Black Caps bowler Chris Martin is perhaps equally known for knocking over top orders in test cricket as much being known for his bunny status with the bat. He has surpassed Danny Morrison as the NZ duck champion. He has 23 ducks and did not make a double-figure score until his 36th Test. He also the record for the most pairs in test cricket history. Bless.
He has however seemed to have developed a minor cult following when he comes out to bat. Every run is a victory over the other bowler to be savoured.
Recently pie eater Jesse Ryder was near a test ton against India when Ian O’Brien fell to a rash shot. Chris Martin had to come out as the last batsman left and survived a tense over before Ryder was able to claim his first test ton. Chris Martin was lauded for simply not getting out.
In the latest test match against India at the Basin Reserve, he was the only Black Cap Batsman India field to dismiss in the first innings (Ed - umm...). His cover drive for four runs was greeted by cheers and approval from The Bank.
Cricinfo appears to have picked up on Martin's cult following too. And have given him the nickname, The Phantom. I have no idea why, I surmise it's to do with the above picturevof the Phantom and not the one from a certain opera. Still they give him props when they can. Witness:
El Pedro: "If my calculations are correct - at the current run rate for the remaining 37 overs plus 90 tomorrow - NZ WILL WIN ... pity about the weather prospects, the remaining batting reserves ... Taylor and Franklin will have to do it themselves ."
Cric Info: Don't worry Pedro.. The Phantom is still out there in the pavilion.
Trevor Nesbit from New Zealand: "Chris Martin = 80 test runs Chris Martin = 160 test wickets...Could he achieve the 100 run 200 wicket double?"
Cric Info: Don't you go doubting and woofing Da Maan.
Fan's watching the game on cricinfo also chip in with anti: fanboy commentary.
Michael from NZ: "481 @ 3.9 an over. Do-able by Oz, South Africa and Indian standards... but New Zealand!? asking for 600+ scores in consecutive tests...You're more likely to see Chris Martin confidently stride out to the middle and crack a 6 over Zaheer Khan's head." I am waiting for the great Marto strike.
Guess he didn't see Martin's shot for four last innings!
Chris is actually a bloody good sport about all of this and even teamed up with Bill and Ben to produce a satire video endorsing his Learn to Bat video...
On other celebrity news, Cric Info has not yet confirmed whether Chris listens to Coldplay.