Note: Below mentioned story is a purely hypothetical one. Think of it as just another probability problem. Don’t get into the complexities of real world. Everything you need to ponder upon is already mentioned in the story.
After the recent India-SA test series, the big question is which is the better test team. Obviously, if we go by test rankings India is currently the number 1 test team and the mighty SA the second in the list. But ICC decided to organize a three match series between the two sides to decide the ultimate team. They propose to Indian cricket team – if they can win at least two consecutive matches they will be declared the number 1 team of all times. The three matches will be played alternatively in India and South Africa. The Indian team can decide the order, either they can choose to play in India-SA-India or SA-India-SA. The ICC also lifted up the 5 day constraint – which means each match will end up with a result for sure, no draw. For quite obvious reasons the probability of India winning a match in India is more than India winning a match in SA.
Now the question in front of BCCI is to select the order of venues to maximize the probability of India becoming the best test team of all times.
BCCI first came up with the order – India-SA-India, which also sounds obvious. But, when they later realized that India has to win at least two consecutive matches to prove their supremacy, they changed the order to SA-India-SA which is not so obvious but of course the correct strategy (at least probabilistically).
Do some calculations yourself to appreciate the BCCI’s final decision.