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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 World Cup - end of League stage

The eight quarter-finalists have been identified after the lengthy league stages. Though not many surprises in the eight, the league stages did show up some teams in terms of their big-match temperament and endurance in the BIG tournaments. Ireland came close to qualification but fell at the last hurdle. Pakistan took the format as an advantage to become better and finalize their top-selections (non-choice Sarfraz was the MoM in their eventual match). Injuries have hampered all teams but by the time the matches start, everyone should be ready to fire.

How do you then identify the players who did well? Let us look at the bowlers and batsmen - not just the highest run-scorer but also players who performed on all parameters. What are the parameters?
  1. In batting, the most important in this format is the strike rate and average. One more parameter that I feel critical is the Rotation-Rate. Check this link for my rationale for the Rotation Rate and how it works.
  2. In bowling, the key parameters are Economy Rate, Strike Rate and Average. 
Using these, I have tried to list the players who have scored minimum of 250 runs and taken at least eight wickets. What do the results show?

Batting



  1. No surprises to see Glen Maxwell at the top of this list. With a strike-rate close to 200 and rotation-rate more than 85%, he is the clear-cut favorite for the best batsman in this World Cup. He has not scored much because of limited opportunities (other players in the Aussie lineup are to blame). 
  2. Sangakkara occupies second place because of the volume of runs at a decent strike rate and rotation rate
  3. AB De Villiers and David Miller are the other players to note in terms of these aspects - no surprises there.
  4. What should be of concern to the Indian team is Mushfiqur Rahim's presence quite high in this list. His strike rotation seems to be quite good (within the overall Top 10). 
  5. On the other hand, Shikhar Dhawan seems to be inclined more on boundaries rather than rotation. 

Bowling


  1. Mitchell Starc tops this list due to his wicket-haul as well as low economy rate - clearly the front-runner for the Best Bowler award
  2. The Black Caps have four bowlers in the Top 15 while four Indians also appear in this list - main reason for their six victories. The other seven include two Proteas, one West Indian, one Scot, two Australians, one Pakistani.
  3. No Bangladesh bowler in this list at all. Is it a show of batting for the Banglas where there is representation from Afghanistan, UAE and Zimbabwe too?
  4. Sri Lanka has just one bowler in the top 15 - they must be keen for Herath to come back.
What are your thoughts on these numbers?
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