Champions Trophy /

Champions Trophy 2006

Why Windies and England will struggle to do an encore

A look at what the form book suggests ahead of the Champions Trophy

S Rajesh

October 5, 2006

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Gayle and Sarwan celebrate their 2004 triumph. A repeat performance will be extremely difficult © Getty Images
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In the last edition of the Champions Trophy, West Indies were the winners and England came out second best. Much has happened since September 2004, though, and neither of those two sides will be favoured to make it to the final stages of the tournament this time around. With the qualifying matches getting underway in a couple of days, Cricinfo looks at the form of teams and players in the last two years, since the last Champions Trophy.

There's no surprise at the top of the table, but South Africa aren't that far behind in terms of winning percentage. The news isn't as good for West Indies and England, though. Both languish among the bottom four in terms of win percentages since October 2004, though, admittedly, Bangladesh's numbers are a bit flattering: seven of their wins came against Kenya, and five more against a severely depleted Zimbabwe.

Win percentage since 2004 Champions Trophy
Team Played Win/ Loss Tie/ No result Win %
Australia 55 38/ 13 1/ 3 69
South Africa 40 27/ 10 1/ 2 67
Pakistan 44 25/ 17 0/ 2 56
India 54 29/ 23 0/ 2 53
New Zealand 33 17/ 15 0/ 1 51
Sri Lanka 49 24/ 23 0/ 2 48
Bangladesh 38 15/ 23 0/ 0 39
England 43 16/ 22 2/ 3 37
West Indies 39 14/ 23 0/ 2 35
Zimbabwe 40 10/ 29 0/ 1 25

Australia and South Africa again lead the way with both bat and ball: Australia's batsmen have scored 13 more runs per dismissal than their bowlers have conceded to take one, which indicates just how dominant they have been over the last couple of years (and beyond). England and West Indies again bring up the rear, with the difference between batting average and bowling for West Indies being particularly alarming.

Averages and strike rates since 2004 Champions Trophy
Team Bat ave, bowl ave Strike rate, econ rate Bat ave-bowl ave SR-ER
Australia 39.66, 26.33 5.43, 4.90 13.33 0.53
South Africa 37.19, 28.67 5.19, 4.86 8.52 0.33
Pakistan 33.20, 31.63 5.22, 5.13 1.57 0.09
India 35.14, 29.79 5.28, 5.07 5.35 0.21
New Zealand 29.46, 29.69 5.10, 4.89 -0.23 0.21
Sri Lanka 31.54, 32.79 5.24, 5.02 -1.25 0.22
Bangladesh 25.71, 30.37 4.48, 4.79 -4.66 -0.31
England 32.24, 33.02 5.11, 5.07 -0.78 0.04
West Indies 28.48, 33.11 4.88, 5.02 -4.63 -0.14
Zimbabwe 23.42, 34.24 4.29, 5.06 -10.82 -0.77

And finally, a table where England are in front, but this one is for a rather dubious distinction: the team which concedes the most number of wides and no-balls. England are well ahead of the other sides, including the inexperienced Zimbabwe, though those who want to be kind to the team will say they play most of their games in England, where the conditions make it far more difficult to control the white ball. Notice also that Australia concede exactly as many wides and no-balls as Bangladesh. That's a stat that will impress Dav Whatmore.

The most wides and no-balls conceded since the 2004 Champions Trophy
Team ODIs Wides + no balls W + Nb per match
England 43 364 + 132 = 496 11.53
Zimbabwe 40 336 + 104 = 440 11.00
West Indies 39 326 + 96 = 422 10.82
Pakistan 44 269 + 178 = 447 10.16
India 54 398 + 149 = 547 10.13
South Africa 40 216 + 109 = 325 8.13
Australia 55 282 + 152 = 434 7.89
Bangladesh 38 212 + 88 = 300 7.89
New Zealand 33 152 + 101 = 253 7.67
Sri Lanka 49 224 + 147 = 371 7.57

So who have been the form players in ODIs in the last couple of years? The first two names in the list aren't much of surprise - Michael Hussey and Kevin Pietersen have been outstanding in this period - but the third name certainly is. Boeta Dippenaar averages 50 during this period, though his strike rate isn't up there with the best. It's interesting to note that among the top ten in terms of averages, eight of them also score more than 80 runs per 100 balls.

The best batsmen since the 2004 Champions Trophy (Qual: 700 runs)
Batsman ODIs Runs Ave Strike rate
Michael Hussey 42 1291 80.68 99.53
Kevin Pietersen 38 1382 55.28 95.64
Boeta Dippenaar 24 1006 50.30 74.62
Inzamam-ul-Haq 44 1510 47.18 87.38
Yuvraj Singh 50 1806 46.30 88.74
Michael Clarke 52 1662 46.16 81.07
Mahendra Singh Dhoni 52 1510 45.75 100.00
Graeme Smith 35 1394 43.56 87.01
Ian Bell 23 783 43.50 71.44
Ricky Ponting 49 1932 42.93 86.32
Ramnaresh Sarwan 34 1245 42.93 72.51
Herschelle Gibbs 30 1199 42.82 86.57
Rahul Dravid 55 1954 41.57 74.04
Kumar Sangakkara 56 1970 41.04 78.95
Sanath Jayasuriya 36 1375 40.44 98.14

The corresponding list for bowlers has a few surprises too - Nathan Bracken is in second place, while Ajit Agarkar, Brad Hogg and Andrew Hall all make the cut. Muttiah Muralitharan, on the other hand, doesn't - in the last two years, he only averages a modest 31.64, with 50 wickets in 39 matches.

The best bowlers since the 2004 Champions Trophy (Qual: 150 overs)
Bowler Overs Wickets Ave Econ rate
Shane Bond 156 36 18.11 4.17
Nathan Bracken 198.1 43 21.32 4.62
Brett Lee 431.5 93 21.46 4.62
Glenn McGrath 265.2 43 21.93 3.55
Makhaya Ntini 238.4 50 22.60 4.73
Ajit Agarkar 306.5 61 23.65 4.70
Brad Hogg 281.5 55 24.05 4.69
Irfan Pathan 315 63 24.73 4.94
Andrew Hall 213 40 24.82 4.66
Ian Bradshaw 264 46 25.39 4.42
Andre Nel 201 36 26.16 4.68
Daniel Vettori 307.5 44 26.43 3.77
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 335.1 70 26.61 5.55
Kyle Mills 240.3 41 27.04 4.61
Mashrafe Mortaza 254.1 41 28.39 4.57

Herschelle Gibbs has finally decided he will make the trip to India, and his team will be pleased with that decision: not only is he one of the pillars of South African batting, he has also showed outstanding form in Champions Trophy games, averaging 86 in five matches. In fact, South Africa occupy two of the top three spots, with Jacques Kallis averaging nearly 70 as well. One big name conspicuous by its absence is that of the Australian captain - in eight Champions Trophy matches, Ponting only averages 31.16. Along with his team's record in the tournament, this is one stat he will want to improve upon as well.

Top batsmen in Champions Trophy (Qual: 300 runs)
Batsman Matches Runs Average Strike rate
Herschelle Gibbs 5 345 86.25 86.03
Sourav Ganguly 13 665 73.88 83.12
Jacques Kallis 10 480 68.57 81.63
Rahul Dravid 13 442 55.25 71.63
Marcus Trescothick 8 421 52.62 85.74
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 9 365 52.14 68.48
Sachin Tendulkar 11 359 44.87 82.71
Brian Lara 10 338 42.25 79.90

Muralitharan may not have been in glittering form in the ODIs of late, but in Champions Trophy matches he has been the main man both in terms of taking wickets and keeping the runs in check. Australia have a couple of entries in this list, but their champion strike bowler is missing - Glenn McGrath's 11 wickets in this competition have come at 23.09 apiece.

Top bowlers in Champions Trophy (Qual: 10 wkts)
Bowler Matches Wickets Average Econ rate
Muttiah Muralitharan 9 14 14.07 3.22
Jacob Oram 4 10 16.20 4.67
Merv Dillon 7 19 16.68 4.66
Michael Kasprowicz 4 10 16.90 4.69
Jason Gillespie 7 12 17.41 3.73
Douglas Hondo 4 11 18.18 6.06
Shaun Pollock 7 11 20.72 3.78
Nuwan Zoysa 6 10 21.60 4.69

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo. For some of the stats he was assisted by Arun Gopalakrishnan.

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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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