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Ask Steven

Has any other player started his career with as many international wins as Deepak Hooda's 17?

And how often has a team lost an ODI despite a hundred and a five-for?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
05-Sep-2022
Deepak Hooda's streak of 17 wins was ended by Pakistan's defeat of India in the Super 4 round of the Asia Cup  •  AFP/Getty Images

Deepak Hooda's streak of 17 wins was ended by Pakistan's defeat of India in the Super 4 round of the Asia Cup  •  AFP/Getty Images

Deepak Hooda played 17 international matches for India before losing one. Was this a record start for a player? asked Syed Abbas Ali from India
The big-hitting Deepak "Hurricane" Hooda played eight one-day internationals and nine T20Is for India, finishing on the winning side each time, before finally tasting defeat at the weekend, against Pakistan in the Asia Cup in Dubai. Hooda did indeed make a record start to any international career: the Romanian players Satvik Nadigotla and Shantanu Vashisht began with 15 and 13 wins respectively (all in T20Is), while South Africa's David Miller started with 13, and Collis King 12 for West Indies.
The great Australian allrounder Keith Miller started his career with 25 international matches (all Tests) without tasting defeat, but that did include the occasional draw. Roger Harper began with 24 for West Indies, while Miller's frequent team-mates Ray Lindwall and Arthur Morris both avoided defeat in their first 23 matches.
At the other end of the scale, Bangladesh's Habibul Bashar lost the first 22 international matches he played (17 ODIs and five Tests). His compatriots Minhajul Abedin and Shafiul Islam lost their first 20, as did Brendan Taylor of Zimbabwe.
Going into the Oval Test, I noticed that South Africa have had nothing but wins or defeats in their last 43 Tests - no draws. Is this a record sequence? asked Anwar Mohamad from Pakistan
Before the third Test at The Oval, South Africa had won 23 and lost 20 of their previous 43 Test matches, with no draws. That's easily a record for positive results, beating 26 by Zimbabwe between 2004-05 and 2017-18 (mostly defeats) and 23 by Australia between 1999-2000 and 2001 (mostly wins). England (1884-85 to 1891-92), Australia (2001-02 to 2003-04) and Pakistan (2015-16 to 2018) all had sequences of 22 Test matches without a draw.
How often have there been consecutive innings victories by opposing teams in the same series, as in the current one against South Africa? asked Peter O'Donnell from England, and many others
The successive victories by South Africa at Lord's and England at Old Trafford this summer provided only the sixth instance of countries exchanging innings wins in the same series. The first came in Pakistan's first two Tests, in 1952-53: India won by an innings and 70 runs in Delhi, but Pakistan turned the tables in the second Test with victory by an innings and 43 in Lucknow.
Since then it's also happened in the series between Australia and England in 1965-66 (third and fourth Tests), England vs West Indies in 1966 (fourth and fifth Tests), India against South Africa in 2009-10 (both matches of a two-Test series), and England vs Australia in 2015 (fourth and fifth Tests).
In the last ODI against India, Zimbabwe lost despite one of their players scoring a hundred and another taking five wickets. Has this ever happened before? asked Uzzwal Kaushik from India
The match you're talking about was the third of the recent series in Harare: Zimbabwe lost by 13 runs to India despite Sikandar Raza scoring 115 and Brad Evans taking 5 for 54.
There have been four other instances of a century and a five-for not being enough for victory in an ODI, the most famous being the 872-run match in Johannesburg in 2005-06, when South Africa beat Australia despite Ricky Ponting running up 164 and Nathan Bracken taking 5 for 67. That was the second such occurrence: in Sharjah in 1991-92, West Indies fell one run short of Pakistan's total, despite 122 from Richie Richardson and 5 for 53 from Curtly Ambrose.
Since then, West Indies lost to England in a rain-affected match at The Oval in September 2017 despite 176 from Evin Lewis (before he retired hurt) and 5 for 56 from Alzarri Joseph; and India went down to England in the 2019 World Cup at Edgbaston even though Rohit Sharma made 102 and Mohammed Shami took 5 for 69.
Further to last week's question about the most Test wickets on a particular ground, has any visiting bowler done better than the 35 of SF Barnes and George Lohmann? asked Ed Blight from England
The short answer is no: the long-ago England pair of Sydney Barnes and George Lohmann still share the record for most Test wickets on one ground away from home, Barnes in Melbourne and Lohmann in Sydney. Next comes Shane Warne, with 32 at The Oval. Warne also took 29 at Trent Bridge, a number equalled by England's Angus Fraser in Port-of-Spain. For the list, click here.
If you count matches played by Pakistan in the UAE (usually considered home Tests for them), then Yasir Shah has taken 55 in Dubai and 46 in Abu Dhabi, while Saeed Ajmal collected 37 in Dubai.
Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team helped with some of the above answers.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes