England v India 2007 / Stats Analysis

England v India, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 5th day

Zaheer's overseas conquest

Zaheer Khan's 9 for 134 is the sixth-best figures by an Indian fast bowler abroad

S Rajesh

July 31, 2007

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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.

Best bowling by an Indian fast bowler overseas
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.

Not-in-control percent for Zaheer and Sidebottom
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.

India's overseas record
Period Tests Won Lost Drawn
Overall 200 29 84 87
Since 2000 45 16 15 14
Outside subcont, and excl Zim,
since 2000
27 6 10 11

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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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.
Related Links
Match home : Match home
Players/Officials: Zaheer Khan | Ryan Sidebottom
Teams: England | India
Tour Results
England v India at Lord's - Sep 8, 2007
England won by 7 wickets (with 82 balls remaining)
England v India at The Oval - Sep 5, 2007
India won by 2 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
England v India at Leeds - Sep 2, 2007
India won by 38 runs (D/L method)
England v India at Manchester - Aug 30, 2007
England won by 3 wickets (with 12 balls remaining)
England v India at Birmingham - Aug 27, 2007
England won by 42 runs
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days