Cricket: Why home is too much of an advantage in test game

By Dylan Cleaver

The Black Caps were swept in three tests against India. Photo / AP
The Black Caps were swept in three tests against India. Photo / AP

While Bangladesh's test win over England was a momentous result worth celebrating, cricket authorities should recognise it is more evidence that test cricket has become a game where home advantage has way, way, way too much sway.

What you now have is 'western' teams - and I choose that word out of convenience rather than accuracy - travelling to the subcontinent and getting towelled, and subcontinent teams travelling to England, Australia, South Africa and even New Zealand and being similarly enfeebled.

Don't believe me, look at this table that looks at all series between the subcontinental teams and the west's four teams back to the start of 2014.

The results are ridiculously lopsided. Only Sri Lanka, 1-0 winners over England, and South Africa, 1-0 winners over Sri Lanka, have won away from home.

The score reads home side 29, away side seven. These are hardly contests, they're more like ritual disembowelments.

There will always be inherent advantages with playing at home, but those advantages have turned into near-sureties.

The ICC can make one immediate change to redress some of the lost balance. Abandon the toss and give the away team first option. Give it a shot for three years, see if it makes a difference. Otherwise the most cherished form of the game will continue to be an all-too-predictable mismatch.

- NZ Herald

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