Is cricket a batters game these days?

Captain McCullum of New Zealand walks off with his team after losing to England during the final cricket match of their one day international series at Eden ParkUmmm…No. I could just leave it there, but let me explain.

We are hearing cricket commentators, talk radio hosts, lounge-lizard commentators complaining that cricket has become a game for batsmen to the sake of the bowlers. This is rubbish.

Sometimes a batter dominates a game, see Gayle 215, Warner 178, Villers 162* etc…sometimes a bowler dominates, see Southee 7/33, Starc 6/26, Boult 5/27 etc…What about Vettori 3.21 runs per over, Tredwell at 3.57, Starc at 3.67. Seems some bowlers are happy to dominate the game, and not allow the batters to run the show.

Most importantly though the theme to much of this commentary is batting dominates the game now. Lets look at that.

To date at the Cricket World Cup 2015 the average winning score has been 266 runs. That includes results like match 26 when Australia won by close to 200 runs and Game 13 where India scored 130 more runs that South Africa. So all the largest totals are in that 266 average, regardless of what the losing score was.

At the 1992 Cricket World Cup the average winning score was 211 and at the ’92 World Cup there wasn’t the minnows as there are now, and we didn’t see the massive disparity in some scores. That means today the average is higher than ’92 due in part to several massive blow-outs thanks to the smaller nations.

Even taking that into consideration, the difference between the average winning score today, and 23 years ago is around 50 runs a match, or 1 run per over and I’m respectfully sorry Sir Curtly, an average increase of 1 run per over does not equate a balanced competition of two decades ago, turning to an unfair batting advantage in 2015.

Cricket World Cup Knockouts are lining up to be…

So I’ve geeked out and had a look at the likely line-ups for the Quarters and Semis for #CWC15.

In my predictions the only guess that I’m not so sure about is if England or Bangladesh will be there but either way they end up in the same place in the Quarters, to be knocked out by India.

So my predictions for the final pool positions, and the run through the knock-out stage looks like this.

CWC table

I have taken out my abacus and worked some MS-DOS based logarithms to get the right teams in the correct Quarters as some teams (if there) are guaranteed certain games, but if you see an error I am happy to be corrected.

I also think that QF1 is ripe for an upset and Sri Lanka could knock out South Africa and there’s a slim chance that Pakistan could upset Australia. When it comes to the Semis it’s actually anybody’s game and I won’t stand by them with such certainty.

I do think that if Australia is in the final, they will win…that’s my head talking, not my heart obviously.

Go the Blackcaps!