April 7, 2010

Ian Bell and an average of 488

The highest batting average against a particular team or at a particular venue

Ian Bell likes batting against Bangladesh. A lot of batsmen do, but Bell has thrived against them. So much so that during his century in the recent Mirpur Test, his average against Bangladesh touched 488 in five innings, before it was halved when they dismissed him for only the second time. Bell's quirky average of 488 against Bangladesh is the highest mean any batsman has had against a particular team at any point of time. The averages in the tables below include all the runs scored until the batsman's dismissal in the last listed innings.

Bell's second and third Tests were against Bangladesh in 2005 and he scored 65 and 162 - both unbeaten innings - at Lord's and Chester-le-Street. Those performances followed his 70 on debut against West Indies at the Oval in 2004. So when Bell played his first Ashes Test, at headquarters in 2005, his career average reached 303 before Glenn McGrath bowled him for 6. By the time Australia were done with him, that figure had plummeted to 42.54. His Test average may have been reduced to normal size, but Bell continued to pile it on against Bangladesh, scoring 84, 39 not out and 138 in the recent two-match series.

Bell's mean of 303, just before his dismissal in the Lord's Ashes Test, is among the highest career averages for a player at any point in a career. That table is headed by Lawrence Rowe, the only batsman to score a double-century and a hundred on debut. Rowe scored 214 and 100 against New Zealand at Sabina Park and his average reached 336 before his next dismissal, in Trinidad.

Highest Test average against a team at any point in career
Player Span Mat Inns Runs Ave Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
IR Bell (Eng) 2005-2010 4 5 488 488.00 v Bangladesh Dhaka Mar 20, 2010 Test 1956
65*, 162*, 84, 39*, 138
Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) 2001-2003 4 4 424 424.00 v Bangladesh Karachi Aug 20, 2003 Test 1655
102*, 72, 204*, 46
ML Hayden (Aus) 2003-2003 2 2 400 400.00 v Zimbabwe Sydney Oct 17, 2003 Test 1663
380, 20
CA Davis (WI) 1971-1971 3 5 383 383.00 v India Bridgetown Apr 1, 1971 Test 685
71*, 74*, 34, 125*, 79
ML Hayden (Aus) 2003-2003 1 1 380 - v Zimbabwe Perth Oct 9, 2003 Test 1661
380
Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) 2001-2002 3 3 378 378.00 v Bangladesh Chittagong Jan 16, 2002 Test 1586
102*, 72, 204*
HH Gibbs (SA) 1999-1999 3 3 365 365.00 v New Zealand Wellington Mar 18, 1999 Test 1452
34, 211*, 120
GC Smith (SA) 2003-2003 1 2 362 362.00 v England Birmingham Jul 24, 2003 Test 1651
277, 85
Hanif Mohammad (Pak) 1958-1958 1 2 354 354.00 v West Indies Bridgetown Jan 17, 1958 Test 446
17, 337
RA Smith (Eng) 1990-1990 3 5 354 354.00 v India The Oval Aug 23, 1990 Test 1150
100*, 15, 121*, 61*, 57
IR Bell (Eng) 2005-2010 3 4 350 350.00 v Bangladesh Chittagong Mar 12, 2010 Test 1954
65*, 162*, 84, 39*
V Sehwag (India) 2004-2004 2 2 348 348.00 v Pakistan Lahore Apr 5, 2004 Test 1695
309, 39
DG Bradman (Aus) 1931-1931 2 2 338 338.00 v South Africa Sydney Dec 18, 1931 Test 213
226, 112
LG Rowe (WI) 1972-1972 2 3 336 336.00 v New Zealand Port of Spain Mar 9, 1972 Test 694
214, 100*, 22

When Don Bradman came to Leeds to play his first Test at Headingley, in 1930, he made his career best score - 334. When he returned in 1934, he made his second-highest score - 304. His average of 638, just before his second dismissal, is the highest any batsman has managed at any venue. Bradman returned for two more Tests at Headingley and scored two centuries in four innings. His final average there was 192.60. At one point he also averaged 476 at The Oval, after scoring double-centuries in his first two Test innings there.

