October 15, 2013

Sachin's records, and Gazi's double

Also, centuries by No. 8s, Dravid's nemesis, oldest surviving XI, and most five-fors in first-class

How many records does Sachin Tendulkar hold? asked Manoj Ramsammy from India
Several people have asked this over the years, and the answer is that it's not a precise number - it depends on your idea of a record, there isn't a set list. For example Tendulkar holds the record for the highest score in a one-day international in Pietermaritzburg (and several other grounds), although I don't suppose that one is terribly near the top of his personal list. But the major records he does hold include: most appearances in Tests (probably 200; Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh come next with 168) and ODIs (463; Sanath Jayasuriya 445); most runs in Tests (currently 15,837; Ponting 13,378) and ODIs (18,426; Ponting 13,704); most hundreds in Tests (51; Jacques Kallis 44), ODIs (49; Ponting 30) and all international cricket (100; Ponting 71). Unsurprisingly he's also had more innings in Tests (327; Ponting 287) and ODIs (452; Jayasuriya 433) than anyone else. You can add in most ODI runs in a calendar year (1894 in 1998), most ODI hundreds against one team (nine against Australia, and eight v Sri Lanka), most ODI nineties (18; three other players have nine), a string of "youngest batsman to reach …" landmarks - and you can keep going till you run out of paper!

Sohag Gazi scored a century and took a hat-trick in the same Test last week - has anyone ever done this before? asked Shashank Bhavaraju from India
Sohag Gazi, playing for Bangladesh against New Zealand in Chittagong last week, was the first man to score a century and take a hat-trick in the same Test: seven others (Johnny Briggs, Wasim Akram, Abdul Razzaq, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, James Franklin and Stuart Broad) have managed both at some point in their careers, but not in the same game. There have only been 13 other instances in all first-class cricket - and the last of these was also by Sohag Gazi, for Barisal in a domestic match in Khulna in October 2012. The only other man to have achieved the feat twice is Mike Procter, for Gloucestershire in 1972 and 1979.

Both No. 8s scored centuries in the Chittagong Test. Has this ever happened before? asked Ian Hugo from Nigeria
The two lower-order centurions in Chittagong last week were New Zealand's wicketkeeper BJ Watling (103) and Sohag Gazi for Bangladesh (101 not out). There have been only two previous instances of both No. 8s reaching three figures: in Bridgetown in May 1955, Ray Lindwall scored 118 for Australia, and Clairmonte Depeiaza countered with 122 for West Indies; and in Sheikhupura in October 1996, Zimbabwe's Paul Strang made 106 not out, and Wasim Akram replied for Pakistan with an unbeaten 257 - the highest score by any No. 8 in Tests.

I noticed that all 11 Pakistan players from their 1967 Lord's Test against England are still alive. Are there any older matches from which all the players are still with us? asked Trevor Skinner from London
I always answer this sort of question with a bit of trepidation, as it feels like tempting fate. But as I write, there are three older matches than that 1967 one at Lord's from which all 11 players from one of the sides survive: Australia's team against South Africa in Cape Town in 1966-67 (sadly, five of the South Africans have died), Pakistan's side against New Zealand in Rawalpindi in 1964-65, and New Zealand's against England in Wellington in 1962-63. I believe that Wellington Test is the first one in which all 11 members of one the sides were still alive 50 years later. The oldest Test from which all 22 players are still alive as I write is the first match of the 1972-73 Australia v Pakistan series, played in Adelaide.

Who dismissed Rahul Dravid most often in Test cricket? asked Animesh Kumar from England
A distinguished bunch of bowlers lead the way in dismissing Rahul Dravid in Tests. Shane Warne did it eight times, Brett Lee seven, Muttiah Muralitharan and Shaun Pollock six. A slightly less distinguished trio - Doug Bollinger (Australia), Pommie Mbangwa (Zimbabwe) and Daren Powell (West Indies) - dismissed Dravid in both innings of the only Test they played against him. In ODIs (in which, it is easy to forget, Dravid piled up 10,889 runs) he was dismissed six times by Pakistan's Abdul Razzaq and Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka, and five times by seven other bowlers - including Lee, who dismissed him 12 times in all international cricket, one more than Murali. And the most successful bowler against Dravid in T20 internationals is … Ravi Bopara, who had him caught in the covers in the only such match he played!

I noticed that Courtney Walsh took five wickets in an innings 104 times in his first-class career. Is this a record? asked Mani Karanam from the United States
I'm afraid it's well short of the record, in a table dominated by players with long careers in English county cricket (before the introduction of one-day cricket, many counties played 32 County Championship matches a season, plus a few other first-class games as well). Tich Freeman, the Kent and England legspinner who once took 304 wickets in a single season, took five or more in an innings on a mind-boggling 386 occasions, very nearly 100 more than the next man, Yorkshire's Wilfred Rhodes (287). The only recent bowler with more five-fors than Walsh is Muttiah Muralitharan, with 119 in all first-class cricket, a record 67 of them in Tests.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013. Ask Steven is now on Facebook