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.