The Roar
The Roar

Gurlivleen Grewal

Roar Pro

Joined January 2015







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.



It is not just IPL form, see his numbers since the last WC across ODIs, across 3 IPLs. He can’t bowl tight lines and lengths and with his pace dropping to early 130s there is nothing to threaten. The balls in shorter formats doesn’t swing (late start, ideal weather conditions), they barely seam for 5 overs. Nobody denies his prowess until last WC but even his rewards in tests against quality teams have gone south since.

Smith and Warner return as Australia pip New Zealand

Agree. But Henry is a better bat and as good a fielder as Southee. And if you see his numbers and more than that how rarely he leads the attack, he should be nowhere near the team. The guy can’t bowl tight lines and lengths let alone pieces of brilliance.

Smith and Warner return as Australia pip New Zealand

Hate to write a Warnesque comment but he is too soft for a fast bowler? Given he bowls 150+ first ball – he relies too much on his slower balls variety to be an out and out quick ala Bond, Starc, Lee. Yes pace gets hit and he would be taken for 20+ runs but there is a fine balance say what Cummins does in the middle overs – still relying on pace, line, bit of seam. His bowling vs the Indians and in the IPL didn’t give any inclinations that he is a threat.

Smith and Warner return as Australia pip New Zealand

The only times I have seen Khawaja perform (5 or 6) is when no one expects much of him and/or the team. Say when Finch’s form was so bad that the spotlight was firmly on him and with no Waner, Aus tour of UAE, last test of Ashes etc. And it might be coincidence that he didn’t get going at home in tests. But as part of very successful units he has also performed vs SA, NZ, little pressure that is, quite young in his career et al.

I might be wrong in connecting a dots of coincidences or that he is finally at another level but in crisis the teams tend to revert to what they know and this WC is expected to be a fiercely fought one.

Smith and Warner return as Australia pip New Zealand

I would predict by game 5 of the tournament Khawaja won’t be part of playing 11.

Smith and Warner return as Australia pip New Zealand

Have seen enough of Southee to say – unless it is hooping around, he ll be a major liability even in the first 5. His bowling at death or in the middle overs are just pedestrian. Was shocked to see how poorly he was bowling in IPL – for last 3 years now and his record in ODIs has gone true south since 15 WC.

Smith and Warner return as Australia pip New Zealand

Good analysis Paul. Seems like Aus, NZ have gotten the best draw and India’s is polar opposite with all tough games scheduled at the start. England’s is not bad either – couple of tough games at the start and then finish with 3 tough games with a settled, playing-well 11. But then it all depends on what one prefers. I would like a NZ, SA draw – tough and easier games all along.

Perhaps could add the grounds analysis as a follow-up article. Whether the teams are playing tougher opposition on “friendlier”, “home” pitches. Scheduling in a bit more detail.

There is still a rest period of 2 days in between knockouts and group stages so don’t think the teams should mind that. But England, NZ are in a great position with ample rest, planning. One thing for sure though though with this format the semis would start with no clear favorites.

How does the draw affect teams in the World Cup?

Glad you are recognizing the English spinners. A while back we were having a discussion if they are that good! ????
Zampa and Cummins give a definite edge to the Aussies in the middle. I don’t expect Starc to be on song – he has returned from injuries a couple of times and always had underwhelming returns. Warner and now Finch have proven to be better tacticians than Smith. The spinners were doing well even under Warner too.
Spinners thrive on confidence and every now and then a wicket-taker will have an off day. Kohli has been guilty of jettisoning the leggies in the past, the punt on Jadeja is very similar to the treatment to Zampa. In fact “Experts” now think KulCha won’t play together! SA have come around to this too – expect both Tahir and Shamsi to play if the conditions are suitable. So even though Lyon seemingly struggles in batting friendly conditions, the Aussies should bank on the duo to trouble all teams. Lyon is good enough to fox decent right handers and is a handful against lefties.
Interestingly these 4 teams are also the most favoured to be semi-finalists.

Zampa is the key to Australia's World Cup attack

Pretty spot on with the analysis, I think. SA has the most in-form bowling group – the injury concerns to 3 pace bowlers notwithstanding, they are expected to recover.

However, I am not optimistic about their batting – The nuance of when to go hard and when to take ownership is not part of their routine – even ABD wasn’t really good at it. It is a difficult balance – they gave so many opportunities to multiple players that everybody was playing for their place and apparently going conservatively. Then Faf urged them to just go for it – I am not sure the players have the temperament and big game experience to pull it off. Not picking Morris is a big miss too.

Agree about WI, Pak, NZ. Whilst NZ has a decent overall batting and bowling group – the bowling apart from Boult is a worry – the way Southee has been bowling for last 2 years, the lack of penetration from the all-rounders, steady but relatively unthreatening spin options. Batting wise, again a good group but would they be able to push into top 4?

The four teams that will reach the Cricket World Cup semi-finals

From the outside, it seems Mortaza is a good leader, doesn’t shy away from responsibility and he was up for election too – career switches at a great pace. I hope he can pull this team together. On paper and on the basis of form, I expect them to struggle and make the bottom 3.

While winning at home is a priority for every team – their strategy of sidelining fast bowlers entirely from their setup isn’t going to make them a force. With the new FTP coming in place, they should start getting more matches abroad and should change their balance away from spin. Like every team, they have players who can play a blinder on their day, but to reach the semis – one needs consistent performances. Anyways, the closer the competition the better this particular format of round-robin matches of WC will be.

My Cricket World Cup squad: Bangladesh

Gunratne showed good promise like 2 years or so ago and now he doesn’t get a consistent run. Was injured and now I read it again? The selectors have been really shabby. Case in the point is also that Chandimal should not be near any cricket squad playing outside the subcontinent, let alone shorter formats.

Dhananjay Silva, Tharanga have been given opportunities on a platter and I am surprised the former hasn’t lived up to the hype. At least his bowling is keeping him in. They should move on from Tharanga -he hasn’t shown any promise on his comeback. Gunathalika should pip Tharanga. Guna was serviceable before the ban. Not consistent, but the potential to provide a quick start and a bide-your-time 40. I am not sure about the next opener – Dickwalla is just poor, Kusal Perera should bat in the middle, he is vulnerable at the top. Have to go with Dilmuth? Or can punt with Samarawickrama.

Oshada Fernando also looks good – as good as Srl has now. If somehow Chandimal is picked over him, it would be real shame.

Players like Siriwarda, Dhananjay, Gunaratne should have been given more of a consistent run. They showed potential against quality opposition. It doesn’t seem like there is such a dearth of talent that Srl can’t win an ODI like forever.

Captiancy – We, of course, have no clue about the team dynamics but the games of nearly all player barring Thisara have gone downhill. Mathews seems to be the only candidate for captaincy but we can’t expect one sensible decision from SLC. I think they can make Malinga the captain and he can work with Mathews to get something out of this team.

Coming to bowlers – the team is perhaps the bottom 3 going into WC. Any idea why Senanayake is no longer an option? He has been cleared off his ban long back.

I would try to sneak in Gunathalika, Oshada and perhaps show faith in Gunaratne. Pick one off Samaarwickrama and Dilmuth. And for heaven’s sake, wouldn’t pick Tharanga, Chandimal. Perhaps drop Dickwella from the squad and have only Perrera as the preferred keeper but he might prefer to just bat and at the moment his batting warrants him the choice. So Oshada can come in for Dickwella.

For the sake of cricket, I just hope Hathurusingha, Malinga and Mathews get the best out of this lot. The SLC bosses though aren’t going to make it any easier. I though peg Srl to fight with Bang for the bottom.

My Sri Lanka World Cup squad

There is a problem in reading too much into performances out of T20. No T20 side boasts 4/5 intl quality bowlers – and the weaker bowlers come to bowl in the 7-10 overs. Technically

Warner seems to be suited than Khawaja (for whom the old issues of starting against spin could resurface) but Warner is a better bet at the top order too. The WC presents 2 relatively easier games against Afg, WI at the start – so that should help.

Prediction wise, I see Khawaja reverting to the inconsistent mediocrity, come the big stage. And then pushing Warner to open. Ind, SA, Eng have similar problems – all the best batters prefer to open. All teams have experimented to keep the same group and tried those options in the middle order, albeit unsuccessfully, not giving promising mid order players enough of the time and now both Ind, SA has underwhelming Middle order options as a result.

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

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?


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 –

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

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 – 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 –

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?