All Test stats exclude numbers from the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Test, which started in Abu Dhabi on December 31.
The overall numbers
In terms of Test match results, the numbers in 2013 were very similar to the previous year: in 2012, 32 out of 42 Tests produced decisive results; last year, the corresponding numbers were 33 out of 43. Exactly the same number of centuries were scored in the last two years, but the difference was in the average runs per wicket: from 34 in 2012, it came down to 31.92, which is the least it’s been in any year since 2000. (Click here for the year-by-year overall Test stats.)
The largest margin of victory was an innings and 193 runs, by South Africa against New Zealand in Port Elizabeth in January, when South Africa scored 525 for 8, and then bundled New Zealand out for 121 and 211. Overall in 2013, there were plenty of one-sided Test results: out of 33 decisive games, 17 were decided by an innings, ten wickets, or by more than 200 runs.
In ODIs, this was a year of extremes, with very high totals being interspersed with low ones. There were eight scores in excess of 350 in 2013, compared to just two such scores in 2012. Yet, the overall runs per wicket was only marginally more this year: 5.11, compared with 5.05 the previous year. Five of those eight scores came in a two-week period, when Australia toured India for an ODI series.
What also stood out in those ODI stats were the number of centuries that were scored in 2013: 77, which is the highest ever in a calendar year. The previous-best was 75 in 2007, but that was spread over 191 matches; in 2013, only 136 ODIs were played.
Horror run for away teams
The year started with New Zealand getting thrashed by South Africa in two Tests and Sri Lanka losing in Australia, and continued with Pakistan getting blanked 3-0 in South Africa and Australia going down 4-0 in India. New Zealand then lost both Tests in England, while West Indies were similarly beaten in India. Australia were beaten 3-0 in England, but then took sweet revenge immediately, winning four in a row in Australia. (Click here for a series-wise list of Test results in 2013.)
The result was that touring teams had a year to forget in 2013: they won only two out of 41 Tests, and lost 29. (This excludes matches in neutral venues.) The two wins by away teams were both in Zimbabwe – Bangladesh won a Test in April, while Pakistan won one in September. Apart from that, home teams were completely dominant, achieving unprecedented winning results.
In the entire history of Test cricket, the home-away results have never been so lopsided in a year in which at least 15 Tests have been played. In 1967, away teams had a 0-9 win-loss stat, but only 12 Tests were played that year. With a 15-Test cut-off, the next-lowest ratio for away teams was in 1990, when they won two and lost 14, a ratio of 0.14. The next-lowest jumps up to 0.25.
There’s no trend at work here either, for away teams did reasonably well in Tests in the years leading up to 2013: they had a win-loss record of 12-17 in 2012, 13-13 in 2011, and 14-16 in 2010. (Click here for the full year-wise list.)
* Excludes Tests at neutral venues
South Africa were the best Test team for the second year in a row, winning seven Tests and losing just one, and thus further consolidating their No. 1 ranking. In 2012 they had a 5-0 win-loss, and four of those wins had been achieved overseas. In 2013, they won six at home and one in Dubai, against Pakistan. India won six and lost just one, but all their wins were all at home. England had a mixed year, unbeatable at home but poor on the tour to Australia. Pakistan were the only team to beat South Africa in a Test in 2013, but they ended up with the poorest win-loss ratio of all teams.
In ODIs India were the top team, winning 22 and losing 10, for the best win-loss record among all sides. They won home series against Australia, England and West Indies, and blanked Zimbabwe 5-0, but their most important triumph came in the Champions Trophy in England, when they won five out of five matches.
The best batsmen of 2013
In 2012 five batsmen went past 1000 runs in Tests, and only three achieved it in ODIs, but in 2013 as many as nine batsmen scored 1000-plus in ODIs, while only Michael Clarke and Ian Bell achieved it in Tests.
The ODI list for 1000-plus was dominated by batsmen from the subcontinent: there were two from Pakistan (Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez) and Sri Lanka (Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan), and three Indians – Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. The only ones from outside the subcontinent were AB de Villiers and George Bailey.
One batsman whose ODI form did dip in 2013 was Hashim Amla: he scored 838 runs from 22 innings at an average of 38.09, the first time he has averaged less than 40 in a calendar year in ODIs.
A good year for pace
The four highest wicket-takers in Tests in 2013 were all fast bowlers, and only one of them took his wickets at an average of more than 30. Stuart Broad, the leading wicket-taker with 62, averaged 25.80, Dale Steyn’s 51 wickets came at 17.66 each, while Trent Boult took 46 at 25.08. Further down the list, Vernon Philander and Ryan Harris both took 38 wickets at averages of less than 22, while Mitchell Johnson was the star of the last two months of the year, finishing 2013 with 34 wickets from six Tests at 17.52.
All these top performances ensured that fast bowlers had their best year in Tests, average-wise, since 2000, when they’d averaged 27.52. In 2013, they took 851 wickets at a combined average of 30.30, striking at less than 60 balls per wicket. There were five fast bowlers who took ten in a match – Broad, James Anderson, Steyn, Boult and Tim Southee, who was also a key component of a strong New Zealand pace attack. In 2012, fast bowlers had averaged 34.29 runs per wicket, which means they improved by about 12% in 2013.
The combination of Boult, Neil Wagner, Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali and Corey Anderson ensured that left-arm pace, in particular, had an excellent year. They averaged less than 30, their best in a year since 2005, when they’d averaged 26.64. In terms of wickets taken this was their best year ever, and the first time their combined tally went past 200 wickets.
Average-wise, they did better than other types of bowlers in 2013, but left-arm spin suffered a dip in 2013, after experiencing a huge high in 2012, when they’d taken 192 wickets at 29.16. In 2013, they managed 151 wickets at 38.14. Rangana Herath, Pragyan Ojha and Abdur Rehman didn’t play enough Tests to make a major impact, while Monty Panesar – one of the stars of 2012 – took only eight wickets from five Tests at 75.87. Right-arm spinners did better, with Graeme Swann, Nathan Lyon, R Ashwin and Saeed Ajmal all among the wickets.
In ODIs, Ajmal was clearly the outstanding bowler of the year, taking 62 wickets at an economy rate of 4.13.
More numbers from 2013
10 – Number of ducks by Saeed Ajmal in international cricket in 2013, the second-highest ever by a batsman in a calendar year.
15 – Number of fifties hit by Misbah-ul-Haq in ODIs in 2013 – the most any batsman has scored in a calendar year without hitting a hundred.
47.30 – Combined average of India’s top-three batsmen in 2013, their second-highest ever when India has played a minimum of ten ODIs in a year.
84 – Number of sixes England’s bowlers conceded in Tests in 2013, the highest a team has ever conceded in Tests in a calendar year. The next-highest is India’s 78 in 2006. England’s previous-highest was 53.
1315 – Runs Graeme Swann conceded against Australia in Tests in 2013, the highest by any bowler against an opposition in a calendar year. The previous record was Geoff Lawson’s 1227 versus West Indies in 1984.
With inputs from Shiva Jayaraman.
S Rajesh |All Articles