February 8, 2013

Country-wise look at dismissals in Tests

A stats analysis to determine the distribution of Test wickets by team and host country

Pakistan's bowlers have generally dismissed more batsmen by the bowled and lbw route than other teams © Getty Images

This data-centric analysis is a follow-up to my previous article on Test Dismissals across the ages. It was clear from the beginning that a follow-up analysis by country would complete the analysis. The comments are minimal due to number of tables, and I expect the readers to come out with their own views.

Even within the country division, multiple analyses are possible. The first is "by country" from the batting point of view which analyses how batsmen from each country lost their wickets. The second one is "by country" but from the bowling/fielding point of view analysing how the wickets were captured. The final one is "by country" based on location of these Tests. Each one will offer some insights.

In view of the number of tables (18, to start with), I have restricted the third analysis, "by location" only to the three bowler-centric dismissals which are likely to be influenced by the type of pitches: Lbw, Bowled and Caught by wicketkeeper. The other three dismissals, viz., Ct by other fielders, Run outs and Stumped, relate less to the type of pitches and more to fielding. Yet we are left with 15 tables, each shown by dismissal type.

LBW dismissals

Lbw: Batsmen Out %187719201946196019701980199320002007All
Bangladesh       18.6914.0916.82%
India 15.5610.659.019.9515.4513.1914.7416.0813.04%
New Zealand 14.8512.6613.1911.1416.0717.1020.5717.7615.77%
Pakistan  10.8210.2311.1014.5018.0016.1020.8815.06%
South Africa6.7411.7914.2511.3211.9412.5016.6515.6016.7713.62%
Sri Lanka     14.5214.2314.7716.0314.88%
West Indies 15.1013.5913.0411.1217.5619.7619.7422.8416.98%
Zimbabwe     11.3620.2719.5821.3319.71%
Lbw: Dismissals %
Bangladesh       16.8319.5518.09%
India 16.2816.2113.3213.6915.3119.3019.6920.8917.04%
New Zealand 5.598.689.4612.8012.9815.5714.3615.2512.94%
Pakistan  12.868.9910.9820.7422.2918.5122.6618.36%
South Africa8.6714.0412.9814.4011.2515.6214.8713.1811.5812.92%
Sri Lanka     20.1114.0020.9623.2719.75%
West Indies 10.3412.3012.4412.4215.1511.8314.9412.4313.28%
Zimbabwe     3.0314.9815.9713.7915.03%
Lbw: In Country %
Bangladesh      13.3319.4717.4018.38%
India 19.0013.6411.3913.3117.0119.8616.7320.3915.98%
New Zealand 8.1110.3810.8410.2714.6414.5517.5715.4613.70%
Pakistan  11.239.5611.9221.1123.3519.5411.7018.18%
South Africa6.7314.3212.6712.0511.5617.0515.3012.4113.0412.49%
Sri Lanka     15.4013.0119.0821.3117.86%
West Indies 14.1813.7714.7011.4214.3217.8216.7119.8815.41%
Zimbabwe     7.7915.2817.2518.8716.06%
U.A.E.       26.7232.0030.18%

New Zealand batsmen of the recent period of 2000-2006, have been out Lbw over 20% of all dismissals, a figure which is way above the rest of the periods. Maybe a sign of the struggles the Kiwis have faced in recent times. Pakistani batsmen over the most recent period have been out Lbw over 20%. And look at the post-Lara West Indians. They have been out Lbw over 22%. During recent times, Australian batsmen have been out Lbw only 13.6%.

Now for the bowling dismissals. Pakistan has been the leaders in this mode of dismissal during the recent few periods. They have exceeded 20% during three of the four periods and are well above the 20% mark. The influence of Imran, Akram, Younis, Saqlain, Akhtar et al, can be seen. During the past two periods Sri Lanka has also been comfortably above the 20% mark: a certain influence of Murali. Recently India have also been well above the 20% mark. Look at South Africa. Fairly low Lbw % during the past two periods. The recent drop in Australia's % of Lbw dismissals is noteworthy.

Pakistan stands out in the in-country Lbw dismissals. During two periods between 1980 and 1999, well over 20% of the dismissals in Pakistan were of this kind. I would give the major credit to the bowlers and a minor reason could be the often-referred-to situation of home umpires. India also came close to 20% during the 1990s. Sri Lankans, during the most recent period, part of it without Murali, have comfortably gone past 21%. Note the low Lbw dismissal % in Australia and South Africa during recent times.

