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.

Making the most of limited chances-fielding

A few days ago we had separate posts on good batting and bowling performances in their only Test/ODI/T20I and their only innings. Today we take up fielding performances for those players with the shortest possible careers.

First we take up Tests.

Best fielding (4 or more dismissals) for those playing in their only Test:

4 plus dismissals in only Test

This list consists of wicket keepers with the exception of RR (Robin) Singh, the Trinidad-born Indian player. He took 5 catches in his only Test, but had a somewhat better run as a batting all-rounder in ODIs.

Many of them were designated reserve keepers on tours and got to play only when the main keeper was injured or otherwise unavailable. The list is headed by Phil Emery of Australia, who was Ian Healy’s deputy in the 1994-95 tour of Pakistan who took 6 catches in his only Test. Three other keepers and Robin Singh made 5 dismissals each. NV Ojha and L Ronchi have some chance of playing Tests again.

Note India’s V Rajindernath who had 4 stumpings but no catches. This is the record for stumpings by any Test debutant. Emery, Atiq-uz-Zaman and TRO Payne each took 5 catches.

Best fielding (2 or more dismissals) in their only Test innings:

2 plus dismissals in only Test innings

Here we have Australian keeper GA Manou (deputy to BJ Haddin) heading the list with 3 dismissals (all catches). Two lesser-known fielders took two catches each.

Now for ODIs:

Best fielding (2 or more dismissals) in their only ODI:

2 plus dismissals in only ODI

Our old friend Phil Emery tops this list again, on that same tour of Pakistan.If you want to know more about him:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/5139.html

There is also India’s long-forgotten P. Krishnamurthy who played in all 5 Tests of India’s tour of West Indies in 1970-71, though this ODI was in a later tour of New Zealand.

This list includes 6 keepers and 4 non-keepers. The latter group includes Australia’s JK Moss who also played in exactly one Test.

Best fielding (2 or more dismissals) in their only ODI innings:

We get exactly the same table.

Now for T20Is:

Best fielding (2 or more dismissals) in their only T20I:

2 plus dismissals in only T20I

A total of 6 players (2 keepers and 4 non-keepers) have each taken 2 dismissals in their only T20Is. The only well-known player is TR Ambrose who played in several Tests for England. India’s P Negi will probably play more T20Is.

Best fielding (2 or more dismissals) in their only T20I innings:

We get exactly the same table.