Ask The Spider #14

How many people are there who have represented more than one Test match team?

There have been fourteen, but rather like the First-Class debuts in a Test match list, this is very uneven and dominated by certain factors. Half of these players played for their first team in the 19th-century, though the lattermost also appeared in the 20th for his second team. These are Billy Midwinter, Billy Murdoch, JJ Ferris, Sammy Woods (all Australia and England), Frank Hearne (England and South Africa), Albert Trott (England and Australia) and Frank Mitchell (England and South Africa). There are a further three who played for India before partition and Pakistan afterwards (Gul Mohammed, Abdul Hafeez Kardar and Amir Elahi). Then there is Iftikhar Ali Khan (Nawab of) Pataudi, who played for England before the Second World War and India after it. There is John Traicos, who appeared in South Africa’s last series before isolation, then Zimbabwe’s first four games 22 years later. There is Kepler Wessels who went the other way, qualifying for Australia during South Africa’s time out then returning home 7 years after his last game for his adopted homeland to play for his native team once more. Wessels’ 40 Tests (24 for Australia, 16 for South Africa) is a record for a dual international. The most peculiar case is that of wicketkeeper Sammy Guillen, who played for both West Indies and New Zealand in the 1950s, the only person to do so in modern times purely for emigrational reasons. Guillen’s last act in Test cricket, however, sealed New Zealand’s inaugural Test victory, against his former team.

Following on from last week’s question about the highest percentage of a total scored by one batsmen, what are the lowest completed innings totals to include a milestone (say, fifty, hundred, two-hundred, three-hundred)?

Half-century: 66, Indians v Yorkshire 1932 (Nazir Ali 52*, 5 extras). Century: 143, Nottinghamshire v Hampshire 1981 (Clive Rice 105*). Double-century: 282, Namibia v Kenya 2007/08 (Gerrie Snyman 230). Triple: 382, The Rest v Hindus 1944 (Vijay Hazare 309, 19 extras).

What is the highest Test score by a designated wicketkeeper?

There have been six double-centuries by wicketkeepers in Tests, the highest of which is 232* by Andy Flower against India in 2000. Those double-centuries are thus: Andy Flower 232*, Zimbabwe v India, 2000/01; Kumar Sangakkara 230, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2001/02; Taslim Arif 210*, Pakistan v Australia, 1979/80; Imtiaz Ahmed 209, Pakistan v New Zealand, 1955/56; Adam Gilchrist 204*, Australia v South Africa, 2001/02; Brendon Kuruppu 201*, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 1986/87.

Which batsmen have scored centuries in both innings of a Test most often?

Sunil Gavaskar and Ricky Ponting have each achieved this feat on three occasions, Ponting’s three all coming in the same season (2005/06).

I just wondered which game was Darrell Hair’s Test debut? As he’s due to make his comeback soon.

The controversial Hair’s first game was the fourth Test between Australia and India in 1991/92. He first encountered Pakistan in 1995/96, incidentally. By this time the first seeds of doubt had already been sown – he had complaints voiced against him by the South Africans in 1993/94, who felt his manner overbearing.

Am I right in thinking there have only been two triple-century partnerships in ODI history?

Yes, and both involved “The Wall” Rahul Dravid. On two occasions, separated by little more than five months, Dravid put-on 318 with Sourav Ganguly at the County Ground, Taunton against Sri Lanka in the 1999 World Cup and 331 with Sachin Tendulkar at Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Hyderabad in a series against New Zealand. Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya are the only others to have come particularly close to the mark, when they massacred England’s attack for 286 at Headingley in 2006. The top 11 partnerships in ODI history, in fact, have all been made by subcontinental pairs (7 by Indians), the first entry from a non-Asian team coming from Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds of Australia.

When was the first century opening partnership in Tests?

The first came in 1881/82, at the SCG, in the last ever Australia-England series before The Ashes. George Ulyett and Dick Barlow put-on 122 in the second-innings, though England subsequently collapsed and lost the game, before coming back to win the next two.

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