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.
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.
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.
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.
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