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Ask Steven

What's the record for sixes in an IPL season?

And when was the last time Australia fielded 11 right-handers in a Test?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Steve Harmison (extreme right) had 35 Test caps when he played the 2005 Super Series Test - the least of all the players who made up the World XI  •  Getty Images

Steve Harmison (extreme right) had 35 Test caps when he played the 2005 Super Series Test - the least of all the players who made up the World XI  •  Getty Images

I'd like to know which Test and ODI sides contained the players with the most such matches to their name, who were still the most inexperienced member of those sides? asked Sunindu Marasinghe from Sri Lanka
I hope I've understood this question correctly, and that what we're looking for is the players with the most caps at the time for a particular XI, but who were the least capped member of that team - the most-experienced least-experienced players, if you like.
Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team kindly took a few minutes off from IPL duty to help out with this one. In Tests, the answer appears to come from the ICC World XI in the one-off Super Series Test against Australia in Sydney in 2005-06: the man in that team with the fewest caps was England's Steve Harmison, with 35. That's obviously an unusual case: the answer for a genuine Test team is a least experienced player who already had 22 caps. This has happened twice - by Patrick Patterson for West Indies against Australia in St John's, Antigua, in April 1991, and Rohit Sharma for India against Sri Lanka in Delhi in December 2017.
In one-day internationals, the least capped member of Pakistan's XI against New Zealand in Lahore during the 1996 World Cup was wicketkeeper Rashid Latif, who had already played a staggering 74 ODIs. Next comes Darren Lehmann, who was the junior member of the Australian side that won the World Cup final against Pakistan at Lord's in June 1999, with 52 ODI caps.
Australia have had a long line of left-handers - Border, Taylor, Gilchrist, Hayden, Warner… so how long is it since they fielded a team of 11 right-handers in a Test? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan from England
The answer here is quite a surprise: in over 800 Test matches since 1886, Australia have only once had a team composed entirely of right-handers, against West Indies in Adelaide in 1930-31.
The last team from anywhere to field a team composed entirely of right-hand batsmen was India, against West Indies in Port-of-Spain in August 2016. In all there have been 323 instances in all Tests.
Sikandar Raza of Zimbabwe has remarkably similar batting averages in Test, first-class, ODI and List A cricket. Has there ever been anyone with less variation? asked Rafay Iqbal from England
The Zimbabwe allrounder Sikandar Raza does indeed have remarkably similar batting averages: before the current one-day series against Pakistan, he averaged 34.56 in Tests and 34.58 in one-day internationals, and 34.27 in first-class cricket and 34.28 in List A matches.
There are a few others whose averages are quite similar: Mahela Jayawardene averaged 49.85 in Tests and 49.69 in first-class, then 33.38 in ODIs and 33.67 in List A. Another Sri Lankan, seamer Suranga Lakmal, has batting averages of 11.61 in Tests and 11.62 in first-class, then 9.38 in ODIs and 9.36 in List A. Close to him is India's Javagal Srinath: batting averages of 14.21 in Tests and 14.50 in first-class, 10.64 in ODIs and 10.48 in List A. Turning to the bowlers, Australia's Len Pascoe averaged 26.06 with the ball in Tests and 25.60 in first-class, 20.11 in ODIs and 20.52 in List A.
But no one is as closely grouped overall as Raza. Just to complete the set, when we researched the question a few days ago he was 34.5 years old!
What's the record for sixes in an IPL season? asked Balasubramanian Sambasivam from India
The most sixes in one season in the Indian Premier League is 59, almost inevitably by Chris Gayle, for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2012 (he also hit 51 in 2013). Another Jamaican, Andre Russell, ran him close with 52 for the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2019. It doesn't look like the record will be threatened in this year's competition: as I write, the leading six-hitter is Sanju Samson with 26.
Was the Walter Lawrence Trophy awarded in 2020? asked Keith Pollock from England
The Walter Lawrence Trophy is awarded to the scorer of the fastest hundred in the English season: it was first presented in 1934 (Frank Woolley was the first winner) and has been a regular feature ever since, although it fell into abeyance after the Second World War, and was not resumed until 1966. Originally given to the scorer of the fastest hundred in first-class cricket, the award was widened in 2008 to include one-day and T20 matches.
And the 2020 winner came, unsurprisingly, from a T20 match: for Nottinghamshire against Durham in Chester-le-Street on August 29, Joe Clarke hurtled to three figures in just 44 balls, with eight sixes and seven fours.
And there's an update on last week's question about horses named after cricketers, from Beville Blackman from Trinidad
"In 1994 Lash Dem Lara, a horse named after new Test record holder Brian Lara, won the Trinidad & Tobago Derby." And a few people emailed to remind me that the Nottinghamshire and England favourite Derek Randall was nicknamed "Arkle", after another famous racehorse.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes