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Gurlivleen Grewal

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Joined January 2015

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Supporting a team is a sacrilege I try my best to avert. We are perishing for want of wonder, not want of wonders. Akin to the amount of cricket we are having. Bad beats only happen to good players.

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Anything is possible doesn’t mean equally probable. When people make predictions, only the fools would add certainty to the event. The chances that Australia would win at least one ODI is a cool 80%+. If you do the math that is and it is not an “Upset” by definition.

If you are interested in Math rather than hunches – The chance that India would win all matches is arrived by multiplying their winning probabilities – ie WWWWW = 0.7*0.7*0.7*0.65*0.65 = 0.145 = 14.5% (here assuming India are strong starting favorites at 70% and will give their bench strength more chances as the series progressed, thus starting at 65%) . So in 100-14.5% ie 85.5% Aus would win at least 1 match.

PS – 70%-30% is huge favorite in cricket when 2 top-6 teams are playing. Eloquent writing, just an issue with Math.

Australia wins ODI series: Anything now officially possible

Context in stats. I agree Ronan, it doesn’t help Aus at all.

Insane ODI fixturing has cruelled Australia

True that. It should be like Ind-Srl and it wouldn’t be lopsided like that either.

Insane ODI fixturing has cruelled Australia

The schedule hamstrings BCCI – there are windows for each series, and one has to adhere to it. And IPL has given many players a chance on the big stage. No Bumrah without IPL, just an ex. Also, others have gotten better in performing under pressure – so with the good comes the bad.

But I hope they can push for an appropriate schedule for the players. There was talk about resting the fast bowlers, but the talks haven’t materialized into anything concrete yet. Kohli too was making the right noises. ECB is so good at it that the clubs complain they have no say, once they get the guidance from the national team.

More than injuries, I think influence in process tends to hamper a player. Different temperament, different goals of T20 etc. Players like Rohit, Dhawan are esp. vulnerable – their teams rely heavily on them and that bogs down the freedom with which they usually play. For Intl, players, not getting game time, or inconsistent appearances don’t help. If the bowlers come out with their confidence intact, it could help them perform at the WC. So again, good, bad, whatever.

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Let’s dispute it with math shall we?
Let’s take the case of West Indies. WI has to win at least 3 games against top 6 teams and 3 against bottom 3. Let’s say they will win 100% of the matches against bottom 3 (Afg might be 50–50 btw).
Now to win 3 games against top 6 - let’s say WI will be given percentage of 35% on average vs each team (for simplicity - it will be more like 25% chance vs top teams). Think of it like when WI play in a bilateral series they generally get beaten 3–1, 4–1, 5–0. The 2 wins in 4 could make a case for an uptrend or just an anomaly.
To win 3 matches out of 6 - .35*.35*.35*.65*.65*.65 = .011 . This event can happen in 20 ways - called permutations of events. So multiply by that to get the total probability of .22 ie 22%. 
then to win 4 out of 6 - .0063. This can happen in 15 ways. 
to win 5 - .0034 . This can happen in 6 ways. 
to win 6 - .002 . This can happen only in 1 way. 
The total of above 4 will give you 35% chance. Now multiply that by say 45% chance in each of the 2 knockouts - you get 7% chance of them going on to win the World cup.
So in seemingly the best case scenario they a 7% chance (with assured win against Afg and a 35% chance against top 6 teams). I would think that this best case would happen only 50% of the times.
So how can you use this information. Basically bet on the teams which you think are undervalued. Betting on overvalued or fair valued teams is going to be a negative expected value ie you wouldn’t gain or lose if you were to do it again and again. When say NZ, undervalued, becomes fairly valued during the tournament, you can then compensate and bet on other teams that were initially overvalued or have become undervalued.

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Of course. Play with your numbers. It is fun!

On the basic level it is how many times the team will win at least 6 games out of 9 vs these opponents – some are more stronger than the others.

And then the assumption is that no team is so strong at the moment (form might change, Eng might get on a roll on flat pitches) that are runaway favourites in knock-outs. With more data, things will become clearer.

