There is a myth that we are poor travellers when it comes to ODIs too and not just Tests. That is similar to the Myth of India's weak ODI bowling attack
While we do collapse in overseas Tests from time to time, that is not the case with the shorter formats of the game. One thing to be noted is that every team has a home advantage. Australia and India are the most consistent teams outside their home turf.
Let’s start with ICC tournaments—that is ODI and T20 World Cups and the ICC Champions Trophy. Here is the number of ICC tournaments won by a country when it wasn’t a host or co-host…
Australia 6, India 4, West Indies 4, Pakistan 2, South Africa 1, England 1, New Zealand 1, Sri Lanka 1.
Outside the Indian sub-continent the figures become subcontinent: India 3, Pakistan 2 and Sri Lanka 0.
Now from 1974-83, India played 10 away series/tournaments and lost all of them! That was when we could have been called the poorest travellers in the world.
Here’s a look at our total ODI tournament/series wins outside India after that…
England: This is by far our happiest hunting ground for some strange reason. England has always been a tough competitive place and somehow India has always done well there. In England, India has won one World Cup, one ICC Champions Trophy, one tournament and 3 bilateral series. We also have three Test series wins here.
Australia: Australia is another tough place where teams rarely win, but we have two impressive wins: The Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket in 1985 which has been dubbed the mini World Cup and the 2008 Commonwealth Bank Series which was a triangular.
Sri Lanka: This is out happiest hunting ground within the sub-continent. Here we have won one ICC Champions Trophy, one Asia Cup, three tournaments and three bilateral series.
Sharjah: This is where it all began and we started winning a lot here before it became a “harjah” for us and a happy hunting ground for Pakistan and they played many Test and ODI series. In Sharjah India finally won two Asia Cups and four tournaments.
West Indies: Like England, we have three Test series wins here and in ODIs we have won one tournament and three bilateral series.
Bangladesh: We don’t play that much here but we did win one Asia Cup, one tournament and three bilateral series. We also reached the final of the T20 World Cup here in 2014.
Pakistan: We initially used to lose but post-2000 we got our act together here and won two ODI series and then totally stopped touring Pakistan.
New Zealand: This is our toughest country and we have played hardly any tournaments here but we did break the jinx when we won an ODI series in 2009. In the 2015 World Cup also we won both our matches here.
Canada: We won two bilateral series with Pakistan and West Indies.
Ireland: We won one bilateral series with South Africa.
Zimbabwe: Another place where we hardly tour and we have won three bilateral series here.
If you notice there is one country that is missing and that is South Africa where we have never won a Test or ODI series. But we have probably won the most important tournament held there for Indian fans—the T20 World Cup in 2007. We’d take that over any series any day!
Another way of judging our away performance is to check out our ODI matches at neutral venues since most home teams generally have more wins at home. From 1974-83 we lost all our away series.
We got our act together with the 1983 World Cup, so here’s looking at statistics since then.
With Sri Lanka we lead 26-15, New Zealand 25-13, West Indies 18-14 and England 6-4. We trail with the best teams in the world alright, but not by that much: Australia 9-12 and South Africa 8-11. With Pakistan it’s quite interesting. We trail 29-39, but when you remove “harjah” Sharjah, then it becomes 23-21!
So if someone says that we are poor travellers and home tigers say that’s only in Tests. We are rich travellers and outside India we are tigers too when it comes to the shorter formats of the game at least!
The author is a Bengaluru-based journalist and blogger.
He blogs at http://www.sunilrajguru.com/