Does any player have more hundreds in Test defeats than Joe Root?

Yashasvi Jaiswal batted pretty firmly during his fifty AFP/Getty Images

Yashasvi Jaiswal had scored 971 runs in 15 innings after the fourth Test. Has anyone ever had more after 15? asked Suhail Badrinath from India
Only seven men have had more runs after 15 Test innings than Yashasvi Jaiswal's 971. He's not far behind the West Indians Frank Worrell (980) and Lawrence Rowe (983). Then there are five in four figures: the leading Indian, Vinod Kambli (1005), Australia's Neil Harvey (1045), Herbert Sutcliffe of England (1050) and another West Indian, Everton Weekes. And as I seem to say so often, it's not a great surprise to find one name well clear at the top: Don Bradman had no fewer than 1445 runs after his first 15 Test innings.

With the final Test in Dharamsala looming, to move up the list Jaiswal would need to have more than Worrell's 1116 runs after 17 innings. Harvey had 1118, Rowe 1131, Sutcliffe 1158, Weekes 1251, Graeme Smith 1258… and Bradman 1471. Six other men had more than 1000 runs after 17: Len Hutton (1077), Harry Brook (1028), Gary Ballance (1019), Kambli (1011), Sid Barnes (1010) and George Headley (1009),

Mumbai's last two batters scored centuries in the Ranji Trophy the other day. Has this ever happened before? asked Satyam Sinha from India, and several others
Mumbai were 337 for 9 in their recent Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Baroda in Mumbai when last man Tushar Deshpande joined Tanush Kotian. Neither had scored a first-class century before, but by the time Deshpande was out for 123 Mumbai had advanced to 569; Kotian was left with 120 not out.

There's only one more instance of Nos. 10 and 11 both scoring centuries in the same first-class innings. It also involved two Indian players - but a long way from the Mumbai maidans. In the third match of the 1946 tour of England, against Surrey at The Oval, the Indians had an undistinguished 205 for 9 when last man Shute Banerjee joined the No. 10, Chandu Sarwate. Both of them were actually reasonably accomplished batters: Sarwate finished his career with 14 first-class hundreds, and Banerjee with five.

In 1946, against an attack containing Alec Bedser - soon to make his Test debut - the last pair more than doubled the score. They eventually put on 249 before Banerjee fell for 121, leaving Sarwate with 124 not out. "Both gave masterly displays and neither at any time appeared in difficulties," thought Wisden. The watching John Arlott was also impressed: "The stand was chanceless; Sarwate sent one streaky shot through slips but no catch went to hand. The two men batted capably and correctly, defending well against Bedser, who bowled industriously, and scoring chiefly in front of the wicket by strokes made out of confidence and with no trace of last-wicket anxiety." The Indians went on to win the match, and Arlott concluded: "The last-wicket stand changed the team's outlook from that of 16 newcomers to that of a team playing the game at which they excelled in their own country."

Going back to the recent match in Mumbai, Deshpande's century was only the 13th by a No. 11 in all first-class cricket, the highest being 163 by the England legspinner Peter Smith for Essex against Derbyshire at Chesterfield in 1947. In last week's game, Hardik Tamore also scored a century, after going in first: it was only the second time the No. 1 and No. 11 had scored a century in the same first-class innings, after Ferozuddin (133) and Ahsan-ul-Haq (an unbeaten 100 in 40 minutes from No. 11) for Muslims against Sikhs in Lahore in 1923-24.

Bhargav Bhatt took 14 wickets for 312 runs in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final. Was this the most expensive such haul? asked Minal Acharya from India
Baroda's slow left-armer Bhargav Bhatt had figures of 7 for 112 and 7 for 200 in the Ranji quarter-final in Mumbai mentioned above.

The database-crunchers on the Ask Steven page on Facebook soon tuned up their fingers. Pete Church from Australia worked out there had been only four more expensive ten-fors in first-class cricket: another Indian spinner, CS Nayudu, had eye-watering figures of 11 for 428 (6 for 153 and 5 for 275) for Holkar against Bombay in the Ranji Trophy final at the Brabourne Stadium in March 1945; the great Australian Test legspinner Clarrie Grimmett took 10 for 394 (4 for 192 and 6 for 202) for South Australia against New South Wales in Sydney in 1926; another Aussie, offspinner Jason Krejza collected 12 for 358 (8 for 215 and 4 for 143) on his Test debut against India in Nagpur in 2008; and Norman Williams, another legspinner from South Australia, had 11 for 326 (6 for 134 and 5 for 192) against Victoria in Adelaide in 1928. The Sri Lankan slow left-armer Sandaken Pathirana also conceded 312 runs in taking 11 wickets (8 for 184 and 3 for 128) for Moors against Colts in Colombo in 2018.

The most runs previously conceded in taking 14 or more in a match was 289, by Grimmett in the course of 16 wickets (9 for 180 and 7 for 109) for South Australia against Queensland in Adelaide in 1934. The most for exactly 14 wickets was 271 (8 for 119 and 6 for 152), by the Uttar Pradesh seamer Ashish Zaidi against Haryana in a Ranji Trophy quarter-final in Faridabad in 1991. (Thanks to Charles Davis for that one.)

After Joe Root's hundred in defeat against India in Ranchi, I wondered which batter had the most Test centuries in a losing cause? asked Thiagarajan Kaushik from India
Joe Root's unbeaten 122 in the fourth match of the current series in Ranchi was his 31st century in Tests. Of those, 20 have come in victories, seven in draws, and only four in defeats.

That puts Root fairly low down on the list you're asking about: some 24 batters have scored five or more hundreds in Test defeats. Top of the pile is Brian Lara, who made no fewer than 14 centuries in losing causes; Sachin Tendulkar made 11, Shivnarine Chanderpaul nine, and Mohammad Yousuf eight.

I was pleased to see Ireland win a Test recently. We seem to have a high turnover of players - how many men have appeared in all Ireland's Test matches? asked Patrick Newton from Ireland
Ireland have so far used 29 players in their eight men's Tests, and the only one to appear in all of them - including the victory over Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi last week - is the current captain Andy Balbirnie. Offspinner Andy McBrine played in seven, and batters James McCollum and Paul Stirling in six. Here's the list of most Tests played by Ireland cricketers.

Ireland got off the mark with a win in their eighth men's Test. Australia are the only country to win their first (the first of all, against England in Melbourne in 1877). England (also in 1877), Pakistan (1952) and Afghanistan (2019) all won their second Test, and West Indies (1930) their sixth.

All the other countries took longer in terms of matches: Zimbabwe won their 11th Test (1995), South Africa their 12th (1906), Sri Lanka their 14th (1985), India their 25th (1952), Bangladesh their 35th (2005), and New Zealand their 45th (1956, some 26 years after their first).

While we're talking about Ireland, we should mention that their women's team won an official Test match - the only one they've played so far - back in 2000, when they defeated Pakistan in Dublin in July 2000.

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