Have both openers ever been out first ball in a Test innings?

England played three Tests - two against West Indies and one against Pakistan - successively at the biosecure Old Trafford recently Getty Images

Old Trafford just staged three successive Test matches - has any ground done this before? asked Gordon Wilson from England
It's the first time England have played three successive Tests at the same ground since 1905-06, when the first three matches of their South African tour all took place at the old Wanderers ground in Johannesburg. Oddly, there was more than two months between the first and second Tests in that long-ago series.

England also did it in 1886-87 and 1887-88, when they played three in a row in Sydney (they had no Tests at home in 1887), and in Melbourne in 1876-77 and 1878-79 (the first three Tests of all). The only other instance - and the overall record - was set by Zimbabwe, who played five successive Tests at the Harare Sports Club between April 2013 and August 2014 (two against Bangladesh and Pakistan, and one against South Africa).

England made four changes between the first and second Tests against West Indies. When was the last time they made four or more changes mid-series? asked Mike Sowerby from England
It looks like 20 years since England last made four changes to their team for successive Tests in mid-series. In 2000, also against West Indies, they made four alterations between the first Test at Edgbaston, and the second at Lord's - and then made four more changes for the third Test at Old Trafford.

It wasn't mid-series, obviously, but last year England made five changes to their team between the third Test against West Indies in St Lucia in February, and their next Test, against Ireland at Lord's in July 2019.

The England record for mid-series changes was set in 1950, when there were no fewer than eight differences between the sides for the third Test against West Indies, at Trent Bridge, and the fourth and final Test at The Oval. It didn't help much: West Indies won both matches by wide margins.

In 1884-85, Australia changed their side entirely between the first Test in Adelaide, and the second in Melbourne, after a pay dispute.

Don Bradman's 6996 Test runs include seven ducks. Has any player scored more Test runs than the Don with fewer ducks? asked Joel Pojas from the Philippines
My first thought was that no one would have scored more Test runs than Don Bradman with fewer ducks, but actually that was emphatically not the case. Steve Smith has so far made 7227 runs with only four ducks, while Wally Hammond (7249 runs) and Clive Lloyd (7515) were only out for nought four times as well. Mark Taylor's 7525 runs included five ducks, including a pair in his first match as captain, while David Gower made 8231 with a Bradman-equalling seven zeroes.

But well clear at the top of this particular table is Pakistan's Javed Miandad, whose 8832 runs in Tests included only six ducks.

Have both openers ever been out first ball in a Test innings? asked Krishna Shah from India
The ESPNcricinfo database throws up four cases of both openers falling first ball in a Test innings - it's possible there are one or two more, from matches where we don't have full ball-by-ball details. The first one was in Christchurch in 1932-33, when England's openers Herbert Sutcliffe and Eddie Paynter both bagged golden ducks, with the New Zealand seamer Dennis Smith taking a wicket with his first ball in Tests (he never managed another one). But No. 3 Wally Hammond made up for it with 227, as England ran up 560.

The next known instance came at Headingley in 1982, when Pakistan's openers Mohsin Khan and Mudassar Nazar both fell first ball in Bob Willis' first over in the second innings. Something similar happened in Centurion in August 2016, when Tom Latham and Martin Guptill both bagged first-ball ducks in Dale Steyn's first over of New Zealand's second innings against South Africa.

Which Australian player was not dismissed twice by Jim Laker when he took 19 wickets in a Test at Old Trafford? asked Ian Hugo from Nigeria
The England offspinner Jim Laker famously took 19 Australian wickets in the Ashes Test at Old Trafford in 1956 (no one else has managed more than 17 in a Test). Slow left-armer Tony Lock took the other wicket - Jim Burke early in the first innings - and Ray Lindwall and Ian Johnson remained not out in the two innings. So Laker dismissed eight Aussies twice - including Neil Harvey and Ken Mackay for pairs - and the other three batsmen once each.

Use our feedback form or the Ask Steven Facebook page to ask your stats and trivia questions