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Stats: One opener scoring a duck and the other scoring a century in the same Test innings for India

A statistical piece on the times when one opener gets out for a duck and another scores a hundred, in the backdrop of the second Test between India vs Sri Lanka.

Murali Vijay walks back after scoring duck in the first innings of the 2nd Test match in Colombo

The second Test match at P Sara Oval stadium in Colombo began with Sri Lankan players giving the guard of honor to their legendary batsman Kumar Sangakkara after Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first. For India, Shikhar Dhawan who scored a century in the last Test had to miss this Test to recover from his injury and in his place his regular opening partner Murali Vijay who was sitting out from the first Test came back to the side.

Very soon, Sri Lankan bowlers tried making most of the new ball and they succeeded. Dhammika Prasad dismissed Murali Vijay in the very first over of the match. The other opener Lokesh Rahul being the youngster in the side tried to stable the inning. He did it well and shared a big partnership with captain Virat Kohli who came in to bat at number four after Ajinkya Rahane went back to the pavilion in the fifth over having come as number three.

Lokesh Rahul went on to score a century on the first day before getting out for 108 runs. One of the openers Murali Vijay was out for a duck and the other opener Lokesh Rahul got to the three-figure mark. Almost a similar thing happened in the Sydney Test in India’s last tour to Australia. Murali Vijay was out for a duck and Lokesh Rahul scored 110 runs sharing a century partnership with captain Virat Kohli.

On this occasion, let’s see the instances for India in Tests where one opener got out for a duck and the other scored a century in the same inning. It is overall the 15th such instance for India in the history of Tests. The first such instance was in 1947/48 tour to Australia where Vinoo Mankad scored a century after Chandu Sarwate was out for a duck. The table below lists all the instances with the required details.

A duck and a century by Indian openers in the same innings of a Test match

Duck

Century

Inning

Against

Venue

Date

Result

Chandu Sarwate

Vinoo Mankad (111)

2

Australia

MCG

06-Feb-48

Lost

Pankaj Roy

Vinoo Mankad (184)

3

England

Lord's

19-Jun-52

Lost

Pankaj Roy

Madhav Apte (163*)

3

West Indies

Port of Spain

19-Feb-53

Drawn

Dilip Vengsarkar

Sunil Gavaskar (156)

2

West Indies

Port of Spain

24-Mar-76

Drawn

Chetan Chauhan

Sunil Gavaskar (137)

3

Pakistan

Karachi

14-Nov-78

Lost

Navjot Sidhu

Ravi Shastri (206)

2

Australia

SCG

02-Jan-92

Drawn

Navjot Sidhu

Manoj Prabhakar (120)

2

West Indies

Mohali

10-Dec-94

Lost

VVS Laxman

Navjot Sidhu (201)

2

West Indies

Port of Spain

14-Mar-97

Drawn

Wasim Jaffer

Virender Sehwag (106)

1

England

Nottingham

08-Aug-02

Drawn

Virender Sehwag

Wasim Jaffer (100)

4

England

Nagpur

01-Mar-06

Drawn

Irfan Pathan

Virender Sehwag (151)

3

Australia

Adelaide

24-Jan-08

Drawn

Virender Sehwag

Gautam Gambhir (179)

1

England

Mohali

19-Dec-08

Drawn

Abhinav Mukund

Rahul Dravid (117)

2

England

Nottingham

29-Jul-11

Lost

Murali Vijay

Lokesh Rahul (110)

2

Australia

SCG

06-Jan-15

Drawn

Murali Vijay

Lokesh Rahul (108)

1

Sri Lanka

Colombo (PSS)

20-Aug-15

-

Some notes:

  • India has not won any of the previous 14 Tests in which one of the openers recovered the team after the other opener was out for a duck. They lost 5 and drew 9.
  • Of the 15 instances, 12 have come in away Test matches for India and only three in India – against West Indies at Mohali in 1994, England at Nagpur in 2006 and at Mohali in 2008.
  • Vinoo Mankad, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and Lokesh Rahul have scored centuries twice for the team when their fellow partner was out for a duck.
  • Lokesh Rahul’s has done it twice in just 3 Tests in which he opened. Great start to his career.
  • Pankaj Roy, Navjot Sidhu, Virender Sehwag and Murali Vijay have got out for a duck twice when their fellow openers scored centuries.
  • Navjot Sidhu, Virender Sehwag, and Wasim Jaffer have involved in both scoring duck and scoring centuries when their partners failed or succeeded.
  • Ravi Shastri (206) and Navjot Sidhu (201) scored double centuries after their opening partner was out for a duck.
  • This instance at Colombo is only the third such instance happening for India in the first innings of a Test match. Only against England at Nottingham in 2002 and at Mohali in 2008 it happened in the first innings of the match.
  • It has happened thrice at Port of Spain in Trinidad against West Indies. Nottingham and Mohali are the other venues where it took place twice for India.

For India in ODIs: In ODIs, the similar occasion of one opener scoring duck and other scoring century have happened seven times. The last was in the recent ICC World Cup against South Africa at the MCG where Rohit Sharma was out for a duck and Shikhar Dhawan scored 137.

Including all teams, it has happened 86 times in Tests, 42 times in ODIs and twice in T20Is. 

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