The Best and Worst – An Eye on the World Cup

The Best and Worst – An Eye on the World Cup

The 2019 World Cup is about 7 months away and most teams will now be looking to fine tune their squads and make sure that they have all their bases covered. In this piece, we will look at the performance of teams from the last world cup till date (October 20, 2018), to give a sneak peak into which teams are the most prepared going into the World Cup year. The below tables list down the best and worst teams for a number of different parameters. The analysis covers all the teams that will be playing the 2019 World except Afghanistan (since the sample size of their cricket against top-quality opposition is too small), namely India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, England, South Africa and West Indies (collectively referred to as “Teams”).

 

S. No. Parameter Best (above) /Worst (below) Team
1 OPENING BATTING INDIA

India’s opening
batsmen individually average 53.1 (the second best team is
Australia, whose openers individually average 45.2), and have
scored 21 centuries (second best team is England, whose openers
have scored 17 centuries). Together, they have posted 14 opening
partnerships of 100-plus runs (the second best team is England,
whose openers have posted nine 100-plus opening partnerships).
However, despite these outstanding numbers, it is worth noting
that India’s average opening stand of 48.8 is only the third
best, with South Africa (55.4) and Australia (50.4) putting up a
better opening stand on average, which could be an indicator that
India’s opener need to fire together more consistently.

WEST INDIES

West Indies’
openers have not posted a single 100-plus opening stand, and even
individually have scored only 3 centuries. The openers
individually average only 26.6 and their average opening stand is
a similar 25.5, both of which are the worst among the Teams

2 MIDDLE ORDER BATTING (NOS. 3 TO 7) INDIA

India’s
middle-order batsmen average 45.2, marginally more than England’s
middle-order batsmen (44.1). However, England’s middle-order
batsmen have scored the most centuries (24, compared to India’s
19), and also have the best strike rate (98.5, compared to India’s
91.7).

WEST INDIES

With an average of
28.8, West Indies’ are the only one of the Teams whose
middle-order batsmen average less than 30. With a strike rate of
77.8, West Indies’ are also the only one of the Teams whose
middle-order batsmen have a strike rate less than 80.

3 SLOG OVERS BATTING (LAST 10 OVERS)* ENGLAND

On average, England
score 83 runs in the last 10 overs of an ODI innings, scoring a
boundary every 6.4 balls. The next best team is South Africa, who
score 79 runs, with a boundary every 6.8 balls.

SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka score only
65 runs on average in the last 10 overs of an ODI innings, scoring
a boundary only every 9.5 balls and both those stats are the worst
amongst the Teams.
4 AVERAGE PARTNERSHIP INDIA

India’s batsmen
post a partnership of 45 runs on average. They only other team
that posts 40-plus run partnerships on average is England (41.3).
Interestingly, England have posted more 50-plus partnerships (146)
compared to India (116), though India have more 100-plus
partnerships (52) than England (49).

WEST INDIES’

West Indies’
average partnership is only 26.5, and they have posted only 55
stands of 50-plus run, both of which numbers are the worst amongst
the Teams.

5 FREQUENCY OF CENTURIES INDIA

At least one India
batsman posts a century once every 2 games (1.7 to be precise).
The only other team whose batsmen post a century once every 2
games is England (1.8). However, England’s batsmen post 2 scores
of 50 or more every match, something that no other team does.

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka’s
batsmen post a century only once every 6 games, which is by far
the worst amongst the Team. West Indies’ batsmen, who are next
worst, post a century every 4.9 games. However, Sri Lanka’s
batsmen do post at lease one score of 50 or more each game, while
West Indies (0.9) are the only one amongst the Teams whose batsmen
don’t post even one 50-plus score on average per game.

6 AVERAGE SCORE ENGLAND

England, with an
average first innings score of 313, are the only team to set their
opposition a 300-plus target on average. The next two teams on
this list are Australia (298) and India (292). England have made
23 scores of 300-plus runs when batting first, followed by South
Africa (13), Australia (12), India (11) and Pakistan (10).

WEST INDIES

West Indies’
average first innings score of 255 is the worst amongst the Teams,
followed by Bangladesh (261) and Sri Lanka (262). West Indies have
made only two 300-plus scores, followed by Bangladesh (6) and Sri
Lanka (9).

7 SUCCESS BATTING FIRST INDIA

Despite having the
highest average first-innings score, England, with a win
percentage of 59% are not the team with the best record batting
first. Both India (66%) and South Africa (61%) have better win
percentages. England have lost 5 games after scoring 300-plus runs
in the first innings, while South Africa have not lost a single
game when they have scored 300-plus runs. India have won 8 and
lost 3 such games.

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka have an
abysmal win percentage of 23.7% when batting first. They have only
won 9 out of their 38 games batting first. The other Teams with a
win percentage of less than 50% when batting first are Pakistan
(48%), Australia (46%) and West Indies (33%).

8 SUCCESS CHASING ENGLAND

England have an
astonishing 74% win rate when chasing, which is head and shoulders
above India (67%) and South Africa (60%) who are the next best.
England have chased down a 300-plus score on 6 occasions, while no
other team has done this more than twice.

WEST INDIES

West Indies have won
only 6 out of 27 games chasing, a win percentage of only 22%. In
their entire ODI history, West Indies have scored 300-plus runs in
a successful chase on only 2 occasions, which is the fewest for
any of the Teams.

 

9

PERFORMANCE AFTER LOSING TOSS ENGLAND

England win 69% of
their games when the lose the toss, which is even better than when
they win the toss (63%), clearly an indication that conditions
don’t impact England’s fortunes. The next best teams are South
Africa (67%), New Zealand (62%) and India (61%). India are the
best of the Teams when they win the toss (73%), while South Africa
(56%) and New Zealand (48%), like England, are surprisingly better
when they lose the toss.

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka win only
34% of their games when they win the toss, just behind West Indies
(35%). Both teams are significantly worse when they win toss, with
West Indies winning just 17% of the games, and Sri Lanka 22%.

10 SPIN BOWLING INDIA

India’s spinners
have the best average (30.03) amongst the teams, though their
strike rate (37.1) and economy rate (4.85) are marginally inferior
to that of South Africa (37.0) and Bangladesh (4.80) respectively.
In terms of picking up 4-wicket hauls, England’s spinners, who
don’t otherwise have very impressive numbers, lead the way with
nine 4-wicket hauls, followed by Pakistan (8) and India (7).

WEST INDIES

West Indies’
spinners have the poorest average and (48.59) and strike rate
(58.5) from amongst the Teams. However, their spinners have a
reasonably good economy rate (4.98), which is only worse than
India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and significantly better than
Australia (5.72), whose spinners have the worst economy rate from
amongst the Teams.

11 FAST BOWLING BANGLADESH

Bangladesh are the
only team whose pacers average less than 30. Not only do they have
the best average (29.1), they also have the best strike rate
(33.1) and best economy rate (5.25) from amongst the Teams.
However, Bangladesh rely quite heavily on their spin attack which
means their pacers have only taken 211 wickets in all, which is
much less than Australia (366), England (340) and New Zealand
(316), who lead in terms of number of wickets.

WEST INDIES

West Indies’
pacers average 37.3, which is the worst amongst the Teams, closely
followed by Sri Lanka (36.2). West Indies (39.1) and Sri Lanka
(38.1) have the two worst pace attacks in terms of strike rate as
well. Even in terms of economy rate, West Indies is the poorest
(5.71), with the next worst team being England (5.70).

12 NEW-BALL BOWLING (FIRST 15 OVERS)* PAKISTAN

In the first 15
overs of an ODI innings, Pakistan concede only 70 runs on average,
and pick up almost 2 wickets (1.9 to be precise). South Africa
(2.2) and England (2.1) do pick up wickets at a marginally higher
rate, but both team concede about 77 runs in the first 15 overs,
compared to Pakistan’s 70.

AUSTRALIA

Both Sri Lanka and
Australia concede about 82 runs in the first 15 overs, but
Australia find themselves at the bottom of this analysis because
they pick up only 1.7 wickets on average which worse than Sri
Lanka’s 1.8.

13 MIDDLE-OVERS BOWLING (16-40 OVERS)* INDIA

On average, India
restrict their opposition to 176 for 6 (5.6 to be precise) during
the middle-overs. Bangladesh concedes marginally fewer runs (173),
but takes only 4.8 wickets. South Africa takes 5.6 wickets,
similar to India, but they concede 185 runs compared to India’s
176.

ENGLAND

England concede 194
runs in the middle overs, the most for any team, though they do
pick-up a respectable 5 wickets. West Indies pick up only 4.1, the
fewest for any team, but also they concede only 182 runs, which is
better than England, South Africa (186), Australia (191), Sri
Lanka (193) and New Zealand (193).

14 DEATH-OVERS BOWLING (LAST 10 OVERS)* INDIA

India concede only
68 runs on average in the last 10 overs of an innings, which is
the fewest amongst the Teams. India pick up 3.4 wickets in the
last 10 overs, which is worse than Australia (3.9), Bangladesh
(3.8) and South Africa (3.6), but all of those teams concede more
runs than India – 69, 70 and 72 respectively.

WEST INDIES AND SRI LANKA

West Indies concede
the most runs (81), and pick second-fewest number wickets (2.96),
while Sri Lanka concede the second-most runs (80) and pick up the
fewest wickets (2.94).

15 WIN % IN ENGLAND ENGLAND

Expectedly, the home
team has the best record, having won 30 out of the 42 games
played, with a win percentage of 71%. The next best teams, India
and Pakistan, are a distant second with a win percentage of 50%.

WEST INDIES

West have played 5
games in England and not won any of them. Sri Lanka are marginally
better with 1 win from 8 games. Australia have a pretty poor
record as well, having won only 3 of the 13 games they have
played, giving them a win percentage of 23%.

16 GETTING BOWLED OUT INDIA

India have got
bowled out in only 18% of their games, followed by England (23%)
and South Africa (23%). However, when India do get bowled out,
they don’t cope very well, and lose 92% of their games. England
cope best when bowled out, and win 24% of games even when they get
bowled out.

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka get bowled
in 45% of their games, which is 6% more than any other team. They
are also the team that copes worst with being bowled out, and lose
94% of games when they get bowled out. They have been bowled out
in 33 of their 74 games, and won just 2 of those 33 games where
they have been bowled out.

* Ball-by-ball data courtesy ESPNcricinfo

The above list of parameters is by no means an exhaustive list based on which a team’s form may be conclusively determined, but it certainly provides a reasonable indication of the same. Accordingly, from the above table, there is no question that India and England are top of pack and would have to be considered favourites for the World Cup, leading the way in 9 and 5 of the parameters respectively. It is equally clear that West Indies and Sri Lanka are bottom of the pack, holding the wooden spoon in 9 and 6 parameters respectively. Pakistan and Bangladesh also find themselves on the top of a parameter each, while England and Australia find themselves at the bottom of a parameter each. The teams flying under the radar, not finding themselves at the top or bottom of a single parameter are New Zealand and South Africa. In conclusion, it is probably be fair to say that it would be very surprising if neither England nor India make the final and it would be extremely surprising if either West Indies or Sri Lanka made it out of the group stage.

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