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World Cup 2015: Short Notes - 2nd March

With a 14 team tournament and going at the rate of 1 game a day, somehow the World Cup schedule has found a rest day in the group stages itself.

Brendon McCullum lifting Chappell - Hadlee Trophy after win against Australia

With a 14 team tournament and going at the rate of 1 game a day, somehow the World Cup schedule has found a rest day in the group stages itself. How did the scheduling committee achieve this tremendous milestone? All the teams get enough days to rest between games, yet there is a day without a single game. For what purpose one may ask? To give the fans a chance to detox from cricketing or to let the world focus on the biggest cricketing battle - BCCI's presidency.

Anyways the 1-day break in the matches gives a good chance to evaluate the tournament gone so far.

The Qualifying Scenarios

  • All the teams are still in contention, however, minuscule their chances. And no team has booked its quarter-final berth. There is a very tiny chance that the likes of India and New Zealand can still miss out.
  • The ones with 100 percent winning record - New Zealand, India & Ireland
  • The ones with 100 percent losing record - Scotland & UAE

The patterns to the madness

  • When Associate plays Associate - Great Game.
  • When Associate plays Test playing team - Good game. Generally the Associate runs out of steam by the end of the game
  • When 2 Test playing teams play - Boring one sided game with the team batting second generally getting hammered.
  • When New Zealand play - Knock out the opposition for a smallish score and try to chase it down in under 20 overs while losing wickets in a bunch, thus boosting their run-rate, while at the same time making their fans very nervous.
  • Old formula - Double the score after 30 overs. New formula - Triple the score from the 25 over mark.
  • ICC doing things

  • Tweak the World Cup format. Get the egg on the face. Where every other organization is going for globalization and expansion, ICC is looking at shortening the World Cup for making it more "competitive".
  • Keep tinkering with the playing conditions -  Powerplay overs, field restrictions, number of balls, Duckworth-Lewis, DRS - basically making the game more and more impossible to comprehend.
  • How the teams are stacking up

  • India, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka - looking good to march into the knock-outs.
  • West Indies, England, Pakistan - There might be an embarrassing early exit. 
  • Bangladesh, Ireland - should be looking to repeat their 2007 top 8 foray.
  • Zimbabwe, Scotland & Afghanistan - may have just run out of steam by now but can create havoc for some others' qualification chances.
  • Now awaiting the second half of the group stage before the actual tournament begins. It should still be an interesting exercise with some teams jockeying for positions while others fighting for survival and the rest waiting to trip them up.
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