The month long previews of #ausvsa and #indveng continue…
Yesterday, I mentioned how few draws there seemed to be in Australia. And that assumption proved to be correct:
As you can see, only Bangladesh has had fewer test matches end in draws. Australia is a full 16 points behind the average and 27 points behind the hosts of our other big test series this fall/winter, India.
Looking at the grounds involved in #ausvsa and #indveng gives us the same conclusion:
Looks like Adelaide wrecks the curve a bit, but percentage wise Australia’s three grounds are 21 points behind India’s four grounds.
Now, what is the single biggest cause of draws? Why, rain, of course.
(Well, some might say teams that refuse to attack or bad pitches, but rain is really the only measurable quality in this equation).
I thought about doing average rainfall for each test nation, but with India and others being such massive countries, the numbers just would have not made sense.
So I made this chart:
Now, while it seems my conclusion was not entirely correct, that rain is the number one cause of the lack of draws in Australia, rain does play a part.
Interesting that Perth receives over 300 mm more in rain every year than Adelaide does, yet there are more draws at the latter ground. And Ahmedabad receives less rain than Perth yet over half of the matches played there have ended in draws. (Small sample size, admittedly.) The comparison between Mumbai and Kolkata is interesting, as well: fewer draws in Mumbai, despite receiving more rain per year.
Conclusions? Australia really does have far fewer draws than other test nations, but that has less to do with rain, and probably more to do with their century of dominance, their attacking nature, and their lively pitches.
What does this say in way of a preview of our two series this fall? Not much that you didn’t already know: results in Australia, draws in India.
3 Replies to “Drawing in the Rain”
The main reason Australia had fewer draws historically, was the use of timeless tests, which continued up until the second world war (roughly half of test cricket history), and in deciding tests until much later than that. The post-war figures will be more suggestive, though of course Perth did not host a test match until much later – it traditionally produced a result because of its pitch, and because it usually hosts weaker opposition, where there is a choice.
Total rainfall is deceptive. Some grounds are nearly tropical – Brisbane – and get a lot of rain at certain times of the year, but not generally when the cricket is on. Others – notably Sydney and Brisbane – get a lot of rain when it does rain, but have fewer days of rain compared to others – Melbourne. So the correlation would be better with total days of rain in summer. I’d argue the pitch is the most important factor, but that rain affects the pitch, so it is a confounding variable in any case,
Fascinating note about the timeless tests – reading about those is my homework tonight.
And I could see the rainfall write-up turning into a real wormhole, so I just decided to leave it where I left. Draws cine down to many factors, but i think rain is a notable one. And whether it be rain, or humidity, or sun, or cloud cover, cricket’s unceasing reliance on conditions is one of the reasons the game is consistently interesting.