Australia v New Zealand 2008-09 / Stats Analysis

Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 4th day

The perfect No. 11

There are No.11s who have been known for their incompetence with the bat, but Chris Martin's lack of skill is legendary

S Rajesh

December 1, 2008

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A familiar sight for Chris Martin, as his stumps are splayed yet again © Getty Images

There are No.11s who have been known for their incompetence with the bat, but Chris Martin's lack of skill is legendary. In the second Test rout against Australia in Adelaide, Martin lasted eight balls in two innings, and was bowled without getting off the mark on both occasions. It was his sixth instance of bagging a pair in only 45 Tests, which is already a record, two clear of the second-highest.

There are more dubious batting records that Martin can claim ownership to: in 45 Tests, he has only scored 76 runs - that's 1.69 runs per match, almost half the number of wickets he takes per match (3.24). His average of 2.17 is the lowest among batsmen who have played at least 20 Tests.

Martin also easily takes the title of worst No.11 batsman: in the 61innings he has batted at that position, his average is 2.30 (which is marginally higher than his overall average since he hasn't scored a single run in the four innings he has batted higher), more than a run lower than the second-placed Maninder Singh of India.

Worst No. 11s in Tests (Qual: at least 25 innings at No. 11)
Batsman Innings Runs Average Ducks
Chris Martin 61 76 2.30 23
Maninder Singh 30 64 3.36 9
Dilip Doshi 36 117 4.33 14
Neil Adcock 35 100 4.34 8
BS Chandrasekhar 75 164 4.43 19
Fidel Edwards 33 91 4.55 9
Bruce Reid 28 73 4.86 5
Jim Higgs 27 64 4.92 4
Alf Valentine 46 128 4.92 11
Lance Gibbs 71 183 4.94 10
Phil Tufnell 44 107 5.35 11
Devon Malcolm 49 172 5.37 14
Venkatesh Prasad 26 72 5.53 6
Paul Adams 30 123 5.85 6
Henry Olonga 26 104 6.11 8

Of the 65 innings Martin has played, he has remained unbeaten 30 times, which means he has been dismissed on 35 occasions, 25 of which were before he got off the mark. As a factor of dismissed innings, Martin's percentage of getting out without scoring is a whopping 71.43, which again gives him the top spot, more than ten percentage points clear of Pakistan's Danish Kaneria.

Highest duck factor as a % of completed innings (Qual: at least 15 ducks)
Player Completed innings Ducks Duck %
Chris Martin 35 25 71.43
Danish Kaneria 38 23 60.53
BS Chandresekhar 41 23 56.10
Danny Morrison 45 24 53.33
Phil Tufnell 30 15 50.00
Devon Malcolm 39 16 41.03
Glenn McGrath 87 35 40.23
Merv Dillon 65 26 40.00
Fidel Edwards 41 16 39.02
Courtney Walsh 124 43 34.68

Martin is still 18 ducks short of equalling Courtney Walsh's world record, but the rate at which he's going, you'd expect him to get there pretty quickly. At an average of 1.8 Tests per duck, which is his current rate, Martin will equal Walsh's record in his 80th Test, 52 fewer than the number Walsh needed to amass his 43 zeroes. Clearly, if the baton passes to Martin, he will - given his current batting prowess - be the rightful owner of that record.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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