How many bowlers have dismissed a father and a son in Tests?


In Dominica, R Ashwin bowled Tagenarine Chanderpaul, having already dismissed his father in a Test. How many people have achieved this double? asked Ahson Atif from India, among others
India’s R Ashwin completed this rare feat by bowling Tagenarine Chanderpaul in the first Test against West Indies in Roseau last week; he’d dismissed Tagenarine’s father, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, four times in Tests in 2011 and 2013.

Ashwin was the fifth bowler to dismiss a father and a son in a Test. The previous two also involved the Chanderpauls: Mitchell Starc of Australia, and the South African offspinner Simon Harmer have also accounted for both. The first two cases involved the New Zealanders Lance and Chris Cairns, who were both dismissed by Ian Botham and Wasim Akram.

Did Yashasvi Jaiswal break the record for the highest score by an opener on Test debut? asked Priyanth Kumar from India
The Indian opener Yashasvi Jaiswal scored 171 on his Test debut against West Indies in Roseau last week. He was the 17th Indian to score a century on Test debut, and the third opener.

The highest score by any opener on debut is 201 not out, by Sri Lanka’s Brendon Kuruppu, against New Zealand in Colombo in 1986-87. The only other double-century – and the highest by a left-hander – was Devon Conway’s 200 for New Zealand against England at Lord’s in 2021.

Next, and the highest for India, comes the 187 of Shikhar Dhawan, against Australia in Mohali in 2012-13.

Earlier this summer Pat Cummins won three successive Tests after losing the toss. Was this a record? asked Rahul Sompura on Facebook
Although Pat Cummins lost the toss in the World Test Championship final against India and the first two Ashes Tests, Australia won all three matches. This turns out to be the 15th occasion a captain has lost the toss but won three Tests in a row. There are five cases of four – by Australia’s Warwick Armstrong (starting in 1921), Viv Richards (1988-89), Stephen Fleming (2005-06), Graeme Smith (2008-09) and Steven Smith (2017-18). But leading the way, with five successive Tests won after losing the toss, is MS Dhoni, in a sequence that started in 2013. Shivnarine Chanderpaul lost seven successive Tests after losing the toss, starting in 2005-06.

This strikes me as a rather contrived record, as it relies on the captain being repeatedly unlucky at the toss, which is unusual – even though England’s Nasser Hussain once lost ten tosses in a row (Dhoni and Sunil Gavaskar come next, with nine). Perhaps a better marker is successive Tests won after losing the toss (ignoring matches where the toss was won); Australia won 12 in a row in which Ricky Ponting lost the toss from 2007-08, and South Africa 11 under Graeme Smith (starting 2008-09). Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh lost eight successive Tests in which he won the toss, starting in 2018.

What is the lowest number of wickets a team has lost while winning a Test match? asked Sanket Amdalli from the United Arab Emirates
There have now been five Test matches in which the winning side lost only two wickets, all of them innings victories. The most recent was by South Africa (637 for 2 declared) over England (385 and 240) at The Oval in 2012, in the match in which Hashim Amla scored 311 not out. South Africa also beat Bangladesh in Chattogram in April 2003 while losing only two wickets.

The first three instances were all by England: against South Africa at Lord’s in 1924, New Zealand at Headingley in 1958, and India at Edgbaston in 1974.

There are 11 further Tests in which the winning side lost only three wickets, the most recent by Sri Lanka against Ireland in Galle earlier this year.

George Headley played Test cricket against Wilfred Rhodes, who made his debut in 1899, and also against Tom Graveney, whose last Test was in 1969 – a total span of 70 years. Has any other Test player covered a longer period with opponents and/or team-mates? asked Stephen Parker from Australia
The 70-year span you mention for the great West Indian George Headley actually comes in second on this particular list: in his first Test, England’s Wilfred Rhodes played alongside WG Grace (debut 1880) and in 1929-30, against Headley, who played on till 1953-54, a total span of more than 73 years.

Freddie Brown of England played alongside Frank Woolley (debut August 1909) and Brian Close, whose last match was in July 1976 – a span of almost 67 years. George Gunn played against Australia’s Syd Gregory (debut 1890) and Headley, whose last Test was in 1953-54 (total span more than 63 years), while Woolley played against Gregory and with Brown, whose last Test was in 1953 (span almost 63 years. Here’s the list of the longest Test careers .

Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo’s stats team helped with some of the above answers.

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