Welcome Back, Gauti. You were missed.

“I’m disappointed but not defeated; I’m cornered but not a coward. Grit my partner, courage my pride…for, I must fight, I must fight” – Tweet by Gautam Gambhir on September 12, 2016 (the day the test squad for the New Zealand tour of India is announced).

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“Nothing is over until you stop trying and I’m not done yet!” – Tweet by Gautam Gambhir on September 21, 2016 (on the eve of India’s 500th test match).

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“Excitement of a debutant, certainty of experienced, nervousness of a novice…am feeling it all. Eden here I come loaded with ambitions” – Tweet by Gautam Gambhir on September 27, 2016 (on the day Gautam Gambhir is named as K.L. Rahul’s replacement in the test squad for New Zealand’s tour of India).

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You have over 4,000 Test runs at an average of nearly 43.

You have over 5,200 ODI runs at an average of nearly 40.

You have nearly 14,000 First Class runs at an average of nearly 50.

You have partnered Virender Sehwag as one half of India’s most successful opening combination.

You have top scored in the WT20 final in 2007.

You have top scored in the 2011 World Cup final.

You were dropped in 2014 after a string of low scores on India’s tour of England, after aggregating only 25 runs on that tour.

You have swallowed your pride and gone back to domestic cricket.

You have scored loads of runs in the IPL.

You have led Kolkata Knightriders to two IPL titles.

Your old pal Sehwag has retired but you have stuck around. Read More …

India v New Zealand test series, 1st test preview

Just three and a half weeks after the T20s versus West Indies in Florida, we are ready for the start of India’s long home season. The first of India’s thirteen test matches this season starts against New Zealand on 22 September in Kanpur. Kanpur will also be India’s 500th test and Virat Kohli’s India will want to make it memorable for all the right reasons

Incidentally, New Zealand is the top ranked T20 nation, #2 ODI nation but only #7 in Tests. Here at 1T1H, we feel that #7 ranking doesn’t really reflect the talent, guts or potential of the Kiwis. We fully expect them to give India, the #2 test team in the world, a run for their money. No doubt Kumble and Kohli will remember that underestimating NZ has been costly in the past.

Ahead of the first test, both sides are knee deep in selection dilemmas, ranging from how many bowlers to pick to how many spinners to pick on the Kanpur track to which batsmen will make the cut.

India’s Ishant Sharma is out with illness and both Tim Southee and Jimmy Neesham are injured for New Zealand.

Here is 1 Tip 1 Hand’s recommended playing XI for India. Read More …

1 Tip 1 Hand meets Nasser Hussain!

The Royal London One-Day Cup Final takes place at Lords on Saturday, the 17th of September. Eighteen teams have been jousting since June and the last teams standing are Warwickshire and Surrey. Warwickshire were runners-up in 2014 and Surrey came second in 2015. With this bound to be the last game of cricket for both these teams before winter sets in, the sides (featuring international players Sangakarra and Ian Bell) will be itching to get their hands on the trophy – something we have already done!

The Royal London One-Day Cup

The Royal London One-Day Cup

Allow us to explain. To celebrate the return of the Royal London One-Day Cup final at Lords, we were invited by the ECB to take part in an exclusive event at Lords last Thursday – a brief report follows of a truly special evening!

Read More …

Five cricketers with surprising records

On 14 August 2016, Pakistan piggy-backed on a brilliant Younis Khan double century to climb to the #1 spot in the ICC Test Rankings for the first time in their history – a truly incredible achievement. Exactly 16 days later, against the same England opposition, the famed Pakistan bowling line-up conceded 444 in just 50 overs, allowing England to set a new record for highest ODI score.

It got us thinking: How can such a great test team (Rank #1) be so poor at ODIs (Rank #9), especially when more than half the Pakistani players play both the formats?

In the spirit of differences, this post looks at 5 players whose records in different formats may surprise you.

#1 Virender Sehwag

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Most recently famous for his sass on Twitter, Sehwag’s career ended with him known as a maverick cricketer. His ‘see ball hit ball’ philosophy got him into the ODI Team in 1999 and he only made his test debut three years later.

