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Ask Steven

Who has been out stumped most often in Tests?

And has anyone only ever been out this way?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Alan Rees (standing, third from right), who played rugby union for Wales and rugby league for Leeds, was with Glamorgan from 1955 to 1971  •  Getty Images

Alan Rees (standing, third from right), who played rugby union for Wales and rugby league for Leeds, was with Glamorgan from 1955 to 1971  •  Getty Images

Who played rugby for Wales, took a catch in an Ashes Test, and was once given out handled the ball at Lord's? asked Mark Mitchell from England
This multi-talented performer was the Glamorgan batter Alan Rees, who won three rugby union caps for Wales in 1962, before turning professional and playing rugby league for Leeds. Rees was a superb fielder, and during the 1964 Ashes series caught Australia's Peter Burge for 160 while fielding as 12th man in the third Test at Headingley. "Burge swatted another short ball from Trueman straight into the hands of Glamorgan's Alan Rees, who was on the field at deep midwicket as a substitute," wrote Andrew Hignell. The following season, Rees was out "handled the ball" during Glamorgan's Championship match against Middlesex at Lord's. The Times explained: "Rees, sweeping at a ball on the leg side [from Fred Titmus], slipped. His bat swung away in his left hand and, as he fell backwards, he instinctively stopped the ball with his right, preventing it either from going on to the wicket or giving Murray a stumping chance."
I noticed that Gautam Gambhir once scored centuries in five successive Tests in which he played. Was this a record? asked Imtiaz Patel from India
That performance by Gautam Gambhir isn't quite the record, although it is the best for India, beating runs of four by Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. There are two other instances of five, by Jacques Kallis for South Africa in 2003-04, and Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf during 2006.
But there is someone who had a longer run, and it's not exactly a surprise to discover that it's Don Bradman, who made centuries in six successive Tests - all against England - in 1936-37 and 1938. His sequence ended when he was injured in the 1938 Oval Test and couldn't bat - and, since he then made hundreds in the first two Tests of his next series, after the war in 1946-47, the Don actually scored centuries in eight consecutive Tests in which he batted.
Who has been out stumped most often in Tests - and is there anyone who was only out this way? asked Richard Lewcock from England
The man most often out stumped in Tests is Allan Border, who fell that way nine times - although that did include three centuries, and overall he averaged 68 in those innings. Another Australian captain, Michael Clarke, was stumped eight times, as was the aggressive West Indian Clyde Walcott. A modern-day West Indian, Jermaine Blackwood, is among a group of six players out stumped seven times, including two more Australian captains in Ricky Ponting and Mark Taylor.
There are only seven players who were out stumped every time they batted in a Test, and six of them had only one innings. But Reginald Hands of South Africa was stumped by England's Bert Strudwick in both innings of his only Test, in Port Elizabeth in 1913-14. The Lancashire slow left-armer Malcolm Hilton was dismissed five times in his three Tests for England, and was stumped in three of them.
Lincoln Roberts played one Test, but made no runs and took no wickets or catches - is there anyone else like this? asked Paul Jennings from the United States
Lincoln Roberts, a batter from Trinidad's sister island of Tobago, played his one unproductive Test for West Indies against Australia in Kingston in 1998-99. Batting at No. 3, he was out seventh ball for a duck, and had to watch No. 4 Brian Lara make 213. West Indies won the match by ten wickets, so Roberts didn't get another chance, and was dropped for the next Test. He'd only scored one first-class century for T&T at the time, but added four more - including 220 against West Indies B in Couva in 2002-03. Still, he never got another call from the selectors.
Roberts is one of a surprisingly high number of men who failed to collect a run, wicket or catch in their Test career - including one, Indian seamer TA Sekhar, who actually won two caps. In all, there are 23 names on this list, including one current player (Shahidullah of Afghanistan) who may yet escape it. The eagle-eyed might spot one who doesn't really belong there - the Indian wicketkeeper Vijay Rajindernath may not have scored a run, claimed a wicket or taken a catch in his only Test, a ten-wicket victory over Pakistan in Bombay in 1952-53, but he did make four stumpings, three of them off the great legspinner Subhash Gupte. Despite this, Rajindernath was dropped, and never played another Test.
There are 49 men who have appeared in ODIs without troubling the scorers, including Ashfaq Ahmed (Pakistan) and Abhishek Nayar (India) who both played three games. In T20Is, there are no fewer than 82 such men: Francis Nkhoma of Malawi has so far played four unproductive matches.
Who's the only No. 11 to reach 25 in both innings of a Test? asked Albert Sanders from England
There have now been 151 scores of 25 or more by the No. 11 in Tests, the highest being Ashton Agar's 98 on debut for Australia against England at Trent Bridge in 2013. But you're right that only one man did it in both innings: Ireland's Tim Murtagh, with 54 not out and 27 against Afghanistan in Dehradun in March 2019. Murtagh's half-century in the first innings was one of 19 in Tests by No. 11s, and he also provided only the 11th instance of the last man top-scoring in a Test innings.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes