February 21, 2012

Hussey's spooky double, and streaks by the Don and Dhoni

Also, highest T20 chases, fastest to 3000 ODI runs, and most one-day hundreds without sixes

Is Michael Hussey the only player to possess a batting average of 50 in Tests and one-day internationals? asked Gaurav Gupta from Cameroon
At the moment Michael Hussey is the only player with batting averages above 50 in both Tests and one-day internationals: in fact, as I write (after Australia's match against Sri Lanka in Perth on February 10), rather spookily his average in both forms is identical - 50.82. A couple of other contemporary players are close to joining this exclusive club, though. Jonathan Trott currently averages 53.15 in Tests but 49.21 in ODIs, while Hashim Amla averages 56.35 in ODIs and 46.97 in Test cricket.

Is it true that Australia never lost a Test match under the captaincy of Don Bradman? asked Shanthy Noronha from the United Arab Emirates
It's not quite true, no - he actually lost his first two Tests in charge, at home to England in 1936-37, before Australia bounced back to win the series 3-2 (the only time any team has ever recovered from 2-0 down to win a Test series). The Don - who had bagged a duck in each of the first two Tests - played his part with innings of 270 in the third Test, 212 in the fourth and 169 in the fifth. The only other Test he lost was at The Oval in 1938, when England won by an innings and 579 runs after scoring 903 for 7 (Len Hutton 364). Bradman was unable to bat in that match after injuring a foot while bowling - it's said that England's captain Wally Hammond only declared, in what was a Timeless Test, when he was assured that Bradman wouldn't be able to go in. In all The Don skippered in 24 Tests, winning 15 and drawing six in addition to those three defeats. He never did lose a Test series as captain, though - that 1938 setback made it 1-1.

Has MS Dhoni ever been unbeaten at the end of a losing chase in a one-day international for India? asked Rahul Chakraborti from India
Statsguru tells me that, remarkably, MS Dhoni has never been in at the end of a losing cause in a one-day international - whereas he has been there at the death when India have won on no fewer than 30 occasions, the most famous of them that memorable night in Mumbai last year when his six won the World Cup, leaving him with 91 not out. He was also, of course, in at the business end of the tie against Sri Lanka in Adelaide last week.

New Zealand successfully scored 202 to win in Hamilton last week. Is this the biggest successful chase in a Twenty20 international? asked Adam Hunter from New Zealand
New Zealand's 202 for 5 to overhaul Zimbabwe's 200 for 2 in Hamilton last week was actually the third time a team has successfully chased a target of 200 or more in a Twenty20 international. During the first World Twenty20, in South Africa in 2007, the home side stormed past West Indies' 205 for 6 in Johannesburg with 14 balls to spare, a huge margin in Twenty20 cricket. But the highest successful chase in Twenty20 internationals so far came in Mohali in December 2009, when India made 211 for 5 to surpass Sri Lanka's 206 for 7 - Yuvraj Singh ended the match with a six off the first ball of the final over.

Virat Kohli reached 3000 one-day international runs at Adelaide. Is he the fastest Indian to get there? And who holds the overall record? asked John Campbell
Virat Kohli reached 3000 runs in his 78th one-day international, in Adelaide last week. He is indeed the fastest Indian to get there in terms of matches, beating Navjot Singh Sidhu (83). Only four batsmen have reached 3000 runs in fewer ODIs than Kohli - Gary Kirsten and Gordon Greenidge (72), Viv Richards (74) and Graham Gooch (77). In terms of innings, Kohli (75) nips past Gooch (76) and lies fourth behind Richards (69), Greenidge and Kirsten (both 72). And Kohli, at 23, is also the fourth-youngest to reach 3000 runs in ODIs, after Shahid Afridi and Sachin Tendulkar, who were both 21 when they got there (Afridi was about three months younger), and Tamim Iqbal (22).

Who scored the highest number of ODI centuries without hitting a single six in those matches? Is it Alastair Cook? asked Sandeep Thambi from India
Alastair Cook has now hit four centuries in one-day internationals, and you're right in saying that he didn't hit a six in any of them. But he's some way from the record I think you're asking about: Mahela Jayawardene has hit 15 ODI centuries, and no sixes in ten of them. Only nine of Sachin Tendulkar's 48 ODI hundreds have been six-free; Marvan Atapattu also hit nine one-day centuries that did not contain any sixes. Cook has hit two sixes in ODIs - one against Bangladesh and another against India - so isn't completely incapable of clearing the ropes. The man with the most runs in ODIs without ever hitting a six is India's Manoj Prabhakar, with 1858: Dion Ebrahim of Zimbabwe (1443) and England's Geoff Boycott (1082) also scored more than 1000 runs without ever hitting a six. The Test record is held by another Indian, Vijay Manjrekar, with 3208 runs but no sixes.

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