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The independent voice of cricket since 1864

WISDENExtra England v India

From the editor

You may not think it, but Wisden has always changed with the times – ever since it first appeared in 1864 as John Wisden’s Cricketer’s Almanack (the apostrophe moved later) at a cost of one shilling. The book was 112 pages long in those days – oh, to have been the editor! – and did not confine itself to cricket: devotees of, among other things, historical dates, the rules of Knur and Spell, and lists of Derby winners had their passion catered for. Evolution arrived in fits and starts, but evolution there usually was. Wisden began naming its Cricketers of the Year in 1889, starting with Six Great Bowlers; and Sydney Pardon compiled the first Editor’s Notes in 1901, praising Lord Harris for grappling with the “admitted evil” of throwing (balls, not matches), and suggesting – “without undue egotism” – that he himself could take “some small credit” for the crackdown on the chuckers. The yellow jacket appeared first in 1938, and in 1963 Ted Dexter’s England and Frank Worrell’s West Indies contested the inaugural Wisden Trophy to mark Wisden’s first centenary; West Indies celebrated by winning 3–1. In 2003, the editor, Tim de Lisle, put a picture on the cover: Michael Vaughan, clenching his fist after yet another Test hundred. Despite concerns, the world has remained resolutely on its axis ever since. Now, after a brief foray a decade ago, we venture online. The plan is not to replace the Almanack, but to complement it. Until now, www.wisden.com has offered a skeleton service. But, in a sport that might have been designed for the web, it felt remiss not to add some flesh.

Eagar’s Eye Patrick Eagar, the doyen of cricket snappers, has been photographing cricket for almost 50 years. In that time he’s taken more than 750,000 images and attended 324 Tests. Throughout this issue are a selection from the tens of thousands he’s taken during past tours of England by India – or India by England.

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We already have a presence on Facebook (Wisden Sports) and Twitter (@WisdenAlmanack), but our new online Wisden Extra magazine is an attempt to deliver the best aspects of the Almanack in more compact form, every three months or so. Our plan is to concentrate each edition on the issue of the day, and we begin by looking ahead to England’s beguiling four-Test series against India, the world’s No. 1-ranked team and holders of the World Cup. Suresh Menon casts a fond eye over India’s previous visits to England, while Mike Selvey examines the two Zimbabweans who now face each other as opposing coaches. We also have a wonderful England–India picture gallery from Patrick Eagar, the nonpareil of cricket photographers; John Stern’s ten-step plan for English world domination; a whimsical take on Sachin Tendulkar’s quest for 100 international hundreds by Barney Ronay; a couple of trips to the Almanack archive; and your chance to win £50 worth of book vouchers from Bloomsbury, our publishers. Please let us know what you think. We want to strike the right balance between authority and entertainment, insight and humour, analysis and opinion. Your feedback is more than welcome: almanack@wisden.com Happy reading! Lawrence Booth

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The Big Hit: From embarrassment to the great awakening Mansur Ali Khan, the Nawab of Pataudi, was the last Englishman – and the first Indian – to lead India. His father, Iftikhar, played for both countries, having begun with a century on debut in the Bodyline series. The symbol of supremacy in India–England series is, appropriately enough, the Pataudi Trophy: father and son led India in England, 21 years apart. The younger Pataudi (“Tiger” to his mates) went to Winchester. An alumnus from the school was a candidate to lead India in their first Test, in 1932: this was Douglas Jardine, who was born in Mumbai. When the Indian cricket board was formed, some felt only an English captain could unite the various Indian groups, although historically the colonial masters were better at the opposite. But Jardine returned to England because every third generation had to. It was a family rule. It was not until Tiger Pataudi moved into the job in the 1960s that the sought-for unity became evident. “For the first time,” recalled former left-arm spinner Bishan Bedi, “we played as one team, as India.” Paradoxically, then, the so-called Englishman Pataudi was the first truly Indian captain. India were not yet an independent nation when they made three tours of England under different captains – and quickly established a pattern. On 12 of their 15 visits, they have lost the first Test; of those 12, they avoided a series defeat only in 2002. On the three occasions India won or drew the first Test, they went on to claim the series. Tours to England have fallen into three categories: the Embarrassing Phase, 1932–67; the Period of Hope, 1971–82; and the Awakening, 1986–2007. India lost 15 of 19 matches in the first period, had a 1-5 record in the next, but led 4-3 in the third, with series wins in 1986 and 2007. The first 35 years were humiliating, containing as they did the infamous none-for-four start at Headingley in 1952, and the twin dismissals in a day, for 58 and 82, at Old Trafford. Fred Trueman bowling with three slips, three gullies, two short legs and a short mid-off was only marginally less excruciating than the sight of big, burly Polly Umrigar threatening to step on the square-leg umpire’s toes while retreating from the bowler. Yet it was in this same series, at Lord’s – only a few months after India had beaten England in a Test for the first time, in Madras – that Vinoo Mankad made a match his own, scoring 72 and 184, 2

Wisden Extra • England v India

India’s tour of England will be their 16th since they first arrived in 1932. In the first of our series of major essays, The Big Hit, Suresh Menon looks at the previous 15 – and examines what they said about the state of Indian cricket

then India’s highest individual score, and claiming five for 196 in the first innings while sending down 97 overs in the match. In fact, the history of Indian tours of England had not begun badly. On their Test debut at Lord’s in 1932, England were quickly 19 for three, and Cardus waxed eloquent about the news reaching Gandhi and Gunga Din, at least one of whom was a historical figure. Amar Singh came off the pitch “like the crack of doom”, in Hammond’s memorable phrase. The even quicker Mohammad Nissar had five for 93 in the first innings, and the captain, CK Nayudu, was named one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year in 1933. But these were also the years when political shenanigans at home were replayed in England. In 1936, Baqa Jilani played a Test as a return favour for the service he rendered skipper Maharajkumar of Vizianagaram (“Vizzy”) of insulting Nayudu at the breakfast table. Lala Amarnath was sent home for indiscipline, the result of another clash of egos. Vizzy, despite generous gifts to the professional English bowlers, still averaged only 16. There were, though, individual moments of brilliance. Mankad’s double in 1952 was a remarkable achievement for a visiting cricketer. Abbas Ali Baig’s century on debut at Old Trafford in 1959, and Tiger Pataudi’s 148 and 64 at Headingley in 1967 could not prevent India from losing all eight Tests in those two series. (At Edgbaston in 1967, Budhi Kunderan, usually a wicketkeeper, opened the bowling – 4–0–13–0, his only spell in 18 Tests – after telling his captain that he would have to bowl first to find out what kind of bowler he was.) There was embarrassment seven years later when India lost all three Tests, including the one at Lord’s, where they were bowled out for 42. But already that had begun to look like an aberration. Three years earlier, Sunil Gavaskar had arrived and, at The Oval, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, with six for 38, bowled India to a first match and series win in England. That year, 1971, saw the rebirth of Indian cricket. Under Ajit Wadekar, India beat Garry Sobers’s West Indies away and, by a complicated set of calculations, arrived at the conclusion they were now world champions. The bowling – with the spin quartet of Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Chandrasekhar and S Venkatraghavan in place – finally found support from the close-in fielding: Eknath Solkar was outstanding, and Wadekar, Abid Ali and Venkat himself not far behind.


Bishan Bedi usually wore a patka of subdued blue or black, but at Lord’s in 1974, he chose one that was bright red, setting off his classically pure left-arm spinner’s action. It’s a simple shot, though not as easy as it looks. The Kodachrome film we used in those days was very slow, and so I had to track Bedi as he ran in to bowl – otherwise a close-up like this risked the subject becoming a blur.

Eagar’s Eye

In 1979, Gavaskar’s epic 221 at The Oval nearly took India to a win. It was Gavaskar’s decade – he had earlier made centuries in a victory in Trinidad and a defeat in Brisbane. Three years later, it was the turn of the man who took over as the face of Indian cricket, Kapil Dev. Innings of 89 in 55 balls, 65 in 55, and 97 in 93 might have been topped by Ian Botham’s double-century at The Oval, but it was Kapil who was the Man of the Series because his runs came against the better bowling. Sandeep Patil hit six boundaries in a Bob Willis over. CLR James called it an innings “without superior and very few peers”. It was beginning to come together for India. When Kapil Dev led in 1986, India were World Cup holders. Kapil ended the Lord’s Test with a six, and for the first – and so far only – time India won the opening match. Dilip Vengsarkar’s centuries in the first two Tests, which India won, were not unexpected. But their bowling heroes came from the second drawer:Chetan Sharma at Lord’s (six for 112 in the match) and Roger Binny at Leeds (seven for 58). India went through the tour without losing a single first-class game. A scientist had said before the 1990 series that, thanks to sunspot activity and the resultant summer, Sobers’s world-record 365 was likely to be broken. He nominated some young batsmen as the record-breakers, and things turned out nearly as he had predicted – except that it was the 37-year-old Graham Gooch who came close, compiling 333 at Lord’s, followed by 123 in the second innings. India were back to losing the first Test. More drama was provided by Kapil, who hit Eddie Hemmings for four successive sixes to avert the follow-on, a tactic whose soundness was revealed when the first ball of the next over brought the wicket of last man Narendra Hirwani. There were 15 centuries in the three Tests, the best of them by Mohammad Azharuddin, whose 121off 111 deliveries at Lord’s evoked memories of Ranji and was studded with 22 fours. At Old Trafford, where he made a century between lunch and tea, he finished with 179. Here, a 17-year-old made his first hundred, failing by just a month to match the record for the youngest to do so. Sachin Tendulkar’s first would be followed by 98 more in all international cricket before India’s current tour. Six years later, two more stalwarts made their debut at Lord’s: Sourav Ganguly with a century and Rahul Dravid, who hinted at 3

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the kind of personality he was by walking on 95. India lost the first Test, as they would again in 2002, but by then the youngsters had matured into the finest middle order in the game. That 2002 series was drawn 1–1, Dravid finishing with three centuries, including a double. The spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh had 26 wickets between them and were on the way to completing a combined haul of over 1,000 wickets, statistically well ahead of the Quartet’s 853. Inspiration can come from various sources: a knock on the head, a favourite piece of music, jelly beans. We wouldn’t have known about the last without Zaheer Khan’s efforts at Trent Bridge four years ago. It has not been established whether it was Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen or even Alastair Cook who welcomed Zaheer to the batting crease with the coloured sweets. Regardless, Zaheer was insulted, swung the ball beyond the capability of the English batsmen, picked up five for 75 (and nine in the match), and gave India their third series win. That is how the story goes, and folklore is a part of the game so why let anything interfere with a good yarn? Zaheer finished with 18 wickets, and Kumble 14 – but Kumble had something more. A Test century at The Oval, in his 118th game, made him the only bowler among the five most successful in history to score a hundred. Tiger Pataudi turned 70 this year. India’s oldest living Test cricketer, Madhav Mantri, will be 90 in September. Mantri was one of the wicketkeepers on that 1952 tour. “We narrowly missed being nought for five [at Headingley],” he recalled years later. “Hazare played half-cock forward and got an inner edge. The ball missed the leg stump by a whisker.” The manual scoreboard was running out of zeroes that day. Now, with the 2,000th Test match, 2,000,000th Test run and Tendulkar’s 100th hundred all in the offing, even the digital one might be hardpressed. Suresh Menon, columnist and author, has reported cricket from around the world for more than quarter of a century. He was one of India’s youngest newspaper editors, and his book Bishan: Portrait of a Cricketer is due out in September


