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Most Tests without an ODI, and Zaheer's road

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

Steven Lynch

April 5, 2004

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

You recently told us about people who have played a lot of ODIs before appearing in a Test - what's the opposite answer, the person who has played most Tests without appearing in an ODI? asked John Lynch (no relation!) from Vanuatu



Mark Butcher: he may sing the blues, but he only plays in white © Getty Images
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Top of the list, with 106 Tests before his first (and only) one-day international, is Colin Cowdrey. In second spot is Garry Sobers, with 89 Tests before his first ODI (and that was his only one, too). But both of them played most of their cricket before the one-day international came into being, so that's a slightly artificial record. Of players who have started in international cricket since the first ODI in 1970-71, the runaway leader is England's Mark Butcher, who has now played 65 Tests without a single one-day appearance. Second is the Australian legspinner Jim Higgs, who played 22 Tests but no ODIs. Erapalli Prasanna, the Indian offspinner, played 27 of his 49 Tests after 1970-71, but never appeared in an ODI. The most Tests before a one-day appearance, among players who started after 1970-71, is 26 by another Indian offspinner, Shivlal Yadav.

It is widely believed in Pakistan that there is a road in Gloucestershire named in Zaheer Abbas's honour - is that true? asked Saad Shafqat from Pakistan

It's a nice idea, but there doesn't seem to be a road named after him anywhere in Gloucestershire. If there was, it would presumably be called Zaheer Drive, or maybe Zaheer On-Drive. I asked David Foot, a local journalist who co-wrote Zaheer's autobiography, and he confirmed that he wasn't aware of a road that was named after a man who scored so many runs for Gloucestershire over the years. "However," he said, "there is one in Bristol called Zed Alley, and I suppose they may be thinking of that - but that has been there for hundreds of years as far as I know."

Against England at Trinidad West Indies totalled just over 200 in both innings, yet both included a hundred partnership. What's the lowest completed innings to contain a century stand? asked Hamish Allen

Rather surprisingly, there have been 29 completed innings in Test cricket which included a partnership of 100 or more. The lowest is 158, by New Zealand v Australia at Auckland in 1973-74: chasing an unlikely 456, the openers Glenn Turner (72) and John Parker (34) put on 107, but the last nine wickets tumbled for only 51. Ken Wadsworth (21) was the only other batsman to reach double figures. In second place is India's 165 against England at Headingley in 1952 - this was the innings in which India were famously 0 for 4 at one stage, but Vijay Hazare (56) and Dattu Phadkar (64) put on 105 for the sixth wicket.

I spotted recently that Greg Chappell made a century in his first and last Tests. How many other people have done this? asked Rohan Goonetilleke from Jamaica

Greg Chappell did indeed do this, with 108 in his first Test, for Australia against England at Perth in 1970-71, and 182 in his last, against Pakistan at Sydney in 1983-84. Two Australians had done this before, and one Indian has done it since. Reggie Duff made 104 on his Test debut against England at Melbourne in 1901-02, batting at No. 10, and ended his career with 146 against England at The Oval in 1905 from his more usual position as an opener. Bill Ponsford started with 110 against England at Sydney in 1924-25, and bowed out with 266 at The Oval in 1934. And much later Mohammad Azharuddin hit 110 in his first Test, against England at Calcutta in 1984-85, and 102 in his 99th and last, against South Africa at Bangalore in 1999-2000. Technically I suppose we should also include Andy Ganteaume (West Indies) and Rodney Redmond (New Zealand), who both scored a century in their first Test but never played again.

All four West Indian fast bowlers in the third Test against England came from Barbados - when was the last time that happened? asked Tom Curtis from Loughborough

It was just over 20 years ago, actually - the second Test against Australia at Port-of-Spain in Trinidad in March 1984. The four-prong pace attack comprised Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Wayne Daniel and Milton Small, who were all from Barbados: in fact the two ends at Kensington Oval are now named after Garner and Marshall. That was Daniel's last Test, and the first of Small's two. The remarkable thing about the current quartet is that three of them - Pedro Collins and his half-brother Fidel Edwards, and Corey Collymore - all come from the tiny Bajan village of Boscabel.

In one of the ODIs in Pakistan recently Sachin Tendulkar made 141, but India still lost - is it the highest score by someone who finished on the losing side in an ODI? asked Karthik Rathinasabapathy from London

This was in the second match of the recent one-day series, at Rawalpindi - Tendulkar made 141 but India still fell 12 short of Pakistan's 329. Surprisingly, eight higher scores have been made in a losing cause in an ODI - and Tendulkar has made two of them himself, 146 against Zimbabwe at Jodhpur in 2000-01 (Zimbabwe won by one wicket), and 143 against Australia at Sharjah in 1997-98. Top of the list is Robin Smith's 167 not out, for England at Edgbaston in 1993, which couldn't stop Australia winning by six wickets. And Chris Gayle smacked 152 not out for West Indies v South Africa at Johannesburg in 2003-04, but still finished on the losing side. Andy Flower (twice) and Dave Houghton of Zimbabwe, and Herschelle Gibbs of South Africa, have also made higher scores in vain than Tendulkar's 141.

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.

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Steven Lynch Steven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years running before the then-editor said "I can't let you win it again, but would you like a job?" That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the Wisden website when that was set up in 2000. Following the merger of the two sites early in 2003 he was appointed as the global editor of Wisden Cricinfo. In June 2005 he became the deputy editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He continues to contribute the popular weekly "Ask Steven" question-and-answer column on ESPNcricinfo, and edits the Wisden Guide to International Cricket.

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