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Chris Martin - The worst international batsman ever

15 Dec 2015, 11:40 IST
Chris Martin cleaned up by Dale Steyn, 2007

There are three main prospects to the game of cricket – batting, bowling and fielding. There have been several players who have excelled in two of the fields, failing miserably in the other. Great names like Courtney Walsh, B.S.Chandrasekhar and Narendra Hirwani belong to this category, their batting regarded as ‘Below-par’. Finding himself at the top of this list, noted possibly as the ‘worst international batsman of the game’,  is the workaholic Ex- New Zealand cricketer Chris Martin.

Double legend

Chris Martin is with no doubt a legend. However a legend for two reasons. First for his astounding bowling calibre, which gained him quite a few laurels during his tenure as a world class bowler. He wouldn’t produce the pace of Dale Steyn or Mitchell Johnson, rather he concentrated on accuracy and seam movement which was enough to trouble the minds of batsmen. 

He was also a legend alternatively for his hopeless, hapless style of batting.  When out on the pitch with the blade, the pacer from Auckland seemed like a man grasping at straws, looking for a method of scoring a few runs. With a test average of 2.36, he holds a dubious record of the worst ever test batting average. 

Stats galore

Chris Martin’s Record

The stats just prove Chris’s ghastly record with the bat. Above is an image of all his innings. Having played around 71 test matches in his 13-year long career, Chris has had to wield the bat 104 times. One fact that the batsman in Martin can be proud of is that he remained not-out a staggering 52 times! Apart from that, there is nothing that the Black cap player can be honoured about with regard to his batting.

Commentators and cricket pundits ended up nicknaming him “The walking wicket”, “The ghostly wicket”, “Phantom”, and so on and forth.

There was nothing wrong said about this as it was proven to be true. His time out with the bat seemed almost nill. 

However hard he tried to prop up a defense, people who watched him bat, and the man himself were left astounded and wondering how the ball somehow managed to break through his defence and shatter the stumps on almost all occasions.

Cumulative all his innings, he managed to muster a record 7 pairs( two consecutive ducks in a match), ending up with 36 ducks to his name, only 7 ducks behind the big, burly West Indian Courtney Walsh. His 7 pairs are way off the next highest number of 4 pairs on the list. 


He finished his test career with a paltry 123 runs in 104 times he went out to bat. He is also one of the few batsmen who have taken more number of wickets than the number of runs they have scored. He has scored 123 runs compared to the 233 wickets he has captured. 

Best Performance

Nothing much can be expected if one was asked about his best performance with the bat, but the 12* he scored in Dunedin against Bangladesh laced with two boundaries would inevitably grab the top position. His only double-digit score

He had luck going his way on this occasion, with an LBW appeal turned down when he faced his second ball; he went on to score two boundaries in the next over. When he took a single to record his first double digit score, the run was cheered with loud screams, indicating that the fans knew that this was something new.

When his partner edged out to the keeper later on, Martin was stranded on 12 of 20 balls, his highest score ever. This surprise innings even surged his batting average by 23% from 2.00 to 2.46. 

The Core of all jokes

Martin’s batting did not do him a whole lot of good, time and again ending up as the butt of jokes and several memes. Several videos on Youtube were made on him, titled as ‘Bat like Chris Martin’, ‘Chris Martin bowled compilation’ to name a few. Although questioned several times about his horrendous batting, Martin took it into stride and answered them humorously.

When he decided to hang up his boots, he was going to leave the game of cricket with a lot of reputation. Some good, some bad.

Not to forget, consistency can be the word to best describe Chris Martin’s career. Stellar bowling performances and equally appalling records with the bat, which would possibly take quite some time to beat. 

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