ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
When averaging 300 isn't good
Bowlers with the worst averages in their last few innings. Like RP Singh, who hasn't taken a Test wicket since 2008
February 29, 2012
Last week's column was about batsmen with the lowest average in their last few international innings, after Ricky Ponting's ODI career was ended following 18 runs in five CB Series matches. This week's is the bowling equivalent, bowlers with the worst averages in the last few innings of their careers.
RP Singh could still play Test cricket for India; he's only 26 after all. But if he doesn't, his performances in his last five innings are the worst among all bowlers, ever. His last five Test innings were spread over more than three years. He bowled only four overs during the Adelaide Test in January 2008 because of a hamstring injury, and took 0 for 14. His next appearances were at home against South Africa a couple of months later. He took 0 for 111 and 0 for 43 in Chennai, and 0 for 81 in Ahmedabad. It was the last the world saw of RP Singh for quite a while.
And then, in the summer of 2011, when injuries had struck down more bowlers than India's selectors seemed to know of, he was called to duty in England, with India plumbing new depths with every defeat. He had been out of the side for more than three years, and he had just been in Miami. He was pudgy, far from being match-fit, and struggled to hit 120kph. RP Singh finished with 0 for 118 at The Oval, and hasn't played a Test since. So in his last five innings, he has gone for 367 runs without a wicket.
|RP Singh (India)||2006-2011||14||40||5/59||42.05||1||546||367||0||-||0/14, 0/111, 0/43, 0/81, 0/118|
|MF Maharoof (SL)||2004-2011||22||25||4/52||65.24||0||654||362||1||362.00||0/107, 0/82, 1/92, 0/57, 0/24|
|Shahadat Hossain (Ban)||2005-2011||33||68||6/27||49.79||4||444||354||1||354.00||0/76, 0/57, 1/113, 0/82, 0/26|
|RGCE Wijesuriya (SL)||1982-1985||4||1||1/68||294.00||0||586||294||1||294.00||0/105, 0/102, 0/10, 1/68, 0/9|
|AH Kardar (India/Pak)||1946-1958||26||21||3/35||45.42||0||516||265||1||265.00||1/71, 0/19, 0/141, 0/24, 0/10|
|Rubel Hossain (Ban)||2009-2011||12||17||5/166||83.23||1||468||259||1||259.00||0/52, 0/3, 1/71, 0/36, 0/97|
|AL Mann (Aus)||1977-1978||4||4||3/12||79.00||0||384||252||1||252.00||0/63, 0/49, 0/15, 1/24, 0/101|
|AR Whittall (Zim)||1996-1999||10||7||3/73||105.14||0||396||229||1||229.00||0/37, 0/29, 0/28, 0/30, 1/105|
|CN McCarthy (SA)||1948-1951||15||36||6/43||41.94||2||588||225||1||225.00||0/36, 0/46, 0/81, 1/45, 0/17|
|Arshad Ayub (India)||1987-1989||13||41||5/50||35.07||3||863||449||2||224.50||0/50, 2/99, 0/81, 0/37, 0/182|
|TE Bailey (Eng)||1949-1959||61||132||7/34||29.21||5||496||224||1||224.00||0/21, 0/50, 0/19, 1/91, 0/43|
|GJ Whittall (Zim)||1993-2002||46||51||4/18||40.94||0||472||222||1||222.00||0/2, 0/34, 0/80, 1/44, 0/62|
|W Voce (Eng)||1930-1947||27||98||7/70||27.88||3||508||207||1||207.00||1/44, 0/2, 0/92, 0/40, 0/29|
|TR Veivers (Aus)||1963-1967||21||33||4/68||41.66||0||373||203||1||203.00||0/78, 0/13, 0/59, 1/32, 0/21|
|BE Congdon (NZ)||1965-1978||61||59||5/65||36.50||1||610||194||0||-||0/68, 0/38, 0/5, 0/71, 0/12|
|SP O'Donnell (Aus)||1985-1985||6||6||3/37||84.00||0||348||194||0||-||0/26, 0/82, 0/69, 0/13, 0/4|
|BM McMillan (SA)||1992-1998||38||75||4/65||33.82||0||444||194||1||194.00||1/55, 0/60, 0/33, 0/24, 0/22|
|JEC Franklin (NZ)||2001-2011||27||80||6/119||33.10||3||390||194||1||194.00||0/48, 1/38, 0/72, 0/30, 0/6|
|IDK Salisbury (Eng)||1992-2000||15||20||4/163||76.95||0||414||193||1||193.00||0/71, 0/29, 1/32, 0/49, 0/12|
|SB Doull (NZ)||1992-2000||32||98||7/65||29.30||6||330||190||1||190.00||0/48, 0/21, 0/8, 1/78, 0/35|
Former New Zealand fast bowler Simon Doull played 32 Tests and took 98 wickets at an average of 29. Acceptable figures for the 1990s. His career, however, ended prematurely and poorly due to back and knee injuries. After New Zealand's home Tests against India in 1998-99, in which Doull was the leading wicket-taker, with 12 at 16 apiece, he had a career average of 25.78 after 26 Tests. His next three series were poor - one wicket at home against South Africa, one in England, and one more against Australia at home. Doull averaged 146 for three wickets in his last ten Test innings, which is the third-highest average for bowlers in their final ten innings.
