May 23, 2017

I won't be your hat-trick victim

Also, what is the record for number of stumpings in Test and first-class innings?
79

Kieron Pollard has played 155 international matches in West Indian colours - but none in whites © BCCI

Has anyone ever come in on a hat-trick in both innings of a Test and survived? asked Peter Collins from England
I'm only aware of one such instance, although there may be more as we don't have ball-by-ball details of many early Tests. But in Auckland in 1954-55 - the match in which New Zealand crashed to the all-time Test low of 26 all out - the England bowler Bob Appleyard was on a hat-trick in both innings. In each he dismissed Tony MacGibbon and then Ian Colquhoun (who thus picked up a king pair), but was twice denied by New Zealand's No. 10, the cheery legspinner Alex Moir, the second time with a tentative prod that flew just short of Tom Graveney. Someone who was less fortunate - or maybe less skilful - was the South African wicketkeeper Tommy Ward: making his Test debut against Australia at Old Trafford in the 1912 Triangular Tournament, he had two chances to foil a hat-trick - and failed both times, as legspinner Jimmy Matthews became the only player to take two hat-tricks in the same Test.

Apparently there are six men who have played more than 100 one-day internationals but no Tests - who are they? asked Nick McKenzie from England
This is something of a trick question, as five of the six men who have played more than 100 ODIs without appearing in a Test, play for teams that do not yet have Test status. Kenyans Thomas Odoyo and Steve Tikolo lead the way with 136 and 135 ODI caps respectively, while their compatriot Collins Obuya has played 104. And the Irish pair of Kevin O'Brien (112) and William Porterfield (106) have also clocked up more than a century of ODI appearances. The only man from a Test-playing team on this list is Kieron Pollard, who has so far made 101 ODI appearances for West Indies - and 54 in T20 internationals - without coming terribly close to a Test cap. David Miller is next on the list, with 93 ODI appearances for South Africa but no Tests. Nathan McCullum played a record 63 T20 internationals for New Zealand without winning a Test cap.

What has happened more often - both openers in a Test scoring a hundred, or both of them making a duck? asked Ken Ballard from England
The answer here is probably a bit of a surprise: there have been 71 instances of both openers scoring a century in the same Test innings (most recently by David Warner and Matt Renshaw for Australia against Pakistan in Sydney in January 2017), but only 52 cases of both bagging ducks, the most recent being Tom Latham and Martin Guptill for New Zealand against South Africa in Centurion in August 2016. And there have been even more instances - 167 - of both openers making the same score (including some not-outs), the highest double being 88, by Shane Watson and Phillip Hughes for Australia against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2011-12.

You leave the crease at your peril when Kiran More is behind the stumps © PA Photos/Getty Images

Only two bowlers have taken 16 wickets in their debut Test. But is it true that their combined tally of Test wickets was less than 100? asked Don Craig from New Zealand
It is indeed true. The Australian seamer Bob Massie took 16 for 137 (8 for 84 and 8 for 53) in his first Test, against England at Lord's in 1972, while Indian legspinner Narendra Hirwani just shaded him with 16 for 136 (8 for 61 and 8 for 75) on his debut, against West Indies in Madras in 1987-88. Hirwani took another 50 wickets in 16 more Tests, but Massie didn't even double his tally: five more caps brought him only 15 more wickets - so the pair finished with 97 Test wickets between them.

What are the records for stumpings in a Test and first-class innings? asked Varun Patel from India
The Test record was set in the match mentioned in the previous question: as Narendra Hirwani was taking his second eight-wicket haul against West Indies in Madras in 1987-88, the Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More pulled off five stumpings. Next on this list come Australia's Bert Oldfield and Khokan Sen of India, with four. More had also made one stumping in the first innings, to finish with a record six in the match (Sen had five, against England in Madras in 1951-52). The first-class record is six stumpings in one innings, by Worcestershire's Hugo Yarnold (later a Test umpire), against Scotland at Broughty Ferry, near Dundee, in 1951.

Leave 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

  • vnr on May 30, 2017, 2:46 GMT

    Let me clarify that Rahul David faced over 31,000 balls -- more than any other player in history -- but I saw certain statistical tables giving balls faced as closer to 16000 -- if cricinfo data archive says 31000+ on all pages then there is no error because the actual number is definitely 31000+

  • Martin on May 29, 2017, 21:08 GMT

    @Unbiased_referee & Vnrlifestyle - Is there any reason to question the 31,258 balls faced by Dravid from his Cricinfo profile, as all his innings batted have ball faced data detailed against them. Problems start once you go back through the decades and balls and minutes are not recorded in the public domain, however are available through more detailed private databases.

