Monday, January 22, 2007

On Captains

I'm extremely happy we got this win though it would have been nice to be able to actually watch some of it. Just looking at the scorecard and reading all the reports, I can see it was a true team performance. Only four players did not have a significant impact on the outcome of the game: the openers, Hameed and Yousuf. Everyone else played an important role. Inzi even called it his best win as captain.

That last part got me thinking about captaincy records. Just where does Inzamam rank - statistically anyway - on our list of Test captains? Luckily, cricinfo has an answer for almost everything, so I managed to dig up the following information from statsguru.

1. Inzi has now led us in 30 games. He has 11 wins, 10 losses and 9 draws. One more win and he ties Wasim for third on the all-time list for wins. After that, there are a couple of guys ahead of him who go by the name of Imran and Javed, both with 14 wins. If Inzi doesn't retire at the end of the World Cup (and by God, I hope he doesn't), he could well end up as the most successful captain Pakistan has ever had.

2. Quirky stats: Miandad had as many wins as Imran but in 14 less tests (34 to Imran's 48); Waqar captained us 17 times and never drew; Rashid Latif has the highest win/loss ratio (4) of any Pakistani captain (though leading us three times against Bangaldesh out of a total of six Tests might skew the odd ratio in your favour); we've had six captains who never won when in charge (Imtiaz Ahmed, Javed Burki, Saeed Ahmed, Majid Khan, Wasim Bari and Asif Iqbal, all of whom were captain for at least three tests); and Intikhab Alam, statistically speaking, was our worst captain ever (11 draws, 5 losses, 1 win. Actually, really).

3. Walmart has a lower turnover rate than our captains. In 54 years of playing Test cricket, we've had 25 captains, or in other words, we get a captain every 2.2 years. By comparision, Australia has played Test cricket for 130 years and has had 42 captains, or one every 3.1 years. If that difference doesn't strike you as significant, focus only on the number of captains we've had since 1990 - Imran, Javed, Wasim, Waqar, Salim Malik, Ramiz Raja, Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail, Rashid Latif, Moin, Inzi, Yousuf and Younis, for a grand total of 13. During the same period, Australia have had 5 (Border, Taylor, Waugh, Gilchrist, Ponting). Looking at those numbers, I'm just wondering how Asif Mujtaba or Ata-ur-Rahman never became captain.

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