India v Pakistan, Champions Trophy, Group B, Edgbaston June 14, 2013

Even outside Asia

Stats preview to the Champions Trophy Group B match between India and Pakistan

India v Pakistan used to be a fairly frequent occurrence a few years back, but in the last four-and-a-half years they've only played each other in seven ODIs, with India winning four and Pakistan three. Four of those seven games were in multi-team tournaments - two Asia Cup games in 2010 and 2012, a Champions Trophy match in 2009, and the 2011 World Cup semi-final. India won three of those four, but Pakistan beat India 2-1 in the bilateral ODI series late last year. Current form favours India, who have already qualified for the Champions Trophy semi-finals while Pakistan have been knocked out, but form hasn't counted for much when these two teams have played each other. (Click here for a summary of their overall results.)

Historically Pakistan have held the advantage, winning 71 matches and losing only 49, but it's been much closer in multi-team tournaments involving five or more teams, with Pakistan ahead only by a 9-8 margin. India's 5-0 World Cup advantage is offset only marginally by Pakistan's 2-0 record in Champions Trophy matches, but the more interesting break-up is their head-to-head record in Asia and outside the continent.

In 96 matches in Asia, Pakistan have a huge 57-36 advantage, but outside Asia, there's little to choose between them - Pakistan have a 14-13 lead. The table below shows that Pakistan's batting numbers drop significantly when they play outside Asia - from an average of 34.68 and run rate of 5.28 to 26.71 and 4.68. India's drop, on the other hand, is far more marginal.

That clearly suggests that in flatter conditions, Pakistan's bowlers have the skills and the weapons to be more incisive - their fast bowlers generally have more pace and are better at reverse-swing, while some of their spinners are more crafty. The Indian bowlers tend to rely more on the conditions to help them cause some damage, and in the absence of that in India, they've tended to go for more runs. Outside Asia, the pitches and conditions often have more in them for bowlers, especially those who seam and swing the ball, and in those conditions Indian bowlers have been able to neutralise the greater natural flair of the Pakistanis. The better technique of the Indian batsmen has, on the other hand, enabled them to handle Pakistan's bowlers reasonably well even in more testing conditions.

ODIs between India and Pakistan
  Matches Pak won Ind won Pak bat ave/ RR Ind bat ave/ RR
In Asia 96 57 36 34.68/ 5.28 30.42/ 4.99
Outside Asia 28 14 13 26.71/ 4.68 27.30/ 4.44
Overall 124 71 49 32.61/ 5.14 29.73/ 4.87

The two tables below, which compare the fast bowlers and spinners of the two teams in and outside Asia, confirm that theory. The difference in numbers for the Indian seamers in and outside Asia is especially stark. In Asia they've struggled to make an impact, averaging almost 40 runs per wicket and going at 5.16 runs over; however, outside the continent their average has improved dramatically to 26.95, which is in fact better than Pakistan's 31.55. India's seamers have also taken more wickets than Pakistan's outside Asia, 154 to 100.

The list of top wicket-takers among the fast bowlers highlights the skew: the list in Asia is dominated by Aaqib Javed, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar - they are the ones with averages in the early and mid-20s. The leading Indian wicket-takers - Kapil Dev, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath - have much poorer averages, with Srinath and Zaheer averaging around 40 per wicket.

However, Indian seamers dominate the list for leading wicket-takers in matches outside Asia. Javagal Srinath has 31 wickets at 23.87, Sourav Ganguly's 25 wickets cost 20.24 each, while Venkatesh Prasad took 22 at 28.86. Pakistan's leading wicket-taker among quick bowlers is Akram, and he has only 16 at 28.31. In nine matches, Waqar took only eight wickets at 39.12.

Saturday's match is at Edgbaston, but in most of the matches in this tournament so far the ball hasn't swung or seamed the way it normally would in England. Given the way the numbers have stacked up over the years, that might be a good thing for Pakstan.

