Sunday, May 28, 2006

Batting first in the subcontinent

Responding to my previous post, kshah pointed out that teams batting last often still have to deal with difficult pitches in the subcontinent. I therefore spent a while at Statsguru to see what it told me.

The year brackets are slightly different to those of Z-Score, because I was entering the wrong years. Statsguru refuses to exclude Bangladesh matches, so they are included in the stats. I've only included matches in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, in which there was a home team. (I think this means that, eg, the Pakistan v Australia matches in Sri Lanka and Sharjah don't count.) Percentages in the following table are the percentage of victories that went to the team batting first.


There are lots of arguments you could have about various numbers in the above table. (For instance, Pakistan only lost two home Tests between 1969 and 1983 - did batting first or second make a difference?) Nevertheless, the figures for the past few years at least agree with the overall trend of an advantage to the side batting second, though it is much less pronounced than outside the subcontinent. I'm a little bit tempted to say that the figures in the last column for India and Sri Lanka are noise, given the 94-98 numbers.

I was surprised to see how team-batting-second-friendly Pakistan is.

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