Ducking the question; and the Ponting Number

As I mentioned in a recent post, India hold the unwanted record of posting the highest innings score without any individual hundreds. Today that record seemed set to be “bettered”, until Kumble came along and scored his maiden Test century. While musing about unwanted records, I commented that Michael Atherton held some record or the other in this respect.

I was right. He holds the record for the highest number of ducks by an England player. Here’s the table, by team:

  • West Indies: Courtney Walsh 43
  • Australia: Glenn McGrath 35
  • Sri Lanka: Muttiah Muralitharan 34
  • New Zealand: Danny Morrison 24
  • India: Bhagwat Chandrashekhar 23
  • Pakistan: Waqar Younis 21
  • England: Michael Atherton 20
  • South Africa: Makhaya Ntini 18
  • Zimbabwe: Grant Flower 16

Not sure who holds the Bangladesh record, need to work on that one.

While constructing the table above, I found something else that might interest cricket fans. I’ve decided to call it the Ponting Number, defined as follows:

A Ponting Number is the result obtained by subtracting the number of zeroes scored by a batsman from the number of centuries scored by that batsman, all in Test cricket. Double-digit positive Ponting numbers are rare, as the table below shows. I’ve tried to include everyone I could think of who could possibly have a Ponting Number 10 or greater.

  • Ricky Ponting +24
  • Sachin Tendulkar +23
  • Don Bradman +22
  • Sunil Gavaskar +21
  • Rahul Dravid +18
  • Brian Lara +17
  • Allan Border +17
  • Matthew Hayden +15
  • Mohammed Yousuf +15
  • Gary Sobers +14
  • Jacques Kallis +14
  • Viv Richards +14
  • Greg Chappell +12
  • Steve Waugh +10
  • Inzamam-ul-Haq +10

This is just an early cut, sometime over the next week or so I will compile a list of ALL players with double-digit Ponting Numbers.

2 thoughts on “Ducking the question; and the Ponting Number”

  1. When you say “subtracting the number of zeroes”, are you including not outs? I know it’s unlikely that batsmen with 10 centuries or more would have a 0* but it’s possible and they should probably be excluded from the analysis so that it records genuine ducks.

    Also, what does this show us? It promotes Bradman nearer the top of the list, but you can do this by counting the number of innings per century:

    Player Innings per century
    DG Bradman (Aus) 2.76
    CL Walcott (WI) 4.93
    H Sutcliffe (Eng) 5.25
    ED Weekes (WI) 5.40
    Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) 5.48
    RT Ponting (Aus) 5.55
    ML Hayden (Aus) 5.89
    SR Tendulkar (India) 6.05
    GS Sobers (WI) 6.15
    GS Chappell (Aus) 6.29
    SM Gavaskar (India) 6.29
    WR Hammond (Eng) 6.36
    RN Harvey (Aus) 6.52
    KF Barrington (Eng) 6.55
    M Azharuddin (India) 6.68
    JB Hobbs (Eng) 6.80
    BC Lara (ICC/WI) 6.82
    L Hutton (Eng) 7.26
    MP Vaughan (Eng) 7.29

    Qualification: 15 Test centuries

Let me know what you think

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