Sunday, December 23, 2007

An analysis of all the team's performances against Australia

Cricinfo's stats editor S Raejsh brings us some very interesting statistics on the eve of the most awaited Border Gavaskar trophy. Australia has been invincible. They have thrashed team after team and even a draw in Australia is considered an achievement. Apparently India has the most impressive record playing against Australia. The statistics being discussed here cover only tests played against Australia since 2000. It also includes the super test between Australia and the world XI. The rankings in which India is at number one is done on basis of difference in batting and bowling averages.

India has played 12 tests, has won 4 matches and lost 5. India is the only team with a batting average of over 30. The figure is 33.18. The bowling average is 39.12 and the difference between the batting and bowling averages is only -5.94. Other teams have a bad record. England is just after India and they have won 4 matches compared to 14 losses with a batting average of 28.47 and a bowling average of 43.49. The difference is -15.02. Among the other Asian teams, Srilanka is at number three with no win and six losses. Their batting average is 28.47, bowling average is 42.50 and the difference is -15.05. Pakistan is at number six with zero wins and six losses. Their batting average is 20.78 and bowling average is 41.98. Difference is -21.11.

Among batsmen with the best records against Australia, three out of top four are Indians and there are four Indians in the top ten list. No points for guessing that at the top of the list is Laxman with an astounding average of 61.61. Rahul Dravid is number 2 at an average of 56. KP takes third position at an average of 53.50. Virendra Sehwag has an average of 49.76 and is at number four. Sachin Tendulkar is at number seven with an average of 47.41.

In bowlers Shoaib Akhtar tops the list with an average of 22.40 with 20 wickets. Harbhajan Singh is second with an average of 22.55 and 54 wickets. It may be noted that 53 of those wickets have come in India and he has picked only one wicket in Australia in the only one match he played in Australia. Andrew Flintoff is at number three with an average of 29.59 and 11 wickets. The Indian captain Anil Kumble is at number four with an average of 29.82 and 8 wickets.

S Rajesh also goes on to show that its a left arm chinaman bowler who has troubled the Indian batsmen the most. The list of the most successful spinner against India been compiled on basis of least difference between career average and average against India and Paul Adams tops the list. Hogg being a left handed chinamam bowler himself, will be inspired by this. He might want to see some video footage of Adams bowling to the Indians. But notably for him, is ex-colleague and arguably world's best leg spinner ever is at the bottom of the list.

Read the full story here.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

India's spinners

India's batting line up has been considered the best by many. But India's bowling has not been rated very high by many. Lets have a look at some of the prominent players from India and their performances in recent times as well as against Australia.

In this episode of the build up series, we will have a look at India's top spinners and try to find out how good they are. Of course we will use statistics more than anything else.

Anil Kumble:Lets start with the captain. I dont think many of you need any statistics or any facts to know how good he is. An unorthodox bowler who can single handedly dismiss an entire side....literally!! He did that to Pakistan once and he can possibly do even more amazing things. Anil has taken 584 wickets in 121 tests at an average of 28.66. He has 34 five wicket hauls. He is a threat to any side. Playing Kumble and surviving is perhaps the toughest test of the defense of a person.

Against Australia Kumble has taken 88 wickets at an average of 27.17. However playing in Australia, Kumble's average goes up...way up. He has taken 29 wickets in six matchs at an average of 40.00. This is probably Kumble's last opportunity to produce a great performance in Australia.

Harbhajan Singh: He became an overnight hero in the Border Gavaskar trophy in 2001 when he sent the Kangaroos packing after as he took many as 32 wickets in 3 matches. Harbhajan Singh has taken 248 wickets in 60 matches at an average of 30.43. Against Australia, Singh has taken 56 wickets in 8 matches at an average of 24.17. Obviously his average has gone up against Australia. In the only one match he has played in Australia, he has taken only one wicket for 101 runs. WE hope he gets more opportunities in Australia and builds nice records for himself.


Worst possible preparations for India

Its common sense to arrange as many practice matches in Australia as possible before you take them on. But BCCI, evidently more interested in making money from the series against Pakistan, ensured India had just one practice match in the name of preparation. Now that that only practice match is washed off giving batting practice to only two batsmen, India is entering the series with virtually no preparation. The matches they played against Pakistan were on flat tracks against a third grade bowling attack. The batsmen are simply spoiled at the moment.

The bowlers are also not accustomed to the bouncy pitches and will take time to adjust their length. I am afraid, India will have a bad test to start with.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Historically India has been the better team in the Border Gavaskar trophy

I emphasized in the first episode of the Cricket Magic 'build up' series that India has been the toughest opponent to Australia in test cricket in the past. Here we will take a look at the history and try to find out some statistics. India and Australia decided to periodically play test cricket against each other for a trophy that was named the Border Gavaskar trophy. The first Border Gavaskar series was played in 1996-97 in India and so far the two teams have faced each other six times to fight for the Border Gavaskar trophy. In this episode of the Cricket Magic 'build up' series, we will find out who has been the more dominant team throughout.

