The 2019 edition of the World Cup has witnessed many highs and lows – from teams consistently putting up 300-plus totals to getting bowled out inside 30 overs. With one-third of the tournament matches done and dusted, let’s get through the way world cup has proceeded so far.
Expected average first innings score below par!
One of the pre-tournament expectations was a high scoring world cup with a lot of first innings 300s. However, if the performances of the first two weeks are to be analyzed, it is quite below par. The average first innings score from the 13 completed games is 254, which might seem to be completely different than what was observed in England in the last 4 years.
The average first innings totals in England, since 2015 every year was upwards of 290 with 2017 being an exception thanks to a few games on tired tracks in the latter half of Champions Trophy, which had an average score reading 271. The England – Pakistan bilateral series which preceded the World Cup was a particularly high-scoring one with seven 300 plus totals and a 297 in eight completed innings with the average first innings score reading an unbelievable 356.
Dropped Catches, Missed Opportunities
In the 14 matches so far this tournament, there have been an estimated 27 dropped chances – at a rate of one every innings. India has been the luckiest team getting six lives including two crucial ones. Rohit Sharma was dropped by Faf du Plessis when on one and went on to make an unbeaten 122 in a 228-run chase. Against Australia, Hardik Pandya got a reprieve off the first ball from wicketkeeper Alex Carey and his 27-ball 48 provided the impetus for India scoring 116 in their final ten overs which eventually turned out to be the turning point of the game.
Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are the two other sides with a positive difference of getting dropped and dropping chances of their own bowlers, though it hasn’t necessarily converted to game-changing moments. New Zealand has been scrappy on the field dropping four, although it hasn’t prevented them from winning all their three games. England has been the sloppiest on the field, putting down five catches in all with the Jason Roy drop of Mohammad Hafeez in Nottingham proving to be the costliest. Hafeez was dropped on 14 and he went on to add 70 more runs to his tally as Pakistan piled up 348 which eventually proved to be out of England’s reach.
Poor standard of umpiring, and the importance of DRS.
The first 15 days or so of the World Cup hasn’t been great for the umpires. There have been 29 decisions challenged of which nine were overturned – a success rate of 31% which is nearly ten percent more than the global average.
West Indies have been at the receiving end for the most decisions – they challenged seven calls of which five were overturned with one umpire’s call. Four of the five overturned decisions came in the game against Australia in Nottingham. Afghanistan, on the other hand, has been the poorest in DRS usage losing four challenges out of the five they made with one umpire’s call.
Rain Spoiling the Sport!
As of now, 3 matches have been washed off due to rains without a ball being bowled thanks to some inefficient planning by ICC. From the start of the world cup in 1975 till the last concluded one of 2015 only 2 matches were washed off, but its just the fortnight into this world cup and as much as 3 matches have been abandoned with both the teams getting a point each.
Now a lot of questions might get started to pop in the minds of the cricket fans, did ICC efficiently plan the tournament? Because incidents like these surely hamper the fun of the league and take away its main crux and essence. Was the event not planned properly by ICC? Because when a considerable number of matches are called off due to heavy rains, weren’t these possibilities taken into consideration while planning such a mega-event? What if a team is too unlucky to have a maximum number of matches washed off and do not win enough of remaining matches to qualify?
Records were broken in the first fortnight of World Cup 2019
1. Dimunth Karunaratne (52* vs New Zealand, Cardiff) became the second player to ‘carry the bat’ in a World Cup after Ridley Jacobs against Australia in Manchester in 1999.
2.348/8 by Pakistan is the highest total by a team in World Cups without an individual century. 682 runs in the match were the second highest match aggregate in World Cup games after 688 in the Australia – Sri Lanka clash at the SCG in 2015.
3. Chris Gayle became the leading six-hitter in World Cups with 40 maximums, surpassing the previous highest of 37 by AB de Villiers. His 26 sixes in the 2015 edition are t5.he most by any player in a single World Cup.
4. England became the first side to lose a World Cup game despite two of their batsman reaching three-figures. Joe Root (107) and Jos Buttler (103) scored hundreds against Pakistan in Nottingham but England ended up losing by 14 runs.
5.352/5 by India is the highest total in a World Cup encounter against Australia by any side. The previous highest was 312 by Sri Lanka at the SCG in 2015 while the previous highest batting first was 291 by West Indies at Lord’s in the final of the inaugural edition in 1975.