Captain Cool Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a courageous knock of 82 on Day 1 of the fifth and final Test at the Oval on Friday. On a day when he became India's most-capped captain against England, Dhoni scored his 12th fifty versus the home team, extending his Test record for most fifties against an opponent without posting a hundred.
Both Dhoni and Australia's Monty Noble now a share a record for most fifties (eight) without making a hundred in England. Dhoni's 82 is his third innings of 80-plus versus England in England, his highest being 92 at The Oval in 2007. The 82 was his 33rd fifty in Tests - his 24th as captain.
Dhoni has amassed 349 runs at an average of 38.77 - his best performance in a Test series, obliterating the 326 (average 81.50) in four Tests vs Australia in India in 2012-13. For the second time in a Test series, Dhoni has registered four innings of fifty or more -- the first instance being against Australia in India in 2008-09.
Other statistical highlights from India's innings on Friday:
Despite his failure today, Ravichandran Ashwin, as number eight batsman, is maintaining an average of 40-plus -- his figures being 887 in 29 innings at an average of 40.31. His average is the highest by number eight batsman in Tests (minimum 25 innings).
# Murali Vijay is the first Indian batsman to amass 400 runs in the present Test series -- his tally being 400 (average 44.44) in nine innings. Vijay has managed 400 runs or more in a Test series for the second time -- his first instance being 430 (average 61.42) in four Tests vs Australia in 2012-13.
# Cheteshwar Pujara is averaging 23.44 in the present series - his tally being 211 in nine innings, including a fifty. As against his home average of 75.23 in 13 Tests, Pujara is averaging 29.10 away from home in 11 Tests.
# Gautam Gambhir's sixth duck in Tests is his first against England. He is averaging 13.77 in five Tests in England -- his tally being 124 in nine innings. Gambhir has been dismissed off the first ball for the first time in Tests.
# Virat Kohli has produced his worst performance in a Test series - his tally being 114 in nine innings at an average of 12.66. Kohli, for the first time, is without a Test fifty in nine consecutive innings.
# India lost five wickets for 36 runs -- their sixth instance when they have lost their first five wickets for less than 40 runs in a Test innings in England -- their worst performance being losing five wickets conceding six runs at The Oval in 1952.
# Vijay and Gambhir once again failed to put up a substantial score for the first wicket. An Indian pair is without a 50-run partnership for the first wicket in 17 innings in Tests -- the last 50-run stand being 77 between Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay vs West Indies at Mumbai in November 2013.
# Ajinkya Rahane registered his first duck in 18 innings in Tests.
# In all, Indian players have recorded 14 ducks in the present series as against three by England -- all three from Ben Stokes.
# Dhoni and Ishant Sharma put on 58 - India's highest 10th-wicket partnership in Tests when they have lost nine wickets for less than 100 runs.
# Ajinkya Rahane has been dismissed caught and bowled three times in his brief Test career -- all three instances recorded in the present series.
# Chris Jordan (3/32) has produced his best bowling figures in Tests, obliterating the 3 for 102 vs Sri Lanka at Lord's this year.
(With inputs from Rajesh Kumar)