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There are No.11s who have been known for their incompetence with the bat, but Chris Martin's lack of skill is legendary
December 1, 2008
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.
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.
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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.
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