T20 Ratings - WT20 Final Edition
Russell Degnan

FinalFormGamesWin. Prob.
1.Sri Lanka2576.6+55.321.7
4.West Indies2505.0+69.821.9
 Sri Lanka by 11 runs65.1%

Sri Lanka's victory over Pakistan gave them the mantle of the world's best side; add in home advantage, the most balanced bowling attack in the competition and some of its most outstanding batsmen, and they are deserved favourites for the final. Their semi-final victory was steady, rather than dominant, with multiple contributors, and no real drama. That is a good sign, provided someone steps up further when they are really tested, which to a degree they have yet to been. Arguably, given England's troubles, and their comparative failures versus New Zealand and South Africa, Sri Lanka's only really impressive performance has been against the West Indies.

That does, and doesn't bode well for both teams. For the West Indies, the knowledge that they scored 129 without a contribution from Gayle or Pollard, and bowled badly, without Badree, means that they have plenty of room to make amends. Whether they can do so is another matter, they have, after all, really only won two matches in the tournament to date, but as I've emphasised throughout, there is a lot of randomness to go with skill in a T20. Their last win was proof they can win the trophy, if they can replicate the performance.


Australia turned ou to be exactly what everyone said they were all along. A team dependent on its top-3, ill-suited to slower wickets, with a flailing middle-order. To be fair, most teams need runs from their top-3. If they fail a team is normally behind on both runs and wickets, and T20 is a very hard game to come from behind in. Bailey showed great determination to keep going, with an innings as good as any in the tournament, but his bowlers, particularly his spinners left them far too much to do.

Pakistan leave somewhat anonymously. They recorded wins over all the southern hemisphere sides, and were beaten soundly by their fellow Asians. Their batsmen never seemed to have enough runs to provide a consistent challenge, and their bowling lacked the bite of previous tournament victories. In a tournament full of flawed sides they weren't far from making the final, but that applies to most sides that were here.

Cricket - Ratings - T20 7th October, 2012 00:46:23   [#] [1 comment] 

T20 Ratings - WT20 Semi Finals Edition
Russell Degnan

Respective national presses can't help but dissect the disappointments of failed campaigns, but a reality check is in order, not least to demonstrate that small groups and closely ranked teams produce uncertain results.

New Zealand needed 2 runs to qualify, 1 in each tied game.
England needed about 3 more runs from New Zealand to push their NRR above West Indies.
South Africa needed 2 runs against India, and maybe 6 against Pakistan.
India needed South Africa to score those 6 against Pakistan.

It takes considerably more runs to displace Australia or Sri Lanka, who rightly head the table, but given no team is undefeated they are merely favourites, not certainties.

Semi-final 1FormGamesWin. Prob.
2.Sri Lanka2557.1+64.719.7
 Sri Lanka by 11 runs65.1%

Pakistan have been typically difficult to read in this tournament. Their T20 experience and record in global events is unparalleled, but they've merely drifted along just doing enough to beat South Africa and New Zealand and beating an Australian team that sets its sights lower relatively early on. Their opponents are at home, playing well, and full of dangerous players. Sri Lanka's batting depth and consistency ought to be enough to win this one.

Semi-final 2FormGamesWin. Prob.
7.West Indies2461.9-22.019.9
 Australia by 16 runs66.6%

Two three men teams. Australia looked very shaky losing to Pakistan, but Mike Hussey took them home, as few others can. Previous to that noone looked like getting past Watson who stomped all over the opposition with bat and ball, with Warner along for the ride. The West Indies have never looked convincing, but if Gayle or Pollard fire with the bat, or Narine - who dominated Australia earlier in the year - does with the ball, they will win any match. Expect Australia to book another final, but don't bet on it.

5.South Africa2496.9+9.427.6
8.New Zealand2432.1+21.624.8

Notwithstanding what I wrote above, none of these teams were unlucky to be knocked out. England never looked settled and while they'll be pleased that Finn continues his upwards trajectory, only Morgan looked like scoring enough runs to give them a target. South Africa need to strip AB de Villiers of something, preferably the gloves, given he isn't that good at it, and a team gets limited value out of a batsman at number 6, let alone a number 7. His captaincy was by the numbers, and at times quite bizarre, notably in the loss to Pakistan. That talent won't be around forever.