Bowled dismissals

Bowled: Batsmen Out %187719201946196019701980199320002007All
Bangladesh       14.1416.4715.09%
India 25.1931.3925.4022.2317.9817.2217.3217.7521.12%
New Zealand 32.6727.9726.1119.7616.9215.7017.4617.8920.09%
Pakistan  29.2227.1417.5017.0213.5613.9515.1817.61%
South Africa42.5935.2628.5024.4919.4025.0018.4419.5218.1826.08%
Sri Lanka     18.5215.6915.7215.7716.29%
West Indies 22.9228.0122.7823.1018.2615.2016.9015.3819.72%
Zimbabwe     25.0015.4516.3417.3316.29%
Bowled: Dismissals %
Bangladesh       16.3518.4417.31%
India 26.7421.8025.2019.4419.0216.7713.5917.6918.77%
New Zealand 30.0731.2726.4318.2819.8213.4415.0912.1118.82%
Pakistan  29.9232.7022.2621.8321.6720.2318.9822.46%>
South Africa36.1728.0923.5523.0022.5015.6219.5716.3815.4121.62%
Sri Lanka     15.3716.2917.0216.2216.39%
West Indies 21.7229.9025.3623.1321.2515.9218.0316.8021.43%
Zimbabwe     12.1213.2914.0727.5914.39%
Bowled: In Country %
Bangladesh      13.3315.0718.1316.41%
India 15.0026.4427.5020.6320.2317.2115.7323.0721.44%
New Zealand 35.6834.9927.2618.4618.5115.4316.7612.7719.87%
Pakistan  27.9728.9620.9819.8620.0515.8425.5320.93%
South Africa39.8031.5525.2217.1221.0918.1818.0616.1813.4022.88%
Sri Lanka     15.4017.0518.5215.4516.93%
West Indies 22.0127.8026.0423.2320.1615.6916.2913.6220.00%
Zimbabwe     19.489.3814.5224.5313.45%
U.A.E.       22.1418.8019.95%

The only batsmen dismissal figure over 20%, of the bowled variety, during recent times has been England during the 1980s. I cannot get a handle on this.

Look at the string of 20+ % values by Pakistani bowlers, barring a slight drop during the last period. I think this can again be attributed to the range of incisive fast bowlers Pakistan possessed.

Same thing is true of Pakistan, the country. Glad to note that these are direct bowler-centric dismissals. The only comparable number is by the West Indian bowlers during the 1980s. It is a surprise that the bowled dismissal figure is below 14% in South Africa.

Caught by Wicket-keeper

CtWk: Batsmen Out %187719201946196019701980199320002007All
Bangladesh       18.4617.8318.20%
India 10.3712.6715.3617.9720.8814.0318.7617.3517.03%
New Zealand 7.9211.7214.4919.0218.5519.3018.3017.3716.95%
Pakistan  13.2015.2418.7817.7519.2017.8518.3917.62%
South Africa7.688.7213.6217.7023.8815.6220.5617.8318.0515.14%
Sri Lanka     19.5619.5918.8418.1319.01%
West Indies 9.3812.1715.7013.9016.2417.1616.3914.5715.04%
Zimbabwe     15.9116.1115.829.3315.62%
CtWk: Dismissals %
Bangladesh       18.7513.4116.28%
India 9.3011.449.7611.2916.1815.2013.7616.6213.72%
New Zealand 10.4915.3817.2918.6519.1217.9219.3420.0318.28%
Pakistan  15.7510.9018.4016.0314.4517.9419.8316.52%
South Africa7.8610.3413.8218.8018.7531.2522.4121.6116.7517.17%
Sri Lanka     20.1112.6515.0012.5014.71%
West Indies 11.0313.2617.7516.4619.3922.8319.2820.7718.31%
Zimbabwe     18.1821.3118.2517.2419.52%
CtWk: In Country %
Bangladesh      6.6716.4816.6716.32%
India 12.0011.6012.0412.7414.8411.5515.3213.7313.18%
New Zealand 7.5711.9614.4519.5821.4421.1219.7522.1318.95%
Pakistan  16.0812.0215.2815.5614.3817.5719.1515.56%
South Africa7.968.5015.5922.4121.0922.7322.4322.0918.4517.01%
Sri Lanka     20.6014.7415.3414.3215.73%
West Indies 8.2112.2816.6114.0719.0918.6817.5417.7516.46%
Zimbabwe     16.8819.6217.1014.1517.89%
U.A.E.       13.7414.4014.17%

England during the years just after turn of the millennium, India during the 1980s and South Africa, immediately after their return are the only cases where a team has lost more than a fifth of the wickets to catches behind by the keeper. Of course I am aware that it has not been possible to separate the catches taken by slip fielders. In this regard, only Sri Lankans appear to have a slightly more pronounced weakness than others.

Now for the bowlers. The period 1993-99 has been the best period for bowlers in inducing edges to the wicket-keeper. England, South Africa and West Indies had 22-plus % figures for the keeper-catches during this period. South Africa continued with 21.6% during the next period. Look at Australia's figures of 21-plus % during the last period.

If anyone is asked which country would have had the highest % of keeper-catches, there would be quite a few answers, with England or New Zealand as candidates for the first amongst equals. Well, the figures seem to confirm this except that New Zealand is way ahead of the others with nearly 19%. And they have been consistent over the past 30 years. Australia also had similar figures over the same period. Indians, with their predominantly spin attacks, have been below 14% overall.

Run Out dismissals

Run Outs: Batsmen Out %187719201946196019701980199320002007All
India 0.744.373.463.253.843.894.403.143.71%
New Zealand 3.473.
Pakistan  6.062.713.983.913.254.203.503.89%
South Africa3.
Sri Lanka     3.414.383.794.073.92%
West Indies 4.175.565.
Zimbabwe     2.273.824.412.674.02%
Run Outs: Dismissals %
Bangladesh       6.253.915.17%
India 2.334.635.014.913.313.
New Zealand 6.294.714.573.663.424.603.413.293.93%
Pakistan  4.202.453.563.412.993.533.263.35%
South Africa4.262.012.963.402.504.693.622.652.593.03%
Sri Lanka     3.614.713.774.264.07%
West Indies
Zimbabwe     6.064.853.995.174.49%

Run Outs for the batting team reflects, in general, a lack of communication and not so athletic batsmen. It is no wonder that India and Pakistan are ranked high on this table with % of run outs in excess of 3.7% during the recent times. These days, Sri Lankans too have caught this bug.

High Run Outs dismissals % values indicate an above-average fielding ability. New Zealand, during the 1990s and England, during the 1980s are examples. However look at Bangladesh's figures. They have averaged 5.2%. It is probably due to the liberties which the batsmen of the opposing teams took as well as a surprisingly athletic ability of the young cricketing nation. Recently Sri Lanka has been quite good. India has the lowest figures amongst all teams, during recent years.

Stumping dismissals

Stumpings: Batsmen Out %187719201946196019701980199320002007All
Bangladesh       2.222.552.35%
New Zealand 5.454.381.311.490.601.500.961.801.70%
Pakistan  4.981.251.281.471.741.951.751.89%
South Africa3.104.423.881.232.991.562.010.981.412.41%
Sri Lanka     1.331.581.801.051.48%
West Indies 4.954.261.771.501.741.191.821.282.06%
Zimbabwe      1.001.692.671.41%
Stumpings: Dismissals %
Bangladesh       2.402.792.58%
New Zealand 4.202.731.471.650.880.711.220.901.29%
South Africa4.423.242.541.
Sri Lanka     1.333.632.684.123.02%
West Indies 2.412.971.811.110.400.731.090.821.22%
Zimbabwe     3.030.841.521.721.28%

Not so surprisingly, South African batsmen lead the stumpings wickets % with 2-plus value. What about New Zealand batsmen having a stumpings % below 1.00 during the 2000-06 period? Possibly due to fewer spinners travelling to New Zealand.

Look at the drop of stumpings % of Australian bowlers during the pre and post Warne-retirement periods. 2.16% dropped to 0.73%. Indians have been quite good. However the real high numbers rest with the Sri Lankan bowlers. 3.6% during the Murali reign and 4.12%, even after his retirement. The lowest figure is 0.4% by the pace-dominant West Indian bowling line-ups of the 1980s.

Caught by others

CtOth: Batsmen Out %187719201946196019701980199320002007All
Bangladesh       42.1743.8042.84%
India 41.4836.6642.7341.1238.2248.3341.6343.1441.30%
New Zealand 33.6638.1240.7344.7342.4842.0038.0440.4140.80%
Pakistan  33.7741.1345.2343.4042.8444.2939.5642.22%
South Africa35.7134.7734.3837.8635.8237.5037.7741.3541.1037.74%
Sri Lanka     39.7041.6143.5643.6342.31%
West Indies 41.1534.2840.5143.9640.9140.7240.5041.6140.49%
Zimbabwe     45.4541.8640.6045.3341.49%
CtOth: Dismissals %
Bangladesh       36.0639.9437.86%
India 43.0236.7840.3744.5140.8140.5345.7338.9741.39%
New Zealand 42.6635.4838.5043.3341.0546.1144.7746.6442.74%
Pakistan  33.0740.8741.2532.4033.9535.0232.4434.82%
South Africa37.4841.8241.6137.6045.0032.8137.9644.3851.2942.38%
Sri Lanka     36.2446.1639.7338.3040.31%
West Indies 44.4832.9837.6840.2038.1642.4140.4844.2639.44%
Zimbabwe     54.5543.4644.6829.3143.63%

No great insights can be drawn from this amorphic collection of dismissals. The catch could be a diving effort in the first slip or a skier at long-off. Let me leave the readers to draw whatever insights they want to.

The only outlier is South Africa, which is the only country to exceed 50%. This, they did during the most recent period. Possibly many slip catches have been taken due to the presence of Steyn, Philander, Kallis et al in the bowling line-up. Look at the low values for Pakistan. Their bowlers believed in hitting the stumps, pads or toes.

Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems