The Daily Top 5 salutes the hapless batsmen that have finished with nought the most times in Test cricket.
The record for most ducks was long the domain of Indian leg-spinner Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, who tallied 22 ducks in 80 Test innings from 1964-79. New Zealand fast bowler Danny Morrison (23) and West Indies pace duo Courtney Walsh (43) and Curtly Ambrose (26) overtook Chandrasekhar – who has since been ‘demoted’ to 11th on the all-time list – during the 1990s, but a host of more recent stars have join the dubious ranks of most prolific non-scorers.
Of recognised batsmen, Steve Waugh and Marvin Atapattu notched the most Test ducks with 22 – still a long way behind this lot…
TOP FIVE MOST DUCKS IN TEST CRICKET
5. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka) – 33
The greatest Test wicket-taker of all time was not quite as formidable with the bat in hand, averaging 11.67 in 164 innings. Muralitharan notched one Test 50, however, scoring 67 against India in 2001, and clubbed 29 Test sixes. He was out for a pair four times.
4. Shane Warne (Australia) – 34
By far the most accomplished batsman on this list, ‘Warnie’ racked up 12 Test half-centuries, but famously was unable to convert any into triple figures – he was, however, devastatingly out for 99 (off what should have been a no-ball) versus New Zealand in 2001. A swash-buckling, rocks-or-diamonds batsman (he hit 37 sixes in Tests), the spin genius registered five ducks in the space of six Tests shortly before his lost opportunity against the Kiwis.
3. Glenn McGrath (Australia) – 35
A notorious bunny, McGrath did manage a Test fifty at the Black Caps’ expense in 2002 with 61 – but his average of 7.36 in 138 innings (which included 51 not outs) was more of a true reflection of his ability with the willow in hand. McGrath began his Test batting journey with a duck and had notched another five by the time his career was 13 innings old. He suffered the ignominy of pairs in consecutive Ashes Tests on home soil in 1998-99.
2. Chris Martin (New Zealand) – 36
The Kiwi quick’s batting incompetence took on mythical status, recording 36 ducks in 104 innings. His Test average was a woeful 2.36 despite finishing not out on 52 occasions, with a high score of 12 not out; Martin’s next best effort was 7, which he scored three times. The affable pace stalwart had a record seven Test pairs, while he made 0 and 0 not out another seven times. Fittingly, Martin went scoreless in his last five Test innings before retiring in 2013. Chandrasekhar and Martin are the only players of those who have played 30-plus Tests whose wickets taken exceed their total of runs scored.
1. Courtney Walsh (West Indies) – 43
Although his mighty tally of zeroes was largely due to the number of innings he played (185), long-time Windies skipper Walsh was a definite tailend bunny. He managed a high-score of 30 not out (v Australia at the MCG, 1988), but averaged just 7.54 despite finishing unbeaten 61 times. Debuting in 1984, Walsh remarkably did not record a Test pair until 1997 – but he then chalked up another three pairs in his last 21 Tests before retiring in 2001.