John Stern outlines a ten-part plan for England’s Test team as they embark on their quest to reach the top of the world rankings

How to get to the top – and stay there 1 Be prepared to gamble England need to beat India by two clear Tests to become the No. 1 side by the end of this summer – a tall order in a four-match series. Under Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower, England’s tactics have veered from risk-averse to ultra-conservative. They would argue it has served them well so far and Strauss has maintained that the quest for world domination is a “long-term goal”. But to beat the best they will at some point need to risk defeat in order to achieve victory, especially against an Indian side who called off a run-chase against West Indies in Dominica recently with 86 needed off 90 balls. Don’t expect the Duncan ’n’ Dhoni axis to offer anything more generous than a handshake. 2 Rally round the skipper In 2003 England’s one-day side revelled in the joie de vivre of Michael Vaughan’s fresh leadership. When they resumed the five-day stuff, it took only one game against South Africa for Test captain Nasser Hussain to conclude the team was no longer his own: he resigned. The parallels are not exact. In terms of results Strauss is a much more successful captain than Hussain, and Strauss and Alastair Cook – the new 50-over leader – are more similar in personality than grumpy Nas and cheeky Micky. But there’s no denying Strauss is entering a testing period and he needs the support of his team more than ever. He scored 27 runs in four innings against Sri Lanka and has made a single century in his last five Test series. The hope is that his double of 78 and 109* for Somerset against the Indians will have restored some of the missing confidence. Then pick up with Cook, meanwhile, has been scoring runs at virtually every visit to the crease in Tests and onedayers and the manner of England’s 50-over comeback against Sri Lanka turned the letters FEC on his contract from pencil into ink. 3 Win the Z Factor At the risk of over-statement, this is the key battle: England’s lefthanded openers against the left-arm swing of Zaheer Khan. Strauss has been out to him five times in his Test career and 23 times in all to left-arm pacemen, including three cheap dismissals by Chanaka Welagedara against Sri Lanka. And both Strauss and Cook struggled against Pakistan’s Mohammad Aamer and Wahab Riaz last summer. Left-handers are so used to the angle of delivery from the right-arm bowler going across their bodies that good left-arm bowlers force them to adjust their set-up. Strauss has flip-flopped between playing at the left-armers and getting caught behind, and shouldering arms: Doug Bollinger bowled him third ball at Adelaide. Unless he can work out a method against Zaheer it could be a long series, though the greater shock for England would be losing Cook cheaply. Think of Samson and his hair. 4

Wisden Extra • England v India

4 Get the best out of Stuart Broad We know he’s an angry young man and we know snarling aggression comes more naturally to him than to James Anderson and especially Chris Tremlett. England’s bowling coach David Saker has justified Broad’s histrionics by confirming his role as the enforcer, but Strauss and Flower have suggested otherwise, and it is sometimes hard to know whether Broad’s sustained battery is down to team orders or internal combustion. (“He’s just getting angrier and angrier,” said Nasser Hussain on Sky during the Lord’s one-dayer against Sri Lanka.) Either way, he has been at his most effective when using the short stuff as electric shock rather than standard stock and pitching the ball up the rest of the time. His match-winning performances at The Oval and Durban in 2009 are exhibits A and B. India won’t be beaten with a blunt instrument. 5 Grass the moment After decades of playing and missing outside the off stump of home advantage – England are self-conscious about the issue in this country, but whinge about it abroad – there is now a more upfront attitude about tailoring pitches to suit. Lord’s, and their determinedly autonomous groundsman Mick Hunt, remains a law unto itself but other venues tend to be more accommodating to a nod and wink. It’s not as though India don’t have their own swingers and seamers; equally it would be patronising to dismiss Dravid, Tendulkar et al as slow-track softies. But if England have their way, mowers will remain firmly under lock and key when it comes to giving the pitches their final short-back and sides. 6 Horses for courses Winter Test series in the UAE and Sri Lanka will surely necessitate some selection tweaks. Tim Bresnan’s 26 wickets at 27 in Asia across all formats, including his manful and miserly efforts with the new ball in two Tests in Bangladesh last year, almost guarantee him a starting place. Who he would replace will come down to form and fitness, but Broad or Chris Tremlett would seem the prime candidates. Then there’s the second spinner. Despite the re-emergence of Samit Patel as a one-day option, Monty Panesar remains the country’s classiest out-and-out slow bowler behind Graeme Swann. If England are to play two spinners they must contemplate a five-man attack – or at least nurture a part-time fifth bowler. The batting line-up, the openers aside, looks betterequipped to play spin on slow, low pitches than any England team of recent times.


7 It’s got to be Trott Paul Collingwood’s decline with the bat meant England traded up by replacing him with Eoin Morgan at No.6. But there remains a considerable hole left by Collingwood’s breathtaking slipcatching and occasional medium-pace. Jonathan Trott was recently described by his former Warwickshire team-mate Nick Knight as one of the three best slip fielders he had played with (the others were Graeme Hick and Andrew Flintoff). Knight mentioned this during the Test series against Sri Lanka while Cook was looking less than accomplished in the cordon and Trott was prowling the outfield. Trott found his way into the slips for the one-day series, while captain Cook relocated to mid-off. This is where he must stay for the India Test series and beyond. He is also pretty much the only candidate to fill Colly’s bowling boots. At the moment, despite a maiden Test wicket against Sri Lanka, his bowling amounts to little more than gentle outswing. But he is a man dedicated to self-improvement, so it may just be a case of fitting a few overs into his hectic schedule of netting and guard-scratching. 8 Put the team first England got away with batting on in the Cardiff Test against Sri Lanka to let Ian Bell reach his hundred. They didn’t in the next Test at Lord’s, where Cook dawdled towards three figures when quick runs were needed on the final morning and a declaration was on the cards. Quite simply, there is no room for the statistical indulgence of the individual when there are Tests to be won.

Eagar’s Eye

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Wisden Extra • England v India

9 Sixth sense It’s like the seminal seventh game of a set in tennis. The sixthwicket partnership is vital, whether to turn a match or save an innings. Five wickets down and your opponents reckon they’re into the tail. Think Steve Waugh and Ian Healy/Adam Gilchrist or, for England in 2005, Flintoff and Geraint Jones. This is the challenge facing Morgan, in particular, and Matt Prior. At Lord’s in the second Test against Sri Lanka they put on a show to turn a lame 201 for five into a strident 302 for six (England went on to make 486). But their five partnerships thus far average 29. In his nine Tests Morgan has loved to counter-attack, but acts of defiance in the Collingwood mould will be required too. 10 Don’t let Flower wilt England have a different captain for each format of the game but off the field there’s still only one man in charge. Mentally, if not physically, Andy Flower’s job as team director is phenomenally draining. He signed a new contract in May and is integral to England’s progression. If he needs a break at some point during the winter then he must be allowed it. He has an impressive back-room team around him – including Richard Halsall, the fielding coach hired by Flower’s predecessor Peter Moores – who deputised briefly for him in Australia when Flower had to have a cancerous growth removed from his face. John Stern edited The Wisden Cricketer from 2003 to 2011, and is now a regular contributor to The Cricketer and The Sunday Times

I knew Calcutta’s Eden Gardens by reputation, but nothing really prepared me for my first visit, on New Year’s Day in 1977. The official capacity was 100,000, but there must have been 110,000 or more. Back then there wasn’t much security, and many got away with climbing over the wall. Some of those sitting by me on the boundary were definitely not the photographers or technicians they claimed to be.

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Tony Greig loved the big occasion, and they didn’t come much bigger than an Eden Gardens Test. A firecracker had gone off in the crowd and Greig plummeted to the ground as if shot. Roger Tolchard seemed genuinely concerned for his partner’s welfare. It was also during the same 1977 Test that oranges catapulted from the crowd had landed on the pitch.


From the Archive

Wisden 1991

When the 17-year-old Sachin Tendulkar walked out to bat on the last day of the Manchester Test in 1990, India were struggling to avoid defeat. By stumps, he was a new folk hero. Here’s how Wisden reported the start of an era that, 21 years later, shows no sign of ending

The day Sachin came to town Scorecard: click here

GRAHAM OTWAY

At Manchester, August 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 1990. Drawn. Toss: England. Test debut: A Kumble Of the six individual centuries scored in this fascinating contest, none was more outstanding than Tendulkar’s, which rescued India on the final afternoon. At 17 years and 112 days, he was only 30 days older than Mushtaq Mohammad was when, against India at Delhi in 1960-61, he became the youngest player to score a Test hundred. More significantly, after several of his colleagues had fallen to reckless strokes, Tendulkar held the England attack at bay with a disciplined display of immense maturity. India were placed on the defensive once Gooch chose to bat first. The Old Trafford groundsman, Peter Marron, wrong-footed by a cold change in the weather after watering, had predicted even bounce but little pace, and England quickly grasped the opportunity. Leading an unchanged side, Gooch put on 73 untroubled runs with Atherton in the first hour, and India soon resorted to their leg-spinners, Hirwani and Kumble, the latter replacing seamer Sharma from the team at Lord’s. They slowed down England’s progress, but could do little to prevent a 225-run opening partnership, which overtook by 21 runs the record Gooch and Atherton had set at Lord’s a fortnight earlier. In scoring 116, Gooch became the first English batsman for 19 years to record centuries in three successive Test innings, but on the day he was eclipsed by his junior partner. In five and a half hours, Atherton carefully constructed 131, exactly matching the feat of G. Pullar, the only other Lancastrian to score a Test century for England at Old Trafford, against India 31 years earlier. Smith batted for just over four hours, passing his century during a last-wicket partnership of 60 with Malcolm, an unexpectedly supportive ally, as England reached 519. The loss of three quick wickets for 57 to the seam movement of Fraser, in the final hour of the second day, placed India in immediate peril. On Saturday, however, they were rescued in style by their captain, Azharuddin, and Manjrekar, whose fourth-wicket stand of 189 set the pace for an entertaining day’s play in which 355 runs were scored. Manjrekar made 93 in three and threequarter hours before falling to a bat–pad catch at silly point off the tireless Hemmings, but Azharuddin could not be stopped so easily. In a breathtaking 281-minute stay for 179, he hit 21 fours and a six, and between lunch and tea he became the first player to score 100 runs for India in a Test session. After he had miscued a drive off Fraser to Atherton, the second new ball accounted for most of the remaining Indian batting, although Tendulkar, after taking 54

