T20 Ratings - WT20 Round Two Edition
Russell Degnan

Slightly delayed, and thus back-dated to the start of the second round. Adjust probabilities as appropriate.

For a group accustomed to waiting five days for a result cricket fans are unusually impatient when it comes to getting a result in global tournaments. Every sport starts their show-case slowly. Ths one actualy starts surprisingly quickly, given what rides on early games. To the extent their is a scheduling flaw (and this is almost as meaningful a format as can be created) it could easily be remedied by having the winner of the first group game play the second, and by playing two games per day.

Not that the tournament is not without problems. The scheduling construct that puts moving to the next game ahead of finishing (or playing out as far as possible) the one that had already started. The continuing problem with cricket's rain rule that makes it easy to leave the field and hard to return. The unwelcome (and unnecessary) farce of Duckworth/Lewis calculations, when a split innings, and 10 over determination would be better. It would be nice if the press focused on some of these issues, boring as they are, over rubbishng small teams and proposing unworkable formats.

The first round conformed more or less to expectations. Less so the results. For the second WT20 in a row, no upset occurred, and it increasinbly appears that contrary to widespread unempirical belief it is harder to cause an upset in a T20 match. Most likely, because as any park cricketer could eplain, scoring quickly is a lot harder than staying in. The margins, except for Zimbabwe, were broadly in line with the ratings; the winners of the group stage, except for England, as predicted.

Group 1FormGamesQual. Prob.
4.Sri Lanka2512.0+17.416.758.1%
7.West Indies2476.8+11.416.943.3%
8.New Zealand2407.2+6.321.827.2%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 Sri LankavsNew Zealand16 runs65.1%
 EnglandvsWest Indies14 runs63.7%
 EnglandvsNew Zealand23 runs71.5%
 Sri LankavsWest Indies7 runs56.8%
 New ZealandvsWest Indies9 runs41.4%
 Sri LankavsEngland-7 runs42.9%

The weaker of the two groups by far. England's ating needs to be adjusted downwards to account for them leaving out three of their better batsmen/T20 players in Pietersen, Bell and Owais Shah. That, and the India game demonstrated a complete inability to play spin. Their loss to the West Indies means they must beat Sri Lanka and hope the West Indies don't thrash New Zealand. That is a strong possibility as, notwithstanding their unrecognized tie with Sri Lanka, New Zealand aren't very good. They aren't, however, out of the tournament yet, needing a win over the West Indies and Sri Lanka to beat England. The West Indies are something of an enigma, lacking depth in their squad, when the best players fire they can win anything. Whether they can do that three times in succession is doubtful.

Group 2FormGamesQual. Prob.
5.South Africa2507.024.648.3%
GamesExp. MarginWin Prob.
 PakistanvsSouth Africa-4 runs%
 AustraliavsIndia6 runs%
 AustraliavsSouth Africa7 runs%
 IndiavsPakistan4 runs%
 AustraliavsPakistan10 runs%
 IndiavsSouth Africa1 run%

Australia have suddenly gone from officially tenth to potential winners, but my ratings always had them higher, and they'll shortly take the top spot. Like the West Indies, their depth is a worry, as is their tendency to concede huge scores for Watson and Warner to chase. South Africa have improved markedly on where they were, but fell to pieces against Pakistan and, like India, have their work ahead of them. This is an extremely close group though, and any of the four could still make it to the semi-finals.


None of the departees wil be especially pleased with their performance here. Afghanistan ought to have beaten India, but failed due to dropped catches. Against England they lost the ability to construct and innings as well, and fell to a huge loss. Ireland were once again stymied by rain, but undone by a huge first game loss. Bangladesh played reasonably well, and might have sent Pakistan home if their bowlers could do a job. they never really looked like doing so though even with Shakib once again demonstrating his considerable lonely talents. And Zimbabwe? Who knows where they are at. They played at the level of Scotland or Canada here, but two games don't tell you much of anything. That goes for all the teams.

The sixteen team tournament planned for 2014 is in many ways identical to the twelve team one: either way, a weaker team needs to win one of two games against someone in the top-8. But there will be four more, mostly weaker teams, taking their shots, so one is likely to land. Numerous commentators have complained about the predictability of the eight teams making the second round in tournaments constructed to let eight teams go through. There is, of course, a relatively simple solution: don't have an eight team second round. Not exactly rocket science.

Idle Summers 30th September, 2012 09:18:53   [#]