Unwanted Proteas’ records: One of the great ties that bind all cricketers is the pain of being dismissed for a duck. Most players will experience this at some stage in their career whether they are one of the game’s best batsmen or a total bunny.
The five Proteas with the most Test ducks
Here we look at the five South Africans who have notched the most eggs in Test cricket.
5 Jacques Kallis – 16
South Africa’s Jacques Kallis acknowledges the crowd in his lap of honour around the field during Day 5 of the second and final Cricket Test Match between India and South Africa at the SAHARA Stadium , Kingsmead in Durban on December 30 , 2013. South Africa beat India by 10 wickets. AFP PHOTO / ANESH DEBIKY (Photo by ANESH DEBIKY / AFP)
South Africa’s all-time leading runscorer is also among the top five players when it comes to recording ducks.
Kallis played 278 Test innings so being blanked 16 times isn’t really that big of a deal.
England holds the distinction of handing Kallis the most ducks. The Three Lions account for four of his 16 zeros.
4 Mark Boucher – 16
Michael Vaughan of England has a word with with Mark Boucher of South Africa during day 2 of the 3rd Test Npower Test Match between England and South Africa at Edgbaston on July 31, 2008 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)
The Proteas team director tied Kallis’ mark of 16 Test ducks before being forced to call time on his career.
His tendency to get on with things often from ball one could backfire on Boucher from time to time.
His 16 ducks certainly dragged down a Test average that should have been higher than 30.30.
3 Allan Donald -17
Portrait of Allan Donald of the Proteas during a net session before the Second Test match against England at Lord’s in London. Photo: Clive Mason/Allsport
White lightning was a terror with the ball in hand, but on 17 occasions in Test cricket, he wouldn’t trouble the scorers while attempting to wield the willow.
Donald had a particularly torrid time at the Kensington Oval where he recorded three ducks including two first-ballers. Donald collected a pair on Test debut against the West Indies in Barbados.
Bizarrely the Kensington Oval was also the scene for Donald’s highest Test score of 37.
2 Makhaya Ntini – 21
Proteas batsman Makhaya Ntini plays a stroke during the second day of the second Test match between South Africa and England on December 27, 2009 at the Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban. Photo: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN AFP
Makhaya Ntini enjoyed batting, and the end-product was entertaining despite not yielding a lot of runs.
Ntini was never going to be an allrounder and aside from three Test innings at number nine he spent his entire career occupying either 10 or 11 in the order.
He was skittled for a pair on two occasions, first against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2004 and then at Kingsmead against Australia in 2006.
1 Morne Morkel – 22
Morne Morkel of the Proteas during day 2 of the 3rd Test match between South Africa and India at the Wanderers Stadium on January 25, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images
Morne Morkel isn’t the worst batsman ever to be awarded a Proteas cap, but he had a few gaps in his technique that world-class bowlers exploited time and again.
Morkel had a chance to avoid being the Proteas duck king. He went into the final Test series of his career with 20 noughts to his name.
By his final Test, Morkel had equalled Ntini’s record, and he broke it when he nicked off to Pat Cummins for a second-ball duck at the Wanderers with Temba Bavuma stranded on 95 not out at the other end.