February 5, 2011

The World Cups so far: an alternate review

A statistical analysis of the top performances in World Cups played between 1975 and 2007
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Adam Gilchrist: top performer in big matches in World Cups
Adam Gilchrist: top performer in big matches in World Cups © Getty Images

The tenth edition of the World Cup is not far away. Over the next 10 days, I will first do a review of the nine World Cups so far and then a preview of the World Cup 2011. I will try to do something different to what is already available easily in public domain.

If you wanted to know the number of runs scored at what average or wickets captured with attendant details, you only have to go to the excellent Cricinfo World Cup section or peruse Madhu Ramakrishnan's excellent article in this blog. One click will let you know that Tendulkar has scored 1796 runs at 57.93 or that Muralitharan, with 53 wickets, needs 19 wickets to overtake McGrath and so on. What I have attempted to do is to add some weight to these runs and wickets. Also I wanted to do a different type of Team performance analysis.

During the first four World Cups, the teams played an initial round-robin, with four groups, and then the knock-out rounds of semi finals and final. The only difference being the double-leg round-robin during 1983 and 1987. During 1992 the format changed slightly. The teams played in a single group, they played a round-robin before the semi finals and final. Each of the The next four world cups had a different format. 1992 was an an excellent format.

The 1996 edition had a format exactly identical to the forthcoming world cup. 2 groups, quarter finals, semi finals and final. This is also a very good format since it requires teams to have three consecutive wins to win the world cup, not two. The only difference is that the 1996 edition had 12 teams and the 2011 edition will have 14 teams. The 1999 and 2003 editions had preliminary league, super-six group, semi finals and finals. Both were similar except that more teams participated in the 2003 event. There was yet another change for the unwieldy 2007 event. There was a preliminary 4-group league, a super eights, semi finals and final.

The reason I have taken the trouble of describing the formats is to clarify my weighting process. Despite the format variations, there has been a common feature at the start and end of the tournaments. There have been preliminary leagues at the start and semi finals and final at the end. In between, we have had super sixes, super eights and quarter finals. So I have decided to weight the matches in the following groups to do a weighted runs/wickets/team performances analysis.

The weighting of performances is done based on the WHEN factor since the matches become more significant as we come to the later stages. As far as opposition quality is concerned, it is my firm opinion that this becomes irrelevant in a knock-out match. There is no way I am going to treat Tendulkar's 83 or Ganguly's 111 scored in the 2003 semi final at a lower level, since their innings helped India reach the final. Else India might have lost to Kenya.

As far as preliminary matches are concerned, I am not going to lower the weight for matches against weaker teams. Every match in a World Cup is important. India and Pakistan in 2007 WC are living examples of being derailed by losing the preliminary matches against weaker teams. So all preliminary matches will have a weight of 100%.

Preliminary league matches: 100%
Super six matches:          110%
Super eight matches:        110%
Quarter-Finals:             112.5%
Semi Finals:                125%
Finals:                     150%
Note: The Quarter Finals have a slightly higher weight because of the knock-out 
nature of the concerned match.

I am sure readers would point out that there have been important matches in the preliminary leagues and deserve a higher weight. However I am not going to take that route. Then other questions will come in, especially for early matches. How important was Kapil Dev's 175 or Tendulkar's 98 ? What would have happened if India had lost ? Did they still have a chance ? So many other match, group and tournament related conditions would have to be considered. There is also no way to automate these factors. Each match has to be considered manually. Hence I have taken a reasonably sound weight pattern. Maybe at the end of the 2011 World Cup I would probably do a more in-depth analysis of the 10 world cups, incorporating a few more relevant factors also, including match status, support, bowling quality and importance of matches.

The team performance analysis is done in two ways. The first is a straight-forward analysis of the matches played, wins achieved, no-result and lost matches and does a simple % performance achievement. Let us see this table first.

Team         Mats  W  NR   L  <-Points->    %
Max   Base

Australia 69 51 1 17 138 103.0 74.6 South Africa 40 25 2 13 80 52.0 65.0 West Indies 57 35 1 21 114 71.0 62.3 England 59 36 1 22 118 73.0 61.9 New Zealand 62 35 1 26 124 71.0 57.3 India 58 32 1 25 116 65.0 56.0 Pakistan 56 30 2 24 112 62.0 55.4 Sri Lanka 57 25 2 30 114 52.0 45.6 Kenya 23 6 1 16 46 13.0 28.3 Ireland 9 2 1 6 18 5.0 27.8 Bangladesh 20 5 1 14 40 11.0 27.5 Zimbabwe 45 8 4 33 90 20.0 22.2 U.A.E. 5 1 0 4 10 2.0 20.0 Netherlands 14 2 0 12 28 4.0 14.3 Canada 12 1 0 11 24 2.0 8.3 Scotland 8 0 0 8 16 0.0 0.0 Namibia 6 0 0 6 12 0.0 0.0 East Africa 3 0 0 3 6 0.0 0.0 Bermuda 3 0 0 3 6 0.0 0.0

No one is going to win the Nobel Prize for predicting the best performer. Australia have been the out-performer amongst all countries. They have won 51 of the 69 matches and have an outstanding % achievement of 74.6. Despite their hiccups at crucial times, South Africa are next with 65.0%. They are followed by West Indies with 62.3%. England (3 finals) and New Zealand come in next because of their overall consistency. India is only in sixth position, not surprising in view of their very poor performance in four of the world cups so far (1975, 1979, 1992 and 2007). Similarly Pakistan and Sri Lanka have had up and down rides during the world cups.

In the second Team performance table, I have weighted the results by the Match index already explained. In other words a team winning the world cup would get 3 points (2 x 1.50) for the match, the winner of the semi final will get 2.5 (2.0 x 1.25) and so on. Thus the importance of the match is reflected strongly.

Team         Mats  WC  WC  <-Points->    %
Wins RU  Max   Wted

Australia 69 4 2 138 130.4 94.5 West Indies 57 2 1 114 82.8 72.7 South Africa 40 0 0 80 55.6 69.5 England 59 0 3 118 79.3 67.2 India 58 1 1 116 74.1 63.9 Pakistan 56 1 1 112 68.6 61.2 New Zealand 62 0 0 124 74.6 60.2 Sri Lanka 57 1 1 114 61.7 54.2 Ireland 9 0 0 18 5.6 31.1 Kenya 23 0 0 46 13.6 29.6 Bangladesh 20 0 0 40 11.6 29.0 Zimbabwe 45 0 0 90 20.0 22.2 U.A.E. 5 0 0 10 2.0 20.0 Netherlands 14 0 0 28 4.0 14.3 Canada 12 0 0 24 2.0 8.3 Scotland 8 0 0 16 0.0 0.0 Namibia 6 0 0 12 0.0 0.0 East Africa 3 0 0 6 0.0 0.0 Bermuda 3 0 0 6 0.0 0.0

Australia, with their 4 WC wins and 2 finals, are the runaway leader with 94.5%. Incidentally I have kept the base the same as last table to get a clear idea of the outliers. Then some churning takes place. West Indies, with 2 wins and 1 final, move to second place. South Africa only moves down a place, despite having never even reached the final. Similarly India, with their 1 win and 1 final, are in fifth place.

Now for the batting table, with incorporation of weight of matches.

Cty Player                <--Runs-->  Wt %
WC  Wted

Ind Tendulkar S.R 1796 1852 103.1 Aus Ponting R.T 1537 1722 112.0 Win Lara B.C 1225 1265 103.3 Aus Gilchrist A.C 1085 1257 115.9 Slk Jayasuriya S.T 1165 1241 106.5 Slk de Silva P.A 1064 1149 108.0 Pak Javed Miandad 1083 1147 105.9 Win Richards I.V.A 1013 1131 111.6 Nzl Fleming S.P 1075 1123 104.5 Saf Gibbs H.H 1067 1122 105.2 Aus Hayden M.L 987 1080 109.4 Ind Ganguly S.C 1006 1061 105.5 Aus Waugh M.E 1004 1059 105.5 Aus Waugh S.R 978 1036 105.9 Slk Ranatunga A 969 1003 103.5 Eng Gooch G.A 897 989 110.3 Saf Kallis J.H 923 975 105.6 Pak Saeed Anwar 915 971 106.1 Nzl Crowe M.D 880 902 102.5 Ind Dravid R 860 900 104.7

The average performances of India during recent world cups has meant that Tendulkar has played few high valued key matches and has not done very well in late stage matches. This is reflected in the wt % of only 103.1. Ponting, on the other hand, with his three wins, has his runs increased by 12%. Lara matches Tendulkar's lack of success with 3.3%. These three are the leading run-scorers in any case. However look at Gilchrist. A whopping 15.9% increase, the highest for any batsman. He has leap-frogged over Jayasuriya. Note how Richards also has got a 11.6% increase, with his two wins and third final. The significance of this % values is that it is possible to conclude that, other things not considered, on average, the runs scored by Gilchrist were 15.9% more valuable, while those scored by Fleming were 4.5%. Since I am keeping the minimum weight as 100%, these numbers tell quite a story.

The batsmen with the 10 highest weight % are given below. There are no surprises that the Australians and West Indians have dominated this list since they have won 6 world cups between them. However note Sehwag's and Gooch's over achievement. Gilchrist, Ponting and Richards are the significant batsmen in this list.

Win 0067 Lloyd C.H              393   463  117.8
Aus 0932 Gilchrist A.C         1085  1257  115.9
Aus 0715 Martyn D.R             352   405  115.1
Aus 0818 Ponting R.T           1537  1722  112.0
Ind 1210 Sehwag V               463   518  111.9
Aus 0784 Bevan M.G              537   600  111.7
Win 0148 Richards I.V.A        1013  1131  111.6
Win 0068 Kallicharran A.I       251   279  111.2
Slk 1251 Sangakkara K.C         526   584  111.0
Eng 0169 Gooch G.A              897   989  110.3

It must be remembered that while it is the team effort to reach the later stages, only if the player performs well in the later stages does he get credit with higher weighted runs/wickets. If a player does well in the earlier matches but fails in the key matches later, he does not get additional credit. A perfect example is Hayden, who despite his two WC wins, has not performed at his high standards in the later stages. His increase is only 9.4%.

Cty Player                <--Wkts-->  Wt %
WC  Wted

Aus McGrath G.D 71 78.6 110.7 Pak Wasim Akram 55 58.3 106.0 Slk Muralitharan M 53 56.8 107.2 Slk Vaas WPUJC 49 52.1 106.3 Ind Srinath J 44 46.2 105.0 Saf Donald A.A 38 39.6 104.2 Aus Hogg G.B 34 37.1 109.3 Aus Warne S.K 32 36.6 114.2 Pak Imran Khan 34 35.5 104.4 Saf Pollock S.M 31 33.1 106.8 Nzl Harris C.Z 32 32.5 101.4 Eng Botham I.T 30 32.2 107.5 Nzl Bond S.E 30 31.9 106.5 Ind Kumble A 31 31.8 102.6 Slk Jayasuriya S.T 27 30.2 111.9 Ind Kapil Dev N 28 29.8 106.2 Eng DeFreitas P.A.J 29 29.5 101.7 Win Roberts A.M.E 26 29.0 111.5 Aus McDermott C.J 27 28.8 106.5 Aus Waugh S.R 27 28.7 106.3

McGrath has his haul of 71 wickets increased to 78.6 with his multiple world cup wins. All the top three bowlers have maintained their positions since their world cup performances are good. In fact the only change is that Warne has moved above Imran Khan because of his outstanding world cup performances during 1999.

The bowlers with the 10 highest weight % are given below. There are no surprises that the Australians and West Indians have dominated this. Gilmour is here because he hit the zone in two very important matches, the 1975 semi final and final. Garner delivered in 1979. Note also Harbhajan's performance, although with only 11 wickets. Warne is the most significant of the bowlers listed here because of his haul of 32 wickets. The bowlers' % increases are much higher than the batsmen since their outlying performances are way above the average performances. 6 wickets as against a normal of 2 as compared with a century against a normal of 50.

Aus 0089 Gilmour G.J            11  15.0  136.4
Win 0180 Garner J               13  16.2  125.0
Win 0071 Boyce K.D              10  12.0  120.0
Eng 0079 Hendrick M             10  11.8  117.5
Eng 0346 Hemmings E.E           13  15.0  115.4
Slk 0410 de Silva P.A           16  18.4  115.3
Aus 0672 Reiffel P.R            12  13.8  114.8
Aus 0730 Warne S.K              32  36.6  114.2
Aus 1112 Lee B                  22  24.9  113.0
Ind 1023 Harbhajan Singh        11  12.4  112.7

This is the all-rounder analysis. A simple generic wicket valuation at 25 runs and a combination of runs scored and wickets captured. The qualifications for this complete table are players who have captured 10 wickets or more and scored 200 runs and more. The wickets and runs are weighted and the index calculated (Runs scored + 25 x wickets captured). No great changes, though in the order of the table other than that Richards jumped over Kallis because of his cup successes.

Cty Player          <---Actual---->  <--Weighted--->
Runs Wkts Index  Runs Wkts Index

Slk Jayasuriya S.T 1165 27 1840 1241 30.2 1996 Pak Wasim Akram 426 55 1801 454 58.3 1911 Aus Waugh S.R 978 27 1653 1036 28.7 1753 Pak Imran Khan 666 34 1516 732 35.5 1619 Slk de Silva P.A 1064 16 1464 1149 18.4 1610 Slk Vaas WPUJC 219 49 1444 237 52.1 1538 Ind Kapil Dev N 669 28 1369 683 29.8 1426 Win Richards I.V.A 1013 10 1263 1131 10.8 1399 Saf Kallis J.H 923 16 1323 975 16.9 1396 Ind Ganguly S.C 1006 10 1256 1061 10.1 1313 Nzl Harris C.Z 431 32 1231 459 32.5 1270 Nzl Styris S.B 767 13 1092 805 13.6 1145 Saf Pollock S.M 279 31 1054 292 33.1 1119 Eng Botham I.T 297 30 1047 310 32.2 1116 Ken Tikolo S.O 724 14 1074 743 14.5 1104 Nzl Cairns C.L 565 18 1015 586 19.1 1062

To view/down-load the complete World Cup related tables, please click on links given below.

Batsmen performance table: please click/right-click here.
Bowler performance table: please click/right-click here.
All-rounder performance table: please click/right-click here.

Finally a list of my own selection of the top-10 batting and bowling performances. Let me repeat that this is my selection, partly based on my own watching/viewing, the analytical results and personal preferences. The reader may have a different list. Question mine by sending your selections. The order in this list is material and reflects my own preferences.

Top-10 Bowling performances in World Cups

Gilmour's 6 for 14 for Aus vs Eng in the 1975 semi final. Bichel's 7 for 20 for Aus vs Eng in 2003. Bond's 6 for 23 for Nzl vs Aus in 2003. Obuya's 5 for 25 for Ken vs Slk in 2003. McGrath's 5 for 14 for Aus vs Win in 1999. Warne's 4 for 29 for Aus vs Saf in the 1999 semi final. Garner's 5 for 38 for Win vs Eng in the 1979 final. Nehra's 6 for 23 for Ind vs Eng in 2003. M Pringle's 4 for 11 for Saf vs Win in 1992. Davis's 7 for 51 for Win vs Aus in 1983. S Pollock's 5 for 36 for Saf vs Aus in 1999 Semi final.

These performances are legend and nothing elaborate needs to be said. Both Gilmour and Bichel had to bat well also in their matches to help Australia win. But for their powerful cameos their own bowling efforts could have gone in vain. Obuya's spell was responsible for Kenya's qualification to the semi-final. But for Warne's spell, South Africa would have walked away with a semi-final win. Garner is the only bowler to have captured 5 wickets in a winning final. Bond's outstanding spell was in vain.

Top-10 Batting performances in World Cups

Kapil Dev's 175 for Ind vs Zim in 1983. de Silva's 107 for Slk vs Aus in the 1996 final. Gilchrist's 149 for Aus vs Slk in the 2007 final. Lara's 111 for Win vs Saf in 1996 quarter final. Richards's 138 for Win vs Eng in the 1979 final. Lloyd's 102 for Win vs Aus in the 1975 final. Gooch's 115 for Eng vs Ind in the 1987 semi final. Inzamam's 60 for Pak vs Nzl in the 1992 semi final. Tendulkar's 98 for Ind vs Pak in 2003. Houghton's 142 for Zim vs Nzl in 1986. Ponting's 140 for Aus vs Ind in 2003 Final (3 votes from readers). Steve Waugh's 120 for Aus vs Saf in 1999 (3 votes from readers). Symonds' 143 for Aus vs Pak in 2003 (3 votes from readers).

Kapil Dev's 175 is the only innings which can even be talked of in the same breath as Richards' 189*. Nothing more needs to be said. There are a number of World Cup final innings in this selection. Gilchrist's 149 is probably the most devastating of all World Cup innings. Gooch swept India away with his 115 while Inzamam announced his extraordinary talent to the world with this match-winning blitz. Houghton's innings was in vain but the memory stays with me since I watched that match on television. Tendulkar's 98 was an innings for the Gods.

Finally a list of the ten greatest upsets in World Cup and a few derivations. This has been prepared using the Team strengths as the basis for comparison. These are given in order of the extent of upset factor. The most emphatic and path-breaking upsets are shown first.

Ireland defeating Pakistan by 3 wkts during 2007 (Mat# 2539).
Kenya defeating Sri Lanka by 53 runs during 2003 (Mat# 1965).
Bangladesh defeating India by 5 wkts during 2007 (Mat# 2538).
Bangladesh defeating Pakistan by 62 runs during 1999 (Mat# 1471).
Zimbabwe defeating Australia by 13 runs during 1983 (Mat# 199).
Bangladesh defeating South Africa by 67 runs during 2007 (Mat# 2564).
Zimbabwe defeating South Africa by 48 runs during 1999 (Mat# 1468).
Kenya defeating West Indies by 73 runs during 1996 (Mat# 1066).
Zimbabwe defeating England by 9 runs during 1992 (Mat# 748).
Zimbabwe defeating India by 3 runs during 1999 (Mat# 1450).
Canada defeating Bangladesh by 60 runs during 2003 (Mat# 1946).

