Australia v New Zealand – WACA test: Australia’s best and worst

Something I do for my own amusement before each test of the summer is to spend a bit of time looking at the stats and come up with a best and worst Australian test XI at each ground. Using some basic entrance criteria (post World War II, must have played at least five tests at the venue, batsmen must have batted a majority of their innings in the top six, bowlers must have delivered at least 1,000 deliveries) throws up some interesting results at the WACA.

The worst team has more captains in it than the navy’s end of season trip to Bali – and the next two worst batsmen were Steve Waugh and Greg Chappell. As Julius Sumner Miller would say: ‘why is it so?’ While we’re at it, why does Geoff Lawson average 50 with the ball?


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About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. "Play up Norwoods!"


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Just for fun, checked out G Wood’s WACA stats.

    His three ducks (including a pair) wouldn’t have helped. Five of his twelve innings there yielded a combined total of 11 runs.

    His sole ton there occurred when he came in at second drop.

    He was never run out there, but his partner in 1978, Rick Darlng, was.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Incredible re Captains Dave also amazing that,AB could average 40 and make the worst side. Rodney Hogg makes the best side rightly so and also remembered re that dismissal bowled by Holding when backing away thanks,Dave

  3. James Grapsas says

    Thanks, Dave. Food for thought.

    For the best XI batting chart, it would be good to see the number of not outs to see if they had an impact. For the bowling charts, it would be useful to see the number of wickets taken. Apart from Geoff Lawson, the other bowling averages in the worst XI bowling chart are respectable to fair.

  4. Matthew Brown says

    So 4 “real” WA boys in the worst team and 2 “pretend” WA boys on the best team. Of course, no one’s ever been sure which planet Marto is from let alone state…

  5. Thanks for the comments all. Interesting Wood analysis, Swish. Yes, AB making the worst side is a function of the minimum five tests at venue criterion, Malcolm. Of course there have been many worse test batsmen at the WACA over the journey but they have not been good enough to play five tests there.

    Will update the charts tonight, James – from memory Martyn has a 150 not out in there. As for wickets it is Best: M Waugh 7, Johnson 42, McDermott 38, Hughes 39 and Hogg 25. Worst: Lawson 18, Warne 37, Lee 40 and Alderman 20.

    Hadn’t even noticed that, Matt. Good get. Marstyn perhaps?

  6. I was surpised by Kimbo. but it’s confirmation bias – the 99 coming in at 3-20 against the Poms (next top score 42); the fab 100 against pakistan. the exquisite 62 against england when he and Chappell went rampant.

    These explain why his average is not lower than 30, in hindsight.

    Still: Willis, Hendrick, Old, Botham, Lever, Dilley, Hadlee, Imran, Sarfraz, Holding, Garner, Marshall and greentops. Not easy batting there in that era.

  7. Table updated, James.

    Yeah, it’s not a particularly fair comparison for Hughes, Peter.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Surprised by RT Ponting in the worst team. Always think of the debut 96 & the 197 v Pakistan at the WACA.

    ‘Henry” Lawson would be thrilled Perth Tests are moving to Burswood given his bowling average and broken jaw at the WACA Ground.

  9. Ponting’s an interesting case, Luke. Up to and including his 10th test at the WACA (Dec 2005) he averaged 56.46. After that in his last seven tests at the ground he scored 231 at 19.75 only once going past 50. His last six innings (in reverse order) were 8, 4, 7, 1, 12, 2 (avg 5.67). My theory is captains are more likely than other players to play beyond their prime and they are more likely to be susceptible to pace as a result. Mark Taylor averaged 13.8 over his last five innings at the WACA, Border 22.4, Clarke 22.8.

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