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Stats Analysis

Where do Maxwell's double and Shami's seven-for rank in the list of all-time-great ODI performances?

A look at where notable performances in the 2023 World Cup rank on the all-time lists

Maxwell's 201 not out is among the top batting performances in the history of ODIs, not just this World Cup  •  Getty Images

Maxwell's 201 not out is among the top batting performances in the history of ODIs, not just this World Cup  •  Getty Images

In this review of the 2023 World Cup, I will be using the methodology I used in my analysis of the 2019 World Cup to rank the ODI batting and bowling performances from this year's tournament. I will also check what impact these performances have on the lists of all-time top ODI performances.
ODI Batting Performance Rating
If you need to just know what the parameters are, the list is provided below. If you need to know more, please check out this explainer on the parameters.
  • Runs scored
  • Absolute SR
  • IVI (Support, Relative SR, %Team Score)
  • Bowling Quality
  • Pitch Quality
  • Innings status
  • Runs with late order
  • Partnerships
  • TSR/L/R (Team Strength ratio/Location/Result)
  • Match Importance Index (multiplication factor)
ODI Bowling Performance Rating
The parameters are below, and there's more on them in the the explainer.
  • Wickets Captured
  • SWQ (Spell Wicket Quality)
  • Bowling accuracy
  • Bowling SR
  • Batting quality
  • Pitch quality
  • Innings status
  • TS/L/R (Team Strength/Location/Result)
  • Match Importance Index (multiplication factor)
In the first part of this article, I will look at the best batting, bowling and all-round performances of this World Cup. Then I will look at the best batters and bowlers, and finally, at the matches in which the teams bulldozed other teams and the matches that were close.
I will close the article with a look at my current lists of the all-time great batting, bowling, and all-round performances as they stand. This will let you see which of this World Cup performances have reached the pinnacle.
World Cup 2023 Top Performances
It's no surprise that Glenn Maxwell's unbeaten 201 tops the chart - and quite comfortably. A lot has been said about this innings. Let me say that at 49 for 4 and 91 for 7, I thought Australia's chances of winning were below 5%.
Second place is again along expected lines - Travis Head's once-in-a-lifetime innings that was primarily responsible for Australia's title win. Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc set up the match but it required Head (and Marnus Labuschagne) to complete the win.
In third position is a true classic by Scott Edwards that paved the way for the greatest upset of the World Cup. Edwards walked in with Netherlands at 82 for 5 against South Africa, saw the score go to 112 for 6 and 140 for 7, but stayed on till the end to reach a match-winning total of 245. The runs that he added after the fall of the sixth wicket were pure gold.
It is interesting to note that Labuschagne's Test-match-style innings in the final manages to come in tenth position.
Five of the top ten positions are occupied by four different Australian batters, an indicator of their overall team strength and their ability to click in key situations.
The matches between the top six teams (Australia, India, South Africa, New Zealand, England and Pakistan) and a few other key matches towards the end of the league phase are considered special matches (indicated by "SPL-LM"). These are allotted Match Index values of 105. To this extent, performances in these matches will be valued more.
No surprise at the top bowling performance of the World Cup. Mohammed Shami's magnificent 7 for 57 in India's semi-final win is in first place. Shami swept the wickets of the entire top order and then finished off the innings. A well-deserved first place indeed.
Starc's incisive spell of 3 for 55 in the final is in second place. The match index of 150 no doubt helped Starc. His spell included two top-order wickets.
Cummins' tactical masterpiece of 2 for 34 in ten boundary-less overs in the final comes in in third place. The fact that his two wickets were those of Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer helped.
Josh Hazlewood's supporting spell in the final is in eighth place.
Australia have confirmed their pre-eminence at the top with six performances in the top ten - three in the final and three in the semi final.
Let us not forget that Maxwell, in addition to the small matter of scoring 201 runs in the game against Afghanistan, also bowled a tidy spell of 10-0-55-1. This performance earned him a total of over 142 rating points and gets him first position on the all-round performances list.
Head's match-winning 62 was preceded by an excellent spell of 2 for 21. This semi-final performance got him second place. Who can forget those two wickets in two balls?
Shakib Al Hasan did not exactly cover himself with glory as Bangladesh's captain in the match against Sri Lanka. But his match-winning double of 2 for 57 and quick-fire 82 gives him third place.
Surprisingly, two Netherlands players find themselves in the top ten, indicating that their team had a good number of allrounders in it.
Let us move on to the best batters of the tournament, based on total Performance Rating points. No surprises here either. Virat Kohli had a standout World Cup and his tally of 765 runs translates into 430 rating points. His average points-per-match figure is 39.1, the highest among all batters. Rohit Sharma, despite often sacrificing his wicket for quick runs, is in a comfortable second position. Rachin Ravindra follows in third. None of these three placements is a surprise.
Jasprit Bumrah's powerplay contributions and mid-innings effectiveness see him land on top of the bowlers' list, albeit with a narrow lead from Adam Zampa. Hazlewood just about takes the third place from Starc. The presence of four Australian bowlers in the top seven is a clear indication of their contributions towards their team's success.
When it comes to average rating points per match, Shami leads the field with 53.8. Since he played in only seven matches, he does not meet the cut-off criteria to finish in the top ten.