Zimbabwe have effected four such upsets while India and Pakistan have been at the receiving ends in two matches each. Another important feature is that, barring the two most recent ones during 2007, the other 8 have been achieved defending totals successfully. It looks like the stronger teams made a mess of their chases.

Two other matches, the India loss to Sri Lanka during 1979 and Final win over Weset Indies during 1983, both involving India could have made the list but have been omitted since India was awful in 1979 and beginning to be a force in 1983.

Ireland defeated Pakistan on the same day Bangladesh defeated India. Zimbabwe have effected four such upsets while India and Pakistan have lost two such matches each. Another important feature is that, barring the two most recent ones during 2007, the other 8 have been achieved defending totals successfully. It looks like the weaker teams are more adept at defending totals than chasing. Kenya's win over Sri Lanka enabled them to be the surprise semi-finalist during the 2003 World Cup.

Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AD on March 10, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    Ananth, FYI me and a few friends sometimes discuss your analyses and send off a comment from the small cyber cafe right next to college where we sometimes lounge around. These comments will be from the same set of machines or sometimes perhaps from the same machine itself. [[ AD I have absolutely no problems with that. The instances I had mentioned were a clear case of one person under different names sending critical mails. You and your friends are not necessarily going to send 6 mails on the same theme. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on February 16, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    @Alex. I`ll never forgive Chaminda for that performance. I`d spent a week in Sydney with a group of Japanese university students studying Australian sports - mainly cricket and AFL. We`d even spent 2 days making a bilingual instructional cricket video, and then I took them to a local bar to watch the first few overs of that game, their first look at live cricket.

    I remember standing up at the end of the first over saying `No,no. This isn`t what cricket`s like. This is all wrong.`

    What an introduction to the game, but what do you say? There`s not usually this much action? [[ A hat-trick off the first three balls and another wicket off the fifth ball was certainly the wrong introduction into Cricket. I did not have it in my liost only because of the average quality of the opposition. Belatedly I could add. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 15, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Ananth - http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/500688.html has a good collection of top WC bowling performances. Vaas' 6 for 25 is clearly in a league of its own due to the 1st over itself.

  • unni on February 11, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    Interesting adjustment to the runs. The cricketing memory gets structured. Still can't resist extending the computations to more analytic domain from discreteness. Another idea I could think of treating the subject is to equate the opponent to a tree which is growing up as the tournament progresses. The growth is nothing but, wins.

    So, if the runs are adjusted according to the opponent team's current 'victory tree height' you will get a more granular rating factor and you can escape arbitrary weightage factors.

  • Syed Ammar Saeed on February 11, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    Good work. But I was surprised to see year of WC as 86 instead of 87 (Reliance Cup)at one place, held in Pakistan and India jointly. rgds ammar [[ Just a mistake. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on February 11, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    PK, Great stuff.Viv's streak when it "mattered" is not exactly spectacular is it? Precisely my point about most greats in fact.

    Rizwan, Good idea. Best policy when one is rendered speechless.I may have added a "LOL", but Ananth doesn't take too kindly too them.

    Alex, 1st inn. bowling performances should get preference in general. 2nd inn. bowling performances only when defending a small target. When faced with a large target and with batsmen with no option but to throw their bats around the bowlers can hardly take credit.

  • Alex on February 11, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    Ananth - In your article after WC '11, perhaps you can add tables on the best catches and the best run outs.

    It is very tough to find great WC bowling performances with 4 or more wickets. Many times, a 3-for (or even a 1-for) has been more decisive: Akram's '92 final, Madan Lal's '83 final, etc.

    I like McGrath's 8-1-18-3 vs SA in '07 SF. It reduced SA to 27 for 5 and really decided that SF within its first 30 minutes. McGrath had hammered similar nails in India's coffin back in '99 WC. [[ When I do my complete Ratings type work this the way it will be done. Madan Lal's 3-xx is ranked ahead of many a 5-wkt haul. The quality of batsmen diismissed, when they were dismissed all contribute to this. Ananth: ]]

  • rizwan on February 11, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    I ignored comments by Abhi & others but an inaccurate statement should not be allowed to go unchallenged.

    FACT - India had qualified when Sachin made 98 but Pakistan had not. Therefore, it wasn’t a crunch match for India i.e. even if India had lost, they would have been eligible for the q/finals. However, for Pakistan it was a must win match and pressure was on them to deliver [[ I am coming to a few readers to help me in my complete analysis. I want this very information. What is the importance to teams: separately. Ananth: ]]

    Ananth Is it possible to incorporate an element of subjectivity in your analysis. Consider Warne’s record in IMPORTANT matches 1999-Final –4 for 33 1999 Semis-4 for 29 defending 213(SA had scored 43 in 10 before Warne snapped up top batters viz.Kirsten,Gibbs,Cronje & Kalli)-a contender for the BEST EVER. 1996 Semi Final – 4 for 36 (defending 207)It takes a lot of nerve to defend low 200 s Its an unequal battle (especially in the last 15 years) between bat & ball; flat tracks, small grounds, power plays etc.One final though, heavier bats were permitted but shouldn’t something done to the ball? [[ I have long advocated the following, but my influence is 0.001% of what is really required. 1. Allow two bowlers to bowl 20% extra overs each. 12+12 means only 6 overs for the fifth bowler. It will also work better in team selection. 2. Take away the Bowling PP. 10 overs at first followed by one Batting PP. 3. Take away the free-hit. 4. Take away the nonsense of waist-high full toss rule. Harmless balls which have already been sent for fours/sixes are now being called No ball. I have seen a batsman who has already hit the ball for four looking at the umpire suggesting a no ball call. 5. Move the danger zone high to chest high. The batsmen are anyway protected everywhere. Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on February 10, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    Ananth:

    How about studying trends that were created by world cups? I can think of slower ball in 1987 (Steve Waugh and Walsh used it effectively). 1992 saw make shift openers (Botham, Greatbatch and for a couple of matches, Kapildev) and opening the bowling with a spinner. 1996 saw explosive opening pairs (Jayasurya and Kalu, Anwar and Sohail), 1999 saw pinch blocker (Abdul Razzaq did it effectively).

    But statistically, I dont know whether world cups created a trend, e,g,, can we look at how say run rates or wickets changed after world cups (or did they change at all)? I am just guessing that the run rate in ODIs should have seen a moderate surge after 1996 but may be a bigger surge after 1999 or 2003 (teams consistently started chasing bigger totals? not sure).

    This may be tricky, but do you think such an analysis can be done? Was just curious to know whether world cups created any trends in ODIs.... [[ I have earlier done the period-wise analysis of ODIs. These could be related to WCs. The major changes occured after 1992/1996,. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhinandan Chiney on February 10, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Great article! A different angle all together..! It is a really tough job to get into the details of so many WC matches and come up with this..! Job well done..! Yes there could have been a few modifications to the lists provided.. and the suggestions have been made.! Only thing that I would like to say is that the method takes a subjective view of the impact of an innings rather than an objective view.. An inclusion of strike rates/economy rates (as compared to other players in the match to make ot fair) would have made some difference I am sure.. Never the less an awesome compilation! [[ The nth time I am saying this. A complete objective analysis of all performances would be done at the end of the WCX 2011. Ananth: ]]

  • AD on March 10, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    Ananth, FYI me and a few friends sometimes discuss your analyses and send off a comment from the small cyber cafe right next to college where we sometimes lounge around. These comments will be from the same set of machines or sometimes perhaps from the same machine itself. [[ AD I have absolutely no problems with that. The instances I had mentioned were a clear case of one person under different names sending critical mails. You and your friends are not necessarily going to send 6 mails on the same theme. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on February 16, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    @Alex. I`ll never forgive Chaminda for that performance. I`d spent a week in Sydney with a group of Japanese university students studying Australian sports - mainly cricket and AFL. We`d even spent 2 days making a bilingual instructional cricket video, and then I took them to a local bar to watch the first few overs of that game, their first look at live cricket.

    I remember standing up at the end of the first over saying `No,no. This isn`t what cricket`s like. This is all wrong.`

    What an introduction to the game, but what do you say? There`s not usually this much action? [[ A hat-trick off the first three balls and another wicket off the fifth ball was certainly the wrong introduction into Cricket. I did not have it in my liost only because of the average quality of the opposition. Belatedly I could add. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 15, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Ananth - http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/500688.html has a good collection of top WC bowling performances. Vaas' 6 for 25 is clearly in a league of its own due to the 1st over itself.

  • unni on February 11, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    Interesting adjustment to the runs. The cricketing memory gets structured. Still can't resist extending the computations to more analytic domain from discreteness. Another idea I could think of treating the subject is to equate the opponent to a tree which is growing up as the tournament progresses. The growth is nothing but, wins.

    So, if the runs are adjusted according to the opponent team's current 'victory tree height' you will get a more granular rating factor and you can escape arbitrary weightage factors.

  • Syed Ammar Saeed on February 11, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    Good work. But I was surprised to see year of WC as 86 instead of 87 (Reliance Cup)at one place, held in Pakistan and India jointly. rgds ammar [[ Just a mistake. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on February 11, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    PK, Great stuff.Viv's streak when it "mattered" is not exactly spectacular is it? Precisely my point about most greats in fact.

    Rizwan, Good idea. Best policy when one is rendered speechless.I may have added a "LOL", but Ananth doesn't take too kindly too them.

    Alex, 1st inn. bowling performances should get preference in general. 2nd inn. bowling performances only when defending a small target. When faced with a large target and with batsmen with no option but to throw their bats around the bowlers can hardly take credit.

  • Alex on February 11, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    Ananth - In your article after WC '11, perhaps you can add tables on the best catches and the best run outs.

    It is very tough to find great WC bowling performances with 4 or more wickets. Many times, a 3-for (or even a 1-for) has been more decisive: Akram's '92 final, Madan Lal's '83 final, etc.

    I like McGrath's 8-1-18-3 vs SA in '07 SF. It reduced SA to 27 for 5 and really decided that SF within its first 30 minutes. McGrath had hammered similar nails in India's coffin back in '99 WC. [[ When I do my complete Ratings type work this the way it will be done. Madan Lal's 3-xx is ranked ahead of many a 5-wkt haul. The quality of batsmen diismissed, when they were dismissed all contribute to this. Ananth: ]]

  • rizwan on February 11, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    I ignored comments by Abhi & others but an inaccurate statement should not be allowed to go unchallenged.

    FACT - India had qualified when Sachin made 98 but Pakistan had not. Therefore, it wasn’t a crunch match for India i.e. even if India had lost, they would have been eligible for the q/finals. However, for Pakistan it was a must win match and pressure was on them to deliver [[ I am coming to a few readers to help me in my complete analysis. I want this very information. What is the importance to teams: separately. Ananth: ]]

    Ananth Is it possible to incorporate an element of subjectivity in your analysis. Consider Warne’s record in IMPORTANT matches 1999-Final –4 for 33 1999 Semis-4 for 29 defending 213(SA had scored 43 in 10 before Warne snapped up top batters viz.Kirsten,Gibbs,Cronje & Kalli)-a contender for the BEST EVER. 1996 Semi Final – 4 for 36 (defending 207)It takes a lot of nerve to defend low 200 s Its an unequal battle (especially in the last 15 years) between bat & ball; flat tracks, small grounds, power plays etc.One final though, heavier bats were permitted but shouldn’t something done to the ball? [[ I have long advocated the following, but my influence is 0.001% of what is really required. 1. Allow two bowlers to bowl 20% extra overs each. 12+12 means only 6 overs for the fifth bowler. It will also work better in team selection. 2. Take away the Bowling PP. 10 overs at first followed by one Batting PP. 3. Take away the free-hit. 4. Take away the nonsense of waist-high full toss rule. Harmless balls which have already been sent for fours/sixes are now being called No ball. I have seen a batsman who has already hit the ball for four looking at the umpire suggesting a no ball call. 5. Move the danger zone high to chest high. The batsmen are anyway protected everywhere. Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on February 10, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    Ananth:

    How about studying trends that were created by world cups? I can think of slower ball in 1987 (Steve Waugh and Walsh used it effectively). 1992 saw make shift openers (Botham, Greatbatch and for a couple of matches, Kapildev) and opening the bowling with a spinner. 1996 saw explosive opening pairs (Jayasurya and Kalu, Anwar and Sohail), 1999 saw pinch blocker (Abdul Razzaq did it effectively).

    But statistically, I dont know whether world cups created a trend, e,g,, can we look at how say run rates or wickets changed after world cups (or did they change at all)? I am just guessing that the run rate in ODIs should have seen a moderate surge after 1996 but may be a bigger surge after 1999 or 2003 (teams consistently started chasing bigger totals? not sure).

    This may be tricky, but do you think such an analysis can be done? Was just curious to know whether world cups created any trends in ODIs.... [[ I have earlier done the period-wise analysis of ODIs. These could be related to WCs. The major changes occured after 1992/1996,. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhinandan Chiney on February 10, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Great article! A different angle all together..! It is a really tough job to get into the details of so many WC matches and come up with this..! Job well done..! Yes there could have been a few modifications to the lists provided.. and the suggestions have been made.! Only thing that I would like to say is that the method takes a subjective view of the impact of an innings rather than an objective view.. An inclusion of strike rates/economy rates (as compared to other players in the match to make ot fair) would have made some difference I am sure.. Never the less an awesome compilation! [[ The nth time I am saying this. A complete objective analysis of all performances would be done at the end of the WCX 2011. Ananth: ]]

  • Ad on February 10, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    No. of words in the entire article - 3343 No. of words relating to Tendulkar - 134 (approx 4%) No. of comments on Tendulkar - infinite

    Sorry Ananth, just couldn't resist myself :) [[ I hope at least you credit me with a balanced article !!! Ananth: ]]

  • Amit on February 10, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    now to the big part....TIME factor 1st phase 42 matches to be played in 21 days with 2 matches per day. Day 22 And Day 23 rest days Day 24 - QF team 1 vs Team8 Day 24 - QF team 2 vs Team7 Day 25 - QF team 3 vs team6 Day 25 - QF team 4 vs team5 Day 26 - QF team 1 vs Team8 Day 26 - QF team 2 vs Team7 Day 27 - QF team 3 vs team6 Day 27 - QF team 4 vs team5 Day 28 - QF team 1 vs Team8 Day 28 - QF team 2 vs Team7 Day 29 - QF team 3 vs team6 Day 29 - QF team 4 vs team5 Day 30 & 31 Rest Day Day 32 - 1st SF team 1 vs team4 Day 33 - 1st SF team 2 vs team3 Day 34 Rest Day Day 35 - 2nd SF team 1 vs team4 Day 36 - 2nd SF team 2 vs team3 Day 37 Rest Day Day 38 - 3rd SF team 1 vs team4 Day 39 - 3rd SF team 2 vs team3 Day 40,41,42,43 Rest Day Day 44- 1st Final Day 45,46 Rest Day Day 47 -2nd Final Day 48,49 Rest Day Day 50 -3rd Finals

    Each team plays a match in every 3 days. and 15 max matches, instead of 9. knockout of tournament due to 1 bad day will be avoided. will get fair winner. [[ Amit Sorry to say not acceptable to most people. No one would ever have QF/SF all in best-of-three format. Everyone will go crazy. Too many matches. The teams would not have 11 players to field at the end of the WC. Ananth: ]]

  • Amit on February 10, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    I would like to comment on a slightly off-topic for this article the format of wc 2011...it is the most boring format and unfair format i have seen. i want to know what people of think of the following format 7 teams in 2 groups = 6Match each TM (42tot) 8 teams enter QF best of 3 (12tot) 4 teams semi best of 3 (6tot) Finals best of 3 (3 tot) 1 team plays max 15 matches.....total 64 matches

  • PK on February 10, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    Maradona made a good pass and was well marked. When he was not marked? Argentina won because the entire team played a great match. It was a rather tight match and not at all one sided. The equivalent of scoring 359 in the first innings of a cricket WC final would be Argentina being down 0-5 at half time. Even the most hardened fans would not then expect Maradona to do a Houdini. No such luck for SRT. If I recall there has been only one instance of a team successfully chasing more than 359 in one day games. Interestingly, Viv Richards run in the Semifinals and Finals of World cups in chronological order is: 5, 5, 42,138*, 80*, 33. SRTs is 65, 83, 4. The success/failure ratio for Richards may be said to be 2 out of 6 and for SRT 2 out of 3. I actually feel sorry for SRT. One camp harbours irrational expectations. The other an almost fervent desire that he actually fails. They can gloatingly recount these failures in various blogs and forums with unbridled glee. It is scarce wonder that he is under such pressure. [[ I would seriously suggest a closure of this thread. Ananth: ]]

  • Pranav Joshi on February 10, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    (contd)...There was no slogging, no advancing down the track, no crazy shots, nothing. It was just sheer class. That is why it deserves to be in this list. For there is much more to a batsman's value than "performance in the big match". Major importance has to be given to class.

    Anyway. Talking of Sachin's crucial WC knocks - going reverse - 83 vs Kenya in the SF in 2003 (ya it was Kenya, so what it was the SF!); 140* against Kenya in the 1999 WC (India had lost the first two matches and really needed to win this one); 65 against SL in the 1996 WC SF (65 in a total of 120/8), 2 knocks in 1992 - 54* against Pak (a match that India won - India won only 1 major match in WC 1992) and 81 against Zim (the only other match India won). He was the highest scorer (and MOM) for India in both these matches. And the two failures - 4 against Aus in the 2003 WC Final, and 31 against Pak in 1996 WC QF. So Sachin's performance in crucial WC games is much better than many think... [[ I would seriously suggest a closure of this thread. Ananth: ]]

  • Pranav Joshi on February 10, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    To Rizwan, Waspsting etc.

    I dunno if you guys watched the 98 against Pakistan that is being so heavily discussed here. I hope you did.

    Someone said that Sachin let himself go that day because India had already qualified for the Super Sixes. Nothing can be farther from the truth, even factually.

    Sachin hardly played any high risk shots during the knock. The one that he tried (over mid off) was miscued, and dropped. There was one amazing six, but that delivery from Shoaib was short and very wide.

