Lyon's feat, and Morgan's maximums
Nathan Lyon played throughout the recent Ashes series without being dismissed. How often has this happened? asked Jayram Amrith from Singapore
Nathan Lyon had six innings in the recent Ashes series and was not-out in all six. The only person other than Lyon who has played throughout an entire five-Test series and not been dismissed at all is Bill Johnston, the fabled Australian tailender, in South Africa in 1949-50 - and he actually only batted twice, scoring 1 not out in the first Test and 2 not out in the third.*
Was Eoin Morgan the first player to hit six sixes in a one-day international in Brisbane? asked Ian Hugo from Nigeria
Eoin Morgan's six sixes was a new record for any one-day international innings in Brisbane - although he was pushed by James Faulkner, whose remarkable assault at the end of Australia's run-chase included five hits over the ropes. Before last week the record for any ODI at the Gabba was four sixes in an innings, which was first done by David Gower during his 158 for England there in 1982-83, the highest individual score in Brisbane until David Warner smashed 163 against Sri Lanka on March 2012. Since Gower's effort Tom Moody (1989-90), Dean Jones (1990-91), Chris Cairns (1997-98), Adam Gilchrist (2005-06) and Cameron White (2009-10) have also hit four sixes in an innings at the Gabba.
In the last few months we have seen two players - Ashton Agar and Dilruwan Perera - get out in the nineties on Test debut. How many other people have suffered this fate? asked Hemant Kher from the United States
Dilruwan Perera was actually the 29th batsman to reach 90 on his Test debut but not make it to three figures. The first was Stanley Jackson, a future England captain, who made 91 on debut against Australia at Lord's in 1893. Three of those players - Australia's Arthur Chipperfield, Robert Christiani of West Indies, and Pakistan's Asim Kamal - were out for 99 in their first Test (Asim never did make a Test century). Stephen Fleming scored 92 on his Test debut for New Zealand, against India in Hamilton in March 1994, and 90 on his one-day international debut in Napier a few days later. Only two others have been out in the nineties on ODI debut - Phil Jaques of Australia, and Eoin Morgan (playing for Ireland at the time), who was actually run out for 99.
Has anyone ever played 100 straight Test matches after making their debut? asked Michael Warner from England
No one has yet managed a run of 100 consecutive Tests from debut. The nearest was 96, by Adam Gilchrist, which constituted his entire Test career, between 1999-2000 and 2007-08. Rahul Dravid played 94 successive matches from his debut at Lord's in 1996 to the second Test against Sri Lanka in Delhi in December 2005, but missed the next Test after being hospitalised with gastro-enteritis. (That run included 93 for India, and also the Super Series Test for the World XI v Australia in October 2005.) Kapil Dev missed only one match during his 131-Test career - after playing 66 straight from his debut, he was controversially dropped for India's third Test against England in Kolkata in 1984-85. He returned for the next match, and embarked on another run of 65 successive appearances. The record run for any stage of a career is 153 successive Tests, by Allan Border for Australia between 1978-79 and his retirement in 1993-94. Three other players have completed a run of 100 successive Tests: Mark Waugh (107 between 1993 and 2002-03), Sunil Gavaskar (106 between 1974-75 and retirement in 1986-87), and Alastair Cook (2005-06 to date).
On his first-class debut in November 2008 wicketkeeper Jamal Anwar took ten catches in the match, including seven in one innings. Was this a record for a keeper on debut? asked Zaheer Ahmed from the United Arab Emirates
Jamal Anwar's eye-catching feat was for Federal Areas against Punjab in Pakistan's Pentangular Cup in 2008-09. There have been 30 bigger match hauls in first-class history, including 21 cases of 11 dismissals - and one of those was by a player making his debut. Samarjit Nath, playing his first game for Assam in their Ranji Trophy match against Tripura in Guwahati in January 2002, made eight dismissals (one a stumping) in the first innings, and three more in the second, for 11 in the match. Remarkably, that was poor Nath's only first-class appearance!
England had eight left-handed batsmen in the final Ashes Test in Sydney. Was this a record? asked Hari Narayanan from India
England's side in Sydney produced only the third instance of a Test team containing eight left-hand batsmen. The other two were by substantially the same West Indian side in two matches in 2000. Against Pakistan in Georgetown in May their XI included Jimmy Adams, Curtly Ambrose, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Adrian Griffith, Wavell Hinds, Ridley Jacobs and Nixon McLean. Then in the fifth Test against England later that year, they fielded eight left-handers again, with Brian Lara and Mahendra Nagamootoo replacing Chanderpaul and Gayle from the earlier team.
*An earlier version of this article wrongly said Lyon's feat was the ninth instance of a player having six innings in a Test series and remaining undefeated in all of them.
Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013. Ask Steven is now on Facebook