This is the second of two follow-up pieces to the top 25 batting and bowling performance lists I compiled over the last few months.

First, on the terminology used in these pieces: GW25 (Golden Willow 25) and RC25 (Red Cherry 25) have been established in the earlier articles. I will use GW25-100 and RC25-100 to represent the Top 100 tables. I will refer to the 3200-odd entries (that have rating points greater than 400) as GW25-Selection or RC25-Selection.

I have created an Excel sheet containing the RC25 performances over 500 points which can be downloaded here. In it I have given the PQI (Pitch Quality Index) for each performance so that the readers can gauge the nature of the pitch and relate this important measure to the performance. Remember that the PQI value is on a scale of 0-100; a low PQI value indicates a lot of help to the bowlers and a high PQI value indicates that it was a batsman-friendly pitch. I have also given the Wicket-Value, which is arguably the most important measure used in the RC25 analysis. It is a composite of the dismissed batsman's batting average and the runs saved if the batsman was dismissed below his average.

RC25 Potpourri

Bowlers in list
I have already mentioned that Jim Laker and Muttiah Muralitharan are the only bowlers to have two performances each in the RC25 list. Continuing on that theme, there are no fewer than 16 bowlers with two performances each in the RC25-100 table. However, Murali reigns supreme with four. Kapil Dev and Vernon Philander have three each.

Highest-rated five-wicket hauls

West Indies v England, Port-of-Spain, 1973-74: Tony Greig 33-7-70-5 - 764 points (Batsmen dismissed: Kallicharran 0, Kanhai 7, Lloyd 13, Murray 33 and Inshan Ali 15; while defending 226 in the fourth innings)

Australia v India, Melbourne, 1980-81: Kapil Dev 16.4-4-28-5 - 741 points (Yardley 7, Border 9, Marsh 3, Lillee 4 and Higgs 0; while defending 143)

India v Australia, Mumbai, 2004-05: Harbhajan Singh 10.5-2-29-5 - 728 points (Hayden 24, Katich 1, Gilchrist 5, Kasprowicz 7 and McGrath 0; while defending 105)

Highest-rated four-wicket spells

Australia v England, Sydney, 1936-37: Bill Voce 8-1-10-4 - 616 points (Bradman - 0, McCabe 0, O'Brien 0 and Fingleton 12 - That is some haul!)

England v South Africa, Trent Bridge, 1951: Tufty Mann 24-16-24-4 - 615 points (Ikin 33, Watson 5, Bailey 11 and Evans 0; while defending 186)
Australia v West Indies, Adelaide, 1992-93: Curtly Ambrose 26-5-46-4 - 613 points (Boon 0, Steve Waugh 4, Border 1 and Hughes 1; while defending 186)

Highest-rated three-wicket hauls

India v Pakistan, Bangalore, 2004-05: Shahid Afridi 17-7-13-3 - 492 points (Tendulkar 16, Laxman 5 and Ganguly 2; while defending 383)

India v Australia, Mumbai, 2004: Murali Kartik 12-3-32-3 - 488 points (Ponting 12, Martyn 0 and Clarke 7)

South Africa v Australia, Durban, 2001-02: Jacques Kallis 11-2-29-3 - 485 points (Mark Waugh 30, Martyn 0 and Gilchrist 16)

Lowest-rated six-wicket hauls

In the South Africa-New Zealand Test in Cape Town in 1961-62, Sydney Burke's 6 for 128 secured a mere 371 points. David Pithey's 6 for 58 against New Zealand in 1963-64 managed only 375. Recently, Yasir Shah's 6 for 184 against Sri Lanka in Dubai got just 386 points.

Lowest-rated five-wicket hauls

Australia's Joey Palmer took 5 for 103 against England in 1882-83, a performance that secured a mere 307 points. Bonnor Middleton of South Africa took 5 for 64 against England in 1895-86, which managed to garner only 308 points. Moving on to more familiar times, Bishan Bedi's 5 for 110 against England in 1976-77 secured only 339 points. Wahab Riaz's 5 for 88 against West Indies in 2016-17 got only 353 points. Finally, in that "drawn-with-scores-level Test" in Mumbai against West Indies in 2011-12, R Ashwin's 5 for 156 managed to get only 358 points.

Tests with the most RC25-Selection performances

7 x 400 points:
Sri Lanka v Australia, Kandy 2003-04: Nuwan Zoysa, Muralitharan, Michael Kasprowicz, Warne, Muralitharan, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne.

5 x 500:
Australia v England, Melbourne, 1903-04: Len Braund, Monty Noble, Tibby Cotter, George Hirst and Hugh Trumble
India v Pakistan, Bengaluru, 1986-87: Maninder Singh, Iqbal Qasim, Tauseef Ahmed, Qasim and Tauseef. This was Gavaskar's farewell Test
England v Australia, The Oval, 1997: Glenn McGrath, Phil Tufnell, Michael Kasprowicz, Tufnell and Andrew Caddick

3 x 600:
England v Australia, The Oval, 1934: Bill Bowes, Nobby Clark, Clarrie Grimmett
Australia v England, Sydney, 1946-47: Ray Lindwall, Doug Wright, Colin McCool
Sri Lanka v England, Galle, 2012: Rangana Herath, Graeme Swann and Herath

2x700:
Australia v England, Melbourne, 1903-04: Wilfred Rhodes, in each innings
England v Australia, Old Trafford, 1948: Jim Laker, in each innings - both above 800
West Indies v England, Port-of-Spain, 1973-74: Tony Greig in each innings - 800 + 700

Series with the most RC25-Selection performances

Both teams: Australia v England 1974-75. Total of 18 (Australia ten and England 8)
One team: England v Australia 1993. Australia - 13 performances

Other tables

1. Top Bowlers: By RC25 frequency
BowlerPerformancesSpellsFrequency
SF Barnes 25 50 2.00
CV Grimmett 24 67 2.79
RJ Hadlee 53150 2.83
M Muralitharan 79230 2.91
Yasir Shah 17 54 3.18
WJ O'Reilly 15 48 3.20
R Ashwin 34118 3.47
Fazal Mahmood 15 53 3.53
GA Lohmann 10 36 3.60
Mohammad Asif 12 44 3.67
DK Lillee 35132 3.77
Imran Khan 37142 3.84
GP Swann 28109 3.89
Saeed Ajmal 17 67 3.94
HMRKB Herath 42168 4.00
DW Steyn 40161 4.03
AK Davidson 20 82 4.10
SK Warne 66273 4.14
Shakib Al Hasan 21 89 4.24
TM Alderman 17 73 4.29

There is no surprise here. Sydney Barnes was among the best bowlers ever and his wickets-per-Test value of 7.0 has never been overhauled. This results in his top position, with an RC25 performance every other spell. The next three bowlers are truly great ones and these four together form a great quartet. It is a little bit of a surprise but equally wonderful that Richard Hadlee has a figure marginally better than Murali's. Yasir's presence in the top five indicates how much he has delivered for Pakistan recently. Also note the high top-ten position of R Ashwin (though most of his successes have come at home).

2. Top Bowlers: By number of RC25 performances
BowlerPerformancesSpellsFrequency
M Muralitharan 79230 2.91
SK Warne 66273 4.14
RJ Hadlee 53150 2.83
A Kumble 50236 4.72
GD McGrath 48243 5.06
JM Anderson 43267 6.21
HMRKB Herath 42168 4.00
DW Steyn 40161 4.03
Imran Khan 37142 3.84
CA Walsh 36242 6.72
SM Pollock 36202 5.61
IT Botham 35168 4.80
DK Lillee 35132 3.77
MD Marshall 34151 4.44
R Ashwin 34118 3.47
Kapil Dev 33227 6.88
Harbhajan Singh 32190 5.94
Waqar Younis 32154 4.81
SCJ Broad 30225 7.50
Wasim Akram 30181 6.03
CEL Ambrose 30179 5.97

In terms of sheer numbers, Murali reigns supreme, with 79 performances. Warne comes into his own with 66 and is in second position. Hadlee again surprises us by pipping Anil Kumble, who has nearly 200 wickets more. This table mirrors the top-wickets table more or less, with the exception of Hadlee and Rangana Herath. McGrath is in fifth position. These five bowlers could easily be in anyone's list of top-five bowlers ever. And look at the bowlers who follow them.

3. Top career averages rating points: Bowlers
BowlerTeamTestsWicketsRtgPtsPts/WktAvgePts
SF Barnes Eng 2718917487 92.5647.7
CV Grimmett Aus 3721621513 99.6581.4
GA Lohmann Eng 1811210318 92.1573.2
M Muralitharan Sl 13380074777 93.5562.2
WJ O'Reilly Aus 2714415108104.9559.6
Yasir Shah Pak 2816515520 94.1554.3
R Ashwin Ind 6333333874101.7537.7
CTB Turner Aus 17101 9030 89.4531.2
RA Jadeja Ind 3818219771108.6520.3
Saeed Ajmal Pak 3517817978101.0513.7
RJ Hadlee Nz 8643143998102.1511.6
DK Lillee Aus 7035535684100.5509.8
R Peel Eng 2010110038 99.4501.9
SK Warne Aus14570872011101.7496.6
DW Steyn Sa 8842143543103.4494.8
Mohammad Asif Pak 2310611247106.1489.0
GD McGrath Aus12456360634107.7489.0
C Blythe Eng 19100 9262 92.6487.5
MD Marshall Wi 8137639393104.8486.3
RJ Harris Aus 2711312667112.1469.1
CEH Croft Wi 2712512639101.1468.1

Barnes tops the bowlers' table. This is not surprising considering his 189 wickets in 27 Tests. Clarrie Grimmett is in second place. These two were at the top of the RC25-Frequency table as well. Then there are some changes. George Lohmann comes in because of his 100-plus wickets. He is followed by Murali, who played many more Tests. Bill O'Reilly leapfrogs Yasir Shah, but there is a new entrant occupying a top-ten position: Ravindra Jadeja is ninth, indicating that while he might not have delivered RC25-level performances often, he has been very consistent - again, with the rider that most of these performances have been at home.

4. Top career averages rating points: Allrounders
BowlerTeamTestsRunsWicketsRtgPtsAvgePts
R Ashwin Ind 63229633342913681.2
RJ Hadlee Nz 86312443157356666.9
Shakib Al Hasan Bng 53369219633294628.2
Imran Khan Pak 88380736253741610.7
GS Sobers Wi 93803223555317600.1
TL Goddard Sa 41251612324590599.8
IT Botham Eng102520038360616594.3
SM Pollock Sa 108378142161959573.7
CL Cairns Nz 62332021835535573.1
MG Johnson Aus 73206531341542569.1
KR Miller Aus 55295817030799560.0
R Benaud Aus 63220124835263559.7
Wasim Akram Pak104289841455053529.4
AW Greig Eng 58359914130526526.3
MH Mankad Ind 44210916223126525.6
A Flintoff Eng 79384522640634514.3
DL Vettori Nz 113453136256025495.8
JH Kallis Sa 166328929282084494.5
Kapil Dev Ind131524843464385491.5
BA Stokes Eng 46277911222502489.2

Now, for the biggest surprise. The career all-round performances table is topped by Ashwin, ahead of the more famous allrounders. The main reason is that his bowling numbers are those of top-class bowlers (5.3 wickets per Test) while his batting average of 29.4 is higher than those of batsmen like Grant Flower, Martin Guptill, Roshan Mahanama, Alistair Campbell and Mark Ramprakash. He almost matches Kris Srikkanth. These numbers have helped move him to the top. And let us not forget that the location concept is built into the RC25 computations, so these points are already diluted because Ashwin has achieved most of his success at home. Hadlee is in a well-deserved second place thanks to his low bowling average of 22.3 and very good batting average of 27.2.

Shakib Al Hasan is at No. 3. There is no denying what he has achieved for Bangladesh: 3700 runs at an average of near 40 and 196 wickets at an average near 32 are testament to his skills. Imran Khan is in fourth position. Garry Sobers just about edges Trevor Goddard into fifth. Most of the other top allrounders are in the top ten.

I have a specific request for the readers: please do not send in comments saying, "Do you mean to say that Ashwin is a better bowler than Lillee, or Goddard is a better allrounder than Botham?" I am not saying anything like that. Far from it. This is just a table of the average RC25 and GW25 points secured by players in a Test. If anyone concludes that any given player is better than another, it will only indicate their own short-sightedness. Respect the numbers, respect my work, interpret the results properly, and do not imply conclusions that I have not drawn.

5. Top match bowling performances
BowlerTeamTestYearResVsSpell1Spell2Spell1-PtsSpell2-PtsMatch-Pts
Laker ENG 4281956Won Aus9/ 3710/ 53809.1837.11646.2
Greig ENG 7381974Won Wi 8/ 86 5/ 70818.3763.81582.1
Fazal MahmoodPAK 3901954Won Eng6/ 53 6/ 46690.9829.31520.2
Massie AUS 6991972Won Eng8/ 84 8/ 53690.1786.11476.2
Hadlee NZ 10291985Won Aus9/ 52 6/ 71860.2609.41469.5
Rhodes ENG 791904Won Aus7/ 56 8/ 68731.0738.41469.4
Verity ENG 2341934Won Aus7/ 61 8/ 43668.4784.21452.6
Botham ENG 8741980Won Ind6/ 58 7/ 48627.7776.71404.4
Spofforth AUS 91882Won Eng7/ 46 7/ 44627.4774.51402.0
Holding WI 7811976Won Eng8/ 92 6/ 57726.0674.21400.2
Fazal MahmoodPAK 4711959Won Wi 6/ 34 6/ 66666.4726.81393.2
Harbhajan IND15392001Won Aus7/133 8/ 84624.4720.01344.5
Blythe ENG 941907Won Sa 8/ 59 7/ 40621.0723.01343.9
Barnes ENG 1311913Won Sa 8/ 56 9/103674.5664.51339.0
Tayfield SA 3611952Won Aus6/ 84 7/ 81608.5730.31338.9
Muralitharan SL 14231998Won Eng7/155 9/ 65561.7777.11338.8
O'Keefe AUS22502017Won Ind6/ 35 6/ 35664.0671.91335.9
Bedser ENG 3721953DrawnAus7/ 55 7/ 44601.4711.61313.0
Johnson AUS21192014Won Sa 7/ 68 5/ 59717.8585.81303.6
Hoggard ENG17342005Won Sa 5/144 7/ 61482.8818.21301.0

