Bangladesh's openers both made 6 in each innings of the Indore Test. Is this unique? asked Sandeep Sachdeva from India
The short answer is yes: four identical scores by a team's openers, as Shadman Islam and Imrul Kayes managed against India in Indore last week, does appear to be unique in Tests.
I was quite surprised to find that there has never yet been an instance of both openers from one side bagging a pair in the same Test. Indeed, there has only been one instance of this by openers on opposing sides - by Graeme Wood for Australia and Bruce Edgar for New Zealand in Perth in 1980-81.
The highest identical score in both innings of a match by an opener is a brace of 58s, by New Zealand's John Morrison against England in Auckland in 1974-75.
What's the record for the most successive Tests in which a side has had a batsman score a double-century? asked Abhijeet Das from India
As you may have guessed, the record was established by India in the recent match against Bangladesh in Indore. That was the fourth successive Test in which one of their batsmen had reached 200: Mayank Agarwal's 243 followed the series against South Africa, in which Rohit Sharma made 212 in Ranchi, Virat Kohli an unbeaten 254 in Pune, and Agarwal himself 215 in Visakhapatnam.
India also had three double-centuries in successive Tests in 2016-17: Kohli hit 235 in Mumbai and Karun Nair 303 not out in Chennai against England, and Kohli added 204 in the next Test, against Bangladesh in Hyderabad. This equalled Sri Lanka's run in 2004, when in successive Tests against South Africa in August, Mahela Jayawardene made 237 in Galle and Kumar Sangakkara 232 in Colombo; then Sanath Jayasuriya hit 253 against Pakistan in Faisalabad in October.
Has anyone ever been out for 99 on his Test debut? asked Brian Farmer from England
This maddening fate has befallen three batsmen. The first was Australia's Arthur Chipperfield, against England at Trent Bridge in 1934. He went to lunch on the second day with 99, but was out to the third ball after the interval.
Next to fall for a debut 99 was the bespectacled West Indian Robert Christiani, against England in Bridgetown in 1947-48: it's said he burst into tears in the dressing room afterwards. And Asim Kamal marked his first Test for Pakistan with 99 against South Africa in Lahore in 2003-04. Chipperfield and Christiani did later reach three figures in Tests - but the unfortunate Kamal never did.
In all, 31 batsmen have been out in the nineties on their Test debut.
Mayank Agarwal scored his second double-century in his 12th Test innings. Has anyone got two faster than this - apart presumably from Don Bradman? asked Tony Le Roux from Australia
Actually this is one scoring table in which Don Bradman wasn't on top - his second double-century (334 against England at Headingley in 1930) came in his 13th Test innings, so Mayank Agarwal beats the Don by one. But another Indian remains ahead: Vinod Kambli, who had not long turned 21, scored 224 in his fourth Test innings, against England in Mumbai in 1992-93, and 227 in his next one, against Zimbabwe in Delhi a few weeks later. Kambli made two more centuries later in the year against Sri Lanka. After seven matches (and eight innings), he had 793 runs at an average of 113.28 - but never managed another Test ton, and his career fizzled out after only ten more matches, although that electric start ensured he finished with an average of 54.20.
Were Deepak Chahar's 6 for 7 the best bowling figures in any T20 match? asked Phil Rafferty from the Czech Republic
Deepak Chahar's remarkable figures of 6 for 7 against Bangladesh in Nagpur recently were the best in T20Is, just beating Ajantha Mendis' 6 for 8 for Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe in Hambantota in September 2012. Mendis also took 6 for 16 against Australia in Pallekele in August 2011; the only other man to take six in a T20I is the Indian legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal, with 6 for 25 against England in Bengaluru in February 2017.
There have been three better returns in all senior T20 cricket (as well as two other 6 for 7s). A new record was established during England's Vitality Blast in August 2019, when Leicestershire's Colin Ackermann took 7 for 18 against the Birmingham Bears at Grace Road.
Chahar's spell the other day also included the 12th hat-trick in T20Is, but the first for India.