Friday, November 12, 2010

Trading Debuts

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When Kane Williamson, scored a century on debut in the Ahmedabad Test, the post Gracious Hosts and the comment on that , triggered some thoughts and the need to dig into the numbers. Also, as an Indian fan I, and probably all Indian fans, I have this perception that India is very kind in helping people "arrive" at the international stage. I wanted to see what the numbers reveal as far as debut centuries go, away from home.

There are two aspects I looked at. First, How favorable is a host country to opposition batsmen making debuts and helping them "arrive". Are they more gracious than most, as gracious as any or plain hostile to debutantes as compared to other hosts. And second, how do debutantes from a country perform as "guests" away from home. Are they likely to be as welcome, very welcome or plain unwelcome as debutantes from any other touring country. Of course countries who don't have too many bebutantes scoring a century on debut while on tour are termed as "welcome" guests. When you look at these aspects side by side, I was able to group countries in these categories.

A total of 1061 batsmen have made their debuts away from home. As far as I can tell debuts are fairly evenly distributed across the hosts. In short there is no country that has hosted a disproportionately high or low number of debutantes. A total of 32 debutantes have scored have scored centuries away from home.

The first is what I call the "Neutral" Category. In this category there is generally a balance in terms of allowing debutantes to "arrive" and using a tour to score a century a debut. West Indies, New Zealand and Australia have a collective 12 debutants who have scored a century on debut away from home and allowed 10 visiting debutantes to score a century on their soil.

The second group is "Gracious Hosts". These countries as on par with countries in the "Neutral" group as tourists but are very gracious as hosts to visiting debutantes. About 1 in 21 debutantes make a century while touring this group of countries. South Africa and Bangladesh fall into this category.

Then we have 4 unique countries

  • Pakistan does not believe in the "arriving with a bang" concept at all. Neither do they advocate it for their own players, nor do they tolerate it in their visitors. There are only 2 Pakistanis who have scored a century on debut on a tour and only 1 tourist has scored a century on debut in Pakistan
  • The opposite end of the spectrum is India, which is strategically and totally committed to the "arriving with a bang" theory. Its a way of life with India. As many as 6 Indians have scored a century on debut away from home and has helped 7 debutantes to "arrive" with a century while hosting them
  • Then we have Sri Lanka, "Welcome Guests and Gracious Hosts". 1 in 16 debutantes are likely to score a century on debut while visiting Sri Lanka and they do not believe at all in overstaying their welcome as guests. No Sri Lankan has ever scored a century on debut while touring
  • Then there is "Hostile Hosts" England. Only 1 in 74 debutantes have scored a century while touring England while Englishmen are as likely to score a century on debut as tourists as players from the "Neutral" group. There are 2 Indians who have scored a 100 on debut in England


Vidooshak said...

Scoring a century on debut is not necessarily arrival. However, I also think India are gracious hosts because they help players actually score their maiden centuries more than any other country (I think this merits investigation). The maiden century may determine arrival or a streak in which a player scores multiple centuries or average more than 50 on tour for the first time in their career.

Golandaaz said...

Agreed, I see this more as arriving with a bang.

straight point said...

not to forget some players who's career got saved or flourished (only) by playing against india...

like ryder in current nz team... just to give an example out of many...

Golandaaz said...

agreed SP, but it probably next to impossible to prove that with numbers