August 25, 2014

They did a number on us

A look at some of the more exotic statistics from the England-India series

0-1 to 3-1
England's comeback was only the tenth time a team has recovered from 0-1 down to win a Test series 3-1. That includes three occasions when a team lost the first Test, then won the last four - Australia at home to England in 1897-98 and 1901-02, and England in Australia in 1911-12. Pride of place goes to Australia, in Don Bradman's first series as captain, who uniquely came from 0-2 down to win the 1936-37 Ashes series 3-2. For the full list, click here.

Umpiring history
The umpires for the fifth Test at The Oval - Kumar Dharmasena and Paul Reiffel - were both former Test players, only the 20th time this has happened in a Test (just seven of them before 1996). But at The Oval the TV umpire (Tim Robinson) and the reserve umpire (Neil Mallender) were ex-Test players too, as was the referee Ranjan Madugalle, who was overseeing his 150th Test. This is the first such full house: the only other time the two on-field officials and TV umpire were all former Test players was in England's match against South Africa at Headingley in 1998, when Javed Akhtar and Peter Willey were assisted by Ken Palmer. However, that was one of the very few matches in which the ICC referee - Judge Ahmed Ebrahim of Zimbabwe - was not a Test player. ESPNcricinfo's database does not always record the reserve official, a relatively new appointment.

Root's fifties…
Joe Root became only the third England player to reach 50 in at least one innings of every match of a five-Test series, following Wally Hammond in South Africa in 1938-39, and Peter May at home to South Africa in 1955. John Edrich went one better in 1970-71, reaching 50 in each Test of the first six-Test series, in Australia.

… and Root's average
Helped by his undefeated 149 at The Oval, Joe Root lifted his average in home Tests to 64.71, the highest by any Englishman with more than 1000 Test runs in England. Root edged ahead of Herbert Sutcliffe (64.60); Denis Compton (60.04) also averaged over 60. Ten other players, including Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell, top the 50 mark. For the full list, click here.

Come in No. 9
Bhuvneshwar Kumar scored 247 runs in all, a record for a No. 9 in any Test series, beating Stuart Broad's 244 in four Tests against Pakistan in 2010.

Allrounder Bhuvneshwar
To go with his 247 runs, Bhuvneshwar Kumar also took 19 wickets, the best all-round performance for India in a series in England. Kapil Dev scored 292 runs and took ten wickets in 1982, while Anil Kumble had 162 runs and 14 wickets in 2007. If Bhuvneshwar had managed one more wicket, he would have joined Vinoo Mankad and Kapil Dev as the only players to have scored 200 runs and taken 20 wickets in any series for India. Mankad (223 runs and 34 wickets) did it against England in India in 1951-52, while Kapil achieved the feat three times, all at home: against both Australia and Pakistan in 1979-80, and England in 1981-82.

By the tenth
The tenth-wicket partnerships of both sides in 2014 aggregated 499 runs - 267 by England and 232 by India - a record for any Test series. It was previously 458 by England and Australia in the 1924-25 Ashes in Australia. The tenth-wicket partnerships in the 2013 Ashes series in England aggregated 432 runs, while in the 1894-95 Ashes they added 428.

The bearded wonder
Moeen Ali's underrated offbreaks brought him 19 wickets in the series: probably only the seamer-friendly pitch at The Oval stopped him equalling Ray Illingworth's 20 wickets in 1967 (admittedly in only three Tests), still the record by an England spinner in a home series against India. Among spinners, only Alf Valentine (28 for West Indies in 1952-53), Lance Gibbs (24 for West Indies in 1961-62) and Illingworth have taken more wickets in a series against India outside the subcontinent.

The Devil's number
India laboured to 66 for 6 in four successive innings in the series - both outings in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, and each innings of the fifth at The Oval.

Kohli doesn't flower
Virat Kohli's average of 13.40 is among the lowest for any top-order (1-6) batsman who played throughout a five-Test series. The lowest of all was 6.22 by Bill Playle of New Zealand, who made only 56 runs in nine innings in England in 1958. Then comes Learie Constantine (65 runs at 7.22 for West Indies in Australia in 1930-31), Tommy Andrews (49 at 8.16 for Australia in England in 1926), Mike Atherton (79 at 8.77 for England v West Indies in 1991), Pelham Warner (85 at 9.44 for England in South Africa in 1905-06), Peter Carlstein (77 at 9.62 for South Africa in England in 1960), Chandu Sarwate (100 at 10.00 for India in Australia in 1947-48), Gundappa Viswanath (96 at 10.66 for India v England in 1976-77), Louis Stricker (99 at 12.37 for South Africa in Australia in 1910-11) and Maqsood Ahmed (102 at 12.75 for Pakistan in India in 1952-53). Sarwate was the only one apart from Kohli to have ten innings.

A record for Dhoni
MS Dhoni made 17 dismissals in the series - all catches - to establish a record for India in any series against England: Kiran More made 16 dismissals in England in 1986, and Dhoni himself 16 in India in 2005-06. Only Naren Tamhane (19 in Pakistan in 1954-55) and Syed Kirmani (19 in six Tests against Pakistan at home in 1979-80) have made more dismissals in any Test series for India. At The Oval Dhoni was captaining India against England for the 15th time in a Test, one more than Sunil Gavaskar.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2014