Pace bowlers' stats in India v Pakistan matches
  In Asia Outside Asia
  Wickets Average Econ rate Wickets Average Econ rate
Pakistan 420 30.69 4.77 100 31.55 4.15
India 328 39.17 5.16 154 26.95 4.63
Spinners' stats in India v Pakistan matches
  In Asia Outside Asia
  Wickets Average Econ rate Wickets Average Econ rate
Pakistan 189 38.22 4.87 66 28.30 4.47
India 214 39.48 5.07 52 30.48 4.22

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rasp1 on June 15, 2013, 16:29 GMT

    I am still trying to figure out why India's bowling is being constantly under rated by so called expert in this tournament? A bowling unit who can dismiss Australia for 65 must have to be above average by far. I understand it was a practise game but Aussies had 9 frontline batsmen batting in their inning. The same bowling unit has dismissed us for 165 runs in this game. I am with Michael Vaughn that India is by far the best team in this tournament and their bowling unit is right up their..

  • dummy4fb on June 15, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    I would have loved if there were two separate statistics were given. One pre-2000 and the other post-2000. I used to watch India-Pakistan matches as a kid and most of the time felt that Pakistan was the favorites. Things have changed these days. I feel Indians are the favorites these days, even though the match, after all, is 50-50. Whether my feelings are statistics-driven, is remain to be tested.

  • dummy4fb on June 15, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Whatever may be the result, Imagine Indian bowlers bowling to Indian batters and Pakistani bowlers to Pakistani Batters, Indian batters will score 300+ and Pakistani bowlers will demolish Batsmen within 100 each time they play in English conditions. Hard to understand how two nations having common history can produce distint talent. Play a common team having Indian Bowlers and Pakistani batsmen and bet you team will loose even to USA, but vice versa will be world beaters.

  • Abdul533 on June 15, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    well... its cruel to say that india will outclass we have got a brilliant bowling attack that can come up as India's worst nightmare ..anyways we hope to see a tough competition... winning or losing is a part of game.. The real winner should be "The Game of CRICKET "...

  • hamza893 on June 15, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    One important factor about the current Pakistani performance is that they have been deprived off International cricket at home.I am still proud of my team and Misbah that we are still winning much games.Since,2009 only Pakistan has the best record in away games.PAkistan and India have played 7 ODi's since 2009 ans India have won 4 and 3 the other side,credit goes to Pakistan,they won the bileteral series recently in India.Remind you none off 5 of 7 games were in India and no home advantage for Pakistan so stop blaming pakistani team,we were,are and wil be proud of the TEAM PAKISTAN :)

  • aby__prasad on June 15, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    @harminder sethi, its been like that for some time now isnt it! delightful fact really. In any case, we have a rich history. Pains, joys, fans for players from both sides etc. I think only England and Australia can surpass the history that india pak has but not sure if they can surpass the emotions involved! True but it has mellowed over the years but in a nice way! Hope many remember the effigy burning and destroying players' house and such haha.I remember how pak fans used to celebrate in dubai n sharjah while growing up there lol.But what the record and stats really teaches us is that 'its stupid to be too proud or too gutted about losses/wins' ..things change! Also it does mean that its best to enjoy this particular day when we play and then forget about it! This holds true for individual fortunes too...things change!

  • aby__prasad on June 15, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    In the late 80s &the time i started watching cricket from the 90s,pak used to have a stranglehold of india.Many of us used to be disgusted at the way we crumbled against imran,wasim(love him most),waqar and our bowlers as usual against javed,anwar& that hulk inzy(love him).In my childhood,I used to join the bandwagon of hatred until i matured(fortunately!)to admire the beauty of inzy,wasim etc,respct their love towards us or admire the way pak treats us when visiting them in their country.Then it wasnt the 2003 wc but the ganguly trip to pak that changed it. True raki99 ,sharjah had a big impact. But in totality, Kiwirocker said it!,.that pak has an impressive record anywhere against india.I mean, just imagine,even during the recent darkest period of pak cricket, they still pull off series wins or a win here n there!Dhoni to an extent has a flair like that with pak.So do Misbah to a lesser extent.Wish we'd respect them and our teams a bit more in good/bad times though!

  • Ezhil-Dxb on June 15, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    If you remove Sharjah from the equation, the record becomes 53-43. And if India and Pakistan had played more matches in the new millennium, definitely the head-to-head could have been more even. But no disputing the fact that Pakistan was simply better in the 80s and most of the 90s, the 'aid' of Sharjah notwithstanding. After 2000, India are way ahead in terms of quality of players.

  • dummy4fb on June 15, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    If Pakstan can maintain an equal record with India since 2003 while having worst team composition, controversies and all other negative incident, then , I am quite sure India could never chase Pakistan tally of winning more matches on this Goddamn world