Golden ducks can be very embarrassing for a batsman. You are out before you are in. Getting out on the first delivery you face can be brought about because of a few reasons - a pressing need to slog, a loose shot, an unplayable delivery or a shocking umpiring error.
There are deliveries bowled first up that are so good that only the best batsmen can come close to negotiating it. And because they are so good, they nick it, while the average players play and miss and hence survive.
Sometimes, a golden duck is not a sign of poor form but just that a great ball got to you before anything else. By the law of averages, a batsman is bound to get some over the course of a career, except if you are Rahul Dravid, who never was dismissed off the first ball he faced in Tests.
A fantastic stroke player like Sachin Tendulkar too had his share of golden ducks and here are 5 of those. In every instance except the drawn Test against the West Indies, India lost the Test match.
#5 Sachin Tendulkar c Ian Smith b Danny Morrison 0 (1)
versus New Zealand in Christchurch, 1990
His first golden duck was as a 16-year-old on his second overseas tour and first trip to New Zealand. It was a regulation caught behind in the first Test nicking off to a swinging ball from promising speedster Morrison.
#4 Sachin Tendulkar c Dave Richardson b Brett Schultz 0 (1)
versus South Africa in Port Elizabeth, 1992
Coming off a superb 111 at the Wanderers, Johannesburg, he was scalped by the now forgotten left-arm fast bowler Brett Schultz, becoming his most famous victim in a collapse that led to the match and series defeat vs South Africa in their first meeting post-apartheid.
#3 Sachin Tendulkar b Shoaib Akhtar 0 (1)
versus Pakistan in Calcutta, 1999.
Injured, but still in-form, Sachin found his middle-stump uprooted by an inswinging yorker by Shoaib Akhtar. The jam-packed Eden Gardens was stunned into silence and Pakistan went on to win a very controversial Test, owing to Sachin's contentious run-out in the second innings.
#2 Sachin Tendulkar c Ridley Jacobs b Pedro Collins 0 (1)
versus West Indies in St.John's, 2002
It was a dead pitch with both sides scoring a total of more than 1100 runs in just 2 innings. But Sachin was Pedro Collins' bunny on this tour. Uncharacteristically unsure with his footwork and of his off stump, he nicked an angled away-swinger to the waiting gloves of Ridley Jacobs.
#1 Sachin Tendulkar c Adam Gilchrist b Brett Lee 0 (1)
versus Australia in Melbourne, 2003
After a promising start in an under-renovation MCG, India somehow lost the momentum and lost the Boxing Day Test. A quick and beautifully shaped delivery from Lee took a faint nick off Sachin's edge to the delight of the Australians who leveled the series after having lost the Adelaide Test.