Ask the Spider #3James Nixon |
When was the last time a spinner bowled the first over of a Test match?
This is a tough question, and for much of history, it is very hard to find. There were players that could bowl both at a decent level, and so it is difficult to know which method they bowled. Sobers has opened the bowling before, and could bowl both spin and pace, but the vast majority of the time, he would open with seam bowling.
On the other hand, there are a handful of people that defy classification, such as Sydney Barnes. Whether you characterize him as a spin bowler or fast bowler (likely he was neither – just a unique quantity) also plays into the situation. Even a bowler who normally bowls only spin might have opened the bowling once, but he might have tried his seam bowling while doing so.
The latest instance of a spinner opening the bowling (though in the second innings) was Muralitharan in 2007 against England in Galle. Kumble also opened the bowling in the second innings recently against Pakistan in 2007 at Kolkata, but he took the second over while the first was bowled by Zaheer Khan. Spinners opening the bowling in the third and fourth innings actually happens quite often in cricket, and was especially common for Indian spinners of the 1970s before the emergence of Kapil Dev.
Unfortunately, I could not find any instance of a modern spin bowler actually bowling the first ball of the first innings in a Test match.
Who is really the best batsmen in the world?
To judge this accurately, an objective method must be developed. The official one is pretty good, as it takes into account the opposition, the conditions and the amount of scoring, and with that criteria K.C. Sangakkara is the highest rated, followed by Kallis, Hussey and Ponting. It’s hard to deny Sangakkara, with the amount of double centuries he has scored recently.
Which ground has hosted the most one-day internationals/Tests?
Lord’s is the #1 ground, having hosted 114 Tests in its illustrious history. The top seven grounds, and nine out of the top ten, are predictably all in either England or Australia.
Here are the top ten:
1. Lord’s – London (114)
2. Melbourne Cricket Ground – Melbourne (100)
3. Sydney Cricket Ground – Sydney (96)
4. The Oval – London (90)
5. Old Trafford – Manchester (72)
6. Headingley – Leeds (67)
7. Adelaide Oval – Adelaide (66)
8. Queen’s Park Oval – Port of Spain (54)
9. Trent Bridge – Nottingham (54)
10. Brisbane Cricket Ground – Brisbane (50)
For ODIs, the top ten are more mixed, and the top ground in the world isn’t even in a Test playing country! That venue is Sharjah, in the UAE, with an astounding 198 ODIs played.
1. Sharjah C.A. Stadium – United Arab Emirates (198)
2. Sydney Cricket Ground – Sydney (129)
3. Melbourne Cricket Ground – Melbourne (124)
4. R.Premadasa Stadium – Colombo (81)
5. Harare Sports Club – Harare (77)
6. Adelaide Oval – Adelaide (64)
7. Brisbane Cricket Ground – Brisbane (61)
8. W.A.C.A. Ground – Perth (59)
9. Bangabandhu National Stadium – Dhaka (58)
10. Eden Park – Auckland (57)
What was the average score in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s?
The average score of all players in the 1970s was 30.76 runs. In the 1980s, it was 30.45. In the 1990s, it was 29.45, and finally in the last decade it has been 31.63.
Shane Warne was always noted for the most runs without a 100 to his name, which bowler has the most wickets without having ever taken a 5/10 wicket haul.
The highest tally of wickets without a five wicket haul was Mike Hendrick of England, having taken 87 Test wickets with a best of 4/28.