Ask Bearders #184
Welcome to Ask Bearders, where Test Match Special statistician Bill "The Bearded Wonder" Frindall answers your questions on all things cricket.
Below are Bill's responses to some of your questions posed at the end of his last column and if you have a question for Bill, leave it at the end of this blog entry. Please do include your country of residence - Bill loves to hear where all his correspondents are posting from.
Bill isn't able to answer all of your questions, however. BBC Sport staff will choose a selection of them and send them to Bearders for him to answer.
Q. Am I right in thinking that, following A.B. de Villiers's recent duck against Bangladesh, James Anderson now has the longest Test career without getting a duck? Also, I was recently amusingly told that Geraint Jones went his entire Test career without getting a duck, until succumbing to a pair in his last appearance. Is this accurate? BarrellChestedDave
Bearders' Answer: Anderson (44 innings) is level with Australia's J.W. ('Jim') Burke (1950-51 to 1958-59) but one behind Pakistan's Yasir Hamid.
De Villiers enjoyed a record 78 innings before his first duck. Your Jones statement is correct; he batted 51 times before bagging a pair in his final two innings.
Q. I was surprised to see that Brett Lee's match analysis of 9 for 171 was the best of his Test career. Is his career total of 308 wickets (before Boxing Day Test) the most by a bowler who has never taken ten wickets in a Test match? Richie76
Bearders' Answer: No, but only England's R.G.D. ('Bob') Willis with 325 wickets has taken more without claiming ten in a match.
Q. Which bowler has the most caught and bowled in Tests and limited-overs internationals? MidmorningWarning
Bearders' Answer: The Test record is currently held by India's Anil Kumble with 35 catches off his own bowling but Muthiah Muralitharan (32 before Sri Lanka's current rubber in Bangladesh) is close behind. No other bowler has held more than 21.
Murali (29) shares the record in internationals with New Zealand's Chris Harris. Pakistan's Saqlain Mushtaq (20) is the only other bowler to exceed 18.
Murali (61) holds the combined Test/international record ahead of Kumble (53).
Q. How often has England lost a Test having declared in their second innings and set their opponents a target in the fourth innings of the match? Before Madras recently, when was the last time this happened? Censura
Bearders' Answer: England has now lost three matches after declaring their second innings, the others being against Australia at Leeds in 1948 and against West Indies at Lord's in 1984.
Ignoring the infamous Cronje forfeiture of 1999-2000, there have been 11 instances, the most recent before Madras being South Africa's against Australia at Sydney in 2005-06.
Q. Sachin Tendulkar recently broke Brian Lara's aggregate record for Test runs but a West Indian friend of mine said the vast majority of these were made at home on India's flat batting tracks. His underlying assertion is that Lara's record was greater given that he scored more runs abroad (even though his 400 and 375 were made at home). What are the stats for the number of runs made by the two respectively on home soil? James, Trinidad and Tobago
Bearders' Answer: The figures below show that your friend is wrong. Notably Lara's away average is 10 runs lighter than his home one whereas Tendulkar's differs by just one run.
Inns Runs Avge 100
111 6217 58.65 17
Inns Runs Avge 100
119 5695 48.26 17
Inns Runs Avge 100
115 5608 54.98 18
Inns Runs Avge 100
141 6821 53.71 23
Q. I know that Shane Warne has scored the most Test runs (3,142) without ever getting a century (his nearest challengers, Vaas and Kumble, both got centuries recently), but which batsman has scored the most runs without ever getting a fifty? Jonathan Ellis
Bearders' Answer: Waqar Younis is your man. He scored 1,010 runs, average 10.20, in 120 innings, with a top score of 45. His nearest challenger is Fred Trueman with 981 runs, average 13.82, from 85 innings and a highest score of only 39 not out.
Q. Is the length of a cricket pitch called a "run" (we have a 50/50 split at work)? ncollyer
Bearders' Answer: The 50 who said it wasn't called a run were correct! Nor has it ever been. The pitch is the distance (22 yards or one chain - the latter being a linear unit for measuring land) between the two sets of stumps. The distance necessary to score a run is only that between the inside of the two popping creases which are set four feet in front of the stumps.
Q. I have been wondering about Ian Botham's record when playing for Queensland in the late Eighties. Did he score any hundreds or claim any five-wicket hauls? What were his averages? Did he play for them for just one season? David Gunner
Bearders' Answer: Wonder no more. Sir Ian appeared in 11 first-class matches for Queensland, all in 1987-88, scoring 646 runs (avge 34.00) and taking 29 wickets (avge 27.75). He failed to score a hundred or to take five wickets in an innings. The highest of his seven fifties was 70 against Western Australia at Perth and his best bowling analysis was 3 for 12.
Q. Allan Border once had scores of 98 not out and 100 in the same Test against West Indies. Is this the only instance of a batsman scoring a hundred and remaining unbeaten in the 90s in the same Test? Prashant, New York
Bearders' Answer: Border (at Port-of-Spain in 1983-84) is the only Australian to do this but four other batsmen (two apiece from England and West Indies) have achieved this unusual double: Gary Sobers (Georgetown 1967-68), Mike Atherton (Christchurch 1996-97), Shiv Chanderpaul (Lord's 2004) and Andrew Strauss (Port Elizabeth 2004-05).
Q. With the recent call up to the England squad of Kent's Amjad Khan, has there ever been a Danish-born Test player? Alan Glaum
Bearders' Answer: No Test cricketer has been born in Denmark and only one has died near there. J.W.H.T. (Johnny) Douglas was drowned at sea attempting to save his father after their ship collided with another in fog seven miles south of the Laeso Trindel lightship in December 1930.
Q. How do the methods of dismissal of the current top three Test wicket-takers (Muralitharan, Warne and Kumble) differ from each other? Sirianblog
Bearders' Answer: Before Murali's appearances in the current Bangladesh v Sri Lanka series, their dismissals were as follows:
Tests Wickets B Ct LBW St Hit Wkt
Muralitharan 122 751 160 403 143 44 1
Warne 145 708 116 418 138 36 0
Kumble 132 619 94 345 156 24 0
Q. My great-grandmother (aged 98) claims that her brother played cricket for Surrey, possibly as a wicket-keeper. His name was Jack Brown. Can you find him in your records? Isaac Dunn, England
Bearders' Answer: Sadly, I cannot find a Jack Brown who played for Surrey. A grand total of 38 players are listed as 'J.Brown' on the Cricket Archive website but none played for Surrey. The county's own register of first-class cricketers includes only one Brown who played in the first half of the 20th century - F.R. ('Freddie') Brown who appeared for Surrey (1931-48) before captaining Northamptonshire and England.