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Ask Steven

Is Rashid Khan now the youngest captain to win a Test?

Also, is Pat Cummins' 29 wickets in a series with no five-fors a record?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Pat Cummins claims another scalp, England v Australia, 5th Test, The Oval, September 12, 2019

Pat Cummins' 29 wickets in this Ashes came without a single five-for in any innings  •  Getty Images

Pat Cummins took 29 wickets in the Ashes, without taking five in an innings. Was this a record? asked Kane Johnston from Australia
Pat Cummins' last wicket in the 2019 Ashes (Jofra Archer at The Oval) took him past the record for any Test series without a five-for. Another Australian seamer, Wayne Clark, took 28 against India at home in 1977-78, in his debut series.
The West Indians Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall both took 27 wickets in the home series against England in 1985-86 without the aid of a five-for; Garner also took 26 against England in 1980. Australia's Stuart Clark took 26 in the 2006-07 Ashes series.
Cummins has now taken 51 wickets against England without a five-for; the only man to have taken more - 62 - is yet another Australian, Brett Lee.
Steve Smith had six successive innings of 80 or more during the Ashes. Has anyone else managed this? asked Mike Harrison from England
Steve Smith's remarkable run during the 2019 Ashes - 144 and 142 at Edgbaston, 92 at Lord's, 211 and 82 at Old Trafford, and 80 at The Oval before his final dismissal for 23 - equalled the best run of scores of 80 or more in Tests, set by the great West Indian Everton Weekes in 1948 and 1949. After making 141 against England in Kingston in the final Test of the 1947-48 home series, Weekes toured India in 1948-49, and hit 128 in Delhi, 194 in Bombay, 162 and 101 in Calcutta and 90 in Madras, where a controversial run-out deprived him of a sixth successive century. Alastair Cook had a run of five successive scores of 80-plus against Australia in 2010-11 and at home to Sri Lanka in 2011.
The Indian opener Prithvi Shaw has a Test batting average of 118.50. Does any other player have a higher average? asked Benoit Briens from France
It's true that Prithvi Shaw currently averages 118.50 from his two Test appearances. But another current player beats him: Kurtis Patterson averages 144.00 from his two appearances against Sri Lanka earlier this year… and wasn't even named in the Ashes squad!
Presumably both Patterson and Shaw will have further chances, which will probably ensure their averages slip below three figures. The only man who finished his career with an average over 100 was the West Indian Andy Ganteaume, who made 112 in his only Test innings, so averaged 112.00.
Next on the list, with the highest of anyone who batted more than three times in Tests, comes Don Bradman, with his famous average of 99.94 from 52 appearances. Naveed Nawaz of Sri Lanka (99.00) and the West Indian Victor Stollmeyer (96.00) also averaged over 90, but both of them played just one Test.
Has Rashid Khan become the youngest captain to win a Test at Chittagong? asked Don Craigs from Australia
Afghanistan's Rashid Khan became the youngest Test captain of all against Bangladesh in Chattogram, being eight days younger than the previous record holder, Zimbabwe's Tatenda Taibu in May 2004.
Rashid's 11 wickets (and his first-innings 51) helped Afghanistan win his first match in charge. The previous youngest captain to win a Test was Graeme Smith, who was not long past his 22nd birthday when he won his first Test in charge, also against Bangladesh in Chittagong (now Chattogram), in April 2003.
Have there been any completed Tests in which no extras were conceded by either side? asked Don Henadeera from Australia
There hasn't yet been a Test match that ended in a positive result which featured no extras at all. The lowest is two - both leg-byes - in the match between England and New Zealand at Lord's in 1958. There are also two cases of seven - by England and Australia at Old Trafford in 1888 and at Lord's in 1890.
And there's another update to the identity of the oldest international debutant, from Debapriya Chakraborty from India
"Osman Goker of Turkey now holds the record as the oldest debutant ever in international cricket. He was 59 when he played his first T20I against Romania at Ilfov on August 29." Turkey's side in that match included three other players who were also over 50: Cengiz Akyuz and Serdar Kansoy were 57, and opener Hasan Alta a youthful 54.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes