Saturday, 24 January 2015

Ask Bharath #3

1. Murali Vijay and Lokesh Rahul opened for India in the fourth Test at Sydney. How many times the Indian team had South Indian openers?Asked by Ajai Banerjee, Jaipur, India

Murali Vijay, born in Tamil Nadu, and Lokesh Rahul, born in Karnataka, opened for India in the fourth Test match against Australia at Sydney. They became the seventh pair (both born in South Indian states) to open for Indian in Tests. There has not been any South Indian opening pair staying a long time. The maximum was Jaisaimha-Kunderan and Jaisimha-Sardesai pair, both opened in 11 innings each.

Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay - The South Indian opening pair for India
© Getty Images

Partner 1
Partner 2
ML Jaisimha (Andhra Pradesh)
Budhi Kunderan (Karnataka)
ML Jaisimha (Andhra Pradesh)
Dilip Sardesai (Goa)
VVS Laxman (Andhra Pradesh)
Sadagoppan Ramesh (Tamil Nadu)
Abhinav Mukund (Tamil Nadu)
Murali Vijay (Tamil Nadu)
Lokesh Rahul (Karnataka)
Murali Vijay (Tamil Nadu)
VVS Laxman (Andhra Pradesh)
MSK Prasad (Andhra Pradesh)
Abid Ali (Andhra Pradesh)
Kenia Jayantilal (Andhra Pradesh)

As Goa players play for South Zone in Indian Domestic Cricket, Dilip Sardesai who was born in Goa is included in the list.

Rahul Dravid opened with South Indian openers - VVS Laxman, Woorkeri Raman and Abhinav Mukund but he was born in Madhya Pradesh. Hence he doesn't appear in the list above.

2. How many players got Man of the Series award after their team was whitewashed in a Test series of 3 or more matches? Sachin Tendulkar got one in Australia in 1999/00 though Indian lost the three-test series by 3-0.Asked by Praveen Kumar, Kundapura, India

This has happened only two times – Sachin Tendulkar in the Border Gavaskar Trophy 1999/00 in Australia where he scored 278 runs at 46.33 though the highest run getter was Ricky Ponting with 375 runs at 125.00 and Brian Lara in the three-match series in Sri Lanka in 2001/02 where he scored 688 runs at 114.66 and the next highest run getter was Hashan Tillakaratne with 403 runs at 403.00. Both these players got the award after their team was whitewashed in the three-match series.

There are few more occasions when a player whose team was whitewashed in the series got Man of the Series award. But those were in the series where one or more players from both the sides were announced Man of the Series. The occasions are: Geoff Lawson (Aus) along with Abdul Qadir in Pakistan in 1982/83, Martin Crowe (NZ) along with Shoaib Mohammad and Waqar Younis in Pakistan in 1990/91, Courtney Walsh (WI) along with Aamer Sohail in Pakistan in 1997/98, Mark Richardson (NZ) along with Steve Harmison in England in 2004, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI) along with Andrew Flintoff in England in 2004 and Rahul Dravid (Ind) along with Stuart Broad in England in 2011. Chanderpaul’s and Dravid’s were whitewashes in four-match series while the rest were in three-match series whitewashes.

3. Despite Kumar Sangakkara’s 203 Sri Lanka were all out for 356 against New Zealand at Wellington in third match of the series. Is this the lowest all out total in Tests to include a double century from a non-opener? – Asked by Aaquib Ansari, Bhiwandi, India

Kumar Sangakkara batting at No.3 scored 203, his 11th double century in Tests, to take a lead of 135 runs in reply to New Zealand’s first inning total of 221. Sri Lanka were all out for 356. It is the second lowest all out total in Tests that included a double century from non-opener. The lowest is just three runs less –South Africa were all out for 353 after their No.4 batsman Graeme Pollock scored 209 against Australia at Cape Town in 1966/67. Overall, the lowest all out including a double century from a batsman at any position is 329 by India against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2008 where Virender Sehwag, the opener, carried the bat throughout the inning scoring 201.

4. The Indian team that took field in the Sydney Test against Australia had an average experience of 15.63 test matches (including the Sydney test in their career). Is this the least experienced Indian team in the last 50 years? – Asked by Vivekananda Joshi, Almora, India

It is not the least experienced Indian playing XI in the last 50 years, but it is the least experienced in the last 40 years. Till the third test MS Dhoni who played 90 tests was part of the team and for a long time the Sachin-Dravid-Laxman trio played together. Hence, the experience was higher all the times. Aggregate of 172 tests and average of 15.63 matches per player is the lowest for an Indian test team since the Auckland test of 1976 in New Zealand in which the aggregate number of matches was 154 and average of 14 matches per player (including that test). Erapalli Prasanna was the most experienced with 36 matches, six players had experience of less than 10 matches in which three were debutants (Surinder Amarnath, Syed Kirmani and Dilip Vengsarkar).

5. Who bowled maximum number of deliveries before taking their first test wicket? – Asked by Aryamaan Prajapati, Calcutta, India

This dubious distinction is with AG Kripal Singh from India. He took his first test wicket in his 652nd ball in his 10th inning he bowled in. He took 10 wickets in almost as many deliveries in next four innings. The record of conceding most number of runs before first wicket is by Roger Wijesuriya who conceded 285 runs before taking his first test wicket.

Ball by ball details is not available to public for earlier matches. Thanks to Charles Davis’ researches on this. 

Check out the previous 'Ask Bharath' - #1 and #2
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