January 16, 2018

Which Indian player has scored the most hundreds in South Africa?

And have four bowlers taken more than 20 wickets each in a Test series before this Ashes?

Jason Roy now holds the record for the highest score against Australia in a home ODI © Associated Press

Was Jason Roy's 180 the highest score in a one-day international against Australia at home? asked Steve Rafferty from Japan
Jason Roy's 180 for England against Australia in Melbourne at the weekend smashed several records. It was England's highest in ODIs, previously his team-mate Alex Hales' 171 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 2016, and was indeed the highest score against Australia in a home ODI, beating Rohit Sharma's 171 not out for India in Perth in January 2016.

The previous best at the MCG was Mark Waugh's 173 for Australia v West Indies in February 2001.

The only higher score in a one-day international in Australia is Chris Gayle's 215 for West Indies against Zimbabwe in Canberra during the 2015 World Cup.

Was England's 308 the other day the highest successful run chase at the MCG? asked Bob Heath from Australia
Rather surprisingly perhaps, England's 308 for 5 on Sunday was the first time any team had successfully chased a target of over 300 at the MCG. The previous highest was Australia's 297 for 4 to beat England in January 2011, while the best by a visiting team in Melbourne was previously West Indies' 273 for 6 to beat Australia in February 1985.

Which Indian player has scored the most Test hundreds in South Africa? asked Nayim Yadav from India
This list is a bit of a one-man show: Sachin Tendulkar scored five Test hundreds in South Africa, and - prior to the current series, anyway - no one else had made more than one. Tendulkar, who played 15 Tests in South Africa, hit 111 as a 19-year-old in Johannesburg in 1992-93, and added 169 (still India's highest in South Africa) in Cape Town in 1996-97, 155 in Bloemfontein in 2001-02, and 111 not out in Centurion and 146 in Cape Town in 2010-11.

At the time of writing, Virat Kohli had made two hundreds in South Africa, and seven other Indian batsmen had scored one each: Pravin Amre, Mohammad Azharuddin, Rahul Dravid, Wasim Jaffer, Kapil Dev, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virender Sehwag.

Sachin Tendulkar scored hundreds in four of his five series in South Africa © Getty Images

Was Rishabh Pant's hundred the other day the fastest in T20 matches? asked Dennis Morgan from Finland
Rishabh Pant's century from just 32 balls, for Delhi against Himachal Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match in Delhi at the weekend, was actually the second-fastest in all T20 matches. The name on top of the list is hardly a surprise: Chris Gayle reached his hundred for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors in Bangalore during the 2013 IPL in just 30 deliveries. Gayle finished with 175 not out - still the highest score in any senior T20 match from 66 balls, with 17 sixes and 13 fours.

Four Australian bowlers took more than 20 wickets in the recent Ashes series. Has this ever happened before? asked Gerry Donaldson from England
There has only been one previous five-Test series in which four bowlers from the same side finished with 20 or more wickets: in the 2006-07 Ashes, Stuart Clark took 26, Shane Warne 23, Glenn McGrath 21 and Brett Lee 20 for Australia. In 1995 in England, Ian Bishop took 27 wickets, Courtney Walsh 26, Kenny Benjamin 23 and Curtly Ambrose 21 for West Indies - but that was a six-Test rubber.

This time, as Englishmen will hardly need reminding, Pat Cummins took 23 wickets, Mitchell Starc 22, and Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon both 21. No other Australian bowler claimed a wicket - a record for any five-Test series.

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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes

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