Why Indian cricketers aren’t really poor travellers and ace abroad

plane-841441_960_720England, South Africa and New Zealand have never won any ODI ICC tournament anywhere. Forget a Test series—Sri Lanka has never even won a single Test in India. Pakistan won their first Test series in West Indies quite late in 2017 as against India way back in 1971.

The truth is that when you combine all three formats of the game, then only Australia and India are the best travellers. Only these two teams have won maximum multi-nation tournaments in maximum countries. It’s a myth that Indians are poor travellers in international cricket overall.

We have won in…

united-kingdom-1043062_1280England.
1 ODI World Cup—1983.
1 ICC Champions Trophy—2013.
3 Test series—1971, 1986, 2007.
1 ODI Tri-series—2002.
3 ODI series—1986, 1990, 2014
1 T20 series—2018.
Total = 10.

sydney-3680862_960_720Australia.
1 Mini World Cup—Benson & Hedges World Series 1985.
1 Test series—2019.
1 ODI Tri-series—2008.
1 ODI series—2019.
1 T20 series—2016, Australia’s only whitewash in any format on home soil ever since 1877.
Total = 5.
(India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Aus by tying the Test series in 2004)

South Africa.
1 T20 World Cup—2007.
1 ODI series—2018.
1 T20 series—2018.
Total = 3.

Lanka-2099225_1280Sri Lanka.
1 ICC Champions Trophy—2002.
1 Asia Cup—2010.
3 Test series—1993, 2015, 2017.
3 ODI Tri-series—1998, 2009, 2018.
4 ODI series—2008, 2009, 2012, 2017.
Total = 12.

West Indies.
4 Test series—1971, 2006, 2011, 2016.
1 ODI Tri-series—2013.
4 ODI series—2002, 2009, 2011, 2017.
Total = 9.

pakistan-641446_960_720Pakistan.
1 Test series—2004.
2 ODI series—2004, 2006.
Total = 3.

New Zealand.
2 Test series—1968, 2009.
2 ODI series—2009, 2019.
Total = 4.

dubai-1113262_960_720UAE.
7 multi-nation tournaments—1984, 1985, 1988, 1995, 1998, 1998, 2018.

Bangladesh.
2 Asia Cups—1988, 2016.
4 Test series—2000, 2004, 2007, 2010.
1 ODI Tri-series—1998.
3 ODI series—2004, 2007, 2014.
Total = 10.

Canada.
2 ODI series—1997 (Pak), 1999 (WI).

clover-445255_960_720Ireland.
1 ODI series—2007 (SA).
1 T20 series—2018 (Ire).
Total = 2.

Zimbabwe.
1 Test series—2005
4 ODI series—1998, 2013, 2015, 2016.
2 T20 series—2010, 2016.
Total = 6.

Grand Total = 73, that includes 5 World Cups/mini WCs, second only to Australia’s 6 away such wins.

India has won at least one 5-nation plus tournament in Australia, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, UAE, Bangladesh and India.

(This blog was first published on October 1, 2018. This is an updated version of the same)

Where Djoko scores over Federer-Nadal (and he could still go further)

Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time (20 Grand Slam titles). He is followed closely by Rafael Nadal (17 titles). But Novak Djokovic already has 15 titles and at 31 years has time on his side to catch up with both.

However, here is a list of things where Djoko has already outdone Fed-Rafa…

Djokovic1. Djoko has beaten both Federer and Nadal in all 4 Grand Slams.

Federer has never beaten Nadal in any French Open match. The two never met in a US Open. But what of Djokovic? He has beaten Federer in at least one match in the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Djoko beat Nadal in three straight final line-ups: 2011 Wimbledon, 2011 US Open and 2012 Australian Open. Then later he beat Nadal in the quarters of the 2015 French Open. That’s 4/4 Grand Slams for 2/2 players!

2. Dominates the trivalry in terms of one-on-ones.

Federer’s nemesis is Nadal. The two have met 38 times and Nadal leads a whopping 23-15. However it is only Djoko who has the better of all of the rivals he has played with after he came into form (he had a few failed rivalries only at the beginning of his career). Djoko and Nadal have met 53 times, which is an Open era record and Djoko leads 28-25. With the all-time great Federer, Djoko leads 25-22. Interestingly in 2011, he met Federer-Nadal 11 times, winning 10 of those matches! More importantly in all finals, Djokovic leads Federer 13-6 and Nadal 15-10. Overall with Andy Murray its 25-11, Stan Wawrinka 19-5 and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 18-6.

Tennis balljpg3. Held all four Grand Slams at once.

Rod Laver was a legend who did a calendar Grand Slam first as an amateur in 1962, then as a professional in 1969. However after that for decades, nobody managed to win all four at a stretch. Andre Agassi became the first to do a career Grand Slam in 1999. He was emulated by Federer in 2009 and Nadal a year later.

Djoko won the following titles back to back: 2015 Wimbledon, 2015 US Open, 2016 Australian Open and 2016 French Open. In the process he became the first person since 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles. That’s after a good 47 years! He is also the only player in men’s tennis history to hold these Grand Slams on three different surfaces at the same time.

He gets another crack at this if he gets the 2019 French Open, after winning Wimbledon 2018, US Open 2018 and Australian Open 2019.

4. Highest ATP ranking points ever.

While Nadal owns the French Open and Federer has dominated tennis for the longest time, Djoko has these short bursts where he looks near invincible like the time he won four straight Grand Slams. The same is with the ATP ranking points. He is the only person in history to have crossed ATP ranking points of 16000 in 2015 (if you win each and every tournament you play in a year, then you can go to 21000).

To put things in perspective, when Djoko had 16785, Andy Murray had 8750, Federer had 8430 and Nadal 4330. One can’t think of such a short-term dominance in the history of the trivalry and very few other times in men’s tennis. In 2015 Djoko won 3 Grand Slams, 6 masters and 11 titles.  He ended the year in style winning the World Tour Finals title and became the first to win 4 straight end-of-year finals tournaments. He also created another world record that season, beating 31 Top 10 players. Earlier in 2011, when Federer and Nadal were at their peak, he won 41 straight matches, the best after John McEnroe’s 42 in 1984.

5. The only man to win all 9 ATP World Tour Masters 1000: After the Grand Slams and ATP Finals, these are the most prestigious tournaments and Djokovic is the only man in the world to have won all 9, called a Career Golden Masters. In fact in 2015, he won 6/9 in a single year. In the terms of ATP finals Federer has the most with 6, but Djokovic already has 5 and so well could go past him.

Dollars6. Became the first to get $100 million prize money.

There was a race between the three to get $100 million in professional tennis earnings and you never knew who would get there first. Finally it was a race between Federer and Djoko and the latter prevailed. Currently Djoko is in the range of $125 million, which is the highest ever. In 2015 he became the only man to cross $20 million prize money in a year. Nadal’s yearly highest is $15+ million and Federer’s $13+ million.

7. Made the Australian Open his own.

Nadal has a whopping 11 French Opens. Federer has 8 Wimbledons. Both stand alone there. Additionally, Federer has 5 US Opens, a record he shares with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras. But Djoko has made the Australian Open his own with 7 titles. By the end of his career, he could have a crack at Nadal’s 11, the most ever single Grand Slam titles in the Open era. Djoko also has 3 US Opens, so he could also join Connors-Sampras-Federer for the most there.

(This blog first appeared on July 16, 2018. This is the updated version of the same)