Ask The Spider #128

Much has been made of Alastair Cook’s 14 centuries at the young age of 25 – how does he rank all-time?

Actually he rates very well – only two batsmen can top that at age 25 and they are two of the all-time greats, Sachin Tendulkar and Don Bradman. Tendulkar had 19 centuries in 105 innings, while Bradman had 15 tons in only 42 innings. Cook’s tally is fourteen from 110 innings, and his 26th birthday is Christmas Day, which gives him two more Tests to possibly add to that haul (the 4th Test begins on his 26th birthday).

With his latest century, where does Andrew Strauss rank against all England batsmen in terms of total Test hundreds?

Strauss now has 19 tons in his Test career, which is beaten by only five others – Geoff Boycott (193 innings), Colin Cowdrey (188) and Wally Hammond (140) all have 22 centuries, while Ken Barrington (131) and Graham Gooch (215) have 20. Strauss is tied with Len Hutton (138 innings) on 19 and has achieved that from a fairly low 142 innings.

How does the sixth wicket partnership of 307 amassed by Brad Haddin and Michael Hussey rank in Ashes cricket?

Their 307-run partnership has been bested only once before in Ashes Tests, when Don Bradman and Jack Fingleton shared in a sixth-wicket stand of 346 at Melbourne in January 1937. Australia had lost the first two Tests heavily, however in the third Test they had a first innings lead of 124 when the state of the wicket had influenced Bradman to declare Australia’s first innings closed at 200 for nine, and England had followed suit at 76 for nine, this being the first such occurrence in Test cricket. Nonetheless, in their second innings Australia were five wickets down for only 97 after Bradman had started the tail while the pitch was drying, when Fingleton joined Bradman, and the sixth wicket did not fall until 443 runs were on the board, propelling Australia to their first win and starting them on the road to a 3-2 series victory.

With their 188 run opening partnership in England’s second innings how do Cook and Strauss rank in terms of England openers?

Strauss and Cook’s total opening partnership runs is now 3415, which overtakes the famous partnership of Hobbs and Sutcliffe (3249), though their average partnership of 42.68 is much lower than Hobbs and Sutcliffe’s 87.81.

I noticed that Peter Siddle’s six-fer was consecutive (wickets three through eight) – is this unique?

Though it’s almost certainlynot unique, without searching through all previous scorecards it’s difficult to answer this question in terms of who else has consecutive six-fers, seven-fers etc., however it’s certain that Jim Laker has the record for consecutive wickets in Tests – Laker took the final seven wickets of Australia’s first innings at Old Trafford in 1956 and all ten in the second, for a total of 17 consecutive wickets.

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