In this edition, as a build-up to the Cricket World Cup 2019 which is just round the corner, we’ll be analysing the performance of the participating teams (10 teams) over the past 4 years since the previous World Cup (March 2015).
Note: All numbers presented in this post are for the duration Apr 1, 2015 to Mar 10, 2019 for matches played by and against the teams participating in CWC2019. So matches played between India and Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE, England and Scotland, etc. aren’t included. All Teams on an average have played about 50-70 ODIs in the past 4 years (basis above criteria) except Afghanistan which has featured only in 11 ODIs against the other 9 competing teams.
While analysing overall team performance in a format, I thought looking at W/L (Wins/Losses Ratio) was a good start. Basis W/L ratio for the past 4 years, the 10 teams could broadly be clustered into 5 groups
- Favourites – England, India; Expected to definitely finish in the Top 2 in League stage. Anything less than Top 2 Finish will be considered an “upset”
- Likely Top 4 Finish – New Zealand, South Africa; obvious choice to complete the Top 4, alongside India and England
- Challengers – Australia, Pakistan, Bangladesh; Top 4 finish is not a given, but cannot be completely ruled out
- Namesakes – West Indies, Sri Lanka; added into the mix just to complete the pool. No chance of qualifying for Semi Finals. It’s sad considering these 2 teams together have won 3 World Cups in the past. I’ll shave my head if either of the teams qualify for Top 4 in 2019 CWC.
- Dark Horse – Afghanistan; you never know!
The grouping broadly does justice to the W/L record these teams have demonstrated over the past 4 years.
Take a look at the Stat below:
England is leagues ahead of everyone else. India is a clear #2.
India’s phenomenal W/L record took a beating thanks to the recent Home series against Australia where they lost thrice.
Another interesting aspect to note is that Afghanistan have won more matches than they’ve lost. Considering their phenomenal bowling stats (best among all teams), don’t be surprised if they cause a couple of big upsets in the league stage. Afghanistan vs England will be a contest to watch out for (Best bowling team vs explosive batting team).
In run chases, England’s W/L ratio stands out further, while India is consistent both while chasing and defending a total.
If you’re one of those teams playing England in the World Cup, here’s a free tip. Win the toss and don’t dare let England chase!!! Thank me later.
I’ve also put together Batting and Bowling Stats by team, separately for “Overall”, “In Wins” and “In losses”.
While all the stats are available in tables below, some observations:
- England have been this successful predominantly because of their batting; in fact, their bowling performance over the past 4 years is one of the worst (comparable to Sri Lanka)
- England is the only team that strikes at 100+ with the bat; secret of their success. Unleashing their explosive and deep batting line up on the poor bowlers. Even though India average better with the bat (best in fact), because England bat real deep, they score ~30 runs higher on an average per innings, compared to other teams, which gives them the edge, despite their below average bowling
- There’s no match to Afghanistan in the bowling department – they have the best Bowling Avg, best Economy Rate and best Bowling Strike Rate. India is second best in terms of bowling average and economy rate, among all teams
- New Zealand and South Africa’s Overall Bowling Stats exactly mirror each other; South Africa has a slight edge over NZ in the batting department
- SL and West Indies – well, let’s not waste time there. Whoever wins the SL vs WI contest will finish 9th in the League stage
Can you infer anything else from the Bowling and Batting Stats? Do you want me to look at any other stats in specific? Shoot them in the comments section.
Brace yourselves, #SriniStats is back!