In this week's Did You Know, we dig up numbers on batsmen and bowlers who have been table-toppers in the most Test series.
9 Number of times Ricky Ponting was the highest run getter in a Test series, the most by a batsman. Sunil Gavaskar is next, topping the run charts in eight series followed by Ken Barrington and Javed Miandad with seven series each. Among current players, Virat Kohli and Steven Smith have topped the batting aggregates five times
16 Number of times Anil Kumble finished as the top wicket-taker in a series, the most by a bowler. Richard Hadlee did it in 15 series, Shane Warne 14 and Muttiah Muralitharan 12 times. Among the current bowlers, R Ashwin and James Anderson have been the top wicket-takers in nine series each.
14 Brian Lara was the top run scorer for West Indies in 14 Test series of three or more matches - the most by a batsman for a team. Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar did it 12 times for India. Among the bowlers, Hadlee was New Zealand's top wicket-taker in 21 out of the 23 series he played in, which is the highest for a bowler. Next is Kumble with 19 such instances.
2 Players who have the distinction of being the top run-scorer and the top wicket-taker in a series of three-plus matches - George Giffen and Ian Botham. Giffen scored 475 runs and took 34 wickets in the 1894 Ashes. Botham topped the charts with 212 runs and 13 wickets against Pakistan in 1978. Wasim Akram has done it once in a two-match series against Zimbabwe in 1996.
4 Number of times Botham has been England's top run-scorer and the top wicket-taker in a series. No other player has achieved this double more than once for his team. Botham did it against New Zealand in 1978, against Pakistan in 1978, against Australia in 1979 and in the1981 Ashes. Twelve other players have achieved the double once for their teams in series of three-plus matches. However, none has done it in the last 25 years: the last was Graeme Hick against India in 1993.
7 Consecutive series of three-plus matches that R Ashwin has been the top wicket-taker in - the only bowler to do so. His streak spanned 2015 to 2017, and included two series of one-off matches against Bangladesh. Hadlee and Warne are next with six series in a row. Hadlee had two other separate streaks of five consecutive series as the top wicket-taker. Hadlee was his team's top wicket-taker in 13 consecutive series between 1982 and 1987, which included two series of less than three matches.
3 The most consecutive series in which a batsman has been the highest run-scorer. Eight batsmen have achieved this. The first was Dilip Vengsarkar in the late 1980s, followed by Graham Gooch and Javed Miandad. Lara, Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir did so in the 2000s and Steven Smith and Kohli in the 2010s. George Headley and Lara have the record of top scoring for their teams in five consecutive series - the most.
11 Don Bradman played 11 series in his career spanning 20 years, and scored hundreds in each of them. Gavaskar comes next with ten consecutive series with centuries. Younis Khan did so in nine series in a row and Tendulkar in eight series. Kohli is the only batsman to score double-centuries in four consecutive series.
9 Most consecutive series a bowler has picked up a five-wicket haul in. Richie Benaud and Waqar Younis have achieved this in nine successive series. Waqar picked his first five-for in the third series of his career and then went on to do so in each of the next eight series. But then he did not take any five-for in his next nine series after the streak ended. Thus, Waqar took only three five-fors in his last 27 Test series after having got 19 five-fors in first 11 series. Benaud, on the other hand, did not take any five-for in his first seven series but then got at least one in each of his last nine series until retirement.
21.7 Percentage of all the batsmen runs scored by Shoaib Mohammad in the 1990 series against New Zealand - 507 out of 2336 - is the highest by a batsman in a series of three-plus matches. Lara (21.30%) against Sri Lanka in 2001 and Dave Houghton (20.90%) versus Sri Lanka in 1994 are the only others to score over 20% of the batsmen runs in three-plus match series. Lara and Ponting have scored at least 10% of the total batsmen runs in a series 13 times each, the most among all batsmen (minimum 200 runs in a series). Gavaskar has done it 12 times, Tendulkar 11 and AB de Villiers ten times.
36.11 The highest percentage of wickets by a bowler in a series - Muttiah Muralitharan, against Bangladesh in 2007, picked up 26 out of the 72 wickets taken by bowlers. George Lohmann (v South Africa, 1896) and Abdul Qadir (vs England, 1987) come next with 35.71% of the wickets each. Warne has picked at least 10% of bowlers' wickets in a series 11 times, the most by a bowler. Malcolm Marshall and Muralitharan have done it ten times each, Fred Trueman, and Dennis Lillee nine times each. Muralitharan has picked up at least 20% of the wickets in a series ten times, which is four more than the next highest. Ashwin and Yasir Shah have picked up at least 20% of the wickets in a series four times each.