The Indian cricket team has always faced criticism over its performance away from him. The team has a history of surrendering against tough opposition in difficult conditions. Ranked number 1 in Test cricket and number 2 in ODIs, the current side led by Virat Kohli has been under the scanner for the same reasons. But, numbers suggest otherwise. It has the highest overseas win percentage across all formats amongst the cricketing nations since 1st January 2015 (last 3 years).
In last 36 months, the Indian cricket team has played 70 matches away from home, winning 45 of them. It lost 18 games in the process, 4 were drawn while 3 ended with no result. This means that India has maintained a win percentage of 64.29% away from home during this period. The second team on the list is Afghanistan which played 81 matches away from home, winning 48 of them with a win percentage of 59.26%.
Other top teams like Australia, England and South Africa are ranked way below India. South Africa played 61 matches away from home in this period, winning 28 of them and losing 27. It maintained win percentage of 45.90.
World champions Australia, on the other hand, lost more matches away from home than it won since 1st January 2017. The Aussies played 68 matches, losing 34 and winning 30 while maintaining a win percentage of 44.12. England, that has improved a lot since the 2015 ICC ODI World Cup, had an even poorer record away from home. It played 65 matches, won 26 and lost 32 while one game ended as a tie. England had a win percentage of 40.00%.
Bangladesh, out of all the cricket playing nations had the poorest overseas record. The Asian team played 44 matches across all formats away from home but won only 11 of them and suffered defeat in as many as 29 games. Interestingly, this is the period in which Bangladesh made it to the knockouts of 2015 ICC ODI World Cup and defeated India, South Africa and Pakistan in bilateral ODI series. However, all those series wins came on its home soil.
The Indian team has lately faced criticism for not facing too many strong sides. But, the team has played just 3 matches out of 135 against non-Test playing nations over the last three years which means that it has been facing some top teams and has yet maintained an impressive record.
Led by Virat Kohli, the team is in South Africa now where it will be participating in three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is. India is yet to win a Test series in South Africa but this could be its best chance.
The team is a perfect mix of youth and experience and has a backup option for almost every position. It has three solid openers in Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul while the middle-order is one of the best in the world with the presence of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane at 3, 4 and 5 respectively.
All-rounders Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja add balance to the side and the fast-bowling unit looks better than ever with the likes of Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah.
Going by the numbers and team India’s recent form, this could be its best chance to beat South Africa at its home soil.