Christopher Stewart Martin
December 10, 1974, Christchurch, Canterbury
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Hardworking with the ball and outrageously feeble with the bat, Chris Martin was the most consistent thing about the New Zealand pace attack in the first decade of the 2000s. A tall, angular fast-medium bowler with a high leap as he approached the crease, Martin relied more on accuracy and gentle seam movement than pace or prodigious swing.
He would have been an ideal second lead in the armoury of captains Stephen Fleming and Daniel Vettori, but Shane Bond's frequent injuries meant Martin was often thrust into the role of No. 1 fast man. The 11 wickets he took against South Africa in Auckland in March 2004, in his first Test for nearly two years, showed that he could bowl New Zealand to victories, but tearing through batting line-ups was not his usual modus operandi and he has often had to bowl long spells à la Ewen Chatfield.
By the end of the decade Martin was New Zealand's fourth-highest Test wicket-taker of all time but he was equally well known for his comically inept batting. Getting Martin out was as difficult as making a cup of tea and often took less time. No New Zealand player has made more Test ducks than Martin, who did not make a double-figure score until his 36th Test, against Bangladesh. His inability to put bat on ball has cost him the chance to play more one-day and Twenty20 cricket.
With New Zealand finding a new crop of fast bowlers, Martin announced his retirement from all forms in cricket in July 2013, at the age of 38.
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