Pairs in Test matches (Revised Jul 2019)

The information here is correct on Jul 31, 2019.

Note that any study involving the number of balls in an individual innings would be inaccurate, as full recording of balls faced was not always done up to the 2000s.

We first take up the King Pair (or golden pair) where the batsman is dismissed off the first ball of each innings). It is theoretically possible to have a Diamond Pair where one is dismissed without facing a ball in each innings. While there are some diamond ducks, there are no diamond pairs recorded in Tests.

First the King Pairs:

King Pair

The last entry was by Bangladesh’s keeper Nurul Hasan in 2018. Other points of interest can be seen in the above table.

Note the presence of recognized and semi-recognized batsmen such as Richardson, Agarkar (?), Gilchrist, Omar and Sehwag.

Next, there are the “Queen Pairs” or silver pairs:

Queen Pair

The number of such instances are 21, just the same as for the King Pair. Here we have two entries by GD McGrath, with the last entry by NZ’s TA Boult in 2018.

The recognized and semi-recognized batsmen include OG Smith, Mudassar, Samuels, de Villiers, Babar and Broad (?). Broad is the only one to get a queen pair or king pair at Lord’s.

Then comes the Jack Pair or bronze pair:

Jack Pair

Vettori, Griffith and Powell can be called recognized batsmen. The number of such pairs goes down to 7, with Powell as the last instance in 2017.

And finally, the pairs with 4,5 and 6 balls in each innings:

456 ball pairs

Together they account for only 6 pairs. They do include recognized batsmen such as Gibbs and DS Smith.

Update: The closest approach to a Diamond Pair appears to be that of Taufeeq Umar (Pak vs Aus, Sharjah, 11-10-2002) who got a silver duck in the first innings and a diamond duck in the second innings.

 

 

King Pairs in Test match cricket (2018 update)

In 2017, Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Pradeep became the 20th 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 20 instances of undisputed king pairs in all Tests.

King Pair-2018

No captain has faced this indignity, though some wicket keepers 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 R Herath is the only other to take a 5-for.

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.

No batsman from the West Indies and Pakistan has made a king pair (although 5 have been made against Pakistan and none against West Indies).

No batsman has made a king pair at Lord’s.

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