This format of playing against each other has its own strength which teams should take advantage, especially those who suffered in last 2019. This keeping the weather in mind here in India. On paper its easy to say team playing last match has an advantage over others team. If one can keep their NRR above water (0.00) then you would need to worry during last of the tournament.
Since its played in Asia where surface is conducive for batting in limited overs cricket, there still would be some help for fast bowlers. The new edition of kookaburra is bit different from previous production. The lacquer lasts for more time, allowing bowlers to use movement as their weapon. Having said that, it is also about controlling your swing keeping it accurate, making batsman play each ball..till the swing lasts.
These are the initial skills a fast bowler need to have in a 50-over match.
Coming back to format each team plays against each other with average gap of 3-5 days between matches. However since matches played all over the country teams will be travelling constantly across 10 plus cities.
This will take a toll on player’s physical fitness and mental strength. How bad they want to win it, and how hungry they are to win this World Cup. Format of playing against each other has its own unique advantage. Teams could pick players accordingly and give their best!.
Every team is decently build with their best available players.
Being the host and in-form team are certainly one of the favourites to win the World Cup
Their overall success rate this year is about 71.42% with batting being their X-factor. When batting first(11 ODIs)they manage to score 300+in 7 matches with only 2 losses. When bowling first (10 ODIs)in 6 games they restricted teams under 250 winning all matches.
In last 2 series (Asia Cup and v/s Australia)their gap factor in avg is 21! (Bat avg 44.25- Bowl avg 23.15) They have excelled in all indictors and ticked all boxes. There are couple of cocerns for them
- batting form of veterans Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Currently they are relying heavily on young opener Shubman Gill to give them consistent start.
- Being one of the best bowling team and having excelled in all bowling indices, one indicator is of some concern, i.e % of boundary over. Currently in these 2 series 54 % of their bowling overs has at least 1 boundary. They concede 1 in every 10 balls which is good, but they lack consistency in doing this.
England reminds me of “quick costume change”.
During a theatre act an artist has to various costume to suit his/her character. They would go behind stage and change their outlook for different role they would enact, and sometimes an actor would play more than 2 characters all in one story!. These artists need to change their costume quickly to get into the role.
England have imbibed the same method for all format!. You would have find various players from one format participating in other format. Hence their player’s pool is getting larger and larger.
Since Jan 2023 their success rate is 58.33%. Like India they too rely heavily on their batting. When batting first(9 ODIs) they surpassed 300 scores in 6 ODIs winning 5 of them.
Australia have won 5 World Cups and one Twenty20 World Cup. Their self-expectation are very high, and it could be their greatest weakness going into this World Cup. The apparent one is their bowling, which would surprise everyone!.
Since Jan this year, when bowling first (6 ODIs) they have conceded 300+scores in 4 ODIs – losing all.
Their stalwart bowler Mitchell Starc is the most inconsistent new bowler going around. For a strike bowler his success depends on his bowling rhythm. On average he concedes one boundary in his first over and his first ball is always fuller in length, either outside off or on to pads.
Trent Boult another left-arm fast bowler, with different action with slight less speed is the most consistent first over left arm fast bowler going round!.
Earlier this year against England, Boult conceded only 4 runs in 2 overs he opened the bowling and 7 against Bangladesh. Interestingly last year in Australia in first overs of those 3 ODIs he only conceded 1 run!.
Starc need to find his accuracy specially his first 2 overs with new ball.
They like India and England have covered all facet of game and in term of leadership, this challenge is very similar to Ashes series that was played earlier this year.
With them fear is key component –fear of failure. This has led them to produce regular mediocre performance against quality teams. Adding to this they lack bowling discipline. During the repeat match against India in Asia Cup their bowlers were getting lot of movement in power play. In every over they troubled Indian openers. There was too much swing, which they were not able to control and master. Instead they ended up conceding 356. The apparent weakness is their fielding (historic) and lack of experience quality power hitters at the end. Their batting is strong but not intimating like other teams like England, India and Australia.
They could have Shaheen Afridi batting up the order, and can play role of a bowling all-rounder. He has done well in PSL as a lower order batsman.
When they are winning they have on-field high energy, which is inconsistent.
In my earlier post I mentioned New Zealand is more concern about building a Total Cricket team and not worry about result. Their performance in last 12 months reflects that. They have only 40% success rate in 20 ODIs played this year.
When batting first(8 ODIs) only once they crossed 300 score. However their bowling is the most concern part of their ODI cricket. Only twice they restricted teams under 250 when bowling first (11 ODIs)
Their success rate this year is excellent. They have won 8 in 12 ODIs played this year. Their batting has become stronger in last couple of years, however its their bowling that has been very ordinary. When bowling first in 6 ODIs, only once they restricted teams under 250.
There is lot of raw talent with minimum experience in current lot of players. These players are product of franchise cricket both home and away. Among them are there few good leaders. Hence one is surprised they have not picked a specialist captain to lead South Africa in this World Cup.
Temba Bavuma(TB) is hard working batsman but an in-experienced captain.
There is constant improvement with Sri Lanka. This year their overall success rate is 63.63% , but against top teams they fail to win!.
They have concern in both batting and bowling – They need to lose less wickets against top teams. And their bowling is effective if conditions suits them!.
On paper they are stronger than Sri Lanka comprising experienced players. Nevertheless like Sri Lanka they perform poorly against top teams. The concern is both in batting and bowling.
There is a great improvement in their batting now. While batting first they have surpassed 300 twice, against top teams(Pakistan and Bangladesh). Their overall bowling is above average as they manage to pick 9 plus wickets in 5 ODIs (11 ODIs total).
Below is statistical analysis of all teams based on their last series played.
Here is list of ODI series
- New Zealand in England. England won 4 match series 3-1
- New Zealand in Bangladesh. New Zealand won the 3 match series 2-0
- Asia Cup. India won beating Sri Lanka in the finals
- Ireland in England. England won the 3 match series 1-0
- Australia in South Africa. South Africa won the 5 match series 3-2
- Australia in India. India won the 3 match series 2-1
- Netherlands played their last series World Cup qualifier. I have not updated all data from those matches.