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Previous answers:

Ask the Expert

The Answers :

10th April, 2002

Name: CN Sankaran
Question: Name the cricketer from New Zealand who is a medical practitioner and has played Test cricket.

Answer 1: He is British-born New Zealander Dr Justin Vaughan, who appeared in six Test matches from 1992-93 to 1996-97 for New Zealand as a left handed batsman and right arm medium pace bowler. A qualified doctor, he gave up his job as a house surgeon at an Auckland hospital to concentrate for a time on his cricket. He has also appeared in 18 ODI matches from 1992 to 1996.

Name: Sunil Manoharan
Question: Do the numbers on players' T-shirts represent something or are they just numbers? For example, Sachin always wears a number 10 T-shirt.

Answer 2: Just as they do in football and hockey, these numbers are indicated for the identification of the players on the field, for the benefit of spectators, scorers and commentators. Such lists with these numbers are normally provided to the scorers and commentators with the names of the players mentioned against each number.

Though these numbers are vital in the game of football and hockey (since the referee uses these numbers to book players for penalties etc), in cricket the players make a mockery of this system as very often we see that the players use the shirts of their collegues with not just numbers but also their names.

Name: Robin
Question: Mr. Menon I would like to know which bowler (and how many times) has been most successful in getting Sachin Tendulkar out in Test matches? Second part of the question is the same, but in ODIs? Thank you and best regards, Robin Subramaniam

Answer 3: In Test matches, Hansie Cronje, Allan Donald and Glenn McGrath have dismissed Tendulkar on most occasions - five. In ODIs, Courtney Walsh, Azhar Mahmood, Chaminda Vaas and Heath Streak have dismissed Tendulkar on most occasions - six.

Name: Amit
Question: dear Mr Menon, why is it that the cricket season in England is denoted by a single calendar year for eg. 2001 while that in other countries as a double year -- like 2001-02. Is it a convention and why?

Answer 4: In England, the cricket season starts from April and ends in September of the same year, hence the cricket season in England is denoted by a single calendar year -- eg. 2001. However, for other countries, the cricket season begins during September-October and ends in April-May of the next year. Since two separate calendar years are involved for one cricket season we mention it as 2001-02.

Name: Gans
Question: Dear Mr.Menon, I wish to know how many times an allrounder has opened the bowling (by bowling the first ball of the innings) and batting (facing the first bowled in the innnigs) for both Test matches and ODIs? And please indicate the elite Indians who form part of this list.

Answer 5: In both Tests and ODIs, India's former all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar holds the record of opening the batting and bowling in the same match on most occasions than any other player.

Name: Vinay
Question: Dear Menon, I would like to know how does the pitch has its effects on the bowling --- meaning what is the significance of grass being on the pitch or it having cracks? How do we know that the pitch will turn (aid spin bowling) after two days or aid batsmen even before the match is started? It could be science but would like to know.

Answer 6: Frankly speaking, I do not think anyone has really mastered the art of pitch reading before the start of the match. You must have noticed on television that none of the "expert" former international cricketers have been able to read the exact nature of the wicket acurately.

Nearly 95 per cent of these cricketers have been proved wrong. In fact, I do not think even the curators have been able to provide the right answers. Most often it is just based on guess work and past records and results at a particular venue.

The significance of grass being on the pitch means that it would help seam bowlers to swing the ball and a wicket having cracks means that the bounce on the pitch could be unpreditable when the ball is pitched on the cracks.

Name: Hirenlalu
Question: Why are no Indian players awarded the title "Sir". I mean, made cricketing knights. What is the reason behind that? We have three great cicketers -- Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, and the great Sachin Tendulkar. Gavaskar has played against all types of attacks. There is no allrounder in the world like Kapil Dev, who took 434 wickets and scored more than 5000 runs in Test matches. And as you know about Sachin. I can't understand what is reason behind that?

Answer 7: The knighthood is generally conferred by a nation or a head of state on nobility or people who have performed meritorious service. The British monarch usually confers this honour on any person on new year's day within the Commonwealth nations whose head of state is the British sovereign - countries such as Australia and New Zealand are still having constitutional ties with the British monarchy.

When India became independent in 1947, it became a republic and hence none of the Indians, be it for sports or otherwise were conferred the knighthood since then.

In fact, the only Indian Test cricketer to be knighted was Maharaj Kumar Vizianagaram in 1936. However, he was conferred this honour not for his exploits in the sport but for political reasons. Moreover, now-a-days such titles are not of importance as the greatness of a cricketer is not judged by his knighthood, it is a mere cosmetic title.

Name: Hirelalu
Question: Which players have played more than 50 Test matches or 100 one-day matches, but haven't won any man-of-the-match award?

Answer 8: Australian Craig McDermott (138 matches) and South African Dave Richardson (122 matches) are the only players to have appeared in over 100 ODI matches and not receive a man-of-the-match award during their career. As for Test players, there are several cricketers who have not received such an award. Moreover, such awards came into force in Tests only in the 1980s.

Name: Ram
Question: Hi Menon, Gavaskar had an average of 150-plus in his debut series against the West Indians. Is there any other player who has a better average in his debut with more than 500 runs.

Answer 9: Sunil Gavaskar's 774 runs and batting average of 154.80 are both Test records for a debutant in a series. Pakistani Javed Miandad's batting average of 126.00, while scoring 504 runs in his debut series against New Zealand in 1976 is the second best.

Name: Jeevan
Question: My question is: what is the difference between leg spin and googly? Does it depend on how the ball is delivered from the bowlers fingers or something else?

Answer 10: A leg-break is a ball which turns on the pitch from the leg-side to the off, while a Googly is a ball bowled out of the right hand with what looks like a leg-break action, but which spins as an off-break when hitting the ground & so turns "the wrong way", contrary to the batsman's expectations




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  Previous answers:
1st April, 2002
- 21st March, 2002
- 12th March, 2002
- 1st March, 2002
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- 9th February, 2002
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