My brief observations are that the original 4 picks for the World Cup are all doing well. The hosts Australia and New Zealand, South Africa and defending champions India. It’s hard work for the bowlers on flat ‘drop-in’ pitches that have been up as a batmen’s paradise. The aforementioned teams have very strong batting line up, with the likes of McCullum, AB de Villiers, Kolhi and Warner performing well. My personal feeling is that Australia will win as they have the greatest depth in batting and bowling. For my English team, unfortunately, they’re not at the races. They seem to be playing an outdated limited overs game and struggling with ball in hand. It may be time for a rethink and look to bring young exciting specialist players like Alex Hales and Jason Roy into the team.
One thing I’ve noticed about this World Cup is the huge amount of data being provided to fans by the media. The great thing about statistics is the ability to see patterns in performance. We’re now more aware of things that take place during the game that previously went unnoticed. For instance, a pattern of runs scored during a Power Play or the specific tendencies of individuals which you can make allowances for. It becomes even more interesting when you see how players perform in pressure situations compared to regular play. The really successful coaches and captains use this data to strategize and set their game plans. In golf we are less interested in our opponents statistics than understanding our own numbers. Analyzing data in both the golf swing and on course results can reveal valuable insights. All this data allows us to concentrate our effort to the weakest areas and allows us to identify issues more quickly.
I’m sure the England team is poring over their numbers right now looking for a solution. Apart from one or two personnel changes, for example Jordon in for the ineffective Anderson and Hales instead of Balance, it is very difficult at this late stage to make wholesale changes. Essentially England has put their previous results behind them, and as in golf need to play one hole at a time – or in their case one game at a time. On a positive note England only have to win five games in a row to become World Champions! That’s the way they need to think.
Being on the road a lot doesn’t make it easy to watch games live but I’ve downloaded the ICC World Cup app, so wherever I am, I can keep up to date with scores and results.
It’s always great to watch the top teams in action and to see this new generation of exciting one-day cricketers. The game has certainly moved on from 200 runs being scored in a 7-hour day at a test match.
Blog by SAP Ambassador David Leadbetter.