Yet, despite being known for his quick scoring, he retired from the game as something of a test match legend more than an ODI great.

– Test batting average of 49.34, up there with the greats, compared to an ODI average of 35.05. He has the 4th best Test average for an Indian with 20 tests or more (behind Sachin, Gavaskar and Dravid who are all clearly legends of the game), but is not even in the top 10 for ODIs

– Career test strike rate of 82.23; the highest ever among batsman playing 40 tests or more. His ODI career strike rate of 104.33 is impressive, but only 15th on the all-time list.

#2 Ajinkya Rahane

On paper, Rahane is a test match batsman with a technique few can match. He is often lauded for his temperament, seen as the next Dravid, and thus criticized for inclusion in T20 sides.

And yet, the statistics paint a different picture, showing that he deserves his T20 spot:

– T20 Batting Average of 30.68 – behind only Kohli, Dhoni and Raina among Indian batsmen, all of whom are renowned as T20 experts.

– T20 Half Centuries – Rahane has 30 career T20 fifties in 137 innings. It may not be the highest of all time, but his conversion rate is stellar; he scores a 50 every 4.5 innings, the 2nd best of any Indian player (behind only Kohli who scores a 50 every 4.2 innings) and ahead of T20 stalwarts such as Gambhir (4.7), Dhawan (4.9), Rohit (5.2) and Raina (6.3).

#3 David Warner

Not dissimilar to Sehwag, Warner burst on the ODI and T20 scene for his big hitting and fast scoring in 2009, and didn’t make his Test debut till 2011.

And yet, in just 5 years, his test record is truly noteworthy; he has a stellar ODI record too, but that was expected, the test stats may surprise you:

– Test batting average of 48.63 – The 2nd best test average among current playing Australians, only Steve Smith outshines him on this metric, while his ODI average of 37.53 is not even in the Top 5

– Centuries per Innings – Warner may have only racked up 16 centuries, but, he does so at a rate of 0.16, nearly 1 century in every 6 innings. This is 11th of all time, but 3rd among current players, behind only Younis Khan and Steve Smith. It is a faster rate of century scoring than legends like Gavaskar, Sachin, Lara, Ponting, Mahela… you get the point

#4 Hashim Amla

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Amla was handpicked to the South African 5-day side for his Test match potential; thus not making his ODI debut for nearly 4 years after his Test debut! His image as a calm, classy, composed batsman made selectors believe he was the perfect Test batsman.

And yet, though his test batting is outstanding, he has proven to be a class apart as an ODI Batsman:

– ODI batting average of 51.97 – The 3rd highest ODI average of all time among batsmen from test playing nations; he trails only Bevan and de Villiers for this incredible feat.

– Centuries per innings – Nobody even comes close to Amla when it comes to his rate of piling up runs in ODIs. The best by far, Amla scores a century every 5.82 innings. Even Kohli only does so every 6.52 innings, and a legend like Sachin scored a century only every 9.2 innings

– Amla became the fastest to 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 runs in ODI Cricket. He is well to break the record to 7,000 as well, with only age limiting his potential given he made his ODI Debut at age 25.

#5 Ravi Ashwin

The only bowler to make this list, Ashwin shot to fame through the IPL, which brought him into the Indian side as a limited overs specialist. He only made his test debut 18 months later.

And yet, after 100 ODIs his limited overs record is nothing to write home about, but he has established himself as a standout in the test arena:

– His bowling strike rate of 51.8 is the best among all Indian bowlers; it is also 5th best among all current players with 20 tests or more. Reminder: Bowling strike rate is number of balls bowled per wicket taken.

– Ashwin takes a 5-wicket haul every 3.67 innings; a truly astounding statistic. Among players who played after 1940, this record is second only to Muralitharan, and 40% better than Herath who is next on the list among active players.

– His figures are not without impact; in his 13 test series till date, he has captured 6 Man of the Series awards. 6 is not only an Indian record, but the rate is by far the fastest too. One award every 2.16 series, this is 62% faster than the next best, Imran Khan, who is undoubtedly a legend of the game.

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