Bangladesh’s 100th Test – the journey in numbers

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Bangladesh's 100th Test

On the 140th anniversary of Test cricket (March 15, 2017), Bangladesh will become the tenth nation to play 100 Tests when they take the field at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.

They announced themselves into the international stage in November 2000 in Dhaka against India who were led by Sourav Ganguly for the first time. They became only the second team after Zimbabwe to post over 400 in their inaugural Test. Aminul Islam became Bangladesh’s first Test centurion and his 145 was the second highest by any player in a country’s inaugural Test after Charles Bannerman’s unbeaten 165 in 1877.

The start they had said little of what was to come. They lost all but one out of their first 27 Tests and had to wait till their 35th Test for their first win which eventually led to their first series win. On Wednesday (March 15), they will play against their least favored opponent – Sri Lanka – who has beaten them the most number of times (15). Here’s a look into Bangladesh’s Test journey in numbers:

8 Wins for Bangladesh after 99 Tests. The only team which fared worse at the same point of time was New Zealand who had just seven victories. However, the Kiwis lost only 46 Tests in comparison to Bangladesh’s 76. Bangladesh’s win-loss ratio of 0.11 is the worst for any team, with Zimbabwe’s 0.17 being the next worst. 36 out of the 76 defeats were by an innings margin.

3 Series wins for Bangladesh after 99 Tests – against Zimbabwe at home in 2005 and 2014 and in West Indies in 2009. Once again the only team to do worse than Bangladesh at the same point is New Zealand whose only series win at the same point of time came in Pakistan in 1969.

Teams after first 99 Tests
TeamWonLostDraw/TieW/L ratioSeries winsAway wins
Aus4140181.031410
Ban876150.1133
Eng4537171.221928
Ind1039500.2640
NZ746460.1514
Pak1826550.6987
SA1551330.2954
SL1839420.46127
WI3433321.031218
Zim1162260.1862

2014 Bangladesh’s best year in terms of matches won – three. Out of the 18 years since they started playing, they failed to win even one Test on 13 of those (including 2017). 2003 was the worst year for them, playing the most number of Tests (nine) and losing all of them.

21 Consecutive defeats for Bangladesh in as many Tests between November 2001 and February 2004 – the longest losing streak for a team in history, ahead of the next worst by 10 games. The 35 Tests from debut to their first victory in January 2005 is the second most winless streak for a team after New Zealand’s 44 from their debut till inaugural win.

3 Teams Bangladesh have beaten in their Test journey so far – Zimbabwe (five times), West Indies (twice) and England (once). Australia remain the only team against whom they lost all the Tests they played against – four – the last one coming a decade ago in 2006.

3546 Runs scored by Tamim Iqbal in Tests – Bangladesh’s leading run scorer. He also leads Bangladesh’s tally in the other two formats as well – 5120 in ODIs and 1201 in T20Is. He is the only player to hold the record across three formats for a team. Also, he is the only Bangladesh player with a hundred in all three formats.

170 Wickets taken by Shakib Al Hasan – Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker. Like Tamim, he is the only player to hold that record across the three formats for a team – 220 wickets in ODIs and 67 in T20Is. The only other bowler with 100 or more Test wickets for Bangladesh is Mohammad Rafique (100 wickets).

61 Test matches played by Mohammad Ashraful – Bangladesh’s most-capped player. He made his debut in his country’s sixth ever Test, against Sri Lanka in Colombo at an age of 17 years and 61 days and still remains the youngest ever to score a hundred on debut for any team. The other Bangladesh players with fifty-plus Test caps are Mushfiqur Rahim (53) and Habibul Bashar (50).

59.54 Percentage of wickets taken by spinners for Bangladesh – the most for any team in history. India and Sri Lanka are the only other teams where spinners contributed more than 50%. 40.94% of the wickets have been taken by left-arm spinners which is more than the double for any team with next best being India’s 18.92%.

Wickets – country wise
TeamWktsWkts by SpinnersPercentageWickets by left-arm spinnersPercentage
Eng14986449930.02%210114.02%
Aus13012399330.69%4373.36%
WI7762184323.74%4335.58%
Ind7236419357.95%136918.92%
SA6277137321.87%66510.59%
Pak5994235439.27%4707.84%
NZ5644140124.82%73713.06%
SL3693188350.99%58515.84%
Zim123535428.66%1179.47%
Ban104362159.54%42740.94%

29 Matches led by Mushfiqur Rahim – the most for Bangladesh under a captain. He has won five, lost 15 and drew nine and his win-loss ratio of 0.33 is the best among Bangladesh captains. Bashar (18), Ashraful (13) and Khaled Mashud (12) are the other players to lead Bangladesh in more than 10 Tests but have just one win under the three put together.

27 Teenagers to make debut for Bangladesh in 99 Tests so far, out of a total of 85 players which equates to 31.76% or nearly one out of every three. The next best in terms of overall numbers and percentage after 100 Tests is Pakistan who provided Test cap to 17 teenagers (out of 80) or 21.25%. Pakistan and Bangladesh are the only two sides to play less than 100 players at the time of their 100th Test.

3 Instances of Bangladesh playing the same XI in consecutive Test matches. They played unchanged in the two Tests against England in 2003 and against Zimbabwe in 2005, both at home. The third and last instance came in the last Test of the series in South Africa and first Test against Sri Lanka at home in late 2008. They have never fielded the same playing XI in more than two successive Tests.

595 for 8 against New Zealand in Wellington this January – Bangladesh’s second highest total and the highest by any team in Test cricket history to end up on the losing side. Shakib Al Hasan’s 217 in that match is the highest individual score for Bangladesh in Tests. His stand of 359 with Mushfiqur Rahim for the fifth wicket is the highest partnership for Bangladesh in Tests.

5 Man of the match awards for Shakib – the most among any Bangladesh player. His three Man of the series awards are also the most for Bangladesh. Rahim and Ashraful are the next in Man of the match awards with three each while no other player has won Man of the series more than once.