de Kock’s misfortune

This refers to the 2nd Test between Pakistan and South Africa at Rawalpindi, which was played on 4-8 Feb 2021.

Needing 370 to win, SA made a reasonably good start. Things started going wrong when Markram was dismissed at 241/4. Captain Quinton de Kock came in, and was promptly dismissed first ball by Hasan Ali, becoming one of this bowler’s five victims in the innings and ten in the match.

It must be particularly mortifying for a captain to be dismissed first ball in the 4th innings of a difficult chase. Let us see how many times it has happened.

While the number of balls in an innings have not always been recorded before 2000, we presume that most golden ducks have been recorded.

Golden duck by captain in 4th innings:

This includes all cases (win, loss, tie, draw).

23 such cases ending with Q de Kock. Many prominent captains appear here, such as Sobers, Greg Chappell (twice), Atherton, Ganguly, Inzamam and more recently Kohli and Root.

What if the team won in the chase despite the captain getting a golden duck? See this list:

That was a very short list of two. And they were relatively less prominent captains.

Now see when teams have tied or drawn in the chase when the captain got a golden duck:

5 such instances. The one involving Sobers was not in the second Test which India won, but the 5th one which India came close to winning (thanks partly to Gavaskar’s 124 and 220).

And finally, cases when teams have lost in the chase when the captain got a golden duck:

16 such cases, ending with de Kock. He is in distinguished company, along with his contemporaries Kohli and Root.

Cricketing ducks of various kinds

Note: This has not been updated since February 2015. Updates listing scorers of different kinds of ducks and pairs are in separate posts.

You all know what a duck means in cricket. Have you thought of the different types of ducks you can score? Pairs are another matter.

From the Wikipedia article on ducks we have:

“There are several variations used to describe specific types of duck. The usage or prevalence of many of these terms vary regionally, with one term having different meanings in different parts of the world. Even within commentary from ESPN Cricinfo or individual cricket board websites, there is no uniform application of some of these terms.

  • Players who are dismissed by the first ball they face are said to have been dismissed for a golden duck. This term is applied uniformly throughout the cricket world.
  • As an extension of the golden duck, a silver duck and bronze duck can refer to being dismissed for nought on the second ball and third ball respectively. There are no alternative names for these ducks, but these terms are not nearly as common as golden duck.
  • A batsman who is dismissed without facing a ball (most usually run out from the non-striker’s end, but alternatively stumped or run out off a wide delivery) is said to be out for a diamond duck, but in some regions that term has an alternative definition.
  • An opening batsman who is dismissed on the first ball of a team’s innings is said to be out for a diamond duck, platinum duck or royal duck, depending upon the regional usage.
  • An opening batsman who is dismissed on the first ball of a team’s innings without facing a ball is said to be out for a titanium duck, though due to the extreme rarity of this occurring, this term is not widely used.
  • A batsman who is dismissed for a duck concluding the batting team’s innings is said to be out for a laughing duck.
  • A batsman who is dismissed for a duck on the first ball of the match in his or her team’s first match of the season is said to be out for a golden goose.

Now we look closer at the incidence of various kinds of ducks in various formats. Note that while data on ducks are readily pulled out from scorecards, the number of balls in a batsman’s innings were often not recorded in earlier scorecards, even in Tests. Cricinfo does have precise data from 2000 onwards. The following Test in 1990-91 is particularly frustrating for statisticians:

In this match we see that Sachin Tendulkar scored 11 in 92 minutes in India’s only innings. But the number of balls is not recorded for him and most other batsmen in this match. So we do not know the total number of balls faced by SRT in his Test career, or exact statistics for his strike rate.

So we see that any listing of diamond ducks golden ducks and the like will be incomplete due to the lack of data, particularly from the earlier years of Tests.

The total number of ducks in Tests up to Feb 2015 is 8175.

This includes 26 diamond ducks of 0 balls,(minimum, the full number may never be known)

1434 golden ducks(1 ball)

1007 silver ducks( 2 balls)

732 bronze ducks ( 3 balls)

and you can extend this as long as you want.

We start with a listing of all known cases of diamond ducks in Tests:

Overall diamond ducks

Note that the renowned batsman C. S. Martin is the only one to have made two diamond ducks.

Indians to have achieved the diamond duck include B. S. Bedi, A. D. Gaekwad, R. K. Chauhan, R. Dravid and Harbhajan Singh.

Only these three have scored a diamond duck on debut (below). Rutherford went on to get a pair on debut, but was a successful batsman later.

Diamond duck on debut

There is no case of a diamond pair. The closest approach to one appears to be that of Taufeeq Umar who scored a pair with innings of 0 and 2 balls, thus scoring 0 in two innings with 2 balls which is the equivalent of a ‘king pair” or dismissal off the first ball of each innings.

A total of 141 Indians have scored golden ducks. The table is too large to conveniently fit in here , but we have some multiple appearances here: Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan (7), Harbhajan Singh and V. Sehwag (6), with Agarkar, Gavaskar and Tendulkar with 5.

A total of 94 players have scored golden ducks on debut (though this could have been in their first or second innings). These include 5 Indians: (Kishenchand, Hardikar, B. Reddy, Maninder and U. Yadav).

Similarly, a total of 60 players have scored silver ducks on debut. Those from India are: Rangnekar, Maninder, Harbhajan, Robin Singh (Jr) and Praveen Kumar. Note that Maninder Singh scored  1-ball and 2-ball zeroes on debut.

And a total of 45 players scored bronze ducks on debuts. 6 of them were from India including current player W. Saha.

We will come to pairs next time-not only plain pairs but king pairs, queen pairs and jack pairs (OK, I made up the last two myself but you should guess what they are)