In one of my many conversations on facebook, I mentioned that Australia had been outplayed by Pakistan during the home series held in England.
One of my Pro-Australian friends differed and said that the statement was true if only I had added "given the amount of test cricket Pakistan had played against quality opposition".
Fair enough I thought.
My statement was based on the fact that the tour results show 3 wins for Pakistan and 1 for Australia.
So surely Pakistan were the better team winning the T20 series 2-0 and drawing the test series 1-1.
So then, were Australia outplayed?
I dug into some statistics relating to the two tests; yes the series was drawn but a comparison of player to player performances shows a startling revelation.
Pakistan's top 6 batsmen scored more runs than Australia's; the difference is almost a 100 runs with the Pakistanis averaging 28.6 per batsman per innings, 4 runs more than the Aussies.
Salman Butt was the top scorer in the series and the only batsman on both sides to average over 50.
Now that is some statistic considering that the series involved the likes of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, and Simon Katich!
The difference between the top order batsmen is even more glaring with the Pakistani top 3 - Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, and Azhar Ali - scoring 150 more runs in 4 innings than their Aussie counterparts - Simon Katich, Shane Watson, and Ricky Ponting.
The opening partnerships show the difference between the starts that both the teams got in the 4 innings they played. While the Salman and Imran averaged 42 per innings as a pair, Katich and Watson averaged only 26.
The biggest difference between the two teams, however, is in the bowling performances.
The Pakistan trio of Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif, and Umar Gul accounted for 30 of the 40 Australian wickets to fall during the test series. They tormented the Aussies at the crease and they have the statistics to show for it!
An average of just under 23 among the 3 of them and a strike rate of 42.9; the Pakistanis picked up an Australian wicket almost every 7th over.
In comparison, the Aussie trio of Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus, and Mitchell Johnson did so every 10 overs. Australia's pace battery could manage only 16 wickets over the 2 tests - a stark difference to what their Pakistani counterparts managed.
Shane Watson was the best bowler on both sides picking up as many wickets as Aamer and Asif; however at a much cheaper rate.
But the problem with Australia lied in the fact that their top 3 pacers could not do what the Pakistanis could - pick wickets up at regular intervals.
So then, were the Australians outplayed during the test series or not?