Southampton: India seamer Pankaj Singh took possession Wednesday of a record he would rather not have broken when he recorded the most expensive match figures by a Test debutant without a wicket. The 29-year-old 6ft 6in paceman finished with a match haul of none for 179 after England declared their second innings on 205 for four in the ongoing third Test at Southampton. That saw Singh surpass the previous worst wicketless debut return of none for 164 by Pakistan's Sohail Khan against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2009.
It might be one of cricket's more enduring cliches but Singh, in for the injured Ishant Sharma, really did bowl better than his figures suggested. He was especially unlucky during a first-innings return of none for 146 in 37 overs when he had England captain Alastair Cook dropped on 15 in the slips by Ravindra Jadeja, with the left-handed opener going on to make 95.
Singh was also unfortunate to see Ian Bell, then on nought, survive a confident lbw appeal after the Rajasthan seamer produced a superb late swinging delivery that rapped the batsman's pad. Unfortunately for Singh, India's objections to the Decision Review System being used this series meant he had no way of overturning the not out verdict.
To make matters worse for India, Bell went on to make 156 -- his first hundred in 20 Test innings -- as England piled on the runs in a total of 569 for seven declared. One consolation for Singh is that the worst debut Test innings figures still belong to Australia leg-spinner Bryce McGain. In what proved to be his only Test, McGain was smashed for 149 in 18 wicketless overs as South Africa made 651 all out at Cape Town in 2009 before going on to win by an innings and 20 runs.
Worst wicketless Test match debuts (return, player, country, opponent, venue, year):
0-179 Pankaj Singh IND v ENG Southampton 2014
0-164 Sohail Khan PAK v SRI Karachi 2009
0-160 Aaqib Javed PAK v NZL Wellington 1989
0-149 Bryce McGain AUS v RSA Cape Town 2009
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