India continue to look tired, but the problem is mostly the bowling, which succeeded only against an inept England, and an erratic Pakistan. Kohli is a rare talent, and Yuvraj played well, but there wasn't much else to take from the tournament. And New Zealand just aren't very good. They might count themselves unlucky to hit two super overs - and lose both; a ridiculous concept at the group stage, that merely wastes time and ruins the warmups of other teams. But they wouldn't have got out of their group with half points, and while they might easily have won both games, they never really seemed like they would.

Cricket - Ratings - T20 4th October, 2012 03:04:48   [#] [0 comments] 

T20 Ratings - WT20 Round Two Edition
Russell Degnan

Slightly delayed, and thus back-dated to the start of the second round. Adjust probabilities as appropriate.

For a group accustomed to waiting five days for a result cricket fans are unusually impatient when it comes to getting a result in global tournaments. Every sport starts their show-case slowly. Ths one actualy starts surprisingly quickly, given what rides on early games. To the extent their is a scheduling flaw (and this is almost as meaningful a format as can be created) it could easily be remedied by having the winner of the first group game play the second, and by playing two games per day.

Not that the tournament is not without problems. The scheduling construct that puts moving to the next game ahead of finishing (or playing out as far as possible) the one that had already started. The continuing problem with cricket's rain rule that makes it easy to leave the field and hard to return. The unwelcome (and unnecessary) farce of Duckworth/Lewis calculations, when a split innings, and 10 over determination would be better. It would be nice if the press focused on some of these issues, boring as they are, over rubbishng small teams and proposing unworkable formats.

The first round conformed more or less to expectations. Less so the results. For the second WT20 in a row, no upset occurred, and it increasinbly appears that contrary to widespread unempirical belief it is harder to cause an upset in a T20 match. Most likely, because as any park cricketer could eplain, scoring quickly is a lot harder than staying in. The margins, except for Zimbabwe, were broadly in line with the ratings; the winners of the group stage, except for England, as predicted.

Group 1FormGamesQual. Prob.
4.Sri Lanka2512.0+17.416.758.1%
7.West Indies2476.8+11.416.943.3%
8.New Zealand2407.2+6.321.827.2%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 Sri LankavsNew Zealand16 runs65.1%
 EnglandvsWest Indies14 runs63.7%
 EnglandvsNew Zealand23 runs71.5%
 Sri LankavsWest Indies7 runs56.8%
 New ZealandvsWest Indies9 runs41.4%
 Sri LankavsEngland-7 runs42.9%

The weaker of the two groups by far. England's ating needs to be adjusted downwards to account for them leaving out three of their better batsmen/T20 players in Pietersen, Bell and Owais Shah. That, and the India game demonstrated a complete inability to play spin. Their loss to the West Indies means they must beat Sri Lanka and hope the West Indies don't thrash New Zealand. That is a strong possibility as, notwithstanding their unrecognized tie with Sri Lanka, New Zealand aren't very good. They aren't, however, out of the tournament yet, needing a win over the West Indies and Sri Lanka to beat England. The West Indies are something of an enigma, lacking depth in their squad, when the best players fire they can win anything. Whether they can do that three times in succession is doubtful.

Group 2FormGamesQual. Prob.
5.South Africa2507.024.648.3%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 PakistanvsSouth Africa-4 runs%
 AustraliavsIndia6 runs%
 AustraliavsSouth Africa7 runs%
 IndiavsPakistan4 runs%
 AustraliavsPakistan10 runs%
 IndiavsSouth Africa1 run%

Australia have suddenly gone from officially tenth to potential winners, but my ratings always had them higher, and they'll shortly take the top spot. Like the West Indies, their depth is a worry, as is their tendency to concede huge scores for Watson and Warner to chase. South Africa have improved markedly on where they were, but fell to pieces against Pakistan and, like India, have their work ahead of them. This is an extremely close group though, and any of the four could still make it to the semi-finals.


None of the departees wil be especially pleased with their performance here. Afghanistan ought to have beaten India, but failed due to dropped catches. Against England they lost the ability to construct and innings as well, and fell to a huge loss. Ireland were once again stymied by rain, but undone by a huge first game loss. Bangladesh played reasonably well, and might have sent Pakistan home if their bowlers could do a job. they never really looked like doing so though even with Shakib once again demonstrating his considerable lonely talents. And Zimbabwe? Who knows where they are at. They played at the level of Scotland or Canada here, but two games don't tell you much of anything. That goes for all the teams.

The sixteen team tournament planned for 2014 is in many ways identical to the twelve team one: either way, a weaker team needs to win one of two games against someone in the top-8. But there will be four more, mostly weaker teams, taking their shots, so one is likely to land. Numerous commentators have complained about the predictability of the eight teams making the second round in tournaments constructed to let eight teams go through. There is, of course, a relatively simple solution: don't have an eight team second round. Not exactly rocket science.

Cricket - Ratings - T20 30th September, 2012 09:18:53   [#] [0 comments] 

T20 Ratings - WT20 Round One Edition
Russell Degnan

A show-piece tournament but crammed between the end of the English season and the start of an unloved domestic tournament, scheduled when the local climate might conceivably reduce every game into farce, and following so closely on from the previous edition that the champagne is barely dry on the trophy, so close to the next, that the qualifiers are already half completed. But still, by far, the most enjoyable of the ICC's many blundering tournaments, with a tight format and largely important games.

The rankings have been brought up to date and tweaked to provide a little more dynamism, making up for a lack of data points. I'll focus here on the probability of upsets in each group, because with the super-8 seeding, unless one of the unfancied teams wins, the early phase is at best a form guide. That said, the rankign difference from England to South Africa equates to 15 runs, in a format decided, on average, by 40 runs even when teams are evenly ranked. Any of the top teams can win through, not because the game is lucky, but because there is little to distinguish any of the teams.

Group AFormGamesQual. Prob.
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 AfghanistanvsIndia-53 runs9.1%
 AfghanistanvsEngland-61 runs6.3%
 EnglandvsIndia-8 runs57.8%

Afghanistan are a better side than they were two years ago, but they still have the weakets team at the competition and the hardest of groups. Despite all and sundry pronouncing otherwise there is little evidence that T20 games are more prone to upsets - unlike the 2011 ODI world cup, the 2010 WT20 had no upsets. The skill required to score quickly against top attacks is more difficult than surviving long periods against the same attack. But that doesn't mean that Afghanistan can't provide an upset. They are a good side, on Sri Lankan wickets where they are less likely to be undone by pace and bounce, as in the West Indies. England would seem to be their best chance, given their struggles against spin and unsettled side. India have quietly put themselves at third in the rankings, and really ought to be favourites to win it all.

Group BFormGamesQual. Prob.
6.West Indies2482.6+35.714.981.6%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 AustraliavsIreland34 runs80.4%
 AustraliavsWest Indies6 runs56.3%
 IrelandvsWest Indies-28 runs24.2%

At first glance Ireland's ranking (and match probabilities seem a little generous. Certainly the bookies will give you better odds. But their team is well-rounded, professional and potentially explosive. Stirling is as good a young batsman as any in world cricket and can destroy any attack; in Dockrell they have a class spinner; in Rankin and Johnston he is well supported by pace; and finally, there are fast runs in the lower order, if a start is made. If spin comes to the fore, Australia may suffer badly, as they did in 2011. Their batting is powerful, but perhaps flaky, especially from 3 to 5; much mirth was made of the farce that is the ICC rankings, I have them much higher, mostly because their wins, when they occured, were huge. It oughtn't be forgotten that they were finalists in 2010, and much of that side remains. The West Indies are likewise, a little uneven; their star players are more dangerous than anyone's, but their scrubs might be a liability. Any team that gets through Gayle, Samuels and Pollard and deals with Narine is more than halfway to winning, though that can be easier said than done.

Group CFormGamesQual. Prob.
4.Sri Lanka2494.3-4.614.786.0%
7.South Africa2456.0-11.222.677.0%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 Sri LankavsZimbabwe28 runs75.9%
 Sri LankavsSouth Africa7 runs57.2%
 South AfricavsZimbabwe21 runs69.8%

Zimbabwe will hope the second innings of this edition's games last longer than 13.1 overs, rather than being pitted against the obscurities of Duckworth-Lewis. They are a much improved team in the last couple of years, having rolled South Africa in unofficial T20 matches earlier in the year. Price will hope to lead the attack, although the 4-over limit will stymie them and may require some big chases; Taylor has repeatedly demonstrated a sound head and explosive batting style. While their recent form is weak, they are capable. Sri Lanka, at home, ought to be considered one of the favourites; Malinga remains one of the short formats best bowlers, and their batting is deep. South Africa are, on paper, the best side in the tournament, but their ranking isn't so strong, and their most recent series have been split, except against a weak New Zealand side.

Group DFormGamesQual. Prob.
8.New Zealand2385.9-43.419.872.0%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 BangladeshvsNew Zealand-15 runs64.8%
 New ZealandvsPakistan-13 runs37.3%
 BangladeshvsPakistan-28 runs24.0%

The closest group, with the weakest team of the seeds in New Zealand, and the strongest of the underdogs in Bangladesh. New Zealand's record in tournaments and against small nations are in their favour, but Bangladesh have beaten them not so long ago, and have improved since. Shakib remains their only genuinely classy player, but he has potential support from enigmatic match-winners in Ashraful or Tamin Iqbal. As ever, it only takes one good day, and both their competitors are vulnerable. New Zealand's batting talent hasn't translated into decent scores, and their bowling is not suited to Sri Lankan pitches. They were verging on a rabble in the games in the United States and will need to improve if they are to escape the group. Pakistan are, as ever, the dark horses. They effectively split a series against Australia, demonstrating a capacity for fast scoring and hopeless collapses that we've come to expect. Their trump cards of Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir and Shahid Afridi should take them deep into a tournament where they have always done well.

Cricket - Ratings - T20 18th September, 2012 18:39:31   [#] [0 comments] 

T20 Ratings - February 2012 - Mega Edition
Russell Degnan

With the WT20 qualifiers fast approaching I've revised the T20 rankings, adding any games I could find, however minor to produce as comprehensive a ranking list as possible. The inclusion of a new batch of nations necessitated another upward adjustment; for consistencies sake, every team was initialised to their ranking after 10 games (or the last, if fewer) to the nearest hundred; teams who played multiple divisions in the recent qualifers were used to normalise groups. This is far from perfect with so few games played, but it is pretty close.

In total, 691 games are included, 227 are "official", a very small minority are test nation specific. Like it or not, T20 is the global format for cricket. The predicted margin for a game between two opponents is 1/8th the rating difference. Thus, England would be expected to beat Macedonia by 305 runs. The standard deviation of the expected margin is approximately 40.

T20 Rankings at 25th February 2012FormGames
3.South Africa2518.0+8.812.1
5.Sri Lanka2486.6+14.49.5
7.New Zealand2472.7-7.214.5
8.West Indies2406.2+1.17.9
30.Hong Kong1470.8+67.19.3
31.Cayman Is1426.3-19.93.5
36.Isle of Man1315.4-28.83.0
44.Saudi Arabia1205.3+0.86.8
54.Sierra Leone1014.9+3.54.0
71.Turks and Caicos Islands802.4-0.72.5
88.Cook Islands540.0-21.53.0
90.Czech Rep.501.0+4.82.5
93.Costa Rica475.5-39.13.0
95.South Korea373.6+17.53.0
102.Falkland Islands136.6-51.33.0

The T20 ratings are both volatile and subject to starting rating. Shading indicates level of certainty.

Cricket - Ratings - T20 25th February, 2012 17:26:21   [#] [0 comments] 

T20 Ratings - May 17th 2010
Russell Degnan

While noone could fault Australia's record leading into the final, the truer light of hindsight illuminates the weaknesses fully exploited by England this morning. Whereas a win means focusing on the brutal power Australia could leverage to close out a contest in a smattering of overs, a loss shows up the pre-existing faults: the tendency to collapse; Clarke's inability to score quickly enough; Haddin inexplicably playing second drop; the irksome slogging of the big hitters; and the brittleness of their fourth and fifth bowlers if a side still had wickets in hand.

England, for their part, were never dominating the contest, but with an efficiency bred of sharp fielding, intelligent, varied bowling, patient batting, clean hitting and the ounce of luck you always need, they were superior without needing to step outside their comfort zone. Worthy winners then, particularly their middle-order - Pietersen, Collingwood, Morgan - who made the win look so easy.

As for the tournament. Like the last T20 World Cup, the format gave teams scope to build momentum without ever feeling like it was too long. A case could be made for reversing the mix of groups (3 groups of 4, followed by 2 groups of 3), to bring more meaning into the first round, and give the minnows more games. A more important reform, I feel would be the introduction of regional championships/qualifiers to give more teams an opportunity to play at the top level, without diluting the world cup.

Perhaps though, it is best not to let authorities tinker; a cursory glance at the forthcoming F50 World Cup makes you wonder whether administrators are using the World Cup to kill that form of the game. (We can only hope) The decision to spend a full four weeks wittling 14 teams down to the big-8 test teams is pure idiocy, driven by nothing more than the perceived need to keep India in the tournament for as long as possible. Not that it matters to me. If this T20 World Cup has taught me anything, it is that I made the right decision abandoning the fifty over version half a dozen years ago.

Ratings at 17th May 2010FormGames
4South Africa2011.7-28.218.3
5Sri Lanka1969.7-34.418.2
6New Zealand1958.53.122.1
8West Indies1896.4-10.517.6
26Hong Kong907.2-46.97.0
30Saudi Arabia614.435.27.0

Cricket - Ratings - T20 17th May, 2010 17:56:57   [#] [2 comments] 

T20 Ratings - May 2010 - Final edition
Russell Degnan

FinalFormGamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
1Australia2108.226.721.013 runs62.0%
4England2002.934.419.2-13 runs38.0%

The clear favourites to contest the final; Australia unbeaten and England having lost only their rain-affected encounter in the lead-up to the final. Interestingly, Australia's semi-final victory aside, neither side has been pressed either. Australia's miracle in the semi-final looked more impressive on the scoreboard than in practice. The chase was ragged and out of control; the batsmen - particularly White - reaching for sixes every ball, when twos and fours would have been enough.

Unlike Australia, England have regularly given up scores between 140 and 150. While their batting has been comfortable chasing targets of that magnitude, Australia are more likely than other teams to make them to chase 160 plus. Like most games amongst the test teams, the expected margin is much smaller than random deviation, but on every measure - man-to-man match-ups, ratings, form, and past matches - Australia start as favourites.

The OthersFormGames
5Sri Lanka1969.7-34.418.2


Finish with two wins and four losses for the tournament, which in some eyes makes them unworthy semi-finalists. The perennially asterisked West Indies-England game aside, Pakistan went closest to beating the two finalists in the three games they lost to them, losing the other by just a run. Were probably extremely unlucky in the semi-final, but lacked the extra bit of spark in the field, and the nerve in the final few overs to enter a third final.

Sri Lanka

Like Pakistan, Sri Lanka lost against England, Australia and New Zealand to exit. Unlike Pakistan, their batting was fragile and they were comprehensively outplayed by England in the semi-final. Were dragged through the tournament by Jayawardene and looked second rate when he failed.

Cricket - Ratings - T20 17th May, 2010 00:19:19   [#] [0 comments] 

T20 Ratings - May 2010 - Semi-final edition
Russell Degnan

Semi-final 1FormGamesExp. MarginWin Prob.Tourn. Win
4England1988.321.517.20 runs50.5%20.0%
5Sri Lanka1984.5-18.917.20 runs49.5%19.4%

Rated a ridiculously close game, England probably have the better form, although Sri Lanka can say they have only been defeated by a red-hot Australia, whereas England lost their rain-affected match against the West Indies. England's bowling would appear to hold a slight edge, though it is undoubtedly over-performing to date. Sri Lanka's batting likewise, but until the spectacular finish against India it had ben struggling. Ultimately it may come down to the fielding, in which case I'll lean towards England.

Semi-final 2FormGamesExp. MarginWin Prob.Tourn. Win
1Australia2110.842.619.0+13 runs62.3%40.6%
3Pakistan2010.3-9.919.4-13 runs37.7%20.0%

The enigmatic Pakistan have scraped their way through both stages without really impressing anyone. Most observers, recalling the 1992 and 2009 World Cups will take that as a sign that they will turn it on in the games that count to win it all. Both those teams were superior to that playing here however, and if any team has been immune to Pakistan brilliance it has been Australia. Luck will naturally play a part, but to the extent that one team has been better than every other in this tournament, it is clear which team that is.

The OthersFormGames
2South Africa2011.7-28.218.3
6New Zealand1958.53.122.1
8West Indies1896.5-10.317.6

South Africa

Leave the tournament with a miserable record, having beaten only New Zealand and Afghanistan. The batting, considered one of the most powerful in the tournament never flexed its muscles, while the bowling failed to contain sides capable of handling Steyn and Morkel's pace. As usual, their rating flatters to deceive.

