November 12, 2007

Martin zeroes in on records

S Rajesh
Chris Martin is bowled by Waqar Younis, day 2, 2nd Test at Christchurch, 15-19 March 2001.
 © AFP


Chris Martin further enhanced his already considerable reputation as the classic tailender with a near-perfect game at the Wanderers: played eight balls (which, some might argue, was six more than necessary), scored 0 runs, out twice. His 19 Test ducks mean he is fast moving up the all-time list, and is already in the top 15, after a mere 34 matches.

As Mathew Varghese pointed out in his post-match stats piece after the Johannesburg Test, Martin is already the proud holder of three records - the most number of pairs in Tests, the most zeroes in Tests between South Africa and New Zealand, and in Tests at the Wanderers.

The table below shows just how far ahead of the rest of the pack Martin is: in 25 completed innings, he has failed to get off the mark 19 times. Taking a cut-off of 20 dismissals in Tests, Martin is far ahead of his nearest competitor, Danish Kaneria. If he continues at his current rate of a duck every 1.79 Test, Martin will get his 44th - and go past Courtney Walsh's world record - in his 79th match.

Highest duck factor, as a % of innings dismissed (at least 20 dismissals)
Player Dismissed innings Ducks % of ducks
Chris Martin 25 19 76.00
Danish Kaneria 34 20 58.82
BS Chandrasekhar 41 23 56.10
Danny Morrison 45 24 53.33
Ewen Chatfield 21 11 52.38
Allan Mullally 23 12 52.17
Phil Tufnell 30 15 50.00
Dilip Doshi 28 14 50.00
Manjural Islam 22 10 45.45
Corey Collymore 25 11 44.00

Meanwhile, here's a response to the queries about genuine batsmen with the most propensity to score ducks. Taking a cut-off of 50 Test innings, and an average of at least 30, India's Pankaj Roy comes out on top. Among specialist batsmen, Marvan Atapattu and Steve Waugh have the most number of ducks - 22 - but while Atapattu makes it to the list below, Waugh's zeroes came over 260 innings, which means his percentage was only 8.46.

Batsmen with highest duck percentage in Tests (at least 50 innings, with an average of at least 30)
Batsmen Innings Average Ducks % of ducks
Pankaj Roy 79 32.56 14 17.72
Derek Randall 79 33.38 14 17.72
Keith Arthurton 50 30.71 8 16.00
Roy McLean 73 30.29 11 15.07
Marvan Atapattu 154 38.91 22 14.29
Mike Smith 78 31.64 11 14.10
Andrew Flintoff 110 32.51 15 13.64
Kamran Akmal 59 30.82 8 13.56
Chandu Borde 97 35.59 13 13.40
Frank Woolley 98 36.08 13 13.27

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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Keywords: Stats, Trivia

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Posted by Arjun Chaudhuri on (November 30, 2007, 8:10 GMT)

Chris Martin would have been an ideal Super-Sub in ODIs—bowl your ten overs and pack off please!. Wonder why, ICC dropped the rule; it was worth persisting with some more time—it was definitely more interesting than permutations and combinations with field restrictions. Any taker for taking Chris Martin in a double-wicket or super-sixes team? No wonder, he his bat doesn’t display a manufacturer or sponsor’s sticker!

Posted by Alex on (November 29, 2007, 10:26 GMT)

it's actually a bit harsh on Chris Martin to only look at completed innings. He has a lot of not out innings where he has got off the mark, so these should presumably count in his favour...

Posted by Ryan A on (November 14, 2007, 10:33 GMT)

Great new feature this. Keep em coming. A note on NZ's fortunes of late. They are in a transitional phase and probably will be for a good year or two. It might appear they dont have the bottle to compete at the moment, but I think its more about ability on quicker surfaces and lack of experience more than lack of fight. Besides this, with Vettori's fighting qualities and 'never back down' approach together with the ex-skipper's courage and captaincy dont have a bette combination to help the others through. Lets hope for NZ's sake, Bond, Shane Bond can shake off his injury propensity and give them a fighing chance. In the mean time, come on you Proteas! (Did that sound slightly Aussie?)

Posted by David C on (November 14, 2007, 8:14 GMT)

Chris Martin's highest Test score is seven. He's the only player with 50 Test wickets who has failed to reach double figures.

Posted by David Barry on (November 14, 2007, 7:39 GMT)

Bhagwat Chandrasekhar has the record differential of wickets - runs: 242 wickets, 167 runs, differential of 75. Chris Martin is second, though he looks set to eventually get to number one, having played 24 less Tests.

Mfuneko Ngam and Charles Mariott each have the record of 11 Test wickets without scoring a run. Mariott took all of his in his only Test!

An honourable mention goes to the former left-arm quick from South Africa, Brett Schultz - 9 Tests, 9 runs, 37 wickets.

Posted by John A. on (November 14, 2007, 5:30 GMT)

I have tried to 'Ask Steven' this question, but does Chris Martin hold some type of record for the greatest differential between Test wickets and runs? From the last test versus South Africa, he now has 110 wickets and 52 runs for a -58 differential. He is a bit better in all first-class cricket with 355 wickets and 319 runs for a -36 differential. Thankfully he is a Test class bowler.

Posted by Tony Long on (November 14, 2007, 3:56 GMT)

Apparently there's a reason his batting is so poor. I read an article in the paper about him, discovering that he has only had a driver's licence for two years. Before that, in his pre-Black-Caps days he biked to cricket training, meaning he couldn't carry a bat. So that's why he is no good at batting. I hope he gets the record - he deserves it.

Posted by David Kirby on (November 14, 2007, 2:33 GMT)

Is Chris Martin's dreadful 2.08 also the worst career batting average of all time?

Posted by Andrew Dunford on (November 14, 2007, 1:59 GMT)

Arguably Chris Martin's most famous batting record - which is not mentioned in this article - is the nine consecutive innings without scoring a run. This sequence spanned eleven Test matches, Martin taking 41 wickets between scoring his 12th and 13th career runs.

Incidentally, Martin has hit one boundary in front of square in his Test career.

Posted by Bob Mason on (November 13, 2007, 21:50 GMT)

Don't forget that rare group of truly shocking batsmen who have taken more Test wickets than scored runs. Chris Martin has 52 Test runs in total, but has taken 110 wickets, roughly twice the number of wickets. He will never make more runs than his total wickets tally. Only Bruce Reid and BS Chandrasekhar have achieved this feat. Stats to confirm, please?

Comments have now been closed for this article


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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