A summary of Pairs in Test cricket

This is a summary of a few shorter posts which appeared over the last two weeks. Here we enumerate all instances of pairs with the same number of balls in each innings. Here we are considering cases where the batsman was dismissed for zero in both innings. All these figures are correct as on 23/11/2016

(Click on each to see the Pdf table)






Pairs with 4,5 and 6 balls in each innings

After covering the King, Queen and Jack pairs (alternatively golden, silver and bronze pairs) we also take up the cases of pairs with 4 or 5 or 6 balls in each innings. They are somewhat less numerous. For instance, there is only one clear case of a pair with 5 balls in each innings.


You can look back to my earlier posts for the other types of pairs mentioned above.

King Pairs in Test match cricket

England’s JM Anderson became the 19th player to get a king pair (or golden pair), having been dismissed in the first ball of each innings.

This is one of those statistics which cannot directly be pulled out of Statsguru. One can ask it to list all those who scored 0 runs in a match with 2 dismissals and 2 balls, but even this will be misleading as not all innings have the balls-faced recorded. There are a few who were dismissed 2nd ball in one innings and dismissed with an unknown number of balls in the other innings.

Anyway, after checking all the concerned scorecards we arrive at the following list of 19 instances of undisputed king pairs in all Tests.


No captain has faced this indignity, though some wicketkeepers have. The debutant TA Ward was unfortunate to become part of both of TJ Mathews’s hat tricks, while a better known keeper Adam Gilchrist was part of India’s first hat-trick in the first innings.

BS Chandrasekhar was the only one to supplant his king pair with a 10-wicket haul (6 wickets in each innings) while the Sri Lankan pair of Herath and Prasad are the only others to take 5-fors.

Another point of interest is the NZ keeper Colquhoun who was part of the record 26 all out which has stood since 1955 despite several determined attempts to breach it in recent years.

Most of the players on the list are not recognized batsmen, but prominent exceptions include Gilchrist, Richardson and Sehwag. Others such as Agarkar have scored at least one Test century.

Queen pairs or silver pairs were covered in another article less than a year ago:


It has been checked that as on 23 Nov 2016 there have been no additions to the 16 queen pairs listed there.

ABD and the record books (again)

AB de Villiers is no stranger to the record books for batting in ODIs. See


However, his luck ran out soon after he became South Africa’s captain in the ongoing Test series. He started with 36 and 0 (off 5 balls) in the 3rd test and then a second-ball duck in each innings of the 4th. This might be called a silver pair or queen pair, since the first-ball counterpart is called a golden pair or king pair.

There are relatively few captains who have scored pairs:

Captain with pair

This list includes some famous names like VS Hazare, FMM Worrell and R Benaud amongst others. AB de Villiers is 21st on this list (besides being the second South African after LJ Tancred in the 1912 tri-series).

The above table could be easily pulled out of Statsguru. Getting a list of those who have made a “queen pair” is not so straightforward, but you can see the results below. I have made sure that everyone on this list was dismissed second ball for zero in both innings, according to the Cricinfo records. This may not be a complete list as a number of matches before 2000 do not have full records of balls faced in an innings. Anyway:

Queen Pair

AB de Villiers is not the first captain on this list as tailender BS Bedi suffered this indignity in 1976-77. GD McGrath is the only one to appear here twice, and that too in successive Tests. Other points of interest are mentioned in the “Remarks” column.

Although most of the players listed above were tailenders, the exceptions include OG Smith, Mudassar Nazar and de Villiers.

Update: As on 23 Nov 2016 there were no additions to the above list of 16 queen pairs.

More on the topic of zeroes and pairs can be seen in this earlier post: