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The year of unprecedented home domination in ODIs

December 12th, 2015 | by admin
The year of unprecedented home domination in ODIs

The last eight months have been particularly memorable for teams in one-day internationals. Since the World Cup, Bangladesh and England have both made good use of home conditions to overcome opponents far more fancied than themselves: after an impressive World Cup campaign, Bangladesh thrashed Pakistan 3-0 and India 2-1, while England overcame New Zealand 3-2. Two out of four World Cup semi-finalists played away series, and lost against opponents they were expected to beat.

Home advantage has always counted for a bit in cricket, but never as much as it has in one-day internationals in the last eight months. The numbers are quite incredible: in 75 matches, home teams have won 61 and lost only ten, a win-loss ratio of 6.1.

This period began with India’s 5-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka in November last year, and then continued with Australia’s 4-1 defeat of South Africa, and Bangladesh’s 5-0 drubbing of Zimbabwe. In the lead-up to the World Cup, Australia won four games without losing any in the tri-series against India and England, while South Africa beat West Indies 4-1. In the World Cup itself, the two dominant teams were the ones which hosted the tournament: New Zealand won eight out of eight at home, while Australia, the eventual champions, won seven out of seven. (One match, against Bangladesh, was washed out, while their only defeat was in New Zealand.) Since the World Cup, Bangladesh and England have kept the flag flying for the home teams, while Pakistan have chipped in too, with a 2-0 win in a historic home series against Zimbabwe. During these eight months, Australia have a 15-1 win-loss record at home, Bangladesh 10-1, and New Zealand 14-2. (Click here for the team-wise stats in home ODIs in the last eight months.)

All those results add up to complete home dominance over the last eight months. The table below looks at year-wise ODI home results over the last decade, and never has the skew been as prominent as it is now. In fact, between January and October 2014, home teams won fewer ODIs than they lost. In all the other years since 2005, the win-loss ratio for home teams has never exceeded 1.68 (69-41) in 2010.

In 2015 so far, the ODI win-loss ratio for home teams is 6.5 (39 wins, six losses), which is by far the best in any calendar year. The next-best, with a 20-match cut-off, is 1989 ratio of 2.75 (32-22). When grouping the numbers by decade, though, the 2010s is only marginally ahead of the 1990s, suggesting this is just a one-off occurrence. For the moment, the home teams are surely not complaining.

Year-wise ODI stats for home teams since Jan 2006Year Mat Won Lost W/L Bat ave Run rate Bowl ave Econ rate
Nov 2014 onwards 75 61 10 6.10 44.42 6.21 27.15 5.31
Jan-Oct 2014 67 28 36 0.78 29.16 5.26 32.08 5.27
year 2013 107 51 46 1.11 32.16 5.19 30.40 5.19
year 2012 72 41 26 1.58 33.32 5.17 27.52 4.87
year 2011 113 61 46 1.33 32.06 5.16 29.47 5.01
year 2010 112 69 41 1.68 33.83 5.20 27.42 4.84
year 2009 119 50 63 0.79 30.89 5.22 31.70 5.21
year 2008 105 60 36 1.67 31.29 5.02 25.74 4.66
year 2007 118 65 47 1.38 32.17 5.13 29.04 4.89
year 2006 118 67 47 1.43 31.30 5.03 28.72 4.73

Bangladesh’s dynamic debutants

More than any other team, Bangladesh seem to be the side whose ODI bowlers are churning out outstanding performances in their debut game. Mustafizur Rahman’s 5 for 50 was even more special as it helped win a crucial game against India – and for good measure he followed that with 6 for 43 in his next game – but in the recent past there have been other strong debut displays as well. Almost exactly a year before Mustafizur’s debut, Taskin Ahmed started his ODI career with a haul of 5 for 28 against India; in December last year, Taijul Islam, the left-arm spinner, took 4 for 11 on debut against Zimbabwe; in 2012, Sohag Gazi, the offspinner, began his ODI career with a debut haul of 4 for 29; Rubel Hossain’s debut ODI brought him similarly rich rewards – 4 for 33 against Sri Lanka.

Since the beginning of 2004, Bangladesh’s debutant bowlers have taken 42 wickets at an average of 21.04, and an economy rate of 4.49; with a 25-wicket cut-off, only South Africa’s debutant bowlers have a better average (19.70), while the economy rate for Bangladesh is better than that of any other team. Also, five Bangladesh bowlers have taken four or more wickets on debut during this period, which is more than all other sides.

South Africa’s best during this period have been Vernon Philander, Imran Tahir, Marchant de Lange and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who’ve all started their ODI careers with four-wicket hauls in overseas games. West Indies bowlers have started off well too, with four bowlers taking three or more wickets on debut.

The team with the poorest debut bowling average during this period, though, is India – they’re the only team to concede more than 40 runs per wicket. Four of their bowlers conceded 50 or more runs without taking a wicket on debut during this period: Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Abhimanyu Mithun and Karn Sharma. On the other hand, only three – Varun Aaron, Piyush Chawla and Rahul Sharma – took three on debut. (Click here for the full list of Indian bowlers’ debut performances.)

There doesn’t seem to be any meaningful correlation between debut performances and long-term results. Bangladesh will be hoping that changes with their current set.

Team-wise stats for debutant bowlers in ODIs since 2004Team Mat Wkts Average Econ 4+ wkts
South Africa 30 37 19.70 4.67 4
Bangladesh 36 42 21.04 4.49 5
West Indies 42 33 25.36 4.51 1
England 45 43 26.27 4.72 1
Pakistan 40 37 30.35 4.79 0
Sri Lanka 40 30 30.90 5.11 0
Zimbabwe 38 40 31.65 5.42 1
Australia 47 47 33.17 5.05 1
New Zealand 43 33 34.78 5.57 2
Canada 30 29 39.06 5.40 1
India 42 31 42.12 5.10 0

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