Ducks, 99s and India's long 'holiday'

Updated: 18 July 2012 14:31 IST

When the Indian team goes out to play the first of five One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka in Hambantota on July 21, the team would have come to the end of its second-longest break in the last ten years. India's last international assignment was the avoidable one-off Twenty20 International in Johannesburg on March 30.

Ducks, 99s and India's long 'holiday'
©

When the Indian team goes out to play the first of five One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka in Hambantota on July 21, the team would have come to the end of its second-longest break in the last ten years. India's last international assignment was the avoidable one-off Twenty20 International in Johannesburg on March 30. However, it should be noted that during this break, the 50-day Indian Premier League was held, which kept all the Indian team regulars busy.

The only time in the last ten years that the Indian team got a longer break was in 2003 when the team went without any international cricket for 169 days from April 22 to October 7. The 'holiday' began at the end of the rain-affected TVS Cup final at Dhaka and ended with the start of Test match against New Zealand in Ahmedabad.

Interestingly, the busiest year for Team India in the intervening period was 2002. The year witnessed either a Test or an ODI in every month of the year. The longest break was for just 22 days between March 20 and April 10.

Longest breaks for India in last 10 years

Days From To
169
April 22, 2003
October 7, 2003
112
March 31, 2012
July 20, 2012
103
April 18, 2005
July 29, 2005
90
April 17, 2004
July 15, 2004
70
December 28, 2004
March 7, 2005
67
July 6, 2009
September 10, 2009
62
February 28, 2010
April 30, 2010
62
April 3, 2011
June 3, 2011


Nothing is more unfortunate for any player, in any sport, than to miss a career landmark by a whisker, more so when he or she is aware that there will never be an opportunity ever to get it again.

Mark Boucher's forced retirement meant that he had to finish his international career with 999 dismissals (998 as a keeper and one as an outfielder). Although some would say that if his only Test wicket as a bowler were added to this tally, he should be happy with the overall 1000 dismissals!

In international cricket there have been several such near finishes during a cricketer's career, especially in Test cricket. The most famous and often mentioned is Don Bradman's batting average of 99.94. The Don, needing four runs in his final Test knock in 1948, was dismissed for a duck thus ending his Test career average just 0.06 short of 100.

Three Test players - England's Tom Hayward with 1999 runs (1896 to 1909) and Australians Arthur Mailey, who picked 99 wickets (1920 to 1926) and David Boon, who pouched 99 catches (1984 to 1996) are the ones to miss a respective career milestone by just one. Mohammad Azharuddin played 99 Test matches (1984 to 2000), while Nayan Mongia (1994 to 2001) and Junior Murray (1993 to 2002), the West Indies wicketkeeper, ended their careers with 99 catches against their names. In ODIs, New Zealand's Nathan Astle ended his career with 99 wickets (1995 to 2007), while Hansie Cronje had to terminate his career, under strange and memorable circumstances, with 99 ODI victories (1994 to 2000) as South Africa's skipper.

In first-class cricket, there are several instances of players missing out a milestone by one, but the easiest to remember of the lot is the one-time first-class record of 499 scored by Hanif Mohammad, the Pakistani legend. Hanif was run out going for his 500th run for Karachi against Bahawalpur in January 1959. His effort remained the highest score in first-class cricket for more than 35 years until Brian Lara surpassed it with an unbeaten 501 for Warwickshire in June 1994.

Jack Hobbs, the English opening great, interestingly, passed away not knowing whether he had scored 197 first-class centuries or 199. The record books show the number as 199, making him miss the 200-mark by one. But two of his hundreds, made during a tour of India/Ceylon in 1930-31, were scored in matches that are yet to be ratified as first-class games.

In Test cricket, a few unfortunate batsmen have missed their highest career Test scores just one short of a significant landmark as well.

Batsman
Score
For
Against
Venue
Season
Martin Crowe
299
New Zealand
Sri Lanka
Wellington
1990-91
Mohd Azharuddin
199
India
Sri Lanka
Kanpur
1986-87
Matthew Elliott
199
Australia
England
Leeds
1997
Norman Yardley
99
England
South Africa
Nottingham
1947
John Beck
99
New Zealand
South Africa
Cape Town
1953-54
Maqsood Ahmed
99
Pakistan
India
Lahore
1954-55
Rusi Surti
99
India
New Zealand
Auckland
1967-68
Martyn Moxon
99
England
New Zealand
Auckland
1987-88
Dipak Patel
99
New Zealand
England
Christchurch
1991-92
Alex Tudor
99*
England
New Zealand
Birmingham
1999
SK Warne
99
Australia
New Zealand
Perth
2001-02
Asim Kamal
99
Pakistan
South Africa
Lahore
2003-04


The superb partnership of 108 runs in just 41 balls between West Indians Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard against New Zealand in Launderhill (USA) was by far the quickest century stand in T20 International history. The pair comfortably displaced the previous quickest stand of 104 runs in 45 balls between Sri Lankans Tillakaratne Dilshan and Jeevan Mendis against Australia in Pallekele last August.

Table 1 below lists the quickest 100+ stands in T20Is (with the scoring rate exceeding 10 per over)

Table 2 below also lists some of the quickest partnerships of less than 100 runs in T20Is

Batsmen
RPO
Runs
Balls
Wicket
For
Opposition
Venue
CH Gayle/KA Pollard
15.80
108*
41
3rd
WI
NZ
Lauderhill, Jun 30, 2012
TM Dilshan/BMAJ Mendis
13.86
104*
45
4th
SL
Aus
Pallekele, Aug 6, 2011
LE Bosman/GC Smith
12.91
170
79
1st
SA
Eng
Centurion, Nov 15, 2009
HH Gibbs/JM Kemp
12.63
120*
57
3rd
SA
WI
Johannesburg, Sep 11, 2007
ADS Fletcher/CH Gayle
11.56
133
69
1st
WI
Aus
The Oval, Jun 6, 2009
LE Bosman/GC Smith
11.47
132*
69
1st
SA
Pak
Johannesburg, Feb 2, 2007
WTS Porterfield/PR Stirling
11.47
109*
57
1st
Ire
Can
Dubai, Mar 22, 2012
AB de Villiers/RE Levi
11.40
133*
70
3rd
SA
NZ
Hamilton, Feb 19, 2012
MEK Hussey/CL White
11.22
101*
54
6th
Aus
SL
Bridgetown, May 9, 2010
BB McCullum/JD Ryder
11.14
130
70
1st
NZ
WI
Hamilton, Dec 28, 2008
PD Collingwood/KP Pietersen
11.11
100
54
4th
Eng
Zim
Cape Town, Sep 13, 2007
Shoaib Malik/Younis Khan
11.01
101
55
4th
Pak
SL
Johannesburg, Sep 17, 2007
MJ Guptill/BB McCullum
10.74
120
67
1st
NZ
Zim
Harare, Oct 17, 2011
CH Gayle/DS Smith
10.74
145
81
1st
WI
SA
Johannesburg, Sep 11, 2007
HH Gibbs/GC Smith
10.57
111
63
2nd
SA
Aus
Johannesburg, Feb 24, 2006
Aftab Ahmed/Mohd Ashraful
10.54
109
62
3rd
Ban
WI
Johannesburg, Sep 13, 2007
JEC Franklin/RJ Nicol
10.13
103
61
1st
NZ
Zim
Hamilton, Feb 14, 2012
M Jayawardene/KC Sangakkara
10.06
166
99
2nd
SL
WI
Bridgetown, May 7, 2010

 