    Apart from this, it was all about beautiful drives - straight drives, cover drives, on drives. The next two shots in the same over of that six - especially the third shot - was one of a lifetime. Throughout the innings the timing and placement were for the Gods. The cover drives were more perfect than I have ever seen. Just listen to the (non-Indian) commentary too.

    He made 98 in 75 balls - out of which the first 64 came in 40 balls - without any risk. (contd)....

  • Navin on February 9, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    You are analyzing too many innings when you look at the whole WC. I think If you concentrate on the defining innigs that led to the team winning the WC then it makes more sense because then you will see the greatness of Lyod, Richard, Punter, Kapil, Waugh, Inzi etc etc. SRT, Ganguly, Dravid will not fugure in but everyone knows they are great players. [[ As I have explained quite a gew times there will be an analysis of all WC performances from all relevant factors at the end of the current WC. Ananth: ]]

  • Asif on February 9, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    What a fantastic column, made all the more interesting by the comments. Some of my comments that are here, there and everywhere:

    *The much debated 98: Plenty of reasons to include or exclude it. It's strictly personal and nobody is 'wrong' for his opinion. I'm tired of every column eventually descending to a debate of SRT's greatness.

    *Ponting's 140: Along with Lloyd's century in the final, it is the ultimate definition of a "Captain's Innings" and "leading from the front". It deserves a place if only for that.

    *Inzamam's 60 or Gilly's 149: Both were match winning; devastating and demoralizing the opposition. I'd rate the 149 higher simply because it came in a final and is ~2.5 times higher in terms of runs.

    *Maradona's world cup, Sachin's world cup: Maradona actually won the world cup and played, to borrow cricket's phrase, a blinder in every match (including the final). Scoring goals aren't the only way to contribute in football but scoring runs is, for a batsman, his main purpos [[ All points very well made. Ananth: ]]

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on February 9, 2011, 21:29 GMT

    I feel sorry for you Anantha. You have a very open and non-nationalistic love for cricket and your articles are wonderfully diverse in their statistical analysis. You don't let the raw numbers dictate and neither do you let the emotions dictate. Yet every article you ever write you are always accused by people all over the world of having this or that agenda, pro-this, anti-that. Being Pakistani myself, I can only apologise on behalf of some of my more narrow-minded brethren, though I'm sure you get it from all over the world. [[ No need at all to apologize. Most comments from my friends across the Jhelum have been well made and relevant. Ananth: ]]

  • cric_options on February 9, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    Ananth- Great article, thanks and congrats. And some great followup comments and your insight. One way to judge the importance of a game is to see how the bookies set the odds. And performances can then be weighted against such odds. Also if there was a way to take into account the batsman's or bowler's repute or stats before that game (in aggregate) and then assign weights to wickets taken or runs scored. I know its perhaps hard to get this data or its too involved, but just a request. I have been religiously following cricket since 1984 in my opinion Houghton's 142 is one of the greatest WC innings ever played. I feel the same way about NZ's loss to Pak in 92'. In fact before the game, I had told my friends, NZ would want to lose this game and they lost.I think a pure round robin WC might lead to conspiracies with teams having no-chance losing to others who can benefit, so knockouts are essential and 2 (Semi and Final) should be sufficient. And thus agree 92 was the best format.

  • Anand on February 9, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    Somebody once commented that the moon's light is more important than the sun's light because the moon provides light in the night when it is dark and the sun only provides light when it is anyway bright in the day.

    This is how I intepret comments about underrating Sachin's 98 against Pak and his performances in world cups just because he failed in the final (mind you, he played only one. By the way, Bevan, McGrath, Warne, Viv Richards, all failed in their first world cup final). I am not saying it is ok to fail in the final, remember no professional WANTS TO FAIL. It just happens sometimes. In the 2007 world cup Hayden was consistently out performing Gilchrist except the FINAL. So would his previous achievements in the tournament be under-rated? People should remember that most of Sachin's good performances in cricket are overlooked because it put India in such a comfortable position. Then in a knock out match he doesnt deliver and people bay for his blood. [[ Let us distinguish between Performers across a tournament and stand-out Performances. Tendulkar (2003) and Hayden (2007) might lead the filed in the first while Ponting (2003) and Gilchrist (2007) might top the field in the second. Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on February 9, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    I am not a fanatic who thinks Sachin is God, but he is human too and can fail at critical times. One cannot underrate his good performance based on his non-performances. By the way ASSUMING ALL OTHER RESULTS AS THEY ARE, Kapil's 175 is inconsequential. If world cup win and PERFORMING WHEN IT MATTERS are the only criteria, 1. Botham, Hadlee, Abdul Razzaq, Flintoff, Chris Cairns, Kallis are all poor all rounders (no world cup win, infact Botham scored a 0 in the final) and Binny, Madanlal, Darren Lehmann and Andrew Symonds are better all rounders. 2. Kris Srikkanth is the best Indian batsman that ever played (top scored in a FINAL of a WORLD CUP resulting in a WIN, or may be he scored 38, margin was 43 so it was INCONSEQUENTIAL?) 3. Saeed Anwar and Saqlain Mushtaq are no good (didint perform in a WORLD CUP FINAL) 4. De Silva is a better spinner than Murali (picked more wickets in the FINAL (thank God SL won the cup else Allan Border would be a better spinner overall). [[ No, Anand you are over-stating. The performances in Finals and in difficult matters are defining performances and have been selected for that purpose. As I have explained in your other comment, the results would be quite different if I do an analysis of Performers across a World Cup. And the truth is that on the day, during the 1996 semi-final and final, I repeat, on those days, Jayasuriya and de Silva were the better spinners. This statement is made without in any way downplaying Mulari's greatness. Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on February 9, 2011, 20:23 GMT

    Reg Tendulkar's 98 vs Pakistan at Centurion: People claim that India would have made it to super sixes and made it to SF in that WC irrespective of the result of that match. I am not sure if that argument is correct. How many times in cricket have we seen loss of morale changing the tournament. I dont know how many readers realise that an India vs Pak match in a world cup is high pressure for both sides and it is a final before a final. A match can be termed "inconsequential" assuming all other results as they are. What one should realise though is a change in one result can cause a lot of changes in future. If anyone remembers the test match between Aus and Pak in 1999 (Hobart) Langer and Gilchrist pulled off a miracle. But assuming ALL OTHER RESULTS OF AUSTRALIA'S TESTS AS THEY ARE, that match becomes INCONSEQUENTIAL (Aus beat Pak anyway and win 13 matches in a row instead of 16, still a world record because the previous record was 10). So will people ignore that mammoth effort?

  • Simrat on February 9, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    "Four wickets in four balls is referred to in cricket literature and record books as four in four but the term double hat-trick has also been used in the media, as it will contain two different, overlapping sets of three consecutively dismissed batsmen". this is in regard to your reply to nadisha's comment. It has been called a double hattrick, though it is misleading and suggests 6 in 6. Great article, however.

  • Abhi on February 9, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    Alex, Don’t know how in the world you read into my comments what you did. There is no question of putting down other batsmen. To use your own eg. Maradona is idolised in Arg. and has by far the biggest fan following and had the greatest pressure in his playing days. Argentines lionising Maradona does not mean they are putting down other Arg. star footballers. It’s just that Maradona is Maradona. And lets face it- however you may want to look at it – Tendulkar is Tendulkar.

  • Abhi on February 9, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    Gerry…. Let’s take arguably the 3 Greatest players of the modern era: There’s an interesting way of looking at it from your point of view. We can look at the records when the team lost. When the team loses then that is generally the time it should “matter” most- (NOT according to me , of course. But according to some ppl in here). To me EVERY innings in a “non-dead” rubber “matters”( you never know how events will transpire as the match progresses- only in hindsight). Assuming for now that a lot of wins are team efforts barring the odd one man army jobs where all team members fail and our hero triumphs single handedly… So, here’s the averages for 2nd innings in Tests( 3rd and 4th) and 2nd innings in ODIs in losses. If our heroes had done better perhaps they may then have averted the loss- So, the averages when it really “mattered”…. Tests : 2 nd inn. averages in losses: Tendulkar: 32.9 ,Richards: 29.5 , Lara: 32.9 ODIs: 2nd innings averages in losses: Tendulkar: 31.6 ,Richards: 27.8 , Lara: 25.6 So,essentially, your “perceptions” are just that- perceptions. With no basis whatsoever. Like I said, the Big 3 have all failed . It is just that for the truly Great the failures tend to stand out among some folk who like to use some examples as leverage for their particular argument. This should bust a lot of myths which have been built up over the years.

  • Jonathan Ellis on February 9, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    An often-overlooked all-round performance would be Ian Botham's against Australia in the 1992 World Cup - four wickets including three in one over (which I think was also a maiden?) followed by a quickfire fifty opening the batting on a fairly sluggish pitch. Because it wasn't a 5-for, and it wasn't even the highest English score (Gooch overtook it), it doesn't look particularly great, but as all-round matches go, it was pretty good... and it knocked Australia all but out, and gave Pakistan a tiny chance of qualifying...

  • Alex on February 9, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    Ananth - sure. I think even if this WC doesn't see a team crossing 400 in an innings, you upcoming article on SRT might elicit 400+ comments! I might score a 50 myself! Anyway, SRT's Top 3 (according to him before his 200*): 134 vs Aus, 117* vs Aus, and 138 vs SL. Note that he chose only the finals' knocks.

    He thought the Ind-Pak rivalry made the 98 special and preferred not to comment on the 175. The 143 was not mentioned either. Together with the 200*, these probably should make his Top 8 batting performances. Interestingly, these all featured batting of the highest class in high profile must win matches vs top class opponents.

  • Waspsting on February 9, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    @Abhi - follow your own advice, and go back and read my comment.

    I said it was a lovely knock. and was contesting the perception that SRT made the hard conditions appear easy.

    It was a spinning wicket, and he scored against the paceman up front (IOW, the difficult conditions played little part - though to play the paceman that well is still a fine feat). He scored off Dharmasena (who didn't turn much, and didn't particularly trouble the other batsmen. He played Murali (who always turns a mile, so we think of it as "he played Murali well" NOT "the pitch was terrible, and he made it look easy" - again no small feat to play Murali regardless)

    The kicker was Jayasuriya, who usually doesn't turn much, but was going square that day. Thats when we knew the pitch was a brute. And he didn't play much of Jayasuriya, got out to him in fact.

    I stand by my perceptions. Lovely knock, but not a case of "making a bad pitch appear good"

    (continued) <[[ By mistake I deleted the continuation. My apologies to WS. Abhi, WS has asked you to look towards the end of Madhu's article. Possibly to see some of the comments he had made. Ananth: ]]

  • Syed on February 9, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    Great analysis Ananth! I agree with you that India was starting to perform better on the world stage, however I would still consider the 1983 win as one of the biggest upsets in world cup history only because nobody (atleast from what I have heard) imagined that something like that would happen. I have read so many articles on Cricinfo stating that even the wives of the Indian cricketers were not sure if they could match the Mighty WI's. Even Indian players later commented that they were galvanised eventhough they had beaten the odds.

    On the other hand, I am a great fan of Kapil and Viv. I have seen Kapils 175 and Vivs 189, both a gem of an innings. In my opinion, I would consider Viv's 189 marginally higher than Kapils 175 - may be I am giving more points to Viv's flair than to Kapil's masterful hitting.

  • Alex on February 9, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    Gerry: I would also add SRT's MoM match-winning 138 vs SL in the '09 Compaq final. This truly great knock remains strangely ignored even though he himself rates it as his All-Time Top 3 ODI knock. [[ And the twin heroics at Sharjah against Australia must not be forgotten. Ananth: ]]

    1. Maradona made a fantastic winning pass in the '86 final and had 2 defenders on him all through (Matthaeus did a great job) which freed up his team-mates. No way he can be termed a failure in that final.

    2. In '03 final, SRT failed, Dravid did OK and Sehwag made an excellent 82. However, Ponting had pretty much put the match beyond India's reach to begin with.

    3. The only batsman who came close to SRT in '03 WC was Gibbs. Gibbs was even more phenomenal but played just 6 matches as his hopes were dashed by SA's yet another "How to Lose a WC" act.

  • Abhishek on February 9, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    wow Ananth great article, it must have taken a long time i can guess...I think Sourav Ganguly's 183 knock against Sri Lanka in 99 WC is missing and so is Rahul Dravid's 145 in the same match...that was a must win match for India against the title defenders and India lost their first wicket right in the very first over...but Ganguly_Dravid partnership changed the match...

  • PK on February 9, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    For all the strenuous attempts of the minority to negate SRT’s greatness, in my opinion SRT is as good as Bradman. [[ I get the feeling everything is on an over-reaction basis. Very few have negated SRT's greatness. Mostly readers have been commenting on one innings. Ananth: ]]

    Their particular achievements are unmatched, albeit statistically unlike in their own ways given the vast difference in eras, conditions and formats. This is akin to various fans and experts from the football fraternity who insist that Maradona was at least as good, if not better, than Pele. This in spite of the fact that Pele trumps Maradona in most respects statistically, including GPGs, World cup wins, goals in World Cup finals et al. Fortunately for Argentina and Maradona, Maradona had a team to back him up in the 1986 World Cup Final. Maradona himself didn’t score in the final but the football fraternity knew that without Maradona, Argentina would have not have been there in the first place. Technically, Like SRT, it may be said that Maradona failed in the World Cup Final. Unfortunately, SRT did not have anyone to fill his boots if he failed in the 2003 Final. So, even though Ponting, Symonds and others played magnificent innings at various stages, to my mind, the 2003 World cup is still “Sachin’s Cup” much as the 1986 World Cup was “Maradona’s Cup”.

  • QRK on February 9, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    who's "Irfan Niaz".. i think thats an imagination. [[ Yes, it could as well have been "Adel Rasheed"!!! Ananth: ]]

  • QRK on February 9, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    I would go with Srikanthk's choice of Inzimam, coz the pakistanis wld not have made it to finals and never won the world cup, + there were no more proper batsmen to come after inzimam, so the onus of carrying the team over the ropes depended on him, and yet after he was out pakistanis still rqrd an odd 36-38 in five overs, whereas gilchrist was an opener, with he and matt haydo going good and still more destructors to come in form of ricky, symo, clarke etc etc... the only thing that goes into his favor was that they were in finals... over to u ananth... [[ I only threw Gilchrist's innings into the ring. Pl remember both the innings are in my original list. Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 9, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Abhi Would like to comment that the perception of Tendulkar failing in a final did not start with the 2003 world cup. It started in 1997 (Barbados test), his getting out at 136 against Pakistan from an unforced error, strong performances in triangular one-day tournaments followed by failures in finals a few times (especially South Africa), failure in the great 2001 Calcutta test and the run chase in Chennai, followed by the world cup. His success have been many, but have fallen in a pattern which does not eliminate this perception. The performances of the other greats you have mentioned does / did not fall into this pattern. However, Tendulkar has foregone easy runs against NZ, done well in tougher conditions in SA, done well in finals in 2008 in Australia (117*, 91), so perhaps he is going about setting the record straight.

  • Alex on February 9, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Abhi: you have right to your opinions but looking down on other Ind batsmen is not on.

    1. It is true that he is the only batsman to top-score (with good consistency too!) in 2 editions of the WC: '96 and '03.

    2. It is also true that no other Indian batsman performed well in '96: he really was the one-man army in '96 WC.

    3. Things changed in '97. The best Indian batsmen in '99 WC were Ganguly & Dravid: SRT flopped badly in '99. To me, that is the real black mark on SRT's WC CV.

    4. In '03, SRT was again the best batsman on scene. However, others did well to take the pressure off him: Ganguly, Dravid, Yuvraj, & Sehwag. On the 98 vs Pak, India still needed fully 100 runs when he got out ... Dravid & Yuvraj superbly finished the job and got no recognition (as usual).

    Likewise, the myth of Lara being the lone ranger in WI teams is put to rest - at least in ODI's over '02-'07. WI had good batsmen but just were a terrible bowling & fielding side with no strategy to get better.

  • Venkatesh on February 9, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    I really fail to understand why Sachin's 98 vs pakistan is in the list of all time greatest performances. Going by your own system, it was a group game so weight is 100%. So that makes it 98 runs.. Do you really mean to say that there havent been more valuable or more runs scored in a single match ??? Case in point. Sachin himslf hs scored 4 hundreds. Ganguly has scored 183 in a match in 1999. So there really is no reason to put it on the list, unless it is to satisfy the large contingent of the Indian fans on board. [[ I can only laugh at your comments. I did not know this is an "All time great" list. This is my list of the best WC innings from my point of view. And when quite a few plumped for a few other innings they were added. You guys do not want to give the space to select my list. If you come in with your own list, I (or 100 other readers) could question half of those. But do not ascribe imaginary motives. I am in the very fortunate position of being taken to task from readers whichever side of the road they are in. No problems. Ananth: ]]

  • Santosh S on February 9, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    Great article Ananth.....keep up the good work. Just a few thoughts. On Shrikanthk's comments on the format, I think the semifinal and Final concept that we have been following over the years is good enough........after all havent we witnessed the best team winning the world cup in all the editions??? (Though India '83 Austrlia '87 and Pakistan '92 might be considered surprise packages. I think they were the best teams in the those cups). The essence of knock outs is that the team raises its game on the given day under the pressure against varied opposition.

    Ananth, I agree the EPL is a good format but even the soccer world cup has knockout quartefinals, semi finals and final, yet we have still been seing all these years that the best performing team in the tournament has gone on to win the cup, same goes for Hockey, Rugby and in tennis we have knock outs from round one in the grand slams yet the best players win...so whatever the format History tells us that the best DO survive.

  • Dinesh on February 9, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    Ananth,its a very gud and exhaustive article...but i hav my doubts in about some issues.... regarding the importance of matches...in some world cups i.e 2007 every match was important but in others say 2003 when INdia and AUS were stream rolling others the some matches had low or no significance....so can u do a analysis keeping this in mind.

