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Ask Steven

Who has played under the most captains in Tests?

Could it be Chanders?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Shivnarine Chanderpaul at training, Port Elizabeth, December 23, 2014

Shivnarine Chanderpaul played Tests under 12 different captains  •  WICB Media

Four West Indians all took five wickets each in the first Test against Bangladesh. Has this ever happened before? asked Jeremy Day from England
The match you're talking about was in Antigua last month: Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder and Kemar Roach all took five wickets as West Indies bowled Bangladesh out twice to win by an innings and 219 runs. And it's a good spot, since that was the first time in Test history that four bowlers from the same side had all claimed five. Philip Bailey, the Wisden statistician, tells me there have been six occasions when six bowlers from both sides have done it, the most recent instance coming at Trent Bridge in 2011, when Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and James Anderson all took five or more for England, and Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth did likewise for India.
Virat Kohli scored 200 runs in the first Test in England, but India still lost. Was this anywhere near a record? asked Krishna Kailash from India
It's not very close to a record, no: Virat Kohli's rearguard at Edgbaston was actually the 76th occasion that a batsman had scored 200 or more runs in a Test but finished on the losing side. Kohli does, in fact, sit in eighth place on this list, after scoring 256 runs (115 and 141) in India's defeat by Australia in Adelaide in 2014-15, in his first Test as captain.
Brian Lara managed the feat on no fewer than eight occasions (Andy Flower and Ricky Ponting come next, with three), including the highest entry on the list: he scored 351 runs (221 and 130) in Colombo in 2001-02, but even that wasn't enough to stop Sri Lanka winning by ten wickets.
I worked out that Shiv Chanderpaul played under 12 different captains in Tests. Was this a record? asked Kyle Menzies from Trinidad
Shivnarine Chanderpaul did indeed serve under 12 different captains during his long career, starting with Richie Richardson in 1993-94 and finishing with Denesh Ramdin in 2014-15. Chanderpaul played in 164 Tests in all (he captained himself in 14 of them), and rather surprisingly, has to give best in this particular list to someone who played 100 fewer matches. The graceful Kent left-hander Frank Woolley won 64 caps for England in a long career that stretched from 1909, when he made his debut under Archie MacLaren, to 1934, when he was 47 and Bob Wyatt was in charge. In between, Woolley served under a dozen other England captains, making a record 14 in all. His near contemporary Jack Hobbs also served under 12 different captains, as, in a later era, did Pakistan's Mushtaq Ahmed. Hobbs played 61 Tests and Mushtaq 52.
In one-day internationals, the Pakistan pair of Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi each played under 14 different captains, while Chris Gayle, Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik had 13. Sri Lanka's Thisara Perera has so far served under ten different captains in T20Is, two more than anyone else.
Who dismissed AB de Villiers most often in international cricket? asked Viswaraj Chandran from India
AB de Villiers was dismissed ten times in Tests by Stuart Broad, who claimed his wicket 12 times in all in international cricket; Mitchell Johnson is next, with eight. Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Ravindra Jadeja all removed de Villiers seven times in all; Ajmal leads the way in ODIs, with six, with Afridi on five. R Ashwin and Adil Rashid both dismissed him three times in T20Is.
I noticed that no Sri Lankan has ever scored a century in his first ODI. Who has got the closest? asked Taimur Mirza from Australia
The best score on one-day international debut for Sri Lanka is 74, by Ashan Priyanjan against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Christmas Day in 2013.
There have been only three other debut half-centuries for Sri Lanka: Chamara Silva made 55 against Australia in Colombo in 1999, Sunil Wettimuny retired hurt for 53 against Australia at The Oval during the first World Cup in 1975, and Kusal Mendis hit 51 against Ireland at Malahide in 2016. Looking at the Test-playing countries, no one from Bangladesh, Afghanistan or Ireland has yet scored a century on ODI debut either.
And there's an update to the recent question about the youngest scorers in a Test, from Scott Sinclair in New Zealand
"That was an interesting story. I knew Mark Kerly well as a fellow cricket scorer… I too was 16 when I made my Test debut as scorer, in the match between New Zealand and West Indies in Dunedin in February 1980 - but it seems Mark was eight days younger when he made his debut in 1977-78. Like Mark I had to get time off school - and ironically the New Zealand wicketkeeper in that game, Warren Lees, was a teacher at my school. In the mid-'80s I moved to Auckland for work, and scored many club games and a few first-class matches with Mark."
It seems they start them young in New Zealand! It was a good game to begin with, too - New Zealand beat then-mighty West Indies by one wicket.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes