Sunday, November 25, 2012

India's Record at Home Venues

India has a very impressive record at home in test cricket. This article on cribuzz tells us that we have lost only 5 test series at home since 1980.
Unlike Australia and to a lesser extent South Africa and England, India does not have a fixed annual test match calendar. Also, with more number of test venues, test matches are a lot more spread around across a number of centres. As a result, the combination of venues and dates tends to be more dynamic and I for one have found it more difficult to pigeon hole test venues in India into neat categories. I mean, when I think of Brisbane - I think of bounce, Perth - pace and bounce, Sydney - some spin, Adelaide - flat, Headingly - swing, Durban - pace and bounce and so on. But what about India - Kanpur and Delhi - low turners - yes, Mohali - Pace ?, Mumbai - red soil and bounce - but the categorizations are a lot more difficult to make.
With India on the verge of losing the 2nd test to England at Mumbai, I wanted to see, in which venues have we done well and in which ones have we not done. I looked at the home tests since 2000 till the Ahmedabad match and the results are interesting. India have clearly struggled at Mumbai and Bangalore, which is a little surprising - given that these venues bring in quite large crowds and the home team is never short of support even in test matches [India has started winning at Bangalore only after I started going for matches there :) ]. What is not surprising is that India has a near perfect record at the Kotla given the nature of the pitch which helps spinners. Kolkata , Mohali and Chennai are the other major venues where India have been undefeated since 2000, and long may this little stat continue.
Two test venues that I would like to see have more test cricket are Chennai and Delhi, they seem to be good for India and have produced some riveting matches in the past.

One of the good things that I learnt from this table is that most Indian venues have a more than 50% result % record, which means that we are producing result oriented pitches for the most part. This is a sharp contrast to the high percentage of draws that take place in domestic cricket and the quality of the pitches for test cricket must have something to do with it.
MS Dhoni's continuous calls for turning pitches and then getting turned over on a turning track tells us that we have not quite figured what kind of pitch suits us the best. But a look at our records at different venues might just tell us where to host matches before a big series. If I were a board official selecting matches before a big 4 match series - I would play them at Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi and Mohali. But hey, that's me just being a little greedy.

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