England will feel Ashes statistical heat

October 31st, 2010 - 2:12 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Oct. 31 (ANI): With the exception of Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood, England will feel the statistical heat when it comes to a comparison of Ashes-related performances with Australia, says author David Sygall.

“Only Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood can boast better numbers against Australia in Australia than their overall statistics, proving that when the blowtorch is applied, those two can stand the heat,” Sygall says in an article for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Pietersen has amassed 5306 runs at an average of 47.8, including 16 centuries, in his 66 Tests. He has scored only one ton in Australia - 158 at Adelaide on his one tour here in 2006-07 - but his 490 runs at 54 in five Tests warrants respect.

In his five Tests here, Collingwood has scored nearly as many runs as Pietersen, 433 runs, at an average of 48.11, six runs higher than his overall average.

But that’s where it all ends for England, as far as reputations go.

With the likes of Ian Botham, Michael Atherton and David Gower talking up England’s chances of winning a series here for the first time since 1987, the pressure is on for unheralded and under-performed players to stand up on what most overseas players regard as the hardest of all cricket tours.

Captain Andrew Strauss, who scored one century in two seasons at Sydney club side Mosman, has hit 18 Test centuries, none in Australia, where he averages a little over half his overall average. Alastair Cook has scored one ton here, but, like Strauss, he will have to battle the voices in his head reminding him that he’s done little in Australia.

Ian Bell has scored a century every five matches and averages 43 in Test matches. Not in Australia. Here he is century-less and has a humble batting average of 33.

Of the bowlers, James Anderson has taken five wickets in his three Tests in Australia at a cost of 82 runs each and left-arm spinner Monty Panesar has taken 10 wickets, eight of which came in the Perth Test in 2006-07. The rest of the squad has no Test experience in Australia. (ANI)

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