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Ask Steven

Has Jaydev Unadkat had the longest wait ever for a Test wicket?

And how many times has a team fielded an XI of only players over 30?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
03-Jan-2023
New Zealand's playing XI in the first Test in Karachi was only the second time a side had fielded a team with no players under 30 years of age  •  Associated Press

New Zealand's playing XI in the first Test in Karachi was only the second time a side had fielded a team with no players under 30 years of age  •  Associated Press

All of New Zealand's players in the first Test against Pakistan were over 30. How many times has this happened in Tests? asked Simon Nicholas from New Zealand
That's a good spot, as it turns out that New Zealand's team in the first Test against Pakistan in Karachi last week was only the second time a Test team had included no one under the age of 30.
The youngest player in New Zealand's team in Karachi was Ish Sodhi, who celebrated his 30th birthday on October 31. It means the "oldest youngest" player in any Test XI remains Vallance Jupp, who was 41 days older than Sodhi when he joined ten other thirtysomethings in England's team against Australia at Headingley in 1921.
The second Test between Bangladesh and India finished on December 25. How many other Tests have seen play on Christmas Day? asked Ziaul Chowdhury from Bangladesh
India completed their exciting victory in the second Test in Mirpur on December 25. It was only the seventh Test to feature play on Christmas Day, and the first for 40 years since the match between Pakistan and India in Karachi in December 1982, which had a rest day on Sunday 26th. The first such match was in Adelaide, in 1951-52, when West Indies completed their only victory of the series in Australia.
The other Tests to include play on Christmas Day were Australia vs India in Adelaide in 1967-68 (this match included a rest day on Christmas Eve, which was a Sunday), Australia vs India in Madras (now Chennai) in 1969-70, India vs England in Delhi in 1972-73, and India vs Pakistan in Kanpur in 1979-80.
The first two wickets in the recent Karachi Test were both stumpings - how often has this happened before? asked David Barnes from England
The first two wickets in the first Test between Pakistan and New Zealand in Karachi last week both fell this way - Abdullah Shafique and Shan Masood were both stumped by Tom Blundell.
It's actually the first time in any Test that the first two wickets of the game have gone this way. There have been five other innings (not the opening one of the match) in which the first two wickets to go down were stumpings. All of them were by England: against Australia in Melbourne in 1881-82, in Melbourne in 1894-95, at Old Trafford in 1896, and in Sydney in 1998-99, as well as against West Indies at Lord's in 1950.
Jaydev Unadkat made a comeback against Bangladesh after 12 years, and finally took a Test wicket - has anyone waited longer for their first Test victim? asked Harshad Chaphalkar from India
The Indian left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat, who went wicketless on his Test debut against South Africa in Centurion in December 2010, returned after more than 12 years against Bangladesh in Mirpur last month. He had missed 118 Tests in between his appearances, a record for India (beating Dinesh Karthik's 87) and surpassed for anyone only by the England offspinner Gareth Batty, who missed 142 Tests between 2005 and 2016-17. For the rest of that list, click here.
Unadkat's first wicket (Zakir Hasan) came just over 12 years after his debut. That's a record for a specialist bowler, but it has been surpassed by three other less regular performers. New Zealander Murray Chapple made his Test debut in March 1953, and took his only wicket (England's Jim Parks) in February 1966, while England's Cyril Washbrook made his Test debut in August 1937, and took his only wicket (Johnny Hayes of New Zealand) in March 1951. But the record is held by the great Pakistan batter Zaheer Abbas, who made his Test debut in October 1969, and finally took the first of his three Test wickets (India's Roger Binny) nearly 14 years later in Jalandhar in September 1983.
Which Test ground has seen the most sixes hit? asked Arun Sharma from India
This is not quite an exact science, as we don't have full details for many early Tests - but having said that, six-hitting has become much more prevalent in recent years, so the missing details are unlikely to make a huge difference. According to the ESPNcricinfo database, there have been 384 sixes hit at Lord's, and 335 at Bridgetown's Kensington Oval.
You might expect Lord's to be top, as it has staged a record 143 Test matches. Of grounds that we know have seen at least 100 sixes, the highest averages per match are 11.66 by Sharjah (nine matches, 105 sixes) and 11.00, by the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram (23 matches, 253 sixes).
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