Highest Test average at a venue at any point in career
Player Span Mat Inns Runs Ave Ground Start Date Scorecard
DG Bradman (Aus) 1930-1934 2 2 638 638.00 Headingley, Leeds Jul 20, 1934 Test 236
334, 304
Javed Miandad (Pak) 1976-1984 4 5 558 558.00 Niaz Stadium, Hyderabad, Sind Nov 25, 1984 Test 1000
25, DNB, 88*, 61*, 280*, 104
DG Bradman (Aus) 1930-1934 2 2 476 476.00 Kennington Oval, London Aug 18, 1934 Test 237
232, 244
FMM Worrell (WI) 1950-1957 2 3 468 468.00 Trent Bridge, Nottingham Jul 4, 1957 Test 441
261, DNB, 191*, 16
MS Atapattu (SL) 1999-2004 2 2 465 - Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo May 14, 2004 Test 1699
216*, 249
Javed Miandad (Pak) 1976-1983 3 4 454 454.00 Niaz Stadium, Hyderabad, Sind Jan 14, 1983 Test 946
25, DNB, 88*, 61*, 280*
FMM Worrell (WI) 1950-1957 2 2 452 452.00 Trent Bridge, Nottingham Jul 4, 1957 Test 441
261, DNB, 191*
Younis Khan (Pak) 2005-2007 2 3 431 431.00 M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore Dec 8, 2007 Test 1852
267, 84*, 80
A Flower (Zim) 1993-2000 2 4 430 430.00 Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi Nov 18, 2000 Test 1515
115, 62*, 183*, 70
MA Taylor (Aus) 1998-1998 1 2 426 - Arbab Niaz Stadium, Peshawar Oct 15, 1998 Test 1426
334*, 92
PBH May (Eng) 1957-1958 2 3 399 399.00 Edgbaston, Birmingham Jun 5, 1958 Test 454
30, 285*, 84
LG Rowe (WI) 1972-1973 2 3 390 390.00 Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica Feb 16, 1973 Test 714
214, 100*, 76
GS Chappell (Aus) 1974-1974 1 2 380 - Basin Reserve, Wellington Mar 1, 1974 Test 733
247*, 133
L Hutton (Eng) 1937-1938 2 2 376 376.00 Kennington Oval, London Aug 20, 1938 Test 266
12, DNB, 364
A Sandham (Eng) 1930-1930 1 2 375 375.00 Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica Apr 3, 1930 Test 193
325, 50
M Azharuddin (India) 1985-1986 2 3 375 375.00 Green Park, Kanpur Dec 17, 1986 Test 1061
122, 54*, 199

The highest ODI mean for a batsman at any stage of his career belongs to Kevin Pietersen, whose average soared to 267 during his seventh ODI - against South Africa, at Port Elizabeth in 2005. He had been unbeaten in four innings out of six. Pietersen went on to score 75, 100 not out and 116 in his next three innings in South Africa, which meant his average, even after nine innings, was 186.

Michael Hussey, however, had an even more astonishing run at the start of his career. He had an average of 177.75 after his first 23 matches (17 innings) because of 12 unbeaten knocks with a high score of only 88 not out.

Highest ODI average at any point in career
Player Span Mat Inns Runs Ave Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
KP Pietersen (Eng) 2004-2005 7 6 267 267.00 v South Africa Port Elizabeth Feb 4, 2005 ODI 2221
27*, 77*, DNB, 0, 22*, 108*, 33
AJ Lamb (Eng) 1982-1982 3 3 252 252.00 v Pakistan Nottingham Jul 17, 1982 ODI 154
35*, 99, 118
KP Pietersen (Eng) 2004-2005 6 5 234 234.00 v South Africa Bloemfontein Feb 2, 2005 ODI 2219
27*, 77*, DNB, 0, 22*, 108*
MEK Hussey (Aus) 2004-2005 8 7 234 234.00 v England Chester-le-Street Jun 23, 2005 ODI 2253
17*, 32*, 65*, DNB, 0*, 31*, 84, 5
MEK Hussey (Aus) 2004-2005 7 6 229 - v England Bristol Jun 19, 2005 ODI 2251
17*, 32*, 65*, DNB, 0*, 31*, 84
MJ Clarke (Aus) 2003-2003 5 5 209 209.00 v West Indies St George's Jun 1, 2003 ODI 2021
39*, 75*, 55*, 39, 1
MJ Clarke (Aus) 2003-2003 4 4 208 - v West Indies Port of Spain May 25, 2003 ODI 2019
39*, 75*, 55*, 39
DL Haynes (WI) 1978-1979 2 2 195 195.00 v India Birmingham Jun 9, 1979 ODI 61
148, 47
KP Pietersen (Eng) 2004-2005 11 9 558 186.00 v South Africa Centurion Feb 13, 2005 ODI 2226
27*, 77*, DNB, 0, 22*, 108*, 33, 75, 100*, DNB, 116
Saleem Elahi (Pak) 1995-1995 3 3 179 179.00 v Sri Lanka Rawalpindi Oct 3, 1995 ODI 1005
102*, 47, 30
MJ Guptill (NZ) 2009-2009 3 3 178 178.00 v Australia Perth Feb 1, 2009 ODI 2811
122*, 43, 13
MEK Hussey (Aus) 2004-2006 23 17 711 177.75 v South Africa Brisbane Jan 15, 2006 ODI 2314
17*, 32*, 65*, DNB, 0*, 31*, 84, 5, DNB, 45, DNB, 62*, 46*, DNB, DNB, 32, DNB, 75*, 21*, 1*, 88*, 34*, 73
JH Edrich (Eng) 1971-1974 2 2 172 172.00 v India Leeds Jul 13, 1974 ODI 12
82, 90
KP Pietersen (Eng) 2004-2005 8 7 342 171.00 v South Africa Cape Town Feb 6, 2005 ODI 2223
27*, 77*, DNB, 0, 22*, 108*, 33, 75