Now for the match bowling performances. Having captured 95% of the match wickets in a Test, it would have been a huge surprise if Laker did not head this table. With both his innings performances in that Old Trafford Test finding places in the RC25 table, his match bowling performance points total is a massive 1646. The interest, as is usual in these Bradmanesque instances, is to find out whose performance is second. There are a few 17-wicket, 16-wicket and 15-wicket performances. However, these have all been pushed into the background by Tony Greig's magnificent 13-wicket haul in the West Indies, which fetch him a very impressive tally of 1582 points; both those performances are in the top 40. Fazal Mahmood's outstanding brace of almost identical six-wicket hauls in England in 1954 is in third position. This is followed by Bob Massie's debut performance of 16 wickets at Lord's. Hadlee's 15-wicket performance par excellence completes the top five.

6. Top all-round match performances
PlayerTeamYearResVsInns1Inns2Inns1-PtsInns2-PtsMatch-Pts
Botham ENG1980Won Ind114 & 6/58 7/48 1406.9 627.72034.6
Botham ENG1981Won Aus 50 & 6/95 149 & 1/14 514.31328.71843.0
Mushtaq Mohd PAK1977Won Wi 121 & 5/28 56 & 3/69 917.9 880.71798.6
Flintoff ENG2005Won Aus 68 & 3/52 73 & 4/79 858.2 874.31732.6
Hooper WI 1994DrawnInd 81 & 5/116 67 & 2/62 654.8 989.41644.1
Hadlee NZ 1980Won Wi 51 & 5/34 17 & 6/68 898.3 742.61641.0
Shakib Hasan BNG2017Won Aus 84 & 5/68 5 & 5/851097.8 541.81639.5
Faulkner SA 1910Won Eng 78 & 5/120123 & 3/40 728.5 896.81625.3
Davidson AUS 498DrawnWi 44 & 5/135 80 & 6/87 729.4 890.01619.3
Border AUS1989Won Wi 75 & 7/46 16 & 4/50 744.0 853.71597.7
Tayfield SA 1952Won Aus 23 & 6/84 22 & 7/81 880.5 709.01589.5
Vettori NZ 2008Won Bng 55 & 5/59 76 & 4/74 818.9 758.51577.5
Atkinson WI 1955DrawnAus219 & 2/108 20 & 5/561288.6 264.01552.6
Sobers WI 636DrawnEng152 & 3/72 95 & 3/53 789.8 757.41547.3
Steyn SA 2008Won Aus 76 & 5/87 5/67 952.8 583.51536.4
Perera SL 2016Won Aus 16 & 4/29 64 & 6/70 689.7 838.51528.2
Benaud AUS 1956Won Ind 24 & 6/52 21 & 5/53 765.5 752.41517.9
Noble AUS1902Won Eng 47 & 5/51 8 & 6/52 930.2 579.61509.8
Bates ENG1883Won Aus 55 & 7/28 7/74 853.1 649.41502.6
Botham ENG1978Won Nz 103 & 5/73 30 & 3/38 808.2 677.71485.8

When we come to match-level all-round performances, Ian Botham reigns supreme with the top two performances. The first would be the top entry in almost anyone's list of match-level performances - in Mumbai in 1979-80, Botham totalled an incredible 2035 points. His first-innings tally of 1406 points is the highest achieved in a single innings. This masterclass is followed by the more familiar Headingley exploits a year or so later. Botham accumulated well over 1800 points at Headingley.

Mushtaq Mohammad collected nearly 1800 points for his 100, 50 and eight-wicket haul in Port-of-Spain in 1977. This was a match-winning performance away against a strong West Indian side. Andrew Flintoff's two invaluable fifties and seven wickets at Edgbaston in 2005 fetched him well over 1700 points. Finally, Carl Hooper's match-saving brace of fifties and seven wickets in Nagpur in 1994-95 got him just over 1600 points.

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Incorporating feedback/improvements for the top 25 batting and bowling performances
The pieces I did over the last three months on the top batting and bowling performances in Test history have elicited plenty of feedback. Based on that and on my own ideas, I have summarised the changes I expect to make in the Batting and Bowling Performance Ratings calculations going forward. Click here for more details on these changes.

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