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Why is a Test match called test?

December 22, 2008 17:46 IST

Loads of questions arise in your mind regarding the game of cricket and its records. Our expert cricket statistician Rajneesh Gupta will answer your questions in this regular feature.

Here are a few questions answered:

Name: Yashasvi
Country: Australia
Question: Sanath Jaysuriya scored 189 against India at Sharjah in Oct 2000; the next highest in Sri Lanka's scorecard was Russell Arnold 54. Is this the highest ever margin between two top scores in same innings?

Rajneesh Gupta: Arnold made an unbeaten 52 in that match innings and not 54, which makes the difference between Jayasuriya and Arnold's scores even bigger – 137. However, it is only the fifth largest difference between two top scores in the same ODI innings.

When Viv Richards scored an unbeaten 189 against England at Manchester in May 1984, Eldine Baptiste was the next highest scorer with 26, giving a difference of 163.

During Saeed Anwar's world record 194 against India at Chennai in May 1997, the second highest was Inzamam-ul Haq's unbeaten 39 -- a difference of 155. Kapil Dev's marathon 175 not out against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells in June 1983 was accompanied by a paltry 24 not out by wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani -- a difference of 151.

Most recently, when M S Dhoni scored an unbeaten 183 against Sri Lanka at Jaipur in October 2005, Virender Sehwag, with 39, was the second highest scorer, which gives a difference of 144.


Name: Ritesh
Country: India
Question: The batsman goes out of his crease to hit a spinner out of the ground, he misses the trajectory of the ball and gets hit on the pad. The ball goes to the silly point fielder who throws it to the keeper. The keeper removes the bails in a flash with batsman still out of his crease while trying to get back. Will it be a run-out or a stumping?

Rajneesh Gupta: Only a wicket-keeper can stump a batsman. If some other fielder is involved in the dismissal, it is classified as a run-out.


Name: Pritam
Country: US
Question: If a batsman runs for more than 5 runs before the ball hits the fence for a boundary, how many run does the batsman (or team) get? 4 or 5?

Rajneesh Gupta: The batsman (and team) will get 5 runs in this case.


Name: Pallab Biswas
Country: India
Question: What is the record for scoring maximum runs in the fourth innings of a Test without losing a wicket to… 1. WIN THE TEST?  2. DRAW THE TEST? Please give the scores in details and also the date & venue of the Test.

Rajneesh Gupta: The highest fourth innings total without losing a wicket to win a Test is 172 by Australia against West Indies at Adelaide in 1930-31. There are six instances of a side chasing a fourth innings target of 100 or more without losing a single wicket.

The highest such total in a drawn Test is 250 by the West Indies against Australia at Georgetown in 1983-84 (while chasing a victory target of 323).


Name: Himanshu
Country: India
Question: Which batsman has the record for scoring max no. of pairs in Tests?

Rajneesh Gupta: New Zealand's Chris Martin holds this dubious distinction with five pairs in just 44 Tests. Five other players have recorded four pairs each. They are India's Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, West Indies' Courtney Walsh and Mervyn Dillon and Sri Lanka's Marvan Atapattu and Muttiah Muralitharan.


Name: Rajib Banerjee
Country: India
Question: Who is the youngest cricketer ever to lead a Test side?

Rajneesh Gupta: Tatenda Taibu was 20 years 358 days old when he led Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka at Harare in May 2004, which makes him the youngest player ever to lead a Test side.

Before Taibu, the Nawab of Pataudi of India held the record of being the youngest captain in Test cricket. He was 21 years 77 days old while captaining India for the first time -- against the West Indies at Bridgetown in March 1962.


Name: Sumeet
Country: India
Question: I want to know how many times India scored 300 or more in an ODI. How many times while batting first and how many times batting second. And how many times India won when scoring 300 or more.

Also tell me which cricket team has scored most 300s in ODIs.

Rajneesh Gupta: India have scored 300 or more in an ODI on 48 occasions. The break-up: Batting first -- 36 (won 31, lost 5); batting second -- 12  (won 8, lost 4).

Australia have 54 scores of 300 or more -- most by any side in ODIs.


Name: Subshushi
Country: India
Question: How many Indian Test/One-Day players are/were there who played just one match?

Rajneesh Gupta: Before the start of the Chennai Test, there were as many as 46 cricketers who appeared in only one Test for India. In ODIs 12 cricketers were confined to a solitary appearance.


Name: Sarry
Country: UK
Question: Why is a Test match called test?

Rajneesh Gupta: According to Michael Roundell's Dictionary of Cricket the word Test simply indicates that the series of games is regarded as a 'test' of strength of the two sides. He confirms that calling international cricket matches became the norm around ten years after what is now recognised as the first Test match, which was in 1877.

Some other sources mention that it seems to have been used first to describe an English team that toured Australia in 1861-62, although those matches are not considered Test matches today.


Name: Umar Farooq
Country: India
Question: A batsman gets retired hurt in the fourth innings of a match, does not get back to bat and his side loses the ninth wicket on the last ball of the match, having made 200 while chasing a target of 300. Has the batting side lost the match or drawn it?

Rajneesh Gupta: In the above scenario the match will end in a draw.