Another England batsman has had a prolific run against Bangladesh. During his eighth ODI innings against them, Paul Collingwood's average touched 316, before he was dismissed for 7 and 36 in his next two innings. He now averages only 117.33 against Bangladesh in ODIs.

MS Dhoni's average at the National Stadium in Karachi during his sixth match there is the highest average for a player at a particular venue. Dhoni made 77*, 109*, 26*, and 76 before he was dismissed for 67 when he had an average of 355.

Highest ODI average at a venue at any point in career
Player Span Mat Inns Runs Ave Ground Start Date Scorecard
MS Dhoni (India) 2006-2008 6 5 355 355.00 National Stadium, Karachi Jul 3, 2008 ODI 2732
77*, 109*, 26*, DNB, 76, 67
SR Tendulkar (India) 1999-2007 3 3 352 352.00 County Ground, Bristol Aug 24, 2007 ODI 2613
140*, 113, 99
G Kirsten (SA) 1994-1996 4 4 329 329.00 Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium Mar 5, 1996 ODI 1073
20*, 188*, 38, 83
Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) 1998-2002 5 4 313 313.00 Harare Sports Club Dec 1, 2002 ODI 1907
59*, 66, 100*, DNB, 88
SR Tendulkar (India) 1994-2003 4 4 310 310.00 Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Hyderabad, Deccan Nov 15, 2003 ODI 2062
11*, 11, 186*, 102
Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) 2000-2000 4 4 295 295.00 Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka Jun 7, 2000 ODI 1602
80, 100*, 90*, 25
MS Dhoni (India) 2006-2008 5 4 288 - National Stadium, Karachi Jul 2, 2008 ODI 2730
77*, 109*, 26*, DNB, 76
IVA Richards (WI) 1975-1991 4 3 284 284.00 Old Trafford, Manchester May 25, 1991 ODI 677
DNB, 17, 189*, 78
Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) 2000-2000 3 3 270 270.00 Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka Jun 5, 2000 ODI 1601
80, 100*, 90*
RS Mahanama (SL) 1994-1994 3 3 267 267.00 Harare Sports Club Nov 6, 1994 ODI 948
119*, 108, 40
ML Hayden (Aus) 2002-2002 5 4 265 265.00 Gymkhana Club Ground, Nairobi Sep 7, 2002 ODI 1873
146, 40*, 59*, DNB, 20*
ST Jayasuriya (SL) 2002-2006 2 2 264 264.00 Headingley, Leeds Jul 1, 2006 ODI 2389
112, 152
DS Lehmann (Aus) 1999-2003 3 3 260 260.00 National Cricket Stadium, St George's, Grenada Jun 1, 2003 ODI 2021
110*, 43, 107
IVA Richards (WI) 1980-1987 3 3 257 257.00 National Stadium, Karachi Oct 13, 1987 ODI 457
36, 40*, 181
G Boycott (Eng) 1979-1980 4 3 254 254.00 Sydney Cricket Ground Jan 22, 1980 ODI 87
TDNB, 105, 86*, 63
SR Tendulkar (India) 1999-2002 2 2 253 - County Ground, Bristol Jul 11, 2002 ODI 1855
140*, 113
SR Tendulkar (India) 1993-1996 3 3 251 251.00 Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur Oct 23, 1996 ODI 1130
82*, 105, 64

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George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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