List of King Pairs in Test Cricket

Test cricket, as we all know, is a format that tests your skill and technique along with patience, grit, and determination. These are some of the important aspects for a batsman to succeed in this 5-day format of the game as these days grind the body mentally and physically. This helps the best of the best batsmen survive a long time in a Test match.

Surviving long means scoring big and avoiding being the owner of some of the most embarrassing individual records in Test match cricket. For example, bagging a King pair is something a batsman wouldn’t want to have in his career. 

Getting out on a duck (pair) is one thing, but getting out on the first ball in both the batting knocks of a Test match (called a King Pair in cricketing terms) is rare and is something a batsman doesn’t want against his name.

 So here is the list of batsmen who have had a king pair to their name at least once in their Test career.

1William Attewell (England)Australia Sydney Cricket Ground 29th January 1892
2Ernest Hayes (England)South AfricaNewlands24th March 1906
3Albert Vogler (South Africa)Australia Sydney Cricket Ground 9th December 1910
4Thomas Ward (South Africa)AustraliaOld Trafford27th May 1912
5Robert Crisp (South Africa)AustraliaKingsmead28th February 1936
6Ian Colquhoun (New Zealand)England Eden Park25th March 1995
7Colin Wesley (South Africa)England Trent Bridge7th July 1960
8Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (India)Australia Melbourne Cricket Ground 30th December 1977
9Gary Troup (New Zealand)IndiaBasin Reserve 21st February 1981
10David Richardson (South Africa)PakistanWanderers Stadium 19th January 1995
11Adam Huckle (Zimbabwe)PakistanHarare Sports Club21st March 1998
12Ajit Agarkar (India)AustraliaMelbourne Cricket Ground 26th December 1999
13 Adam Gilchrist (Australia)IndiaEden Gardens11th March 2001
14 Javed Omar (Bangladesh)IndiaShere Bangla National Stadium25th May 2007
15 Ryan Harris (Australia)EnglandAdelaide Oval3rd December 2010
16Virender Sehwag (India)EnglandEdgbaston10th August 2011
17Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)PakistanSharjah Cricket Ground 16th January 2014
18Dhammika Prasad (Sri Lanka)PakistanPallekele International Cricket Stadium3rd July 2015
19James Anderson (England )IndiaDr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium16th November 2016
20Nuwan Pradeep (Sri Lanka)Pakistan Sheikh Zayed Stadium28th September 2017
21Nurul Hasan (Bangladesh)West IndiesSabina Park12th July 2018
22Sam Curran (England)IndiaLord’s12th August 2021
23Travis Head (Australia)West IndiesThe Gabba, Brisbane28th January 2024
King Pairs in Test Cricket

Analysis from the above Table

23 – There have been 23 instances of King pairs (batsman getting out on the 1st ball of both innings ) in Test Cricket since the birth of the format way back in 1877.

– None of the players has bagged a King pair more than once in their Test career.

1892 – The first recorded instance of a King pair happening in a Test match, and the batsman was William Attewell of England against their arch-rivals Australia. This game took place at the SCG.

2 – The number of king pairs happened in these two iconic stadiums of Australia – Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)

The final instance of a King pair happening was at the Gabba in 2024. This was when Travis Head went for a first-baller in both innings of a Test match against the touring West Indies.

– Javed Omar of Bangladesh and Virender Sehwag of India are the only batsmen who batted as an opener in that game.

– The number of times an Australian team has the batsman out on the first ball in both innings. This is the most by any team, and they are closely followed by India & Pakistan, whose bowlers have taken a king pair 5 times each in a Test match.

– The number of times a batsman from South Africa has bagged a King pair in the history of a Test match is the most among any team playing. The next on the list is the pioneers of Cricket England, who have had this dubious distinction 4 times.

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– Pakistan and West Indies are the only countries among the Test-playing nations (min. 10 Tests) whose players have not yet bagged a King pair.

– Times where the batsman lost his wickets both times to the same bowler from the opposition in the Test match. Ernest Hayes of England was picked by Sinclair of South Africa, Javed Omar by Zaheer Khan, Thomas Ward (South Africa) by Matthews of Australia, Ian Colquhoun (New Zealand) to Appleyard of England, and Colin Wesley (South Africa) fell to Statham of England.

Most of the batters in the list are not best known for their batting abilities, and the number of lower-order batsmen in this group is high. So this gives us a clear picture that it is relatively difficult to get rid of a top-order batsman in this manner.

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