March 25, 2008

The worst batsmen, and the most runs between dismissals

The lowest Test batting average, the highest identical scores in both innings of a Test, and more

Fleming: all the New Zealand records ... almost © Getty Images

I noticed something interesting in the statistics about the most pairs in Tests: Chris Martin has a Test batting average of 2.32. Is there anyone with a lower average? asked Sandip Dhole from the United States

That was Chris Martin's batting average before the third Test against England in Napier. At that time there were two men with worse batting averages in Tests, given a qualification of 15 innings: Jack Saunders, a left-arm bowler who played for Australia just after the start of the 20th century, averaged just 2.29 from 23 innings, six of them not-outs, but top (or bottom) of this particular list is Pommie Mbangwa, the Zimbabwean fast bowler who is now a commentator, who averaged just 2.00 from 25 innings (eight not-outs).

Who has scored the most Test runs between dismissals? Is it Sachin Tendulkar asked Ranjai Banerji from India

It is indeed: Sachin Tendulkar made 497 Test runs between dismissals early in 2004. He started with 241 and 60, both not out, against Australia at Sydney in January, and followed that with 194 not out and 2 against Pakistan in March and April. The previous record was 490, by Garry Sobers, whose then-record 365 not out against Pakistan in 1957-58 was followed by an innings of 125.

If you count a batsman's runs only when his team won the game, who has scored the most runs in Tests? asked Srikanth from the United States

The top six names on this list are all Australians. Leading the way is Ricky Ponting, who has scored 7112 runs in 82 Test wins. He recently took the record from Steve Waugh, who made 6460 runs in matches Australia won. Then come Matthew Hayden (6052), Justin Langer (5229), Don Bradman (4813) and Mark Waugh (4794). The leading non-Aussie is Inzamam-ul-Haq, who scored 4690 runs in Tests that Pakistan won.

Are there any New Zealand Test batting records that the retiring Stephen Fleming doesn't hold? asked Greg Townson from Wellington

Stephen Fleming holds the New Zealand records for most Test caps (111; Richard Hadlee is next with 86), most runs (7047 before the third Test at Napier; Martin Crowe is next with 5444), most half-centuries (44; Nathan Astle is next with 24), most catches (171, exactly 100 ahead of the next man, Martin Crowe), and most Tests as captain (80; John Reid next with 34). Just about the only major New Zealand batting record Fleming doesn't hold is the one for most Test centuries - he made nine, and stands behind Martin Crowe (17), John Wright (12) and Nathan Astle (11).

Obviously, if a cricketer gets a pair it means that he has been dismissed for a duck in both innings, but what is the highest duplicated score made by a batsman in both innings of a Test? asked Neal Foulds

The highest "repeated" score is 105, by Duleep Mendis of Sri Lanka in Madras in 1982-83, in his country's first Test against India.

From your answer to last week's question about Test hat-tricks, it looks like India is the only country against which no hat-trick has been taken. Has anyone taken a one-day hat-trick against India? asked Amit Changede from the United States

Three bowlers have managed a hat-trick in a one-day international against India. The first was Pakistan's Aqib Javed, in the final of the Wills Trophy in Sharjah in 1991-92. Aqib, who was 19, remains the youngest man to take an ODI hat-trick, and all his victims were given out lbw. In 1993-94, New Zealand's Danny Morrison took a hat-trick in Napier, then in 2004, England's Steve Harmison did likewise with the last three balls of the Indian innings at Trent Bridge. For the full list of one-day international hat-tricks, click here.

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