  • Alex on February 9, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Ananth - I am a bit sad that no one is suggesting outstanding bowling performances. Here are two more that I did not see live but must have been decisive:

    1. Pollock: 5 for 36 vs Aus ('99 SF); 2. Donald: 4 for 17 vs Eng ('99). [[ Both were wonderful performances and have been forgotten in the light of Warne's 4-wkt collection and the Klluesener/Donald Mutt-and-Jeff act. Pollock took out the Waughs, Bevan, Moody and Warne and deserves inclusion. In the light of so few bowling performances and your persistence, will include that !!! Ananth: ]]

    Pollock especially has had wonderfully economical performances in WC's. Counting from the '79 edition, he might be the most economical bowler in WC history (ahead of Ambrose & McGrath) barring Garner.

  • trader on February 9, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    It will be really interesting to see Sreesants stocks surge after the recent news on Tradeosports.com ...........lets see how he performs on the field this time

  • a pakistani on February 9, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    @ shrikanthk: You're right about luck. You can call it luck and we call it God's miracle that Pakistan made it to the '92 semis. Everyone beat everyone exactly as it suited US. But what happened after that was not luck. It was two sudden death games in which Pakistan outplayed the opponents. You can't say they didn't because otherwise they wouldn't have beaten teams who had thus far performed much better than them. And no we never deny fate and we always thank God for that cup (and for the man who brought it home) :) And therefore I maintain that knockouts are good. I do agree with Ananth though, that three knockout games (as in this cup) are also a good thing. Many people (incl me)consider '92 to be the fairest cup. But its also true that three knockouts are better than two.

  • rizwan on February 9, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    Cricket is a game between bat and ball but bowling performances are not given the same importance and recognition as batting efforts.

    I sincerely hope Ananth’s next magnum opus will factor the bowling efforts as well in far greater detail .Its by no means an easy task to crunch the numbers as well as to take in to consideration qualitative factors (Tail Enders or pure batsmen etc.)

  • shrikanthk on February 9, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Ananth: I'd rate the Inzy knock ahead of the Gilchrist hundred. Inzy's knock was played while chasing a big total after his more reputed predecessors in the batting order had trudged their way along for the first 30 overs. Moreover, he had no real reputation to pull off the kind of innings he did at that point. Also, it was against a pretty nagging NZ attack that was very hard to dominate especially in the middle overs. I saw the highlights again recently. Trust me, NZ didn't bowl all that badly. Inzy made things happen on a fairly slow pitch against the old ball.

    What all you say is applicable to the Indian players and a few foreign players.

    It's applicable to a lot of cricketers provided they are humble enough and diligent enough to make the most of the opportunities. Worldwide travel while you're still in your teens! Huh. It makes me salivate. Imagination boggles at the kind of personal and professional network one can build! [[ Anyhow let us conclude that the great players become great by their single-minded dedication to the game, ability to perform at all times and their being team-men. May not be easy but nothing is easy. Today I read about Aamer refusing to co-operate and not having remorse at what he had done. If this is true I only bemoan the loss of great talent not the fate which has befallen them. Players come and go. Tomorrow Pakistan will unearth a "Irfan Niaz" more talented than Aamer who would think twice, no, a hundred times, before being tempted. He might be the next great bowler and Aamer's self-inflicted mis-fortune would have been partly responsible for this. Ananth: ]]

  • shrikanthk on February 9, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    Okay. Enough ranting on spot fixing.

    Re the greatest World Cup performance: The finest WC innings of all should be a pretty easy pick. Inzamam Ul Haq's 60 off 32 balls in the '92 Semi Final. I was 8 years old when that happened. I cannot think of another innings that matches Inzy's for the sheeer violence of the strokeplay and its impact on the opposition's morale, keeping in mind the match context. [[ Compare this with Gilchrist's 149. Ananth: ]]

    Another very underrated pair of innings : Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana going berserk against India in a group game at Delhi. To my mind, that game marked a turning point in the history of ODIs.

    India had scored 271 thanks to a Sachin century. It was SL's 2nd game in the WC (thanks to forfeitures by WI and Aus). And the way Sanath and Kalu went about the chase changed all our conceptions of how ODI cricket should be played. I think they had scored around 50 in the first 4-5 overs and the game was sealed by the time Sanath got out!

    A seminal chase in the history of ODIs.

  • Ajay on February 9, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    Ananth,

    Great Analysis.

    I agree with the point that 'All World Cup Matches are important.' There really are no 'dead' games, like a bilateral contest, as every result might have a 'butterfly effect' on the tournament.

    But surely, there is scope for qualitative differentiation in the group stage, even though it is as simplistic as test-playing and non-test-playing opponent? 98 against Wasim-Waquar-Shoaib and 150 against Namibia surely don't deserve the same rating? Please let me know what do you think.

    Keep up the good work. Looking forward to the preview article. [[ In this article I have already mentioned that such differential other than the stage of the tournament will not be considered. But certainly at a later date, yes. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on February 9, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Ananth, The MOMs and 50s may not be “objective” …but at least they give an insight into the impact created by a player.

  • Abhi on February 9, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    Waspsting: Wow.Incredible logic. Now, after slandering Ananth with "nonsense"- you apparently "mis remember"? George Bush would be proud of you. If you have the time in your busy schedule- please read my comment again. The anti Tendulkar brigade’s ONLY little piece of ammo remaining after 2 decades is that Tendulkar apparently never performed when it “mattered”…(So, the several hundreds of innings he has played in both formats are essentially dead rubber type runs)…Like I said, in most normal people this would evoke a Jim Carreyesque response, with eyes popping out of the head. Tendulkar had one shot in a WC final, chasing 360 and he flops. Nevermind that this feat of chasing has hardly ever been accomplished, much less in WCs where even the Greatest West Indian team ever assembled could not chase 180 odd. Trust me- they have ALL failed when it “mattered” very ,very often…Richards, Lara, Ponting etc etc…You name it - in must win games, either in the group or later stages.

    It is JUST that some of them have had many MORE chances in “finals” to redeem themselves.

    - and at several points of time other teammates have put their hands up to fill in …This is actually what makes Great teams and WC cup winning teams. One man cannot win a tournament single handedly. He may win a game here and there. But to expect one man to take you from the 1st round to final victory , without all team members supporting…and filling in the blanks during his flops..is seriously delusional. I had mentioned a while back that in a way Tendulkar is vaguely like Napoleon, or Alexander (Yeah,yeah- I know I’m pushing the analogies, but what the heck!)…After conquering just about everything I can bet Napoleon’s critics would hardly be able to remember his victories- They would mostly only remember Waterloo.

    Hamza, Thank you for your insightful comment.

  • shrikanthk on February 9, 2011, 3:20 GMT

    @shrikanthk: Knockouts are the best test of a team's performance under severe pressure.

    pakistani: Experience in life has taught me that "performance under severe pressure" is often a euphemism for "good luck". Good fortune is retrospectively denied and instead attributed to non-existent virtues like - "ability to handle pressure". It is, after all, human nature to credit oneself and deny the role of fate!

    Cricket is a pretty chancy game as it is. Limited overs cricket even more so. The least we can do is to mitigate the role of chance by having a proper format.

    wasp: The lives of cricketers are not as hard as it is made out to be. Intl cricket gives you an instant "name recognition" which is a tremendous asset in whatever you do post retirement. It opens up several jobs like writing/commentary that are only a pipedream for you and me, no matter how knowledgeable we are. I only wish these cricketers are grateful for their good fortune and stop cribbing about auction deals. [[ What all you say is applicable to the Indian players and a few foreign players. Ananth: ]]

  • Rohit Singh on February 9, 2011, 2:47 GMT

    This blog has become 'I hate Tendulkar' place to go. Despite your claim of maintaining civility you constantly allow one track minds to derail any meaningful debate on this site. Read some of the comments with care and see for yourself. [[ Let me then say that one half of the blog is "I will not allow you to say one word against my idol" forum. Objectivity is needed across the board. The one track minds exist on either side of the divide. Ananth: ]]

  • AJ on February 8, 2011, 23:31 GMT

    Anantha Narayanan

    I am a bit lost on purpose of this article- I can see some tabulation of histrocial data but what else? I cannot see anay analysis pre se and how about some predictions?? [[ Some tabulation ??? You have missed the hours of work behind the tabulations. No problems. The preview article will come out in the next 2/3 days. Ananth: ]]

  • Waspsting on February 8, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    Might be mis-remembering SRT's innings against Sri Lanka in 96 finals. Its been awhile. Some of you have been good enough to show FACTS to that effect.

    My impression is that Murali bowled overs to him, and since he ALWAYS turned the ball sharply, we couldn't tell that the pitch was at fault. Its only when Jayasuria started turning it square that we realized something was up with the pitch... and SRT didn't play him much.

    Abhi - i don't know what your talking about, but am amused to be thought "anti-Tendulkar" (Ananth, who probably knows my opinions better than you, probably agrees). I'm doing you the courtesy of asking you "What are you talking about?" instead of saying something like -

    "I give up. Tendulkar is god and thats that... his ducks are better than Lara's double hundreds. Who is Bradman?"(Ananth tends to censure my witticisms anyway)

    If you tell me what exactly you think you perceive instead of your "these fools" superior gesture, I'll get back to u. Fair? [[ I will state with no hesitation whatsoever that your comments are fair and do not pull down any player at all. Rizwan is a recent entrant and I have found his comments also enlightening. And I can assure all that there were times when I felt some reader, including all of you, have crossed the line and I have blocked the comment. None of us can put a face to the other. We are bound by our love for the game and will have our disagreements. We should accept that and move on. Have fun. I have often seen comments to other Cricinfo articles containing filthy language and vitriolic towards contradicting opinions. I have tried hard for two plus years to have a good community here. All for a pot of gold. No !!! You will all LOL (in your own words) if you know what I get. Ananth: ]]

  • Hamza on February 8, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    Give chance for other names too other then the brainless Indians. You have been mentioning Indians only with your arrogant style. [[ Thank you for this profound observation. One Indian often comes into any discussion. Agreed. Other than that I and the readers would like to know when the following became "Indians". Pl enlighten us. These are the players whose names have occured most frequently. Ponting Steve Waugh Symonds Mark Waugh de Silva Jayasuriya Inzamam-ul-haq Wasim Akram Gilchrist Garner, to name just 10. Thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • Waspsting on February 8, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    @srikanthk - let me re-phrase.

    Its inevitable that this will happen. Take a 100 people and offer them all huge bribes to do something that, in the context of their job is almost INSIGNIFICANT. Its not a question of what one particular individual would do - but inevitably, some will say "YES". [[ Absolutely true. In any profession this will happen. Until recently the Armed Forces in India was thought to be almost incorruptible. But many a scandal has come out in the past few years. Noble professions like Teaching and medical are not exempt. A player can say he does not have a price. But there may not be a carrot but a stick which is being used. I am sorry to say this, but if a bowler is told "You will either bowl these two no-balls or we will brek your legs", horrifying, but what does he do, But true looking at what happens. Happens often in Mumbai. I know of recalcitrant tenants who have been given told to move out or else...The nexus between cricket, betting and the underworld is frightening. What is the truth behind Zulqarnain episode. Ananth: ]]

    I won't go into the hard life of a cricketer much.I won't go into cricket's history, which is tainted by players not only being underpaid, but propaganda being spread to encourage them to think earning money from the game is "bad".

    by the age of 30, he's out of a job, and has to fend for himself for the rest of his life. how much money can he make in those years? what does it do to him mentally when he's disallowed to earn the cash his colleagues makes (i.e. IPL).

    Judge or don't judge these guys, thats your perogative - but know that what happened was understandable.

  • Adi on February 8, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    Ananth...thanks for the info on the 2015 WC and more so for being a saviour on a boring office day...your column and the comments took up at least 2 of those boring office hours and I cant think off a way they could have been better spent! Looking forward to more of these.. And while I am at it,a suggestion and I know its a pretty stupid one but still.. Two of the innings that I can remember and witnessed...SRT's 98 and Waugh's 120 included famous 'life-s'given to the batsmen which otherwise could cut short these innings...any method could these be accounted for in the rankings ? [[ Lives are not recorded anywhere. Some drops, such as Gibbs's are discussed often but there is no dependable data on these. Anyhow my take is that these are part of the game and folklore. It is what is made of these lives which matters. Ananth: ]]

  • Gaurav Gupta on February 8, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Amir: This kid has loads of skill and a very clever cricketing brain. At 18, he was doing what Wasim was doing in his pomp - at 28. A couple more years of international experience and he would have matured into a genuine strike bowler competing with the likes of Steyn. Since this was a landmark case for the ICC, I believe a 5 year ban is too long and harsh. A 2 yr ban would have served the same purpose - Amir realizing that he chose the wrong path and other youngsters taking him as an example would stay away from the bookies. With the 5 year ban, Amir is losing his fastest-bowling years. World cricket as it stands now, really needs genuine fast bowlers.

    Performance: A performance worth mentioning is Mark Waugh's century against the local favorites on a spinning wicket against India in the 96 world cup. Not to forget he came out to bowl and got rid of SRT when he was threatening to take the game away from Australia. [[ That too, off a wide, if i remember correctly. Ananth: ]]

  • Gaurav Gupta on February 8, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    Great compilation Ananth ! I just spent two hours at work going through the article and reading all the comments. Here is my perspective on some of the topics being discussed in the Comments section :

    SRT: Well, what can one say ! Any cricket discussion is incomplete without his name popping up. A few weeks ago there was an article on Page 2 about ACS ( Anti Compulsive Sachinists) and Compulsive Sachinists. Nothing like a good mix of both to get a debate going. IMO, he has had good moments and bad ones. But, the 98 VS Pakistan was the innings of a lifetime and he tamed the bowling attack comprising of Wasim Waqar and Shoaib. Razzaq dropped him early in the chase, had that one stuck, things could have been different and Yuvraj and Dravid might not have been able to finish it off. As things stand, the 98 HAS to go down as one of the top 10 innings in a World Cup.

    Continued..

  • rizwan on February 8, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    Alex

    I agree with you re. Dravid , what a wonderful cricket on and off the field .All Indians should be proud of this guy and if there is one guy I envy , its Dravid because not only is he a top sportsman but he is also an erudite , articulate and humble human being.I believe the IIM(Indian Inst. of Management) voted him the most admired sportsman a few years back.

    I remember listening to Dravid performing the role of a cricket commentator in London and he was better better than the more experienced Mark Nicholas Botham and the rest.I am sure , if he chooses to , he can be as good as Richie Benaud .

  • arch on February 8, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    Wonderful analysis, and look forward to the remaining installments. But - where's Hadlee? Also, in the allrounder analysis, I personally think a wicket ought to count for more than x25. [[ That is certainly correct for ODIs. 4wkts is approximately equal to 100 runs. 5 wkts above a century. 8 wkts the best = 200 runs. Ananth: ]]

  • bks123 on February 8, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    One more thing... Aravinda never performed like he did in 1996 in WCs.. He never had the opportunity as SL was a minnow to be honest and used to get out of the competition too soon. In 1996 all the oppositions were focusing on how to get rid of jayasuriya early on. They thought little about de silva..that was an advantage for him..I remember before the semi final a local news paper predicting how jayasuriya and kalu will get out in the semifinal..so the whole focus was on jayasuriya as far as oppositions were concerned. India were too happy taking sanath and kalu's wicket and de silva took the game away from them.

  • rizwan on February 8, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    Re.Asif , Aamir and Butt , these three guys should be banned for life.What is wrong with these pakistanis ... Salim Malik and now this lot .Wonderful players though and two potentil all - time greats Aamir and Asif are a loss to cricket . Wonderful and brilliant bowlers .Brilliant , intelligent cunning and shrewd when it comes to bowling but daft on other matters.High time Imran Khan took over the Pakistan board and cleaned up the whole mess.

    Ananth , I agree , there are elements of match fixing in other matches , but I am sure , the culprits will be punished in due course.( at least some of them )

    I am just wondering , why didn't MARK WAUGH and Shane Warne get banished for their crimes . Is it because the AUSSIE cricket board did their best to hush it up ?

  • Alex on February 8, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    Ananth - pl allow me to take a trip down the memory lane ... should have mentioned this in the previous comment.

    Garner's 5 for 38: Facing a task of scoring 104 runs in the final 14 overs with 8 wkts in hand and Randall-Gooch batting, England collapsed astonishingly --- all 8 wickets gone within 5 overs for 11 runs!! In this mayhem, Garner took 5 for 4 runs off 11 deliveries (he was on hat-trick twice). His bowling partner in these 2 overs was Croft who took the remaining 3 wickets.

    It is just that, in my opinion, Holding's 8-1-16-2 was superior bowling and the match was well outside England's reach by the time this mind-boggling decimation started.

  • Alex on February 8, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    Ananth - this is your list and you have seen more. So, no objections. It is just that some people/performances get forgotten conveniently despite their merit. E.g., Hendrick's 4 for 15 vs Pak and Croft's 3 for 29 (or 2 for 16 of Holding - the best bowler of '79 WC) were more decisive than Garner's 5 for 38.

    Today, most people don't know Hendrick/Croft and associate perhaps only the '76 Oval performance with Holding who, in reality, was one of the most gifted bowlers ever with a remarkable RPO at 90+ mph. [[ Old was in my short list but finally lost out to M.Pringle. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 8, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    Ananth - why is Garner's 5 for 38 a Top 10 WC bowling performance? He picked up 3 tail-enders whereas the match was out of England's reach anyways thanks to Viv and King's batting, and the opening spells of Roberts & Holding.

    I have nothing against Garner and rate him among the top 3 bowlers in ODI history. However, 5 for 38 is not a Top 10 performance ... in fact, IMO, the best bowling that day was Holding's lightening fast 8-1-16-2. IMO, Garner's own 1 for 24 in '83 final was better than his 5 for 38 in the '79 final.

    IMO, performances that better Garner's 5 for 38 include Hadlee's 5 for 25 vs SL, Madan Lal's 3 for 31 vs WI, and Binny's 4 for 29 vs Aus ... all from '83. Your thoughts please? [[ Alex, at the end of the day, how many great bowling performances have been there in the WC Finals. Only two 5-wkt hauls. Possibly the most effective performance was Wasim Akram's So let us agree that that might be a reason. Anyhow Garner picked up Gooch, Gower, Larkins, all batsmen and only two tail-enders. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on February 8, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    bks123, Fine info about the 50s and MOMs. Ananth, Easy to get a grip on the MOM situation by using "peer MOM" ratios

  • Mahendran on February 8, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    Tendulkar took India to the finals in 2003 (his MOS will vouch for that) but lost steam and failed in the finals. He is being hounded all his life for that. In the 2008 CB series in Australia he failed in the preliminary matches but conserved his energy to perform in the finals. Forgetting his performance in the finals he was castigated for his failures in the earlier matches (even famously called an elephant in the room). What should he do? Perform in every single match. Is it humanly possible? For Heaven's sake spare a thought for Sachin.

  • Adi on February 8, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    I totally agree with the football league comparison (not just the EPL :P),that is the toughest format and the most consistent team wins. But that would be possible only if we had the top 10 teams playing the Wc and the ICC wouldnt allow it. Also, we know that the unpredictability of the knockout( QF, SF) format is what keeps the spectator interest highest... even football has this...thats why I favor the 1996 and the 2011 format..these tournaments theoretically allow for fairy tale endings! For example Pakistan/West Indies struggle but qualify for the QF...then suddenly start playing their best cricket for 3 matches and win the cup...would not be the fairest result by a long shot but a good story nevertheless ! Such a situation would be much more difficult in a Super 8/ round robin setup PS: Hope India wins the World CUP!! [[ To my knowledge the 2015 WC will have only 10 teams. Maybe that is the time to try out this. The draw can be done in such a way that the top 5 teams play the lower 5 in the first 20 odd matches (45 matches in total). Then the interest will be maintained almost right through. The last two matches might be 1 vs 2 and 3 vs 4. Ananth: ]]

  • a pakistani on February 8, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    Interesting analysis as usual @shrikanthk: Knockouts are the best test of a team's performance under severe pressure. Best of three can't give you that. Plus we already have that. Bilateral best of- series are the main contributors to the ICC rankings. The world cup is a different matter. About tendulkar's 98, lets not forget that Pak-India games always raise the mercury even if they are BOTH either out or in the next stage. Also, that was the time of the great Ws. Im no fan of tendulkar but i wanted to remind people of the iconic status of pak-india clashes. And this was I think after 4years at least. [[ As long as the designated top 8 teams do not take their appointed place in the second round (S6 or QF) the preliminary rounds have some meaning. Recently Kenya, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Ireland have broken through. I hope that happens now also. Otherwise it would be 35 days of matches with a pre-desinated knock-out afterwards. Ananth: ]]

  • QRK on February 8, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    Hi Ananth, a very good afternoon from India...well u certainly have a point abt the BCCI/IPL thing leading to spot-fixing fiasco, but they werent there when the first timereports surfaced about match fixing .. early 90's...alsi i acknowledge that it wld be hard to say no to a big amt of money, considering the financial status of the player...but somehow the guys must think that he cld have had a gr8 future and he wld have earned crores if he stayed right...wldnt a county team sign him on.. nowadays even australia pick up subcontinent guys in ther KFC big bash tourney's.... i hope they reduce Aamer's ban to 2 yrs and Asif's to 3 years...and yes one of the reader does have a pnt, wherein he states that this may still b ongoing elsewhere..1 more pnt though, match-fixing cannot always happen thru one side, i mean if i decide to fix a match, wldnt the opposition b a party to it... it takes two palms to clap

  • bks123 on February 8, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    To me, however, Sanath was the true MOS in 1996 WC for he transformed the whole SL team early in the tournament with his blistering knocks, which set the tone for SL for the rest of the tournamnet . His performances basically created a post 1996 era for the opening batsmen and a strike rate of below 100 in the first 15 overs are seen as crimes now a days. Mark Greatbatch of course played a few such innings in the 1992 WC but then also it was not as famous as jayasuriya’s, which is no doubt because of their WC win and there comes aravinda’s real contribution as well.

  • shrikanthk on February 8, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    Manish Pandey, poor guy, would feel the world is against him because of IPL's crude, illogical and nonsensical policies. But he will soldier on

    Ananth: If Manish Pandey feels hard done by, why should he soldier on? He will soldier on only if he has no better career alternative outside professional cricket! Nothing in life is perfectly fair. The only way one can make the system fairer is for the players to move out of deals that don't seem "just".

    That can happen only if cricketers have viable career options outside the playing field. Too many of our cricketers are hopelessly dependent on sport much to the neglect of other aspects of their personality. And this is a problem!

    Even someone as great as Bradman developed himself into a stock broker (despite his limited education) in order to ensure that he isn't too dependent on cricket. There is a lesson in that for all of us. A system can be fair only if bargaining power is not concentrated in a few parties.

  • Alex on February 8, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    @love goel: I agree on Symonds' two knocks. Ponting's 140* is special because it was the big game and (like Viv did in his great 138*) he put the game away in the final 7-8 overs with lots of class. That was really Ponting at his dominating best.

    Rizwan: In Nov '09, Dravid crossed 11,000 run mark with a magnificent 178 vs SL but was sadly totally overlooked by Indian media in its hoopla over SRT's 20 years in cricket. Media went crazy over SRT's 175 and totally ignored equally good 150* of Gambhir. However, such practices exist in other sports as well: US media gave such nauseating hero worship to Jordan even though Phil Jackson's coaching was a big factor in turning the Bulls into champions ... it was a positive pain listening to TV commentators giggling and screaming in high-pitched voices as if not saying "Michael Jordan" every other minute put them in a grave mortal danger.

  • Abhi on February 8, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Ananth, The Only thing remaining for the anti Tendulkar brigade after 21 years seems to be that Tendulkar apparently never delivered when it "mattered" If that is not ridiculous and even hilarious ,then what is? When does it "matter" then? when rizwan and waspsting decide it does? Does it matter that without Tendulkar India would probably never had even had a sniff at a WC Semi or Final ? Does it matter vs. Ban in 2007? The point is that ONLY in retrospect does the value of an innings become clear. Almost never in real time. A 136 vs. Pak may well have been an alltime "matchwinning" inn., if the tail had some gumption to put on 10 runs. A 153 may have become a heartbreaking loss if Ambrose hadn't lasted 7 overs etc etc etc So, it is all very fine putting on a show of pomposity in retrospect.In reality, it is almost imperative to put on a good show everytime ,except in the case of clear cut dead rubbers. [[ Abhi The person to finally give up is me. I do. Ananth: ]]

  • bks123 on February 8, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    Finally, sanath was the player of the tournament in 1996..Aravinda played excellent innings in SemiFinal and the Final..But Sanath has as important role in the WC and rightfully given the MOS. Same is the case with Sachin in 2003...He failed in the final and india lose..but who cares...Bradman never won a world cup and he is the greatest cricketer of all time... [[ That is strange. To say that Jayasuriya outperformed Aravinda in 1996 is quite an achievement. I love Jayasuriya. However he failed in the two knock-out hurdles when it mattered most. Aravinda could as well have been justiably given the Man of the Series award. Ultimately it does not matter. It is a team game. Stranger is your comment on SRT's MoS award in 2003. You say "who cares" as if it was the MoS award which was more important than the World Cup. It is scant consolation for SRT himself. Who ever remembers MoM and MoS awards. I myself feel that at the end of the Test and ODI career, Jayasuriya has done more than Aravinda. However I also feel that it was Aravinda who was primarily responsible for Sri Lanka winning the World Cup. So it evens out. Ananth: ]]

  • bks123 on February 8, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    @rizwan...Your comments it's quite an irony that back in Sri Lanka Aravinda is regarded more than Sanath but overseas the reverse is true.Very strange;never understood it." I don't know while comparing sanath jayasuriya and Aravinda De silva you are just considering only the 1996 WC or their whole carrier. If you are comparing their whole career please hv a look at their profiles in cricinfo or else I must say you are still living in the 90's. 1996 WC was only the starting of an era for jayasuriya. After that he has played several innings that aravinda can only dream of. If you look at their career in cricinfo avavinda has only the ave column higher by a whisker of 2. Rest is all sanath. And check the number of MOM also. Also don't forget sanath's 322 ODI wickets compared to aravinda's 106. Even in tests aravinda averages just 2 more than sanath. continued...

  • shrikanthk on February 8, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    What about Pakistan suddenly playing rashly and losing enough wickets to get Sri Lanka into the Asian test championship final over India?

    As you have yourself noted, this is clearly not equivalent to what the likes of Butt and Amir have been accused of. What you say is a tactical move which can be appreciated by a thinking audience that is aware of the tournament stakes. It merits comparison with other similar tactical moves like throwing away wickets on a sticky wicket so that one gets to bowl at the opposition while the wicket is still bad. Or the practice of sending in tailenders to open the innings on a poor pitch (Bradman did this in '36-37).

    Influencing outcomes in the middle for monetary gain is something else. It's like accepting money from a bookie to sleep for an hour on a given office day!

    A sportsman's relationship with the audience is a contractual one. Players who don't think so ought to find a different profession. No hard feelings.

    That's all I have to say.

  • Abhi on February 8, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    Re. the fixing issue. The ICC has for once got it right. The only way to deter future cricketers from indulging in such behaviour is to provide a strong deterrent. A future Aamer may muster the courage to do so when faced with a similar situation by citing this case as an eg... "Sorry, I don't want to ruin my career"...

    I don't see how else to go about it. [[ You are 100% correct. I have nothing against the deterrent punishment. I only mourn the loss of a very good player. ICC has done rightly in dealing with PCB and three errant players. Who is going to bell the cat as far as BCCI/IPL. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on February 8, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    Yogesh, Me and Alex have already given up. You will soon realise that it is a waste of time dealing with the likes of rizwan,waspsting and co. [[ Probably that is exactly the feeling the others get also in dealing with readers who are intolerant of any form of constructive comments. Ananth: ]]

  • shrikanthk on February 8, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Who wouldn't bowl a no-ball in a test match for the kind of money these guys were paid???

    I wouldn't. Nor would anyone with a modicum of respect for the audience without whom no sportsman would be in business. [[ Very easy to say that, Shrikanth. What WS is saying is that it was not easy to say NO. Make the allowance you make for two well-to-do sophisticated western players for a young, misguided and immature player who was trapped by a conniving captain he trusted and an amoral bookie. I am sure no Indian cricketer would say YES now, what with the IPL millions in the pipeline. Manish Pandey, poor guy, would feel the world is against him because of IPL's crude, illogical and nonsensical policies. But he will soldier on, hoping that he playes for India at least once and will get his 1.5 million sometime in the future. I am not trying to condone this but am only trying to understand. Finally I only hope that the lessons are learnt. Ananth: ]]

    This isn't a Logic vs Sentiment debate. It is a straightforward case of breaking one's implicit contract with the audience who're spending their time and money to watch what they think is fiercely contested sporting attrition. Spot fixing is much, much worse than what Warne and Waugh did in the mid nineties. Though I don't approve of that either.

    I don't give a damn whether the concerned cricketer is Amir or even a Tendulkar. A 100 years hence, nobody will know the difference.

    Yes. Cricket world might end up missing out on a potential "legend". But hang on. These "so-called" legends-in-making aren't doing us a favour by their performances. They're paid for it. If they think the rewards are inadequate, let them take a hike and try making money in some other walk of life

  • Abhishek Mukherjee on February 8, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    And still on that Gilmour match: is Gilmour the only last man in a MATCH to have top-scored in the MATCH? [[ Possible. But it is difficult to say with certainty until I run through a program. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhishek Mukherjee on February 8, 2011, 3:10 GMT

    Also on the bowling lists, I'd strongly push Warne's 1996 world cup semifinal performance as well. [[ Two close semi-finals "won" by Australia, at least they got through to the Finals. I think the 1999 performance was decidedly more significant. In 1996, it was Browne, Gibson, Adams and Bishop. Not a great collection one would say. In 1999 it was Kirsten, Gibbs, Cronje and Kallis, the top four nbatsmen. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhishek Mukherjee on February 8, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    Waspsting, two things:

    1. I do not remember WHEN Tendulkar got out in the match, but the scorecard says that Wickeremasinghe and Vaas had conceded 47 runs between them from 11 overs. Tendulkar had got out with the team score on 98. The team total had no bye and five legbyes. This means that 50% of the team runs during Tendulkar's stay were scored off spinners. This makes your statement "The spinners hadn't bowled much while SRT was there (he opened), and they came on in numbers after he departed!" a moot point.

    2. Chopra wasn't around at that point of time. It was Kapoor who had played in that match, and yes, he turned the ball quite sharply. I was there at Eden Gardens that day. [[ WS What Abhishek says is eminently true. SRT got out at 98 for 1 in the 24th over. Since Wick/Vaas bowled only 11 overs, this means 13 overs were bowled by Murali, Dharmasena and Jayasuriya and the ball was turning, that is much certain. For that matter Tendulkar himself was the best Indian spinner that day, 10-1-34-2. Ananth: ]]

  • Jat on February 7, 2011, 22:15 GMT

    please go by either the stats or your own gut feeling. Dont mix the two otherwise your article will be taken to cleaners by the informed audience. [[ I did not have the time available to come out with two articles. Hence the jugalbandhi. But that does not matter. Readers can comment on both. As far as being taken to the cleaners, it does not matter. If in the bargain readers (and I) get more insights, wonderful. For that matter you have also not made a valid comment, on either aspect ??? Ananth: ]]

  • MarkP/Aditya Singh on February 7, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    . [[ Unfortunately this is what is left of your comment, fit for publication. As I have already mentioned, this is MY LIST. I still listen to all the readers and add innings. You can comment properly, or stay away. You have since sent a totally despicable, from below the gutter-level message betraying what you are. Even though you have used a different name, your IP address has betrayed you. I suggest, peddle your filth elsewhere. Thank you. Ananth: ]]

  • Nupur on February 7, 2011, 21:31 GMT

    hi ananth, first of all, i would like 2 congratulate u on this wonderful article.. can we have an analysis of ten most valuable players in terms of their contribution towards the world cup(obviously, in most cases, these players will be from the winning team)... also, like u mentioned walsh's not running jaffer out, can u also compile a list of sportsmanship gestures...cuz at the end of the day, cricket remains a gentleman's game...

  • Waspsting on February 7, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    "Recently I saw a re-run of that match. Until Tendulkar was there it looked as if India would win in a canter. Once he was out the pitch turned vicious. Probably that was just an illusion. It was Tendulkar who made the pitch seem good."

    Nonsense, Ananth!

    I remember the match, clear as daylight. The spinners hadn't bowled much while SRT was there (he opened), and they came on in numbers after he departed!

    Thats why you couldn't tell the "pitch was turning vicious" while he was there - nothing to do with SRT's skill making it look so!

    In 1st innings, Chopra turned the ball sharply (which was unusual). In 2nd, Jayasuriaya did the same (which was astonishing). Murali turned it, too - but we expect him to, and don't assume the pitch was the reason why.

    SRT's batting had nothing to do with how the pitch appeared to be.

    Lovely knock all the same, but the point stands! [[ Your last point summarizes everything. As long as SRT was there it looked as if India would cruise. Then they lost 7 wickets for 25 and the Bengalis went beserk. Ananth: ]]

  • love goel on February 7, 2011, 19:11 GMT

    Ananth, may be you can have a look at the innings of 91 played by Symonds in 2003 semi final. The team total was only 212. Unlike other south african pitches, this was a slow, low pitch and symonds handled sri lankan spinners very well to post then respecable, later on winning total.

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/65284.html

    I think ricky ponting innings in 2003 final is a bit over rated. He got a great opening stand, was supported very well by other batsmen. By the 40th over, it was a case of how many australia can score without any pressure from the bowling side. [[ Both your points are valid. Syonds' 91 was a wonderful knock. Ponting's 140 was a match-winning knock but not comparable to, Symonds' 91/143, Steve Waugh's 120, based on the innings position. All these would come in the detailed analysis. Ananth: ]]

  • Waspsting on February 7, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    when they'd planned to lose the match so as to ensure going through to the next round? Would anyone blame New Zealand if they'd thrown their last round robin game in 92 WC to Pakistan to ensure they'd play the semi-final in New Zealand (where they seemed unbeatable - and its far from unclear if this DIDN't happen). What about Pakistan suddenly playing rashly and losing enough wickets to get Sri Lanka into the Asian test championship final over India? [[ Again people shouting at the top of their voices should not forget Old Trafford, 1999 when Australia crawled to 111 in 41 overs. In fact I would not fault Steve Waugh, nor Martin Crowe nor Rose (the Somerset captain who declared at 0 for 0). They all kept themselves within the law. Ananth: ]]

    The Amir situation is slightly different, but still, I can't bring myself to morally judge these guys.

    Its like giving a columnist a bazillion dollars to write a sentence he doesn't actually believe in, amidst a very big essay. [[ Won't happen to this writer, though !!! Probably three bags of peanuts would become four !!! Ananth: ]]

    I'll just say its a shame about Amir, who had the potential to be one of the true greats.

  • Waspsting on February 7, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Ananth,

    yes, it is a terrible shame about Mohammed Amir. If Imran Khan hadn't been in charge, this might have been Wasim Akram fate (and we know what world cricket would have missed).

    I'm going to be COLD and LOGICAL here, though, and would welcome the feedback of anyone willing to be the same (as befits a blog dedicated to statistics).

