The regular Monday column in which our editor answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:



Sachin Tendulkar: his 34 Test centuries have featured in 11 Indian victories © Getty Images

How many Tests have India won when Sachin Tendulkar scores a hundred? asked Ijaz Ahmed Khan from Pakistan

To date Sachin Tendulkar has scored 34 Test centuries, and 11 of them (32.35%) have been in matches that India went on to win. Eight of them came in matches that India lost, and 15 in draws. That percentage puts him a fair way down the list of players with ten or more Test centuries - Adam Gilchrist is on top there, as 11 of his 13 centuries (84.62%) have come in matches that Australia went on to win. Australians dominate the top of this list - Damien Martyn is second, with nine of his 11 Test tons so far leading to wins (81.82%), and Don Bradman is third. He scored hundreds in 28 Tests, and Australia won 22 of them (78.57%). Then come Michael Slater, Matthew Hayden, Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh, before the first non-Aussie - Inzamam-ul-Haq, who has scored centuries in 20 Tests, of which Pakistan have won 15 (75%). Warwick Armstrong scored centuries in six matches, and Australia won the lot - he's one clear of yet another Aussie, Darren Lehmann, there (centuries in five Tests, five wins). At the other end of the scale Bevan Congdon of New Zealand and India's Vijay Manjrekar both made centuries in seven Tests, but didn't finish up on the winning side in any of them. Jimmy Sinclair of South Africa uniquely scored three Test centuries in his career, and ended on the losing side each time.

In the recent ODI at Christchurch Adam Gilchrist caught the first five wickets - has this ever happened before? asked Sumeet from America

Gilchrist's feat came in the second ODI against New Zealand at Christchurch, when he caught the first five wickets to fall. It hadn't happened in an ODI before - the previous-best was four, which had been done by Mark Boucher, Ridley Jacobs, Nayan Mongia, David Obuya (Kenya), Kumar Sangakkara and Alec Stewart. The Test record is also four (14 instances, including three by Wasim Bari), although at Melbourne in 1990-91 England's Jack Russell caught the first five batsmen in the order in Australia's first innings (they weren't the first five wickets to fall, though).

I noticed that Damien Martyn has not often been bowled in Tests - around 8% of his dismissals. Is this a Test record? asked Maxy Brinisi from Australia

To date Damien Martyn has been bowled in only six of his 74 completed innings, which is 8.11%. That seems pretty low, but actually it's a long way from the best record of stump-protection. Mark Dekker of Zimbabwe was dismissed 21 times, and was never bowled (0%), while there's a current player who might better that record - the West Indian wicketkeeper Courtney Browne has been dismissed 15 times so far and has not been out bowled yet. Among players who have had more innings than Martyn, another Australian, Graeme Wood, had a lower percentage (106 dismissals, five of them bowled, or 4.72%), and Craig McMillan of New Zealand also edges him - 78 dismissals, five bowled (6.41%). The worst record is held by the 19th-century Australian allrounder Charlie McLeod - he was out on 24 occasions in Tests, and was bowled 17 times (70.83%).

I've noticed that Chris Martin of New Zealand has a pretty hard time with the bat - would he have the lowest batting average for any batsmen completing say 20 innings? asked Philip Wen from Australia

Yes, he does. Chris Martin has so far made 28 runs from 24 innings (ten of them not-out), giving him a batting average of 2.00. He shares that unwanted distinction with the Zimbabwean Pommie Mbangwa, who also averaged 2.00 from 25 innings. Two long-ago Australians - Jack Saunders (2.29) and Bert "Dainty" Ironmonger (2.62) come next.

Is there anyone who has a highest score of 99 in a Test, who never did score a century? asked Neil Millett from Chester

There are nine unlucky souls whose highest Test score is 99. Three of them are still playing, so might just put that right one day - Shane Warne, who did it for Australia against New Zealand at Perth in 2001-02; Asim Kamal, who made 99 on debut for Pakistan against South Africa at Lahore in 2003-04; and Alex Tudor, who was marooned on 99 not out when England beat New Zealand at Edgbaston in 1999. The other unlucky ones were the Yorkshire and England pair of Norman Yardley and Martyn Moxon (who leg-glanced a four during his innings that was given as leg-byes), the New Zealanders John Beck and Dipak Patel, both of whom were run out, Rusi Surti of India and the Pakistani Maqsood Ahmed. For a full list of batsmen making 99 in a Test, click here. It's a happier story in ODIs - everyone who has made 99 at some stage during their career has managed to make a century somewhere else. For a list of one-day 99s, click here.

Who was Kerry Packer? asked Victor Luther

Kerry Packer was - and still is - a prominent Australian businessman, whose empire includes several newspapers and Australian television's Channel 9. He came to prominence back in 1977 when, after failing to secure the TV rights for Australian cricket, he signed up around 50 of the world's best players on big-money contracts to play a series of matches to be screened on Channel 9 in opposition to official Tests. After two years of hostility, in which most of Packer's players were banned from regular cricket and Australia's second-string Test team did badly (losing an Ashes series 5-1 to England at home), the two sides got together. Packer secured the TV rights for international cricket in Australia - Channel 9 still has them - and most of the players returned to mainstream cricket. Many of the innovations tried during Packer's World Series Cricket - floodlit cricket, coloured clothing, white balls, many more cameras and gadgets to improve the viewer experience, and far better pay for the players - are taken for granted these days.

Steven Lynch is the editor of 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.