Batsmen
RPO
Runs
Balls
Wicket
For
Opposition
Venue
J Mubarak/G Wijekoon
22.50
45*
12
7th
SL
Ken
Johannesburg, Sep 14, 2007
MEK Hussey/MG Johnson
19.87
53*
16
8th
Aus
Pak
Gros Islet, May 14, 2010
MS Dhoni/Yuvraj Singh
19.26
61
19
4th
Ind
Eng
Durban, Sep 19, 2007
ST Jayasuriya/M Jayawardene
18.00
87
29
3rd
SL
Ken
Johannesburg


Younis Khan of Pakistan has a Test average of 51.69, but what is often forgotten is that Younis has a great ability to be involved in century stands with his teammates. He has been so far involved in 44 century stands in 138 Test innings, which means he gets involved a 100+ stand every 3.14 innings.

Younis' 100 partnership/innings average of 3.14 puts him very high in the list of Test batsmen. Only Australian Don Bradman (2.29) and Englishman Herbert Sutcliffe (2.55) exceed Younis' average among batsman with at least 25+ century stands to their credit.

Batsman Inns/100+ Stand 100+ Stands Innings Tests For
Don Bradman 2.29 35 80 52 Aus
Herbert Sutcliffe 2.55 33 84 54 Eng
Younis Khan 3.14 44 138 79 Pak
Jack Hobbs 3.19 32 102 61 Eng
Alistair Cook 3.18 44 140 80 Eng
Rahul Dravid 3.25 88 286 164 Ind/ICC
Ricky Ponting 3.32 85 282 165 Aus
Len Hutton 3.37 41 138 79 Eng
Ian Bell 3.39 38 129 77 Eng
Mahela Jayawardene 3.43 65 223 133 SL
Greg Chappell 3.43 44 151 87 Aus
Sachin Tendulkar 3.66 85 311 188 Ind
Kevin Pietersen 3.68 40 147 86 Eng
Matthew Hayden 3.68 50 184 103 Aus
Sunil Gavaskar 3.69 58 214 125 Ind
Justin Langer 3.71 49 182 105 Aus
Garry Sobers 3.72 43 160 93 WI
Brian Lara 3.74 62 232 131 WI
Ken Barrington 3.74 35 131 82 Eng
Javed Miandad 3.78 41 156 90 Pak


The second day of the Galle Test match last month saw seven ducks made in a single day - four by Sri Lankan batsmen and three by the Pakistanis. It was the ninth occasion in Test cricket history when seven or more ducks were recorded in a single day's play.

The first time this happened was on August 31, 1888 at Old Trafford when eight Australian batsmen were dismissed for ducks - in two innings - on the second and final day of the Test. Incidentally, seven or more ducks in a single day has occurred on two other occasions in Tests in the subcontinent. The first time came on the fourth and final day in Ahmedabad on November 23, 1996 when India made one duck, while South Africa managed six. The next time came at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo on the third and final day of the Test on March 17, 2001, when eight ducks were registered - five by England and three by Sri Lanka.

Date
Ducks
Team1
Team2
Venue
Day
Result
August 31, 1888
8
Eng (0)
Aus (8)
Manchester
2
England won by innings & 21 runs
March 26, 1889
7
Eng (0)
SA (7)
Cape Town
2
England won by innings & 202 runs
January 1, 1902
8
Aus (3+1)
Eng (4)
Melbourne
1
Australia won by 229 runs
March 22, 1974
7
Aus (4)
NZ (3)
Auckland
1
Australia won by 297 runs
November 23, 1996
7
Ind (1)
SA (6)
Ahmedabad
4
India won by 64 runs
July 2, 1999
7
Eng (2+1)
NZ (4)
Birmingham
2
England won by 7 wickets
March 17, 2001
8
Eng (3+2)
SL (3)
ColomboSSC
3
England won by 4 wickets
August 8, 2005
8
NZ (0)
Zim (5+3)
Harare
2
New Zealand won by innings & 294 runs
June 23, 2012
7
SL (4)
Pak (3)
Galle
2
Sri Lanka won by 209 runs
Topics : Cricket India Sri Lanka India in Sri Lanka 2012
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