With the IPL all set to start up next week, this year’s Test “season” (such as it is) has come to a close.
Thankfully, it ended on a high note, but lots of other stuff worth noting happened, too.
(For the purposes of this exercise, I started the “season” on 26 March 2012 with England’s tour of Sri Lanka…I needed to draw the line somewhere.)
There were 48 Test matches, 36 of which produced a result.
In those matches, 50,655 runs were scored, 1,485 wickets were taken, and 97,410 balls were bowled.
197 total cricketers appeared at the batting crease. Cook, Prior, and Trott batted in the most matches (15), while Cook appeared in the most innings (28) and saw the most balls (2,935) (stop laughing).
Clarke was the top run scorer (1,280), Amla was second (1,321), and Cook was third (1,280).
The highest score of the season was Amla’s 311 not out, but the highest average was Chanderpaul’s 93.41 (five innings minimum; sorry, Shikhar Dhawan) and the highest strike rate was Sehwag’s 87.36. (Again, five innings minimum. Sorry, Mark Gillespie).
Doing the same rundown for the bowlers is a bit easier, since you really only need to know two words: Rangana and Herath.
Jimmy Anderson participated in the most innings with 25 and Ashwin bowled the most maiden overs with 142, but Herath bowled the most overs (673.4), allowed the most runs (1,784), took the most wickets (80), had the most five wicket hauls (9), and the most 10 wicket hauls (3).
Based solely on the above silliness, my cricketers of the year are Alastair Cook and Rangana Herath.
AB de Villiers took the most catches with 43 so he is my fielder of the year.
Team wise, South Africa were of course at the top of the pile: played 11, won eight, drew three, and lost none – but India were a close second: played 10, won seven, lost two, and drew one.
Those were the only two teams that won the majority of their matches.
Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe did not win a single Test between them. (Pakistan is of course punished by the fact that their 3-0 whitewash of England happened just before the cut-off…but I had to draw the line somewhere. Sorry, fellas).
Actually constructing a table is of course impossible because every team played a different number of Tests, but I like to invent stats and here’s a new: loss percentage. Just simply number of losses divided by number of matches played; the lower the percentage, the better the season (not really but this is just for fun.)
Using loss percentage, the table shapes up like this:
Anecdotally, we saw some really great cricket. Amla’s brilliance in England was a highlight for me, as was Cook’s leadership in India. We also saw India turn the tables on Australia and that brilliant final day in New Zealand.
And lest we forget that this season also brought us World Test Day: on 25 November 2012 there were four Test matches happening simultaneously:
— Matt Becker (@limitedovers) November 25, 2012
That was a good day.
The season ends with Australia in crisis, New Zealand and India resurgent, and England treading water. The upcoming season should be heaps of entertainment – and it all kicks off with
New Zealand against England at Lord’s in May Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh in April.