India v West Indies, 2nd Test, Mumbai

India's worst batting venue

The Wankhede Stadium has been India's most result-oriented Test venue, but in the last 13 years it hasn't been kind to the home batsmen

S Rajesh

November 12, 2013

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar came in to bat early on day two, India v West Indies, 1st Test, Kolkata, 2nd day, November 7, 2013
In his last five Tests at the Wankhede, Sachin Tendulkar averages 27; in his first five, he'd averaged 67.11 © BCCI
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Sachin Tendulkar's last Test will be played at a venue which has been a wretched one for Indian batsmen over the last 13 years and more. Since the beginning of 2000, India have a 2-4 win-loss record from seven Tests at the Wankhede Stadium, the worst among all home venues where they've played at least five Tests. In these matches, the batsmen have averaged 24 runs per wicket, easily the lowest among all Indian grounds: at no other ground is the average less than 35.

Four times in these seven Tests, India have been bowled out for less than 300 in their first innings, and their average in the first innings is 29.71 runs per wicket. Last year against England, India scored 327 and still ended up losing by ten wickets, because England replied with 413 and then bowled India out for only 142.

In fact, India' second innings at the Wankhede has been much worse than their first: their last six such innings read as follows - 142, 242 for 9, 100, 205, 219 and 113. The average runs per dismissal in the second innings: 17.30. The only time they didn't have to bat a second time during this period, though, was against West Indies in 2002, when they scored 457 and won by an innings and 112 runs. Their last Test here against West Indies, in 2011, was much tighter, though: India, chasing 243 for victory, finished on 242 for 9, a run away from victory and a wicket away from a tie.

During this period, only four centuries have been scored by Indian batsmen at this venue: 147 by Virender Sehwag and 100 not out by Rahul Dravid against West Indies in 2002, 103 by R Ashwin against the same opponents in 2011, and 135 by Cheteshwar Pujara against England last year. That's an average of 0.57 centuries per Test by an Indian batsman.

In contrast, the average runs per wicket in Kolkata, the venue for the first Test, is 51.62 runs per wicket, with 18 centuries in nine Tests - an average of two per game.

India's Test results at home venues since 2000 (Min 5 Tests)
Venue Tests Won/ lost Ratio Bat ave Bowl ave
Delhi 7 6/ 0 - 42.63 27.86
Mohali 8 5/ 0 - 44.58 32.88
Chennai 7 4/ 0 - 40.60 33.40
Kolkata 9 6/ 1 6.00 51.62 32.72
Ahmedabad 7 2/ 1 2.00 42.52 40.22
Bangalore 8 2/ 3 0.67 35.88 40.41
Mumbai 7 2/ 4 0.50 23.99 27.26

Tendulkar has scored one Test century in 18 innings at this ground, but that came way back in 1997, when he scored 148 against Sri Lanka. He has come close on a couple of other occasions, scoring 97 against South Africa in 2000 and 94 against West Indies in 2011 - when he was searching for his 100th international hundred - but the landmark has eluded him for his last 14 Test innings at the Wankhede Stadium.

In fact, his Test career at his home venue can be neatly divided into two compartments of five Tests each. Till 2001, Tendulkar was prolific here, scoring 604 runs in nine innings, including six scores of 50 or more. Since then, runs at his home ground have been far tougher for Tendulkar: in his last five Tests he has scored 243 runs at 27, with only two fifties. In his most recent Test here, against England last year, he scored a total of 16 in two innings, his lowest aggregate from a Test at the Wankhede.

Tendulkar's Test career at the Wankhede Stadium
Period Tests Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
First 5 Tests (Till 2001) 5 9 604 67.11 1/ 5
Last five Tests (2002 onwards) 5 9 243 27.00 0/ 2
Total 10 18 847 47.05 1/ 7

One of the milestones that Tendulkar hasn't achieved in his career so far is scoring 1000 Test runs at a venue: his highest is 970, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, at an average of 88.18. Before the start of the Kolkata Test, Tendulkar had an aggregate of 862 there, but he added only ten runs to that tally. In Mumbai, Tendulkar will need 153 runs to touch 1000 runs at the ground; in the ten Tests he has played here, only once has be aggregated so many in a match.

As it stands, Tendulkar's 847 is the second-highest Test aggregate at the Wankhede Stadium, next only to Sunil Gavaskar's 1122 runs from 11 Tests at an average of 56.10. However, while Gavaskar managed five hundreds in 11 Tests, Tendulkar has only one so far.

Batsmen with the most Test runs at Wankhede Stadium
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Sunil Gavaskar 11 1122 56.10 5/ 3
Sachin Tendulkar 10 847 47.05 1/ 7
Dilip Vengsarkar 10 631 48.53 2/ 2
Rahul Dravid 7 619 56.27 1/ 4
Syed Kirmani 9 477 47.70 2/ 1
Ravi Shastri 6 457 57.12 2/ 1

While this ground hasn't been a favourable one for India over the last decade and more, it hasn't been a favourite for West Indies either: in seven Tests they've won only once, and that was way back in 1975. In their last three Tests they've lost twice - in 1994 and 2002 - and were close to defeat in 2011 as well (though they had a chance to win that one as well).

India's most result-friendly ground

Among Indian venues which have hosted at least five Tests, the draw percentage at the Wankhede Stadium is the least: only seven out of 16 Tests haven't had a decisive result (30%); the next-lowest, among current grounds, is the MA Chidambaram Stadium with 35% draws. Since 2000, only one out of seven Tests have been drawn, and even that match was potentially one ball away from a result, as India finished on 242 for 9 chasing 243 for victory. (Click here for a full list of draw percentages in Indian grounds.)

In these last seven Tests, the Wankhede pitch has been at its best in the first innings of the Test - as is the norm at most grounds - but even there the average scores haven't been too high. The average runs per wicket in the first innings is only 33.02 (which translates into a team score of 330); it's 29.41 in the second innings, 17.02 in the third and 20.11 in the fourth.

The conditions at Wankhede have generally helped both fast bowlers and spinners: in the seven Tests since 2000, pace bowlers have conceded 27.87 runs per wicket, compared to the spinners' average of 24.06. However, in the two Tests - against West Indies and England - since the pitch was relaid, fast bowlers have taken only 15 wickets at 52.60, compared with 52 wickets by the spinners at an average of 29.63. In the most recent Test here, against England last year, spinners accounted for 28 out of 29 wickets that fell to bowlers in the match. Given the composition of the bowling attacks in this match, though, it's highly unlikely spinners will dominate to the same extent over the next five days.

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

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Posted by cornered_again on (November 14, 2013, 1:17 GMT)

Best of Luck Sachin!! with love from Lahore...

Posted by GrindAR on (November 13, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

This test marks for two career land marks... 200 for SR Tendulkar and 150 for S Chanderpaul. This is a rare occurrence... probably only occurrence in the history of the game of have two huge land mark occurrences of this scale... Hope they both do good for their teams... I have great respect for both of them...

Posted by crikkfan on (November 13, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

IndCricFan2013 completely agree with you. Sachin has mentioned himself that Chepauk is one of his favorite venues. He has had some epic battles there. The 199th could have been scheduled there in retrospect. But on a different note, all series should be 3-test series - hope ICC wakes up and listens to this plea of most cricket lovers.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

Sachin is a legend ..lets hope he does well but as a cricket fan no one shd forget Shiv Chanderpaul who wd be playing his 150th test in Mumbai...salute to his longevity given his unnatural style of batting but very effective!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Nampally on (November 13, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

@Jose: Kunderan moved out from Bombay to play regularly for Railways because Bombay already had a Test player Thamane, as their WK. Actually Kunderan was so poor when he played his first Test, as a replacement for Thamane, that he had to borrow Thamane's WK gloves, because he could not afford one himself. I forgot that Wadekar (Indian Test Captain) was also from Bombay & greatly admired Kunderan both as a Cricketer & as a personality. Like the great SP Gupte, Kunderan was badly treated by Indian establishment & had to settle abroad at a young age, to make a living!

Posted by xpressmusic26 on (November 13, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

asusual again expecting 2 tendu 2 score a ton......153 would b wonderful

Posted by telemarkskier on (November 13, 2013, 1:09 GMT)

I do remember that 1975 match with Clive Loyd's WI team. We played them @ Wankhede and that was the inaugral test match there. The series was tied 2-2. They had won the first 2 and then we won the next 2 (Eden + Chepauk) but they hammered us at Wankhede. batting first, they scored tons of runs, CL making a double century and then India batted, we played well too but only Eknath Solkar made a century and we scrappily avoided the followon but then it was downhill from there. Wankhede replaced Braborne...

Posted by Rajdev on (November 12, 2013, 20:28 GMT)

@Jose: Kunderan was born in Karnataka (South Kanara) but did his schooling in Bombay. Rajan

Posted by RameshRayaprolu on (November 12, 2013, 20:04 GMT)

good explanation of stats, this must boost WI team's morale...!!! I hope to get more excitement here than Kolkata...just due to the stats :) !

India must try to get better on stats on this ground, and WI must try to pressure India to keep those "bad" stats in their mind :) !

That way, we get an even contest, and can bid a great farewell to the GOD !!

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (November 12, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

Every one is missing one point. Which ground Sachin scored most hundreds and has high average after playing at least 3 matches? It MAC in Chennai. He has 5 hundreds, more than any where else and has an average of 88+. Sachin should have picked Chennai for his last match or at least 199th.

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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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