    Who wouldn't bowl a no-ball in a test match for the kind of money these guys were paid??? [[ It is easier to have a holier-than-thou attitude. The IPL and its outrageous payments have made most Indian (and a few other) players adopt this clean-as-white stance. But God knows what is happening elsewhere. Who is to say what Majeed and co have done elsewhere. Ananth: ]]

    Fixing matches is one thing - but bowling a no-ball at a specific time, for the amount of money they were offered - who wouldn't do that? (especially when you consider that these players are denied the big money that IPL players make) [[ It is my firm belief that part of this started when IPL deliberately and shamelessly snubbed the Pakistan players in the Auction-3. In my opinion, IPL (and BCCI) should hang their head in shame for that day. Maybe that snapping of the butterfly wings led on to the episodes a few months later. Ananth: ]]

    What if huge bets were placed on catches being dropped of non-Murali bowlers in Murali's final match when he was going for 800 wickets? What if the Somerset guys (including Richards and Botham) had placed huge bets on Somerset losing... (continued)

    From ICC's point of view, I understand they have to nip it in the bud

  • Yogesh on February 7, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Sorry Ananth, forgot a congrats on your good analysis over the debate on Sachin. Also, i am personally happy to see that your replies to rude allegations of "lazy","afraid of hard work" etc.. are more polite than before. [[ It must also be said that the number of such rude remarks have come down a lot. Ananth: ]]

    Again, the context of Symonds 143 is what that elevates the knock. Some uncertainity among the aussies after Warnie ban. First match. Debates still over his inclusion. Comes in with Aussies in some trouble at 86/4. Plays a brutal knock against Akram, Akhtar, Younis and Afridi. Again a knock that kick-started a successful WC for his team. [[ I think this is the third vote for Symonds' 143 and it gets in instantly. Ananth: ]]

  • Ad on February 7, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Hi Ananth,

    I'm writing in after some time. Nice analysis and I liked your best performances list. Looking forward to the promised detailed analysis post :) I know that Klusener's 31 in the 1999 SF will not make it to the list but may I nominate it for one of the biggest heartbreaking performances!

    A little surprised at the negative comments on Inzy's 60 and Tendulkar's 98 in the list. The runs scored may be a little less but the impact was very high.

    Finally a note on the 'match importance' theme. I'm not sure if it is very relevant in WC. In formats like in 1999 where you carry forward points to the super six stage, any loss can be devastating. If India had won the two 'inconsequential' matches against Zim or SA, they would have had extra points and might have qualified for the SF. In formats like 1996 and 2011, doing well in initial stages means you'll face a weaker team in the QF stage (A1 vs B4 and so on) so even relatively inconsequential matches end up having more importance. [[ That is exactly the point I have been trying to make. Both are very valid. Somehow even knowledgeable readers seem not to acknowledge that a World Cup is quite different from bi-lateral series. If India has an unexpected loss, say, against Ireland, they may face Sri Lanka rather than New Zealand. Ananth: ]]

  • Yogesh on February 7, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    After reading the comments, hard to resist joining in on the eternally debated man - Tendulkar. Cold statistics have done gross injustice to two of his best WC knocks. 140 vs Kenya and 81 vs Zim. The latter was called as his best knock of WC 2003 by none other than Harsha Bhogle. The knocks will be lost on those who look at scorecards without not having been through them. Before both the matches, India was utter rubbish in the respective WCs. In 1999, i did not hear anybody talking that it was Kenya and Sachin can come back later. After the Zim collapse, nobody was sure of winning against Kenya. There was clamour for Sachin to return quickly from his father's funeral. Ditto in 2003. India made 203 against Holland, 125 against Aus and to that add the fresh memories of Olongo-induced collapse in 1999. Someone needed to steady the ship and Tendulkar's calm 81 was precisely that.

    People saying Ind had already qualified in WC 2003 before Pak game forget the carry over points. [[ That is a valid point. Ananth: ]]

  • rizwan on February 7, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    Anantha

    Thank you for your comments.

    Abhi

    I am not anti- tendulkar .I am pro Kapil Dev , Jadeja , Ganguly , Amaranath , Azhar , Sehwag and Kumble ( a proven match winner in both one daysers and tests )Case in point , recently Dravid scored 12,000 runs but there was hardly a mention in the media.He also has taken 200 catches ( world record) and kept wickets when Ganguly asked him to and has been a loyal servant but where is the love from India for this wonderful guy ;He let Agarkar score the winning runs when he scored the 270 against the Aussies which led to Gavaskar extolling the virtues of Dravid's selflessness.

    In the NBA , no one is interested in how many points one scores.But what matters is , how many rings one has( Michael Jordan has 6)Even in a team spors,individuals can carry the team and perform at critical times.

    Being a Sri Lankan I am no fan of the Aussies ,but one has to hand it to Waugh ,Ponting & Gilchrist who are winners when it MATTERED.

  • bks123 on February 7, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    Ananth, I hope we have some way to include MOM award impacts on these analysis to highlight a players value on a game. Many a time sachin has got MOM awards in losing cause though not in world cups. Here are some WC stats to highlight...sachin played 35 innings scored seventeen 50 plus scores (49%) with 8 MOM and 1 series award.. Viv played 21 innings with eight 50 plus scores (38%) with 5 MOM and no series awards. Ponting played 36 innings with ten 50 plus scores (28%) with 3 MOM and no series awards. Gilly 31 innings nine 50 plus scores and just 1 MOM awards...Lets decide what is more important now...In a team that struggles most often than not, a 50% of 50 plus score or a 100 in the final provided it reaches final. Please note that sachin took India to final in 2003 or else we would have been the same struggling team to qualify for quarter finals as is the case in 1992, 1999 and 2007...Both in 1996 and 2003 he took india to semi finals and final respectively... [[ I would never need to consider MOM awards since I would be able to do a proper objective analysis to determine the MVP myself. I can point out quite a few instances in the early years when the batsmen got the MOM for a 65 as against a 4 for 20. Ananth: ]]

  • malik on February 7, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    hey man how can u not include wasim's final performance of WC 1992 ? it sure was one of the best...

  • Abhi on February 7, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Rizwan, Like Alex- I give up. The point is not that Tendulkar is a sacred cow- the point is that the anti Tendulkar brigade have their blinkers on and blindly insist on harping on only on his flops.

    Anyone who claims any sportsman ,including Tendulkar, is infallible and doesn't have his share of flops is deluded.

    The point is that ,on balance, Tendulkar's successes far outweigh his flops. As someone said- without Tendulkar it would have been doubtful if India got to a WC Semifinal or Final in the first place.(WI or AUS would in all probability have easily have done so without a Richards or Ponting- who could then “save” their energies for the “big occasion” after their teammates had done all the hard work over the course of the tournament)

    The "Problem" is that one side (like yours) can only see the flops. The other side (The Tendulkar maniacs)can only see the great knocks. Guys like me(Actually a Tendulkar maniac too) fully agree that Tendulkar has several flops over a 21 year career...But,Oh..they are more than counterbalanced by numerous more moments of Genius. [[ You are being unfair to Rizwan. Somewhere he has also said that he wished that Tendulkar's 98 had come in the Final instead of a match not of consequence to India. And the 98 does not go up in value because it was against Pakistan or was instrumental in knocking Pakistan out. The reason I had selected the 98 was because I personally thought that that sort of innings could have won any match, even the Final, even the 360 target. It was a major statement that he made. However I had also not considered the context at all.. "Sacred cow" !!! When was the last time there was one negative word about Tendulkar in the media. I am like Alex. I can look at both sides of Tendulkar. However I can also conclude that his positives to negatives ratio is inarguably the highest amongst all modern cricketers. Possibly only Murali could match him on this. That is saying something and accounts for his very high status. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 7, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    Ananth: How about Hall's 5 for 18 vs Eng in '07 and Bracken's 4 for 19 vs SL '07? [[ Hall's wkts started with Collingwood and had 3 in the late order. Bracken's were 2 top and 2 low order. Ananth: ]]

    Abhi: SRT being the one man army for Ind in ODI's till '02 is a myth.

    1. Ganguly & Dravid emerged in '96. In '97, Ganguly was better than SRT in ODI's and continued to perform quite well. Dravid became a force in '99. Not claiming that these two were on SRT's level but they were excellent over '97-'02 ('99-'02 in Dravid's case).

    2. Also, in many settings, Azhar remained a more than useful batsman till '99.

    3. As for the media's "Save us Sachin" in 90's: true but it still says stupid and nauseating things like that.

    4. If we completely disregard the sheer class of SRT's 98 (as Rizwan seems to advocate), perhaps quite a few WC innings should be placed ahead of it ... e.g., King's 86 ('79), Valetta's 45* ('87), Murray's 65* ('75), Yousuf's 56 vs WI ('87), Hayden's 101 vs SA ('07), etc. Whether that makes sense is another matter altogether.

  • saurabh on February 7, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    article length was sufficient but reading the comments and Ananth's responses took me a further 20 minutes

    WOW All of You are great.

    This is the CLOUD COMPUTING ON CRICINFO :)

  • Alex on February 7, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    Ananth - one of the most uplifting bowling performances was 10-1-40-4 by Walsh vs Pak in 1987. Walsh bowled beautifully but his best act was in refusing to run out Saleem Jaffar (who had backed up too far) on the penultimate ball. The RO would have earned WI a tie and they lost on the final ball of the match.

    Contrast this with McGrath's run out of Elworthy in the greatest ever ODI (vs SA '99) ... I really believe McGrath broke the stump with his hand and not with the ball. [[ Then that is poor umpiring. McGrath is not Walsh or Gilchrist (2003 sf). One final thing. As per law prevailing at that time, Walsh was justified if he had ran Jaffer outr and I personally, and millions of people around the world, were not happy. Saleem Jaffer was trying to sneak in a few metres and he should have known the risks. Ananth: ]]

  • rizwan on February 7, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    Abhi,I agree with what you said about Richards.The reason Richards failed is due to the brilliant catch by Kapil.This why I was singing Kapil's praise earlier.( please scroll to the earlier posts).

    As to Sachin bailing out India,have you forgotten Kumble & Harbjhan(bowlers are needed too)Dravid,Laxman,Sehwag& Azhar? For my country for a long time , Aravinda was the sole match winner along with Murali;for Pakistan it was Inzi.In earier times, Border single handedly carried the torch for Australia,so let us not say that Sachin had to do it all alone.

    Abhi , re, the India - Paki match , please note India had ALREADY qualified , therefore it was NOT a do or die situation whereas the pressure was on Pakis because they HAD TO win to progress to the next stage of the tournament.

    This is why,I would always rate Aravinda ahead of Sanath.

    Seems like Sachin is a sacred cow and is infallible.

    I believe a 45 is more valuable than a 200 given the context of the match !

  • QRK on February 7, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    just 1 qstn more on the asif-aamer saga... I do not understand the punishments handed out to all 3 of them...for eg asif's punishment says "a sanction of seven years ineligibility two years of which are suspended".. does this mean he can play after 5 years and for amir he can play domestically but not available for internationl matches..i have been searching for a platform to post these queries...please answer/explain me [[ I am assuming that if Salman commits no further offence he can play in 5 years and if Asif commits no further offence he can play after 5 years. For Aamer there is no such clause. That means he has to sit out for 5 years. I wish they had given him also the same clause so that he could be back by the time he is 22 and have a full, chastened career ahead of him. As far as I am concerned this is one of the greatest cricketing tragedies over recent years. Ananth: ]]

  • QRK on February 7, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    hey!! i meant no offence.. infact i am also pained not to watch the two masters bowling at the premier show... Its sad fro cricket...

  • rizwan on February 7, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Alex,sorry for the typographical error;what I meant to say was, TALENT DOES WHAT IT CAN GENIUS DOES WHAT IT MUST.

    Anantha,you are right,Aravinda's 66 was a purists'delight whereas the 107 wasn't in the same class.But,as you correctly pointed out it was a final.

    Re. Sanath's 82,please ignore it as it was a wild knock.I remember watching on TV in Colombo with a few friends & we knew that the only guy to rely on was Aravinda & to a lesser extent Arjuna, Hashan , Guru & Mahanama whereas Sanath & Kalu flatter to deceive.(Both our openers failed in the Semis & Final ).Its quite an irony that back in Sri Lanka Aravinda is regarded more than Sanath but overseas the reverse is true.Very strange;never understood it.I must admit as a person,Sanath is a wonderful, humble and generous human being who has helped lots of people.

    Please try to include my favourite Indian cricketer Jadeja's 45 in your next analysis.It was absolutely breath taking the way Jadeja slaughtered Waqar. [[ The combination of Sanath and Aravinda was one of the best ODI batting pairs ever. And the time was 15 years back. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 7, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    Rizwan: I give up. Personally, Bevan is my favorite batsman in ODI's and I would love to see his 75 or 74 feature somewhere in the list. Only Hussey, and perhaps Dhoni, can rival his status as the best ever specialist finisher and these were absolutely crucial knocks. [[ Trust me to start something or other, trying to fill a quart bottle with a litre of liquid !!! Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on February 7, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    Rizwan, Sometimes I genuinely wonder whether folk actually watch or are familiar with what is actually going on in cricket , at least in the past 2 decades or so. For most of the '90s and a little later Tendulkar was almost wholly left with the duty of bailing India out- whether he actually did it or not is another matter altogether. The 90s WCs routinely featured newspaper and TV headlines screaming "Save us Sachin", "India's one man army gears up for battle" etc. The point is not whether he then delivered or flopped ..the point is that Tendulkar was expected to do the job everytime (nevermind that anyone even vaguely familiar with cricket will realise that it is a team sport). [[ Rizwan only mentioned that he wished Tendulkar had played the knock in the Final. Ananth: ]]

    In the 2003 final, Tenduklar in good form could easily have played for a steady ,run-a-ball hundred. But,as usual, he felt he had to do much of the job himself (remember the Sehwags etc were hardly recognised as world beaters then).. So, Tendulkar starts playing pre-meditated shots selflessly to get the team off to a flyer which is mandatory when chasing a score of 360 .Iit doesnt come off and he holes out. Strangely, when the WI were chasing a score of around 180 (Half of 360) in more overs and Richards holes out similarly hooking you don’t hear too much about it. But when Tendulkar starts throwing his bat around to get some quick runs to chase a monstrous score- certain “fans” immediately start jumping. Imagine, If Viv had not had other chances in finals.

    The single biggest mistake Ganguly has ever made is perhaps winning the toss and putting Australia in to bat in the 2003 WC final. It is one thing chasing 360 , and another thing altogether chasing it. Especially, if the onus to do so is on one man ,as it was at that point of time. As rgds, the Ind-Pak game If anyone can even half seriously say that a India-Pakistan game in the WC is pressure free- well that has got to be one of the most unbelievable statements in the history of cricket. The 2003 WC India-Pak was one of the most hyped up games in cricket history. The roads on the cities in India at least were literally barren during the match.

    Rest assured, the angst of certain fans is not because of the undoubted supreme quality of the knock- but purely because it resulted in Pakistan being knocked out.

  • Sancho on February 7, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    @ndayananda -in '83 India won 4 games in the group stage (2 against Zim, and 1 each against WI and Aus), Australia won 2 (1 each against India and Zimbabwe). Even if Australia had beaten Zimbabwe in the other game, they would not have made it. The key game was the India Australia game at Chelmsford which put India through, irrespective of the result of the Aus Zim match (which, of course did happen earlier)

  • QRK on February 7, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Hi Ananth, I did not seem to understand ur response to WS "WS, Now is the time ..."... what is this in relation to, I mean we r discussing analysis and here is something out of context... and to mr. baldev singh, ever tried to compile and present a huge data ranginf to something 36 years back...this requires hardwork and tenacity.... KUDOS to u ananth. [[ I agree. However I felt so strongly on the subject that I had to make a statement and this is the only forum I have. The loss of a bowler considered by Wasim to be a far better one then himself is not an easy fact to digest. Do not take offense. Ananth: ]]

  • Monish Menon on February 7, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Wow....I spent like 40 mins at work reading this article and the comments....Simply Superb!!...anyways i have read the comments above and why u did not include it, but i think Symo's 143 agains the Pakistanis deserved a place in the list....and also Fleming's 134* against Sa in 2003....If Sa would have won that game, they wouldnt have had to face the ridiculous D/L against SL and they would have qualified...it would have also meant Kenya not qualifying....Fleming was a class apart on that day! [[ Do we have three for Symond;s 143, let me see. The Fleming match itself was on D/L.But a fearsome attack of Pollock, Ntini, Donald and Boje. Finally an easy win. Ananth: ]]

  • Nadisha on February 7, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    As a bowling performance, i think you would have already done it, but have you considered Malinga's 4 in 4 against South Africa? The first double hattrick in Limited overs internationals isn't it? But admittedly his 4-54 didn't win the gamke for Sri Lanka against whatr ws offically the best side in the worl at the time (although in the actual 2007 world cup the aussies had a better world cup) it was a once in a generation performance that gave Sri Lanka a fighting chance when there was little hope, in an important super eights game. [[ 4 in 4 is not a double hattrick. But a wonderful impact performance. Would have been one of the all-time great ones if Malinga had picked up the fifth in 5. Then Sri Lnaka would have won by 1 run. Ananth: ]]

    I know that it is not as famous as the Clive lloyd century in the same gamer, but do you think Keith Boyce's 4-50 in the 1975 final has an outside chance? After all it was a four wicket haul in a final which was a close game.I was also wondering how you rate Jayasuriya's 82 in 44 balls against England in the 96 orld cup quarer final if any innings marked a revolution in the way batsmen approached the one day game it was that. [[ I get the feeling the 82 is garnering a few votes. Let me compile the same.But a very average English attack, it must be said. On the other hand, the QF. Mmmmm Ananth: ]]

  • Gerry_the_Merry on February 7, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Ananth

    I challenge you to write a thought provoking and intelligent article, like this one, which does not lead to a discussion on Tendulkar's innings.

  • ndayananda on February 7, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Good article and even better comments on the blog!!! I enjoyed the whole lot!! Only thing I would like to point out- comments by Anand- the Zimbabwe beating Aus in 1983 was of no consequence!!!!! If Australia had won it, then they would have tied with India with 2 wins a piece- and on run rate Aussies were leading. No world cup- no BCCI, no IPL!!! My guess is- this had the most impact on the whole cricket MAP to the present day [[ Narayan, I did know that the situation was that close. I knew that Tunbridge Wells was a bit early and did not really have the do-or-die situation. Ananth: ]]

  • rizwan on February 7, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    Abhi

    The important thing is not ending pakistan's hopes but winning the world cup.In this regard Sachin would have served India better if the 98 came in the 2003 final rather than a match which was not relevant like the pakistan game.

  • rizwan on February 7, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    (continuing )

    The point I am trying to emphasise is , context does matter.Its easier to belt a 98 when there is no pressure( because win or lose India were going to be in the q/final) but infinitely harder to slam a 45 ( Jadeja)

    The reason I am singing hosannas about Kapil is a because he is genuine working class hero from the small state of Haryana and I would like if he was the due recognition instead of being marginalised by the BCCI.He captained and defeated the mighty West Indians and won the world cup and as an Asian I am proud of that feat.This is why Pakistan and later Sri Lanka thought that they can take on the big boys and win a world cup.

  • rizwan on February 7, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    Alex, re. Sachin's 65 and 98, all I have to say is TALENT DOES WHAT IS CAN, GENIUS FOES WHAT IS MUST.

    As mentioned elsewhere, Kapil (1983) HAD TO pouch that catch off Viv Richards and he did; Wasim Akram (1992) HAD TO get those two wickets and he did; Aravinda (1996 semi final, I am ignoring the 107 in the final) HAD TO counter attack after losing the openers in the first over and he did. In similar vein , Warne(1999) , Ponting(2003) , Gilchrist(2007) , Lloyd(1975) and Richard(1983) did what they HAD TO win the match . No excuses were offered by these guys,they just went and did the job.In Aravinda’s case , he took a few wickets as well and as a Sri Lankan I am proud of Aravinda’s semi final knock of 66 , it was magical to watch.The 107 was great but it was not as big a pressure cooker as the semi final( The final was in Pakistan and Sri Lanka had the support of almost all the Pakistanis, whereas the Semis were in India ) [[ The funny thing, Rizwan, is that the 66 was a better innings but contextually the 107 was more important since only two batsmen could have chased the good target set by Australia. Jayasuriya was out and Sri Lanka would not have won but for de Silva. Ananth: ]]

  • Nadeem on February 7, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    I think in this list Sachin Tendulkar is the only deserving player who has never won a worldcup. I think if he dont win this time then ICC should give him Honorary worldcup. He is been performing extremely well for India for 20 years but other indian team mates never helped him winning WC. He went so close in 2003 but got out to best WC bowler McGrath , i think if McGrath was not a great WC bowler then Sachin would get a WC 2003. Give 2011 to Sachin and stop this wining streak. Have fun. Good article.

  • Alex on February 7, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    Rizwan:

    1. Well, SRT's 65 vs SL in the '96 semis should qualify as a good knock in a must win game. India would have won that game if the other 7 batsmen had not combined to make just 40 odd runs. Still, it is true that he has performed poorly vs good teams in late stages of the world cups. [[ Recently I saw a re-run of that match. Until Tendulkar was there it looked as if India would win in a canter. Once he was out the pitch turned vicious. Probably that was just an illusion. It was Tendulkar who made the pitch seem good. I personally think his innings was as good as de Silva's except that all the Sri Lankans supported de Silva very well. Ananth: ]]

    2. I do not rate SRT among the Top 5 batsmen in WC history ... I might put even Saeed Anwar ahead of him as an opener in world cups.

    3. Aravinda's 67 in that semis was probably better than his century in the final (Ranatunga feels the same way).

    Ananth, what happened to Aamer is a tragedy. What could an 18-year old have done when his captain in Pak's mysterious (!?) settings goads him on? The system is more at fault than the individual out here.

  • Abhi on February 7, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    One of the several "intangible" aspects of a great innings ,which may not show up statistically, is the time it lingers in the memory and the psychological impact it creates.

    After all these years ,the big hue and cry being created about Tendulkar's 98 just goes to show that it was indeed one of the finest innings ever played in a WC.If Pakistan had won they would have had a much better chance of going further into the tournament,and then who knows.

    Tendulkar almost single handedly ended Pakistan's hopes ,in stirring fashion as the target was considered quite formidable given the strong Pakistani attack..and that is in all probability the reason for the strong sentiment re. the innings. [[ Abhi I tried mailing you. But both your ids did not go through. I have no problems with the above comment. Ananth: ]]

  • joji on February 7, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    Statistically good analysis!! But the thing is its not as mind numbing article as the previous ones you have churned out.

    The argument you gave in the comments section to not including Wasim's 92-final performance doesn't make a lot of sense. Was it Wasim's fault that he played a cameo with the bat before bowling those deliveries. The list you presented for bowling performances is impressive indeed but nonetheless I can't fathom any criteria that wouldn't include that performance.

    I understand that most of your figures in that segment tend to be higher i.e. more wickets. Since Wasim only got 3 wickets in that match, its not included. But the point of that list in not stats but the impact ratio. I guess, it should have been there.

    Also Kapil's 175 is the only performance that is against a minnow, even though I admit it must be included in the list mentioned. I don't think it deserves a top spot.

  • Anand on February 7, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    (contd..) However India and Pakistan participating in the super 8s would have surely made some matches more significant. Another point is SL beating INdia in 1979. That wouldnt have changed that world cup in ANY way (I know you didnt include that in your list of upsets too). Similarly, although Zim beating Aus in 1983 is a big upset. It made no difference in the tournament if other results remained as they are (Aus already lost two matches in WI and one to India, so wouldnt have made the last 4 even if they had beaten Zim). I dont know how much can be done, but would be great to see upsets in that perspective... we will then know which upset really upset the world cup.

    The reason I love upsets is, it makes the results of other matches more interesting. If you look at 2003 world cup, Aus and India being in the same group and the way they were steam-rolling other teams, only Eng vs Pak was a match of any significance because other matches were almost a foregone conclusion in that grp. [[ For my next thorough analysis I am going to come back to a few selcted readers to help me in this particlular facet of the matches. At that time let us see. Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on February 7, 2011, 1:50 GMT

    Ananth: Is it possible to rate the upsets based on the impact in THAT world cup. One criterion could be ("assuming all other results as they are" and this upset had not occured!!) I mean the SAF vs ZIM in 1999 had a very long impact. It changed the super sixes participants. SAF ended with 6 points instead of the possible 8 (which would have made a BIG difference in the semifinal).

    On contrast, Ban beating SAF in 2007, didnt change things much. Similarly, Kenya beating SL had a major effect on S Africa. That could have changed things in the super sizes stage (or may be not given the form India and Aus were in that time). Similarly Ireland beating pak and Ban beating India completely changed the super 8 phase of 2007 (My friends who had purchased tickets for India vs Pakistan watched Ireland vs Bangladesh). I agree it might be difficult to predict impact of matches that didint take place (like what could have been the outcome of an India vs NZL in 2007 world cup) (contd..)

  • Baldev Singh on February 7, 2011, 1:08 GMT

    Anantha, like always your thinking is muddled and so called analysis is lazy. To avoid hard work you come up with excuses like 'all matches are equal' in a WC. No sir, it is not. This one mistake has completely negated your work as it has become meaningless sine all the other calculations are based on this faulty assumption. [[ As people like you, interested in finding fault, always do, you have made a half-baked statement without even one study of the article. I meant only that all preliminary matches are equal. The theme of the article is that the matches become more important and significant as we move on further into the tournament. You do not seem to have understood that. I also suggest you avoiid using words like "lazy" and "avoid hard work" when you comment. You have no idea how much work goes into each article and the time used to reapond to meaningful (and other) comments. In case you think I do it for money, you are thoroughly mistaken. I do it for the love of the game and the interaction I have with people around the world. You are here by invitation and you must not misuse the same. Ananth: ]]

  • rizwan on February 7, 2011, 1:07 GMT

    Alex , I am merely pointing out that the 98 by Tendulkar in a match that had no bearing on the next stage of the tournament is inferior to the performance of Kapil Dev , Sidhu and Jadeja and hopefully they would be given their due recognition.

    Anantha , kudos on your excellent analysis.

  • rizwan on February 7, 2011, 0:57 GMT

    Alex , re. the skill levels of Sachin, Inzi or Ponting , what is the use of all the skill levels if one can't perform when the team needs it the most .

    in this regard , Ponting , Aravinda ,Warne , Lloyd , Wasim Akaram and Richards have done admirably well .Inzi did play a blinder in 92 semi final as did Aravinda in the 96 semi final .Personally , Aravinda's 66 in the semi was superior to the 107 in the final .

    The afore -mentioned gentlemen have performed when it REALLY mattered but sadly Tendulkar has not . This is why Kapil's catch to dismiss Richards in 83 , Jadeja's match winning cameo of 45 and Sidhu's 93 in the q/final against Pakistan are significant.

    I am looking forward to Anantha's next article which would give far more weightage to Finals, Semi finals , Quarter finals AND MUST WIN mathces like Steve Waugh's 120 against South Afric. Sachin's 98 was NOT an important knock because India had ALREADY qualified by the time the match against Pakistan was played. [[ You are right. And I have not made any attempt to conceal that fact. I had a theme that all preliminary matches have equal weight and later matches have a single weight factor. Ananth: ]]

  • explorer18 on February 6, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    Excellent analysis. Love the weighted scores which confirm what I always thought about some of these players like Richards, Roberts, Kapil, Akram etc. I do have one comment about the all rounder analysis The problem is how the wickets are counted. The latter day allrounders like Jayasuria played in tournements with far more games, hence likely to inflate wicket tally in meaningless matches, compared to other older days like when Kapil and Botham played.

    Can you compensate for the difference in total games played in the tournament, as an indicator of opportunity to take wickets? Or perhaps, look at the number of wickets/game? [[ In my detailed analysis I will make lal efforts to do such adjustments. Ananth: ]]

    Slk Jayasuriya S.T 1165 27 1840 1241 30.2 1996 Ind Kapil Dev N 669 28 1369 683 29.8 1426 Eng Botham I.T 297 30 1047 310 32.2 1116

    Thanks!

  • Waspsting on February 6, 2011, 20:36 GMT

    Ananth, let me again thank you for your objectivity, neutrality and even-ness in all you do. Much Respect. [[ WS, Now is the time to cry for the loss of a potentially all-time-great bowler who was misguided. I could not care about Salman. He betrayed the trust vested him by all. Md.Asif was a repeat offender. But Aamer was something different. What he would have turned into is even difficult to comprehend. How will he come back. Do Pakistan society and cricket establishment have the sagacity and patience to rehabilitate him. I sincerely hope that Pakistan does well in this World Cup. It would be some solace for the strife-torn bleeding country. Ananth: ]]

    I don't have much more to say on the subject matter on the article - but especially wanted to state the above, seeing the flack you get (and I'm assuming the stuff you don't publish have much more in it). I'll say something to justify writing this -

    RE: best formats - if memory serves me right, in '96, West Indies were on the verge of being out in 1st round. The Zim-Kenya match had to be restarted, when Kenya was well up. If it hadn't - bad format or not - you'd have had the surprise package of Kenya in the knock out stage.

    IMO, 92 was best, but rain played a bad part.

    Though commonly noted that Pakistan would have bee eliminated if rain hadn't interfered in group match against England - NOT COMMONLY NOTED is Pakistan would have won against South Africa without rain, and advanced anyway.

  • Abhishek Mukherjee on February 6, 2011, 19:00 GMT

    Anantha, still on to the 1996 format... so, by that logic, would you have preferred an out-and-out knock-out tournament (like the first two editions of Champions Trophy)? [[ Abhishek Even though I have mentioned that the 1992 format is excellent and have gone on record saying that the 100% EPL league is the toughest and fairest of tournaments, you seem not to let go I will make no comment so that this thread is closed. Ananth: ]]

  • Lorenzo on February 6, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    I think you missed out Arivinda's 60+ in the semi final against India in the 1996 WC.

    Remember SL lost both openers in the 1st over and Aravinda's innings that helped SL to put on a defendable total and win the match that put SL to the final.

    If Inzamam's innings of 60 is included & so is Tendulkar's 98, then this definitely should be included somewhere in this list. [[ No I thought about it. But felt that the 107 was more important. Ananth: ]]

  • Isuru on February 6, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    Since 1992 the teams ( at least one) who were in the recieving end of a major upset beacame semi finalists ( at least). What will 'the match' this year

    1992 ENG 1996 WI 1999 SA, PAK 2003 SL 2007 SA ( beaten by BANG) [[ I have since aded the Saf-Bng match. Ananth: ]]

  • Rehan Hassan on February 6, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    Wasim Akram 3 for 49 v England, 1992 final because of which Pak won world cup 1992 final!!! [[ Wasim Akram's was more an all-round performance than a bowler special. This I am saying knowing the two great deliveries. Ananth: ]]

  • Ravi on February 6, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Part 2/2. 1996 -De Silva's batting, Bevan/Law vs WI, Jadeja/Kumble v Waqar,

    1999 -a very fast Shoaib, Sachin's ton dedicated to dad, Ind v SL at Taunton, Warne v Gibbs, S Waugh/Gibbs, Waugh 120, Aus/Saf great match.

    2003 -SRT v Pak, Anderson, Symonds, Fleming, Nehra v Eng, Bichel v Eng, SL v Canada, WI v Saf, Peterson/Lara, Saf's how-not-to-read-D/L charts, Ponting/Martyn devouring India in the F.

    2007 (I must have missed out many here as I followed this WC with my enthusiasm v rudely dented by India's abject performance). -Ind and Pak outplayed and shown the door, Leverock's catch, Gilchrist v SL in the F, Hayden v GSmith, umpires' and match officials incompetence in the Final.

    Hoping to see an exciting, intense and fair play by all teams in this World Cup. [[ Ravi A great anecdotal piece. I would be proud to claim ownership of this effort. I would add the following. 2003 match between Can and Win. Davison's amazing effort and Win scoring 200+ runs in 20+ overs. 1996 the bangalore fracas. the pune upset by Kenya. The catch off Lara which somehow stuck to Iqbal's midriff. 1999 the wild swing by Srinath to lose the match by 3 runs against Zim. And so on. Once again thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • Ravi on February 6, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    Ananth, a good article. Besides the fastest/highest/strongest, here are some memorable episodes of the WC. Brave, amusing, intense and well... memorable. I am sure readers will have their own list. Here is mine. 1975 The Sunny crawl, Gilmour in the SF, Roberts/Murray partnership, Frederics hit wicket hitting Lillee for a six, Richards fielding, Lillee/Thommo's all-run 12 in the Final.

    1979 Richards, King, Garner in the Final.

    1983 Kapils 175, Amarnath in the SF and F.

    1987 -Walsh's gentlemanly warning to to Saleem Jaffer for backing up too far; essentially costing WI a place in the 87 SF. -Houghton's 142 and Martin Crowe's catch in 87. -C Sharma's all-bowled hattrick, SMG/Krish hammering NZ in 87.

    1992 -SL/Zim in the first match of 92. -Inzi/Jonty, Javed/More, Ind/Aus 6/4 confusion- Ind lost by 1 run in 92 and also 96 I think. - SA needing 22 off 1 ball (the worst of D/L nonsenses). - Akram in the F.

    tbc

  • imtiaz ahmed on February 6, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    You haven't mentioned South Africa loosing to Bangladesh in 2007 WC. [[ You are absolutely correct. I have checked the list from which I selected (the team strength differential list). It is a plain oversight. I seem to have made a few mistakes this time. Problem was the profusion of years and matches. have added the same. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhishek Mukherjee on February 6, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    How can you (or anyone) like the 1996 (or 2011) format?

    In 1996 they played 30 matches to decide which the best eight teams were, something that everyone knew before the tournament. Once that were known, the big matches started, of which there were only seven.

    Compare this to 1992: lesser teams, more matches (39), and most importantly, more good-quality, high-intensity matches. [[ Abhishek Don't take this to heart. I supported the 1996 format only because it required three great days to win the cup as against two otherwise. I have also said that the 1992 format is the best. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 6, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    Abhishek and Ananth:

    1. First, let me correct my typo which is getting propagated: Collis King hit 86 off 66 balls. Also, Viv's 138* was a great innings but if we disregard the skill level that distinguished his batsmanship and focus only on numbers & context, quite a few 100's in WC should rate ahead of it. [[ No, the context makes that innings great, despite the finishing touches of King. Ananth: ]]

    2. Rameez's 119* was a terrific knock but Pak won with fully 6 overs to spare despite Miandad's mud-mired 85-ball 30. Waugh's 120* was in far more desperate match: Oz won with just 2 balls to spare.

    3. I am a huge fan of M Waugh. As good as his 110 was, his twin brother's 120* is in a class of its own due to the circumstances.

    4. Bevan's 74* was great but, IMO, it is the Bevan-Bichel partnership that is among the real standouts in WC history. That day should be known as Bichel's day.

    Rizwan: there is more to cricket than numbers & context. Even an extraordinary knock of Jadeja/Sidhu might not approach the skill level of a normal SRT/Lara/Ponting/Inzy knock.

  • HusseyFan on February 6, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Ananth: I agree with Rizwan - Tendulkar's innings of 98 doesn't fit this list. Agree with the rest of the list and thanks for including Ponting's terrific knock.

  • Ali on February 6, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    I was wondering where would you place Wasim Akram's bowling performance in the final of the 1992 World Cup. Apart from that, great work and looking forward to the preview for the upcoming World Cup. [[ Wasim Akram's was more an all-round performance than a bowler special. This I am saying knowing the two great deliveries in the 34th over (+-1 over) Ananth: ]]

  • shrikanthk on February 6, 2011, 3:51 GMT

    I only mentioned that the nearest to ideal format was the 1992 with all the teams playing each other

    Ananth: I thought you liked the '96 format the best. Or did I misread the article? [[ You are right. However let me say that I can live with both 1992 and 1996 format. However the best is the all-play-all and then nothing or a 3-match final. Ananth: ]]

    The reason I want a super-four league instead of picking the top two teams from the round robin is to sustain interest for a longer period in the round robin stage. Two teams might establish an unassailable lead in the round robin. You got to have a 3rd and 4th place contest to sustain competition among the rest of the teams and also sustain interest among the audiences.

    The only change I am suggesting in the '92 WC format is the Super-Four league instead of the semis.

  • Rizwan on February 5, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    I would like to suggest to include only the quarter finals , semi finals and final matches in your analysis. Additionally , you should include MUST WIN matches but exclude all the rest .

    Steve Waugh's knock of 120 against was NOT a final ( q/s ) but it was a MUST WIN match.Similarly , Kapil's 175 also should be included but please exclude the 98 by Tendulkar because the result of that match had no bearing on the rest of the tournament.

  • rizwan on February 5, 2011, 22:33 GMT

    Excellent analysis except for a few exceptions.