New Zealand

Can be considered unlucky not to progress, given they defeated two of the semi-finalists, but the close nature of their wins counted against them. Are a young and improving side with a natural game suited to this format. Will move up the rankings.


Apparently the ratings don't lie. India aren't very good. The blame seems to have fallen on their batsmen and their inability to put away short deliveries, but that need would be lessened if their bowling (and their fielding) was leaking fewer runs. Perhaps the most important factor however is the lack of international standard cricket that India had played prior to the tournament.

West Indies

The same story for the West Indies. Not playing to their potential and seemingly lacking hunger. The greater problem is an over-reliance on Gayle for runs, and a weak bowling attack. Their all-rounders are explosive match-winners, but the base of runs was never their for the explosion to occur.

Cricket - Ratings - T20 14th May, 2010 09:11:23   [#] [0 comments] 

T20 Ratings - May 2010 - Round two edition
Russell Degnan

Somewhat surprisingly, there were no upsets in the first round, but no team completely disgraced themselves. The associate teams still feel they are being denied enough cricket to compete at this level, and they have a point. However, I don't believe integration into the FTP is a viable option when so many test sides have the same problem getting enough cricket. The best way, by far, for associate cricketers to get exposure to top cricket is to turn pro and play first class cricket in full member countries. A path being taken by more and more European players which is starting to bear fruit (for both the associates and England).

The decision to schedule two games per day at the same stadium came back to haunt the organisers (as indeed it did last year). Provision needs to be made for both longer windows of play to allow games to be completed over the full 20 overs, and for the second game to be reduced to 15 overs per side, to allow an earlier game to conclude. As discussed previously, Duckworth-Lewis is not flawless, though in this year's England vs West Indies debacle, the problem is both well known and ignored. Basically, D/L believe it is unfair for a target to be higher if a side has scored more runs (than the par score) prior to a break in play. I am not sure I agree. The impact of early wickets or runs is magnified by application of the D/L method, and there is a substantial difference between a side being 11 runs in front with 17.4 overs to play (11.7% of the game played), and 11 runs in front with 3.4 overs to play (38.9% of the game played).

Group EFormGamesQual. Prob.
2.South Africa2035.0-5.615.358.7%
7.New Zealand1956.11.319.140.8%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
EnglandvsPakistan-7 runs43.4%
South AfricavsNew Zealand10 runs59.7%
New ZealandvsPakistan-2 runs41.6%
EnglandvsSouth Africa-8 runs42.1%
PakistanvsSouth Africa-1 runs48.6%
EnglandvsNew Zealand2 runs51.9%

South Africa

Eased into the tournament, but struggling a little with the bat. Were seemingly not paying attention to the required run-rate against India, and got completely bogged down by Afghanistan after a flying start. On fast pitches their bowling is impressive, but may come unstuck on slower pitches.

Finalist: 31.8% Winner 17.0%


Over-rated. Their form is ordinary, their batting flaky and their fielding shoddy. Being Pakistan there is always the sense that they could win four on the trot to take out the title again, but it seems unlikely with this side.

Finalist: 29.7% Winner 15.5%


Under-rated, but possibly lucky to be here. Morgan aside, the batting was horrid against a limited Irish attack, but pummeled the marginally stronger West Indians around the park. Will be greatly concerned about the lack of match play for their bowlers, but happy that their tight schedule is a little more relaxed. Need to beat New Zealand.

Finalist: 20.4% Winner 9.3%

New Zealand

Won a thriller over Sri Lanka and an odd one against the unlucky Zimbabweans. Are dangerous on slow pitches, but look like their batting is too fragile to go further than the semis.

Finalist: 18.1% Winner 8.0%

Group FFormGamesQual. Prob.
4.Sri Lanka1997.1-7.314.251.4%
8.West Indies1908.91.514.636.2%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
AustraliavsIndia11 runs60.4%
West IndiesvsSri Lanka-9 runs41.6%
West IndiesvsIndia-6 runs44.0%
AustraliavsSri Lanka8 runs58.60%
West IndiesvsAustralia-17 runs33.9%
IndiavsSri Lanka-2 runs47.5%


Have somehow firmed as favourites without doing much. Defeated a lacklustre Pakistan easily but looked poor against Bangladesh. Bat deep but like South Africa, reliant on a pace attack that might struggle on slow pitches.

Finalist: 37.6% Winner 21.3%

Sri Lanka

Jayawardene aside, the batting looks awful, but still managed to take New Zealand to the wire. Will miss Murali, but still an outside chance. Must beat the loser of India v Australia to progress.

Finalist: 25.4% Winner 12.4%


Under-rated (though not by their fans). Are in a tough group, but are almost certainties to go through if they can beat Australia. That match, more than any other, will give a sense of how far India will go.

Finalist: 22.0% Winner 10.2%

West Indies

Probably still under-rated on account of losing to Zimbabwe a few months ago. Have the batting to chase any total however, and home ground advantage. Will build momentum if they can stay in contention, but must beat Sri Lanka.

Finalist: 14.8% Winner 6.0%

The OthersFormGames


Travelled a long way to play less than 50 overs in the rain over two days. Unlike others, they weren't terribly unlucky, already falling behind a mammoth total against Sri Lanka and rolled for just 84 against New Zealand. Were impressive in the warm-ups though, which bodes well for the next couple of years.


Expected to do better. The batting, as usual, failed to fire when it needed to, leaving them short of two difficult targets. Will be pleased that they competed well, but should be upset that they couldn't turn either game into a win.


Flogged, horribly, in the first game. Their batting (obviously sans Morgan and Joyce) cannot do the job at this level, even if their bowling and fielding gives them a sniff. Were in a position to dislodge England when rain intervened, but can't have any complaints about being knocked out on NR-R.


Undoubtedly the best non-test bowling lineup ever, boasting both balance and natural skill. Most of their attack could push for a place in any test side, with Hamid Hassan, Shapoor Zadran and Samiullah Shenwari looking particularly impressive. But as evidenced by recent collapses against light-weight associate nations, their batting is poor, and both South Africa and India were too good for them.

Cricket - Ratings - T20 7th May, 2010 15:20:43   [#] [0 comments] 

T20 Ratings - April 2010 - Round one edition
Russell Degnan

The warm-up games have caused some minor changes in the values, but not the rankings as the World Cup gets underway tonight. This edition, like the last, has a vastly superior format to the interminable ODI World Cup of 2007. The entire tournament is completed in just 17 days, with each of the first two rounds taking just 6 days, yet in neither round are all teams not given reasonable opportunity to qualify.

What hasn't changed though, is the farcical seeding process. The ICC forced their own hand by seeding according to the previous tournament, rather than a weighted average of previous tournaments and other results. Faced with another (almost inevitable) "group of death" because of an upset they turned it into a joke by: relegating Ireland to unseeded on the basis that they weren't a test nation; removing Zimbabwe's seeding because they missed the previous tournament; and finally, rigging the draw to include Australia (10) with Bangladesh (9) to try and ensure the Big-8 qualify.

Or so they hope, I, like most cricket fans I suspect, will be hoping one of the smaller nations follows in the path of Zimbabwe (1999 and 2003), Kenya (2003), Bangladesh (2007 x 2) and Ireland (2007 and 2009) by qualifying for the latter rounds. Nine seeds is overkill in a 12 team tournament. Four is a better number, reflecting half the number of teams in the second round, and by corollary, the number of teams who deserve an easier passage/ shouldn't be meeting each other in the first round.

Similarly, pre-seeding the second round serves no purpose, except to make it more predictable, and therefore less interesting. A team (and its supporters) are entitled to a little luck, and seeding most teams and both rounds removes that element for no great benefit. As can be seen from the list above, every world cup has had upsets, so seeding is unable to ensure the most telegenic/competitive team make the later rounds in any case. Better to seed just four teams, and increase the probability of interesting games early on through groups of death.

In any case, onto the cup...

Group AFormGamesQual. Prob.
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 BangladeshvsPakistan-39 runs16.6%
 AustraliavsPakistan2 runs52.0%
 AustraliavsBangladesh41 runs84.6%


The second least predictable group. Despite the touting of Bangladesh's T20 credentials by many - mostly on the basis that they are talented sloggers - their T20 record is poor, and is reflected in their rating.

Semi-finalist: 3.1% Finalist: 0.6% Winner 0.2%


Lucky not to be in a group of death for the second consecutive tournament, and either still struggling to come to terms with the format, or merely unable to overcome the high levels of luck involved. Slow, spinning wickets won't suit their bowling attack, which means, despite leading the ratings, they shouldn't necessarily be favourites.

Semi-finalist: 60.8% Finalist: 34.9% Winner 19.6%


Could repeat 2007 in being the first team dismissed from the tournament on Sunday, but will be hoping to repeat the heroics of 2009. Are not as good as that side, missing Umar Gul and Younis Khan, as well as Mohammed Yousuf. Might fire if Afridi does well, but will probably struggle to score big runs.

Semi-finalist: 53.8% Finalist: 30.5% Winner 16.9%

Group BFormGamesQual. Prob.
4.Sri Lanka2002.8-
7.New Zealand1955.11.517.174.7%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 New ZealandvsSri Lanka-6 runs44.1%
 Sri LankavsZimbabwe23 runs71.4%
 New ZealandvsZimbabwe17 runs66.2%

New Zealand

Will be hoping for more than their normal semi-final berth, and may be capable, with their usual mix of medium pace bowlers, Bond and Vettori suited to slow wickets, and some capable hitters. Hard to see them maintaining enough consistency with the bat to win, but a better bet than their rating suggests.

Semi-finalist: 30.8% Finalist: 14.2% Winner 6.4%

Sri Lanka

Have form in the Caribbean, and this competition. Are probably due for disappointment, and much, as always, depends on Muralitharan. Well captained but will have to get out of a very difficult group in the second round.

Semi-finalist: 46.1% Finalist: 23.4% Winner 11.7%


Under-rated, not least because noone has seen them in years. Will depend a lot on Utseya and Price to keep the opposition total manageable for their flaky batting line-up, but do have players capable of slogging. Have claimed some decent scalps recently, which will raise their confidence.

Semi-finalist: 9.1% Finalist: 2.6% Winner 0.7%

Group CFormGamesQual. Prob.
2.South Africa2043.010.413.397.0%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 AfghanistanvsIndia-58 runs7.5%
 IndiavsSouth Africa-8 runs41.9%
 AfghanistanvsSouth Africa-66 runs5.0%


Hard to say how good this side is. Have an excellent recent record against the non-test teams, but have never been up against the test side to compare. Have the advantage over all teams with the most recent internationals, which should hold them in good stead if things get tight. Depend a lot on Hamid Hassan, Noor Ali, Mohammad Nabi and Mohammad Shazhad, and will struggle if they are injured or out of form.

Semi-finalist: 0.2% Finalist: 0.0% Winner 0.0%


While India always has to handle the expectations of their irrational public, they are probably tripled this time, given the size (but not necessarily the quality) of the IPL, and the memory of their victory in 2007. Have the batting to win, but not the bowling to win, but could surprise.

Semi-finalist: 47.2% Finalist: 22.5% Winner 10.5%

South Africa

As usual, rated highly, and hopeful at the outset of the tournament. Have the best batting lineup of any side, but may struggle if the pitches are as slow as expected. Like Australia, their chances are probably over-rated.

Semi-finalist: 60.2% Finalist: 34.6% Winner 19.4%

Group DFormGamesQual. Prob.
8.West Indies1897.0-31.512.688.6%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 West IndiesvsIreland41 runs84.8%
 West IndiesvsEngland-7 runs43.0%
 EnglandvsIreland48 runs88.6%

West Indies

Home side, and primed for either a brilliant tournament, or a dismal failure. The opening game may give a guide to how committed they are, but they definitely have the players to win, and plenty of experience in the format at a domestic level. Massively under-rated.

Semi-finalist: 31.9% Finalist: 12.8% Winner 5.0%


Will face their own best player in an English side for the second time in a World Cup. It will hurt doubly if Morgan continues to win games with composed aggressive innings. Still have players capable of doing damage to superior sides, and will fancy themselves in what is rated a weak group.

Semi-finalist: 0.9% Finalist: 0.1% Winner 0.0%


Start after some teams might have finished, and will have to play 5 games in 8 days before the semi-finals. Nevertheless, if their opening partnership can fire, they are a capable and under-rated side who should make the semi-finals.

Semi-finalist: 42.4% Finalist: 20.6% Winner 9.7%

Cricket - Ratings - T20 1st May, 2010 06:44:20   [#] [1 comment] 

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