Ask Steven

Who has made the most runs in an Ashes Test only to end on the losing side?

Also, which bowlers have the most caught-and-bowled dismissals in each format?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Herbert Sutcliffe made 176 and 127 in his two innings in the second Ashes Test in 1925, but England still lost the match by 81 runs  •  Getty Images

Herbert Sutcliffe made 176 and 127 in his two innings in the second Ashes Test in 1925, but England still lost the match by 81 runs  •  Getty Images

What is the most runs in an Ashes Test by a player who finished on the losing side? asked Connor Davidson from Australia
The Ashes record is held by the England opener Herbert Sutcliffe, who scored 303 runs - 176 and 127 - in a seven-day Test in Melbourne in 1924-25. Next comes Paul Collingwood, with 228 (206 and 22 not out) for England in Adelaide in 2006-07. The record for Australia is 219, by Stan McCabe (187 not out and 32) in Sydney during the Bodyline series in 1932-33.
In all Tests, the table is headed by Brian Lara, who amassed 351 runs - 221 and 130 - against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2001-02, but his side still ended up losing by ten wickets. Lara actually scored 688 runs in that three-match series, but West Indies still managed to lose it 3-0.
When was the last time England's openers in an Ashes Test both came from the same county? asked Jamie Richardson from England
Before the Surrey pair of Rory Burns and Jason Roy at Edgbaston in 2019, the last time England fielded openers from the same county in the Ashes was at The Oval in 1989,when Graham Gooch went in first with his Essex team-mate John Stephenson, who was winning his only cap.
The last time it happened in any Test for England was against West Indies at The Oval in 1995, when Michael Atherton opened with his Lancashire colleague Jason Gallian. In the second innings of the previous Test, at Trent Bridge, Atherton opened with another Lancastrian, John Crawley.
England's new-ball pair bowled Ireland out at Lord's, with no one else needed. How often has this happened in the fourth innings of a Test? asked Arshad Zaidi from Norway
Rather surprisingly, perhaps, England's feat at Lord's - when Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes demolished Ireland for 38 - was only the third time the opening pair bowled unchanged in the fourth innings of a match, and won it. The other two instances were both in the 19th century: in Cape Town in 1898-99, Schofield Haigh and Albert Trott bowled South Africa out for 35, while at Lord's in 1888, the Australians Charles Turner and Jack Ferris knocked England over for 62, in 47 four-ball overs.
Has a country ever changed all 11 players in successive Tests in the same series? asked Mohammad Makfi from India
This has only happened once mid-series, back in the 1884-85 Ashes. After England won the first Test in Adelaide, the Australian XI demanded a half-share of the gate money for the remaining matches. This was refused - they might have got a better reception if they'd won! - and an entirely new side was selected for the second match, in Melbourne: not surprisingly, England won by ten wickets to go two up (they eventually took the series 3-2). Most of the "strikers" returned for the third Test, which Australia won.
Something similar happened in 2009, when West Indies' side for the first Test against Bangladesh in St Vincent showed 11 changes from the one which had taken on England at Chester-le-Street two months previously, as a result of a dispute between the players and the board - but that wasn't the same series.
Which bowlers have the most caught-and-bowled dismissals in each format? asked Nilanjan Banerjee from India
In Test cricket there's a tie at the top: Muttiah Muralitharan and Anil Kumble both took 35 return catches. They are well clear of Shane Warne and Daniel Vettori, who are next with 21. Murali also leads the way in one-day internationals, with 34, five ahead of New Zealand's Chris Harris. And in T20Is, the Afghanistan offspinner Mohammad Nabi has seven caught-and-bowleds, one more than Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes