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)

Does India need science?

A lot has been said about India’s long-lost scientific heritage in the past few weeks. And it is also clear that anyone who dares to question people like Dinanath Batra will ultimately be sent to India’s equivalent of Siberia (if they are lucky)-otherwise the encounter specialists will strike you down with the Agni Shastra or worse. However, since most of the political, bureaucratic and educational elite of this country have a vested interest in keeping the population ignorant it is not surprising that people like the gentleman below are considered to be experts to be interviewed on prime time:

A related news item is here:

And there are those who keep forwarding that endless dumb list of fictitious achievements that 38 percent of medical practitioners in the US and 39 percent of NASA engineers are Indian. Worse still, often some ignorant person writes some rubbish and well-educated people keep forwarding it on their Facebook pages, Whatsapp and elsewhere.

Remember the one about the person who was idiotic enough to stand up on top of a train and got electrocuted by the 25 Kv wires? Though there is some doubt as to whether this incident actually happened in Maharashtra as described,  but what is strange is that some semi-literate person wrote a long explanation as to how electricity travelled through a camera flash and electrocuted him.

Stranger still is that this semi-literate trash went viral on Facebook and elsewhere, but no one seemed to realize that it is stupid to come anywhere near a high voltage line and that any metal object with or without a camera flash makes it even more likely that its holder with be electrocuted. The Railways have a regulation saying that their employees should not come within 6 feet of these power lines and should not carry anything which comes within 6 feet of these lines either. So what great new scientific theory is being propagated here? If even IIT students start supporting these weird theories on their Facebook pages then what can be expected from them in the real world?

A fairly good rebuttal of the junk emails about the greatness of India which have been going around for the past 20 years or so is in the book:

Among the conclusions is that some form of plastic surgery was indeed practiced in the ancient times, and that some important mathematical ideas like the zero did emerge from India before anyone else thought of it.

Since astrology was considered important then (and probably still is) a lot of effort was made by the ruling elite of the time to encourage the development of astronomy and mathematics to meet its requirements. It might even be possible to prove that the formula for solving quadratic equations was first developed in India. Perhaps we may take some pride in things like this.

Anyway, apart from scientific experts like our friend Viswa Bandhu Gupta we have the police coming out with theories about the unfortunate Mrs Tharoor being poisoned by polonium or thallium. Many of you who are a bit familiar with crime fiction or even the better crime programmes on TV would know that the symptoms of these poisons do not seem to tally with other aspects of the case. If you are interested enough you can Google for “polonium poisoning” and “thallium poisoning”.

There are some rather weird things like the Litivinenko case in 2006 which you can read about. Frederick Forsyth has been quoted as saying the actual events are so strange that no publisher would accept it in a novel. Then there was the umbrella poisoning with ricin, courtesy of the Bulgarian secret service back in 1978. This is another example of the truth being stranger than fiction. And thallium and its compounds are widely used in industry and medical purposes in India, so forensic scientists here should be well aware of their properties.