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.

 

They only saw victories in Tests-updated to Oct 2017

Correct up to October 15, 2017. The Test involving the ICC XI is not counted.

As mentioned earlier, there are only 4 Test players who played 5 or more Tests in which their team won all of them. As on Oct 15, 2017 they are:

Allwin1

None of them had particularly distinguished Test careers; for instance, Lord Hawke was a specialist batsman whose Test batting average was under 10.  While GJ Bailey was a good limited-overs batsman he made only one fifty in Tests. They were fortunate in being in the right team at the right time-which was particularly true of Eldine Baptiste: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/51211.html

Not long ago Imran Khan (the present one, not the politician) also was on this list with 5 straight wins from his debut. But his 6th Test was drawn.

Adam Gilchrist had 15 straight wins from his debut in Nov 1999 to Feb 2001 (before the Australian juggernaut was halted by VVS, Dravid and Harbhajan). He finished with 72 wins, 11 losses and 12 draws in his 95 Tests (not counting the one against the ICC XI).

The runner-up is England’s Tim Bresnan who had 13 straight wins from his debut in May 2009 to May 2012 followed by a draw against the West Indies. He probably will not play in Tests again, and has 15 wins, 4 losses and 4 draws in his career of 23 Tests.

Here is a list of the 23 players whose Test careers had over 80 percent wins as on Oct 15, 2017:

Highest win percentage over 80 pc

The only current and near-current players are Jackson Bird (who is not in the current Australian team), Karun Nair, Wayne Parnell, Duanne Olivier and Dawid Malan.

Again, there are relatively few well-known players here (though it does include Loxton and Saggers from the 1948 Australians) besides Hodge and Lehmann from more recent times.

 

Kings of the fourth-innings chase (Revised-Jan 17, 2018)

This was originally written in July 2015. For some reason it started getting some views again during the 2nd Test between South Africa and India in January 2018. So I thought of revising it.

We also see which bowlers have been most successful under these conditions. Here we consider all Tests ending up to January 17, 2018. The batsmen are arranged by order of averages. GC Smith is the only one to have over 1000 runs in successful chases.

A cutoff of 15 innings is considered:

4th innings-batting

GC Smith also has the most centuries (4) and 50+ scores (10).

It is also interesting to see which bowlers have been most successful in terminating 4th-innings run chases.

Here we take a minimum of 1500 balls bowled:

4th innings-bowling

While Warne is the only one with over 100 wickets taken in Tests where a side is bowled out in the 4th innings, Ashwin and McGrath have the best averages. Herath (85) and McGrath (83) are next to Warne.

The best economy rate is (unexpectedly) by RA Jadeja followed by Ray Illingworth. And the best strike rate is by Waqar Younis followed by Ashwin.

Herath (10), Muralitharan (7) and Ashwin (6) have the most fivers. Ashwin and Jadeja can be called the twin destroyers in the 4th innings at present.

While we are at it, let us see about

Fielding under these conditions (again with a minimum of 15 innings fielded) and minimum 0.500 dismissals/innings:

Fielding-4th innings

Gilchrist has the most dismissals with 52, while he and Haddin have the most catches (47). Gilchrist also has the most stumpings with 5. M. Jayawardene has the most catches (27) by a non-keeper followed by Ponting with 26. When we look at dismissals per innings, Haddin (2.173) has the highest followed by Gilchrist, Healy and Boucher. Among non-keepers, M. Jayawardene (1.285) is followed by Redpath.