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    February 08, 2011

    Predicting the 2011 World Cup semi-finalists

    If the last couple of weeks were primarily around World Cup selections and omissions, the focus this week is on players being ruled out through injury (Mike Hussey, Nathan Hauritz, Eoin Morgan and Praveen Kumar).

    A few others like Jacques Kallis, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Paul Collingwood, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Ricky Ponting and Shaun Tait are still out of action, and we'll definitely hear about more withdrawals over the next few days.

    Moving on from injuries, can we use the period from after the 2007 World Cup to identify trends related to how various teams would perform?

    I'm restricting the analysis to games involving only the top 9 teams. (Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka & West Indies). Where required, I filter out matches not played on the sub-continent. Although Pakistan isn't a host, having played there gives teams a half-decent idea of the conditions they can expect at other venues. One problem though is that West Indies has only played 3 ODIs in the sub-continent in the period, and one was rained out!

    The parameters I consider are overall win-loss record, team stability (measured as # of matches / # of players), overall batting average, batting average for top order (#1-#4), middle order (#5-#7) & lower order (#8-#11), overall bowling average, wickets per match and overall bowling economy rate.

    Here's how the rankings look across those parameters.

    W/L record in the sub-continent: India, South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, England, New Zealand, Bangladesh & West Indies

    Team stability (no sub-continent filter): India, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka & England

    Overall batting average: Australia, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England, West Indies, Bangladesh & New Zealand

    Top order batting average: South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, West Indies, England, Bangladesh & New Zealand

    Middle order: Australia, India, Pakistan, England, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, West Indies & South Africa

    Lower order: New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, England, Australia & West Indies

    Bowling average: Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Pakistan, Australia, India, Bangladesh & West Indies

    Wickets per match: South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, England, Bangladesh, Australia, India, New Zealand & West Indies

    Economy rate: New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, England, Australia, Pakistan, Bangladesh & India

    Assign ranks to each of the teams in the categories (e.g. for the sub-continent w/l record data, the ranks would be 1: India, 2: South Africa, 3: Australia, etc.). Add up the total ranks across all categories. The teams with the lowest 4 totals are the most likely to get to the semis based on the past trends.

    New Zealand48
    South Africa29
    Sri Lanka35
    West Indies68

    This indicates that the 4 semi-finalists would be South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka & India with Pakistan also being in the reckoning. Sri Lanka & Australia are in group A while the South Africa & India are in group B. So at least it won't be an impossible situation.

    A few things are very obvious from the individual parameter rankings: South Africa have had a fragile middle order. Australia's lower order batting has been weak & their bowling in the sub-continent hasn't been too great. Sri Lanka's bowling has done a great job so far. India's bowling has been downright pathetic. Pakistan are sort of average across all parameters and so suffer in comparison to teams who have good stats across 3-4 parameters & bad ones in the remaining parameters. New Zealand's tail end batting and bowling (econ rate) have been really good. England have trouble with their batting. Bangladesh gets saved by their middle & lower order pretty much each time.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:52 pm |
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    17 sledge(s):

    Chances of Australia are very less, so is South Africa. Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and England might play semis.

    By Anonymous Zaheer (17-Feb-2011, 8:36:00 pm)  

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    By Blogger Nazir (19-Feb-2011, 11:21:00 am)  

    That was really good analysis. But Pakistan is always unpredictable and can surprise any team on their day. So i would give Pak. a chance over than the Aussies who are no where close to their best. Recently i happened to read an article on Cricket a Batsman game which was quite interesting i would like to bring it to ur kind attention. Below mentioned is an excerpt of the mentioned article. Controversies related to bat started in the match between Surrey v Hampshire on September 1771, when the player named White from Surrey brought a bat which had the width of the stumps and effectively defended his stumps from the bowler. This incident is considered to be the reason why the laws of game were amended in 1774, limiting the maximum width of the bat to 4¼ inches. Other than this, Dennis Lillee using an aluminium bat, Ricky Ponting using a carbon graphite... To read more go this way,

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    By Anonymous World Cup 2011 Schedule (02-Mar-2011, 9:43:00 pm)  

    I agree with your prediction. What i have done is look at team performances in the 24 months prior to WC for the last 7 wc. There is a very strong correlation between W/L records in that period and SF qualification. Another factor which correlated strongly to W/L record was runs scored by batsmen (team average). Based on that my prediction was exactly identical to yours, except i left room for a 25% surprise factor based on historical records. You can check out full details here

    By Anonymous BR Deshpande (10-Mar-2011, 3:23:00 am)  

    All you guys can think about is your team being BEST or watever .pak entered quarterfinals as TOP team ....beat the Cr** out of WI at 112 runs ALL out (so basically broken quite a few records there) and now going to semi finals with flying COLOURS .....

    So stop calling INDIA a top team and get realistic ...DO SOMETHING ELSE

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    This is a good post and before world cup i believe that England would win the World cup but at the quarter finals they loss the match.

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    it was india in the end who won the competition.

    By Anonymous Cricket forums (20-Jan-2013, 6:11:00 pm)  

    in my opinion I think that your predictions on the 2011 world cup semi finals were pretty precise and I would like to hear your predictions for the next world cup too, I can´t wait for it :D

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