Matches (15)
ENG v PAK (W) (1)
T20WC Warm-up (6)
ENG v PAK (1)
Vitality Blast (5)
CE Cup (2)
Ask Steven

Clarke's hundred habit, and twin centuries from No. 7

Steven Lynch answers your questions

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
The regular Monday column in which our editor answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket. The recent Australia-New Zealand Test at Brisbane provokes a lot of questions this week:

Michael Clarke: great start © Getty Images
Michael Clarke made hundreds on his away Test debut, and in his first Test at home - has anyone else done this? asked Andrew Squires from Geelong, Australia
Clarke, who made 151 at Bangalore and 141 at Brisbane, was actually the sixth person to achieve this feat - and the third for Australia. The first to do it was Harry Graham, the "Little Dasher", who scored 107 on his debut for Australia, at Lord's in 1893, and added 105 on his home debut, at Sydney in 1894-95. Then KS Ranjitsinhji, the Indian prince who played for England, made 154 not out on his Test debut, against Australia at Old Trafford in 1896, and added 175 in his first Test overseas, at Sydney in 1897-98. It was a long time before it happened again: Lawrence Rowe made 214 and 100 not out on his debut for West Indies, against New Zealand at Kingston in 1971-72, then had to wait nearly four years for an overseas Test - and promptly scored 107 against Australia at Brisbane. Kepler Wessels hit 162 on his debut for Australia, against England at Brisbane in 1982-83, and added 141 in his first overseas Test, against Sri Lanka at Kandy later that season. He also scored 118 on his home Test debut for his native South Africa, against India at Durban in 1992-93, and narrowly missed an amazing foursome by making "only" 59 and 74 in his first official Test for South Africa, against West Indies at Bridgetown earlier in 1992. The last player to achieve the feat before Clarke was Azhar Mahmood, of Pakistan, who made 128 not out in his first home Test, at Rawalpindi, and 136 in his first away one - both against South Africa in 1997-98.
I read somewhere that Stuart MacGill had a record for playing in the most Tests without going wicketless in any match. But he didn't take a wicket in his most recent Test - so who holds the record now? asked Nick Angelos from Sydney
You're right in saying that Stuart MacGill played 31 Tests in which he took wickets, before not managing one in his most recent Test, his 32nd, against Sri Lanka at Kandy earlier this year. The leaders among current players are now Steve Harmison (23 Tests without a blank one) and Danish Kaneria (20). But the overall leader, who played an amazing 67 Tests without ever coming out of one empty-handed, is England's Fred Trueman. South Africa's Allan Donald also played 67 Tests before drawing a blank, the only one of his 72-Test career. And Joel Garner played 58 Tests for West Indies without ever emerging wicketless.
In the first Test at Brisbane both No. 7 batsmen scored hundreds - how often has this happened before? asked Richard Baird from Australia
It had happened only twice before Jacob Oram and Adam Gilchrist managed it at Brisbane. The first time was at Delhi in 1948-49, when Everton Weekes made 128 for West Indies and Hemu Adhikari replied with 114 not out for India. Weekes wasn't usually a No. 7, but West Indies' No. 8, Robert Christiani, also made a century in that innings. And it happened again, in a slightly peculiar way, at Lahore in 1994-95: Moin Khan made 115 not out in Pakistan's first innings against Australia, then Aamer Sohail, batting at No. 7 after a neck injury, made 105 in Pakistan's second innings.
In the recent Brisbane Test Australia's tenth-wicket pair put on 114, and New Zealand's reply was just 76. Have there been any other occasions in Test cricket where the tenth wicket has scored more than the following completed innings? asked Geoff Bateson
Rather surprisingly, this has happened five times in Tests now, but the efforts of Jason Gillespie and Glenn McGrath at Brisbane produced the highest stand of the five, 114. The first occasion was at Port Elizabeth in 1895-96, when Lord Hawke and Audley Miller put on 42 before George Lohmann (8 for 7) bowled South Africa out for 30. In the first Test ever played at Edgbaston, in 1902, Bill Lockwood and Wilfred Rhodes put on 81 for England's last wicket in their first innings, then Rhodes took 7 for 17 as Australia were skittled for 36. At Auckland in 1954-55 Frank Tyson and Brian Statham put on 28, then combined to help England bowl New Zealand out for just 26, still the lowest Test total of them all. And at Durban in 1996-97 South Africa's last pair - Brian McMillan and Allan Donald - added 74, then Donald took 4 for 14 as India were shot out for 66.
I suppose the simplest way of gauging Test allrounders is to deduct the bowling average from the batting average. Who comes out on top if you do that? asked Andrew Hansmann from Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa
Given a qualification of 1000 runs and 50 wickets, it's the great Garry Sobers who leads the way here. He averaged 57.78 with the bat, and 34.04 with the ball, a difference of +23.75. Just behind him, and with a chance of outstripping even Sobers, is Jacques Kallis: after the Kanpur Test against India his batting average was 53.85 and his bowling one 30.68 (+23.17). Next come Wally Hammond (+20.65), Imran Khan (+14.88), Aubrey Faulkner (+14.21) and Keith Miller (+14.00). The next current players are Shaun Pollock (+11.50) and Sanath Jayasuriya (+11.19). The "worst" allrounders using this system are Dipak Patel of New Zealand (20.69 with bat, 42.05 with ball, or -21.36) and India's Madan Lal (-17.43).
Who was the first Sri Lankan to score a Test century? asked Manoj de Silva from Moratuwa
Sri Lanka's first century came in only their third Test, against Pakistan at Faisalabad in March 1982. It was scored by Sidath Wettimuny, their opener, who went on to make 157. Wettimuny was also the first Sri Lankan to carry his bat through a Test innings, which he did against New Zealand at Christchurch a year later.
Steven Lynch is editor of Wisden Cricinfo. For some of these answers he was helped by Travis Basevi, the man who built Stats Guru and the Wisden Wizard. If you want to Ask Steven a question, contact him through our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered each week in this column. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries.

The Wisden Cricket Quiz Book, compiled by Steven Lynch, was published on November 1 by John Wisden & Co., priced £7.99. To save £2 by ordering a copy through Cricshop, click here.