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Yes, you are right. It was getting way too complicated with the scenarios but yes 6 wins with net run rate should suffice and might be the better case rather than 7 wins outright. Thanks for the input.

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Yes Brian, actually I wasn’t sure about all the scenarios and it made the article furthermore complicated. 6 wins should suffice with net run rate etc. Thanks for the inputs.

This kind of format evens out the field a lot and one can bet we will have very close semi-final lineup.

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Hehe.

So a team has to win minimum of 6 matches. Given their record till now, the win percentages against top teams like on theirs tours to Pak, India. Home performances against Ind, Eng etc – they should win against the lower ranked teams – Bang, WI, Afg, Srl. They need to win 2 matches against the other 5. The chances of that happening as per their form are 85%.

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

I think what Langer is doing by persisting with Finch is the best course of action. He has a very good record to back it up and he has had form slumps before and has gotten back from them. The present one has been compounded by the innate stupidity of picking him as an opener in tests.

Brettig’s article is a very good read on this –
http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/26131998/aaron-finch-needs-break-not-sack

Leadership vacuum leaves Aussies in delicate spot

They have a 30% chance. Even bookies a year back were giving them 45% chance but better sense has prevailed since.
If you are interested in seeing how the bookmakers or I came with those numbers and to make your own numbers (it is fun to play with math like that) – pl skim through https://medium.com/smoking-cricket/the-unbearable-lightness-of-being-the-favourite-52d9d7ab44a9

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Hey Kandeepan,
Actually that is the whole point of the article – that guts and hunches aren’t good enough. Pl skim through this original article to see how I calculated the chances of each team – https://medium.com/smoking-cricket/the-unbearable-lightness-of-being-the-favourite-52d9d7ab44a9 and then you would agree it isn’t 10%! Cheers

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Thanks Ricardo,

Quite a few important bits missing in this article. Some like weather, form, grounds, order of matches and others though mentioned aren’t analyzed and will be looked into as we approach the WC. Here is the complete article – pl skim through, I wish they had published as is – https://medium.com/smoking-cricket/the-unbearable-lightness-of-being-the-favourite-52d9d7ab44a9

I had given knockouts spl attention and the final chances are arrived with that consideration.

Aus like Pakistan, SA seem to have the components of a successful 11 but as NZ always show it requires collective ability to excel. And this late in the piece with an unsettled team, it becomes really difficult. With Langer at the helm, his talks, big words, combative attitude just don’t give me confidence that he can gel this team together.

Pakistan, I would argue are no longer mercurial – you can expect what they would do, what their players are capable of. Their batsman no longer average mid 30s who once a while will play a stunner, or the bowling who would rip the batting apart or before that being the best and most diverse bowling attack for ODIs. No they have good batters and have a good bowling attack.

Black caps – who can not be the fan of this team and their culture. Expect them to play much better than what we saw in the India series.

England – I am not impressed by their attack – as in on paper, or purely in terms of rankings, it doesn’t look threatening. But what you have to factor in is the fear that their batters put in mind of the opposition, making them take chances because no score is safe or while chasing a steep one. They have kind of engineered how to perform in these scenarios on typical English wickets. Ind, SA, Aus couldn’t really hack it against this “weak” attack for this reason. But if the pitches are more balanced, that batting advantage negates a bit.

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Hey Paul,

Weather – yes – Actually many details were edited out of this article. I have given a list of a lot of factors which become clear only when the tournament is about to start. Kind of like how Champions trophy 2017 was played on dry pitches and the spinners came into it. Had it been earlier, the pitches would have been lot more truer, and England would have had a better chance.

I actually mentioned knockout stages as in even though England India are good, they aren’t 2-3 sigma good than the others, so in knockout expect them to win at best 60% of the times. And multiplying all that gives you the final chance of winning.

For the original, as god-intended 🙂 version please skim through this https://medium.com/smoking-cricket/the-unbearable-lightness-of-being-the-favourite-52d9d7ab44a9

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Yup I thought so. Actually this edited out version is not helping either. All I wanted to convey is sometimes a team can be favourite at 30%. If you would like to skim through the better version – here it is https://medium.com/smoking-cricket/the-unbearable-lightness-of-being-the-favourite-52d9d7ab44a9

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

The format Brian dictates that only the better teams will get through – even teams who can discover form and combination in the midst of the tournament. But with Srl, WI, Bang – no amount of form is going to change their woes with the bowling – the common thread in surprises is that they had potent bowling attack and come the fag end of the tournament batting was clicking too. Afg has a big leap to take – but I would wager they would beat the bottom half teams for sure.

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Hey Ronan, actually the article is a shade of what I had written with few key bits edited out. They aren’t the best but the top 3 (Afg might be even a bigger force but they don’t get the advantage of potency of fast bowlers to back them up).

But top 3 in the world I would think is good enough, slight differences in averages shouldn’t matter – relative to that team combination, form are more imp.

Qualitatively thinking English spinners play on better pitches and perform quite admirably and consistently bowl 20 overs despite England having quality 6th bowling option in Stokes. Morgans trust Rashid even in slog overs and for a finger spinnner Moen’s econ is phenomenal.

The whole article is here – https://medium.com/smoking-cricket/the-unbearable-lightness-of-being-the-favourite-52d9d7ab44a9.

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?


In this format: Team  :  Chance predicted as per above methodology  =  Converted into odds || Odds by bookmakers
Eng : 32%  =  3.12 || 3.5 *
Ind  : 26%  =  3.84 || 4
NZ : 13%  =  7.7 || 9″
SA : 11.5 = 8.7 || 9
Aus : 9%  =  11.1 || 6.5^
Pak : 7%  = 14.3 || 10^
” Undervalued teams
^ Overvalued teams
Remaining teams : - 1% - > 100 || 40 ( Weighted mean )
* Eng were given odds of 2.5ish a year back. Better sense has prevailed since then among the bookies. They initially priced them as they did Aus in ’15 and India in ’11. The format has changed completely this time around.
Interestingly the odds are directly correlated to how easily can you can select the 15 player squad. Ind, Eng are decided on 13–14 players. SA, NZ have 11 or so. Pak, Aus ~8 players. Of course, Bangladesh too has their 11–12 players but they ought to be good to win consistently also.
Disclaimer - I am not encouraging anyone to bet. No moral policing either. This is just a mental exercise, having fun with numbers.
But the odds will change, and you can use this or other such methods to make a better judgement. More importantly one understands how despite Eng being a favourite - what a favourite sometimes means - a chance of winning at ~30% - So nobody should go around making friendly or otherwise costly bets.

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Remaining teams : - 1% - > 100 || 40***
* Eng were given odds of 2.5ish a year back. Better sense has prevailed since then among the bookies. They initially priced them as they did Aus in ’15 and India in ’11. The format has changed completely this time around. 
” Undervalued teams
^ Overvalued teams
*** Weighted mean
Interestingly the odds are directly correlated to how easily can you can select the 15 player squad. Ind, Eng are decided on 13–14 players. SA, NZ have 11 or so. Pak, Aus ~8 players. Of course, Bangladesh too has their 11–12 players but they ought to be good to win consistently also.

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

In this format: Team  :  Chance predicted as per above methodology  =  Converted into odds || Odds by bookmakers

Eng : 32%  =  3.12 || 3.5 *
Ind  : 26%  =  3.84 || 4
NZ : 13%  =  7.7 || 9″
SA : 11.5 = 8.7 || 9
Aus : 9%  =  11.1 || 6.5^
Pak : 7%  = 14.3 || 10^
Others : 1%  =  100 || 40***

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?

Eng -  32% -: 3.12 : 3.5 *
Ind -  26% -: 3.84 : 4
NZ -  13% - : 7.7 : 9″
SA- 11.5 : 8.7 : 9
Aus - 9%  : 11.1 : 6.5^
Pak - 7%  :  14.3 : 10^
Others -  1%  : 100 : 40***

* Eng were given odds of 2.5ish a year back. Better sense has prevailed since then among the bookies. They initially priced them as they did Aus in ’15 and India in ’11. The format has changed completely this time around. 
” Undervalued teams
^ Overvalued teams
*** Weighted mean

The Cricket World Cup favourites are shaping up, but does it actually mean anything?