  • Parashu on May 29, 2017, 19:14 GMT

    @VNRLIFESTYLE: Indeed-total balls faced and minutes batted are not available for all the test players--and your method of estimating based on available records of strike rate is obviously robust enough to make deductions/extrapolations. But that Rahul Dravid's total balls faced being offset by that much is probably not correct either. I listed all his test stats inns by inns and did not find any inflation in recorded data on balls faced--all adding up to 31000+ :

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/28114.html?class=1;template=results;type=batting;view=innings

  • vnr on May 29, 2017, 16:17 GMT

    @Unbiased_Referee please note that for some reason the Cricinfo search engine in many cases returns values for 'balls faced in career' far fewer than the actual number, not only for batsmen of yesteryear but also for modern greats like R.Dravid who is said to have faced around 15000 balls but the real figure is like 30000! I think it is the sum of balls counted but can affect the correct calculation of balls faced per innings. Whereas strike rate, although calculated only for those innings where balls were counted, is an accurate index of the batsman's overall rate of scoring. So I searched all batsmen who played at least 20 Test innings, arranged by strike rate, and thus managed to calculate the number of balls faced per innings by the great Herbert Sutcliffe [balls faced per innings = career runs ÷ no: of innings batted ÷ career strike rate × 100] as around 160. I also found the only 3 Test batsmen to score 3000 runs and average above 60 are Herbert Sutcliffe, SPD Smith and Bradman!

  • vnr on May 29, 2017, 15:37 GMT

    @Unbiased_Referee many thanks for doing this amazing research and also for sharing your methods. However the actual number of balls faced by some Test batsmen is not known. In such cases thought of a way to deduce approximate balls per innings [b.p.i = career average ÷ career strike rate × 100] which is admittedly balls per dismissal; by this method I found Herbert Sutcliffe (whom your method may have missed because actual number of balls faced was not recorded) had an extraordinary rate of facing average 160+ balls per innings! I now found this verified on this very website by Steven Lynch 7 years ago: "(...) the Test batsman with the highest average balls-per-innings is, for once, not Don Bradman. The great England opener Herbert Sutcliffe averaged 163.95 balls per innings, with Bradman second on 139.97" [Ask Steven, 20 July 2010] - your findings confirm that really good batsmen routinely face more balls per innings (and score more runs) than average batsmen in Tests, ODIs and T20's!

  • Parashu on May 29, 2017, 5:53 GMT

    @VNRLIFESTYLE: "batsmen who faced highest average number of balls per innings"

    Use the following query thrice, with class=1; 2; and 3 respectively; collect results in Excel and perform averaging & sorting there!

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=balls_faced;qualmin2=20;qualval2=innings;size=200;template=results;type=batting

    Bradman leads the tests' tally with 123, with ten more batsmen > 100 [including Boycott, Dravid, Kallis and Border].

    ODI list, led by Chris Broad [72], has legends such as Geoff Marsh, Boycott, Greenidge, Haynes and KC Wessels in top ten.

    Virat Kohli leads T20I list with 29--with Root, Williamson, Kallis, du Plesis, Finch, and GC Smith among top ten.

  • Parashu on May 29, 2017, 5:20 GMT

    @VNRLIFESTYLE: Queries I used for your query(ies) on grounds:

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;groupby=ground;innings_number=1;innings_number=2;innings_number=3;orderby=runs;qualmin1=5;qualval1=matches;size=200;template=results;type=team;wrappertype=print

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;groupby=ground;innings_number=1;orderby=runs;qualmin1=10;qualval1=matches;size=200;template=results;type=team;wrappertype=print [I then imported all results into Excel and did averaging + sorting there.]

  • vnr on May 29, 2017, 3:02 GMT

    Which batsmen have faced the highest average number of balls per innings in Tests, ODI and T20I respectively? (Top 3 in each case; all innings counted regardless of not-outs; minimum 20 innings) I once used Statsguru to conduct a manual calculation of Test batsmen's balls per innings over a career using the formula "balls per innings = total balls faced in career ÷ total number of innings batted (minimum 20 Test innings) and estimated that for batsmen whose number of balls faced in a career is wholly known, the 2 record holders for balls per innings were Herbert Sutcliffe (around 160) and Donald Bradman (around 135) -- Geoff Boycott, Chanderpaul and Rahul David also faced a lot of balls per innings, as has François du Plessis in recent times. Are my findings correct? I came to conclude that batsmen with high batting average and low strike rate will face a lot of balls per innings, but the unique exception is the great Bradman who had an astronomical average & a very good strike rate!

  • vnr on May 29, 2017, 2:32 GMT

    @UNBIASED_REFEREE Many thanks for your generous help! I was wondering just how I should search for these answers. You have unearthed some very interesting names of highest-scoring grounds and some of them are unexpected. I always thought of the New Wanderers, Johannesburg and Jade Stadium, Christchurch as being two of the highest-scoring grounds for ODI but they are not in the top 3. It indicates they were not so high-scoring to begin with, but became great batting grounds over the years! As for test matches, Adelaide is rather surprising, but Antigua has seen some very high scores including the great Brian Lara's 375 and 400 not out. MOHALi is very intriguing because I recall that it used to be (and maybe still is) a fast-bowler's pitch on the first day, so the fact that it still averages a very high 335 over the first 3 innings is nothing short of extraordinary. Many thanks again for digging out thsee brilliant answers.

  • Parashu on May 28, 2017, 18:53 GMT

    @VNRLIFESTYLE: Correction--ODI venues' ranking below based on mininum 5 matches. Once you raise the bar to 10 matches the top three are: Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts-285; Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground, Rajkot-274; and Hagley Oval, Christchurch-270

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