Test matches of 2019-General summary

The summary of all the Tests played in the calendar year 2019. Here the teams are ranked by win/loss ratio. India is at the top with 7 wins and no losses, while Ireland and Bangladesh lost all their matches. Australia and Afghanistan (!) are next to India. Zimbabwe did not play any Test in this year, though they will resume in January 2020.

WL ratios

The ICC ranking tables at the end of the year are more meaningful:

ICC rankings

A more realistic assessment, with Afghanistan overtaking Zimbabwe besides Ireland.

According to this, New Zealand is India’s closest rival with South Africa, England and Australia in joint third position (though they are actually separated by small fractions).

Then there is the new contest, the World Test Championship. Not all Test countries are involved. Even among the 9 countries involved, not all Test series are counted. An example is the 2-Test tour of England to New Zealand. This was the WTC points table at the end of the year:

WTC champ

It is still at an early stage, but it does seem that the other teams will not find it easy to catch up with India and Australia. By the middle of January, Australia had moved up to 296 and England to 86.

England and the curse of Cape Town

England recorded its 62nd win (out of  151) against South Africa, the 32nd out of 83 in that country and its 10th win (out of 21) at Cape Town.

Have a look at how they have fared in Cape Town (which has only one Test ground):

England Tests at Cape Town

Of these 10 wins, 8 were before 1930. The 9th was in 1957 almost exactly 63 years ago, and the 10th was in 2020.

The 1957 win was mainly due to JH Wardle’s 12 wickets.  In 2020, it was Ben Stokes’ 3-dimensional performance with 119 runs, 3 wickets and 6 catches:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19430/scorecard/1185305/south-africa-vs-england-2nd-test-icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021

England also gained 30 points in the WTC championship and moved into third place. Meanwhile Australia bagged all the 120 points in their series against New Zealand and continued to creep up towards India’s tally.

WTC 07 Jan 2020

Snippets from Aus-NZ Test series

The 3-Test series ended in a clean sweep for Australia. Earlier in 2019-20 Australia had also swept Pakistan 2-0. All these 5 Tests ended in 4 days or less. A brief summary:

Australia at home 2019-20

All 5 of these Tests ended on the 4th day.

They are duly recorded in the list of clean-sweep series:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283942.html

And Australia’s captain TD Paine is presently the only Test captain who is a wicketkeeper. His Pakistani counterpart has been dropped since January 2019:

Wk captains 2019-20

NZ set an unwanted record during this series-their 256 in the first innings of the 3rd Test is the lowest top score by a team in a Test series of 3 or more matches:

Lowest top score in a series

The previous record was set by South Africa in their tour of Australia in 1993-94. That was a somewhat less one-sided series than this and was drawn 1-1.

A summary of New Zealand’s totals:

NZ innings in Aus 2019-20

Even the top score of 256 included a 5-run penalty after DA Warner was found to be running on the pitch during Australia’s second innings.

And the World Test Championship saw Australia getting a full 120 points and New Zealand none. Here is the WTC points table on 06 Jan 2020 which included this series as well as the first Test between South Africa vs England, which was won by the former giving them 30 points.

WTC 06 Jan 2020

See how Australia is creeping up towards India’s total.

 

T20Is of 2019-1

The year of the “big bang” when many new teams were admitted to “official” T20Is. A quick look at the results:

Teams ranked by W/L ratio:

T20Is 2019 WL

A total of 71 teams played at least one T20I this year.

You will agree that the above table doesn’t mean much. Australia (OK), Argentina and Belize !? are the top teams, are they? And is Jersey as good as India?

Let us look at the ICC rankings, which are supposed to be more refined:

ICC rankings T20I end 2019

There are 86 teams covered in these rankings. The last 7 have zero points:

T20Is 2019 bottom teams

One might argue that Gibraltar and China are the worst teams as they have played the most matches for zero points.

Anyway, back to the top. The T20I World Championship will be held in Australia in late 2020:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_ICC_Men%27s_T20_World_Cup

The 16 teams participating are the top 19 in the ICC ranking table MINUS Zimbabwe, Nepal and UAE.

Next we look at individual performances in T20Is.

Now for the semi finals-1

PS: If you are feeling nostalgic for the national anthems of the departed teams, you can see this (from the 2015 WC):

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/national-anthems-of-wc-2015/

Now we have:

Jul 9: 1st SF, Ind v NZ, 1500 IST

Jul 11: 2nd SF, Aus v Eng, 1500 IST

Jul 14: Final, 1500 IST

And the road so far:

Points table Jul 06 2019

This WC has so far been marked by several relatively close (but not very close) finishes.

Also see the ICC rankings after the matches of Jul 6:

ICC rankings on Jul 6 2019

Note that only a fraction of a point separates England and India.

The top 4 here are indeed the semi-finalists. And the top 10 are indeed those who qualified for the World Cup. Ireland and Zimbabwe would have been out of their depth, as Ireland is 10 points behind Afghanistan.

A quick look at the IPL-style contests at the moment:

Orange Cap: RG Sharma 647 runs, followed by DA Warner (638) and Shakib Al Hasan* (606).

Purple Cap: MA Starc 26 wickets, followed by Mustafizur Rahman* (20) and 4 others with 17.

Most 6s: EJG Morgan 22, AJ Finch 18 and RG Sharma 14.

(Shakib* also has 11 wickets).

*No further part in the 2019 World Cup.

Next we will take up the statistical highlights so far.

A mockery of cricket (1)

Over the last year, the ICC has decided to give T20I status to ANY match between men’s sides (as well as women’s sides) from countries whose cricket boards are part of ICC. This is regardless of cricketing ability.

This also means that all T20Is starting from 2018-2019 (for women’s matches) and 2019 for men’ s matches are included in official statistics as well as official rankings.

You can see statistics on http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html or similar sites.

And ICC rankings can be seen here: http://www.relianceiccrankings.com/test/date-specific.php  for player rankings

and http://www.espncricinfo.com/rankings/content/page/211271.html  for team rankings.

One expected outcome was very one-sided matches, such as this:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/25749943/all-14-china-slump-lowest-women-t20i-total

in which China was all out for 14 in 10 overs, in reply to UAE’s 203/3 in 20 overs. China’s efforts included 6 ducks and an unbeaten 0.

From the scorecard http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19111/scorecard/1171353/china-women-vs-united-arab-emirates-women-group-a-thailand-womens-t20-smash-2018-19

we see that China at least has all or most of the players from their own country, while UAE’s team seems to include players from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with a token local player (much like the UAE’s men’s teams of the past).

Knowing the Chinese, they will gradually get better and will probably be challenging established teams after a few years. At the time of writing in May 2019, you can see that UAE is ranked 16th and China 75th (out of 79). China is one of the 6 teams with zero points.

If this is a mockery of international cricket, there is a still bigger mockery when the national team of a Western European country entirely consists of South Asians. And that is true of men’s cricket as well. This will be covered next.

Making sense of the Cricket World Cup qualifying matches in 2018

As we know, the CWC 2019 will have 10 teams. These were to be the host (England) plus top 7 teams in the ODI rankings on 30/09/2017. This was the ranking table on that date:

ICC ranking 29 Sep 2017

The first 8 (including the host) qualified while the bottom 4 (WI, Afg, Zim, Ire) would account for 4 places in the qualifying rounds in 2018.

They would be joined by the 4 top teams in the WCL championship. which got over in Dec 2017. These are the results:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015%E2%80%9317_ICC_World_Cricket_League_Championship#Points_table

Thus Netherlands, Scotland, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea make up the second group of 4.

The remaining 2 spots will be selected from the bottom 4 in the WCL and the top 2 from WCL division 3: (Kenya, UAE, Nepal, Namibia) + (Canada, Oman).

There could be some upsets here, but probably Kenya and UAE will get through here. (Update: It was Nepal and UAE who emerged from this).

Details of this mini-qualifier (to be held in Feb 8-15 in Namibia) are here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_ICC_World_Cricket_League_Division_Two

So we now have:WI, Afg, Zim, Ire, Neth, Sco, HK, PNG, Nep and UAE in the “main” qualifier to be held in Zimbabwe from March 4 to 25. These have been divided into two pools of 5. There will be Super Sixes but no semi-finals.

Now we see the ODI rankings as of today (Jan 16):

ODI rankin Jan 15 2018

While there may be an occasional upset, it is very unlikely that the 2 qualifiers will be from the WCL teams. West Indies should have no trouble in qualifying, while there may be an interesting struggle for the other qualifying spot between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. Zimbabwe may have a slight home advantage. Ireland has generally declined in ODIs over the past year and may not challenge the other three seriously.

Final update: It was West Indies and Afghanistan who qualified for the 2019 World Cup.