    Sachin's 98 is NOT an important knock because given the CONTEXT;India had ALREADY qualified for the next stage whereas for Pakistan it was a must win.Therefore , Sachin had nothing to lose & this is why he took a gamble.Assuming Sachin got out for a duck / india lost the match , still India would have progressed to the q/final.I think Navjot Sidhu's 93 in the 96 Q/Final against Pakistan is far superior to ANY knock by Sachin ( in world cup matches at least).

    Why is it that important knock by anyone other than Sachin is not given prominence ? Apart from Sidhu , others such as Jadeja's 45 in 1996 , Kapil's brilliant catch to dismiss Richards in the 1983 FINAL ( for god's sake it was THE final not a league match) [[ If you have been reading this blog you should know that I am not one who includes Tendulkar's efforts blindly. In fact I have often been accused of having an anti-Tendulkar bias. I have already explained in the article that the state of the tournament, match status, team quality etc are not taken into account. I have also mentioned that I would do a comprehensive analysis after the World Cup. Ananth: ]]

  • Sarmad Hussain on February 5, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    1992 World Cup's Format was the best but I dont agree with shrikanthk's opinion of No Knock Outs. Its a World Cup in here and Knock Outs are necessary. An ODI League could be the answer for shrikanthk's opinion of having no Knock Outs at all. Regarding the article it was extremely well written. players like Raja, Boon, Gooch save their best for the World Cups. [[ No in fact he has suggested a Best of 3 match Final. Ananth: ]]

  • Raghav Bihani on February 5, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    I do not agree with the all matches in league phase to be equally important stance. So many matches have been insignificant since 1996 when extra minnows were included in World Cups. Ban / Zim / Kenya can be called the Best amongst the "minnows" and they have been a part of all / most world cups since their entry. Other minnows do not even consistently qualify for WCs. Indian batsmen (ganguly, sehwag yuvraj and sachin) feasted on bermuda after being out ot the WC2007. All innings below only inflate batsmen figures as the matches are insignificant

    Kirsten 188* vs UAE in 1996 Hudson 161 vs Netherlands in 1996 Turner 171 vs East Africa in 1975 Wishart 172 vs Namibia in 2003 Tendulkar 152 vs Namibia in 2003

    I feel leaving aside Bangladesh / Kenya / Zimbabwe all other minnow matches have not had much significance.

    Also on formats, I find the 2011 format most boring with Minimum Matches including non-test nations = 22 out of 49 and If we add Zim and Ban then they = 30 out of 49 or 60%. [[ I think you should know that Bangladesh in WC 2011 is stronger than West Indies and New Zealand, as my next preview article would show. Anyhow I have already explained that other factors have not been taken into account and that I will do a more comrehensive analysis after the World Cup. Ananth: ]]

  • shrikanthk on February 5, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    I don't quite agree with your comments on the fairness of the different formats.

    My ideal format would be a World Cup involving the top 8 teams - all in a single group. Each team will play every other team once. Pick the top 4 teams and conduct a Super-Four round-robin, involving six matches. Pick the top two teams. Then, conduct a best of three finals! No sudden death. 37 Games in all.

    The '92 World Cup, to my mind, is the best World Cup that I've seen (been following ODIs only since '92). The main reason was that they got the format right! Well, very nearly.

    Some might complain that knock-out matches are essential to add to the thrill and suspense surrounding the tournament. But World Cup is serious business. We are picking the team who will be titled "World ODI Champions" for the next four years. Knockouts don't really help us meet this objective. [[ I only mentioned that the nearest to ideal format was the 1992 with all the teams playing each other, then semi finals and final. It comes close to what you have mentioned with the difference of a super four league. Why would you even have this second league. The top two teams from the all-play-all league could play a 3-match final. Let me also say that I am not a fan of the Final concept. I think the toughest contest in the world is probably the EPL where the teams play each other twice, a total of 38 tough matches and the winner is the one who came on top of the gruelling league phase. There is no knock out stage at all. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhishek Mukherjee on February 5, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    First, why are you surprised at Gooch getting a high index? Didn't he play in THREE world cup finals (and three semifinals as well)? [[ I am not surprised at Gooch's % index. Only that he and Sehwag are in the company of the winners. Ananth: ]]

    A few of my personal favourite innings here: 1. Deryck Murray 61* vs Pak, 1975 (enough said) 2. Gary Gilmour 28* vs Eng, 1975 (not only was this a low-scoring match, but how many matches do you know where the last man to bat in the match was also the top scorer?) [[ This, in my opinion, is the greatset performance by a player in a World Cup match. In the Performance I do for CastrolCricket, this is the top performance, barring none. Ananth: ]]

    3. Rameez Raja 119* vs NZ, 1992 (look at the % of runs he scored: not only that, this innings was instrumental in more ways than one in breaking the Kiwi domination in the tournament - this was their first defeat - and setting up Pakistan) 4 and 5. Chris Harris 130 and Mark Waugh 110, 1996 (same match: setting up and chasing a high target by those days' standards) [[ Alex to note. This chasing innings was nearly as good as Steve Waugh's 120. Ananth: ]]

    5. John Davison 111 vs WI, 2003 [[ I had this in first. Finally ran out of space. Ananth: ]] 6. Michael Bevan 74* vs Eng, 2003

  • Waspsting on February 5, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    Statistically not as impressive as - but Wasim Akram's 92 final performance would make it into my list of best bowling performances everytime.

    I agree with Alex regarding King's 88 and Richards' 138. Thats the ODI equivalent to Botham hogging the media credit in "Botham's match", though Willis took 8 in the last innings.

    Might also consider Gilmour's innings in the semi where he took six wickets [[ As an impact performance Akram's was the best, as good as Collis King's 88. Richards provided the substance to King's impact effort. Pl see my response to Anand.

    Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on February 5, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Ananth: Great analysis as I have now come to expect of you. I am not surprised at India's low positioning due to their inconsistent performances (alternate world cups they look supreme and alternate world cups they look pathetic). I dont agree that the quarter final is a fair format though. It just renders all previous matches meaningless (remember S. Africa in 1996?). While a knowck out is ok, it is more unfair because a team can barely make it to q.f (e.g., Engalnd in 1996 by beating minnows). If England had been lucky and beaten Srilanka in qf and lost the semifinal again, then they would have qualified as world cup semifinalists based on a solitary significant win in the tournament !!!!

    I somehow felt that the 1992 format was the most fair (barring the stupid rain rule). But with so many teams a full round-robin is impossible. The super sixes of 1999,2003 made more sense to me with teams carrying forward points [[ Pl see my response to Shrikanth. Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on February 5, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    Ananth:

    Regarding Pringle, 4-15 in 1999 vs W. Indies,

    I am not sure England played W Indies in 1999. They were in different groups and neither made it to super sixes. Did you probably mean 1992? In that case too, I think it was Lewis who picked 4 wkts, not Pringle... [[ No I got the apell correctly. But I got the team and year wrong as also the runs (very little right). It was M.Pringle's 4 for 11 off Win in 1992. He got Lara, Richardson, Hooper and Arthurton. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 5, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    Ananth - sorry, I forgot to add these items in my previous comment.

    1. Do you have data for each world cup on % of 50+ innings scored at SR>100, % of 100+ innings scored at SR>80, etc.?

    2. It would be nice if you please add tables on Top 10 or Top 12 partnerships. Here, it would be nice to distinguish between mammoth partnerships (e.g., Dravid-Ganguly vs SL) and late order match turning partnerships (e.g., Murray-Roberts vs Pak in '75 and Bevan-Bichel in "Bichel's match" in '03). [[ What I have is complete data but no time !!! Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 5, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    Ananth:

    1. I think S Waugh's 120* is probably the greatest chase innings in WC history (ahead of all chase innings in your Top 10). [[ I think this innings gets more value after seeing what happened a few days later in the semi final. Also Steve Waugh came in at 48 for 3, chasing 272, almost similar to Symonds' innings. Do I have three votes for this innings !!! As far as chasing innings, I would place this at par with de Siva's 107 and Houghton's 142 (in a losing clause - pl see the scoredcard) Ananth: ]]

    2. Inzy's 60 was sensational (he bailed Pak out in the finals as well after Javed & Imran's slow scoring had again sunk the wheel of Pak's chariot) but Sanath's 82 vs Eng also deserves a consideration.

  • Funky on February 5, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    Punter's ton to beat India in WC final - how can you not rate a world cup winning knock?! [[ Now that the third vote has come in, this will be included in the list. Ananth: ]]

  • Masum on February 5, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    Bad analysis. How can you ignore steve's knock although you take Inzy's 60 and Tendulkar's 98. You mention "Symond's 143* escaped me because it was early in the tournament. Coming in at 82 for 4 and scoring 143 out of 220 is something." If this is true so how Tendulkar's 98 come's here. Was it played in the final match of the tournament? [[ First your choice of words is wrong. You are finding fault with my selection which is my prerogative. I will listen to readers as I have already done on Ponting and now Steve Waugh. However I suggest do not fault my analysis since you have made no comment on the main theme of the article which is the analysis. Is there a problem with selection of Tendulkar's innings. Even by implication I suggest do not infer a pro-Indian bias when I have selected Inzamam's 60. Anyhow I will take yours as the third vote for Steve Waugh's 120. If nothing else I am fair. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on February 5, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    @Alex, I`d agree that Ponting`s century in the 2003 final deserves a spot. Only 5 centuries in finals and it`s hard to leave any of them out. Steve Waugh`s 120 not out against South Africa (super sixes, but a must-win for Oz) would make my Top 10 as well. [[ One more vote for Ponting's 100 and that will go in. Steve Waugh's was also an all-0time classic. Ananth: ]]

    Very interesting article and great to be reminded of some memorable past performances (Inzy! - what a knock), but I have to disagree with the `Every match in a World Cup is important` (Ananth`s bold) statement.

    It`s happened before, and will definitely happen this time around, where a group game has little significance. Sometimes both teams have already been eliminated, sometimes one team is already through to the next round regardless of the result. OK, every match in a WC might be important, but some are more important than others. To be fair, few, if any, of the great performances mentioned by Ananth here took place in what could be termed a `dead rubber`. [[ My point is that it would be quite difficult to identify totally dead rubbers. When there were 3-team groups I find it difficult to classify any match as dead, whatever be the tournament status. When there was this carry-over system around, no match was dead. In this tournamen, the only dead rubbers are likely to be between Canada & Kenya and Ireland & Netherlands. All other matches would be relavant since a defeat in a match against a weaker team might mean facing India/Sri Lanka rather than England/Bangladesh. So I would say that 90% of the matches would be important.. Ananth: ]]

  • Agni on February 5, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    Ananth, apologies for being a pedant. In 1992 there were no groups due to late inclusion of SA. All teams played all(each had 8 games to do before semi and final).India finished 7th out of 9 teams. 1996 format is identical to 2011(not 1987 :-) sorry again!!) [[ Don't be sorry. I am happy that readers find mistakes since that means they read the article thoroughly. One mistake in entering the year and anonther genuine mistake. Both have been corrected. Ananth: ]]

  • Ali Shah on February 5, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Great Analysis. Pakistan's last 2 WC performances have been terrible. I couldn't believe the rankings at first. They are down to sixth spot. Hopefully they will pull up their socks in this tournament.

  • Alex on February 5, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Ananth - Perhaps you can create a baker's dozen as opposed to a Top 10. Symonds' 143* vs Pak was probably more devastating in effect than SRT's 98. Also, Ponting's 140* vs Ind is a must have: they all batted well but Ponting's knock blew Ind out of the final.

    I often think Viv's 138* is a bit over-rated. It was a super knock and a turning point for him personally but the real damage was done by the 66-ball 88 of Collis King. [[ I wouldn't disagree with anything. The only reason why I did not have Ponting's 140 was to accommodate Houghton's 142. Symond's 143* escaped me because it was early in the tournament. Coming in at 82 for 4 and scoring 143 out of 220 is something. Let me keep these two as your suggestions. Ananth: ]]

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  • Alex on February 5, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Ananth - Perhaps you can create a baker's dozen as opposed to a Top 10. Symonds' 143* vs Pak was probably more devastating in effect than SRT's 98. Also, Ponting's 140* vs Ind is a must have: they all batted well but Ponting's knock blew Ind out of the final.

    I often think Viv's 138* is a bit over-rated. It was a super knock and a turning point for him personally but the real damage was done by the 66-ball 88 of Collis King. [[ I wouldn't disagree with anything. The only reason why I did not have Ponting's 140 was to accommodate Houghton's 142. Symond's 143* escaped me because it was early in the tournament. Coming in at 82 for 4 and scoring 143 out of 220 is something. Let me keep these two as your suggestions. Ananth: ]]

  • Ali Shah on February 5, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Great Analysis. Pakistan's last 2 WC performances have been terrible. I couldn't believe the rankings at first. They are down to sixth spot. Hopefully they will pull up their socks in this tournament.

  • Agni on February 5, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    Ananth, apologies for being a pedant. In 1992 there were no groups due to late inclusion of SA. All teams played all(each had 8 games to do before semi and final).India finished 7th out of 9 teams. 1996 format is identical to 2011(not 1987 :-) sorry again!!) [[ Don't be sorry. I am happy that readers find mistakes since that means they read the article thoroughly. One mistake in entering the year and anonther genuine mistake. Both have been corrected. Ananth: ]]

  • Boll on February 5, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    @Alex, I`d agree that Ponting`s century in the 2003 final deserves a spot. Only 5 centuries in finals and it`s hard to leave any of them out. Steve Waugh`s 120 not out against South Africa (super sixes, but a must-win for Oz) would make my Top 10 as well. [[ One more vote for Ponting's 100 and that will go in. Steve Waugh's was also an all-0time classic. Ananth: ]]

    Very interesting article and great to be reminded of some memorable past performances (Inzy! - what a knock), but I have to disagree with the `Every match in a World Cup is important` (Ananth`s bold) statement.

    It`s happened before, and will definitely happen this time around, where a group game has little significance. Sometimes both teams have already been eliminated, sometimes one team is already through to the next round regardless of the result. OK, every match in a WC might be important, but some are more important than others. To be fair, few, if any, of the great performances mentioned by Ananth here took place in what could be termed a `dead rubber`. [[ My point is that it would be quite difficult to identify totally dead rubbers. When there were 3-team groups I find it difficult to classify any match as dead, whatever be the tournament status. When there was this carry-over system around, no match was dead. In this tournamen, the only dead rubbers are likely to be between Canada & Kenya and Ireland & Netherlands. All other matches would be relavant since a defeat in a match against a weaker team might mean facing India/Sri Lanka rather than England/Bangladesh. So I would say that 90% of the matches would be important.. Ananth: ]]

  • Masum on February 5, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    Bad analysis. How can you ignore steve's knock although you take Inzy's 60 and Tendulkar's 98. You mention "Symond's 143* escaped me because it was early in the tournament. Coming in at 82 for 4 and scoring 143 out of 220 is something." If this is true so how Tendulkar's 98 come's here. Was it played in the final match of the tournament? [[ First your choice of words is wrong. You are finding fault with my selection which is my prerogative. I will listen to readers as I have already done on Ponting and now Steve Waugh. However I suggest do not fault my analysis since you have made no comment on the main theme of the article which is the analysis. Is there a problem with selection of Tendulkar's innings. Even by implication I suggest do not infer a pro-Indian bias when I have selected Inzamam's 60. Anyhow I will take yours as the third vote for Steve Waugh's 120. If nothing else I am fair. Ananth: ]]

  • Funky on February 5, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    Punter's ton to beat India in WC final - how can you not rate a world cup winning knock?! [[ Now that the third vote has come in, this will be included in the list. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on February 5, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    Ananth:

    1. I think S Waugh's 120* is probably the greatest chase innings in WC history (ahead of all chase innings in your Top 10). [[ I think this innings gets more value after seeing what happened a few days later in the semi final. Also Steve Waugh came in at 48 for 3, chasing 272, almost similar to Symonds' innings. Do I have three votes for this innings !!! As far as chasing innings, I would place this at par with de Siva's 107 and Houghton's 142 (in a losing clause - pl see the scoredcard) Ananth: ]]

    2. Inzy's 60 was sensational (he bailed Pak out in the finals as well after Javed & Imran's slow scoring had again sunk the wheel of Pak's chariot) but Sanath's 82 vs Eng also deserves a consideration.

  • Alex on February 5, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    Ananth - sorry, I forgot to add these items in my previous comment.

    1. Do you have data for each world cup on % of 50+ innings scored at SR>100, % of 100+ innings scored at SR>80, etc.?

    2. It would be nice if you please add tables on Top 10 or Top 12 partnerships. Here, it would be nice to distinguish between mammoth partnerships (e.g., Dravid-Ganguly vs SL) and late order match turning partnerships (e.g., Murray-Roberts vs Pak in '75 and Bevan-Bichel in "Bichel's match" in '03). [[ What I have is complete data but no time !!! Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on February 5, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    Ananth:

    Regarding Pringle, 4-15 in 1999 vs W. Indies,

    I am not sure England played W Indies in 1999. They were in different groups and neither made it to super sixes. Did you probably mean 1992? In that case too, I think it was Lewis who picked 4 wkts, not Pringle... [[ No I got the apell correctly. But I got the team and year wrong as also the runs (very little right). It was M.Pringle's 4 for 11 off Win in 1992. He got Lara, Richardson, Hooper and Arthurton. Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on February 5, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Ananth: Great analysis as I have now come to expect of you. I am not surprised at India's low positioning due to their inconsistent performances (alternate world cups they look supreme and alternate world cups they look pathetic). I dont agree that the quarter final is a fair format though. It just renders all previous matches meaningless (remember S. Africa in 1996?). While a knowck out is ok, it is more unfair because a team can barely make it to q.f (e.g., Engalnd in 1996 by beating minnows). If England had been lucky and beaten Srilanka in qf and lost the semifinal again, then they would have qualified as world cup semifinalists based on a solitary significant win in the tournament !!!!

    I somehow felt that the 1992 format was the most fair (barring the stupid rain rule). But with so many teams a full round-robin is impossible. The super sixes of 1999,2003 made more sense to me with teams carrying forward points [[ Pl see my response to Shrikanth. Ananth: ]]