Some statistics, like Bradman's average and the number of centuries Tendulkar has made are known to pretty much every cricket buff. But The List will bring you facts and figures that aren't so obvious, adding fuel to those fiery debates about the most valuable middle-order bat, and the most useless tailender. If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.



Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath have made it tough for batsmen playing Australia for the first time © Getty Images

In last week's column, the List featured the best performers when facing an opposition for the first time. This week, we look at the reverse - how different countries have performed while playing opposition players for the first time.

England's fledgling batsmen, Alastair Cook and Owais Shah, averaged 63 and 61 in the recently concluded Test series in India and Collingwood, in his first series against India, averaged 68. This instance is consistent with how batsmen have fared in their first outings against India for they have always had one of the weaker attacks.

England's bowlers have the best overall record against batsmen they've never played before but in the last ten years their average runs conceded has been 30.90 (sixth place) much higher than the overall figure of 25.55.

Averages of opposing top 7 batsmen when playing a country for the first time - Tests
Team Num Inns Runs HS Ave 100
Bangladesh 105 128 6648 222* 59.89 22
Zimbabwe 170 242 9078 380 42.61 25
India 498 811 25818 246* 35.51 48
New Zealand 471 739 22982 310* 34.71 52
ICC World XI 7 14 485 111 34.64 1
Sri Lanka 271 438 14060 219 34.46 31
South Africa 430 712 20891 226 31.27 33
Pakistan 411 679 19499 309 31.00 29
West Indies 518 901 24380 337 29.16 38
Australia 670 1162 30215 287 27.36 39
England 732 1254 30388 277 25.55 43

  • Click here for the ODI tables.
  • Given that Sri Lanka entered the Test fraternity as late as 1982, they have a better record than most in this regard. Overall, they have the second best batting record and in the last ten years their bowlers average 28.36 against first-time opposition and their batters score at 42.41 against bowlers they are facing for the first time.

    Averages of opposing top 7 batsmen when playing a country for the first time since 1996 - Tests
    Team Num Inns Runs HS Ave 100
    Bangladesh 105 128 6648 222* 59.89 22
    Zimbabwe 124 177 6617 380 41.35 19
    ICC World XI 7 14 485 111 34.64 1
    India 124 210 6440 163 33.54 12
    South Africa 129 229 6623 214 31.24 10
    England 123 198 5779 277 30.90 11
    New Zealand 112 185 5200 149* 30.23 10
    West Indies 120 202 5693 221 30.12 11
    Pakistan 102 176 4819 309 29.20 4
    Sri Lanka 136 243 6666 160 28.36 15
    Australia 136 250 6170 152 25.81 8

  • Click here for the ODI tables.
  • Predictably, Australia have been overwhelmingly dominant against rookie opposition batsmen and bowlers. Over the last decade, the Australian attack has conceded 25.81 to new opposition batsmen and has battered bowlers for 54.96 per wicket.

    Averages of opposing bowlers when playing a country for the first time - Tests
    Team Num Runs Wkts BBI Ave 5
    ICC World XI 5 290 16 5/43 18.12 1
    Bangladesh 82 5686 299 7/53 19.01 20
    Zimbabwe 126 10421 395 8/71 26.38 17
    New Zealand 377 31485 1110 7/32 28.36 41
    South Africa 326 28597 928 9/57 30.81 40
    West Indies 353 32381 1043 8/87 31.04 49
    India 374 33196 1045 8/64 31.76 40
    Pakistan 337 31447 963 8/52 32.65 35
    England 567 49341 1509 8/43 32.69 72
    Sri Lanka 210 18904 566 8/58 33.39 21
    Australia 496 48127 1223 7/80 39.35 51

  • Click here for the ODI tables.
  • Averages of opposing bowlers when playing a country for the first time since 1996 - Tests
    Team Num Runs Wkts BBI Ave 5
    ICC World XI 5 290 16 5/43 18.12 1
    Bangladesh 82 5686 299 7/53 19.01 20
    Zimbabwe 94 7908 308 6/33 25.67 12
    West Indies 85 7113 211 7/12 33.71 5
    India 111 11000 324 8/64 33.95 13
    New Zealand 99 9428 274 7/63 34.40 13
    England 104 9039 252 8/164 35.86 5
    Pakistan 94 9470 255 6/33 37.13 9
    Sri Lanka 105 9544 225 5/36 42.41 5
    South Africa 102 9471 198 7/84 47.83 5
    Australia 108 11103 202 5/67 54.96 5

  • Click here for the ODI tables.
  • If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.

    George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo