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Monday, December 20, 2021

Ashes - England surrender ! .. .. some batting record held by bowlers ? ! ?

44 years ago ! – India played a Test at Perth and lost .. any relevance here !! 

Last year, after bundled out for 36 at Adelaide, India bounced back at Melbourne on Boxing day test to win a Test.  Capt Kohli had returned; there were so many injuries – Mohammed Shami was out, Umesh Yadav limped in the middle .. yet at  MCG  India achieved  cricket folklore. There were to be more injuries, more players out of team, yet the events that followed, overshadowed everything else !!  

At the end of every test match, some of us get interested in Statistics, some trivia and more !.. .. to start with a simple Q – can there be some Batting record held by bowlers ?? 

Elementay my dear Watson ! the time, when we started watching Cricket, we used to say that the great legenday Bhagwat Chandrasekhar could be clean bowled by anyone of us and he is the person with most no. of ducks in Cricket.  Nope, he is now the 14th person in Tests with 23 ducks in 58 tests.  The current record holder is Courtney Walsh 43 ducks in 132 tests; may be Stuart Broad with 38 in 150 tests still has a fair chance to overtake him.  In the list comes, CS Martin, Glenn Mcgrath, Ishant Sharma, Shane Warne (one thought him to be an all-rounder), Muthiah Muralitharan; Jimmy Anderson (the subject matter of this post)l Zakhir Khan, Merwyn Dillon, Courtney Ambrose, Danish Kaneria, Danny Morrison (yes the same commentator who now is taking classes on how to bat) and leg spin wizard Chandra. 

This year on Boxing Day as the Ashes rivalry would continue at Melbourne, India would be playing another test in South Africa.  The news is - spectators will not be allowed into stadiums for South Africa's home series against India, despite regulations in the country allowing for a maximum of 2000 fully-vaccinated fans in sports venues. Cricket South Africa and the BCCI took a joint decision to hold the matches behind closed doors for the safety of players and the integrity of the bio-bubble. Hospitality suites, however,  will be open as CSA seeks to fulfill contractual obligations with corporate partners.  But before you comment on this Corporate culture, understand that South Africa is currently in the midst of a fourth wave of the pandemic, fuelled by the Omicron variant, and was recording more than 20,000 positive cases a day last week. That number has since come down to under 17,000 but the bulk of positive cases remain in the Gauteng province, where two of the three Tests against India will take place. 

Getting back to down under, before the start of the 2nd test,  Josh Hazlewood had been ruled out with a side strain and then on the morning of the match captain Pat Cummins was deemed a Covid close contact. Australia had lost half their first-choice bowling attack and their captain. Even with home advantage and a brittle opposition, it would have derailed many a team. Suddenly you are looking at a bowling line up of Mitchell Starc 62 tests leading the attack, Jhye Richardson 2 tests, Michael Neser 0, Cameron Green 5 and spinner Nathan Lyon 101.  They had a Captain but the wicket-keeper    Alex Carey playing only because  of Tim Paine's resignation, arising out of non-cricketing event !    

With all that the scorecard reveals another Aussie win by a mammoth 275 runs ! - Australia 9 for 473 dec (Labuschagne 103, Warner 95, Smith 93, Carey 51) and 9 for 230 dec (Head 51, Labuschagne 51) beat England 236 (Malan 80, Root 62, Starc 4-37) and 192 (Richardson 5-42).


In England's first innings, James Anderson became the first player to be not out in 100 Test innings. Jimmy the wily workhorse is considerably ahead of closest challenger Courtney Walsh, who finished unbeaten 61 times in Tests. Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan was unbeaten 56 times, one ahead of England's Bob Willis.  He has 635 test wickets is a wonderful accomplishment. 

Michael Neser was promoted to nightwatchman after his first-innings heroics, becoming the first Australian debutant to act as nightwatchman since Phil Emery in his only Test appearance at Lahore in 1994. Exactly on this day 44 years ago, chasing a stiff 334,  Australians were 33/2 when Tony Mann, a leg spinner walked in as a night-watchman, made 105, was out at 172/3 and Australians won by 2 wickets.   

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th Dec 2021.


  1. சம்பத்து, சும்மா ஆனந்தமா இருந்தது, படிக்க. These types of records can only be posted by a real cricket nut. Carry on சார்லி.

  2. Oh,how many interesting statistics in a small cricket article. Nice