Twenty for four, and ducks two ways
I noticed that four Australian bowlers took 20 wickets in the 2006-07 Ashes. Was this a record for any Test series? asked Vikas Vadgama from India
That's a good spot, because the 2006-07 Ashes - in which England were ruthlessly whitewashed 5-0 by an Australian side stung by losing the urn in 2005 - was the only time four bowlers from the same side have taken 20 or more wickets in the same five-Test series. The quartet was Brett Lee (20), Glenn McGrath (21), Shane Warne (23) and Stuart Clark (26): Andrew Symonds (two) was the only other Aussie bowler to take a wicket. It did happen in one six-Test series, though. In England in 1995, Curtly Ambrose (21), Kenny Benjamin (23), Ian Bishop (27) and Courtney Walsh (26) all took more than 20 wickets (Ambrose and Benjamin both missed one of the six matches). Carl Hooper (three) and Ottis Gibson (two) also took wickets for West Indies in that series.
Does Chris Martin hold the Test record for the highest proportion of ducks to innings played? asked Tim Bradbury from New Zealand
Chris Martin, widely known as the "Walking Wicket", collected 36 ducks during a Test career that now appears to be at an end. But because he managed to remain not out in exactly half his 104 innings, he actually comes in well down this list, with "only" 34.62% of his innings ending in ducks. Given a qualification of 20 innings, the percentage leader is the Australian fast bowler Alan Hurst, who collected ten ducks in 20 innings (50%), including a record six during the 1978-79 Ashes series. Next comes Alan Mullally, of England, with 12 ducks from 27 innings (44.44%). Overall, though, only Courtney Walsh (43) bagged more ducks in Tests than Martin.
Which team holds the record for the most successive Test match defeats? And who holds the corresponding record in one-day internationals? asked Siddhartha from India
Readers from Dhaka and Chittagong had better look away now: I'm afraid Bangladesh are the clear leaders in both these lists. Bangladesh lost 21 successive Test matches (12 by an innings) between November 2001 and February 2004, the run being ended by a draw against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. Zimbabwe themselves lost nine successive Tests between December 2001 and October 2003. Bangladesh also had a spell of nine successive Test defeats, and two runs of eight. South Africa lost their first eight Test matches, all in the 19th century; England lost eight Tests running to Australia in 1920-21 and 1921; and West Indies lost eight in a row in 2005 and 2006. Turning to the one-day game, Bangladesh lost 23 ODIs in a row between October 1999 and October 2002, which broke their own record of 22 (March 1986 to May 1998). Actually that run of 23 was only ended by a no-result: Bangladesh actually went 47 successive ODIs (45 defeats and two no results) without winning one between October 1999 and November 2003. Next come Zimbabwe (18 successive defeats between June 1983 and March 1992) and Bangladesh again (18 during 2003).
Who has had the most successive innings in Tests and ODIs without a duck? asked Bilal Omer via Facebook
The only man to have a run of more than 100 successive innings without a duck in Tests is England's David Gower, who went to the crease 119 times between August 1982 and December 1990 without bagging a blob. Next comes Richie Richardson of West Indies, with 96 between November 1984 and July 1991. For a full list, click here. Three men have managed a run of 100 successive duckless innings in one-day internationals. Martin Crowe went 119 innings without being out for 0 over almost a decade between February 1984 and March 1993, but Rahul Dravid pipped him for the record with 120 innings without a duck between August 1999 and February 2004. Another man played 105 innings - for two countries - and never got out for a duck in any of them: Kepler Wessels batted 51 times for Australia and 54 for South Africa (he was out seven times for 1, though). For the ODI list, click here.
Who was the youngest Test player to die? Was it Archie Jackson? asked Ahson Atif from India
For more than 70 years Archie Jackson did occupy first place on this melancholy list. He was only 23 years and 164 days old when he died of tuberculosis on February 16, 1933, on the day Australia surrendered the Ashes during the Bodyline series. However, in March 2007 tragedy struck Bangladesh cricket when Manzarul Islam Rana was killed in a road accident, aged just 22 years 316 days. A left-arm spinner, Manzarul had played in six Tests and 25 one-day internationals. Four other Test players have died before their 25th birthdays.
If Misbah-ul-Haq had scored four more runs at The Oval would he have become the oldest man to score an ODI century? asked Suhail Ahmed from Pakistan
Misbah-ul-Haq was ten days past his 39th birthday when he was stranded on 96 not out during Pakistan's first match in the recent Champions Trophy, against West Indies at The Oval. Only two players have made one-day international centuries at a greater age: Geoff Boycott made his only one in ODIs - 105 against Australia in Sydney in 1979-80 - when he was 39 years 51 days old, while the last of Sanath Jayasuriya's 28 ODI centuries (107 v India in Dambulla in 2008-09) came when he was around five months older, at 39 years 212 days. Jayasuriya also made 98 against India in Colombo in September 2009, when he was more than two months past his 40th birthday.
Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013. Ask Steven is now on Facebook