England vs India: Previewing The Test Series In Statistics
Statistics are becoming increasingly important in cricket. IPL teams are becoming dependent on statistics to help their auction strategies and they can be used to illustrate long term trends. As India prepare to take on England in a crucial Test series, what can statistics tell us about the upcoming clash?
This article looks at the most important statistics before the five-match Test series.
103.60 – Joe Root’s batting average against India in England
When India last toured England in 2014, Joe Root was the leading run-scorer in the Test series. Root hit 518 runs in five Test matches at an incredible average of 103.60. India will now be worried after Root’s ominous form in the ODI series. After failing in the first ODI, Root hit two unbeaten hundreds in the last two matches to carry England to a series victory. Root will also be heartened by his new-found ability to play Kuldeep Yadav, India’s left-arm wrist spinner. After dominating in the ODIs, Root will fancy his chances to rack up some big runs in the Test series.
14.33 – Cheteshwar Pujara’s red-ball average for Yorkshire this year
India’s team composition is still unsettled. Their usual rock at number three, Cheteshwar Pujara, has been in awful form for Yorkshire this year in red-ball cricket. Pujara has played in six County Championship matches this year and has only managed 172 runs with no fifties. This has come at a poor average of just 14.33 which will no doubt leave his spot at number three under threat. Lokesh Rahul will be waiting in the wings and ready to seize his opportunity if India overlook Pujara due to his poor form.
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58.5 – Virat Kohli’s batting average overseas since India’s last tour of England
England is the one place Virat Kohli is yet to conquer in red-ball cricket. When India toured England in 2014, Kohli had a disastrous series. After managing just 134 runs in ten innings, critics dubbed Kohli a ‘flat-track bully’ incapable of playing in swinging conditions. However, since then, Kohli has been averaging 58.5 overseas. This includes a prolific tour of Australia, where he averaged 86.50, and a good recent tour of South Africa. If Kohli manages to score big runs in England, he can vanquish the title of ‘flat-track bully’ and assert himself as the best Test batsman in the world.
23 -> 64.90 -> 115 – The decline of Moeen Ali’s bowling
Moeen Ali was once a cult hero in English cricket, but is now on the fringes of the Test set-up. Back in 2014, Ali tore India apart with his off-spin. The all-rounder picked up 19 wickets at an average of just 23. Since then, Ali’s luck has run out and he has been dislodged from England’s Test side. When England toured India two years ago, Ali only managed to take 10 wickets in five matches at an average of 64.90. This was disappointing given the spin-friendly conditions as India’s spinners ran riot. Fast forward to England’s Ashes series in Australia, Ali was awful. He took just five wickets in five matches at a dreadful average of 115. England have now turned to specialist spinners, in the form of Dominic Bess and Jack Leach. It will be interesting to see if they give Ali another go in light of his success against India last time.
46 vs 38 – India’s poor slip cordon off seamers
Catches win matches. India found that out last time they toured England. After winning the Lord’s Test, India had all the momentum heading into the Third Test at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Ravindra Jadeja dropped Alastair Cook on 13, who went on to make to 95 and took the momentum away from India. However, India’s slip cordon has not improved. Since 2013, India’s slip cordon have dropped 46 catches off seam bowlers and taken just 38. This will be a major concern for India, given the fact that the pitches are likely to be seam friendly.
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