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No. 11 top-scoring, and The Don in the nets

No. 11s top-scoring, innings where ten different fieldsmen took catches, and England's most experienced Test player to have not become captain

Steven Lynch

February 12, 2008

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The regular Tuesday column in which Steven Lynch answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:



Don Bradman could torment bowlers even at the age of 68, reckons Jeff Thomson © Wisden Cricket Monthly
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How often has the No. 11 top scored in a Test innings? asked Friedel van Vuuren from South Africa

It has happened on seven occasions so far, most recently in Cape Town in 2004-05, when Steve Harmison made 42 of England's 304 against South Africa, three more than Andrew Strauss managed. The first instance in Tests was back in 1884-85, when Australia's Fred Spofforth made 50 from No. 11 against England in Melbourne. Sri Lanka's Jayantha Amerasinghe achieved this on his Test debut, against New Zealand in Kandy in 1983-84, but won only one more cap. For a full list, click here.

Is it true that Jeff Thomson suggested Don Bradman could have played for Australia when he was 70? asked Nitin Rege from Mumbai

Apparently it is. I hadn't heard the story before, but Nagraj Gollapudi unearthed it during a recent interview with Jeff Thomson on Cricinfo. Thommo told him: "On a rest day during the Indian tour in 1977-78, Don Bradman was around in the nets. I was bowling only legspin to him, but he had a couple of young blokes trying to get him out. With no pads, no nothing ... for a 68-year-old, he belted the hell out of them on a turf wicket. And he hadn't batted for 20 years. I went back in and said, 'Why isn't this bastard playing with us tomorrow?' That's how good I thought he was."

Has there ever been an innings in a Test or a first-class match where all the batsmen were out to catches by different people? asked Neil Stainton from Yorkshire

This has never happened in a Test, and I believe it has only occurred once in first-class cricket - in a County Championship match in Leicester in 1967, when the ten Northamptonshire wickets fell to catches by ten different fielders. The man who missed out was the future England offspinner Jack Birkenshaw, but he did get his name on the scorecard as he took three wickets.

Which cricketer was nicknamed "Crusoe"? asked Derek Lawson from Newcastle

This was Raymond Robertson-Glasgow, who became a noted cricket writer in the 1930s after bowling fast for Oxford University and Somerset for some years. He acquired the nickname during Oxford's match against Essex in 1920, when he dismissed the veteran former England batsman Charlie McGahey. When his county captain asked him how he was out, legend has it that McGahey replied: "I was bowled by an old ***** I thought was dead 2000 years ago, called Robinson Crusoe." Robertson-Glasgow died by his own hand in 1965, aged 63.

Who has played the most Tests for England without ever captaining them? asked Dave Bright from Kent

Eight men have played 100 or more Tests for England, and the only one of them who never started a Test as captain was Surrey's Graham Thorpe, who won exactly 100 caps. The overall Test record is 145, by Australia's Shane Warne.

Why is Andrew Symonds known as "Roy"? asked Tom Rowe from Brisbane

"Roy" is Andrew Symonds's long-standing nickname, which he has answered to since his teens. Symonds himself is not quite sure where the nickname came from in the first place. According to his 2006 autobiography Roy: Going for Broke, it probably started when he was 14, and two coaches were discussing his attitude. One said "Does this kid think he's as cool as Leroy Loggins [an American-born Australian basketball player] or something?" and started calling him Leroy - this may have got shortened to Roy over time.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Cricinfo Guide to International Cricket. If you want to ask Steven a question, use our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered here each week

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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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