The New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee made quite a splash with the bat in his debut Test, against England in Napier in 2007-08, slamming 77 not out in the second innings with nine sixes. Thanks to some nimble number-crunching from Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team, I can confirm that no one else has played as many as 72 matches without improving the score they made in their first game. The previous record belonged to England's Darren Gough, who hit 65 on Test debut against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1994, and never exceeded that in 57 further Test matches.
It turns out there have been four Test innings in which both openers were dismissed in the nineties. The first two were by India: against Pakistan in Lahore in 1978-79, Sunil Gavaskar made 97 and Chetan Chauhan 93; then in Kolkata in 1997-98, VVS Laxman scored 95 and Navjot Singh Sidhu 97 against Australia.
I think the only man who fits the bill here is India's Yusuf Pathan, whose first international appearance came in the final of the inaugural World T20 competition, in Johannesburg in September 2007. Pathan opened the innings and hit his second ball (from Mohammad Asif) for six. He went on to play a further 78 white-ball internationals for India.
The answer to this tricky one is not, as you might expect, another Indian: it's one of Pakistan's finest batsmen, Zaheer Abbas, who generally used only the middle part of his full name - Syed Zaheer Abbas Kirmani. Wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani caught his almost-namesake seven times in Tests, and once in a one-day international.
I vaguely remembered answering this question some time ago when the answer was the ICC World XI that took on Australia in the Super Series Test in Sydney in 2005-06. That team had a combined total of 818 caps (including the game in question). But that answer has been out of date for some time: India have now fielded eight teams with more caps between them. The current record stands at a combined total of 861, by the Indian XI that played Australia in Bangalore in 2008-09. The team comprised Sachin Tendulkar, who was winning his 151st cap, Anil Kumble (131), Rahul Dravid (126), Sourav Ganguly (110), VVS Laxman (97), Harbhajan Singh (70), Virender Sehwag (61), Zaheer Khan (57), MS Dhoni (30), Gautam Gambhir (18) and Ishant Sharma (10).
Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes