Is Jaiswal better than Bradman?

Notes on Jaiswal, Patidar, and Anderson

Is Jaiswal better than Bradman?

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Joe Root opened the bowling, England don’t give a single shit anymore. Just the second time in a hundred years they start a match with a spinner, and they do it with their best batter. He rewarded them by bowling like a part-timer. Shoaib Bashir’s tall better off-spin took Rohit Sharma with a strangle to leg slip. But really, early on was about Jaiswal punishing balls on width, and sadly Shubman Gill failing again.

After giving their wickets away last Test, India lost two middle order plays to a caught behind from a shooter, and then the old backspin into the wicket and back onto the stumps. But Jaiswal made sure India were never behind, often scoring pretty much all their runs and keeping them in the game. But two loose cuts at the end kept England interested.

Actually, even with Jaiswal, this was a pretty good day for England. Either they are great at making Indians donate wickets, or it’s happening naturally. A 300/2 day would have had them out of the game. This gives them a reason to be half as positive as they will currently feel.

Weirdly, England probably had the better day, but because India already have this many runs on a wicket that falls apart, they are well ahead.

Jaiswal's Bradmanesque conversion (JK)

Jaiswal has 11 hundreds and four fifties in FC cricket. Of players with 15 50 plus scores, this is the greatest conversation rate of 100s to 50s of any batter ever. Yes, better than Bradman. Take that, Donald. It doesn’t look like a fluke, although it will regress. But you look at him when he gets set in IPL as well, and he looks like someone who will always go on.

He scored a lot of India’s runs too, when Patidar was out, he was nearly 150 of their 249 runs. He looked more solid than Hyderabad too. Occasionally he gets into bad shapes when over-attacking, but mostly he realised today the bowlers were going to give him enough bad balls to score from.

And they did bowl a lot of balls you could hit. Root really struggled with line and length, often in the same delivery. Hartley and Bashir both bowled too full regularly. Ahmed actually started pretty good, but still went for a few runs.

The weird thing for India was last time they went out trying to make bad balls happen, this time they got a few and hit them straight to fielders anyway.

But Jaiswal clearly picked his targets wisely. He did not even try to score of Jimmy Anderson. Now partly this was from Jimmy’s good bowling. (Though shout out for the 41-year-old medium fast bowler they made deliver bouncers on Indian wickets). But he’s shown us so far in his career he doesn’t like the quicks as much.

The average difference between pace and spin is kind of alarming. It's only six Tests in, so these numbers should meet more in the future.

What holds up more is the strike rate, because that is now from quite a few balls. And we can see he slows down normally against pace. So we’re under no illusion what he likes more. Though, 8 off 47 balls is quite extreme.

Rajat Patidar - scouting report (JK)

I think India are looking for a Pujara/Rahane type of player in terms of the temperament. I thought there was a sense of calm about his batting. Compare that to Shreyas Iyer, who obviously has a higher ceiling but requires more development in his game. He would play the ball late under his eyes - a bit like Kane Williamson.

So, he had a couple of terrible years in 2019 & 2020. However, his record has been pretty impressive on either side. He has been around the circuit for a while now. While these numbers aren't quite massive, it seems to me that India have gone for that profile of player rather than just the first-class numbers. It seems to me that there are very few things that could wrong in his game.

Patidar has a fantastic record against right-arm seam and off-spin. But I was really interested to look at his record against left-arm finger-spin, because he would have to face a lot more of it at the Test level while playing in India.

I think they wanted a player who could operate at a very high-functioning level against spinners in India, a bit like prime Pujara. I was basing that on his T20 record, and he prefers spin to pace there. But when you look at the split in first-class cricket once, I'm not sure this holds up as much.

I think there's a lot to like about him as a batter, and he was a bit unlucky today.

England use a silly point (JK)

The DRS changed how batters played away spin. Left-arm finger spinners bowl around the wicket to the right-handers because of the ability to get caught behind, caught in slips, LBW or bowled because of the angle. You can't put your pads in front anymore because of DRS. On ragging wickets, that makes it really hard for modern batters - even for some of the greats.

I noticed something about how India play spin. In the first Test, Shubman Gill pushed it kind of off the outside middle of the bat, but it wasn't an edge. The ball went straight to silly point and was caught. The Indian batters were pushing their bat out in front of the pad, and the ball went around that silly point fielding position a few times today.


It's not something that we see a lot in Test cricket. It will be interesting to see if that's a bit of a trend going forward.

Anderson offers control (SAK)

As the only spinner, I thought he was fantastic today. In the first spell, he was just deadly accurate and he barely bowled any bad balls. He troubled the Indian openers and induced false shots. He could have gotten more wickets on another day.

You don't expect your spinners to go for a lot of runs in this session, so I think Jimmy did a pretty good job at containing the flow of runs and dismissing the well-set Shubman Gill.

Anderson has only been getting better with age, particularly in terms of control. He started off a lot faster with less control, but at this stage of his career he is well aware of the importance of keeping it tight in conditions that aren't particularly suited for him.

England basically had just one bowler who could keep a lid on India's scoring rate in the first innings - Anderson today, and Leach in the first match. Though to be fair, Mark Wood didn't actually go for that many either.

He offers control everywhere, but has been particularly good in Asia. He was a part of the reason England whitewashed Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

But observe that he doesn’t play a lot of the matches - 1 out of 2 in Sri Lanka, 2 out of 3 in Pakistan, and 3 out of 4 in India.

So England have him on a slightly low usage in these conditions, but he’s still performing his role pretty well.

He obviously prefers taking the new ball a lot more in England as compared to India. But in England, he bowls with the Dukes ball. I would like to see how he does with the Kookaburra ball in the second and third spells compared to everyone else. He takes a fair amount of wickets with the older ball in India/Asia, and he's a constant wicket-taking threat in these conditions. Doesn't exactly fit the 'Clouderson' narrative.

Gill's Test career has been disappointing till now, but Intelligent Cricket suggests that he’s batted a lot on tougher wickets. Today he had a good chance to make a big score, but failed to capitalize on the start. The Anderson matchup proved to be a problem yet again today.

Gill's record against him now reads - 5/39 in 72 balls in 7 innings. You can see here that not only Gill, but Pujara and Rahane have also struggled massively against Anderson. Rohit Sharma has been the standout batter against the veteran seamer, while Pant, Kohli and KL Rahul have also handled him pretty well in this time period.

According to CricViz, Gill did not leave any of the 10 balls bowled by Anderson. I think this record is a bigger problem for an Asian batter, he would be better suited in Australia and South Africa. But in Asia, he would face a lot of seamers pitching it up. He has also had an issue with the ball coming in.

His talent level is still huge, but he has to overcome this issue while playing. And now that he is an all-format player for India, he would not get as much time to work on it in first-class cricket.