Now we move on to two tables based on the Team Performance Points. TPP is a value allocated to the two teams out of 100 (in instances where there is a result) based on the innings scores, type of win, margin of win, and resources left in hand. Here I have provided two tables. One covering matches in which the teams had dominant wins, and the other in which the winning teams just about managed to scrape through.
India's win by over 300 runs against Sri Lanka fetched them over 90 points, the only instance when a team crossed this high mark. Australia's even bigger win over Netherlands got them 85-plus points. One reason for this seeming discrepancy is that the margin in Australia's case was out of 399 while India's margin was out of 357. India's huge win over South Africa gave them 83 points. Sri Lanka's win over England is interesting since that is the only match featured here that was a chasing win. Their TPP domination is mainly because their win was achieved in 25 overs.
The closest match on the table above was, as expected, Australia's five-run win over New Zealand. The feature here was that this was five runs out of a huge total of 388. Australia got just over 50 points and New Zealand just under 50 in this game. South Africa's harrowing one-wicket win over Pakistan fetched them 51.9 points, with Pakistan getting just over 48 points. The third match featured is the bizarre DLS win by Pakistan, after they scored 200 for 1 against New Zealand's 401 for 6. This was a close match since the winning margin of 21 runs is deemed to be low, given it was out of 401.
All-time top ODI performances
On my list of the top ODI batting performances, Maxwell leads. His once-in-a-century innings of 201 not out, helping Australia win from a hopeless situation, has managed to do what I thought till now was impossible - dislodge the majestic Viv Richards classic of 189 not out from its perch. And Kapil Dev's unbeaten 175 has moved to third place. All three are similar innings - the batters moving their teams from 91 for 7 (Maxwell), 102 for 7 (Richards), and 17 for 5 (Kapil) to match-winning totals nearing 300. They had very little support from the top order, but the late-order batters provided invaluable support. Suffice to say that many of us have been very privileged to have watched the three innings in our lifetimes.
In fourth position comes Head's magnificent hundred in the recent final. There can be no complaints about this placement: from 47 for 3 to 239 for 3 is the stuff dreams are made of. Thus, two innings from the 2023 World Cup have found their place in the top four. Adam Gilchrist's opening masterclass in the 2007 World Cup final is placed fifth: 149 glorious runs in 104 balls, out of a total of 224, tells the story. This was off a tough Sri Lankan attack.
Richards' match-setting and match-winning 138, Saeed Anwar's unforgettable 194, Sanath Jayasuriya's demolition of the Indian attack, Martin Guptill's mammoth 237, and Aravinda de Silva's hundred that won the World Cup for Sri Lanka are in the lower half of the top 10 group.
Gary Gilmour's 6 for 14 against England in the World Cup semi-final at Headingley in 1975 still ranks as the best ever bowling performance. Gilmour took the first six wickets to fall for very few runs and finished with the incredible analysis of 12-6-14-6. All six batters were out for single figures. In the thousands of times I have run my ODI ratings programs over the past 15 years, this performance has never gone off the top place.
Andy Bichel's 7 for 20 in the 2003 World Cup follows.
Kuldeep Yadav's 6 for 25 against England in 2018 is in third position, surprisingly. Kuldeep dismissed five top-order English batters in that game. His accuracy was phenomenal, especially his relative economy rate of 2.5, compared to the team's 5.83, in an away match. Finally, this spell came against perhaps an all-time great batting team.
Aaqib Javed's 7 for 37, where a strong Indian batting line-up was completely at sea against him, is next. Mohammad Azharuddin and Sachin Tendulkar were trapped lbw first ball.
The top five is completed by Waqar Younis' 7 for 36 against England in 2001. Waqar single-handedly reduced England to 51 for 6 in this match-winning away performance.
To complete the top ten, we have Tim Southee's magnificent 7 for 33 against England in the 2015 World Cup, Shami's recent semi-final classic of 7 for 57, Joel Garner's 5 for 38 in the 1979 World Cup final, Wasim Akram's five-for, in which he took Australia's top five wickets for 21 runs, and Scott Styris' match-winning 6 for 25 against West Indies in a low-scoring match.
The quality of Pakistan's bowling strength across the years is brought out by the fact that three out of the top ten and six out of the top 20 are performances by bowlers from Pakistan.
In the 1996 World Cup final, Aravinda de Silva took 3 for 42 to complement his hundred, and this is the best ever all-round performance in an ODI by a player according to my rankings. Let us not forget, this was in a final. Shahid Afridi had amazing bowling figures of 7 for 12 to go with his 76, against West Indies in 2013; can anyone think of a more dominating performance than this one? In third place is Maxwell's economic bowling spell in tandem with his double-century.
Four performances from the 2023 World Cup have breached the top 20 of the all-time batting and bowling performance tables. Two batting performances - those of Maxwell and Head - and two bowling performances - those of Shami and Starc. These were undeniably the individual performances of the World Cup and fully deserved to be honoured.
New section
From my August article onwards, in each article, I present a numerical outlier or two relating to Test and ODI cricket. I started with the intriguing question, "Which bowling analysis occurs most frequently in Test cricket?" and then switched the same question to ODI cricket. This time I have a different pair of questions. These are: "What is the lowest score yet to be reached by a Test batter" and "What is the highest score reached by multiple batters in Tests?"
Here are the answers. The lowest score yet to be reached by a batter is 229, followed by 265 and 272. And the answer to the second question is 334, with two batters,Don Bradman and Mark Taylor (by choice), reaching this score, followed by 333 (Graham Gooch and Chris Gayle) and 329 (Inzamam-ul-Haq and Michael Clarke).
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Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems