Monday, January 11, 2021

Arbit Stats #72: On Substitutes

Over Days 3 & 4 of Test Match #2402 at Sydney, Wridhhiman Saha picked up 4 catches in Australia’s 2 innings – thus equaling the record for most catches taken as a substitute in a Test innings set by Younis Khan. 

A subsequent query put on twitter regarding the absence of substitute catches in “official” records got an enlightening conversation going. And what came out was a virtual treasure trove of factoids on substitute fielders. 
  • John Bracewell holds the record for 4 catches as a substitute in ODIs 
  • Geoff Howarth appeared as a sub for England against Australia at the Oval in 1972 before making his international debut for New Zealand 
  • Carl Cachopa, SW Eathorne, MA Hastings, NKW Horsley, MN McKenzie, SM Mills, TD Ritchie have taken a catch as a sub but were never part of the playing XI for New Zealand. 
  • A few subs have managed a stumping in first-class cricket – BE Congdon has a stumping as a sub and been stumped by a sub! 
  • England once used 4 players as wicket-keeper in a Test in 1986 – Bruce French (official), Bob Taylor & Bobby Parks as outside subs and Bill Athey from playing XI 
  • Most catches as sub for New Zealand – Greatbatch (5), Bracewell, Jeff Crowe, Jarvis (4 each) 
  • Marvan Atapattu picked 1 catch but was not part of the playing XI in any of the games of the 1996 Sri Lanka World Cup campaign! 
  • And there is Gary Pratt – faous for running-out Ricky Ponting in an Ashes Test. 

Overall, quite a fascinating subject. There will be many such trivia which are off the official books but interesting nonetheless.

All stats courtesy Kaustubh Gudipati (@kaustats) and Francis Payne (@FPayne100) on twitter!

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