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Stats Analysis

Stats - Is Cape Town more pace friendly than Centurion and Johannesburg?

In the last five Tests in Cape Town, fast bowlers have averaged 22.95 runs per wicket, the best among South African venues

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
10-Jan-2022
23-5 South Africa's win-loss record at Newlands since their readmission to international cricket. Their win-loss ratio of 4.6 is second only to Centurion (21-3) among the home venues where they have played at least six Tests. Since 2010, they have a 9-2 record here. However, the last time they played a Test here, in January 2020, South Africa were beaten by 189 runs by England. Their only other defeat in this period was in 2014, when Australia defeated them by 245 runs.
0 Tests won by India in Cape Town - they have lost three Tests and drawn two. The last time they played here, in 2018, India lost a low-scoring game by 72 runs. However, Indian batters have scored four hundreds here, the joint-highest for them at any South African venue. Sachin Tendulkar has two, while Wasim Jaffer and Mohammad Azharuddin have scored one each.
22.95 Average runs per wicket for fast bowlers in the last five Tests in Cape Town, from 2017 to 2020. This includes Tests against Sri Lanka, India, Australia, Pakistan and England. Among the 25 venues that have hosted at least five Tests since June 1, 2016, only two other venues have had better averages for pace: St Lucia and Jamaica. That means Cape Town has been the most pace-friendly of all South African venues in the last five years, marginally ahead of Johannesburg (23.45) and Centurion (23.69).
38.52 Average runs per wicket for fast bowlers in the six previous Tests in Cape Town, from 2012 to 2016. In this period, when South Africa hosted England, West Indies, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, Newlands was the least pace-friendly among the South African venues. The strike rate for pace bowlers in this period was 69.8 balls per wicket; in the last five Tests it has improved to 43.6.
32.70 Average for pace bowlers in the eight first-class matches played in Newlands since the last Test match there in January 2020. Fast bowlers have taken 130 wickets in those matches, while spinners have nabbed 85 wickets at 34.40.
21.54 Kagiso Rabada's bowling average in Tests in Cape Town. He has taken 35 wickets in six matches here; only in Centurion does he have more wickets (42 in six). In his last five Tests in Cape Town, Rabada has taken 31 wickets at 16.83.
50.57 Dean Elgar's Test average in Cape Town. He has scored more runs here than at any other venue.
287 The average first-innings total in the last five Tests at Newlands. Teams batting first have won four times and lost just once in this period. The only team to lose was Pakistan, who made 177 in their first innings and lost by nine wickets.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats