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.



Queen Pairs in Tests (2018 update)

You have heard of King Pairs or golden pairs. Next there come Queen Pairs or silver pairs, which means that the batsman is dismissed second ball in each innings.

As in the case of King Pairs, caution should be used in using databases such as Statsguru sinceĀ  scorecards before 2000 do not always mention the balls faced in an innings.

However, the list below has been created for the cases where we definitely know that the batsman was out second ball in both innings. The 19th instance occurred in the Eng v Pak series earlier this year.

Queen Pair

Stuart Broad became the most recent entrant to this group. He was the first to get a golden pair OR a silver pair at Lord’s. The bowler Mohammad Abbas should be told about this distinction.

This list does include recognized batsmen such as OG Smith, Mudassar Nazar, MN Samuels, AB de Villiers and Babar Azam besides others such as AL Mann and SCJ Broad who scored at least one century.

While no batsman has made two golden pairs, GD McGrath has two silver pairs.

Pairs with 4, 5 and 6 balls in each innings (2018 update)

After covering the King, Queen and Jack pairs (alternatively golden, silver and bronze pairs) we also take up the cases of pairs with 4 or 5 or 6 balls in each innings. They are somewhat less numerous. For instance, there is only one clear case of a pair with 5 balls.

4-5-6 ball pairs

You can look back to my earlier posts for the other types of pairs mentioned above.

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.


Cricketing ducks of various kinds

Note: This has not been updated since February 2015.

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 scoredĀ  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)