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Sports Home Cricket Features Specials First to lead in 100 Tests: A statistical tribute to Graeme Smith

First to lead in 100 Tests: A statistical tribute to Graeme Smith

Cricket statistician Gopalakrishna Ramaswamy highlights the many records South African captain Graeme Smith is about to achieve when the Proteas face Pakistan in the first Test at Johannesburg.

Gopalakrishna Ramaswamy  |  Last updated on Friday, 01 February 2013 11:04 Print font size - +

February 1, 2013 will be a red letter day in the annals of Test cricket, South African cricket and more importantly in Graeme Smith's Test career. On this day, he becomes the first captain to lead a team in one hundred Tests when he leads South Africa against Pakistan at Johannesburg.

He has also led ICC World Eleven against Australia at Sydney in Oct 2005 which is also taken into account in his 99 Test career.

He is the only captain to score 8000 runs {8016} in the annals of Test cricket in his career. He is the only captain to score 8000 runs {8006} representing a specific team – South Africa.

His number of matches {99}, his number of innings played {175} his aggregate runs {8016}, his 24 Test hundreds and his number of fifties {58} are records in itself in each of the statistical parameters for any captain in the annals of Test cricket.

He is one of the three captains to score 3000 runs on home soil. He has an aggregate of 3020 runs prior to the start of the series against Pakistan. Others are – Ricky Ponting {3555} and Allan Border {3448}.

His 3020 runs is a record aggregate Test runs by a South African captain for the most runs at home. He is the first non Australian captain to amass 3000 runs at home.

He also holds the record for a non Australian captain to score 3000 runs at home. The previous best was 2820 by GA Gooch of England.

His 24 hundreds is also a record for most hundreds by a captain in the annals of Test cricket. It is interesting to note that he is the only captain to score 20 hundreds in Tests.

His 58 fifties {24 centuries and 34 half centuries} is also a record for most fifties scored by a captain in the annals of Test cricket. RT Ponting {54- 19 tons plus 35 half-centuries} and AR Border {51- 15 tons plus 36 half-centuries} are the other two captains to score 50 fifties in Tests

He owns the record for most fifties by a non Australian captain. The previous record was held by CH Lloyd of West Indies who had scored 41 fifties {14 tons plus 27 half-centuries}

He is one of the three captains to score 30 plus half centuries in Tests. The three captains are – AR Border {35}, RT Ponting {35} and GC Smith {34}

He has played most number of Tests on away soil as captain – 52 – to be exact. He is the second captain to play most away Tests after CH Lloyd who has played 50 Tests on away soil. Thus GC Smith holds the record for captaining in most away Tests

He has scored most runs in away Tests – 4854 – to be exact. His 277 runs against England at Birmingham in Jul 2003 represent the highest individual score by a South African captain in an away Test.

He remains the only captain to score 200 plus runs in consecutive Tests in his first two appearances as captain. This statistics holds good for a captain leading in away Tests. He scored 277 against England at Birmingham in Jul 2003 and followed it up with 259 against England at Lord's in July 2003.

He has scored 15 hundreds in away Tests which is a record for most hundreds by a captain in away Tests. He is the only captain to score ten or more hundreds in away Tests.

His 34 Test fifties {15 tons, plus 19 half-centuries} is a record for most Test fifties by a captain in away Tests. His 19 half centuries is also a record for most fifties by a captain in away Tests.

He is the first non Australian captain to hold the record for the highest individual score in a away Test. He scored 277 against England at Birmingham in Jul 2003. Mark Taylor and Bob Simpson are the other two captains to score 300 plus runs in an away Test. Taylor scored 334 not out against Pakistan at Peshawar in Oct 1998, while Simpson scored 311 against England at Manchester in July 1964.

He would become the first left handed captain to appear in 100 plus Tests on 01.02.13 when he leads South Africa against Pakistan at Johannesburg.

He has an aggregate of 7897 runs which is a record aggregate for a left hander captain opening batsman in the annals of Test cricket. He needs 103 runs to total 8000 runs.

He holds the record for most hundreds by a captain in Test wins – 15 hundreds – to be exact. RT Ponting has 14 hundreds by a captain in Test wins.

He holds the record for most number of runs in a calendar year as captain. He has scored 1656 runs in 2008. He is one of the six captains to score 1000 runs in a calendar year on two or more occasions.

Smith is one of the two captains to appear in 15 Tests in a calendar year after RT Ponting. Smith appeared in 15 Tests in 2008 while Ponting appeared in the same number of Tests in 2005. Both these captains share the record for most number of Test in a calendar year.

Smith also holds the record for most catches in a calendar year – 30 catches – to be exact. He set this record in 2008 overhauling Mark Taylor's record of 27 catches in 1997.

Smith holds the record for most catches by a Test captain – 138 – to be exact. He is one of the two captains to pouch 100 plus catches as Test captain in the annals of Test cricket – the other being SP Fleming of New Zealand who has pouched 132 catches.

Smith is one of the three captains to pouch 50 plus catches on home soil – SP Fleming {69}, GC Smith {58} and MA Taylor {55}

Smith's 78 catches is a record for most caches by a captain on away soil. He is one of the two aaptains to pouch 50 plus catches on away soil – the other being Steven Fleming who has taken 63 catches.

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Story first published on: Friday, 01 February 2013 10:49

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