Karun Nair’s Test records

You will remember the fuss about Karun Nair when he scored his triple century in his third Test at Chennai. We now look at his oddly skewed Test career after he has completed 6 Tests. This should be apparent from this sequence of scores:

KK Nair innings seq

He has a respectable average of 62.33. But he scored 303 of his 374 runs in one innings (81.0 %) and never made another score above 50. To be precise, his next highest score is only 26.

It is hoped that he will play at least a few more Tests and score more centuries. Until then, he holds a couple of records in all Tests. This does NOT include the highest maiden century, as Gary Sobers (365*) and Bob Simpson (311) are ahead.

Highest score by someone who scored only one century ( 150 and above):

Highest score with one century

KK Nair heads this list, ahead of England’s RE Foster who held the record for about 113 years. His 287 was the world Test record until early 1930 when Andy Sandham made 325 (in his last Test), though Bradman crossed it with 334 later the same year.

Foster, Kuruppu, Fawad Alam, K Ibadulla, C Bannerman and A Jackson  were making their Test debuts. Gillespie made his only century in his last Test while batting as nightwatchman. There are several other current players here led by MT Renshaw with 184.

Another quirky record is the highest Test score made by someone who never made a fifty (i.e. a score between 50 and 99). This gets a bit messy due to Statsguru’s limitations, but we get these figures:

Highest score by those who scored one century and no fifty (110 and above):

1 century no fifty

Highest score by those who scored two centuries and no fifties (all cases):

Two century, no fifty

And finally:

Highest score by those who scored three centuries and no fifties (all cases):

Three century no fifty

No one has scored more than three centuries without a fifty. For a short time KL Rahul shared the record with Bopara. But Rahul scored his first fifty soon after he scored his third century.

As we can see, KK Nair is the only one to score a triple century but no fifty. David Lloyd and Brendon Kuruppu are the only ones to score a double century but no fifty. And Ravi Bopara’s Test career may be over, but he also holds a record which may not be broken for a long time.

KK Nair is also the only current player with one or more centuries and no fifties.

 

 

 

 

 

Century on debut and never again (revised)

The feat of scoring a century on Test debut is not as rare as one may imagine. It has occurred no less than 100 occasions which  produced 102 centuries, including two instances of two centuries on debut. Most of these players have gone on to score one or more centuries after that, including prolific batsmen like Peter May, Bill Ponsford, G. R. Viswanath, Greg Chappell, Saleem Malik, M. Azharuddin and Virender Sehwag among others.

The highest innings score on debut is 287 by R.E. Foster in 1903-04 (oddly enough the Wright Brothers made their first successful flight during this match). There are several other double centuries on debut. Those who scored two centuries on debut are L. G. Rowe (214 and 100* in 1971-72) who scored several centuries including a triple after that, and Yaseer Hameed (170 and 105 in 2003-04) who never made another.

Those who scored double centuries on debut and failed to make even a single after this include R.E. Foster and B. Kuruppu. The list below also includes some who scored a total of over 200 in the match, including Archie Jackson, Yaseer Hameed and Umar Akmal.

Of the 100 who scored one or two centuries on debut, 37 including Yaseer Hameed never made another one. And several never made even a fifty again. The full list is given below:

COD-1 001The first instance of 165* came in the very first Test in 1876-77. Ganteaume and Redmond scored centuries in their only Tests, the former doing so in his only Test innings and the latter adding a fifty in the second innings. SC Griffith and AG Ganteaume provide the only example of two such unfortunates making their debut in the same Test.

For a long time there was supposed to be a hoodoo of sorts over Indian players who scored a century on debut. Lala Amarnath, D. H. Shodhan, Kripal Singh, A. A. Baig, Hanumant Singh (not to forget Pataudi Sr playing for England) never made another century. However, K. S. Ranjitsinhji did add to his century on debut. G. R. Viswanath was the first to score a duck and century on debut. Three others followed him, including K. K. Jennings a few days ago in Dec 2016.

It was not until 1972-73 that he scored his second century and broke the hoodoo. Several other Indians such as Azharuddin , Ganguly and Sehwag did score several centuries after their debut, although S. Amarnath (like his father), P. Amre and S. Raina also failed to add to their century on debut.

Ironically, Mohinder Amarnath did not have a great debut but had a more successful Test career than his brother.

The list above does include some who are still in Test contention (from Umar Akmal onwards) who may yet score more centuries-though it appears that some of them (such as Raina) are not very likely to play Tests again. South Africa’s SC Cook has played only one Test at the time of writing. He must be hoping that he will do better than his compatriot S van Zyl.

Update: SC Cook indeed made more centuries before the end of 2016.