55.07 0
D Ramdin (WI) 2005-2006 7 0 7 0 14 312 24.00 0 0 0 - 0
Shahadat Hossain (Ban) 2005-2006 7 0 7 0 14 55 6.11 0 1071 16 49.56 1

Click here for the ODI tables.

If there's a particular List that you would like to see, email us with your comments and suggestions.

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

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Posted by Selassie-I on (June 14, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

Well done to tim bresnan, certainly an underrated cricketer, especially looking at some of the comments on here. average with the ball of 26, economy of less than 3, batting ave of 40, I think a lot of teams would kill to have someone like that. And he's taken his wickets in England, Australia and the sub continent proving that he can bowl on all surfaces, he has excellent control, can extract a bit of swing and seam movement and reverse the old ball. Maybe the people pulling him down are a bit jealous? I think he'd be one of the first names on my team sheet against SA... although I could have a Johnson who can barely pitch the ball on the square, or a medium pace trundler who struggles to keep his foot behind the line... nope I think i'll take timmy!

Posted by Haleos on (June 14, 2012, 13:33 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding - Are you a Professor in English?

Posted by Grasian on (June 14, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

The Test and ODI tables for most consecutive defeats and most matches without victory illustrate that Bangladesh should never have received Test status. Their rapid elevation to full ICC status seemed to follow one isolated victory against Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup (Pakistan's batting collapsed rather dramatically on their way to the final) and India's desire to form an Asian bloc. Compare this to Sri Lanka's struggles to obtain Test status over a twenty year period. Bangladesh have simply debased Test cricket.

Posted by perl57 on (June 14, 2012, 3:33 GMT)

For comparison, we can do it. Because Agarkar until few years back was the fastest to the 50 wickets. So was he great. I would rate Agarkar better than this bresnan guy. England's first test of defending outside their den against a flat sun baked test pitch proved that not only England was pathetic, it defined a new height than what India defined after 2 years of defense of #1. Then against a SL team it could not win series. Now against Windies somehow pulled it through. England had time and again had these bresnan kinda guys performing in england. Now their main test of SA comes to them with Gary as a proven coach. If they can manage a win against SA then I would rate them as a good team but not as good as INdia was when it was #1. Then to talk of being equal to Oz is rubbish. First they should stop asking for second chances for Bell and be sportive enough to let opposition practice against their players who are outside the team. England can't let it happen and hence they are losers.

Posted by rienzied on (June 14, 2012, 1:01 GMT)

Lucky mediocrity. I hope Philander Steyn, Morkel and co run these guys ragged

Posted by SagirParkar on (June 13, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

just wait till South Africa get to england.. Bresnan's 'record' of sorts will definitely go to pot then ! unless England decide to rest him for that tour and only play him against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and other weak teams.. Bresnan should consider himself lucky that he didnt play against Pakistan in the middle east.. we wouldnt have been talking of this 'record' then..

Posted by ejsiddiqui on (June 13, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

Bresnan's record is not exceptional, but we can conclude that Bresnan is the lucky char of English team.

Posted by Dashgar on (June 13, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

It's a pity about the rain, because now England will say it was the only reason Bresnan didn't keep his streak going. They won't mention a word about how insipid the English bowling attack was in the first innings without Anderson or that Bresnan did nothing to take command as senior bowler. If the match went all five days without delay England probably would have lost or drawn anyway.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (June 13, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

the other way to look at it is that Bresnan still has a 100% not-lost record.....@RahulCricket007, I think you might find England lost the OVAL test match in 2010 against Pakistan, besides there is no such place as Edgabuston with an international cricket pitch, its EDGBASTON.

Posted by RandyOZ on (June 13, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

Bresnan truly isn't that good and has got lucky in his test career. SHouldn't really be picked against SA based on his poor show against the Windies but at least if he does we will finally see the back of him on the International stage.

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George BinoyClose
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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