Ask Steven

Does Yashasvi Jaiswal now hold the record for most sixes in a Test series?

And has anyone dismissed a centurion with their first ball as Ben Stokes did in Dharamsala?

Steven Lynch


Rohit Sharma’s 19 sixes against South Africa in 2019 were the most in a Test series before Jaiswal’s 26  •  BCCI

Yashasvi Jaiswal hit a lot of sixes in the Tests against England. Has anyone ever hit more in a single series? asked Birjit Singh from India
The Indian opener Yashasvi Jaiswal collected 26 sixes in the just-concluded series against England, which is easily a record. The previous-best was 19, by his opening partner Rohit Sharma, in only three matches against South Africa in India in 2019-20.

The West Indian left-hander Shimron Hetmyer clattered 15 sixes in just two Tests in Bangladesh in 2018-19 (90 of his 222 runs came from sixes), while England’s Ben Stokes hit 15 in the 2023 Ashes series.

It should be noted that ESPNcricinfo does not have full details for many early Tests. However, six-hitting was much rarer in the past, so it’s rather unlikely there are any additions. For the list as far as we know, click here.

Has there ever been a Test match in which one player had more caps than all his team-mates combined? asked Tanmay from India
It turns out this is rather more common then I realised: there have now been 45 occasions when one player had more caps going into a Test than the rest of his team-mates put together. Quite a few of these date from early in the various countries’ Test histories. The most recent instance is a good example: in Ireland’s inaugural Test, against Pakistan in Malahide in May 2018, ten of their side were making their debuts, but fast bowler Boyd Rankin had one cap, for England in Sydney in 2013-14.

Perhaps the most notable instance of this was in the final two matches of Sachin Tendulkar’s illustrious career. Going in to his 200th and final Test, against West Indies in Mumbai in November 2013, Tendulkar had 199 caps, while his Indian team-mates had 177 between them. In the previous Test, in Kolkata, it was 198 vs 167.

I’m not going to mention every case, but the first time it involved someone with more than 50 caps was England’s side against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1929-30, when Frank Woolley had played 55 Tests and his team-mates had a grand total of four caps between them (there were six debutants, and the other four had all played once). And when England took on Australia at Trent Bridge in 1993, Graham Gooch had 103 caps to his name before the match, while his team-mates had a combined total of 102. Many thanks to the database skills of Ian Hill, a regular on the Ask Steven Facebook page, for these interesting details.

What’s the earliest anyone has been stumped in a Test innings? asked Rajiv Radhakrishnan from England
I have to repeat the line about the ESPNcricinfo database lacking full ball-by-ball details from some Test matches, but it will be hard to beat the record of England’s Alastair Cook, who was stumped (by MS Dhoni off R Ashwin) from the fifth ball of England’s second innings as they chased a small total to win in Kolkata in 2012-13.

That was in the fourth innings of the match: the earliest in any Test that a batter was out stumped appears to be after just 15 deliveries of the first innings at Old Trafford in 1884, when the England captain Albert “Monkey” Hornby was stumped by Australia’s Jack Blackham off Harry Boyle.

That was one of only four occasions in Test matches when an opener has been stumped for a duck: the South African Louis Tancred did it twice, against England at Headingley in 1907 and at The Oval in 1912, while more than a century later it happened to the West Indian Kieran Powell, against Bangladesh in Chattogram in 2018-19. Powell was actually stumped from the first ball he faced, but it was the 16th of the innings.

Tim Southee and Kane Williamson both made their 100th Test appearance together in Christchurch a day after R Ashwin and Jonny Bairstow did the same in DharamsalaGetty Images

Jonny Bairstow and Ravichandran Ashwin both won their 100th Test caps at Dharamsala. Has there been a similar double in the same Test before? asked Daniel Madden from England
You’re right that both Jonny Bairstow of England and India’s R Ashwin clocked up heir 100th Test appearances in the fifth Test in Dharamsala. Remarkably, there was another instance the following day in Christchurch, when the New Zealand pair of Tim Southee and Kane Williamson also reached 100, becoming the 79th and 80th players to do so.

There had been three previous instances of more than one player reaching 100 caps in the same Test. In Perth in 2013-14, both Michael Clarke of Australia and England’s Alastair Cook got there, whileagainst West Indies at Old Trafford in 2000, the England pair of Mike Atherton and Alec Stewart both reached three figures (Stewart celebrated with a century with the bat).

However the record was set, appropriately enough, in Centurion, where three men won their 100th caps in the same Test in April 2006: Jacques Kallis and Shaun Pollock for South Africa, and Stephen Fleming for New Zealand.

Ben Stokes’ first ball in the series against India got rid of Rohit Sharma, who had 103. Has anyone else dismissed a century-maker with their first ball of a series? asked Neil Appleton from England
The England captain Ben Stokes hadn’t bowled in the series against India before he put himself on for the 62nd over of the first innings in the fifth Test in Dharamsala. His first delivery shivered the timbers of his opposite number, Rohit Sharma, who was bowled for 103, leading ESPNcricinfo’s ball-by-ball commentator to wonder who wrote Stokes’ scripts.

It turns out that this is a very rare feat indeed. Charles Davis, the Melbourne statistician who has re-scored many early Tests, could find only one other instance: Javed Miandad of Pakistan dismissed Australia’s Ian Davis for 105 (his only Test century) with his opening delivery in Adelaide on Boxing Day 1976 – the first ball he’d bowled in that series.

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Yashasvi JaiswalBen StokesNew ZealandEnglandIrelandIndiaIndia vs EnglandNew Zealand vs AustraliaIreland vs PakistanEngland in India

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

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