Is England's 0-7 away losing streak their worst ever?

Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are one of 16 pairs of batsmen to make double-centuries in the same innings of a Test Getty Images

The new West Indian batsman Sunil Ambris was out hit wicket in two of his first three Test innings. Was this unique? asked David George from New Zealand
Sunil Ambris uniquely hit his own wicket to the first ball he received in Test cricket, from New Zealand's Neil Wagner in Wellington recently. After getting off the mark in the second innings with a six, he then hit his wicket again in the first innings of the second Test, in Hamilton. To complete the unusual start to his Test career, Ambris retired hurt in the second innings.

As to whether it was unique, that's problematic: most published scorecards suggest it was, but actually I think it might have happened before - to another West Indian. In his maiden Test innings, against England in Bridgetown in 1929-30, the great George Headley is shown, on ESPNcricinfo and elsewhere, as bowled. But Wisden 1931 records the dismissal as hit wicket, and the rare 1974 Jamaican biography of Headley says of that debut innings: "But he was batting too close to the wicket; this was dangerous because he had a high backlift. When, finally, a ball came off the pitch very slowly his bat hit the wicket and he was out."

Bill Ponsford, the prolific Australian, was out hit wicket in successive innings in his final Test series, in England in 1934. He probably wasn't too bothered, though, as he had 181 and 266 at the time!

England have now lost seven overseas Tests in a row. Is this their worst ever run? asked James Lavender from England
Seven away defeats in a row - four in India last winter, and the first three Ashes Tests this time - equals England's worst ever run. In 1992-93 they lost three in India and one in Sri Lanka, then the following winter lost the first three Tests in the West Indies. And there's worrying news for England fans planning to turn up (possibly in disguise) for the Boxing Day Test at the MCG: Australia have now won their last eight Ashes Tests at home, equalling their best ever run - a 5-0 whitewash in 1920-21, followed by the first three matches of the next series, in 1924-25.

How often have England scored 400 in the first innings of a Test and lost by an innings, as they did at the WACA? asked Michael Peters from England
The remarkable turnaround in Perth was only the ninth time England had reached 400 in the opening innings of a Test and lost. Four of those were by an innings - and three of them have been in the last 13 months. In the fourth Test in Mumbai last December, England opened up with exactly 400, but lost by an innings after India made 631. A week later, in Chennai, England managed 477 - and again lost by an innings after India's 759 for 7. The only other time it happened was back in 1930, when England scored 405 at The Oval, but lost to Australia, whose 695 featured 232 from Don Bradman.

It's only happened twice to other countries: in Cardiff in 2011 Sri Lanka opened up with 400 but lost to England (496 for 5) by an innings and 14 runs, while in Melbourne in 2016-17, Pakistan lost to Australia (624 for 8) by an innings and 18 despite opening the match with 443 for 9 declared.

In all there have been 47 occasions when a team has scored 400 or more in the opening innings of a Test but ended up losing. The highest total among them is Bangladesh's 595 for 8 declared against New Zealand in Wellington in January 2017. If you included any first innings - the first or second innings of the match - there have been 79 occasions when 400-plus was not enough to avoid defeat, 16 of them by both England and Australia, and nine by India.

It didn't quite happen in Perth, but how often have two players made a double-century in the same Ashes innings? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan from England
Mitchell Marsh's eventual departure for 181 in the third Test in Perth at the weekend meant there have still been only two Ashes Test innings which contained two double-centuries. And it's no great surprise that Don Bradman featured in both of them: at The Oval in 1934 he scored 244 and Bill Ponsford 266, while in Sydney in 1946-47 both Bradman and Sid Barnes made 234.

In all Tests, there have been 16 instances of two double-centuries in the same innings, most recently by Ricky Ponting (221) and Michael Clarke (210) for Australia against India in Adelaide in 2011-12.

Shikhar Dhawan went past 4000 runs in one-day internationals the other day. Is he the fastest Indian player to reach this milestone? asked Richard Daniels from Bahrain
Shikhar Dhawan reached 4000 runs in ODIs during his rapid undefeated 100 against Sri Lanka in Visakhapatnam at the weekend. It was his 95th innings, in his 96th match. The only Indian to get there quicker is Virat Kohli, in 93 innings, although he also did it in his 96th match. The overall record is 81 innings (84 matches) by Hashim Amla: Viv Richards (88), Joe Root (91) and David Warner (93) also reached 4000 in fewer innings than Dhawan.

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