There has been talk about how the India fast bowler Ishant Sharma is unlucky because he bowls well but gets ordinary results. Even India's outgoing bowling coach, Eric Simons, called Ishant "one of the unluckiest bowlers". That is debatable, but Ishant's average of 58.55 in his last 12 Tests - against West Indies, England and Australia - is among the highest for bowlers in their last 20 innings.
Who is the only West Indian to have bowled at least 100 balls in one-day internationals and not taken a wicket? He played four ODIs against Australia and Zimbabwe during the triangular series in Australia in 2000-01, and another match against Zimbabwe in Sri Lanka in December 2001. He also played six Tests - three against Australia, one each against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and India - and took 12 wickets between 2000 and 2002.
The answer is Marlon Black. He is also one of three bowlers to have bowled more than 200 deliveries in ODIs without a wicket.
|ALF de Mel (SL)||1982-1987||57||59||5/32||37.91||2||212||265||1||265.00||0/36, 0/45, 1/97, 0/53, 0/34|
|BE Young (Aus)||1998-1999||6||1||1/26||251.00||0||234||251||1||251.00||0/49, 0/64, 0/66, 1/26, 0/46|
|S Venkataraghavan (India)||1974-1983||15||5||2/34||108.40||0||306||213||1||213.00||0/34, 0/44, 0/48, 0/63, 1/24|
|GB Brent (Zim)||1996-2008||70||75||4/22||37.01||0||270||213||1||213.00||0/46, 0/46, 1/33, 0/53, 0/35|
|Syed Rasel (Ban)||2005-2010||52||61||4/22||33.62||0||210||213||1||213.00||0/37, 0/37, 0/25, 0/61, 1/53|
|SV Bahutule (India)||1997-2003||8||2||1/31||141.50||0||180||204||1||204.00||0/43, 0/53, 1/31, 0/53, 0/24|
|AJ Penn (NZ)||1997-2001||5||1||1/50||201.00||0||159||201||1||201.00||0/14, 1/50, 0/59, 0/49, 0/29|
|Adeel Raja (Neth)||2002-2011||21||17||4/42||40.58||0||192||198||0||-||0/46, 0/51, 0/26, 0/31, 0/44|
|MI Black (WI)||2001-2001||5||0||-||-||0||228||196||0||-||0/55, 0/49, 0/30, 0/19, 0/43|
|JS Patel (NZ)||2005-2009||39||42||3/11||36.02||0||188||191||1||191.00||1/47, 0/38, 0/25, 0/37, 0/44|
|VB John (SL)||1982-1987||45||34||3/28||48.67||0||234||189||1||189.00||0/48, 0/44, 0/25, 1/53, 0/19|
|Zakir Khan (Pak)||1984-1990||17||16||4/19||30.87||0||214||189||1||189.00||0/54, 0/49, 1/41, 0/19, 0/26|
|SJ Harmison (Eng)||2002-2009||58||76||5/33||32.64||1||210||189||1||189.00||1/50, 0/51, 0/29, 0/42, 0/17|
|Shahadat Hossain (Ban)||2006-2010||46||42||3/34||43.42||0||185||186||1||186.00||0/41, 0/12, 1/56, 0/38, 0/39|
|EAE Baptiste (WI)||1983-1990||43||36||2/10||41.97||0||288||185||0||-||0/49, 0/36, 0/48, 0/21, 0/31|
|MAWR Madurasinghe (SL)||1988-1992||12||5||1/11||71.60||0||222||185||1||185.00||1/32, 0/29, 0/34, 0/36, 0/54|
|PJC Hoffmann (Scot)||2006-2007||18||16||3/22||34.68||0||216||184||1||184.00||1/57, 0/21, 0/26, 0/37, 0/43|
|VD Philander (SA)||2007-2012||8||7||4/12||35.42||0||180||184||1||184.00||0/18, 0/47, 0/50, 0/30, 1/39|
|EJ Chatfield (NZ)||1979-1989||114||140||5/34||25.84||1||264||181||0||-||0/38, 0/23, 0/23, 0/61, 0/36|
|PL Symcox (SA)||1993-1999||80||72||4/28||38.36||0||235||180||1||180.00||1/20, 0/20, 0/38, 0/38, 0/64|
Two allrounders involved in the ongoing ODI series between New Zealand and South Africa haven't been in good bowling form of late. Albie Morkel bowled 108.5 overs in the last 20 innings (in which he has bowled) and took only nine wickets at 72.66 apiece. His economy rate is a fraction over 6.00 an over as well. Morkel was not called upon to bowl by AB de Villiers in the first ODI in Wellington.
New Zealand's James Franklin was asked to bowl by Brendon McCullum at Westpac Stadium, but only for one over. Franklin has sent down 98.3 overs in his previous 20 ODIs and taken only eight wickets, including three in one innings, at an average of 66.25. Both Morkel and Franklin are among the bowlers in the table of worst averages in the last 20 innings.
Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for ESPNcricinfo and other ESPN sports websites. George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Binoy
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