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Martin has dismissed Smith more times than any other bowler
It was a sad day for all cricket fans as New Zealand’s Chris Martin announced his retirement from all forms of cricket at the age of 38.
Martin, who was New Zealand’s opening bowler for many years, finished with 233 Test wickets at an average of 33.81, which puts him at third on the country’s all-time wicket takers list, with Richard Hadlee and Daniel Vettori occupying the top two spots.
Martin, who made his debut in November 2000 against South Africa at Bloemfontein, represented New Zealand in 71 Test matches, 20 ODIs and six Twenty20 Internationals.
Funnily enough, Martin’s last match came against South Africa as well, where he took three wickets, while giving away 63 runs.
While Martin’s international career can be described as turbulent, many pundits and former players were surprised by his decision to retire as he had picked up 23 wickets at a respectable average of 27.86 over the past 18 months.
However, Martin feels as if it was the right time to hang up the boots, especially since many of the younger talents like Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Doug Bracewell have started to make their mark.
“It feels like the right time to step down,” Martin said. “I have loved every second and given it everything when playing for the Black Caps, but after 15 years of professional cricket, it’s time to pursue a new challenge. Representing the Black Caps has been a massive privilege, and playing with a group of guys who’re so passionate about doing well for their country has been very special. I wish [captain] Brendon [McCullum] and the team all the best for the future.”
Despite rarely ever being in the limelight, Vettori branded Martin as “an under-rated bowler” who “deserves to be regarded as one of New Zealand’s best-ever Test bowlers” after he passed the 200 Test wickets milestone.
Martin has taken 10 five-wicket hauls in his career and seems to love bowling to South Africa as he has claimed 55 wickets against them at an average of 26.72.
But, who are the two batsmen Martin dismissed the most often in Test cricket? The answer: South Africa Test captain Graeme Smith, who has been dismissed eight times by Martin and South Africa veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who has been removed by Martin on six different occasions.
No other bowler has dismissed Smith as many times as Martin has.
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson noted that Martin was one of the most respected and admired players in the national team, while also admitting that his experience would be missed in the dressing room.
“The way Chris goes about his business both on and off the field has made him one of the most respected players in the changing room,” Hesson said. “He’s been a great role model for younger team mates and will be sorely missed. We wish him all the best for the future.”
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White also paid tribute to Martin’s outstanding career.
“During his career Chris has formed a reputation as one of the most consistent performers in world cricket, something which can be put down to his relentless work ethic,” White said. “He’s shown all the qualities required to perform on the international scene – fight, determination and a huge passion for the game. It’s his attitude which has led Chris to becoming one of New Zealand’s most successful Test bowlers.”
While his bowling figures command a lot of respect, Martin’s batting figures are quite the opposite as he has only scored 123 runs in 104 Test innings at a comical average of 2.36.
The only time Martin has ever reached double figures was against Bangladesh in Dunedin in 2007-08, where he made 12.
Martin’s scoreless record is quite impressive as he has failed to score any runs on 36 occasions.
Only the West Indies’ Courtney Walsh, who failed to score on 43 occasions, has more ducks than Martin.
However, Martin can easily claim the record for the most Test pairs, as he has been dismissed for ducks in both innings of a Test match seven times.
Walsh, Mervyn Dillon, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, Muttiah Muralitharan and Marvan Atapattu are all tied in second place with four pairs apiece.