minutes to get off the mark, gave warning of his talents in scoring 68 from 136 balls to reduce the England lead to just 87. As England’s second innings began on the fourth morning, Gooch suffered a rare failure in a rich summer, departing for seven. But Atherton added a further 74 to his first-innings hundred, and a winning position was achieved through the efforts of Lamb. Earlier in the game he had looked out of his depth against the Indian spinners, but, relishing the challenge, he hit Hirwani for two successive sixes early on, and his 109 from 141 balls, followed by Smith’s unbeaten 61, allowed Gooch to declare 25 minutes into the final day. To win and square the series, India were offered a minimum of 88 overs in which to score 408, two runs more than their own record for the highest winning total by a side batting second in a Test. From the seventh ball of their innings, when Sidhu was brilliantly caught off Fraser by the substitute, Adams, at short leg, it looked a tall order. On a slowly wearing pitch Hemmings produced just enough deviation to have both Manjrekar and Azharuddin caught in the leg trap – but it was the gay abandon of three senior Indian batsmen which might have set Tendulkar a bad example. Shastri dragged a wide ball on to his stumps, Vengsarkar offered no stroke to Lewis, and Kapil Dev sallied down the pitch to Hemmings. When the all-rounder, Prabhakar, joined Tendulkar, India were 183 for six and there were two and half hours of the match remaining. Gooch crowded the bat and shuffled his bowlers like a croupier, but England were to be denied by their own mistakes. Hemmings put down a simple return catch when Tendulkar was ten, and Gooch failed to get a hand at second slip to a chance offered by Prabhakar. England could ill afford such lapses, and the pair had seen India to safety when the game was halted with two of the final 20 overs still to be bowled. Tendulkar remained undefeated on 119, having batted for 224 minutes and hit 17 fours. He looked the embodiment of India’s famous opener, Gavaskar, and indeed was wearing a pair of his pads. While he displayed a full repertoire of strokes in compiling his maiden Test hundred, most remarkable were his off-side shots from the back foot. Though only 5ft 5in tall, he was still able to control without difficulty short deliveries from the English pacemen.

Man of the Match: SR Tendulkar. Attendance: 42,424; receipts £521,100 7

Wisden Extra • England v India


The first Test at Lord’s between England and India will be the 2,000th to be played since Australia first hosted England at Melbourne in March 1877. Benedict Bermange takes a statistical look back at some of the quirkier highlights of the last 134 years

Test cricket’s third millennium Test cricket had a 94-year head-start on the one-day international, yet the 2,000th ODI was played back in April 2003. 3,500 3,000

Matches

2,500

Sachin Tendulkar may have scored the most Test runs and centuries, but it is his Indian team-mate Rahul Dravid who has batted for the longest (more than 665 hours) and faced the most deliveries (29,125).

Tests ODIs

2,000 1,500 1,000 500

2003 2005 2007 2009 2011

1995 1997 1999 2001

1985 1987 1989 1991 1993

1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983

0

The 1,000th Test was played at Hyderabad in November 1984 between Pakistan and New Zealand. Javed Miandad scored a century in each innings as Pakistan triumphed by seven wickets. It will probably come as no surprise that the youngest team to take the field in a Test was a recent Zimbabwean side, who faced Bangladesh at Dhaka in January 2005. Their average age was just 21 years 22 days, but they did manage to draw the match. By contrast, the oldest side was England, at Kingston in April 1930. With an average age of 37 years 188 days, they racked up 849 in their first innings, thanks to Andy Sandham’s 325, and set West Indies 836 to win. However, time was called with West Indies 408 for five and England needing to leave early in order to take their ship home. Four sides have managed to win a Test while losing just two wickets. England have managed it three times – against South Africa at Lord’s in 1924, New Zealand at Leeds in 1958, and India at Birmingham in 1974. The other side was South Africa, who defeated Bangladesh at Chittagong in 2003. The first Tests of each country more often than not feature 11 debutants, with the odd exception being players who have previously participated for a different country. Off-spinner John Traicos played in Zimbabwe’s first Test, against India at Harare in October 1992, having previously represented South Africa in three Tests more than 22 years earlier. And Abdul Kardar played in Pakistan’s inaugural match, against India at Delhi in October 1952, after representing pre-partition India – under his original name of Abdul Hafeez – for three Tests in England in 1946. 8

At the other end of the scale, the Indian side who squared up to Australia at Bangalore in October 2008 had a total of 861 Test caps between them – the highest ever.

Wisden Extra • England v India

Recent batsmen such as Shahid Afridi, Virender Sehwag and Adam Gilchrist have scored their Test runs at strike-rates of greater than 80 runs per hundred balls. But in terms of runs per hour the fastest is still England’s Maurice Tate, who played 39 Tests between 1924 and 1935, and took advantage of the swifter overrates in those days to score his runs at 44 per hour. Less urgent, among batsmen with at least 1,000 Test runs, were England’s Bob Taylor, who scored his 1,156 Test runs at just 13 per hour, and Trevor Bailey, whose career strike-rate was a painstaking 26. A final note on over-rates. The most recent year in which the global over-rate in Test cricket was above 15 per hour was 1979, while 1953 was the last year in which over-rates exceeded 20 per hour. However, the scoring-rate in Test cricket was above 50 runs per 100 deliveries in every full year from 2001 to 2010, a number exceeded in only six other years since 1877. And here is how all the teams have fared in the first 1,999 Tests… Team

Played

Won

Lost

Drawn

Tied

%Won

Australia

730

341

192

195

2

46.71

England

911

322

261

328

0

35.34

South Africa

358

125

124

109

0

34.91

West Indies

473

153

156

163

1

32.34

Sri Lanka

201

61

71

69

0

30.34

Pakistan

358

108

100

150

0

30.16

India

451

110

139

201

1

24.39

New Zealand

364

68

147

149

0

18.68

Zimbabwe

83

8

49

26

0

9.63

Bangladesh

68

3

59

6

0

4.41

World XI

1

0

1

0

0

0.00

Benedict Bermange is the SKY Sports cricket statistician. He is rumoured to know his own batting average to three decimal places


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Another one of Tony Greig during the New Year Test at Calcutta in 1977. They don’t do things like this any more, but in those days there really wasn’t a proper drinks break. And it’s sad that the Indian crowds – they were so knowledgeable about the game – don’t turn out in the same numbers for Tests now.

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The England coach Andy Flower and his India counterpart Duncan Fletcher have so much in common, says Mike Selvey, that we could be in for a fractious summer

Two peas from the same pod When, earlier in the year, Gary Kirsten announced to his Indian employers that he intended to stand down as coach of the national team after the recent World Cup, the initial search for his successor did not look far. In winning the Ashes in Australia either side of the new year Andy Flower had, with the England team, just completed the most meticulously planned, resourced and executed heist perhaps in the history of Test cricket. So spectacularly well had things gone, almost supernaturally so, that England’s director of cricket had, in the space of those few months, become the hottest coaching property in the game. Name your price, India told him. Flower, as befits a fellow who never does anything without properly balancing the pros and cons, gave it considerable thought, as anyone might, and came to the conclusion that, flattering as it was, he had begun a job with England that needed seeing through; that he enjoyed it and his current lifestyle; and that he was mindful of the vote of confidence given him by the ECB when he was offered the job two years ago. He might also have taken the view that, in the short term, there was little to be done to advance the success of one of the most spectacularly talented coterie of batsmen to have played the game together, most of whom were in or approaching the twilight of immense careers. Primarily Flower is in the business of rebuilding rather than mentoring or enhancing, and it would be foolish to disregard the possibility that India might beckon in a couple of years when the real work will begin. For now, on the recommendation of Kirsten, they have another coach of immense achievement with England. When, as the millennium drew to a close, Duncan Fletcher took over the England coaching mantle, he inherited a side that was at rock bottom. Nasser Hussain, England’s feisty, passionate captain had been booed as he stood on the Oval balcony following defeat at the hands of New Zealand as his side’s standing in the world order reached its lowest ever ebb. Yet he too rebuilt, creating a winning ethos that in 2005 culminated in success in one of the most 10

Wisden Extra • England v India

pulsating of all series, unseating one of the game’s greatest teams at the height of its powers. So now this summer, we have in opposition a brace of coaches, each high achievers, with considerably more common ground than there are differences. Both are Zimbabwean for a start and captained their country. Both were considerable cricketers. Circumstance dictated that Fletcher never played Test cricket but he was a fine all-rounder who opened both batting and bowling at times, fielded at slip and probably made the lunch as well. He was sufficiently highly thought of to be considered as an overseas player for Middlesex at a time when the best players in the world honed their skill on the county circuit. Flower, of course, was more than considerable, a true giant of the game, one of the finest wicketkeeper batsmen of them all, and for a period, the world’s premier batsman. The saying goes that it is not necessary to be able to drive to know the way across town, but such playing ability lends immense credibility to go with coaching credentials. However, neither began their international coaching career with an overwhelming success. In his debut match, at the Wanderers, Fletcher’s new England found themselves against Donald and Pollock on a tricky pitch and before the third over was out the scoreboard showed four wickets down for two runs. Things could only look up after that, and indeed did, as they did for Flower after the famous 51 all out England disaster in Jamaica in his first outing, albeit as caretaker. Those who played under Fletcher will attest to a brilliant technical batting coach, although inflexible at times: Ian Bell has said that he introduced Fletcher’s famous forward press into his game not because he believed in it but because as a fringe player at that time he feared he would not be selected if he did not toe the party line. And yet England batsmen have continued to consult him since his departure after the disastrous 2007 World Cup campaign.


Eagar’s Eye Despite his wonderful playing credentials Flower tends to do little coaching, but instead acts as a facilitator, the person in overall charge who asks for, and gets, the people he deems best able to advance the players he has. He is an excellent strategist, who without being in a position to see the next generation of players at first hand, has enough confidence in the selection process to be able to suggest the type of player he wants and ask the selectors to give him options.

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He is unlikely, intuitively, to find a player in the way that Fletcher, through his time coaching Glamorgan, was able to identify to his own satisfaction, the potential in, say, Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan. Within the ranks of the England team, there is no doubt that it is Flower who is in charge. Little doubt of that either within the Indian team, for Fletcher would not have been appointed had he not conceded that he must approach the job in a different way to how he managed England. His role will be to ensure that his star players have all they need in their preparation, and, no doubt, offer insight into those England players with whom he is familiar. He will not be high profile, either by nature or contract: ever suspicious of the media, he will talk only when obliged and offer little. Flower handles his media commitments with considerably more aplomb, always offering considered, fair, and open answers. Now, though, Fletcher is doubly aware of that side of his role. On his appointment, he sought to answer a pertinent question about the decision review system, his brainchild, and was quickly and firmly put in his place by the board president.  The absence of the full DRS during the forthcoming series means that there is likely to be some fractiousness: it is the way the cricket world is moving, with the inherent suggestion now that it is alright to challenge the umpire’s decision. An elite umpire has suggested, off the record, that one reason for India’s antipathy towards the DRS is that it precludes their ability to put pressure on umpires, especially at home. The same umpire added, though, that under Kirsten, India behaved themselves well. Under Fletcher, he said, it already appears to have changed for the worse. But he also said Flower was not an unknown visitor to the umpires’ room. Anyone who thinks we are in for a quiet series had better think again.

Sunil Gavaskar was the pin-up of India: the Sachin Tendulkar of his day. I took this during his mammoth 221 against England in the Oval Test of 1979, when India came within nine of making the 438 they needed for victory – and England within two wickets. There’s real concentration in Gavaskar’s face – and it helps that the ball is coming straight towards me.

Mike Selvey, who won three Test caps for England and took 772 first-class wickets in a career spanning 17 years, is the cricket correspondent of the Guardian 11

Wisden Extra • England v India

Wisden Extra • England v India

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From the Archive

Wisden 1933

It’s 79 years since India played their first Test, succumbing at Lord’s to an England team that included Herbert Sutcliffe, Wally Hammond and Douglas Jardine. Here’s how Wisden reported the game

How India scared England on Test debut Scorecard: click here

At Lord’s, June 25, 27, 28, 1932. England won by 158 runs. Toss: England. Test debuts: WE Bowes; India (all). England, in their first representative match in this country with India, gained a fine victory shortly after four o’clock on the third afternoon by 158 runs. Before that result had been achieved, however, the home side, particularly on the first day, experienced some anxious moments. Actually, on the Saturday, they cut a very poor figure. Indeed, the manner in which they began called to mind the all too frequent failures in recent years of England at the beginning of a match against Australia.

not enjoy the best of luck, for Nayudu, who in the absence of the Maharaja of Porbandar and Ganshyamsinhji, captained the eleven with no little skill, damaged his hand so badly when trying to catch Ames in the gully that he batted under a severe handicap in each innings, while Nazir Ali, on the first day, and Palia, later on, each strained a leg muscle when fielding, and had their value as bowlers completely ruined and their usefulness as batsmen very considerably diminished.

On paper, England looked to be particularly strong in batting. The dropping out from international cricket of Hobbs had placed the selectors in something of a quandary as to whom to pick as opening batsman with Sutcliffe. Recourse was therefore had to Percy Holmes, Sutcliffe’s regular partner for Yorkshire. This on the face of it seemed something of a retrograde movement seeing that it was 11 years since Holmes had been called upon for England. As it turned out, the experiment failed completely. England began in such disastrous fashion that in 20 minutes they lost their first three men for 19 runs and were all disposed of in another four hours for a total of 259.

Nissar did fine work when on the opening morning he dismissed the two Yorkshiremen with the first and last balls of his second over at eight and 11 respectively, while the agility of Lall Singh cost Woolley his wicket when the Kent batsman went rather leisurely for an injudicious second run. It was at that point Jardine began his first good innings. He and Hammond added 82 runs in a hundred minutes but Hammond when 33 was missed at long leg, while after Paynter left at 149, Ames, escaping from being stumped before he had scored, helped to carry the score to 166. Jardine, who was then out, batted for nearly three hours, his defence being splendid all the time. He scored chiefly to the on, often by forcing strokes off his body in front of square leg. Still, he had to fight hard for every run. Ames and Robins added 63 in half an hour, Ames being the only man to show that the bowling could be hit. He had nine fours in a good display of driving. Nissar took five wickets, but Amar Singh bowled almost as well, making the ball curl in the air either from leg or from the off and causing it to come off the pitch at a tremendous pace.

As India in a poor light made 30 runs without loss at the end of the day – play being stopped for a quarter of an hour and finally ending at six o’clock – the visitors may be said to have had the best of matters. India failed to drive home this initial advantage and were 70 runs behind when an innings had been completed on each side, and, although the early English batsmen again gave a poor display in the second innings, India never really got on top and, left to make 346 to win, were disposed of for 187. The turning-point in the game came after four wickets had gone down for 67 in the second innings of England. Then Jardine, who had batted uncommonly well in the first innings, and Paynter added 74 runs, and on the last morning carried their partnership to 89. That stand definitely gave England a commanding position which, followed up by useful bowling, enabled the home country to triumph. It can be said at once that the Indian cricketers, and especially Amar Singh and Nissar, bowled splendidly, while from start to finish their fielding reached a very high level indeed. The team did 12

Wisden Extra • England v India

At lunchtime on the second day, India had 153 runs on the board with only four men out, but afterwards there came a breakdown and actually the last six wickets fell in an hour for 36 runs. This was brought about by Bowes and Voce, but although the former took during this period three wickets for 17 runs he did not bowl really well and in the earlier part of the innings had pitched very short. Taken all round, the English attack did not look to have anything like the sting of their opponents. The Indian batting before lunch was good without being at all exceptional. The King visited Lord’s on this day, all the players being presented to him in front of the Pavilion. Nayudu was in for 80 minutes, playing the highest as well as the best innings, but owing to his injured hand he could not show his proper form.


When England went in a second time, Amar Singh bowled even better than before, and, as already observed, it was left to Jardine, assisted by Paynter, to pull the game round. At the close of the day, England had scored 141 for four wickets, and they never subsequently lost their grip. After a slow start Paynter batted very well; Jardine and Robins added 53, and Jardine and Brown 49, the innings being closed at half past twelve with eight men out for 275.

Eagar’s Eye

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Jardine, batting for three hours, altogether made 164 in the match for once out. His work and good hitting by Robins and Brown produced 134 runs on the third morning in 90 minutes. India fared so badly that they lost seven wickets for 108 but then Amar Singh gave a great display of free hitting, he and Lall Singh adding 74 in 40 minutes.

A triple-hundred is pretty special in any form of the game, but Graham Gooch’s astonishing 333 came in a Lord’s Test against India in 1990. It wasn’t the first Test triple I’d seen: that was John Edrich’s 310* against New Zealand in 1965. Gooch was like a dog with a bone: he simply wasn’t going to let go. This shot was more the exception than the rule, with Gooch doing more accumulating than striking. The light was poor for much of the innings – it’s raining if you look closely – so I had to resort to black and white.

Eagar’s Eye

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This was Ian Botham’s Test. Mumbai in February is hot and humid, and during the Golden Jubilee Test of 1980 I was roasting just sitting behind my camera. Yet Botham produced one of the most amazing of all-round feats. Sandwiched between six for 58 and seven for 48 (when he somehow bowled 26 successive overs) came a breathtaking counter-attacking century that rescued England from 58 for five.

