On many occasions, the cricket universe has noted that some batsmen tend to play exceptionally well in their home conditions. However, when the team pays a visit to any foreign country, they struggle to score consistently. Many current Indian players like Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan also have the same problem. They can play well on spin-friendly wickets, but when batting in the pace-friendly conditions of New Zealand or England, the same players have a lower average than the opponents’ tail-enders.
Besides, there have also been some batsmen who did not have an excellent record at home, but they shone in overseas conditions. Here are the top five batsmen who reversed the general tradition.
AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers has limited himself to the T20 format only now. But back when he was active for South Africa, he was a phenomenal player for them in the overseas condition. The right-handed batsman had played a once in a lifetime inning against India, trying to save a Test. Speaking of his big knocks, de Villiers never scored a double hundred at home, but his highest score in overseas Tests was 278*. Also, his average improved by 7.83 while playing in foreign conditions.
Australian great Allan Border featured in 156 Tests for his nation. A majority of those games happened in Australia, but in the 70 matches he played outside his home, Border amassed 5,431 runs at a stupendous average of 56.57. His average at home was just 45.94. He had an incredible record on English pitches, where he aggregated over 2,000 runs. He even averaged 62 in Tests played in Pakistan.
Former South African captain Graeme Smith’s average improved by 13.48 runs in overseas Tests. Like AB de Villiers, Smith recorded his highest score of 277 away from home. His fifty-hundred conversion rate also improved a lot as he scored 17 hundreds and 19 fifties outside South Africa. At the same time, in the home Tests, he scored ten centuries and 19 fifties.
The 1983 World Cup-winning player, Mohinder Amarnath, had an extraordinary Test career as well. Amarnath represented India in 70 Tests, and 38 of them happened outside India. It is worth noting that when every Indian batsman struggled to match his home numbers on overseas tracks, Amarnath’s average rose from 30.44 to 51.86 while playing on foreign pitches. He had an incredible batting average of 54 in the West Indies, whereas that number rose to 72 while playing in Sri Lanka. Surprisingly, Amarnath could not succeed much at home.
Ken Berrington’s name always pops up whenever the cricketing circles discuss the greatest Test batsmen of all time. The Englishman dominated the opposition bowlers while batting at number 4 for England. He had a fantastic average of 50.71 in England, but that number splurged to 69.18 on foreign soil. His hundred conversion rate also improved a lot as he recorded 14 centuries and 14 half-centuries outside the home as compared to just six hundreds and 21 fifties at home. Along with being one of the greatest batsmen, he was also one of the most significant overseas track bullies.