January 17, 2012

Tales of Bond and Rhodes

Also: Most runs at an overseas Test ground, most run-outs, pre-war hit-wickets, and carrying the bat in the fourth innings

Of Shane Bond's 87 Test wickets, 65 - or 74.7% - came in victories. Is this a record percentage? asked Vikas Vadgama from India
While Shane Bond is easily the leading New Zealander in this list, he comes in a modest 13th on the overall table (given a minimum of 50 Test wickets). I'd guessed that a recent Australian might lead the way, but the identity of the top man was still a bit of a surprise: it's Stuart Clark, whose 94 Test wickets included 84 (89.3%) in victories. Next come the 19th century Englishman George Lohmann (94 out of 112, or 83.9%) and his near-contemporary from Australia, Jack Saunders (63/79, 79.4%), before the next of the moderns - another Australian in Stuart MacGill, who took 165 of his 208 wickets in Test wins (79.3%). Harold Larwood comes next (61/78, 78.2%). The other four bowlers with more than 100 wickets and more than 70% of them in wins are all Aussies - Jason Gillespie (197/259, 76%), Glenn McGrath (414/563, 73.5%), Brett Lee (225/310, 72.5%) and Shane Warne (510/708, 72%). Warne leads the way overall for wickets taken in Test wins; Muttiah Muralitharan is second with 438.

Who was the last Test cricketer from the 19th century to play in the 20th? Just curious as we will soon see the last one from the 20th century as there are only a few left ... asked Steve Austin from Australia
The Yorkshire and England slow left-armer Wilfred Rhodes was the last person who made his debut in the 19th century (he won his first cap in 1899) to play a Test in the 20th - he rounded off his international career in the West Indies in 1929-30, when he was 52. In fact Rhodes was the only person who played a Test in the 19th century who also played one after the First World War: there were nine who played their final Tests in 1912, including CB Fry of England and Australia's Syd Gregory (who actually made his debut in 1890) who both played in the final Test in England that year. There are 13 current Test players who made their debuts before the end of 1999. The longest-surviving is Sachin Tendulkar (debut in 1989-90), then come Shivnarine Chanderpaul (1993-94) and Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis (both 1995-96). ESPNcricinfo's number-cruncher Travis Basevi, who kindly worked out the list, suggests an outside bet for the last survivor from the 20th century - Rangana Herath, who made his Test debut in September 1999, and is younger than most of the other players concerned.

How many people have carried their bat through the fourth innings of a Test, as David Warner did recently? asked Mike Herriot from Edinburgh
David Warner's fine effort against New Zealand in Hobart recently was only the fourth instance of an opener carrying his bat through the fourth innings of a Test. The first was the New Zealander Glenn Turner, with 43 out of a total of 131 as England eased to a 230-run victory at Lord's in 1969. One of Turner's opponents in that match, Geoff Boycott, did it against Australia in Perth in 1979-80, being stranded on 99 out of 215 as England went down by 138 runs. And Mark Dekker scored 68 out of 187 against Pakistan in Rawalpindi in 1993-94, in a match Zimbabwe ended up losing by 52 runs.

Who has scored the most Test runs at a single venue overseas? asked Nair Ottappalam from India
There's only one man who has passed 1000 Test runs at an overseas Test venue: Jack Hobbs made 1178 runs in ten Tests for England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Don Bradman came close, with 963 in just four matches at Headingley - that included two triple-centuries (in 1930 and 1934) and hundreds in 1938 and 1948 too. Next come Wally Hammond (808 runs in Sydney), Sunil Gavaskar (793 in Port of Spain), Sachin Tendulkar (785 in Sydney) and Herbert Sutcliffe (724 in Melbourne).

What's the record for most run-outs in a Test innings, and what's the most in a single Test? asked Noel Edwards from Australia
There have been two Test innings which featured four run-outs - India's against Pakistan in Peshawar in 1954-55, and Australia's against West Indies (out of only nine wickets to fall) in Adelaide in 1968-69. The record for an entire Test is seven, by Australia (three) and Pakistan (four) in Melbourne in 1972-73. There are nine instances of five run-outs in an ODI innings, the most famous probably being Australia's innings in the first World Cup final at Lord's in 1975, while the record for a one-day international match is eight, in the match between New Zealand (five) and India (three) in Napier in 1998-99.

Of all the times batsmen have been dismissed hit-wicket in Tests, what percentage occurred before the Second World War? asked Scott Hazebroek from Australia
There have now been 152 instances of batsmen out hit-wicket in Tests, and 37 of them (24.3%) occurred before the Second World War. There were only 274 Tests played before the end of 1939, only 13.5% of the current total of 2028 matches, which I suspect proves the point behind your question, in that proportionately fewer people are out hit-wicket these days. Denis Compton actually hit his own wickets five times, the Test record (the next-best - or next-worst - is three, by Mohinder Amarnath).

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2012. Ask Steven is now on Facebook