Getting out for a duck in both innings of a Test match is termed “Pair” in cricket!
Also, there is King Pair, where a batsman gets out for a duck in his
very first balls in both the innings.
And then there is Unofficial Pair in T20 Cricket, which involves a Duck in the Super Over.
Those are feats no batter would love to achieve!
When I was writing on Sir Don Bradman’s Insane Test batting records last week, I didn’t think I would be writing on an utterly contrasting topic of ‘Pairs’ in Test cricket right after that!
Still, I can’t just get over what Bradman has achieved during his days in Test cricket.
Anyhow, let’s get back to the topic!
Players with Most Pairs in Test Cricket
On record, there are so far 92 cricket players who have scored more than one pair in Test cricket.
And there are just 6 players who have got out for a duck in both innings more than 3 times in Test cricket.
Let’s see about them.
Chris Martin – 7 Pairs in Test Cricket
Chris Martin can be named the Man of Pairs in cricket. He has been out for a duck in both innings of a Test match 7 times in his career.
The right-handed fast bowler from New Zealand has 233 Test wickets to his name with a high score of just 12* with the bat.
He has a total of just 123 Runs to his name in 104 innings with an average of a mere 2.37, which is even lesser than his bowling Economy rate in Tests!
[Read how Averages, Strike Rates & Economy Rates are calculated in cricket to relate well.]
His batting stats are meager even to the standards of a No.11 Batsman.
His batting average is the lowest for any bowler who has picked 200 Wickets in his career.
Also, he is among the only two players who have picked 200 Wickets and less than 200 runs in total.
Martin also is the only player to get out for a diamond duck twice in Test Cricket. (Run out without facing a single ball)
And then, there are 5 Players with 4 Pairs in Test Cricket!
Marvan Atapattu’s Poor start to his career!
Out of 5 players who have 4 Pairs in Test cricket, 4 are bowlers and the last one on the table, Marvan Atapattu, a former Sri Lankan Captain, is the only top-order batsman on the list.
Marvan Atapattu had a disastrous start to his career.
His scores in the 1st 3 test matches read 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, & 0. That is two pairs in the first three test matches.
But what happened next was a different story as he entered the league of players with the Most 200s in Test Cricket with 6 double centuries.
And somehow, he also scored 2 more ‘Pairs’ in the later stage of his career.
Also, ending up as the only Sri Lankan Captain to score a ‘Pair’ in Test cricket till now.
Speaking of that, there have been 19 Test Captains who have scored Pair in Test Cricket as Captain.
Notable Test Batsmen who scored Pairs as Captain are:
- Vijay Hazare (India)
- Stephen Fleming (New Zealand)
- AB de Villiers (South Africa)
- Ian Botham (England)
- Alan Border (Australia)
- Mark Taylor (Australia)
- Darren Sammy (West Indies)
- Rashid Latif (Pakistan)
- Jimmy Adams (West Indies)
- Habibul Bashar (Bangladesh)
Incidentally, there is this tweet on Consecutive Pairs!
Mark Waugh’s teammates were also ready to call him ‘Olympic’ if he had scored the 5th consecutive duck, which he (un)fortunately didn’t.
But we can call Ajit Agarkar that. Agarkar scored 5 consecutive ducks in Test cricket, equalling Robert Holland (Australia) & Mohammad Asif (Pakistan) for the most consecutive ducks in Test Cricket.
‘Pair’ on Debut!
Like Marvan Atapattu. there have been 42 instances of Pair on Debut in Test Cricket.
Other notable players who have scored ‘Pair’ on their debut Test match are:
- Saeed Anwar (Pakistan)
- Graham Gooch (England)
- Allan Donald (South Africa)
- James Franklin (New Zealand)
- Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
- Dean Elgar (South Africa)
The latest one is Andrew Balbirnie of Ireland, who got a Pair against Pakistan in 2018, also the debut Test match for the Ireland Cricket team!
And then 10 players ended up with a Pair in the only Test Match of their career. (Sad)
Finally, the KING PAIR arrives!
As I said earlier, when a batsman gets out for a golden duck in both innings in a Test match, he scores a ‘King Pair.’
There are 22 instances of King Pair so far.
Virender Sehwag, who has scored few fastest Centuries by an Indian batsman in the longer format, scored only a single pair in his Test career (against England in Edgbaston, 2011), and that’s been a King Pair!
Another shocking addition to this list is Adam Gilchrist (Australia), recorded in the famous Kolkata Test match against India in 2001.
He was picked out by Harbhajan Singh in the off-spinner’s hat-trick in the first innings and then by Sachin Tendulkar in the 2nd innings for golden ducks.
Other notable names involved in King Pair are:
- Dave Richardson (South Africa)
- Ajit Agarkar (India)
- James Anderson (England)
- Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)
Unofficial Pairs – the new term in Cricket!
T20 cricket has given a lot to the world of cricket. Unofficial Pair is just one of them.
Criteria: A batsman getting out for a Duck in a regular T20 innings followed by a duck in the Super Over of the exact match is Unofficial Pair.
Seems rare, right?
But there have already been two incidents of that!
- Shoaib Malik (Pakistan) (Unofficial King Pair) &
- Moises Henriques (Australia) in Big Bash for Sydney Sixers
Both these batsmen scored ‘Unofficial Pair’ in their respective domestic T20 league matches.
No such ‘Pair’ has been recorded in International T20 Cricket yet.
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