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Instances of Indian bowlers dismissing both the opponent openers for ducks in the same inning of a Test match

593   //    14 Aug 2015, 16:17 IST
Kaushal Silva got out for a duck

On the second day of the Galle Test match, India were all out for 375 and took a lead of 192 runs as Sri Lanka could score only 183 runs in their first inning. There were just four overs remaining in the day when Sri Lankan openers came to bat in their second inning. The Indian bowlers lead by the skipper Virat Kohli indeed required quick wickets but four overs were quite less to hope for.

But, there was a different story. Virat Kohli opened the bowling with the spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. And just on the fifth delivery of the first over the Sri Lankan opener Dimuth Karunaratne was out bowled for a duck. The Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews sent in Dhammika Prasad as a Night Watchman. Amit Mishra started the second over as India opened the bowling attack with spinners from both ends. Once again on the fifth delivery of this over as well as a wicket fell. It was another opener Kaushal Silva who also went for a duck.

Therefore, both the Sri Lankan openers were dismissed for a duck by the Indian bowlers in their home ground. This was something rare for India as the last time they did the same against a top team (excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) was way back in 1983 against West Indies at Trinidad. In between, there were two occasions; one each against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

It is overall the sixth occasion of Indian bowlers dismissing the opponent openers for ducks in the same inning of a test match. The first of such was in 1958 against West Indies at Green Park stadium in Kanpur. The West Indian openers John Holt and Conrad Hunte were dismissed without scoring by Indian bowlers Gulabrai Ramchand and Polly Umrigar respectively. But Garry Sobers’ 198 took the game away from India as West Indies set a target of 444 and India lost the match by 203 runs.

The table below lists all the six instances of India dismissing the opponent openers for ducks in the same innings of a test match in detail.

Opponent openers


Indian bowler(s)





John Holt  & Conrad Hunte

West Indies

Gulabrai Ramchand & Polly Umrigar





Alvin Greenidge & Basil Williams

West Indies

Karsan Ghavri (2)





Gordon Greenidge & Desmond Haynes

West Indies

Balwinder Sandhu (2)





Grant Flower & Gavin Rennie


Javagal Srinath (2)





Tamim Iqbal & Imrul Kayes


Zaheer Khan & Ishant Sharma





Dimuth Karunaratne & Kaushal Silva

Sri Lanka

Ravichandran Ashwin & Amit Mishra





Some notes:

  • In the 1983 Test match, the Indian openers Sunil Gavaskar and Anshuman Gaekwad were out for 0 and 1 in the first inning of the match. For West Indies, after the openers got out the number three batsman Viv Richards was out for 1 run.
  • In the 2000 Test match, Grant Flower was out for a duck in the first inning as well; thus a pair. In the same test while chasing in the fourth inning, Indian openers Shiv Sunder Das and Sadagoppan Ramesh were out for 4 and 0 runs. But target being 190 runs, India won by 7 wickets.
  • In the 2010 Test match, Tamim Iqbal scored 151 in the second innings.
  • Similarly, it was the sixth occasion of both openers getting out for ducks in the same inning of a Test match for Sri Lanka. The last was also at Galle coming against New Zealand in 2012. Interestingly, five of the six such instances for Sri Lanka have been at their home venues.

Talking of Indian openers getting for ducks in a test innings, it has happened five times but none in this century. The last was in 1999 when Devang Gandhi and Sadagoppan Ramesh were both out without scoring any runs against New Zealand at Mohali. However, both the openers scored half-centuries in the second innings of the same test.

In ODIs also India has dismissed the opponent openers for a duck in the same match six times (Last was against England at Delhi in 2011/12). Both the Indian openers have got out for ducks in the same ODI on six occasions (Last was vs Zimbabwe at Adelaide in 2003/04. 

Only thrice, the teams have gone on to win a Test match after their openers got out for ducks in the third innings of a test match. The last was in 1958 by West Indies against India at Kanpur as mentioned above. The other two were both in Ashes and both by Australia – at MCG in 1936/37 and Brisbane in 1950/51. 

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Bharath Seervi is a Cricket Statistician who is highly passionate about bringing out interesting Statistics, Records, Facts and Trivia as the activities in cricket words goes on. He does in-depth analysis on Cricket and its Numbers. Follow his live statistical tweets @SeerviBharath and @CricScout.
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