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George Binoy and Travis Basevi dig into our stats database

Dhoni's away record takes a beating

Captains with the largest difference between win percentages in home and away games

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

January 18, 2012

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MS Dhoni at the presentation ceremony after the Perth Test, Australia v India, 3rd Test, Perth, 3rd day, January 15, 2012
MS Dhoni's overseas captaincy record has taken a beating © Getty Images
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MS Dhoni has had his captaincy record in away Tests ruined by India's seven consecutive defeats in England and Australia. In July 2011, after the tour of West Indies and before the Pataudi Trophy, India had played 12 Tests away from home under Dhoni's leadership, of which they won five and lost only two. That record is now played 19, won five and lost nine. At home, however, Dhoni has led India in 18 Tests, with 12 wins and only one defeat to South Africa.

Dhoni's stuck with his overseas record for a while because he's been banned from the Adelaide Test for a repeat over-rate offence, and India don't have another tour for about two years. This week's column is about captains with the largest differences between win percentages in home and away Tests. We've excluded draws from our calculations.

Two other Indian captains had reasonable results at home but miserable ones while on tour. Mohammad Azharuddin's India won 13 out of 20 home Tests but only one out of 27 away games. The solitary victory was at the SSC in Colombo in 1993, when India beat Sri Lanka by 235 runs. Sachin Tendulkar's India didn't even manage that. He was captain in 13 away Tests, of which India lost six and drew seven. Of 12 home games under Tendulkar, India won four and lost three.

In 1984, Australia under Kim Hughes were beaten in three consecutive Tests in the Caribbean to lose the series 0-3 to West Indies. Those results significantly worsened Hughes' away record as captain. Australia had won one and lost 11 out of 20 away Tests with him as leader. Their next assignment was a home series against West Indies and, under Hughes, they lost the first two Tests at the WACA and the Gabba. The results were Hughes' first defeats at home (captained in eight, won three, lost two) but the strain of five consecutive losses to West Indies claimed its victim. Hughes resigned the captaincy in tears in Brisbane and only played two more Tests for Australia.

Win/loss % of captains at home compared to away from home - Tests (at least 8 matches, both at home and away; excluding draws)
Player Span Mat Home Won Lost Tied Draw % Away Won Lost Tied Draw % Diff
M Azharuddin (India) 1990-1999 47 20 13 4 0 3 76.47 27 1 10 0 16 9.09 67.38
AH Kardar (Pak) 1952-1958 23 9 3 0 0 6 100.00 14 3 6 0 5 33.33 66.67
RGD Willis (Eng) 1982-1984 18 9 6 1 0 2 85.71 9 1 4 0 4 20.00 65.71
CA Walsh (WI) 1994-1997 22 9 2 0 0 7 100.00 13 4 7 0 2 36.36 63.64
SR Tendulkar (India) 1996-2000 25 12 4 3 0 5 57.14 13 0 6 0 7 0.00 57.14
MS Dhoni (India) 2008-2012 37 18 12 1 0 5 92.30 19 5 9 0 5 35.71 56.59
GP Howarth (NZ) 1980-1985 30 17 8 1 0 8 88.88 13 3 6 0 4 33.33 55.56
SM Pollock (SA) 2000-2003 26 13 10 0 0 3 100.00 13 4 5 0 4 44.44 55.56
Wasim Akram (Pak) 1993-1999 25 8 5 0 0 3 100.00 17 7 8 0 2 46.66 53.33
SM Gavaskar (India) 1976-1985 47 29 7 2 0 20 77.77 18 2 6 0 10 25.00 52.78
KJ Hughes (Aus) 1979-1984 28 8 3 2 0 3 60.00 20 1 11 0 8 8.33 51.67
Javed Miandad (Pak) 1980-1993 34 22 10 1 0 11 90.90 12 4 5 0 3 44.44 46.46
WR Hammond (Eng) 1938-1947 20 10 3 1 0 6 75.00 10 1 2 0 7 33.33 41.67
BC Lara (WI) 1997-2006 47 27 9 10 0 8 47.36 20 1 16 0 3 5.88 41.49
PBH May (Eng) 1955-1961 41 26 16 4 0 6 80.00 15 4 6 0 5 40.00 40.00
JM Brearley (Eng) 1977-1981 31 19 12 0 0 7 100.00 12 6 4 0 2 60.00 40.00
Imran Khan (Pak) 1982-1992 48 22 9 2 0 11 81.81 26 5 6 0 15 45.45 36.36
RB Simpson (Aus) 1964-1978 39 15 7 3 0 5 70.00 24 5 9 0 10 35.71 34.29
A Ranatunga (SL) 1989-1999 56 27 8 6 0 13 57.14 29 4 13 0 12 23.52 33.61
LRD Mendis (SL) 1982-1987 19 11 2 4 0 5 33.33 8 0 4 0 4 0.00 33.33

In one-day internationals, England under Mike Atherton's captaincy had a dichotomous record between home and away results. They won 12 out of 15 home matches, and reverses against West Indies and Pakistan in Nottingham in 1995 and 1996 were the only defeats. Away from home, however, Atherton's England lost 19 and won only eight out of 28 ODIs. It included a disastrous 1996 World Cup campaign, during which England won only two of six matches, with those wins coming against minnows UAE and Netherlands.

Sri Lanka under Sanath Jayasuriya were a formidable one-day side at home, and won more than they lost in away ODIs as well. At home, they won 24 and lost only six out of 32 matches during Jayasuriya's tenure between 1998 and 2003. Away from Sri Lanka during that period, they won 42 and lost 41 out of 86 ODIs. Under Mahela Jayawardene between 2004 and 2009, however, Sri Lanka won a greater percentage of away matches than they did home games. Out of 26 ODIs at home, Sri Lanka won 12 and lost 13. They played 68 matches away from home under Jayawardene, out of which they won 42 and lost 22.

Win/loss % of captains at home compared to away from home - ODIs (at least 15 matches, both at home and away)
Player Span Mat Home Won Lost Tied NR % Away Won Lost Tied NR % Diff
MA Atherton (Eng) 1994-1997 43 15 12 2 0 1 85.71 28 8 19 1 0 30.35 55.36
LRD Mendis (SL) 1982-1987 61 19 7 8 0 4 46.66 42 4 38 0 0 9.52 37.14
Mohammad Ashraful (Ban) 2007-2009 38 17 7 10 0 0 41.17 21 1 20 0 0 4.76 36.41
MS Atapattu (SL) 2001-2006 63 27 20 6 0 1 76.92 36 15 21 0 0 41.66 35.26
A Ranatunga (SL) 1988-1999 193 48 32 11 0 5 74.41 145 57 84 1 3 40.49 33.93
GP Howarth (NZ) 1980-1985 60 18 13 4 0 1 76.47 42 18 22 0 2 45.00 31.47
HH Streak (Zim) 2000-2004 68 24 11 12 0 1 47.82 44 7 35 0 2 16.66 31.16
ST Jayasuriya (SL) 1998-2003 118 32 24 6 0 2 80.00 86 42 41 2 1 50.58 29.41
SO Tikolo (Kenya) 2001-2011 73 32 17 15 0 0 53.12 41 10 29 0 2 25.64 27.48
SR Tendulkar (India) 1996-2000 73 18 9 8 0 1 52.94 55 14 35 1 5 29.00 23.94
M Azharuddin (India) 1990-1999 174 58 40 17 1 0 69.82 116 50 59 1 6 45.90 23.92
MD Crowe (NZ) 1990-1993 44 28 16 12 0 0 57.14 16 5 10 0 1 33.33 23.81
Habibul Bashar (Ban) 2004-2007 69 29 16 13 0 0 55.17 40 13 27 0 0 32.50 22.67
CA Walsh (WI) 1994-1997 43 15 10 5 0 0 66.66 28 12 15 0 1 44.44 22.22
KC Sangakkara (SL) 2009-2011 45 27 18 6 0 3 75.00 18 9 8 0 1 52.94 22.06
KC Wessels (SA) 1992-1994 52 21 11 10 0 0 52.38 31 9 20 0 2 31.03 21.35
KR Rutherford (NZ) 1993-1995 37 19 7 11 1 0 39.47 18 3 13 0 2 18.75 20.72
GC Smith (SA) 2003-2011 149 63 44 14 1 4 75.42 86 48 37 0 1 56.47 18.95
IVA Richards (WI) 1980-1991 105 26 19 5 0 2 79.16 79 48 31 0 0 60.75 18.41
Wasim Akram (Pak) 1993-2000 109 17 13 4 0 0 76.47 92 53 37 2 0 58.69 17.77

Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for ESPNcricinfo and other ESPN sports websites. George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket

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