Ask The Spider #86

Who is India’s most successful debutant batsman?

“Lala” Armanath scored 38 and 118 on his debut, in India’s 2nd-ever Test, in 1933/34 against England at Mumbai’s old Gymkhana Ground. His 156 runs on Test debut has not been equalled since, though Sunil Gavaskar with 65 and 67* for once out at Queen’s Park Oval in 1971 and Sourav Ganguly with 131 in his only innings at Lord’s in 1996 have the highest batting averages at the end of their debuts.

And who is the second-most successful bowler after Narendra Hirwani?

Dilip Doshi – nearly 32 years old having played much of his career in the shadow of the famed Bedi-Chandrasekhar-Prasanna-Venkat spin quartet – took 8-167 on his Test debut against a Packer-gutted Australia at Chepauk Stadium, Chennai in 1979/80. 8 years later Hirwani bettered his performance by some way.

How many times did Alec Stewart open the batting in Tests where he kept wicket?

There were 7 Tests in Stewart’s career where he was picked as wicketkeeper-opener – The Oval 1992, Eden Gardens 1992/93, Lord’s and Edgbaston 1995, The Oval 1996, Trent Bridge 1997 and (on an impromptu basis, as Jack Russell, having been slated to keep, fell ill on the morning of the game – a game which lasted less than an hour) Sabina Park 1998. Only in 1995 was the idea even countenanced as something other than a very-short-term option, but a finger injury put paid to any thoughts of longevity and Russell returned to the side. Only in 1996/97 did Stewart truly establish himself as both batsman and wicketkeeper.

Which Test team has the highest draw percentage?

India, with almost half their Tests (0.45%) drawn so far, top this table; Pakistan are second with 0.42% and New Zealand a close third with 0.41%. This appears to back the idea that the subcontinent is the hardest place in which to force a result (not necessarily to score runs). South Africa’s position in eighth, with only Australia of the regular teams (Bangladesh who have so far lost 52 of 61 official Tests, and the ICC World XI who have played once, excluded) below them – and that only by 0.02% – shows that the popular notion of them being stooges who are more concerned with drawing than winning is patently false.

Who was the first Test debutant of the 1990s?

Mushtaq Ahmed the Pakistani wristspinner made his bow in a match that begun on the 19th of January 1990, a Test between Australia and Pakistan at Adelaide Oval.

What is Sri Lanka’s progressive highest individual Test score?

Ranjan Madugalle – 65 vs. England, first-innings, 1981/82
Roy Dias – 77 vs. England, second-innings, 1981/82
Sidath Wettimony – 157 vs. Pakistan, 1981/82
Wettimony again – 190 vs. England, 1984
Brendon Kuruppu – 201* vs. New Zealand, 1986/87
Aravinda de Silva – 267 vs. New Zealand, 1990/91
Sanath Jayasuriya – 340 vs. India, 1997
Mahela Jayawardene – 374 vs. South Africa, 2006

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