The importance of February 6

On February 6, 1952 King George VI died in London. His daughter Elizabeth, who was than on an official visit to Kenya ascended the throne (though the coronation took place over a year later). 69 years later, she is still going strong….

In 2021, Queen Elizabeth will turn 95, Prince Philip will turn 100 and their marriage will complete 74 years. They were married a few months after India’s independence.

Closer home, Feb 6, 1952 was the first day of the 5th Test between India and England at Madras. England led 1-0 at that point.

In those days there used to be a rest day after 3 days of play. However Feb 7 was made the rest day instead because of the King’s demise. The English players wore black armbands.

On Feb 10th (the 4th day of play) India won by an innings and 8 runs. This was India’s first Test victory and they drew the series 1-1. This was the only Test when England was captained by DB Carr, while Vijay Hazare was India’s captain.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/england-tour-of-india-1951-52-61800/india-vs-england-5th-test-62729/full-scorecard

On February 6, 2021 another Test between India and England will be in progress at Chennai.

Important people born on Feb 6:

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1890)

Ronald Reagan (1911)

Eva Braun Hitler (1912)

Fred Trueman (1931)

Bob Marley (1945)

S Sreesanth (1983)

Important people who died on Feb 6:

Motilal Nehru (1931)

King George VI (1952)

Ritwik Ghatak (1976)

James Hadley Chase (1985)

Arthur Ashe (1993)

besides several football players of Manchester United in a plane crash in 1958.

Differences between home and away batting averages

A common topic of discussion among cricket’s number-crunchers is the difference between home and away batting averages.

Here, we consider the differences for the 534 players who have batted in at least 20 innings both in home and away/neutral Tests.

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

Home-away main display

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 such as RG Sharma do not feature here as they have not completed 20 innings 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.

Highest Home-Away

The top positions are the unlikely trio of VS Hazare, Kamran Akmal and Mominul Haque-all from the Asian teams. Next come Rowe and Walcott from the West Indies. Warner, Khawaja and Clarke are the highest among Australians, Compton and May from the English, HP Tillakratne from Sri Lanka, HW Taylor from South Africa, McCullum from New Zealand and GJ Whittall from Zimbabwe.

We now go to the other extreme, those who have the greatest negative difference, or those who derive the strongest advantage from away and neutral conditions.

Lowest Home and Away

Unlike in the first table, the first few positions are from a wider variety of teams.

BC Broad (Eng) has the only such difference less than -30. While he had a reasonable career as a batsman, his bowler son Stuart Broad is better known.

Then other leaders from their teams are DM Bravo (WI), S Wettimuny (SL), M Amarnath (Ind), PA Strang (Zim), WR Endean (SA), JW Burke (Aus), JR Reid (NZ), Saleem Yousuf (Pak). Perhaps it is understandable that there is no one from Bangladesh in the top 40. The best from BD is Javed Omar (102nd with -2.83).

The median difference among the 534 players is 3.14, matched by RJ Shastri and GG Arnold. That might imply that most batsmen would be expected to average 3 runs more at home than away/neutral.

Those closest to a zero difference (whose batting averages are practically the same home and away) are Waqar Younis (-0.04) along with HM Amla (0.09 ) and Intikhab Alam (-0.10)

In case you are wondering, DG Bradman is 457th out of 534, being one of those who did better away. His difference is 98.22-102.84 = -4.62.