The stats that show this is New Zealand's chance to win in Australia

Date

Lawrie Colliver

New Zealand's captain Brendon McCullum

New Zealand's captain Brendon McCullum Photo: AP Photo/Steve Christo

STATS PREVIEW FOR 1ST TEST 

New Zealand comes to Australia for the 2015-16 series, boasting an excellent record in the past two years. Since October 2013, they have played 15 Tests, winning 9, drawing 3 and losing just 3.

During that period they have been unbeaten at home in 7 Tests (last Test lost at home was in 2012 to South Africa) and won Tests in West Indies (2), Pakistan (in UAE) and England. Reflecting on their previous "best" era between Jan 1984 and March 1987, where in 28 Tests, they won 10, lost 6 and drew 12. 

Here's the table of results for the last two years, with Australia and New Zealand leading the way in terms of percentage of Tests won. 

Team               Tests               Won              Win %          Lost          Drawn 

Australia            21                    13                61                  6                 2 

New Zealand     15                     9                 60                  3                 3 

Pakistan            17                     8                 47                   5                 4 

South Africa      13                     6                 46                   2                 5 

Sri Lanka           21                    9                  42                   8                 4 

England             24                    8                  33                  12                4 

India                  19                    5                   26                   8                 6 

Bangladesh       12                    3                   25                   4                 5 

West Indies       20                    4                    20                  13                3 

Zimbabwe         4                      0                     0                    4                 0 

 

In their strong patch in the 1980s, the Kiwis could boast a world champion bowler in Richard Hadlee, with batsman Martin Crowe perhaps the only other player of world class. Now they have a number of players that could make a World XI. Starting with their batting, they have some very strong numbers in the last two years 

 

                                   T            Runs           HS          Avge             100               50 

Kane Williamson       14            1564           242*         68.0              6                  5 

Brendon McCullum   15            1495           302           57.5              5                  1 

Ross Taylor              14             1130           217*         53.8              4                  3 

BJ Watling                15             1002           142*         47.7              3                  5 

Tom Latham             11              830             137          39.5              2                  5 

Jimmy Neesham       8               606             137*         43.2              2                  3 

** All up 22 centuries in the last 15 Tests 

 

To win Test matches you generally need to take 20 wickets. And as you can see below Trent Boult has had a lot to do with the fact NZ have managed to do it 11 times in the last 15 Tests. 

 

                                 T               Wkts             Avge          Best            5wI         10wM 

Trent Boult               15               71                 24.4          6-40              2              1 

Tim Southee            15                61                27.9           4-19             0              0 

Mark Craig               10               38                 40.0           7-94              1             1 

Neil Wagner              7                 27                32.7           4-92              0             0 

* Boult has actually played in the last 29 Tests for NZ, taking 115 wickets at 26.66. 

 

Looking at consecutive Tests played, resilient skipper Brendon McCullum has played the last 94 in a row for NZ, and hasn't missed a Test since making his debut back in March 2014. The next best for his country is 58 by John Reid who played in the 1950s and 60s. 

If he manages to play all 3 Tests in Australia, he'll move into the top two in the history of Test Cricket, with AB de Villiers is about to commence a four-Test series in India. 

 

AB deVilliers       SA       98     17 Dec 2004 to 6 Jan 2015 

AC Gilchrist         Aus     96      5 Nov 1999 to 28 Jan 2008 

BB McCullum       NZ      94     10 Mar 2004 to 2 June 2015 

RS Dravid             Ind      94     20 Jun 1996 to 14 Dec 2015 

SR Tendulkar        Ind     84      15 Nov 1989 to 18 June 2001 

 

Since October 2013, homeside Australia have played in 21 Tests, winning 13, losing 6 and drawing 2 

The batting has been dominated by three main batsmen, as per below 

                                T            Runs           HS        Avge       100          50 

Steve Smith            21           2330           215         70.6         10           7 

David Warner         21           2248           145          56.2          9           11 

Chris Rogers          19           1629           173           45.2         4            12 

Michael Clarke       18             987            161*         34.0         4             0 

Brad Haddin           17             752            118           30.0         1             6 

Shane Watson       13              733            103           31.8         1             4 

 

While with the ball, Mitchell Johnson has led the way, playing 20 of the 21 Tests having only missed the 4th Test v India at the SCG in January 

                                         T         Wkts         Avge         Best         Economy 

Mitchell Johnson              20        101           21.8          7-40            3.14 

Nathan Lyon                    21          77            35.0          7-152          3.28 

Ryan Harris                     11          42             25.6          5-25            2.64 

Josh Hazlewood               9           40             21.7          5-38            2.96 

Mitchell Starc                   10          37             29.8          6-111          3.48 

Peter Siddle                     11          31             33.9          4-35            2.72 

 

Without Chris Rogers and Michael Clarke, their replacements are going to have big shoes to fill. As we saw in England, Ryan Harris was sorely missed for his accuracy and ability to restrict the scoring. With Mitchell Starc in superb early season form, he may pick up the slack if the aging Mitchell Johnson struggles to perform at the level above. 

Looking at the numbers it really looks as though it will be a tight series.

I don't care to make a prediction, but based on the stats above, I believe New Zealand has its best chance to record a series win in Australia, since 1985-86.

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