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Stats: Performance of teams in neutral venues in cricket

The Dubai Cricket International Stadium has been a prolific host as a neutral venue
Sabyasachi Chakraborty
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Teams crave for home turfs to sneak past their opposition. Spin-heavy attacks desire for spitting cobras, a potential highway is dreamt of by batsmen and pacers would possibly want live green grass all over the turf to question the dancing skills of batsmen.

Overpowering an opposition at home is pretty much expected of all major cricketing nations. The challenge lies elsewhere. Matches hosted by neutral venues are very few, but those matches throw light on every aspect of the teams - their ability to play in unfavourable conditions, their level of flexibility as per the nature of the pitch.

Neutral venues equalise the winning percentages of both the competing sides and unlike home conditions, don’t shift the odds in favour of the host nation. Pakistan has a reason to be respected. In spite of playing on neutral venues, they attained the number 1 spot in Tests just a few months ago.

Stats don’t give the full picture, but digging into them will throw light on some insights of the adaptableness of the teams and its players at neutral venues. The following is a small piece of statistics of how teams fare on neutral wickets.


Australia

Australia have stamped its authority on all three formats at neutral venues. They have taken a liking to most oppositions through some gritty piece of cricket and they haven’t been a disappointment by any stretch of the imagination.

In the Test format, they have beaten the likes of South Africa and Pakistan - two powerhouses of world cricket. In ODIs, they have been even more glittering. With win percentages between 80 and 100, Australia has rolled over four oppositions namely Bangladesh, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a stroll in the park against India, Pakistan and West Indies.

Apart from Pakistan, their T20 endeavours have seen a smooth ride. Their loss versus Zimbabwe in Durban during the 2007 World T20, stills remains to be the lowest point of Australia in T20’s.

Tests

Opposition MatchesToss(Win)WonLostDraw Win %
South Africa 3 1 2 - 1 66.67
Pakistan 7 4 4 3 - 57.14

One Day Internationals

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WonLostDrawWin%
Bangladesh7561 -85.71
England8562 -75.00
India2413129350.00
New Zealand1981711 89.47
Pakistan33151911357.57
South Africa17796 252.94
Sri Lanka10682 -80.00
West Indies141077 -50.00
Zimbabwe10591 -90.00

T20s

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WonLostDrawWin%
Bangladesh33 3 - - 100%
England22 11 - 50%
India41 22 - 50%
New Zealand1 - -1 - 0
Pakistan135 571 38.46%
South Africa11 1 - - 100%
Sri Lanka3221 - 66.67%
West Indies42 13 - 25.00%
Zimbabwe11-1 - 0

Bangladesh

Bangladesh have won a handful of matches, but they have recently shown that on their day, they can send any team packing. They have won 5 of the 6 ODI wins in neutral venues, with 4 of them coming in World Cups. The tri-series match versus Australia at Cardiff in 2004 will be etched in memory as one of their remarkable ODI wins at neutral venues.

In the 2007 Caribbean World Cup, they showed the door to the Indian cricket team and in 2015, they humiliated England and reached the quarterfinals.

Pakistan fell to Bangladesh during the 1999 World Cup, when the World Cup debutants rolled over the favourites by a comprehensive margin. In T20’s they have had very little success. The victory against West Indies in the 2007 World T20 remains to be their only triumph at neutral venues.

One Day Internationals

Opposition

MatchesToss(Win)WonLostDrawWin%
Australia7216-14.28
England3112-33.33
India7316-14.28
New Zealand52-5-0
Pakistan7216-14.28
South Africa2111-50.00
Sri Lanka8408-0
West Indies44-310
Zimbabwe3-12-

T20s

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WonLostDrawWin%
Australia3--3-0
India1--1-0
New Zealand21-2-0
Pakistan52-5-0
Sri Lanka11-1-0
West Indies 111--100

England

English players celebrate with the troph : News Photo
England's 2010 T20 World Cup-winning team

England’s adventure at neutral venues in Test cricket has been equivalent to a dreadful nightmare. In 6 attempts, they were rolled over 5 times, all versus Pakistan and all games played in the United Arab Emirates.

The ODI format has been a mixed bag for the English. Against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies, they have managed wins, but they have struggled against the likes of India and New Zealand. Even against Zimbabwe, they have a dismal win percentage of 42.86.

Out of the 28 T20’s England has played, they have won 57.14% of their matches. They have got a stranglehold of Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the shortest format with win percentages of 66.67 and 100 respectively.

Tests

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WonLostDrawWin%
Pakistan61-510

One Day Internationals

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WonLostDrawWin%
Australia8326-25
Bangladesh3221-66.67
India10446-40.00
New Zealand165610-37.50
Pakistan2112146166.67
South Africa7534-42.85
Sri Lanka1711116-64.70
West Indies198126163.16
Zimbabwe7333142.86

T20s

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WonLostDrawWin%
Australia2211-50
India21-2-0
New Zealand5232-60
Pakistan9762166.67
South Africa3321-66.67
Sri Lanka313--100
West Indies3--3-0
Zimbabwe111--100

India

India has been a disappointment in the ODI format with win percentages of above 80 only against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. They haven’t found it a cakewalk against Australia, Pakistan and South Africa with win percentages of 37.50, 39.72 and 34.78 respectively.

Their triumph against West Indies at Lords in the 1983 World Cup final is indeed their most notable win at a neutral venue. India won their maiden contest in T20s against South Africa at Johannesburg in 2006. The match was Sachin Tendulkar’s only International T20 contest.

They have been consistent against Pakistan and South Africa with win percentages of 80 and 75 respectively. Their biggest win came in the finals of the 2007 World T20, when they overhauled Pakistan to be crowned as the winners of the inaugural T20 World Cup.

One Day Internationals

OppositionMatchesToss(Won)Win LostDrawWin%
Australia2411912337.50
Bangladesh7461-85.71
England10664-60.00
New Zealand33181515345.45
Pakistan73382939539.72
South Africa2313811434.78
Sri Lanka45222616357.78
West Indies35201815251.43
Zimbabwe2115173180.95

T20s

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia4322-50.00
Bangladesh111--100.00
England212--100.00
New Zealand11-1-0.00
Pakistan534-180.00
South Africa4-31-75.00
Sri Lanka3212-33.33
West Indies4412125.00

New Zealand

New Zealand cricketers led by Ross Taylo : News Photo
New Zealand punched above their weight to reach the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup in India

The Kiwis haven’t found it easy to topple oppositions at neutral venues. They have ammunition in their repertoire but somehow have been edged out quite a few times in all the 3 international formats. Their Test record includes matches in the United Arab Emirates and even if they didn’t lose the series, they weren’t under the skins of Pakistan during the entire length of the series in 2014.

Apart from performances against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, they have put up a bleak show against all other opposition. Against the Kangaroos they have managed just a solitary win in 19 attempts. Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa weren’t easy either for the Black Caps.

Though they have played very little in the T20 format, but even in the short spell, they haven’t got statistics to boast of. The Kiwis made a meal of their games versus Pakistan, losing 6 of the 9 games. They are yet to win a neutral venue T20 against Australia and South Africa.

Tests

OppositionMatchesToss(Won)WinLossDrawWin%
Pakistan3111133.33

One Day Internationals

OppositionMatchesToss(Won)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia191111715.26
Bangladesh535--100
England1611106-62.5
India33141515345.45
Pakistan34181321-38.23
South Africa208712135.00
Sri Lanka28101412250.00
West Indies12435425.00
Zimbabwe716-185.71

T20s

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia11-1-0.00
Bangladesh212--100
England5323-40.00
India1-1--100,00
Pakistan9436-33.33
South Africa32-3-0.00
Sri Lanka6424-33.33
West Indies32-210.00
Zimbabwe111--100.00

Pakistan

Due to major security issues, Pakistan has rarely played on their home turf recently. Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi have been their home grounds. Though they are neutral venues, since 2009, they have been the home turf for the men in green.

England has been their favourite prey in the Test format, defeating them 5 times in six games. Australia made them strain every sinew, but even the Kangaroos stumbled by 3-0 in the 2014 Test series in the UAE.

