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Jason holder joins the elite captain-double group led by Virat Kohli

Swarup Dutta
ANALYST
Feature
28 Jan 2019, 03:13 IST

Jason holder, after his brilliant double century against England
Jason holder, after his brilliant double century against England

When Jason Holder scored a magnificent double-hundred in the Test match against England, it was the 77th instance in Test cricket history that the captain of a team scored more than 200 runs in an innings. He has been the only one in the list, who is a genuine all-rounder.

MS Dhoni was the other one, who was also wearing keeping gloves in the same match, while scoring a double hundred for the team in 2013.

Let us look into some interesting stats from this exclusive list.

Captains with maximum double hundreds

Kohli, after reaching his 6th double ton against Sri Lanka in Delhi
Kohli, after reaching his 6th double ton against Sri Lanka in Delhi

Virat Kohli has scored 6 double hundreds as captain, which is a record. Brian Lara did it five times in his astonishing career. Sir Don Bradman, Graeme Smith and Michael Clarke achieved it 4 times each. The other notable captains are – Brendon McCullum, Mahela Jayawardene, Greg Chappell, Bobby Simpson, Stephen Fleming (all 3 times each) and, Allan Border, Hasim Amla, Javed Miandad, Ricky Ponting (twice each).

Highest score as Captain

Brian Lara, after scaling 400
Brian Lara, after scaling 400

Brian Charles Lara holds the record for highest score as a Captain (400 not out). Of course, this has been the highest score ever made by any batsman in the history. The other batsmen who scored triple centuries as captain are – Mahela Jayawardene (374), Mark Taylor (334), Graham Gooch (333), Micheal Clarke (329), Younis Khan (313), Bobby Simpson (311) and Brendon McCullum (302). Martin Crowe missed the mark by just one run, as he was dismissed for 299.

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Lara’s epic 400 was not the longest innings by a captain of this list though. That belonged to Alastair Cook, who played for 836 minutes for his 263 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in 2015. Lara’s innings lasted for 775 minutes, while McCullum’s 775 minute marathon against India is the third longest. Interestingly, in terms of balls, Bobby Simpson played 743 balls (highest by a long margin) for his 311. It is a clear indication of higher over rate during those time.

Fastest Double century as Captain

McCullum, smashing his way to 186-ball double hundred
McCullum, smashing his way to 186-ball double hundred

In terms of balls faced, Brendon McCullum had scored the fastest one (in 186 balls, against Pakistan in Sharjah). In fact, it was 5th fastest double hundred of all time. Holder’s effort in this match stands second in the list (229 balls), with Dhoni’s 231 ball double century stands 3rd.

Record for and against country

Sir Don Bradman scored 4 double hundred as captain
Sir Don Bradman scored 4 double hundred as captain

The list is hugely dominated by the Australian captains. Out of 77 total instances, 23 belonged to them. Clearly, Australia had some great batsmen, who also captained the team. West Indies (10) and India (10) are the second list, with India catching up recently with the meteoric rise of Virat Kohli.

England has suffered maximum (17 times) from the opposition captains in this list. India and Pakistan are in the second position. This has been achieved 11 times against them.

Adelaide Oval is the ground where maximum double hundreds had been scored by team captains (6 times). Both Sydney and Karachi National Stadium had 4 such occurrences.

Timeline – Sharp increase beyond 2000

There is an interesting observation that 41 out of these 77 instances happened in this century (Since the year 2000). Before 2000, this number was just 36. If we also include the 90s, the prior instances further go down to just 28. This indicates the recent trend of many countries selecting their best batsman as the captain by default. This has been in contrast with the old English tradition of selecting the most capable leader as the captain.

Result, when Captain scored a double hundred

Brian Lara's brilliant 202 against South Africa went in vain

Obviously, when the captain of the team scores such huge runs, the end result would be more favorable to the team. Out of these 77 instances, the team for which their captain scored more than 200, won 38 times and drew 38 times. There has been only one occurrence where the team lost despite their captain achieving this landmark. Brian Lara was the unfortunate captain, even after scoring 202 against South Africa in Johannesburg.

Another point to note is that there have been very few instances where a team captain scored more than 200 in the 2nd innings of the match. In fact, there have been no cases where a captain has done this in a 4th innings chase. Holder’s innings was the only 8th instance when this has been done in the 2nd innings of the team. It goes to show how special this knock has been.

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