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Does MS Dhoni have the highest average of those who batted at No. 6 and above for India?

And has anyone played more international matches than Dhoni and taken only one wicket or fewer?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
MS Dhoni's batting average of 55.08 is the highest among those who batted in the top six for India in Tests, for a minimum of 1000 runs  •  Getty Images

MS Dhoni's batting average of 55.08 is the highest among those who batted in the top six for India in Tests, for a minimum of 1000 runs  •  Getty Images

I heard it said that MS Dhoni has the highest batting average for India of those who batted at No. 6 or above - higher than Tendulkar, Kohli etc. Can this possibly be true? asked Phiroze Rungta from India
Remarkably, it is true: MS Dhoni batted in the top six in 30 innings spread across 22 Tests, and averaged 55.08 in them. Next (given a minimum of 1000 runs) is Vinod Kambli, with 54.20, ahead of Sachin Tendulkar (54.12), Virat Kohli (53.94), Rahul Dravid (52.36), Sunil Gavaskar (51.02) and Virender Sehwag (50.23). Note however that the 1000-run qualification is important, as Mayank Agarwal has so far scored 974 runs in 11 Tests, at an average of 57.29.
Dhoni's average from No. 7 downwards was 33.97, which is also the highest of the 12 who have scored more than 1000 Test runs for India from there. He amassed 3499 runs in 114 innings in 76 matches from there, the most for India apart from Kapil Dev, who made 4828.
I see that Dhoni played 538 international matches but took only one wicket. Has anyone played more, for one wicket or none at all? asked Ray Penson from New Zealand
You're right that Dhoni took just one wicket in international cricket - he bowled Travis Dowlin to reduce West Indies to 57 for 5 in a one-day international in the Champions Trophy in Johannesburg in September 2009.
There's one man who played more matches than Dhoni and had even less success with the ball: Kumar Sangakkara took part in 594 international matches in all formats, and never took a wicket (he bowled in only four of them). Next comes Dhoni, then South Africa's Mark Boucher, who took a wicket (Dwayne Bravo of West Indies) in a high-scoring Test in Antigua in April 2005 - the only time he bowled in 467 international matches.
At one stage Chetan Chauhan held the record for most runs in Tests without a century. Who is ahead of him now? And who has the most for England? asked Ian Bailey from England
You're right that Chetan Chauhan, who sadly died last weekend, held that record for a while. He finished his Test career with 2084 runs, and a highest score of 97. That was the record until Shane Warne passed it in March 2002: he finished with 3154 runs and a highest score of 99. Chauhan still lies second. Among current players, Niroshan Dickwella of Sri Lanka has 1921 runs, with a highest score of 83 - so he might yet move up the list (or, as I'm sure he'd prefer, remove his name from it).
The most for England is 1713, by John Emburey, who passed 50 ten times, with a highest score of 75. He's not far ahead of another Middlesex offspinner, Fred Titmus, who made 1449 runs, seven more than yet another Lord's man, Mike Brearley.
I think Glenn McGrath holds the record for dismissing the most batsmen for ducks in Tests. But who leads the way in one-dayers and T20Is? asked Brian McKenzie from Australia
You're right about Glenn McGrath, who inflicted 104 ducks in Tests, just ahead of Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne, who were both responsible for 102. By the end of the second Test against Pakistan, Jimmy Anderson had 98, with Dale Steyn next on 83.
In ODIs the runaway leader is Wasim Akram, who removed 110 batsmen for ducks: next, with 76, comes Chaminda Vaas, just ahead of Waqar Younis (72), Glenn McGrath (71) and Brett Lee (70).
On top in T20Is is another Pakistan seamer, Umar Gul, who was responsible for 16 ducks. Lasith Malinga inflicted 16, and Mohammad Amir and Nuwan Kulasekara 13. The Nepali legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane has already accounted for 12, as has Angelo Mathews.
Is Bob Simpson the only Test captain to score a triple-century? asked Shiv Ram from India
Australia's Bob Simpson became the first captain to score a triple-century in a Test, with his 311 against England at Old Trafford in 1964. But he started a trend: no fewer than seven other skippers have done it since. Brian Lara tops the table, with his 400 not out for West Indies v England in Antigua in 2003-04. The other triple-centurions when captain are Mahela Jayawardene (374 in 2006), Mark Taylor (334 not out in 1998-99), Graham Gooch (333 in 1990), Michael Clarke (329 not out in 2011-12), Younis Khan (313 in 2008-09) and Brendon McCullum (302 in 2013-14).
There have now been 80 scores of 200 or more by Test captains, seven of them by Virat Kohli: Lara made five, Don Bradman, Michael Clarke and Graeme Smith four.
And there's an addition to last week's question about both openers in a Test innings falling for golden ducks, from Sujoy Ghosh from India
"The list of both openers out first ball in a Test innings misses out on the first such instance - Percy McDonnell and Alec Bannerman of Australia against England at Old Trafford in 1888, a match which lacks ball-by-ball details, as mentioned in the column." This does seem to be true: it appears that Bannerman fell to the opening delivery of the second innings, from Bobby Peel, and McDonnell to the first ball of the next over, from George Lohmann. Australia were soon in disarray at 7 for 6.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes