March 29, 2013

Is home advantage on the rise?

India, South Africa and Australia have whitewashed opponents in recent home Test series. Has winning overseas become tougher?
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Over the last three months, Test cricket all over the world has largely been about the home team dominating the visiting side. The New Zealand-England three-Test series ended 0-0, but even there New Zealand, clearly the underdogs when the series began, were desperately close to beating the visitors, finally falling short only by one wicket. Around the same time as the New Zealand-England series was unfolding, Australia were getting thrashed 4-0 in India, only the second time in their entire Test history that they have taken such a beating.

Before Australia's clean sweep, there were other recent instances of touring teams being blanked in a series: Pakistan and New Zealand both lost each Test they played in South Africa - Pakistan 3-0, New Zealand 2-0 - while Sri Lanka were thrashed 3-0 in Australia. In 13 Tests played in 2013 (excluding those involving Bangladesh or Zimbabwe), ten have been won by the home team, and three have been drawn.

These results, coupled with India's spectacularly disastrous results in England and Australia have raised fears that Test cricket is increasingly getting skewed by teams winning in home conditions; in other words, most teams are struggling to adapt to conditions they aren't used to. Is that really the case, or is it an alarmist reaction to what is only a three-month phenomenon which has happened because of the quality of teams that have toured? Let's take a closer look at the numbers over the last few years.

The decade-wise stats indicate that, despite the recent skew, the overall win-loss ratio since the 1990s is largely unchanged. Home teams had a win-loss ratio of 1.81 in the 1990s and 2000s, and 1.82 since the beginning of 2010. (All these numbers exclude matches involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.)

While India and Pakistan have contributed in diminishing the win-loss ratios for touring sides since 2010 - both have won three Tests and lost ten abroad during this period - other teams have made up for this, thus ensuring that the overall ratios remain more or less the same. South Africa have a 7-1 win-loss ratio overseas during this period, thus helping redress the balance. (Click here for the overseas win-loss records of teams since the beginning of 2010, and here for the home records.)

Win-loss ratios in home Tests in each decade since 1970
Period Tests Won/ lost Drawn W/L ratio
1970s 198 69/ 45 84 1.53
1980s 266 87/ 56 122 1.55
1990s 307 129/ 71 107 1.81
2000s 361 167/ 92 102 1.81
2010s 110 51/ 28 31 1.82
Excludes all Tests in neutral countries

Breaking this up further into year-wise stats, it's clear these win-loss ratios have changed depending on the touring schedules. So, while India had a 1-8 record in away Tests in 2011 and 2012, South Africa, Australia and England had a collective record of 12-3 in overseas Tests during the same period. South Africa won in New Zealand, England and Australia, while Australia had wins in Sri Lanka, South Africa and West Indies; England had two memorable wins in India, and also won a Test each in Sri Lanka and Australia.

In 2007 the home teams had particularly good records, with overseas sides winning only four Tests and losing 14. South Africa were the only team to have a positive record abroad, winning a series 1-0 in Pakistan. Australia didn't play a single overseas Test that year, while England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka all had identical 0-2 win-loss records abroad. Similarly, in 2009 the overseas stats were poor - six wins and 17 losses - but it so happened that in that year West Indies toured both England and Australia, losing four out of five Tests. Pakistan lost four out of seven overseas games - two in Sri Lanka, and one each in New Zealand and Australia. Australia themselves won three Tests abroad, but also lost as many, in South Africa and England.

Win-loss ratios in home Tests in each year since 2005
Year Tests Won/ lost Drawn W/L ratio
2005 36 17/ 8 11 2.12
2006 42 21/ 9 12 2.33
2007 26 14/ 4 8 3.50
2008 38 16/ 12 10 1.33
2009 38 17/ 6 15 2.83
2010 32 13/ 10 9 1.30
2011 29 12/ 8 9 1.50
2012 36 16/ 10 10 1.60
2013 13 10/ 0 3 -

However, all overseas conditions aren't equally foreign to a touring team: Australia, for example, will be more comfortable with South African pitches and conditions than those in India. Similarly, India would feel more comfortable in Sri Lanka than in Australia or England. Hence, let's club together the Asian countries and check how the teams from outside Asia - Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand and West Indies - have fared in Asia over the years. (This analysis includes matches played in the UAE, since conditions there are similar to those in the subcontinent.)

The table below shows that home advantage was the least for Asian teams in the 1980s, when they won 15 Tests and lost 14. However, that's also partly because Sri Lanka were still finding their feet as a Test team during that period, and lost four home Tests without winning a single one during that period. Excluding those results, overseas teams had a percentage of 0.67 in Asia during the 1980s (ten wins, 15 defeats), which is still better than the numbers in the subsequent decades.

Since 2010, though, the ratio of wins to losses for overseas teams has dipped even further, to 0.33. All teams except South Africa have a losing record in Asia during this period: Australia have been poor, winning one and losing six; New Zealand are down 1-4, West Indies 0-2, and England 3-5. These numbers suggest that playing in Asia has become more difficult for the non-Asian teams in this decade, though a part of the reason is also the diminishing powers of Australia as a Test force over the last few years.

Decade-wise win-loss record for teams from outside Asia, in Tests in Asia*, since 1970
Period Tests Won/ lost Drawn W/L ratio
1970s 41 7/ 12 22 0.58
1980s 59 14/ 15 29 0.93
1990s 55 10/ 25 20 0.40
2000s 78 18/ 34 26 0.52
2010s 35 6/ 18 11 0.33
* Includes matches played in the UAE

Similarly, teams from Asia have struggled more when playing in Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa, winning just five matches, against 24 losses since the beginning of 2010. India have been the worst among the subcontinent sides during this period, with a 1-9 win-loss record. Sri Lanka have done slightly better, winning one and losing six, while Pakistan have been the best among the lot, with three wins against nine defeats.

From the 1980s to the 2000s, the win-loss ratios for the subcontinent teams were consistently between 0.36 and 0.38. The fall in ratio to 0.21 suggests that subcontinent teams have become poorer touring sides, just as teams from outside the subcontinent have in general struggled more in Asia over the last three years.

Decade-wise win-loss record for teams from Asia in Tests in Aus, NZ, Eng and SA, since 1970
Period Tests Won/ lost Drawn W/L ratio
1970s 41 8/ 16 17 0.50
1980s 43 6/ 16 21 0.37
1990s 66 12/ 31 23 0.38
2000s 68 13/ 36 19 0.36
2010s 33 5/ 24 4 0.21

All stats exclude matches involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 29, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    Climate conditions, time zones et al are different. Increase the # of proper practice matches before the first Intl. game. That will improve the quality & competetiveness of the cricket. This will reduce the total international games, but will probably be worth the sacrifice.

  • hellraiser9 on April 1, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Nothing wrong with the stats provided in the above article. It is no surprise that Pak has "slight" edge when it comes to number of wins. They always had a superior bowling attack than India has. Pak has infact better bowling attack than most teams to bowl in those conditions. Their bowlers especially spinners like ajmal are not at all easy to get away with and Aussie batsmen and others do find it difficult to pick from time to time. Having said that difference is only slight. Remember they have suffered 9 defeats too. so it is not like they have been better by fair distance. Only slight. Indian team with Zak and other bowlers bowling wayward and struggling to take 20 tickets is always a tough team to watch. With inclusion of youngsters into the team we can expect better results in future. So it is not all over for indian team. Next one year will prove if we have the ability to improve the record overseas or not with this young team. a fighting team.

  • KiwiRocker- on March 31, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    CricIndia208 : Are you suggesting that Rajesh made stats up? Make some sense please!Tattus: Pakistan has won more matches than India in England and same number of matches in Australia. While their W/L ratio in SA is better than India too. You people need to do home work before posting stats. Just try Cricinfo stats guru!India has lost 4-0 in England, 4-0 in Australia and even managed to lose series at home against England. Only if ICC was unbiased, Indian test team would have been relegated to second tier playing against Oman!

  • Greatest_Game on March 30, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    @ ANDREW DOUGLAS - You claim: "only reason south africa wins away more than others is that they ...played in all conditions regularly last couple of years." You are clearly not using a reality-based analysis! SA's success is more complex. Some factors are:

    SA has the no. 1, 3 & 8 top ranked test batsmen i, (plus the no.15, 30 & 32.) Amla tops test rankings & shares top ODI spot with AB de Villiers, who ranks 3rd in tests.

    SA has numbers 1, 2 and 9 of the top ranked test bowlers, & the part timer Kallis is at no. 33! Kallis is, 2nd only Sobers, the greatest all-rounder ever, & ranked as 1 of the top 10 all time batsmen.

    SA's skipper has captained & won more tests than any other, & also holds a number of batting records.

    These factors create a greater likelihood of winning than does "playing in all conditions regularly." SA leads cricket in almost every single category, & denying that, as you effectively have done, is untrue, & comes accross as mindless bigotry. Think about that.

  • Greatest_Game on March 30, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    @ ANDREW DOUGLAS says in 3 years SA "will be a mediocre batting side in development when kallis & smith retire." Really? Smith was born Feb '81, Jhb, SA. Let's compare that to Eng's batsmen: Pietersen, Jun 80, Pmg, SA; Trott, Apr 81, Cape Town, SA; Prior, Feb 82, Jhb, SA; Bell, Apr 82, Walsgrave, UK; *Compton Jun 83, Durban, SA; Cook, Dec 84 Glouc, UK. They span just 4 years, & Pietersen & Trott are OLDER THAN SMITH!!

    SA's batsmen: Alviro Petersen, Feb 80, PE; Amla, March 83, Durb; du Plessis, July 83, Pret; de Villiers, Feb 84, Pret; Duminy, April 84, Cape T. Except Cook, SA's batsmen are YOUNGER than Eng's. (*Amla 3 months older.)

    Kallis is 37.5 & going strong. He is truly African tough, like all SA batsmen. Smith & Co. are good for 6+ years. JK, who knows?

    (Eng will be ok. All but Bell were bred African tough. Sadly, Cook faces fatal "Eng Capt vs Smith" disease!)

    ANDREW - you are just WRONG about Smith. As for SA's batting development, that's what pajama cricket is used for.

  • CricIndia208 on March 30, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    No made up statistics can deny the fact that pakistan are miserable outside home. Their scores of 47 in SA, 80, 72, 79 in England, 90 in SL confirm that pakistan are the worst subcontinental team. India drew their previous series in SA, while pakistan were thrashed 3-0. India are the better team, they are streets ahead of pakistan. Full Stop.

  • heathrf1974 on March 30, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    One of the main issues with tests being more one-sided at home is the lack of patient batsman due to T20 and wickets being either too dry or green. I have only seen in recent times in Indian matches some innings being opened with spinners which is a concern for the balance in a game. On the otherhand I've found some wickets in Australia too green over the last couple of years and the SCG taking less and less spin which I hate. One of the reasons I enjoyed watching tests in Australia was the variety between wickets. However, nowadays there seems to be less and less difference. I want each ground to have their own unique characteristics.

  • GeoffreysMother on March 30, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Surely the stats are skewed by the relative quality of teams. In the 70's , 80's and 90's the great West Indian and Australian teams won just about everywhere (outside India). The difference is less pronounced now so home advantage may have a greater impact. India in South Africa and the reverse series will be fascinating - but only if Ashwin can develop into something approaching Ajmal and the Indian batsmen can provide enough of a cushion for him to bowl to (and Pujara and Vijay just might have the grit to do that).

  • on March 30, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    the reason why in the last 3 months all home teams have won is that each touring side took rookie teams and the home side had a settled or less rookie team.only reason south africa wins away more than others is that they have a team that has played in all conditions regularly last couple of years.give SA 3 years and they will be a mediocre batting side in development when kallis and smith retire

  • getsetgopk on March 30, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    @KiwiRocker-: Nice analysis there mate! One thing I would like to add to that analysis is that both Ind and Pak have won 4 tests against Auss in Auss but Pakistan also won a 5th test not on Auss soil but in England, the conditions in Eng would suit Auss more than it would Pak so effectively its Pak 5 wins and India 4 wins. The strength of Pakistan cricket can be seen from another piece of info, Pak is the only team in the history of cricket to have won a test match on its very first test tour to a country, on the 1952 tour of India, though Pak lost the series but they managed to win a test match, whereas it took India more than half a century to win their first test match on Pakistani soil. In 2000's, Pakistan's record got a hit because our bowling attack got decapitated not once but twice, first when the 2W's retired and then the ban on Amir and Asif, we are back in business with Junaid and Irfan though. Apart from that minor glitch, Pak has always been the superior Asian team. FACT!

  • on March 29, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    Climate conditions, time zones et al are different. Increase the # of proper practice matches before the first Intl. game. That will improve the quality & competetiveness of the cricket. This will reduce the total international games, but will probably be worth the sacrifice.

  • hellraiser9 on April 1, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Nothing wrong with the stats provided in the above article. It is no surprise that Pak has "slight" edge when it comes to number of wins. They always had a superior bowling attack than India has. Pak has infact better bowling attack than most teams to bowl in those conditions. Their bowlers especially spinners like ajmal are not at all easy to get away with and Aussie batsmen and others do find it difficult to pick from time to time. Having said that difference is only slight. Remember they have suffered 9 defeats too. so it is not like they have been better by fair distance. Only slight. Indian team with Zak and other bowlers bowling wayward and struggling to take 20 tickets is always a tough team to watch. With inclusion of youngsters into the team we can expect better results in future. So it is not all over for indian team. Next one year will prove if we have the ability to improve the record overseas or not with this young team. a fighting team.

  • KiwiRocker- on March 31, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    CricIndia208 : Are you suggesting that Rajesh made stats up? Make some sense please!Tattus: Pakistan has won more matches than India in England and same number of matches in Australia. While their W/L ratio in SA is better than India too. You people need to do home work before posting stats. Just try Cricinfo stats guru!India has lost 4-0 in England, 4-0 in Australia and even managed to lose series at home against England. Only if ICC was unbiased, Indian test team would have been relegated to second tier playing against Oman!

  • Greatest_Game on March 30, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    @ ANDREW DOUGLAS - You claim: "only reason south africa wins away more than others is that they ...played in all conditions regularly last couple of years." You are clearly not using a reality-based analysis! SA's success is more complex. Some factors are:

    SA has the no. 1, 3 & 8 top ranked test batsmen i, (plus the no.15, 30 & 32.) Amla tops test rankings & shares top ODI spot with AB de Villiers, who ranks 3rd in tests.

    SA has numbers 1, 2 and 9 of the top ranked test bowlers, & the part timer Kallis is at no. 33! Kallis is, 2nd only Sobers, the greatest all-rounder ever, & ranked as 1 of the top 10 all time batsmen.

    SA's skipper has captained & won more tests than any other, & also holds a number of batting records.

    These factors create a greater likelihood of winning than does "playing in all conditions regularly." SA leads cricket in almost every single category, & denying that, as you effectively have done, is untrue, & comes accross as mindless bigotry. Think about that.

  • Greatest_Game on March 30, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    @ ANDREW DOUGLAS says in 3 years SA "will be a mediocre batting side in development when kallis & smith retire." Really? Smith was born Feb '81, Jhb, SA. Let's compare that to Eng's batsmen: Pietersen, Jun 80, Pmg, SA; Trott, Apr 81, Cape Town, SA; Prior, Feb 82, Jhb, SA; Bell, Apr 82, Walsgrave, UK; *Compton Jun 83, Durban, SA; Cook, Dec 84 Glouc, UK. They span just 4 years, & Pietersen & Trott are OLDER THAN SMITH!!

    SA's batsmen: Alviro Petersen, Feb 80, PE; Amla, March 83, Durb; du Plessis, July 83, Pret; de Villiers, Feb 84, Pret; Duminy, April 84, Cape T. Except Cook, SA's batsmen are YOUNGER than Eng's. (*Amla 3 months older.)

    Kallis is 37.5 & going strong. He is truly African tough, like all SA batsmen. Smith & Co. are good for 6+ years. JK, who knows?

    (Eng will be ok. All but Bell were bred African tough. Sadly, Cook faces fatal "Eng Capt vs Smith" disease!)

    ANDREW - you are just WRONG about Smith. As for SA's batting development, that's what pajama cricket is used for.

  • CricIndia208 on March 30, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    No made up statistics can deny the fact that pakistan are miserable outside home. Their scores of 47 in SA, 80, 72, 79 in England, 90 in SL confirm that pakistan are the worst subcontinental team. India drew their previous series in SA, while pakistan were thrashed 3-0. India are the better team, they are streets ahead of pakistan. Full Stop.

  • heathrf1974 on March 30, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    One of the main issues with tests being more one-sided at home is the lack of patient batsman due to T20 and wickets being either too dry or green. I have only seen in recent times in Indian matches some innings being opened with spinners which is a concern for the balance in a game. On the otherhand I've found some wickets in Australia too green over the last couple of years and the SCG taking less and less spin which I hate. One of the reasons I enjoyed watching tests in Australia was the variety between wickets. However, nowadays there seems to be less and less difference. I want each ground to have their own unique characteristics.

  • GeoffreysMother on March 30, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Surely the stats are skewed by the relative quality of teams. In the 70's , 80's and 90's the great West Indian and Australian teams won just about everywhere (outside India). The difference is less pronounced now so home advantage may have a greater impact. India in South Africa and the reverse series will be fascinating - but only if Ashwin can develop into something approaching Ajmal and the Indian batsmen can provide enough of a cushion for him to bowl to (and Pujara and Vijay just might have the grit to do that).

  • on March 30, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    the reason why in the last 3 months all home teams have won is that each touring side took rookie teams and the home side had a settled or less rookie team.only reason south africa wins away more than others is that they have a team that has played in all conditions regularly last couple of years.give SA 3 years and they will be a mediocre batting side in development when kallis and smith retire

  • getsetgopk on March 30, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    @KiwiRocker-: Nice analysis there mate! One thing I would like to add to that analysis is that both Ind and Pak have won 4 tests against Auss in Auss but Pakistan also won a 5th test not on Auss soil but in England, the conditions in Eng would suit Auss more than it would Pak so effectively its Pak 5 wins and India 4 wins. The strength of Pakistan cricket can be seen from another piece of info, Pak is the only team in the history of cricket to have won a test match on its very first test tour to a country, on the 1952 tour of India, though Pak lost the series but they managed to win a test match, whereas it took India more than half a century to win their first test match on Pakistani soil. In 2000's, Pakistan's record got a hit because our bowling attack got decapitated not once but twice, first when the 2W's retired and then the ban on Amir and Asif, we are back in business with Junaid and Irfan though. Apart from that minor glitch, Pak has always been the superior Asian team. FACT!

  • Greatest_Game on March 30, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    Despite Guru Data's, as always, clear, concise & pertinent analysis of home advantage & the relative performances of current teams, XYLO managed to miss the significance of phrases such as: SA have a 7-1 win-loss ratio overseas; All teams except SA have a losing record in Asia; SA were the only team to have a positive record abroad…etc. XYLO thinks that only Engl & SA will win on tour, "with the advantage clearly lying with England," that Eng's spin gives them critical advantage, & that "Eng should regain #1." Xylo - here's reality: Eng have 1 "all conditions" spinner, he is aging & just had surgery. SA murdered him - even Tahir out bowled him!!! Eng's pace bowling is fading fast. Ave over 30, humbled by NZ, took only 2 SA wickets @ the Oval... Jimmy's wonky ankle is worsening, Finn's wobbly knee changed cricket laws, & Stewie's foot is dodgy - been in his mouth too much! Eng's batting is Cook & the Saffas who can't make the SA team. (Nuff said there!) Its over - Eng are toast!

  • KiwiRocker- on March 30, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    What U like about Rajesh's column is that it is all about data and data is always objective and unbiased. My comments like always generated some debate so I decided to undertake some unbiased reserach on CricInfo. It will be unfair to pick indvidual series and time lines to judge performance of India and Pak outside subcontinent so I did a an overall analysis. Pakistan's performance against coutries in away series is as following: In Australia (4 wins, W/L ratio=0.20), In England (9 wins, WL=0.45), In NZ (10 win, W/L=2), in West Indies (5 wins, W/L=0.45), in SA(2 wins, W/L=0.22). I also decided to include Pak's performance in India(5 wins, W/L=0.45). Pak's overall record in away series=35 wins, W/L=0.47. Now for India; in Australia(5 wins, W/L= 0.19), in England(5 wins, W/L=0.18), In New Zealand(5 wins,W/L=0.71), In West Indies (5 wins, W/L=0.31), in SA(2 wins, W/L=0.28),& in Pak(2wins, W/L=0.28). Overall for India in away series(24wins, W/L=0.26).Pak is superior than India. Full Stop!

  • TATTUs on March 30, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    As far as we see for the Asian teams Pakistan has been the best touring team outside Asia, followed by India. Sri Lanka is still behind by some distance. If we check for a period from 1965 where India and Pakistan where somewhat settled and taking up cricket semi-pro level, then the records slightly improve with Pakistan still leading with .52 W/L ration with India closely following with .40 W/L.

    But during the same period if we take Australia, England and South Africa as the touring place, then India forges ahead of Pakistan. So Pakistan has a better record in New Zealand and West Indies while India has a better record in England Australia and South Africa.

  • on March 29, 2013, 23:30 GMT

    well i believe my team pakistan did very well in this period with out playing in home conditions like other teams and still getting good result and believe me you cant beat south africa in seaming pitches if you are a sub continent team well great experience for some young guys from pakistan. we saw south africa performing very well in seaming conditions..it will be very interesting to see how they will play in subcontinents like the upcoming series in september south africa vs pakistan in dubai

  • thruthecovers on March 29, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    Yes home adv is on the rise as SA just completed a couple series of home games. We'll have to wait 'till they tour again to see a team winning on the road. :P

  • Spelele on March 29, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    This again shows that SA are streets ahead of any other side in Test cricket at the moment despite what delusional English fans like Xylo below might claim. No other team even comes anywhere near SA's away win/loss ratio (an unbelievable 7 in the period mentioned!). For all the claims that SA has a bad home record: well, they have the second best home win/loss ratio, and have only lost 3 of the 15 tests in the period (while winning 10!).

    Regarding the poor away performances: well, I think it's a problem that has always been there. I think India's 0-8, ENG's 0-3 and AUS's 0-4 skew the stats a bit. Other than those whitewashes, I think that away teams have actually not done too badly in recent times (SA in ENG, AUS and UAE; ENG in IND, SRI and AUS; AUS in SRI, SA and WI; IND in SA, NZ and WI; NZ in SRI and IND). While some of these series were drawn, the away team competed admirably. I don't mind away loses so long as teams are competing well and are playing good hard test cricket.

  • CricIndia208 on March 29, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    Pakistan's three wins have come in Zimbabwe and new Zealand. India are much better than Pakistan as they drew their last series in south Africa whereas Pakistan got thrashed. Pakistan also lost all their tests in Australia. Therefore it is incorrect to say that Pakistan are the best subcontinental team as they were lucky to play tests in Zimbabwe. Of course pakistan have not won a test in Australia in 18 years whereas India won two and also drew a series there.

  • tfjones1978 on March 29, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    The FTP program needs to be replaced with a two tier system of six teams per tier, playing FIVE series of four tests (two home & two away) every two years with relegation. The reason why series are becoming boring is that the series is Aust vs India in Aust (Aust wins) or in India (India wins) but not in Aust & India (close series). Lets start playing home & away series with teams having to fight it out to get promoted with associate ICup matches qualifiers for second tier in test cricket. Lets make each series mean something with every two years a home & away series occurs where the home side advantage is only for half the tests.

  • edgie on March 29, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    @xylo, you are either a die-ghard england fan, or a very delusional cricket follwoer. You refering to the same england team that could not beat New Zealand at home, which SAwas able to do rather easily? And that same SA side that beat England in England for the second successive series? Really now xylo, either get your facts straight, or watch the actual crickets matches..

  • on March 29, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    I'm and Indian and I have no shame in admitting that over the course of history - PAK have indeed been the best touring team outside subcontinent. Despite having modest batting resources their bowlers (particularly pace bowlers) have always evened up the advantage. The reason why PAK struggled in SA recently was precisely that their pacers weren't of the class of Wasim, Waqar, Imran or even Sarfraz. Despite a world class spinner, they couldn't compete. IND did well in 2000s because they always had a Sreesanth (SA), Zaheer(ENG, AUS), Ishant(AUS, WI) or even Agarkar and RP Singh (AUS, ENG) stepping up when it mattered. Without them even the tons by their 'galacticos' wouldn't help. As for SL, they're always the best fielding side of subcontinent, but their 1-6 record must be taken in perspective. They haven't played longer series abroad to have worse record, their only win (Durban) is SA's bugbear ground and their best batsmen (barring Sangakkara to an extent) are pretty pathetic abroad

  • on March 29, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    It definitely looks like home advantage is on rise. But it is too early to say that. One problem in this era of cricket is new players are forced to play three forms of cricket. To succeed in all three forms you require different skills. And they all play too much cricket also. Due to these reasons, mental fatigue comes up. Succeeding in foreign soil with different pitch conditions requires some energy which cricketeers in this era don't have during the fatigued days. And so they give up easily also. That is the reason we see more whitewashes are taking place. If some batsmen just work on occupation of crease in nivel condtiions also, there won't be whitewashes. Can there be some players who just like to play tests and no t20 matches and work on improving occupation of crease in all conditions like Cook, Kallis, Trott Chanderpaul etc.?

  • getsetgopk on March 29, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    Anyone who is having any doubts about which team from the sub continent is the best is requested to read this article, its quite insightful and presents the facts in black and white, no opinions or anything just simple facts. I quote from the article, "teams from Asia have struggled more when playing in Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa, winning just five matches, against 24 losses since the beginning of 2010. India have been the worst among the subcontinent sides during this period, with a 1-9 win-loss record. Sri Lanka have done slightly better, winning one and losing six, while Pakistan have been the best among the lot, with three wins against nine defeats."

    I find it a bit strange when we the Pakistan supports say that Pakistan is the best sub continent team and its just a mere fact, yet it bothers some fan. Its quite strange, indeed!

  • BillyCC on March 29, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    Yes home advantage is on the rise except for South Africa who have done really well away from home.

  • getsetgopk on March 29, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    @mrgupta: India has a good record from 2006-9 and are the worst team since 2010 because they are going through a transition. Ok fair point but what excuse do you have for India having an oversease win/loss ration of 0.19 from 1947 till 2000? India were going through a transition for all those 53 years? LOL

  • on March 29, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    @xylo SA's record proves one thing: Cricket is a batsman's game. All this SA has no spinner nonsense will not really affect them much.The seamers will hold the opposition down until the new ball arrives. Philander, Steyn and Morkel will make sure half the opposition batsman do not survive the first new ball. With Amla, Faf, Kallis,Smith and AB the opposition can only hope for a draw. To beat the current SA team you have to produce something special otherwise you will go the way of Adelaide.

  • Soso_killer on March 29, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @Xylo is that the same England who could not beat NZ away from home? Before posting drivel please check facts 1st SA have always been good travellers spin or no spin. SA away from home (since readmission) in 98 matches: won 38, lost 27, draw 33, W/L 1.40. England 131 matches 36, lost 50, draw 36, W/L 0.72.

  • malik86 on March 29, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    record of sub continent teams against aus, eng, nz, wi, sa (in their country) pak 30 wins ind 22 wins sl 5 wins

  • on March 29, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Gotta agree with everyone regarding ICC not allocating extra points for an overseas win really?

    Also quite interesting that SA are the best non sub-continent team in the sub-continent and have been for a long time (even if you stretch start date further back) yet everyone always goes on and on about SA not being able to play spin bowling or wont do well in subcontinent conditions because they have no spinners etc etc.

  • on March 29, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    @pakirocker despite being so called great bowling attack(although I would attribute that to certain nefarious activities),Pakistan has never won a test series in West Indies,even though when West Indies was at their weakest. Got whitewashed recently in South Africa. Last time they played Australia in Subcontinental conditions,still it was Pakistan that got whitewashed.

  • on March 29, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    KiwiRocker!! why am i not surprised. :D I have never seen a more biased person than you because you are not a fan.You will keep on revising India's 8-0 loss outside subcontinent like there was no cricket played before that.If you remember before downfall India's record is like this.Last two test series in England(1-1(2002) draw and 1-0(2008) Winner India),last two test series in australia (1-1 draw and 2-1 Australia) and india also won CW bank tri series in which sri lanka was involved,.Against SA in SA last series was 1-1 and before that 2-1 SA which is better than any other team touring SA.All these are facts and not useless hate unlike yours.After that india's senior player departed and they have to recover from that with youngsters and apparently they are doing a good job now.

  • realfan on March 29, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    @KiwiRocker i though you would come back with some strong facts against india..... but you disappoint me.... i will agree that pak bowlers were one of the best in world ( but they are not now ) leaving those two whit washes recently , INDIA is the only team to have won the matches drew the series and won the series out side the subcontinent .... can you give me the record of how many matches SL won in aus or SA or against india in subcontinent for that fact..... can you tell me how series you have drew outside subcontinent , let alone winning the series..... can you tell me how many matches BD manages to draw atleast in their home....

    atleast indians dont have the record of lowest scores in test cricket, which only pakisthan among the subcontinent manged to achieve ( recently in SA ) gone are those days of wasim akram and waqar younis.... we are seeing how you bowlers are getting trashed on bowlers heaven( SA )

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    @kiwirocker....how many tests have you won in Aus? or SA? or even SL for that matter? In WI ? Despite all the tall claims about your bowling arsenal, Pak team falls flat almost every time they come out to play. and India despite its alleged weakness in overseas conditions, beats Pak to dust almost every time they meet in alien conditions, be it England, SA, SL or anywhere for that matter (in ODIs). Let us see you create a pitch like India did and beat Aus 4-0! With all your bowling arsenal, you got clobbered in SA 3 out of 5 times, remember how Kohli shredded Pak bowling to oblivion last time they met in Asia cup?

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Introduce some referral system that favors the players rather than the umpires. The home advantage scenario will change. Substandard pitches, where ordinary bowlers look dangerous, would still be a worry. The problem is, this game is more business than sports; a balance therein is missing.

  • mrgupta on March 29, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    @KiwiRocker: Well said. Pakistan's bowlers are miles ahead of India. Can we just go back a few years and check the same stats for Subcontinent nations between 2006-09 and what you get? Surprise Pakistan was the worst among the 3 Asian teams! India had a Win-Loss ratio of 1, Pakistan had 0.28! India is just going through a transition phase right now and so they lost few more than they won in last 2 years. However Pakistan is not so great either winning just 2 more than India loosing same number as India. During 2006-09 India had Won 4 and lost 4 in top nations winning series in Eng and NZ whereas Pakistan won 2 and lost 7. Where was the best bowling attack of the world at that time?

  • Kapil_Choudhary on March 29, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    The biggest thing I could think about during this analysis is that how is home advantage not a factor in the official ICC rankings??? Its absolutely ridiculous - those rankings have ZERO meaning without it. Also, I feel that Asian conditions have favored home teams more in recent times primarily because Asian teams are not scared any more to specifically prepare spinning pitches that suit them. Earlier, Asian pitches were primarily batting-focused and resulted in many more draws simply because the powers that be, like Eng and Aus, would be up in arms and label a pitch as a horrible under-prepared pitch if it spun too much. Of course, Aus and Eng still do it at times but Asian teams just don't care so much about their opinions at this point.

  • on March 29, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    To win Test Cricket, especially overseas a good bowling attack is required. The quality of bowling has diminished worldwide. Therefore no surprises in this emerging pattern.

  • Hindh on March 29, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    @kiwirocker Barring post 2011 away record of india , India was actually the best team form the sub-continent to win away matches . It was only 2 bad series when the Indian team was caught in transition that mediocre Aussie team cud beat india. Whereas it was the same Aussie side that white washed Pak 3-0 in Aus in 2010... The rankings show fair reflection the sides at the moment. According to ur biased view If India is higher than Pak then ranking must be wrong... what logic!!!

  • xylo on March 29, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    Whitewashes apart, England and South Africa are the only teams that are best equipped to win on foreign soil, with the advantage clearly lying with England. South Africa come up blank in the spin department, and England drive home the advantage here. Over the next few years, England should regain #1 as long as they are not complacent like they were against South Africa at home, and against New Zealand.

  • KiwiRocker- on March 29, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Another excellent and insightful analysis by Data Guru Rajesh. I always enjoy Rahesh's analysis as we all have our biases and are blinded by our nationlistic values to believe in myths. This analysis confirms number of things. It is obvious that our of subcontinent teams, Pakistan is the best team and to some extent able outside Asia. What it confirms is that is bowlers who win matches and since Pakistani bowling is better than SL and miles ahead of India so they are winning outside Asia. Their win record could have even been better if they would have not lost Sydney test and cape town tests that they should have easily won. Furthermore, this analysis confirms that how flawed current ICC rankings are. These rankings never made me much sense. There should be greater points for teams winning outside their 'home'. The flawed ICC rankings do not consider that India has lost anywhere and eveyrwhere and places them higher than Australia and Pak in test rankings based on home wins!Non sense!

  • KiwiRocker- on March 29, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Another excellent and insightful analysis by Data Guru Rajesh. I always enjoy Rahesh's analysis as we all have our biases and are blinded by our nationlistic values to believe in myths. This analysis confirms number of things. It is obvious that our of subcontinent teams, Pakistan is the best team and to some extent able outside Asia. What it confirms is that is bowlers who win matches and since Pakistani bowling is better than SL and miles ahead of India so they are winning outside Asia. Their win record could have even been better if they would have not lost Sydney test and cape town tests that they should have easily won. Furthermore, this analysis confirms that how flawed current ICC rankings are. These rankings never made me much sense. There should be greater points for teams winning outside their 'home'. The flawed ICC rankings do not consider that India has lost anywhere and eveyrwhere and places them higher than Australia and Pak in test rankings based on home wins!Non sense!

  • xylo on March 29, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    Whitewashes apart, England and South Africa are the only teams that are best equipped to win on foreign soil, with the advantage clearly lying with England. South Africa come up blank in the spin department, and England drive home the advantage here. Over the next few years, England should regain #1 as long as they are not complacent like they were against South Africa at home, and against New Zealand.

  • Hindh on March 29, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    @kiwirocker Barring post 2011 away record of india , India was actually the best team form the sub-continent to win away matches . It was only 2 bad series when the Indian team was caught in transition that mediocre Aussie team cud beat india. Whereas it was the same Aussie side that white washed Pak 3-0 in Aus in 2010... The rankings show fair reflection the sides at the moment. According to ur biased view If India is higher than Pak then ranking must be wrong... what logic!!!

  • on March 29, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    To win Test Cricket, especially overseas a good bowling attack is required. The quality of bowling has diminished worldwide. Therefore no surprises in this emerging pattern.

  • Kapil_Choudhary on March 29, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    The biggest thing I could think about during this analysis is that how is home advantage not a factor in the official ICC rankings??? Its absolutely ridiculous - those rankings have ZERO meaning without it. Also, I feel that Asian conditions have favored home teams more in recent times primarily because Asian teams are not scared any more to specifically prepare spinning pitches that suit them. Earlier, Asian pitches were primarily batting-focused and resulted in many more draws simply because the powers that be, like Eng and Aus, would be up in arms and label a pitch as a horrible under-prepared pitch if it spun too much. Of course, Aus and Eng still do it at times but Asian teams just don't care so much about their opinions at this point.

  • mrgupta on March 29, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    @KiwiRocker: Well said. Pakistan's bowlers are miles ahead of India. Can we just go back a few years and check the same stats for Subcontinent nations between 2006-09 and what you get? Surprise Pakistan was the worst among the 3 Asian teams! India had a Win-Loss ratio of 1, Pakistan had 0.28! India is just going through a transition phase right now and so they lost few more than they won in last 2 years. However Pakistan is not so great either winning just 2 more than India loosing same number as India. During 2006-09 India had Won 4 and lost 4 in top nations winning series in Eng and NZ whereas Pakistan won 2 and lost 7. Where was the best bowling attack of the world at that time?

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Introduce some referral system that favors the players rather than the umpires. The home advantage scenario will change. Substandard pitches, where ordinary bowlers look dangerous, would still be a worry. The problem is, this game is more business than sports; a balance therein is missing.

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    @kiwirocker....how many tests have you won in Aus? or SA? or even SL for that matter? In WI ? Despite all the tall claims about your bowling arsenal, Pak team falls flat almost every time they come out to play. and India despite its alleged weakness in overseas conditions, beats Pak to dust almost every time they meet in alien conditions, be it England, SA, SL or anywhere for that matter (in ODIs). Let us see you create a pitch like India did and beat Aus 4-0! With all your bowling arsenal, you got clobbered in SA 3 out of 5 times, remember how Kohli shredded Pak bowling to oblivion last time they met in Asia cup?

  • realfan on March 29, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    @KiwiRocker i though you would come back with some strong facts against india..... but you disappoint me.... i will agree that pak bowlers were one of the best in world ( but they are not now ) leaving those two whit washes recently , INDIA is the only team to have won the matches drew the series and won the series out side the subcontinent .... can you give me the record of how many matches SL won in aus or SA or against india in subcontinent for that fact..... can you tell me how series you have drew outside subcontinent , let alone winning the series..... can you tell me how many matches BD manages to draw atleast in their home....

    atleast indians dont have the record of lowest scores in test cricket, which only pakisthan among the subcontinent manged to achieve ( recently in SA ) gone are those days of wasim akram and waqar younis.... we are seeing how you bowlers are getting trashed on bowlers heaven( SA )

  • on March 29, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    KiwiRocker!! why am i not surprised. :D I have never seen a more biased person than you because you are not a fan.You will keep on revising India's 8-0 loss outside subcontinent like there was no cricket played before that.If you remember before downfall India's record is like this.Last two test series in England(1-1(2002) draw and 1-0(2008) Winner India),last two test series in australia (1-1 draw and 2-1 Australia) and india also won CW bank tri series in which sri lanka was involved,.Against SA in SA last series was 1-1 and before that 2-1 SA which is better than any other team touring SA.All these are facts and not useless hate unlike yours.After that india's senior player departed and they have to recover from that with youngsters and apparently they are doing a good job now.