Out of the six times that India and Australia have played for the Border-Gavaskar trophy, India has secured the trophy four times and Australia managed it only two times. The first series was played in 1996-1997 in India which India won it by 1-0. The second was played in 1997-1998 in India which India won by 2-1. The third was played in 1999-2000 in Australia which Australia won by 3-0. The fourth was played in 2000-2001 in India which India won by 2-1. The fifth one was played in 2003-2004 in Australia which was drawn 1-1 and India being the current champions, retained the trophy. The sixth one was played in 2004-2005 in India which was won by Australia by 2-1. Thus Australia are the current champions.

One more thing to note is that Sachin Tendulkar has won the ‘player of the series’ award twice.

We will come back with more interesting information in the next episode of the Cricket Magic 'build up' series.

India in Australia- the build up series

This is the first episode in the build up series. In the build up series, I will bring you interesting information on the mega series before the first test comes up. Keep visiting.

Whenever India and Australia play, they play quality cricket. I agree with Gilchrist that India vs Australia is the latest and the most interesting rivalry in Cricket today. In Australia’s rule over world cricket, India has been one team to give them the toughest resistance. Be it the amazing comeback in the Kolkata test following a series of world record making Australian victories (13) or the series draw four years ago on the Australian soil, India have given Australia the toughest time in recent past. Australia have dominated most of these encounters alright, but India has been a tougher opponent for them compared to other teams.

Many things have changed in the last four years. Neither team is the same now. Australia does not have Warne and McGrath anymore. But I think Indians will be more hurt by Warne’s absence than the Australians. Warne was a great spinner…the greatest ever perhaps…but the Indians were never bothered by him. The likes of Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly have played him comfortably and have milked him for runs on many occasions. However McGrath did trouble the Indians many times. Though the biggies are gone, the new generation of cricketers from Australia is good.

India on the other hand have a big problem in the pace bowling department. In the last few years India searched and found some good pacers but then lost them to injury. Ashish Nehra and Balaji are examples. They became stars over night with outstanding performances and then went into oblivion following career threatening injuries. The search for the right fast bowler is still on and India’s best one right now is Zaheer Khan. His performance on the unfamiliar English turf was outstanding and therefore, we would naturally expect him to do well in Australia.

Irfan Pathan’s career has been a roller coaster ride. His bat has been accumulating runs and the ball has stopped doing what he was known for. But we saw his old touch in spells in the last contest against Pakistan. Unfortunately for him the pitches were too flat for a bowler to come back to form. But he will get much better tracks in Australia.

But India’s main weapon would be the captain himself. Anil Kumble is in prime form. We know that from his success on the dead tracks against Pakistan where almost every other bowler suffered. The Australians might find his quick turners too hot to handle.

However, Indian’s strength is the batting lineup. It’s a dream line up filled with batsmen of extra ordinary caliber, unbelievable achievements and have performed very well against Australia in the past. The Australian think tank would be particularly worried about Tendulkar and Laxman….particularly given that these two seemed to be in good touch lately.

India have their chances against Australia and they have to work really hard to beat the Kangaroos in their own backyard. The verbal war has already started from both sides with Tait challenging the Indians to his pace and Harbhajan pointing a finger at the lack of any good spinners in the Australian side. But the real war will soon start and we will see soon if the Indians can get anywhere close to a victory against Australia in Australia.

In the build up series, I will bring you interesting information on the mega series before the first test comes up. Keep visiting.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Eight teams expelled from the ACC under 15 elite cricket cup

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) took a very strict step in disqualifying as many as eight team on basis of age of the players. The championship was to be held in Nepal as they were the defending champions. There were total eleven participants in the championship and the ACC banned nine of them leaving only two teams- Singapore and Kuwait in the competition.

The first shock came when UAE was disqualified from the competition as no one in the entire 14 members squad had a UAE passport. Which means that none of the players were UAE citizens.

The second shock came when radiology examinations revealed that eight teams had more than one player each who exceeded the age limit of 15 years. The teams that were banned on basis of age were Nepal (defending champions and hosts of the tournament), Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.

The ACC took the decision and sunday's semi finals- Nepal v Singapore and Afghanistan v Hong Kong - were scrapped. That left two teams- Singapore and Kuwait (who were already eliminated in the course of the tournament). A final was played between the two teams in Bhaktapur, Nepal which Singapore won.

It is really sad that UAE does not have a single cricket player in their country. They are supposed to be one of the best among the associate nations. And its also sad that as many as eight teams sent in illegal players to participate. ACC claims that their protocol of age verification in fool proof and the results are reliable.

Source: Yahoo sports