In the ODI format against Australia, England and South Africa, they have an aggregate win percentage of 29.27 in 82 games. Even during the generations of Wasim and Waqar, they won very few, which come as a bit of a surprise.

Other than England, they have been pretty good against all the other teams. They have won a World T20 title in 2009, finalists in 2007 and semi-finalist in 2010. Under leaders like Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan are a tough side to get over.

Tests

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia7434-42.86
England655-183.33
New Zealand3211133.33
South Africa4211225.00
Sri Lanka7231342.86
West Indies5441-80.00

One Day Internationals

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia33161119333.33
Bangladesh7561-85.71
England219614128.57
India73323929553.42
New Zealand34162113-61.76
South Africa2813721-25.00
Sri Lanka78305026264.10
West Indies74423440-45.94
Zimbabwe14714--100.00

T20s

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia13875153.85
Bangladesh535--100.00
England9226122.22
India52-4180.00
New Zealand9563-66.67
South Africa7534-42.86
Sri Lanka9463-66.67
West Indies4231-75.00
Zimbabwe1-1--0.00

South Africa

Australia's cricket captain Ricky Pontin... : News Photo
Australia squared off against South Africa in the 2007 World Cup at St.Lucia

The first match that comes to mind with regard to neutral venue matches is the World Cup semi-final contest in the 1999 World Cup match versus Australia. Embarrassingly enough, the match earned them the tag of ‘chokers.’

The Proteas got a solitary win Test matches at neutral venues and it was against Pakistan. In ODIs, they have fared decently apart from against Australia, to whom they have a win percentage of 35.29. They have taken a liking to Pakistan, overpowering them in 21 contests out of 28.

In T20’s, they have won 7 out of the 12 games against New Zealand and Pakistan. Nonetheless, they are still to open their account against Australia at neutral grounds.

Tests

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia32-210.00
Pakistan4211225.00

One Day Internationals

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia171069235.29
Bangladesh2111-50.00
England7243-57.14
India237118447.83
New Zealand2011127160.00
Pakistan2815217-75.00
Sri Lanka186108-55.55
West Indies11673163.64
Zimbabwe8361175.00

T20s

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia1--1-0.00
England3-12-33.33
India4413-33.33
New Zealand313--100.00
Pakistan7243-57.14
Sri Lanka2111-50.00
West Indies2-11-50.00
Zimbabwe111--100.00

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan cricket was taken notice of after their 1996 World Cup triumph and were bound to lose matches after their entry among the big boys of cricket. Quite astonishingly, they have played some stupendous cricket and didn’t let the percentages drop significantly.

In Test cricket, they struggled to find their feet in the 7 games, winning just one of them. In the ODI format, they were far from rusty. Even after a late entry into world cricket, Sri Lanka has done exceedingly well.

Against New Zealand and South Africa, they average 42.86 and 44.44 which is commendable. In the T20 format they haven’t disappointed either. West Indies found it tough in overhauling them. Even T20 powerhouses in India and New Zealand bowed down helplessly to the Lankans.

Tests

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Pakistan7513314.28

One Day Internationals

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia10428-20.00
Bangladesh848--100.00
England176611-35.29
India45231626335.55
New Zealand28181214242.86
Pakistan78482650233.33
South Africa1812810-44.44
West Indies30161019133.33
Zimbabwe1913144173.68

T20s

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia3112-33.33
Bangladesh1-1--100.00
England32-3-0.00
India3121-66.67
New Zealand6242-66.67
Pakistan9536-33.33
South Africa211--50.00
West Indies4131-75.00

West Indies

West indies team  celebrates for winning  during ICC World... : News Photo
West Indies celebrate their T20 World Cup triumph

The Caribbean team has struggled in the past when facing opponents on neutral venues. In the ODI format, barring Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, they haven’t quite got the better of oppositions. They have played the most number of neutral venue ODIs versus Pakistan with a win percentage of 54.05.

Against England and South Africa the win percentages are 31.58 and 27.27 respectively. The fact that they have won the 1975 and 1979 World Cup at neutral venues is something to cheer about for Caribbean cricket.

T20 has been a strong point for the men from West Indies. Against England, they enjoy a win percentage of 100. The only embarrassing moment came in the 2007 World T20, when Bangladesh ousted them after the group stage.

Tests

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Pakistan5114-20.00

One Day Internationals

OppositionsMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia14477-50.00
Bangladesh4-3-175.00
England1910612131.58
India35151518242.86
New Zealand12853441.67
Pakistan74324034-54.05
South Africa11532127.27
Sri Lanka30131910163.33
Zimbabwe1710125-70.59

T20s

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia4231-75.00
Bangladesh1--1-0.00
England333--100.00
India4-21-50.00
New Zealand312-166.67
Pakistan4213-25.00
South Africa2211-50.00
Sri Lanka4313-25.00

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe enjoys a decent win percentage of 66.67 against Bangladesh. Their next favourite team is England, whom they have beaten 3 times out of 7. They have lost all their 14 neutral matches versus Pakistan. The records are not worth cherishing for the Zimbabweans.

In the T20 format, they have won a solitary game against Australia way back in 2007. Other than that they are yet to win anything at neutral venues. There is room for improvement in Zimbabwean cricket and it will take time for them to beat cricketing giants at neutral venues.

One Day Internationals

OppositionsMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia10519-10.00
Bangladesh3321-66.67
England7333142.86
India216317114.28
New Zealand76-610.00
Pakistan147-14-0.00
South Africa8516112.50
Sri Lanka195414121.05
West Indies177512-29.41

T20s

OppositionMatchesToss(Win)WinLossDrawWin%
Australia1-1--100.00
England1--1-0.00
New Zealand1--1-0.00
Pakistan1--1-0.00
South Africa1--1-0.00
Sri Lanka2--2-0.00

Adjusting to neutral venues

Australia has been brilliant in neutral venues

The toss is an important factor in cricket, and even more crucial in neutral venues. Conditions are assessed, the pitch is examined and the dew factor is also taken into consideration before taking a decision to either bat or send the opposition in.

Losing a toss isn’t a start desired for, but some teams don’t get bogged down and don’t let the toss, turn the match on its head.

The following table tells us how teams fare after losing the toss. It shows the difference between the frequency of wins to the frequency of tosses which are won. If the difference is positive, then it’s healthy for a team as they win more matches than tosses.

Tests

Teams MatchesToss (Won)WonLossWin%Toss(Win %)Difference (Win%-Toss-Win%)
Australia1056360.0050.00+10.00
England61-50.0016.67-16.67
New Zealand311133.3333.33+0.00
Pakistan321917853.1259.37-6.25
South Africa741314.2857.14-42.86
Sri Lanka751314.2871.43-57.15
West Indies511420.0020.00+0.00

One Day Internationals

Teams MatchesToss (Won)WonLossWin%Toss(Win %)Difference (Win%-Toss-Win%)
Australia14274934065.4952.11+13.38
Bangladesh491963912.2438.77-26.53
England10853574852.7849.07+3.71
India27114713411649.4554.24-4.79
New Zealand17480748842.5345.98-3.45
Pakistan36217018816351.9346.96+4.97
South Africa13461784758.2145.52+12.69
Sri Lanka25314410214240.3156.92-16.61
West Indies216971109150.9242.13+8.79
Zimbabwe10647198217.9244.34-26.42

T20s

TeamsMatchesToss (Won)WonLossWin%Toss(Win %)Difference (Win%-Toss-Win%)
Australia3217151646.8753.12-6.25
Bangladesh1351127.6938.46-30.77
England2817161157.1460.71-3.57
India241514858.3362.50-4.17
New Zealand3118111935.4858.06-22.58
Pakistan6231332653.2250.00+3.22
South Africa239121152.1739.13+13.04
Sri Lanka3113151548.3941.93+6.46
West Indies2513131052.0052.00+0.00
Zimbabwe7-1614.280.00+14.28
Edited by Staff Editor
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