Ask Steven

Where does Hanuma Vihari's 23 from 161 balls rank among the slowest Test innings?

And is India's use of 20 players across four Tests a record?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Nine players have faced more than Shan Masood's 33 deliveries to bag a pair in a Test  •  Getty Images

Nine players have faced more than Shan Masood's 33 deliveries to bag a pair in a Test  •  Getty Images

Pakistan's Shan Masood bagged a pair in the second Test against New Zealand, facing 33 balls across both innings. Who holds the record for the most balls faced for a pair? asked Savo Ceprnich from South Africa
The unfortunate Shan Masood sits only joint-tenth on this list for his 33-ball scoreless double in Christchurch two weeks ago: nine others are known to have faced more deliveries while bagging a pair in a Test.
Top of the pile is Jimmy Anderson, who faced 61 balls for his pair for England at Headingley in 2014. He faced six balls in the first innings - and 55 in the second, when he was eventually out to the fifth delivery of the final over, to give Sri Lanka victory by 100 runs.
Anderson is a dozen balls clear of the next man, Mike Whitney, whose pair on his Test debut for Australia at Old Trafford in 1981 occupied 49 deliveries. Note that ball-by-ball data is not known for many early Tests, so there may be some other contenders.
India used 20 players in the four Tests in Australia. Was this some sort of record? asked Mohan Khokan Singh from India
India's 20 players in this Border-Gavaskar series was a record for an away team in any series - West Indies used 18 in South Africa in 1998-99, as did England in the 2013-14 Ashes. Both of those were five-Test series; the previous record for a four-Test rubber was 17, which had happened three times.
It's obviously easier to call up more players if you are playing at home: the overall record is 30 players, used by England in the home Ashes series of 1921. In the 1989 Ashes (six Tests), England used 29 players.
By the end of the match in Sydney, Cameron Green had bowled 198 balls without taking a wicket in Tests. Is he close to the record? asked Harshit Goyal from the United States
Australia's recent new cap Cameron Green might be relieved to discover he's got a fair way to go before he threatens this Test record: the Indian allrounder Kripal Singh did not take a wicket until the 11th of his 14 Tests, against England in Delhi in 1961-62, by which time he had sent down 651 fruitless deliveries and conceded 235 runs. He did score a century on his Test debut, though - against New Zealand in Hyderabad in 1955-56 - which might have made up for any lack of success with the ball.
The Australian record is held by none other than Ian Chappell, whose legbreaks did not claim a Test wicket until he had sent down 536 balls and conceded 211 runs.
The most balls bowled in Tests without ever taking a wicket is 462, by the England left-armer Len Hopwood in two matches in the 1934 Ashes. The Bangladesh seamer Anwar Hossain "Monir" conceded 307 runs in his three Tests - from 348 balls - without taking a wicket either. (Thanks to the Australian statistician Charles Davis for some of this information.)
Hanuma Vihari scored 23 from 161 balls in the second innings in Sydney. How does this rank among the slowest Test innings? asked Allan Alexander from the United States
Hanuma Vihari's match-saving innings at the SCG unsurprisingly comes in quite high on any such list. The difficulty is deciding which measurements to use, also remembering that we do not have complete details for many early innings.
What we can say is that Vihari's 161-ball vigil equalled the longest score of 23 or fewer in Tests, set by the Pakistan seamer Saleem Altaf (22) for Pakistan against England at Headingley in 1971. If you widen the search to innings of 30 or fewer, then Hashim Amla's remarkably abstemious defensive effort against India in Delhi in 2015-16 comes out on top - he made 25 from 224 balls. In the same innings, AB de Villiers made 43 from 297 balls as South Africa fought in vain for a draw - their second innings of 143 occupied 143.1 overs.
Nathan Lyon played his 100th Test match at Brisbane. Which team has had the most players with 100 caps? asked Pushpdeep Bahade from India
Nathan Lyon was the 68th player to reach a century of Test caps; the first was England's Colin Cowdrey in 1968. Lyon was the 13th Australian to reach 100, but England have one more, including Andrew Strauss and Graham Thorpe who both finished their careers with exactly 100. India have ten centurions, West Indies nine, South Africa eight, Pakistan and Sri Lanka five, and New Zealand four. The next addition to the list should be another Englishman, Joe Root: his 228 against Sri Lanka in Galle last weekend came in his 98th Test appearance.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes