With 15 matches now done and dusted in the ICC Cricket World Cup, there are a few trends to look back on that may inform us plenty about what is ahead in the tournament. Discussed by The Stats Zone’s head honcho Rob Esteva and Martyn Hindley in the latest edition of podcast Silly Point, here are four key points to share.
1 Weight of top order runs of paramount importance
In itself, no surprise but brought into sharper focus by bowling attacks pinning their hopes on early wickets at the top of the innings. Six tons have been scored so far with three of those coming from three different England players, followed by two from India and one from Shakib al Hasan (Bangladesh). Five of those six centuries have been recorded by players in the top three, showing the importance of stifling that early bowling aggression and just why England and India are at the top of the pile when it comes to tournament favouritism with the bookies.
2 David Warner yet to fire on all cylinders
Over the course of his ODI career (and, indeed, in all forms of the game) David Warner has been known as a swashbuckling strokemaker having scored at a strike rate of 95.47 in 109 matches. Showing more of a measured approach in this tournament has yielded two half-centuries – against Afghanistan and India – but the strike rate of a fraction under 72 in this tournament has underwhelmed and arguably contributed to pressuring his colleagues in a mammoth chase at The Oval against India. It’s a key balance that the holders are grappling with since re-integrating Warner and Steve Smith to the international set-up.
3 How much do we read into Bangladesh v Sri Lanka head-to-head?
The form book between the two makes miserable reading for the Tigers, victorious on 7 occasions against their Asian rivals, compared to Sri Lanka’s 36. Indeed, Bangladesh were hammered around Melbourne when the two nations last met in the ICC Cricket World Cup and Tillekeratne Dilshan joined Kumar Sangakkara in piling on a century. But their Tuesday meeting in Bristol is a rare meeting in the Northern Hemisphere and Sri Lanka’s transitional period just got trickier with the news that Nuwan Pradeep – who recorded a 4-wicket haul against Afghanistan – is out of the tournament through injury. It’s for this reason that Bangladesh are marginal bookies’ favourites on the World Cup odds by BetEasy.
4 Pakistan fighting recent history once more
It’s a familiar tournament tale for Pakistan to show their best qualities when you least expect it and the same will happen in Taunton on Wednesday when they meet Australia. The Aussies are on an 8-match winning streak against Pakistan in ODIs but the World Cup head-to-head is much more even, with Pakistan having won four and lost five of their previous meetings, the latter including the 1999 Cricket World Cup Final at Lord’s.
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