S.N. Don's blog

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Much has been written in the media, social and news, about England’s poor record away from home in test matches. This set me scurrying for the record books, well maybe not but I did seek out the excellent statistics available at espncricinfo.com just to see how badly England have done when compared with the other test nations. So as to maintain a modicum of interest I have deliberately chosen to look at all test series over the last 10 years.


In this time, England have undertaken 18 tours abroad which started way back with that wide from Steve Harmison at The Gabba and my statistical analysis concludes with the latest tour of Bangladesh that concluded not so long ago. The net result is not too bad considering:


Played 58, Won 13, Drawn 17, Lost 28


Of those 28 defeats, 10 were in the shellackings that we received from Australia in 2006/07 and 2013/14


England managed to win 5 series against New Zealand (2007/08), Bangladesh (2009/10), Australia (2010/11), India (2012/13) and lastly South Africa (2015/16).


What about the rest? The following table displays a summary of test matches played along with the sum result of all tests played and a percentage figure indicating the away test match win rate:


Country Tests Played Won Lost Drawn % Win Rate
Australia 53 19 24 10 35.8%
Bangladesh 19 3 14 1 15.7%
England 58 13 28 17 22.4%
India 58 16 24 18 27.5%
New Zealand 47 10 28 9 21.2%
Pakistan 45 14 23 8 31.1%
South Africa 44 20 10 14 45.4%
Sri Lanka 41 10 20 11 24.3%
West Indies 46 5 27 14 10.8%
Zimbabwe 6 0 6 0 0%
Overall 417 110 204 102 26.4%


What I found surprising was that South Africa’s record away from home is particularly impressive away record but, on reflection, a side with the likes of Morkel, Steyn, AB de Villiers and Amla amongst others, it’s probably not all that surprising. What the figures also show is that the home team wins less than half of the test matches played.


What this also shows is that England’s record is not quite as bad especially if one ignores those two aberrations down under. For the sake of being completely biased, a more accurate figure would be a 27.0% away success rate for England.


And at this point, Excel decided to crash which is most frustrating and has absolutely nothing to do with Freddie’s deadline!



S.N. Don




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