Your questions answered December 1, 2003

The biggest six-hitters, and the man with most captains

The regular Monday column in which our editor answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket

The regular Monday column in which our editor answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:



Chris Cairns: can he catch up with Viv?
© Getty Images

Who has hit the most sixes in Test matches and ODIs? asks KN Rao

In Test cricket the top man is Viv Richards, with 84. Chris Cairns, the New Zealand allrounder, is not far behind him, with 72. You can click here for a full list in our records section. There's a similar table for one-day internationals, which you can find by clicking here. Andrew Flintoff recently moved past Ian Botham as England's leading one-day six-hitter, and now has 48 - but he's got a long way to go to catch the overall leader, Sanath Jayasuriya, who so far has smashed 182!

Which Test player has played under the most captains? I think Derek Underwood played under 10 - can anybody beat this? asks David Williams

Actually Derek Underwood played under 11 captains - Colin Cowdrey, Brian Close, Tom Graveney, Ray Illingworth, Tony Lewis, Mike Denness, John Edrich, Tony Greig, Mike Brearley, Ian Botham and Keith Fletcher. He's one of nine players to have taken the field under 11 skippers: the others are Mike Gatting, Graham Gooch, Tom Graveney, Walter Hammond, Moin Khan, Wilfred Rhodes, Polly Umrigar and Waqar Younis. Two players have had 12 Test captains - the legendary England opener Jack Hobbs, whose career lasted from 1907-08 to 1930, and Pakistan's Mushtaq Ahmed. But even that's not the record: Frank Woolley actually had 14 different Test captains in a 64-Test career that lasted from 1909 to 1934, when he was 47. Back then England had a number of short-lived amateur skippers, often for tours of places other than Australia, which were taken less seriously in those days. Woolley's 14 captains were: Archie MacLaren (1 match), "Shrimp" Leveson Gower (3), Francis Fane (2), Johnny Douglas (18), Charles Fry (6), the Hon. Lionel Tennyson (3), Frank Mann (5), Arthur Gilligan (9), Arthur Carr (6), Percy Chapman (3), Jack White (1), Harold Gilligan (4), Douglas Jardine (2) and Bob Wyatt (1).

Did the New Zealand rugby player Jeff Wilson play Test cricket too? asks David Salmon

Jeff Wilson, who scored 44 tries in 60 appearances for the New Zealand rugby union All Blacks, hasn't played Test cricket - but he has appeared in one-day internationals. Back in 1992-93, when he was just 19 - he's only 30 now - he played in four of the five ODIs against Allan Border's Australian tourists. In the fourth match, at Hamilton, Wilson's lusty 44 not out from only 28 balls squeaked New Zealand to a three-wicket victory with two balls to spare. He finished those four matches with 80 runs at 26.67, and three wickets (45.00). After that, he had to concentrate on his rugby - though he recently gave that up, and played a few cricket matches for Otago again last season

What's the highest total made in a Test by a team which ended up losing the match? asks Tirthankar Kundu

The biggest total that ended up in defeat is a scarcely credible 586, by Australia against England in the first Test at Sydney in 1894-95. Syd Gregory's 201 in that innings was the first double-century in a Test in Australia. It's even more astonishing that the Aussies lost, since they bowled England out for 325 and made them follow on - but then England made 437, and bowled Australia out for 166 to pull off an astonishing victory by 10 runs. It was the first time anyone had won a Test after following on - and it remained the only occurrence until a similarly enthralling Ashes match in 1981 - "Botham's Match" at Headingley. (There has been only one other instance of this - India v Australia at Kolkata in 2000-01, the match in which VVS Laxman hammered 281.) On seven other occasions a team has passed 500 only to lose the Test: 574 for 8 dec, by Pakistan v Australia, Melbourne, 1972-73; 547 for 8 dec, Sri Lanka v Australia, Colombo (SSC), 1992-93; 526 for 7 dec, West Indies v England, Port-of-Spain, 1967-68; 520, Australia v South Africa, Melbourne, 1952-53; 519, England v Australia, Melbourne, 1928-29; 510, India v England, Headingley, 1967; and 506, South Africa v Australia, Melbourne, 1910-11.

Who holds the best record when it comes to bowling average as a Test captain? Pollock and Walsh must be ranked very high I should think? asks Usman Rahman

Given a qualification of 50 Test wickets taken while captain, Shaun Pollock actually lies second, with 103 wickets at 21.36 in 26 Tests in charge. Courtney Walsh comes in seventh, with 85 wickets at 25.71 in 22 Tests as skipper. But the top man is Imran Khan, with 187 wickets at 20.26 in his 48 Tests as captain. His tally of wickets is also a record for a captain: Richie Benaud is next, with 138 at 25.78 from 28 matches. On average Bob Willis comes in third (77 wickets at 21.59), ahead of Wasim Akram (107 at 23.35), Waqar Younis (67 at 23.47), Bishan Bedi (106 at 24.82), Walsh and Benaud.

Which suffering bowler has taken 0 for 100 or more most often in Tests? Please tell me it's Andy Caddick! asks Bill Neild

Well, whisper it softly in Somerset, but it is Andy Caddick - or at least he shares the record. On four occasions Caddick has passed his bowling century without the consolation of a wicket - 0 for 120 against Australia at Lord's in 1993, in only his second Test, and 0 for 138 in the fourth Test of that series at Headingley; 0 for 146 against Australia at the Oval in 2001; and 0 for 135 against Sri Lanka at Lord's in 2002. The other man with four none-for-plentys to his name is Chris Lewis, a sometime bowling partner of Caddick's for England. Since Caddick has played 62 Tests to Lewis's 32, perhaps Lewis should shade the top spot here. Eleven other bowlers have had the misfortune to end up with three 0 for 100s: the only current players who might add to their tallies are Mushtaq Ahmed, the Pakistan legspinner, and Bangladesh's left-arm fast bowler Manjural Islam.

Steven Lynch is editor of Wisden Cricinfo. For some of these answers he was helped by Travis Basevi, the man who built Stats Guru and the Wisden Wizard. If you want to Ask Steven a question, e-mail him at asksteven@cricinfo.com. The most interesting questions will be answered each week in this column. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries.