15 insights going into the World Cup  Final  

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1


By Amrit Bhatta writes from South Africa his insights into the current cricket world cup  finals


1. NZ being tested under pressure in the SF really helps them, Aussies haven’t really had to deal with significant pressure this tournament. But having played all their games on tiny grounds in Kiwi conditions is a real disadvantage going into a game at the MCG.  Much bigger chance of McCullum getting caught instead of ball sailing over the ropes.

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1 boult southee








2. Aussies are a more complete team with more match winners than NZ. For NZ to win, Boult + Southeee + Vettori have to really perform  on the day with the ball whether they are setting or defending a target.

South Africa & England Nets & Press Conferences








3. Were SA robbed by the rain in the SF? Only very slightly I say. They came off after 38 overs, but added 65 in the further five overs they got ”“ so if one considered that their last 5 overs (ie 45-50) then what would they have scored in the 7 overs between 38 and 45 but without losing a wicket? I think a fair imputation would be 8-9 runs per over. Now, what would NZ have scored in their first 7 overs without losing a wicket”¦ with BMac who knows, but to guarantee no wicket would not credit them with more than 5-6 runs an over. So, NZ’s target should have been adjusted by around 3-3.5 runs x 7 overs. That’s somewhere around 21-25 runs, but Duckworth Lewis took it up by 16. I’d say a fair target was 6 or 7  runs more than what they were set. At the end of the game, this sounds hugely important”¦ but it’s fairly minor if known at the beginning of the innings, which it was. So, I don’t think SA were horribly cheated and in any event had a big total to defend at the outset which they should have done.

4. The biggest SA culprit were their selectors. To leave out Kyle Abbott who bowled brilliantly against SL and play a semi-injured Vernon Philander who got carted all over was an act of incomprehensible daftness.

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1 QBK


5. The second biggest SA culprit was Quinton De Kock. AB de V’s missed run out was a tough low throw at pace, and forgivable even by his genius standards. Whilst helpful, it might not have proved decisive as Elliott would still have been there. But after Corey was out and QdK missed a regulation gather and take the bails off to run out Elliott, Ii can  say that SA would almost certainly otherwise have won. For a keeper at the stumps not to take a decent throw over the bails is a shocker. Much more than ABdeV and even more than the Duminy/Behardien missed catch which, whilst no doubt costly, in the circs with the volume more understandable.

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1dhoni


6. India really exceeded expectations, firstly by beating SA and secondly by bowling out every team up until Australia which, given their bowling form this summer, is a real turnaround. But apart from SA, their opposition in this tournament was pretty weak in every game so I think they flattered to deceive a bit. Aus really showed them up but a creditable 3rd place in the tournament is way more than most objective Indian supporters would have expected.

7. The minnows generally added a lot to the tournament. The Zim, UAE, Ire, Afgh were all involved in super games of cricket. The next WC in 2019 is planned on being a 10-team event with the first 8 spots reserved for the top teams and only 2 qualification spots. This means that Eng are automatically in but Bang have to qualify. This is a joke on multiple fronts, and I hope they revisit. Teams like Ireland and Afghanistan only play a handful of games between each world cup. Considering that, I think they did brilliantly (esp Ireland).

8. In spite of the above great games, geez 42 group games going into a 7 game knockout final series is really lopsided. Further, to have QFs where the abysmal WI are on equal footing with NZ is totally wrong.

9. I would have 4 groups of 4 (16 teams, say these 14 teams plus Holland and Kenya), with the first two in each group qualifying for the next round (and getting 2 and 1 points head start respectively) and 2 x 3rd place elimination games (26 total games so far) to retain 2 more teams (zero starting points) into 2 groups of 5 who play each other once each. These add 20 games but of higher standard and drama. Then 1st plays 1st in each group, with the winner going to the final and the loser playing the winner of 2nd v 2nd for the other spot. 4 more games. That’s 50 games, one more than this tournament, but both a lot more quality matches + real reward  for a winning record + accommodates more minnows who should be there participating. The best team will win, no fluke knockouts etc.

10. AB De Villers man of the tournament for me, possibly could be pipped by Starc/Boult if either man-of-matches in the final. Outside ringer is Guptill if he scores another big hundred. Apart from Starc, Aussies have pretty much relied on team performance than individual brilliance ”“ that’s a good sign for them. NZ dependant on fewer players to perform above themselves.

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1BM









11. I’m not such a big fan of Brendon McCullum as a batsman in this tournament. Yeah, he’s spectacular ”“ but he tonks it, gets 50 maybe and then gets out. He doesn’t win his team games. Compare to someone like ABdeV who can tonk it just as hard, but knows how to keep it going and capitalise on momentum. The difference between a good and great player. BMac has been batting like a rich man’s Afridi. Not there when you need him at the crunch.

12. My WC team of the tournament:

New Zealand's Guptill celebrates reaching his century during their second one-day international cricket match against England at the Ageas Bowl cricket ground in Southampton








Guptill (NZ) ”“ match winning hundreds in two matches

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1 dilshan









Dilshan (SL) ”“ no real star openers, just pips Dhawan coz he can bowl a bit and I’m still angry with Dhawan  after his stupid shot today that really showed no BMT sense

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1 sangakarra








Sangakarra (SL) ”“ nothing to add, 4 centuries ”“ just brilliant”¦ also the wktkeeper

South Africa & England Nets & Press Conferences








AB De Villers (SA) ”“ genius

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1 mahmadullah








Mahmudullah (Bang) ”“ 2 great hundreds against quality opponents, and some BMT under pressure

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1 williams zimb










Williams (Zim) ”“ top all rounder in the tournament

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1 maxwell










Maxwell (Aus) ”“ good batting form, devastating, plus has bowled all right

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1 starc









Starc (Aus) ”“ bowler of the tournament

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1 morkel








Morkel (SA) ”“ shades Southeee (more wkts, less runrate) and Wahab (one great spell, but still his figures were 2-60!!)

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1 boult








Boult (NZ) ”“ just behind Starc

Amrit Bhatta - WC 1imran tahir








Imran Tahir (SA) ”“ just shades Vettori for matchwinning and matchinfluencing

No Indians ”“ Shami and Yadav took wickets, but really not in same league as those selected let alone Southee. Mahmudullah might seem a little fanciful, the best replacement would be Brendan Taylor from Zim. Can you imagine 2 Zimbos in the best team!!! Maybe Misbah for his heroics in an otherwise rubbish Pak batting lineup. Tough one.

13. Best bowling in the tournament ”“ Starc vs NZ, just pipping Southee v  England

14. Best innings in the tournament ”“ very tough this one. Guptill v WI, ABdV v WI,Taylor  v  Ind  or Ire but given my preference for performing under massive pressure and carrying your team home I have to go with Elliott in the semi-final

15. Best games in the tournament for me. OK, easy… the NZ-SA semi. Then Ire v Zim (this was magnificent down to the wire stuff), then Aus v NZ group game, then Afghanistan  v Scotland and Bangladesh  v  England  (hi farcical drama!!)


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