Statistics that humiliate Team India

From Lords to Sydney, India has now lost six consecutive oversees Test matches © Getty Images


By David Green


Whilst Brad Haddin would do well to look at his own form before casting aspersions on the fragility or otherwise of India he may have a point – albeit a crass and clumsily made one. Just by crunching a few numbers it is plain to see that whilst India have been the fiercest of tigers in the subcontinent over the past couple of years they are the meekest and most submissive of pussy cats when they play overseas.


When India ascended to the number one spot in the Test rankings many said that the tours to South Africa, England and Australia would tell us whether that lofty status was justified. Whilst they emerged with a creditable draw against the Proteas they have lost six out of six thus far in England and Australia. 

Here are a few numbers that illustrate why:




India’s average total in their last 21 completed or declared innings in overseas Tests, taking into consideration tours to South Africa, West Indies, England and now Australia. During this time they have only reached 400 twice – in the second innings at Centurion and Sydney – and both ultimately proved futile as India still lost by an innings each time. Their overall record in these 12 Tests is won two, lost seven (including four by an innings) and drawn three and they have lost the last six by heavy margins. 




In contrast, India’s average total in their last 19 completed or declared innings on the subcontinent taking in home series against Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and West Indies plus trips to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is almost 200 runs higher. They topped 700 twice (both against Sri Lanka) and fared much better in these 16 Tests with 11 wins, one defeat and four draws. 




The combined batting averages of India’s top seven in the last four overseas. The tale of woe is stark with Gautam Gambhir (average 32), VVS Laxman (31), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (29), Suresh Raina (23), Virender Sehwag (21) and Virat Kohli (13) all failing to justify their talent and high billing. Only Sachin Tendulkar (52) and Rahul Dravid (45) can hold their heads high and these two are also the only centurions with Dravid hitting four and Tendulkar two. The other batsmen who have filled the top seven positions for India on these four tours have failed to record even one century in their combined 122 visits to the crease.




The combined bowling average for the aforementioned four tours with only Zaheer Khan (23) and Praveen Kumar (26) registering averages below 36. The rest of the bowlers have been practically rendered impotent with Ishant Sharma (37 – despite a successful tour of the Caribbean), Harbhajan Singh (36), Sreesanth (51), Amit Mishra (62), Umesh Yadav (43) and Ravichandran Ashwin (75) all registering averages that their batting colleagues would yearn for. The collective strike rate is even more staggeringly bad with each wicket coming at a crippling 72 deliveries. Opposing batsmen have feasted on pickings this easy with Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Jacques Kallis all registering double hundreds and in Michael Clarke’s case a triple hundred.




The number of Test innings since an Indian opener other than Dravid (who scored tons at Trent Bridge and The Oval as an emergency opener) last scored a hundred. You have to go all the way back to the 1st Test at Ahmedabad at the start of November 2010 when Sehwag struck a characteristically brutal 173 off 199 balls against New Zealand. Since then Sehwag has gone 22 Test innings without reaching three figures whilst regular partner Gambhir’s famine is a positively biblical 35 innings.




The number of Test series India has won in Australia, a statistic that will remain unchanged for at least another four years following defeats in Melbourne and Sydney. 


As such it would be hardly surprising if confidence is not high in the Indian camp ahead of the 3rd Test on a fast and bouncy WACA track starting on Friday.


(David Green is the brain behind the irreverent The Reverse Sweep blog and also writes for a number of cricket publications and sites such as World Cricket Watch. You can follow him on Twitter also@TheReverseSweep. David was a decent schoolboy and club cricketer (and scored his maiden 100 the same week that Sachin Tendulkar scored his first Test ton) but not good enough to fulfill his childhood dream of emulating Douglas Jardine by winning the Ashes in Australia and annoying the locals into the bargain. He now lives with his wife and two young children in the South of France and will one day write the definitive biography of Hedley Verity)