Review of India-South Africa Tests

After India concluded its 3-0 victory with a record 337-run win, a total of 33 Tests have been played between the two countries. Overall, South Africa leads 13-10 with 10 draws.

In India, India leads 8-5 with 3 draws, while in South Africa the hosts lead 8-2 with 7 draws. India had earlier won 2-1 in 1996-97 and 1-0 in 2004-05 but are yet to win a series in SA. The best they managed was 1-1 in 2010-11.

We now look at statistics for all Tests between these two countries.


Most runs (500 and more):

I v SA most runs

Fittingly, Tendulkar and Kallis scored almost the same number of runs, the most centuries (7 each) and even the most scores above 50 (12 each).

Highest individual scores (150 and more):

I v SA indiv scores

However, it is Sehwag and Amla who have the highest individual scores.

Highest averages (minimum 20 innings batted):

I v SA best avg

Kallis is far ahead of everyone else. You can also see that Sehwag has the highest strike rate.


Most wickets (20 and above):

I v SA bowling

Kumble and Steyn have the most wickets for their countries and these records should stand for a long time. Steyn has the most fivers (5) while several have taken one tenner each. And SA seemed to be Sreesanth’s favourite opponents.

Best innings bowling (6 or more wickets):

I v SA innings bowling

The record stands with Klusener who achieved this on debut. These remained his career-best innings figures, and he was considered more as a batting all-rounder for most of his career. Ashwin took over the Indian record from Harbhajan during this series.

Best match bowling (8 or more wickets):

I v SA match bowling

Here, too, Ashwin took over the Indian record in this series. But Donald’s figures from the first series remain the SA record.

We now look at

Bowling averages (minimum 2000 balls bowled):

I v SA bowling avg

Kallis is not in this list as he did not bowl enough against India. Donald and Pollock lead the averages. Pollock also has the best economy rate (2.26) and Steyn the best strike rate (41.5). We might expect Ashwin and Jadeja to be high on these lists once they have bowled enough to qualify.


Most dismissals (15 and more):

I v SA fielding dismissals

Boucher has the most dismissals, while Kallis has the most among the non-keepers. Also note de Villiers’s double act as a keeper and fielder.

Best dismissal ratio (for 20 or more innings fielded):

I v SA fielding ratio

Boucher and Dhoni lead the table, while GC Smith leads the non-keepers though “hybrid” de Villiers is above him.

All-round performance (overall):

I v SA allround

With these criteria Kallis does not qualify due to less bowling, so Pollock heads the list.

All-round performance (match)-minimum 50 runs and 5 wickets.

I v SA match allround

Oddly enough Kallis does not figure here either. Probably Boje and Philander have the best match performances.

India is not playing Tests for a while, but the cricket statisticians hardly get to rest.