Differences between home and away bowling averages

Here, we consider the differences for the 261 players who have bowled at least 2000 balls in home and away/neutral Tests.

The full list of Home average-Away/Neutral average can be seen in this spreadsheet.

sorted home advantage

This is for Tests up to Oct 25, 2019. The 2005 Test involving the ICC XI is not included.

However, you may find it simpler to look at the top 40, whose home average has the greatest positive difference  with the away/neutral average. Or those who derive the greatest advantage from home conditions.

Note that some prominent players do not feature here as they have not bowled 2000 balls in one of the two categories.

Many of the current Pakistani players are not here because they have played few or no Tests at home.

Those with the strongest home advantage:

Bowling-max home advantage

We see that JDP Oram (NZ) followed by CR Woakes (Eng) and MH Miraj (BD) have the greatest home advantage, with Oram having a large lead. The leaders from other countries are  TW Wall (Aus), BC Strang (Zim), SLV Raju (Ind), RL Chase (WI), Abdul Qadir (Pak), BM McMillan (SA) and MDK Perera (SL). Some of them, particularly the spinners such as Miraj, Raju and Qadir are known to have done much better at home.

Those with the weakest home advantage:

Bowling-least home advantage

Some relatively lesser known names at the top, apart from Worrell who was not a regular bowler for most of his Test career. RDB Croft (Eng) leads by a large margin over the next FM Worrell (WI) and PJ Wiseman (NZ). The leaders from other countries are IK Pathan (Ind), GRJ Matthews (Aus), RAS Lakmal (SL), Mushtaq Mohammad (Pak) and AA Donald (SA). We have to go beyond the top 40 to find Shakib Al Hasan (BD) at #90 and PA Strang (Zim) at #120.

Pathan was fortunate to play two away series against the particularly weak teams of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

The median value is -3.36 (NAT Adcock, PH Edwards). This implies that an average bowler would be expected to have a home average about 3 more than his away/neutral average.

Those with a difference near zero are MA Holding (0.10) and HJ Tayfield and Shakib Al Hasan (-0.14). They are among the best bowlers from their countries, and did equally well at home and away.

More about bowling averages

Ever wondered about the average of Test bowling averages?

If we take all Tests up to Oct 25, 2019 and disregarding the Test involving the ICC XI in 2005, and a cutoff of 2000 balls bowled:

There are 613 bowlers fitting this criteria. A full statement:

Bowling averages-final

The bowling averages range from GA Lohmann’s 10.75 to EAR de Silva’s 129.00, which is the only 3-figure bowling average.

The average or mean bowling average is 34.45, which corresponds to that of JE Taylor and KD Mackay.

Looking at other measures of central tendency:

First quartile: 28.24 (SP Jones, RJ Sidebottom, HC Griffith)

Median: 32.92 (BL Cairns, L Amarnath)

Third quartile: 38.59 (AMB Rowan).

We also have the Economy Rate, which ranges from 1.31 runs/over for W Attewell to 4.16 for Shahadat Hossain.

The average is 2.75 (DK Lillee, RM Hogg)

And the Strike Rate, which ranges from 34.10 balls/wicket by GA Lohmann to 291.00 by EAR de Silva. Remember that they have the best and worst bowling averages as well.

We may as well have a closer look at them:



The average is 76.10 by Iqbal Qasim.

Next we will take up the difference between home and away bowling averages, as was done for batting averages in a recent post.



Test bowling performances of 2016

This applies to all Tests during the calendar year 2016.

Most wickets taken (20 and above):


Ashwin is far ahead of the runner-up Herath. Ashwin also has the most fivers (8) followed by Herath (5). Ashwin yet again has the most tenners (3) followed by Herath and Yasir Shah with 2 apiece.

Best bowling (innings): All instances of 6 or more wickets.


Bishoo has the best innings figures for the year but his side lost that Test. Interestingly, RA Jadeja has the best innings figures for India.

Best bowling (match): All instances of 8 or more wickets


Ashwin’s and Herath’s names keep recurring here.

Bowling averages: (Minimum 1500 balls):


Herath tops this list followed by the less heralded Wagner and then Starc.

Jadeja has the  best economy rate of 2.27, followed by Anderson (2.46) and Herath (2.61)

The best strike rate is by Rabada (36.6) followed by Starc (39.0) and Herath (43.4)

Though Ashwin took the most wickets, he did not score very well on these parameters.

To be continued.



Overall T20WC records as on March 23

As we pause for breath after the last over against Bangladesh, here is a snapshot of major records in all T20WC matches from 2007 to March 23.

Most matches (25 and more):

T20WC-most matches

Dilshan, Afridi and Dhoni look set to add a few more matches-though they probably will have retired by the next World Championship. Note that the previous record of 31 was shared by three Sri Lankans.

Most runs: (500 and more)

T20WC-most runs

M. Jayawardene’s record is under threat from Gayle and Dilshan.

Of those who scored more than 500 runs, Kohli has by far the highest average (67.33). The next is Gayle with 45.35

The highest strike rate here is 153.31 by Afridi, followed by 148.33 by Pietersen.

Most wickets (20 and more):

T20WC-most wickets

Afridi (39) has taken over the record from Malinga. Next among current players is Shakib with 30.

The record of 6-8 by Ajantha Mendis has not come under threat this time as no one has taken more than 4 wickets in an innings.

