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Thursday, August 7, 2014

unhappy debut .... the dubious feat of Pankaj Singh

 After Indians were bundled out for 152 – Cook pulled Varun Aaron playing his 2nd test after his debut in 2011 into the hands of Pankaj Singh, who is yet to take a wicket.  In the 3rd Test at Southampton the tall Pankaj Singh became 282nd  player to represent India in Test matches.  The last one from Rajasthan was Parthasarathi Sharma who played against the WI in 1975.  Pankaj is quite a hit in domestic having taken 300 wickets – Dilip Doshi had scalped close to 500 before he made his debut at Chennai and Amit Mishra also completed 300 firstclass wickets before his debut.

Pankaj Singh went wicketless – not very unique – today during the match Harsha Bhogle shared a statistics – and you have many big names in that list including Imran, Sarfraz, Vaas, Jeff Thomson and the whispering death Michael Holding.  The feared quickie with such a smooth run-up Holding made his debut at Brisbane in 1975 – went on to take 249 test wickets and 142 ODI wickets – but went wicketless conceding 81 & 46 in the 2 innings; while the fiery pacer Thommo gave 100 without a wicket on his debut.  Incidentally at Brisbane a player by name Inshan Ali who bowled left arm spin also did play.  He played 12 wickets and took 34 wickets.  

Pankaj Singh’s debut became forgettable as he has the dubious record of most expensive in debut – the towering 1.98m paceman finished with a match haul of 0-179 when  England declared its second innings on 4-205 in the third Test at Southampton. The previous worst was 0-164 by Pakistan’s Sohail Khan against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2009. The worst performance in an innings on debut is that  Aussie leg-spinner McGain.  In what proved to be his only Test, McGain was smashed for 149 in 18 wicketless overs (a shocking 8.27 runs an over) as South Africa made 651 all out at Cape Town in 2009 before going on to win by an innings and 20 runs. The dubious honour of holding the record for the worst match figures in Test history goes to South Africa’s Imran Tahir, who took an embarrassing 0-260 off 37 overs against Australia in 2012.

Pankaj should consider himself unlucky as England captain Alastair Cook dropped on 15 in the slips by Ravindra Jadeja,  and Ian Bell, then on nought, survived a confident lbw appeal  when Singh bowled well – but the figures of : 37-8-146-0 & 10-4-33-0 will never reflect anything of that.  Much like Thirumalai Ananthanpillai Sekhar who bowled well in Pak – saw two key Paki batsman dropped off his bowling and eventually did not strike it big in Test

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

7th Aug 2014 @ 10 pm.

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