Andrew Flintoff took five wickets at 71.40 in three Tests during the home series against India in 2002 © Getty Images

Makhaya Ntini's first assignment after a successful home season - in which he took 39 wickets at 21.43 apiece - was a challenging tour of Sri Lanka. Having revelled on the fast and bouncy tracks in South Africa - the lasting memory being Justin Langer tottering off after getting thwacked on the head - Ntini huffed and puffed to get the ball above the hips and was far from blowing Sri Lanka's house down. He toiled for 59.2 overs and took only five wickets at 38.80 apiece before having to limp off the field midway through the second Test. Steve Harmison, too, had to toil on the subcontinent before returning with a vengeance to rout Pakistan at home.

Andrew Flintoff, on the other hand, has performed better abroad. Until 2003, Flintoff averaged a whopping 63.30 at home while during the same period he took wickets overseas at 31.91 apiece . However, Flintoff's home form has improved dramatically and since 2004, he averages 25.14 at home and has improved his overseas performances as well.

Home bowling average worse than the away average - Tests (qualification: 3000 balls bowled at home, 3000 away, at least 90 balls bowled per match)
Player Span Mat Wkts Ave 5 Mat Wkts Ave 5 Diff
FMM Worrell (WI) 1948-1963 25 21 60.76 0 26 48 29.08 2 31.678
HJ Howarth (NZ) 1969-1977 14 29 47.96 0 16 57 31.35 2 16.614
AL Valentine (WI) 1950-1962 14 45 39.84 2 22 94 25.76 6 14.078
N Boje (SAf) 2000-2006 22 35 51.39 0 21 65 37.93 3 13.461
AN Connolly (Aust) 1963-1971 13 36 37.58 1 16 66 24.66 3 12.916
TE Bailey (Eng) 1949-1959 33 62 35.93 3 28 70 23.25 2 12.678
AW Greig (Eng) 1972-1977 31 59 37.91 0 27 82 28.09 6 9.817
TBA May (Aust) 1987-1995 13 30 40.03 2 11 45 31.22 1 8.811
JA Snow (Eng) 1965-1976 37 140 29.21 3 12 62 20.91 5 8.294
A Flintoff (Eng/ICC) 1998-2006 33 92 34.68 1 29 94 28.04 1 6.642

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  • Joel Garner is the only bowler to average less than 20 in both forms of the game away from home. He averaged 19.74 in away Tests and 19.82 in ODIs. However, his one-day average at home was only 15.37.

    Among the 12 countries he's played one-day cricket in, Courtney Walsh's poorest average is at home where his wickets cost 40.02 each. Only twice out of 50 matches in the West Indies has Walsh taken three wickets in an innings while he has gone without a wicket in 17 matches.

    Home bowling average worse than the away average - ODIs (qualification: 1500 balls bowled at home, 1500 away, at least 30 balls bowled per match)
    Player Span Mat Wkts Ave 5 Mat Wkts Ave 5 Diff
    Shoaib Malik (Pak) 1999-2006 36 29 44.51 0 82 69 29.26 0 15.256
    PAJ DeFreitas (Eng) 1987-1997 27 25 43.35 0 76 90 29.89 0 13.459
    Abdul Razzaq (Asia/Pak) 1996-2006 44 40 41.00 0 168 190 28.49 3 12.505
    CA Walsh (WI) 1985-2000 50 46 40.02 0 155 181 28.04 1 11.972
    CL Hooper (WI) 1987-2003 57 41 45.31 0 170 152 33.55 0 11.764
    M Prabhakar (India) 1984-1996 65 65 35.76 2 65 92 24.01 0 11.758
    Wasim Akram (Pak) 1984-2003 67 72 31.12 1 289 430 22.25 5 8.866
    JN Gillespie (Aust) 1996-2005 29 37 30.54 0 68 105 23.62 3 6.911
    AA Donald (SAf) 1991-2003 63 88 26.35 0 101 184 19.60 2 6.749
    IT Botham (Eng) 1976-1992 47 56 32.57 0 69 89 26.01 0 6.560

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  • Allan Donald's one-day record in South Africa - an average of 26.35 and a strike-rate of 37.2 - is his worst among all the nations he's played in. However, his Test record is far more consistent with his home average of 21.64 only marginally better than his away average.

    Expectedly most of India's spinners feature in the list of bowlers with far better home averages. Venkatapathy Raju's overall average of 30.72 in Tests is a result of his home average, 24, balancing his atrocious overseas record where he's taken just 22 wickets in 12 Tests at an average of 52.40. Another left-arm spinner, Maninder Singh had a record very similar to Raju's. He played 17 Tests overseas and took only 26 wickets while he managed to take 36 more wickets at home in just 18 Tests.

    Home bowling average better than the away average - Tests (qualification: 3000 balls bowled at home, 3000 away, at least 90 balls bowled per match)
    Player Span Mat Wkts Ave 5 Mat Wkts Ave 5 Diff
    SLV Raju (India) 1990-2001 16 71 24.00 5 12 22 52.40 0 -28.409
    DK Morrison (NZ) 1987-1997 27 115 27.12 9 21 45 54.00 1 -26.878
    R Illingworth (Eng) 1958-1973 43 102 27.14 3 18 20 51.89 0 -24.752
    Maninder Singh (India) 1982-1993 18 62 30.61 3 17 26 53.46 0 -22.848
    CL Hooper (WI) 1987-2002 45 62 39.88 3 57 52 60.80 1 -20.920
    Abdul Qadir (Pak) 1977-1990 40 168 26.82 12 27 68 47.58 3 -20.766
    RO Collinge (NZ) 1965-1978 20 80 23.86 2 15 36 41.22 1 -17.359
    DR Doshi (India) 1979-1983 21 77 25.38 4 12 37 41.81 2 -16.421
    MH Mankad (India) 1946-1959 23 103 26.53 4 21 59 42.42 4 -15.889
    M Ntini (SAf) 1998-2006 35 176 22.83 9 34 98 38.08 5 -15.246

    Home bowling average better than the away average - ODIs (qualification: 1500 balls bowled at home, 1500 away, at least 30 balls bowled per match)
    Player Span Mat Wkts Ave 5 Mat Wkts Ave 5 Diff
    RS Kalpage (SL) 1992-1999 33 39 27.61 0 53 34 55.82 0 -28.208
    UDU Chandana (SL) 1994-2005 59 82 22.95 1 87 69 42.14 0 -19.193
    DR Tuffey (NZ) 2000-2005 32 51 23.45 0 44 39 38.38 0 -14.933
    CZ Harris (NZ) 1990-2004 94 94 29.73 0 156 109 44.20 1 -14.467
    DK Morrison (NZ) 1987-1996 49 76 22.61 1 47 50 35.02 1 -12.401
    ST Jayasuriya (Asia/SL) 1989-2006 103 99 29.15 2 260 179 41.07 2 -11.921
    Mohammad Rafique (Bang) 1995-2006 37 44 35.00 1 62 50 44.61 0 -9.619
    SM Pollock (Afr/ICC/SAf) 1996-2006 108 167 20.30 3 151 181 27.98 1 -7.678
    W Watson (NZ) 1986-1994 28 38 27.05 0 33 36 33.86 0 -6.808
    DN Patel (NZ) 1987-1997 35 22 46.77 0 40 23 53.56 0 -6.792

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  • Travis Basevi is the man who built Statsguru. George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo