Batting fails in Test matches

We have already looked at those who failed to score a run in their T20I and ODI careers. Now we turn to Tests.

Data correct as of 5 Feb 2017. The match involving the ICC XI is not counted.

Most matches without scoring a run (2 or more):

no-runs-most-matches

3 players did not score a run in 3 Tests-though CF Root did not get a chance to bat in any of his 3 matches. 7 others did not score a run in 2 Tests, of whom CM Willoughby did not get a chance to bat.

Most innings without scoring a run (2 or more):

no-runsmost-innings

Only AW Mold played 3 innings without scoring a run, while many others played 2 innings.

It would be nice to identify those who went through their Test careers without facing a ball. But scorecards usually did not always note the number of balls. Cricinfo’s database is supposedly complete from the 2000s onwards.

If you ask Statsguru who played in the most Tests without facing a ball, the answer will be the Pakistani keeper Imtiaz Ahmed, who played 41 Tests and scored over 2000 runs. But scorecards in the database do not have the number of balls for any of his innings. Anyway, we see what we can do with data after 2000.

Most matches played (after 1 Jan 2000) for no balls faced

no-balls-most-matches-after-2000

In these cases they never got to bat.

So we now look at

Most innings played (after 1 Jan 2000) for no balls faced:

no-balls-most-innings-after-2000

This means that everyone who played at least one innings since 2000 has faced at least one ball. There were temporary aberrations such as the career of Imran Khan junior who did not face a ball in his first 4 Tests (in which he batted in only one innings), though he has subsequently batted and even scored some runs. See his batting career.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/316363.html?class=1;template=results;type=batting;view=innings

Finally we look at those who

Never batted in an innings in their Test career:

no-inningsmost-tests

Only 19 such cases, headed by the long-forgotten CF Root, and followed by the more recent CM Willoughby who did not go to bat in their careers of 3 and 2 Tests respectively. We may as well learn more about them:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/19471.html

Fred Root, who took 8 wickets in his 3 Tests again Australia in 1926, was not that bad a batsman as he averaged almost 15 in first-class cricket.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/southafrica/content/player/47903.html

Charl Willoughby took only 1 wicket in his 2 Tests in 2003. His FC batting average was just over 6.

Then there are numerous others who did not bat in their only Tests. There is, of course, the famous JCW MacBryan who (uniquely in Tests) did not bat, bowl or take a catch in his only Test (in which his opponents batted for 66 overs and his team did not bat): http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62542.html

He had a reasonable first-class career:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/16858.html

He was prominent enough in domestic cricket to be one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1925. He also won an Olympic gold medal, being part of Britain’s hockey team in 1920.

Another interesting case is that of V.Rajindernath who did not bat (but took 4 stumpings) in his only Test.

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Batting fails in ODI cricket

After covering batting fails in T20I cricket, we proceed to ODI cricket.

Data is up to 3 Feb 2017. Matches involving the ICC XI, Asia XI and Africa XI are not counted.

We start with those who never scored a run in ODI cricket.

Most matches (4 and more):

no-runs-most-matches

Jaspreet Bumrah, the T20I leader, leads here again followed by D. Mohammed and JD Unadkat. Unadkat is one of several who never got an opportunity to bat.

Next we take up those who played in the most innings without scoring a run.

Most innings (2 and more):

no-runs-most-innings

Here we have 3 cases of players who got to bat in 3 innings and did not score from the balls they faced. Radford and Kabir had brief Test careers. Bumrah faced the least balls here (1) and was dismissed by that ball.

We now look closer at those who never got to face a ball in ODIs.

Most matches (3 and more):

no-balls-most-matches

Unadkat has played in the most matches (7) without ever going to bat. He is followed by a more recent Indian player BB Sran with 6. This list included Lance Gibbs and two lesser-known Test players who played one innings but did not face a ball.

Finally we look at those who played the most innings without facing a ball:

The record is one innings, achieved by these:

no-ballsmost-innings

Of these, AGR Loudon was run out as a non-striker and was dismissed without facing a ball. And Aminul Islam (jnr) scored one run off zero balls. Presumably he scored off a no ball, though it is difficult to check this as the commentary of 1999 is not available.

Batting fails in T20I matches

You may think that this is about England losing 8 wickets for 8 runs in the third match. That has been covered enough elsewhere. Here we note some remarkable figures about players who have played the most matches and innings without scoring a single run, and others who have gone a step better and did not get to face a single ball while batting. These figures are as on 2 Feb 2017.

The unlikely hero here is India’s new-found death bowler Jasprit Bumrah, apparently a Sikh who was born and brought up in Ahmedabad. We know about his bowling. Now see the records he has set while batting.

Most matches played without scoring a run (5 or more):

no-runs-most-matches

Bumrah stands at the peak with 24 T20Is played without scoring a single run, twice that of his nearest competitors Santokie and Sodhi. He did bat in 4 innings, faced 2 balls and was dismissed once. As you can see, there are others who have played up to 9 matches without being called on the bat. The Australian Test player Stuart Clark played 9 matches without going in to bat.Then come Fareed Ahmed and the better known Josh Hazlewood in 7 matches. The latest hero YS Chahal has not had to bat in his 6 matches.

Now we look at

Most innings played without scoring a run (2 or more):

no-runs-most-innings

Bumrah leads here as well, but interestingly a prominent Test batsman MS Sinclair also appears here. The end of his career seemed to coincide with the increase in the frequency of T20Is which began in 2005.Ruchira Perera also played a few Tests as an all-rounder. Note that he played 2 innings without facing a ball.

Next, we look at those who never got to face a ball in T20Is.

Most matches played without facing a ball (5 or more):

no-balls-most-matches

Santokie and Sodhi head this list. Next comes A. Mishra who did get dismissed without facing a ball, with the dreaded diamond duck which usually strikes non-strikers who are run out. Then we note that Stuart Clark heads the list of those who never went out to bat.

The first four in this list have Indian connections-even Stuart Clark, whose parents were Anglo-Indians.

Finally, we look at the most innings played without facing a ball. It is a short list.

Most innings played without facing a ball (1 or more):

no-balls-most-innings

The aforementioned Ruchira Perera heads this list, playing two innings without facing a ball. Note that AA Noffke, like Amit Misra, also got a diamond duck.

ODIs and Test matches deserve separate posts.