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Ask the Spider: Ask the Spider #41
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Q: How many international players have an average more than 60?

A :With a minimum of 10 Tests, there are six:
DG Bradman (Aus) 99.94
CS Dempster (NZ) 65.72
MEK Hussey (Aus) 64.18 (Hussey is currently playing and this will change as his career goes on - most likely down)
SG Barnes (Aus) 63.05
RG Pollock (SA) 60.97
GA Headley (WI) 60.83
H Sutcliffe (Eng) 60.73
There are 13 others who played 7 Tests or less whose career averages are also over 60, though 6 of these involve teams of questionable quality. Of the rest, Andy Ganteaume, Desmond Lewis, Rodney Redmond, Taslim Arif and Deepak Shodhan can count themselves very unfortunate not to have been picked more than they were; Victor Stollmeyer and Barry Richards were in the wrong place at the wrong time (the war for Stollmeyer and the South African ban for Richards); and Bryan Valentine was a figure of his time, playing only a handful of less important matches.
No one in ODIs has averaged over 60 with more than 10 innings. Hussey is highest with 57.13.
Q: Your site would indicate total Tests played by Australia (including NZ's 2nd) at 702. This matches lists of players caps of 7722. However, some lists show 704. Are these other lists counting the two abandoned Tests (Manchester 1938 and Melbourne 1970-71) so who's right: is it 702 or 704?

A: CricketWeb does indeed discount these two matches which were abandoned in entirety (as well as others between other teams which were similar). The lattermost, remember, had a replacement game scheduled - had the abandoned game been counted, the series would have run to seven matches, which in fact has never happened in Test history. Wisden, the foremost voice on the game's history, also acknowledges the matches where no delivery was bowled as scheduled but not played.
Q: Who has been dismissed most times in a row in Tests? That is, consecutive innings' without a not-out.

A: Rather surprisingly, not an opener. West Indies' Rohan Kanhai (who most commonly batted three) "achieved" this 83 times in a row, from his 6th Test to his 55th.
Q: I may be dreaming but I have a faint recollection that Shane Warne once batted in a Test (not a one-dayer) - it may have been Pakistan and may have been in Tasmania and his first 3 scoring shots were sixes. Is this true and if so, wouldn't that be some sort of record re the first 3 scoring shots?

A: Warne certainly struck three sixes in his only innings against Pakistan at Bellerive Oval in 1995/96 (he was hit on the toe by a Waqar Younis yorker and played no further part in the game) but no records show whether these were his first scoring shots. Anyone who watched the game may possibly remember!
However, there would be no way to show whether this was unique, unless you were able to procure score sheets for every game of cricket (of whatever type you should be looking for - be it Test, First-Class or any other level). Only very recently has ball-by-ball analysis been recorded in the public domain.
Q: Who were England's best ODI batsmen of the 1970s and 1980s?

A: Never the easiest thing to qualify, as average and strike-rate has to be compartmentalised. However, there's no doubt that the five leading lights were Dennis Amiss (though he played just 18 games), Allan Lamb (89), Graham Gooch (76), Chris Broad (34) and Keith Fletcher (24). All averaged 40 or just a tick under, and with the exception of Broad (55.61) all had strike-rates of 65 or more, which was perfectly acceptable if not outstanding in those days. No-one else with a strike-rate of over 55 averaged even 33, with Mike Gatting and David Gower (the only others to play very many matches) both having a considerable preference for the longer game.
Q: Who has been out in the 90s in Tests most times consecutively? That is, not innings of 90-odd in consecutive innings', but instances of being out in the 90s without making a century in between?

A: Many people are tied for this record - their number is 3. Clem Hill, MJK Smith, Bobby Simpson, Trevor Goddard, Geoffrey Boycott, Gus Logie, Stephen Waugh, Hashan Tillakaratne, Daryll Cullinan and Rahul Dravid all suffered the disappointment of a 90 without the assuagement of a century in between on 3 occasions.
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