Ask The Spider #28

What will be the World ODI XI prepared for years as follows: 1975; 1979; 1983; 1987; 1992; 1996; 1999; 2003; 2007. Eligibility criteria: For one to seven, more than 500 runs in last 2 years; for eight to eleven, more than 150 overs in last 2 years. Selection Criteria (based on performance in last 2 years): one-four, batsmen having highest average among those with more than 70 strike-rate; five-six, the remaining batsmen having best SR with more than 30 ave; seven, wicketkeeper with best SR with ave >25; eight-eleven: two bowlers with best averages among those with economy-rate <4.7-an-over and two among the remaining bowlers with best economy-rate and ave <35.

We now come around to the two Cups in the 1970s. Unfortunately, as mentioned last week, there were just 45 ODIs played between the first in 1970/71 and the start of the 1979 Cup. As such, instead of 1979 and 1975 XIs, we pick an eclectic XI drawn from all ODIs played in the time, including the 1975 tournament.

The top four with highest ave and SR >70 are:
IVA Richards 883 runs, ave 73.58, SR 87.08
GS Chappell 919 runs, ave 54.05, SR 74.05
IM Chappell 665 runs, ave 51.15, SR 77.41
DL Amiss 859 runs, ave 47.72, SR 72.48
The next two are chosen with the best SR, >30 ave:
CH Lloyd 504 runs, ave 58.76, SR 88.26
DI Gower 503 runs, ave 41.91, SR 77.86

DL Murray 278 runs, ave 27.80, SR 63.03 (no runs qualifiers)

Top three averages with ER <5 are: AME Roberts 31 wkts @ 20.25, ER 3.34 RGD Willis 30 @ 20.46, 2.91 M Hendrick 25 @ 20.48, 3.32 The last bowler is chosen with the lowest ER and ave <35: Sir RJ Hadlee 16 @ 34.43, 3.34 So the line-up (with Gower opening as in 1983, a job he did once or twice in ODIs for England) is: 1 DL Amiss 2 DI Gower 3 IM Chappell 4 IVA Richards 5 GS Chappell 6 CH Lloyd 7 Sir RJ Hadlee 8 DL Murray 9 AME Roberts 10 M Hendrick 11 RGD Willis Wouldn't it be fun to sim a tournament between these eight teams sometime? What is the Test double-century breakdown per team?

Australians lead the way by a fair distance here – they have so far notched-up 61 doubles. West Indians come next, just ahead of Englishmen, on 45 and 44 respectively. Then come Indian and Pakistanis (35 and 32), then Sri Lankans and South Africans (24 and 21). New Zealanders have made 14, and Zimbabweans 4.

And what about since September 2001 when scoring and scoring-rates increased noticeably? Perhaps best to exclude Bangladesh here.

Indeed it might be, as 13 doubles have been ransacked against the hapless Bangladeshis in that time. Graeme Smith and Kumar Sangakkara have both doubled-up twice. Sangakkara, along with Matthew Hayden and team-mate Marvan Atapattu, also pillaged the equally wretched Zimbabwe bowling for doubles in 2003/04 (Gary Kirsten took one off them in 2001/02 as well, but the side were still competitive at that point). Excluding these 16 innings’, the figures read:
India 13
West Indies 11 (over half of which, 6, came from Brian Lara’s bat)
Sri Lanka 8
Australia 8
England 5
South Africa 5
New Zealand 4
Pakistan 4

Is Frank Chester’s span of 32 years as a Test Umpire a record?

Yes. No-one else has ever come close, and it remains fairly unlikely that anyone will do. Despite the fact that Umpires often start younger these days and are not slated to retire until the age of 65, the extraordinary intensity of modern international cricket means doing the job for 32 years or more would be asking a remarkable amount of any man (or woman).

Those who got nearest to Chester’s span were the equally great Dickie Bird and the notorious Fred Goodall (24 each).

What are the highest five Test scores made against New Zealand since 1960?

Inzamam-ul-Haq leads the way here, with his colossal 329 at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore in 2001/02. Next comes John Edrich, the only other man to score a triple against them in recent times, with 310* at Headingley. Daryll Cullinan slammed 275* on a ridiculously benign pitch at Eden Park, Auckland in 1998/99, and Javed Miandad scored 271 a decade previously to within 3 days, and at the same ground as well. Finally comes Aravinda de Silva, who hit 267 at Basin Reserve, Wellington in 1990/91. To which Martin Crowe promptly responded with New Zealand’s best, 299

Who currently has the most catches in Twenty20 Internationals?

Adam Gilchrist tops the list currently, with 17. AB de Villiers is next with 13.

How many women’s Test matches have been played so far?

After the Ashes match in 2007/08, the total stands at 131, over the 74 years that women have played Test cricket.

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