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    India versus England: Andy Zaltzman's alternative series awards after two Tests
India versus England: Andy Zaltzman's alternative series awards after two Tests
via Midjourney

India versus England: Andy Zaltzman's alternative series awards after two Tests

Comedian & BBC cricket statistician Andy Zaltzman was inspired by following India's 106-run win in Visakhapatnam and the awarding ceremony after presenting his own Zaltzman Gratuitous Statistical Awards for the series.

James Anderson: Queen Victoria award for 19th century bowling stats

In his 13 Tests outside England in the last 10 years, starting with a series-clinching seven-wicket haul in Cape Town in January 2020, Anderson took 52 wickets at an average of 15.6, conceding 2.01 runs per over.

He has taken 27 wickets at an average of 14.7 and an economy rate of 1.99 in seven matches in Asia (one in Sri Lanka, four in India, two in Pakistan).

Only two visiting bowlers in Asia - Glenn McGrath in Australia and Richard Hadley in New Zealand - have averaged better over seven Tests.

Jasprit Bumrah: Scrooge Memorial Award for parsimonious bowling against Bazballian England

Bumrah's economy rate may not be the most startling aspect of his bowling this series, with figures of 6-69 and 9-91 including a number of displaced stumps and confused edges, but it highlights how his unique cocktail of skills has presented Stokes' England with their toughest individual challenge yet.

His opening second-innings spell in Visakhapatnam - 0-9 from five overs - was the most economical new-ball spell by a bowler against England in 20 Tests since Stokes and McCullum took over.

It would have ranked only 19th most economical in England's previous 20 Tests.

His 2.74 overall match economy rate was the lowest against England by any bowler bowling at least 15 overs since New Zealand's Trent Boult's 2.48 per over in the first Stokes and McCullum Test at Lord's in June 2022. His 2.79 in the first Test in Hyderabad ranks third.

Zak Crawley: The corned beef award for surprising consistency

One of the most productive of Stokes' many shrewd selection decisions was the retention of Crawley at the start of last summer.

Crawley had made 20 in only 16 of his previous 49 Test innings. He has since, in 12 of 14 innings (excluding his 12 not out in the fourth innings chase against Ireland), made it in nine successive innings dating back to the third Ashes Test.

It also saw him become the first guest player to score 70 in both innings of a Test in India since Ricky Ponting in October 2010.

The list of former England players with nine or more consecutive opening Test scores of 20 or more includes most of the greatest openers in the team's history - Jack Hobbs, Herbert Sutcliffe, Len Hutton, Bob Barber, John Edrich, Geoff Boycott, Graham Gooch, Mike Atherton and Marcus Trescothick. Only Barber did not have a major Test career, with at least 50 caps, 12 centuries, and 4,500 runs.

England: The Swann-Panesar award for doing better than India's spinners in India

England's spinners have taken a combined 33 wickets at an average of 33.9. India's spinners have taken 23 wickets between them at an average of 38.3. This is the highest average for the first two matches of a home series since Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, and various part-timers averaged 47.2 in the first two Tests against New Zealand in November 2010 (the last series India played at home before Ravichandran Ashwin's debut).

It is only the fourth time that India's spinners have had a higher collective average after two Tests than their opponents in the last 37 home series since November 2000.

One of the others, after Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar led England to victory in the second Test in Mumbai, was England's successful tour under Alastair Cook in 2012/13.

Even by the alchemic standards of the Bazball regime, this prize-worthy statistic is astonishing given that Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed, and Shoaib Bashir had taken as many wickets in their entire domestic red-ball careers before that series as Ashwin had in his previous 11 home Tests (74).

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