The first 100 Tests

With the conclusion of Bangladesh’s Test at the PSS ground at Colombo, all Test-playing countries have completed 100 Tests. It is interesting to see how the teams have fared during the first 100 Tests.

You might think that Australia did the best in its first 100 Tests? Wrong. And which team recorded the least wins in its first 100 Tests? Bangladesh? Wrong again.

There are various ways in which we can look at team performance. First we start with the raw data, in which the abandoned Tests with no play are not counted.

Raw data

First we see this table with teams arranged in order of wins in their first 100 Tests:


England is a little ahead of Australia here. And Bangladesh won more Tests than New Zealand did. Zimbabwe is just ahead of India, which is in 8th place.

Then they can be arranged in order of Win/Loss Ratio:


England is still on top, while the West Indies is just ahead of Australia. Beyond Australia, there are wide gaps though it is interesting to see Zimbabwe ahead of New Zealand and Bangladesh. Older cricket literature (prior to the 1960s) is often quite dismissive of New Zealand’s Test teams. India is in 7th place here.

For Percentage Score, we consider a win earning one point and a draw earning half a point.

Hence Australia with 42 wins, 40 losses and 18 draws has a score (or percentage score for 100 Tests) of 42 + 0.5 * 18= 42 + 9 = 51.0

So here is the table in order of Percentage Score:


We consider Australia ahead of the West Indies as they had more wins (42 against 35).

After Australia and the West Indies there is a fairly wide spread, with Zimbabwe and Bangladesh at the bottom. India is in 6th place.

Looking back at the different tables we can see that South Africa, New Zealand and India did not win many Tests in their early years but were somewhat more successful in drawing matches when compared to Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. And Australian performances were not consistent until part of the 20th century had elapsed. On the whole, Pakistan and Sri Lanka picked up faster than India. In fact Pakistan has the most draws among the teams, followed by India.