Australia v India, 1st Test, Melbourne, 4th day

Overseas chases a struggle for India

India have chased 200-plus targets quite successfully in the last few years, but those instances have all been in the subcontinent. Overseas, the numbers don't look so pretty

S Rajesh

December 29, 2011

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Stats highlights from a convincing Australian win in Melbourne, which ensures that Australia finished the year with a 4-3 win-loss record. India, meanwhile, had a disappointing 3-5 record.

James Pattinson and Peter Siddle were very effective in the Boxing Day Test, Australia v India, 1st Test, Melbourne, 4th day, December 29, 2011
Australia's fast bowlers had combined figures of 19 for 342, one of their best performances since 2000 © Getty Images
  • Australia's 122-run win means they've rediscovered their winning ways at the MCG after suffering two defeats in the last three years, to South Africa and England. Since 2000, Australia have won ten and lost two Tests here. The result also continues the trend of decisive results at this ground: the last drawn Test here was in 1997, since when there have been 14 successive decisive matches.

  • For India, this continues a terrible run in overseas Tests, with this being their fifth consecutive overseas defeat. In 2011, India's batting average in overseas Tests has been 27.59 runs per wicket; only Bangladesh and New Zealand fared worse abroad.

  • India's MCG jinx continued too - they've lost five in a row here, since 1991-92. This was also India's sixth defeat in the first Test of an overseas series since their previous tour to Australia in 2007-08. They've lost twice in Sri Lanka and Australia, and once each in South Africa and England.

  • Australia's batting may have struggled in 2011, but their bowling was pretty good. They finished the year with a bowling average of 28.25, though admittedly they bowled in pretty bowler-friendly conditions in many of the games. Over the entire year, only Pakistan and South Africa had a better bowling average. In this match, the Australian fast bowlers had combined figures of 19 for 342, which is one of their best bowling efforts since 2000.

  • India have won five Tests when chasing a target of more than 200 since 2008, but all those have been in the subcontinent (four in India and one in Sri Lanka). Outside the subcontinent, their record is much poorer: they've chased fourth-innings targets of between 200 and 400 eighteen times since 1990, and have lost eight, won one, and drawn the rest. Their only win was the one in Adelaide in 2003. Most of the Indian batsmen have struggled in the third and fourth innings of Tests outside the subcontinent.

  • India's second innings lasted only 47.5 overs. In terms of balls faced, that's the lowest for them in the second innings in Australia since Adelaide 1999, when they were bundled out in 38.1 overs.

  • Australia's second-innings total was propped up by the last two wickets, which added 74. Throughout the year, their lower order has done pretty well, despite the regular top-order failures: their average runs per partnership for the last two wickets is the third-best among teams in 2011, but their average partnership for the top six is third from the bottom.

  • Eleven batsmen were out bowled in this Test, which equals the highest in Australia over the last three decades. The last time more batsmen were bowled in a Test in Australia was way back in 1979, when 12 batsmen were bowled in a Test between Australia and Pakistan, also in Melbourne. The last time more batsmen were out bowled in a Test anywhere was in 2006, when 12 were bowled in Fatullah in a Test between Bangladesh and Australia. It was also only the fourth time in his 161-Test career that Rahul Dravid was bowled in both innings of a Test. The last time it happened was against Pakistan in Delhi in 2007.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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