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Ask the Spider: Ask The Spider #39
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Q: Who has played the most Tests without playing against Australia?

A :Pakistan's Mahmood Hussain played 27 games, not a single one of which was against the baggy-green-and-gold.
Q: Who is the leading overseas Test run-scorer at England's Edgbaston?

A: South Africa's Graeme Smith tops this list by a long way, with 523 runs in his two visits to the ground (both times in which he batted in both innings'). Only Pakistan's Javed Miandad and Zaheer Abbas have even as many as half Smith's total, Javed scoring 326 in his four games there (comprising seven innings') and Zaheer 318 in two (three innings').
Q: What's the most catches in a Test taken by a substitute?

A: For India against West Indies at Motera, Ahmedabad in 1983/84, Gursharan Singh substituted for India. He took a remarkable four catches in the match. This total has since been equalled, both cases in the 2001/02 season, by Younis Khan for Pakistan against Bangladesh and Virender Sehwag for India against Zimbabwe. Both of these two went on to become established stars; Gursharan did play once, 6 years later, but that was it.
Q: I read somewhere that Kapil Dev holds the record for most consecutive Tests played without taking a ten-wicket match haul. Is this true?

A: Well, sort of. Kapil took his second ten-for in (coincidentally enough) the game mentioned above at Motera in 1983/84, and played 72 consecutive games thereafter without another, but Allan Border played 100 in a row before he took his sole ten-for. However, Border (unlike Kapil) rarely bowled. In his own words, he had not taken his bowling seriously enough. His remarkable match at The SCG in 1988/89 took everyone totally by surprise.
Q: What's the most extras in a Test innings without a bye or a wide?

A: In another fairly remarkable coincidence, the innings in question happened in the game referred to above. In the same game Border took 11 wickets, Australia also scored 515 (winning comfortably), in which West Indies conceded 58 extras. 40 of these were no-balls (their seam bowlers of the 1970s, 80s and 90s were mostly fairly profligate with no-balls, Michael Holding excepted) and 18 were leg-byes, but Jeffrey Dujon did not concede a bye and if anything was wide enough to be given wide, the Australian batsmen got bat on it.
Q: Who has the longest streak of half-century-less Test innings?

A: Curtley Ambrose made just a single half-century in his Test career - against Australia at Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad in 1991. He played another 107 innings thereafter.
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