From those listed above, Mendis has the best average of 15.02, Vettori the best economy at 5.83 and Mendis the best strike rate of 13.4

Fielding (12 or more dismissals):

T20WC-most dismissals

De Villiers (31) has the most dismissals and is set to add to his record. Most of his catches were as a fielder. Dhoni (29) and Ramdin (26) have a chance of catching up.

Kamran Akmal has the most dismissals (30) among the “pure” keepers. Guptill and Warner with 15 lead among the pure non-keepers, although de Villiers has 22 catches as a fielder along with 7 catches as a keeper and 2 stumpings.


Best all-round performance (Minimum 100 runs and 10 wickets):


Using this criterion, Kallis ranks the highest, followed by Shakib and Mathews from the current players.

As we can see, a few of these records may be broken before the end of the 2016 World Championship.



Summary statistics of T20 2016 World Championship


For 2016 alone:


For all matches in this World Championship since 2007:


Those who are familiar with Statsguru should be able to extract various parameters such as total runs, batting averages, strike rates etc. from the output of these links.

Lies, damn lies and statistics in cricket

It has been said that there are lies, damn lies and statistics. And Test cricket is a good place to check this out.

After the conclusion of the India-South Africa series we ask Statsguru a few questions. The answers will not be what you expect.

Q1: Who is the best opening bowler in Tests in the 2010s?

A1: Consider all those who bowled at No 1 or 2 since 01 Jan 2010 and took at least 50 wickets while doing so, and rank them by their bowling averages.

Opening bowlers since 2010

Didn’t realize it was a spinner, did you?

Q2: OK, something more conventional. Who is India’s best opening bowler of all time?

A2: Consider all Indian bowlers who bowled at No 1 and No 2, and took at least 50 wickets while doing so. Rank them by their bowling averages.

India-opening bowler

Probably you should have seen that coming.

Q3: OK, but wasn’t Kapil Dev India’s greatest all-rounder?

A3: Let us consider all Indians who scored the double of 1000 runs/100 wickets, and rank by them by the difference between their batting average and bowling average. This measure is as good as any other means for ranking all-rounders.


Well, you should have seen that one coming too.

It is up to you to decide how seriously you take these figures.


Cricket odds and ends-4


This is a follow-up to:





We now explore some other odds and ends. Today we look at the worst career averages by those who took ten wickets in a match, nine wickets in an innings and so on. Later we consider the best averages by those who never took 10wm, 9wi and so on.

These averages are restricted to those who bowled at least 2000 balls. The figures do not include the Test in progress at Galle, and the ICC XI-Aus Test of 2005.

Best average by those who never took 10 wickets in a match:

W Barnes 15.54 (best 9-81 in match)

G Ulyett    20.40 (7-57)

FR Foster 20.57 (8-70)

Best average by those who never took 9 wickets in an innings:

JJ Ferris    12.70 (best 7-37 in innings), includes matches for Aus and Eng

W Barnes  15.54 (6-28)

W Bates    16.42  (7-28)

Best average by those who never took 8 wickets in an innings:

Exactly the same as the above list for those who never took 9 wickets:

Best average by those who never took 7 wickets in an innings:

W Barnes 15.54 (6-28)

FR Foster 20.57 (6-91)

K Higgs    20.74 (6-91)

Best average by those who never took 6 wickets in an innings:

W Attewell          22.35 (4-42)

Shabbir Ahmed  23.03 (5-48)

SR Clark            23.36 (5-32)

Best average by those who never took 5 wickets in an innings:

W Attewell          22.35 (4-42)

M Hendrick        25.83  (4-28)

WKM Benjamin 27.01   (4-46)

Best average by those who never took 4 wickets in an innings:

WJ Cronje              29.95 (3-14)

M Mbangwa           31.43 (3-23)

JV Coney               35.77  (3-28)

Now we take take up the converse cases, starting with

Worst average by those who took 10 wickets in a match:

GRJ Matthews         48.22  (best 10-249 in match,which was the tied Test of 1986)

C Pringle                  46.30  (11-152)

L Sivaramakrishnan 44.03  (12-181)

Worst average by those who took 9 wickets in an innings:

DE Malcolm              37.09 (9-57)

AA Mailey                 33.91 (9-121)

Abdul Qadir              32.80 (9-56)

Worst average by those who took 8 wickets in an innings:

LC Braund                38.51 (8-81)

L Klusener                37.91 (8-64) which was on debut

DE Malcolm              37.09 (9-56)

Worst average by those who took 7 wickets in an innings:

C Pringle                  46.30 (7-52)

RJ Bright                  41.13 (7-87)

Enamul Haque Jr     40.61 (7-95)

Worst average by those who took 6 wickets in an innings:

Manjural Islam          57.32 (6-81)

Shahadat Hussain    51.81 (6-27)

AM Moir                    50.64 (6-155) on debut

Worst average by those who took 5 wickets in an innings:

Rubel Hossain           75.90 (5-166) current player

DR O’Sullivan            68.00 (5-148)

Manjural Islam           57.32 (6-81)

Worst average by those who took 4 wickets in an innings:

IDK Salisbury              76.95 (4-163)

Rubel Hossain            75.90 (5-166) current player

DR O’Sullivan             68.00 (5-148)

Will be back with more quirky figures soon.