I always rather enjoy going through Statsguru on Cricinfo, and after looking at some of Sri Lanka’s stats yesterday, today I thought I’d look at Pakistan’s and England’s statistics over the last twelve months and how they compare going into next month’s Test series.
England and Pakistan have been the two best sides over the past twelve months by a considerable distance. England have won seven and lost just one Test in that time and Pakistan have won five and lost one. No other side has a win-loss ratio above 1.00 and no other side has won more than four Tests in that time. (Australia have won four and lost four, India have won four and lost five.)
England have been in dominating form. The twelve month period began with the defeat at Perth, but then included a pair of innings victories over Australia and India each and one over Sri Lanka. The gulf between England and the rest of the world with the bat is astonishing. England average 48.30 with 17 centuries (five of them unbeaten) both numbers easily the best in the world. The next best average is Pakistan’s 39.56 and the overall average for the rest of the world is 29.57. In other words England average almost 200 runs more in a completed innings than the rest of the world. There were 57 centuries hit in the past twelve months by teams other than England, with the most for any one team being India’s ten. England’s 17 centuries come at an average or 1.7 per match (fairly easy maths there), whilst the rest of the world average 0.84 centuries per Test and that is not even accounting for the number of times England have only needed to bat once! There is less of a gap with the ball, as England’s bowling average of 26.58 is only the second best in the world, behind Pakistan’s 26.14. The average amongst other sides in this case is 34.78 so England are still comfortably better, but not by as much. England have also done well bowling sides out. They did so in eight of their ten matches over the past year and averaged 18.7 wickets per match (as a fielding side, i.e. including run outs). Only Pakistan at 19.4 fared better and the average amongst all other sides was 15.8.
Statistically then it should be a fantastic series in January. The best attack against the best batting order and the second best attack against the second best batting order. England’s stats have come against stronger sides than Pakistan’s in that time, but both sides beat Sri Lanka 1-0 at home. England have also never played in the UAE, so an analysis adjusted for home field advantage cannot be made. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how things play out come 17 January.