The column that answers your questions November 10, 2003

A tale of two umpires - and 96 Test tons

The regular Monday column in which Steven Lynch, the editor of Wisden Cricinfo, answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket

The regular Monday column in which Steven Lynch, the editor of Wisden Cricinfo, answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket. Some of his previous answers from the old website will be available online soon. In the meantime, here's the next batch, some of which were answered with the invaluable help of Travis Basevi, the man who built Stats Guru and the Wisden Wizard, and is currently number-crunching on the new improved Guru-Wizard:

What was unusual about the umpires in England's final Benson & Hedges Cup final? asks Paul Wright

The umpires in that match, in which Warwickshire beat Essex by five wickets to become the final winners of the gold B&H Cup in 2002, were Barry Dudleston and John Hampshire. I think the answer to your question is that they both played in the first Benson & Hedges Cup final 30 years before, back in 1972. Leicestershire won that inaugural final, also by five wickets - Dudleston scored 6 for them, while Hampshire made 14 for the runners-up, Yorkshire. That match included four other future first-class umpires as well, in Barrie Leadbeater (Yorks), and Chris Balderstone, Terry Spencer and John Steele of Leicestershire.

I think the current Australian side has scored 98 Test centuries between them. Is this a record? And how many centuries have now been scored in Test cricket? asks Brendan O'Brien from Australia

I suppose this is a slightly artificial record, given the huge amount of Test cricket played these days - but it's true that the current Australian side has scored more Test tons between them than any other team. The Australian side for the recent Perth Test against Zimbabwe had 96 hundreds to its credit (it would have been more in the second Test had Darren Lehmann played). The next-best seems to be 80, by West Indies in 1990-91 (just before Gordon Greenidge retired) and by India in 1986-87 (just before Sunil Gavaskar called it a day). And in answer to your other question, Heath Streak's 127 not out for Zimbabwe against West Indies, in the exciting first Test at Harare last week, was the 2734th in Test history.

In Australia's recent second Test against Zimbabwe at Sydney, Simon Katich took six wickets in the second innings. This was his second Test, but it was the first in which he had bowled. Was this unique? asks Charlie Wat from Melbourne

Simon Katich's 6 for 65 in in that match at Sydney is actually the second-best performance by anyone in the first Test in which they bowled, other than their debut. Also at Sydney, in 1946-47, Ian Johnson of Australia took 6 for 42 against England in what was his first spell in Test cricket (Katich did bowl seven wicketless overs in the first innings of his match). Although Johnson had primarily been selected as an offspinner, this was actually his third Test appearance - he hadn't been needed in the first two (at Wellington in 1945-46, and the first Test of 1946-47 at Brisbane) as Australia had won them so easily. No-one else has taken five wickets in an innings in the first match in which they bowled (excluding debuts), but five people did come on and take four. The oddest, I suppose, was the Hon. Alfred Lyttelton: he was England's wicketkeeper against Australia at The Oval in 1884, for what turned out to be the last of his four Tests. WG Grace kept wicket while Lyttelton bowled underarm lobs ... and snapped up 4 for 19. The other four-wicket men were Arthur Hill of England (4 for 8 v South Africa, Cape Town, 1895-96, in his third Test), New Zealand's Albert Roberts (4 for 101 v England, Lord's, 1937 - this was his fourth Test, and he suddenly found himself taking the new ball having started his Test career over seven years previously as a No. 3 batsman), Nazir Ali of India (4 for 83 v England, Madras, 1933-34, in his second Test), and the complicated case of Amir Elahi, who took 4 for 134 for Pakistan v India at Delhi in 1952-53, having previously played one Test for India, without bowling, in 1947-48.

Has anyone batted in all 11 positions in Tests or one-day internationals? asks Sujoy Ghosh

It seems that three players have batted in every position from No. 1 to 11 during their Test careers (it's difficult to be entirely definitive because there's some doubt about who was No. 1 and No. 2 in some early Tests). Those three are Wilfred Rhodes of England - who famously shared in record stands for the first and tenth wickets in Ashes Tests - Australia's Syd Gregory, and Vinoo Mankad of India. Quite a few people just missed out, batting in ten different spots: Warwick Armstrong, Jack Blackham, Ian Johnson, Sammy Jones and Hugh Trumble of Australia, Farokh Engineer and Ravi Shastri of India, and Pakistan's Nasim-ul-Ghani, Shujauddin and Wasim Bari. In ODIs three players have batted in 10 of the 11 possible spots: Abdul Razzaq (Pakistan), Lance Klusener (South Africa) and Hashan Tillekeratne (Sri Lanka).

One oddity of Mark Waugh's career is that he retired with a higher score in ODIs (173) than in Tests (153). Is this true of any other notable batsmen? asks Jonathan from Teesside

I was surprised to find that there are actually seven other serious batsmen who have played more than 50 Tests who fit the bill here. Kapil Dev played 131 Tests, with a highest score of 163 - but managed a famous innings of 175 not out in ODIs, during the 1983 World Cup when India were in terrible trouble against Zimbabwe. Ken Rutherford's highest score in 56 Tests for New Zealand was 107 not out, but he sneaked past that with 108 in an ODI. Saeed Anwar's highest score in 55 Tests was 188 not out, but he made 194 - still the one-day record - in an ODI for Pakistan. Alistair Campbell's 60 Tests for Zimbabwe produced a highest score of 103, but he once made 131 not out in an ODI. And Jonty Rhodes's highest score in 52 Tests for South Africa was 117, but 121 in ODIs. Two current players fit the bill at the moment, possibly temporarily: Sourav Ganguly (HS 173 in 68 Tests, but has made 183 in an ODI) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul of West Indies (HS 140 in 66 Tests, but 150 in ODIs).

Last week you mentioned Andy Ganteaume, who scored 112 in his only Test innings. But why wasn't he selected again? asks Garna Dowling

It does seem incredible at this distance that Ganteaume didn't get a second cap for West Indies after making 112 in the only innings of his debut, against England at Port-of-Spain in Feb 1948. He was included in the side for that match after injuries to other players, and there is a suggestion that as he approached his century he slowed down. As the match was eventually drawn that may not have helped his cause. Jeff Stollmeyer, the sometime West Indies captain who missed that match with a pulled hamstring, wrote: "Andy's innings in its later stages was not in keeping with the state of the game and his captain [Gerry Gomez] was forced to send a message out to him to 'get on with it'." Stollmeyer did concede that Ganteaume was unlucky to miss out on selection for the tour of India the following year - but there wasn't much room, as that was a vintage time for West Indies batting, with the Three Ws backing up an impressive opening partnership of Stollmeyer and Allan Rae. Ganteaume continued to play for Trinidad, and in fact toured England as late as 1957 without getting into the Test side.

If you want to Ask Steven a question, e-mail him at The most interesting questions will be answered each week in this column. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries.