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Ask Steven

Has anyone carried their bat on Test debut?

Also: who has bowled most often in Tests without ever taking a wicket?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Javed Omar was the last debutant in a men's Test to carry his bat  •  Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty Images

Javed Omar was the last debutant in a men's Test to carry his bat  •  Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty Images

I noticed that Sunil Joshi's highest score and best bowling figures came in the same Test. Who played the most matches for such a double? asked Deep Jyoti Deka from India
The Indian allrounder Sunil Joshi did indeed record his highest Test score (92) and best bowling figures (5 for 142) in the same game - Bangladesh's inaugural match, in Dhaka in November 2000. But Joshi played only 15 Tests in all, and is well down the list of those who reserved their batting and bowling career-bests for the same match. Top of the list is Michael Vaughan, who won 82 caps but recorded his highest score (197) and best bowling (2 for 71) against India at Trent Bridge in 2002.
Next come a distinguished pair of Pakistanis: Majid Khan played 63 Tests, but returned 167 and 4 for 45 against West Indies in Georgetown in 1976-77, while Wasim Raja's personal bests in 57 matches - 125 and 4 for 50 - both came against India in Jalandhar in 1983-84.
In ODIs this record is held by another Pakistani, offspinner Tauseef Ahmed, whose best performances in 70 matches - 27 not out and 4 for 38 - both came against New Zealand in Sialkot in 1984-85.
Devon Conway narrowly failed to carry his bat on his Test debut - has anyone ever done this? asked Alex Meyer from England
Devon Conway probably missed out on carrying his bat by about a centimetre, when he was narrowly run out at the end of New Zealand's first innings at Lord's last week. Rory Burns followed suit in England's first innings: this was the first time openers from different sides had batted through an innings in a Test only to be last out. In Adelaide in 1950-51, Len Hutton (156 not out) carried his bat for England after Arthur Morris (206) was last out in Australia's first innings, while in Dunedin in 1979-80, Desmond Haynes was the last man out in both West Indies' innings.
Only three men have carried their bat through an innings on their Test debut: Jack Barrett, for Australia against England at Lord's in 1890, England's Plum Warner, against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1898-99, and - over a century later - Javed Omar of Bangladesh, against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 2000-01.
Before Conway, there had been only one previous instance of a debutant opener being the tenth wicket to fall in an innings in a men's Test: Kepler Wessels was last out after his 162 on debut for Australia against England in Brisbane in 1982-83. It has also happened twice in women's Tests: Margaret Marks was the last to fall in the second innings of New Zealand's inaugural such match, against England in Christchurch in 1934-35, then England's Cecilia Robinson did likewise against Australia in Adelaide in 1948-49.
How many South African-born cricketers have made their Test debuts at Lord's? Is it only Devon Conway and Kevin Pietersen? asked Savo Ceprnich from South Africa
In all, there have been 17 South African-born men who made their Test debuts at Lord's. Seven of them came for England, before New Zealand's Devon Conway in 2021: Basil D'Oliveira (in 1966), Allan Lamb (1982), Chris Smith (1983), Andrew Strauss (2004), Kevin Pietersen (2005), Matt Prior (2007) and Jason Roy (2019). I realise you probably didn't mean those who played for South Africa, but for the record there are nine of those whose first Test was also at Lord's: Claude Carter (1912), Sandy Bell, Eric Dalton and Quintin McMillan (1929), Peter Heine (1955), Colin Wesley (1960), Ali Bacher and Jackie Botten (1965), and Heino Kuhn (2017).
Who had the most innings in Tests before being dismissed in single figures? asked Henry O'Reilly from Ireland
The holder of this record died earlier this year: it's the Australian opener Colin McDonald, who was not out for a single-figure score until his 24th Test innings, against England at Trent Bridge in 1956. Oddly, that was the first of six single-digit scores for McDonald in that series, in which Australia were bedevilled by Jim Laker and Tony Lock. Next come Geoff Pullar of England and the West Indian Jeff Dujon, who both went 17 innings before being dismissed for less than ten, and the Australian Sid Barnes (15). The record for ODIs is held by another Australian, Michael Bevan, who had 24 innings before being dismissed in single figures.
The most innings in a complete Test career without ever being dismissed in single figures is 12, by England's Brian Bolus.
Who has bowled most often in Tests without ever taking a wicket? asked Michael McKenzie from England
During his long career, Sachin Tendulkar bowled in 145 separate innings, and failed to take a wicket in 112 of them, which is the most. It's perhaps not surprising, as Tendulkar was never really a frontline bowler (although I used to like watching his legbreaks!), but the identity of the only other man to bowl in more than 100 different innings without taking a wicket is perhaps more of a shock: Jacques Kallis, who ended up with 292 Test wickets, failed to strike in 106 of the innings in which he bowled. Steve Waugh had 98 fruitless efforts in Tests, Sanath Jayasuriya 88, and Mark Waugh 86. For the full list, click here.
If you mean who bowled the most without ever taking a wicket, then the Lancashire and England left-armer Len Hopwood played two Tests in the 1934 Ashes series, and sent down 77 overs - 462 balls - without dismissing anyone. The most runs conceded without ever taking a wicket in Tests is 307, by Anwar Hossain Monir of Bangladesh, in three matches between 2003 and 2005 in which he bowled 58 overs (348 balls).
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes