February 7, 2017

Most wickets taken in a country, most matches won on the trot

Also: the most Test wickets taken in a calendar year, and the highest score by a captain in an ODI

Australia's Test series win in the West Indies in 2003 was the culmination of their 20-match winning streak Hamish Blair / © Getty Images

Australia won 16 successive international matches - in all three formats - at home in 2006-07. Was this the record? asked Mike Herman from Australia
That Australian run started in India in October 2006, and extended to the end of January 2007: they won five Tests (all against England), ten one-day internationals (against India, England and New Zealand) and a T20 international (also against England) in that time. The record is indeed held by Australia - but it wasn't that particular run: early in 2003 they won 20 successive international matches, the first 17 of them one-day games, culminating in an unbeaten record in the World Cup in southern Africa. They rounded off the 20-match streak with three Test wins in the West Indies. Australia also won 16 successive international matches in 2000-01, a sequence ended by India's famous Test victory after following on in Kolkata. The non-Australian record is 14 successive international wins, which Pakistan have managed twice - in 1990 and 2011-12.

R Ashwin took 72 Test wickets in 2016. Was this a record? asked Mohan Ahluwalia from India
Ravichandran Ashwin led the way last year with 72 Test wickets - next came Rangana Herath with 57 and Mitchell Starc with 50 - but that was some way short of the overall record for a calendar year, Shane Warne's 96 in 2005. Next come Muttiah Muralitharan (90 in 2006) and Dennis Lillee (85 in 1981). Ashwin lies 13th equal on that particular list, with two other Indians ahead of him: Kapil Dev took 75 wickets in 1983, and Anil Kumble 74 in 2004. Murali leads the way for international wickets in all three formats: he claimed 136 wickets in 2001, and 128 in 2006. The leading Indian is Harbhajan Singh, with 102 wickets in 2002, just ahead of Kapil Dev's round 100 in 1983.

Who has scored the most runs and taken the most wickets against one particular country in Tests? asked Jeremy Fingleton from England
The leader by a country mile is Don Bradman, who scored 5028 Test runs against England at an average of 89.78. Next comes Jack Hobbs, with 3636 runs in Ashes matches; he's just ahead of Sachin Tendulkar, who made 3630 against Australia. Then it's back to the Ashes: Allan Border scored 3548 runs against England, and David Gower 3269 v Australia. Garry Sobers hit 3214 runs for West Indies v England, and Steve Waugh 3200 for Australia. For the bowlers, it's still the Ashes to the fore: Shane Warne amassed 195 wickets against England, and Dennis Lillee 167. Curtly Ambrose claimed 164 against England, at just 18.79 apiece, while Glenn McGrath took 157 for Australia in the Ashes. Ian Botham grabbed 148 for England v Australia, and Courtney Walsh snared 145 English victims. Rather longer ago, the Australian offspinner Hugh Trumble took 141 wickets against England between 1890 and 1903-04.

Virender Sehwag's 219 v West Indies in 2011 is the biggest ODI score by a captain © AFP

Was Faf du Plessis' 185 the other day the highest score by a captain in an ODI? asked Kyle Callender from Namibia
That innings of 185 by Faf du Plessis, against Sri Lanka in Cape Town last week, would have been a new record for a South African skipper in one-day internationals... except he wasn't captain that day, as AB de Villiers was playing. In any case, there have been three higher ODI scores by captains: Virender Sehwag was in charge when he smashed 219 for India against West Indies in Indore in 2011-12, Sanath Jayasuriya hit 189 for Sri Lanka v India in Sharjah in 2000-01, and Sachin Tendulkar made 186 not out for India against New Zealand in Hyderabad in 1999-2000. Du Plessis just missed out on the highest individual score for South Africa, which remains Gary Kirsten's 188 not out against the United Arab Emirates in Rawalpindi during the 1996 World Cup.

Niall O'Brien is in sight of his 2000th run in ODIs for Ireland. Has anyone got there already? asked James McCague from Ireland
The feisty Irish wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien has so far scored 1964 runs in one-day internationals. If he can add a further 36 he will be the fourth Ireland player to get there: his brother Kevin tops the pile at the moment, with 2629 runs from 103 such matches, one ahead of his skipper William Porterfield (2628). Paul Stirling comes next, with 2240. Ed Joyce has scored 2110 runs in all in ODIs, but 471 of them (and one of his five centuries) were for England. Of Eoin Morgan's 5193 ODI runs, 744 were for Ireland.

Who has taken the most Test and ODI wickets in a single country? asked Harish Kapadia from India
Not surprisingly, perhaps, Test cricket's overall leading wicket-taker, Muttiah Muralitharan is well clear at the top of this particular list: he took 493 wickets at home in Sri Lanka. Anil Kumble took 350 in India, and Shane Warne 319 in Australia. James Anderson might soon join this exclusive 300 club: he has so far taken 296 Test wickets in England. The only man to take 100 wickets in a country not his own is Warne, with 129 in England (Dennis Lillee comes next, with 96 in England). The leading bowler in one-day internationals came as a slight surprise: it's Shaun Pollock, who took 193 wickets in South Africa. Brett Lee took 169 ODI wickets in Australia, and Glenn McGrath 160; Muralitharan claimed 154 in Sri Lanka. Coming up on the rails is Shakib Al Hasan, who currently has 137 ODI wickets at home in Bangladesh.

Post your questions in the comments below

Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Cricinfouser on February 20, 2017, 17:46 GMT

    Hi Steve

    What is the highest ever points ever recorded in the ICC ranking table by any test team? The same for any test batsman and test bowler? who were they and when did they achieve this? Is there a way to extend the ranking methodology in the past and go beyond the time when ICC started keeping official rankings?

  • Martin on February 18, 2017, 13:29 GMT

    @ Farhan29 - The highest unbroken partnership in an ODI losing cause is 137 by McCullum and Oram v Australia at Perth in January 2007 (they lost by 8 runs). There was also a partnership of 178 unbroken between Herschelle Gibbs and Jaques Kallis v India at Colombo in 2002, which was interrupted when Gibbs retired hurt, although South Africa later lost.

  • Martin on February 18, 2017, 13:14 GMT

    @Amitsaxena0709 - Three players have batted in every position from 1 to 11 in Tests - Wilfred Rhodes, Vinoo Mankad and Syd Gregory. No one has done so in the other two formats as far as I'm aware...

  • Martin on February 18, 2017, 13:09 GMT

    @Serious-am-I - I was answering the question regarding the Test XI that had played the most times together, which I understand is a West Indies team from the late 1980s. It had nothing to do with the South African top order or any batsmen scoring over 150 in ODIs (a format in which I have no interest anyway)....

  • Martin on February 18, 2017, 13:02 GMT

    @ Ramshankar - The problem with questions about substitutes is the lack of data, particularly if they only appeared for a short period as a fielder, when they are unlikely to have even been mentioned in scorebooks. As regards being an announced 12th man, I think Andy Bichel holds the 'record', if one could call it that. These days, international sides can name a maximum of four substitutes at the toss.

  • ram on February 18, 2017, 11:46 GMT

    which player has been the substitute the most number of times in ODIs and tests?

  • Bernhard on February 18, 2017, 0:38 GMT

    Hi Stephen,

    I was lucky enough to be in the crowd on Australia Day when Travis Head brought up his maiden international hundred. My brother speculated who the last South Australian was to score an international 100 on the Adelaide Oval was - we decided it was probably Greg Blewett's debut in 1995 (on Australia Day, no less). How many other South Australians have scored international 100's on the Adelaide Oval? And perhaps, to exclude South Aussie Don, how many South Australian born players scored international hundreds there?

    Beyond that, how many South Australian bowlers have taken five international wickets in an innings at Adelaide?

  • Amit on February 16, 2017, 17:07 GMT

    Is there any cricketer who has batted in every position of playing eleven ? Please do mention in test matches, ODI and T20.

  •   Ashley Brandt on February 16, 2017, 9:23 GMT

    Why would Shaun Pollock be a surprise - he was an excellent bowler

  • Farhan on February 16, 2017, 7:16 GMT

    What is the highest unbroken partnership in the second innings of an ODI that resulted in defeat?

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