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Wisden Extra • England v India

Wisden Extra • England v India

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The Wisden Collector’s Guide (9781408126738) • RRP £45

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Win £50 worth of Bloomsbury books! Wisden Extra is offering readers the chance to win a £50 voucher for books published by Bloomsbury, the owners of Wisden and publisher of titles as diverse as Alex’s Adventures in Numberland, Harry Potter, Behind the Boundary: Cricket at a Crossroads, and Business: The Ultimate Resource. All you need to do is answer the following question: What number edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack will be published in 2012? Entries must be emailed to quiz@wisden.com by 5pm on Tuesday, August 23 – the day after the Test series between England and India comes to an end – and marked “Wisden Extra” in the subject heading. Please include your name, address and a daytime telephone number with your entry. A winner will be chosen on Wednesday, August 24 and immediately notified by Bloomsbury. To browse a selection of Bloomsbury books, please visit www.bloomsbury.com or www.acblack.com. 14

Wisden Extra • England v India


This was the first time I saw Sachin Tendulkar bat: aged 17 and looking even younger. It wasn’t the grandest of grounds – Minor Counties v Indians at Trowbridge, also in 1990 – but we knew he was the coming man, and he was getting a lot of attention. Short boundaries helped the score along nicely, and it was particularly good for me that he was batting without a helmet.

Eagar’s Eye

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Wisden Extra • England v India

Wisden Extra • England v India

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Eagar’s Eye

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It wasn’t only Gooch who played out of his skin during that 1990 Lord’s Test. India were nine down needing 24 to avoid the follow-on – and got them in spades when Kapil Dev lofted four successive straight sixes from the off-spin of Eddie Hemmings. I was at long-off and almost got hit. This, the last of the four, went to long-on. The whole thing was surreal, though Gooch’s second hundred of the match helped see England to victory.

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Wisden Extra • England v India


There’s no doubting the genius of Sachin Tendulkar, says Barney Ronay. But does his 100th hundred have to feel quite so inevitable?

Coming soon to a sportertainment complex near you… Is there anything more brain-stompingly dull than a summer blockbuster? For weeks in advance you can hear it approaching your local multiplex: great mangling robot fists beating the tarmac, burbling indestructibly behind its corporate forcefield. In a time of something or other. One man. Bringing whatever. To a world without etc. In many ways the blockbuster, with its anti-refinement and its bellowing straight lines, is the antithesis of cricket, the most complex, angular and bafflingly dextrous team sport ever devised. There will never be a cricketing blockbuster. Transformers don’t bowl. Batman can’t bat. We are at least safe here. Except, this immunity seems to have been punctured. A summer blockbuster is revving up just around the corner and preparing to squat like a continent-sized alien cruiser over Lord’s itself. Yes: it’s Sachin Tendulkar and his apparently inevitable 100th international hundred. Coming soon. Maybe even this Thursday. Depending on who wins the toss. To feel anything less than thrilled by the prospect of Tendulkar’s 100th hundred, cradled within the seductive symmetry of the 2,000th Test and enacted on the grand stage of Lord’s, might seem wilfully perverse. What’s not to like? This is a question I’ve often asked myself when Tendulkar fills the stage. The man himself is beyond reproach. His record is nearpeerless, his batting sublime, the flicks and punches and zinging drives a statement of vividly concentrated personality. To watch Tendulkar bat even for a few balls is to feel the thrill of unarguable authenticity, cricketing Coca-Cola, Elvis in cover-drive form.   And yet something in the Tendulkar machine can still leave you – deep down – a little cold.  I have swooned consistently over lesser talents: the old-world elegance of VVS Laxman, the high-tech agriculturalism of Marcus Trescothick. But even now, in glorious middle-age, there is somehow a sense of distance in Tendulkar’s excellence, an ascendancy that remains premium-badged and whisperingly irreproachable. This is of course key to his concentrated star power. Tendulkar’s nationality shadows him at all times, the burden of such fevered prominence, of grace under continental pressure. That explains why, say, Jacques Kallis – who has a marginally better average and 40 Test-match hundreds of his own – could never inspire the same urge to fetishise; and why Brian Lara, who perhaps touched greater heights than Tendulkar, and whose batting crackled with balletic charisma, has had his generational laurels decisively confiscated. 17

Wisden Extra • England v India

You get the sporting heroes you crave, and Tendulkar is above all an orderly genius. The English tend to like their cricketing heroes to be more ragged, to stand outside the strangulating conformity of everyday life in the Botham-Flintoff matrix. In India it is Tendulkar’s purity, his ultra-refined air of exceptionalism that has drawn a degree of devotional wonder and – in the last decade – a status of unstained uber-brand in the most fevered cathedral of new sporting capitalism.    And so back to the 100th hundred and Lord’s and a coronationin-waiting, whereby no superlative will be too super, no claims of Tendulkar absolutism too absolute. Because if anything seems certain to detract from the moment it is the sheer scale of accompanying bombast. India has more cricket fans than any other nation on earth, but like the English Premier League it also has alongside them an industry of fandom, an enthusiasm coloured by other things: corporate interests, nationalism, the frothing hyperbole of the prawn paratha brigade.   This is or course irrelevant to Tendulkar’s greatness or the staggering achievement of 100 hundreds. But it seems to have some bearing on the manner in which that mark is achieved. Nobody really thinks – do they? – that missing the West Indies tour had anything to do with opening the door to a crystallising moment of ascension at the colonial home of cricket. But still there is a tangible sense of being managed, of planned superlatives, of a coronation in the offing rather than simply a pat on the back and a well done. Somehow it also makes me yearn for an intervention of the unplanned. This is not sportertainment. We are not here simply to applaud. Glorious, bathetic uncertainty is the essence of Test cricket, a game of skill that bows to no one. How much more deliciously apt if Tendulkar could bag a pair, or be bowled by Jonathan Trott for 97 and then perhaps get his ton of tons in the September gloom at Cardiff. If only to satisfy the brief, and no doubt childish, desire for a reminder that this is elite and rarefied sport, an unforgiving collision of uncertainties, and that the summer blockbuster, with its air of pre-treated corporate success, exists in another arena altogether. Barney Ronay is a Guardian sportswriter. He was a scriptwriter for the critically acclaimed docu-film about the summer of 1981, From the Ashes


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Wisden Extra • England v India

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