Overview of Tests between Australia and New Zealand

With the conclusion of the pink-ball Test at Adelaide, Australia won the 3-Test series against New Zealand 2-0. So far 55 Tests have been played between these countries, and Australia lead 29-8 with 18 draws. In Australia there have been 31 Tests with Australia leading 17-3 with 11 draws, and in New Zealand Australia leads 12-5 with 7 draws.

Of the three victories by New Zealand in Australia, two were in 1985-86 (thanks mainly to Sir Richard Hadlee) and one in 2011-12.

We now look at figures for all Tests between these countries. The first was at Wellington in 1945-46 and was the first Test in any country after WW2. The result was so one-sided that matches between these countries did not resume until 1973-74.

It is worth looking at the scorecard of that first Test, in which several of Bradman’s invincibles made their debuts. Bradman himself did not play, and Australia’s captain was WA Brown.


First we look at the most runs (750 and above):

Aus v NZ-most runs

Dominated by players of the past, only Ross Taylor from the present. Border has the most hundreds (5), while he and Boon have the most (11) scores above 50.

Now for highest averages (for a minimum of 20 innings batted):

Aus v NZ-highest averages

Langer is somewhat unexpectedly at the top. Only McCullum is there among current players. And the one at the bottom is predictable.

Highest individual scores (150 and above):

Aus v NZ-highest indiv scores

Here there is more contribution from the current players-as the record scores for Australia and New Zealand were made in the current series by Warner and Taylor respectively. Interestingly no one had made 290 in Tests before.

Now for bowling-most wickets (25 and above)

Aus v NZ-most wickets

Headed by Sir Richard and Mr Shane. Only MG Johnson from current players.

Next we come to bowling averages (minimum 2000 balls bowled):

Aus v NZ-best bowling avgs

The same pair at the top, with Cairns senior and junior just above the hapless Chris Martin at the bottom.

The best economy rate is 2.08 by the under-rated Chatfield, while Hadlee has the best strike rate of 46.9.

Best innings bowling: (6wi and above)

Aus v NZ-best innings bowling

Dominated by Hadlee, with only Hazlewood from recent times.

Best match bowling: (8wm and above)

Aus v NZ-best match bowling

As above, dominated by Hadlee (with a bit of Warne) with only Hazlewood from recent times.

Now for fielding-most dismissals: (20 and above)

Aus v NZ-most dismissals

Rod Marsh has the most dismissals (58) and catches as a keeper (57), Smith the most stumpings (5) and Border the most catches as a non-keeper (31).

Looking at dismissals per innings: (minimum 20 innings fielded)

Aus v NZ-best dismissal rate

Rod Marsh leads with 2.230, while MA Taylor has the best rate by a non-keeper (1.136)

Coming to the end, we look at all-round performance.

The criteria for determining who is an all-rounder are debatable, anyway you can see what I have used at the top of this table.

Best all-round performance (career):

Aus v NZ-overall allround

Warne surprisingly comes out on top as he was more successful with the bat than Hadlee in these Tests.

Finally we come to best all-round performance in a match: (at least 50 runs and 5 wickets)

Aus v NZ-match allround

Hadlee’s fifty plus 15 wickets would take pride of place, including the best match bowling by anyone scoring a fifty in the same match. CL Cairns’s 2001 performance is also noteworthy, while Dodemaide achieved the rare feat of a fifty and fiver on debut.

(All this will have to be revised when Australia visits New Zealand in February 2016).