Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ashes Countdown 2

Ashes in New Millenium Quiz.

If the current trend holds good the Ashes in new millennium will be the dominated by Australians again. Led by Steve Waugh they have already won two Ashes series with 4-1 margins in 2001 and 2002/03. However, last year’s 2-1 loss put the onus on their captain Ricky Ponting to regain the Ashes and remove the tag of being the only captain not to have won the Ashes in last quarter century. He has already proved what a great batsman he is, yet unless he wins an Ashes series his name will not be as revered as his predecessors Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor and Alan Border. Ricky Ponting as of today with 1114 runs from 15 tests @ 44.56 with 4 hundreds is the top run getter in Ashes during this decade from either side. Matthew Hayden with 1048 runs from 15 tests @ 43.67 and England’s Marcus Trescothick with 1013 runs from 15 tests @ 33.77 are the only other batsmen to have aggregated more than 1000 runs during the last three Ashes series played in 2000s.

Ponting, Hayden and Trescothick are three of the five cricketers to have played in all 15 Ashes test played in new millennium. Damien Martyn and Adam Gilchrist of Australia are the other players who appeared in each and every one of those fifteen encounters. For the record, Hayden (7065 from 77 tests @ 56.07) & Ponting (6700 from 72 tests @ 64.42) are the leading run-scorers not only in Ashes but also for all countries. They both have highest number of centuries by any players in test cricket with 25 each. Rahul Dravid of India (6351 from 70 tests @ 63.51) & Jacques Kallis of South Africa (6184 from 70 tests @ 62.46) are the only other batsmen to have made 6000+ runs among others. With Marcus Trescothick already back in England both Ponting and Hayden now have a chance to widen the gap between them and any other English batsman for scoring most number of runs in this decade.

As far as bowling is concerned its Aussies all the way. Shane Warne, Glen McGrath, Jason Gillespie & Brett Lee have all taken more than 40 wickets in the three Ashes series played so far in this decade. They all played in 13 tests except McGrath who played only 12. Shane Warne leads the list with 85 wickets which included six 5-fors and three 10-fors. For England Andy Caddick has highest number of wickets with 35 from 9 tests. Muralitharan leads the list among all the bowlers in the world with a seemingly unassailable tally of 430 wkts from 60 tests @ 19.28 during this decade. Shane Warne is a distant second with 334 wickets in same number of tests @ 24.81. Muralitharan has thirty nine 5-fors and sixteen 10-fors in this decade compared to Warne’s twenty 5-fors and six 10-fors. Glen McGrath, Jason Gillespie & Brett Lee of Australia, Anil Kumble & Harbhajan Singh of India and Makhaya Ntini and Shaun Pollock of South Africa have all taken 200+ wickets during this decade. Chaminda Vaas missed being in their company by just one wicket. He has 199 wickets @29.63 from 60 tests. For England Andrew Flintoff has taken more wickets than any other bowler with 180 wickets from 57 tests @ 30.78. Kevin Pietersen, who just played one Ashes series like Flintoff has topped both runs and batting averages in 2005 Ashes. He will be looking to better that this winter.

In this edition of Ashes Countdown Quiz, let us look at the New Heroes in New Millennium.

Ashes Countdown 2 Quiz: Ashes in New Millennium.

Q81. In the first Ashes test of the new millennium as many as four Australians and five Englishmen made their Ashes Debut. Name them.

Q82. Which cricketer made his test debut during the 2001 Ashes who was earlier when on the verge of test match inclusion on a tour of Sri Lanka but was quarantined for having chicken fox?

Q83. During the 2001 Ashes England had just three century partnerships in 5 tests. Two of them involved Mark Butcher for the 2nd wicket. Once with Michael Atherton in the 1st test at Birmingham and once with Nasser Hussain in the 4th test at Leeds. Who were involved in the other century stand?

Q84. In the final test of the 2001 Ashes played at the Oval Mark Waugh broke a test record which he went on to better later and still holds it. Which test record?

Q85. Australia won both 2001 and 2002-03 Ashes series with the same margin 4-1. Another coincidence is both the series were decided in same number of playing days. How many days did Australia take to retain the Ashes in these series?

Q86. In the first test of the 2002/03 series Australia has done something which they have not done for 10 years in an Ashes test. What is it?

Q87. Name the cricketer who holds the record for playing most number of tests before making an Ashes test debut, which he did during 2005 Ashes.

Q88. Shane Warne took both his 400th and 600th wicket in Ashes tests and Adam Gilchrist caught them on both occasions. Who were his victims?

Q89. One of the greatest test matches ever played , the Edgbaston test will go down in the history of Ashes as the closest ever test match finish. However England did something on the first day of that match which eluded them for more than four decades. What is it?

Q90. What was the name of the substitute who ran out Ricky Ponting during the 2005 Ashes and how many first class matches did he play in 2005 season.

This is the ninth of the 10 quizzes for the Ashes Countdown. Three winners will be selected at the end of the 10th quiz after tabulating all the results. The winners will be awarded exciting prizes courtesy of In the event of a tie, we will have a tie-breaker among the top three positions.

Please do not forget to mail your answers to before 27th November, 2006 having the subject line as "Answers to Ashes Countdown XX Quiz" . Replace XX with the Countdown number.

Happy Quizzing....

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