Zaheer's overseas conquest
Despite all the noise about subcontinent fast bowlers relishing conditions overseas, traditionally plenty of seamers from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have done better at home than overseas - Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Waqar Younis, Chaminda Vaas and Javagal Srinath all have better stats at home. Which is why Zaheer Khan's matchwinning performance at Trent Bridge, coupled with Sreesanth's excellent display in South Africa, bodes well for the future. Zaheer's match figures of 9 for 134 is the sixth-best by an Indian bowler overseas; exclude Bangladesh and Zimbabwe from the list, and Zaheer's performance rises to No.3.
Kapil's best abroad was 8 for 85 against Pakistan at Lahore in 1982-83, while outside the subcontinent it's his 8 for 106 against Australia at Adelaide in 1985-86. Javagal Srinath only had one eight-wicket haul overseas in his entire career; Sreesanth admittedly had a terrible game here, but he has already had two eight-fors, both against South Africa on the tour in 2006-07.
|Bowler||Match figures||Against||Venue & year|
|Irfan Pathan||12 for 126||Zimbabwe||Harare, 2005|
|Irfan Pathan||11 for 96||Bangladesh||Dhaka, 2004-05|
|Venkatesh Prasad||10 for 153||South Africa||Durban, 1996-97|
|Chetan Sharma||10 for 188||England||Edgbaston, 1986|
|Irfan Pathan||9 for 111||Zimbabwe||Bulawayo, 2005|
|Zaheer Khan||9 for 134||England||Trent Bridge, 2007|
England were eventually outplayed, but there was one bowler who would be justified in believing his figures should have been resembling those of Zaheer. Ryan Sidebottom repeatedly beat the outside edge of the bat through the Indian first innings, but finished with figures of 1 for 75, and in the entire game he conceded just 103 runs. As the table below shows, he forced almost as many false strokes (edges, play-and-misses, which are shown by the batsmen's not-in-control percentage) from the batsmen as Zaheer. Sadly, though, the bowling figures will not indicate the number of times he beat the bat.
|Bowler||Total balls||Not-in-control balls||Percent||Match figures|
|Zaheer Khan||288||76||26.39||9 for 134|
|Ryan Sidebottom||264||66||25.00||1 for 103|
Thanks to their more incisive bowling attack in recent years, India have won 16 times abroad since 2000, which is more than 50% of their entire overseas wins. The victory was also an excellent way to celebrate their 200th overseas Test. Seven of those 16 wins have come against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, but even excluding matches in the subcontinent and in Zimbabwe, India have done much better when they have toured since 2000.
|Outside subcont, and excl Zim,
S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo