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England Vs New Zealand Women 2021 Series Review: Beaumont & Knight Too Much For New Zealand

England Vs New Zealand Women 2021 Series Preview.

This series was dominated by two individuals—Tammy Beaumont and captain Heather Knight. Apart from these two, England also found match winners in Nat Sciver, Freya Davies, Sarah Glenn, and Katherine Brunt.

On the other hand, except for Amelia Kerr & Amy Satterthwaite, New Zealand were not in the fight in their own backyard. There was stand-in captaincy for Sciver, injury to Lea Tahuhu, and even a bit of Billy Bowden as well. Here is a quick review—The stats, highlights, and more! Keep on reading, and let us know your thoughts!

Also Read: Ind Vs SA Women Series Preview, Who Cares About Women Cricket?

Results – England Vs New Zealand

ODI Series: England Win 2 – 1

  1. England Women won by 8 wickets *Heather Knight
  2. England Women won by 7 wickets *Natalie Sciver
  3. New Zealand Women won by 7 wickets *Amy Satterthwaite

* Player of Match

Player of SeriesEnglandNew Zealand
Most RunsTammy Beaumont – 231 runs
(best of 88*, 3 – 50s, average 231.00)
Amy Satterthwaite – 135 runs
(best of 119*, 1- 100, average 67.50)
Most WicketsNatalie Sciver – 5 wickets
(best of 3/26, average 16.60)
Amelia Kerr – 4 wickets
(best of 4/42, average 28.00)
England Vs New Zealand Women ODI Series Stats

T20I Series: England Win 3 – 0

  1. England Women won by 7 wickets *Sarah Glenn
  2. England Women won by 6 wickets *Freya Davies
  3. England Women won by 32 runs *Katherine Brunt
Player of SeriesEngland
Tammy Beaumont
New Zealand
Most RunsTammy Beaumont – 102 runs
(best of 63, 1 – 50, 100.99 SR)
Amy Satterthwaite – 76 runs
(best of 49, 122.58 SR)
Most WicketsFreya Davies – 5 wickets
(best of 4/23, 4.71 economy)
Leigh Kasperek – 4 wickets
(best of 2/24, 6.61 economy)
England Vs New Zealand Women T20I Series Stats

The Highlights


  • Individual runs do not win you matches, great partnerships do. Tammy Beaumont & Heather Knight were not only consistently among the runs, they stitched the English team together. Beaumont is literally in almost all the match-winning partnerships. Dream tour for her (although struggles for Danni Wyatt continued).
    • Beaumont-Knight 94 (113), Beaumont-Sciver 103 (129) & Beaumont-Jones 79*(87), Beaumont-Knight 109 (151)
    • Wyatt-Beaumont 59 (53), Knight-Beaumont 83 (73), Jones-Dunkley 36 (31)
  • While the experienced top order dominated the ODI leg, the bowlers were the stars in the T20Is. Sarah Glenn’s miserly 2/11 in 4 overs in the first T20I & Freya Davies’ wonderful outing of 4/23 sealed the 2nd T20I. Only 8 T20Is old before the series, Davies was the find of the T20I tour for England.
  • The experience of Katherine Brunt was on spot in the 3rd T20I. At half way stage, 128 seemed too low to defend but Katherine Brunt’s 2/19, Sophie Ecclestone’s 2/19, & Mady Villiers’ 3/10 bundled New Zealand for just 96.

New Zealand

  • It was a tough tour for Sophie Devine. After hitting the fastest women T20 century in the domestic Super Smash tournament, much was expected of her as the captain-all rounder. Scores of 16, 6, 15, 2, 8, 0 and only 2 wickets across the 6 matches was way below her usually excellent standards.
  • Amelia Kerr, the young prodigious (Devine used to babysit her) allrounder continued her dramatic rise in world cricket. Although the stats do not show it all, she was constantly threatening the pair of Beaumont-Knight in the ODIs. Performance of 4/42 & 72* in the 3rd ODI helped seal New Zealand their sole victory in the series.
  • The women of the hour in the 3rd ODI was Amy Satterthwaite, completing her 7th ODI century with magnificent knock of 119* (128) after the White Ferns were 15-2. Another 49 came in a T20I. The only real resistance from the New Zealand batting came from her. Otherwise, T20I scores of 96, 123, 96 & ODI scores of 178 & 192 are not much to write home about.

Also Read: What Can Ellyse Perry Not Do?, What If India Won the 2017 World Cup?

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We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

England New Zealand
Emerging PlayerFreya DaviesAmelia Kerr
Surprise PackageKatherine BruntLeigh Kasperek
Broken Cricket DreamDanni WyattLea Tahuhu (injured)/Sophie Devine
England Vs New Zealand Women Awards

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

If you like this content, please subscribe above for FREE and follow us on our social media accounts.

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Where Do They Go From Here?

Australia Women will tour New Zealand for 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs, starting March 28th. For England, The Women’s Hundred will finally take stage from 21st July-21st August. This will be a huge game changer for women’s cricket.

The ODI World Cup (which was to be held during this time in New Zealand this year) is postponed to February of 2022.

Where do New Zealand cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

Image Courtesy: Katherine Bruntpaddynapper, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Ireland Vs Afghanistan 2021 Series Review: Afghanistan Edge Out Paul Stirling’s Brilliance

Ireland Vs Afghanistan 2021 Series Review in the UAE.

Ireland’s ODIs against the UAE were enthralling, except 2 ODIs were postponed due to COVID. Then, Afghanistan swept the crucial 3 match ODI series against Ireland. However, the series was closer than the 3-0 score line suggests. The series had various moments: Paul Stirling’s 3 centuries across the 2 series, Curtis Campher’s golden run, Gurbaz’s dream debut, Rashid Khan’s magical deliveries, reliable Rahmat Shah, and Asghar Afghan finishing things off in style.

Keep on reading for our analysis, emerging players, surprise packages, broken cricket dreams, and much more.

Also Read: Eng-Ind Series Preview, Eng-SL Series Review, Ind-Aus Series Review

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.


Ireland Vs United Arab Emirates ODI Series

Ireland Win 2 – 1

  1. U.A.E. won by 6 wickets *Chundangapoyil Rizwan
  4. Ireland won by 112 runs *Simi Singh

* Player of Match

Player of SeriesIreland
Curtis Campher
80 runs, best of 56, 2 wickets
United Arab Emirates
Most RunsPaul Stirling – 135 runs
(best of 131*)
Chundangapoyil Rizwan – 110 runs
(best of 109)
Most WicketsSimi Singh – 5 wicketsAhmed Raza – 3 wickets
Ireland Vs U.A.E. ODI Series Stats

Ireland Vs Afghanistan ODI Series

Afghanistan Win 3-0

  1. Afghanistan win by 16 runs *Rahmanullah Gurbaz
  2. Afghanistan won by 7 wickets *Rahmat Shah
  3. Afghanistan won by 36 runs *Rashid Khan
Player of SeriesIreland
Paul Stirling
Most RunsPaul Stirling – 285 runs
(Best of 128, 2 100s)
Rahmanullah Gurbaz -180 runs
(Best of 127)
Most WicketsAndy McBrine – 6 wicketsNaveen-ul-Haq – 8 wickets
Ireland Vs Afghanistan 2021 ODI Series Stats

The Highlights


  • Paul Stirling is having a stellar season. An aggressive batsman at the start of his career, he has truly transformed into Ireland’s top order main stay. Most ODI runs (576) since April 2020, 4 centuries, average of 82.28, 96 strike rate, and with age on his side (30), Ireland cricket is still in good hands. It’s a shame he did not make it to the final round of IPL 2021 auctions…
  • Curtis Campher, the South African expatriate, has been a revelation since his debut against England. Player of the Series in the UAE Series—this 21 year old is the next big thing of Irish cricket.
  • Kevin O’Brien, the hero of Bangalore and Ireland’s Test debut, is approaching the end of his career at the age of 36. With scores of 23, 2, 1, 0 & only 2 wickets, he really needs a second wind to justify his place against the incoming generation of Irish talent.


  • Although star Rashid Khan won the man of the match in the final game of the series, Afghanistan’s series win was an all-round effort. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Asghar Afghan, and Rahmat Shah contributed with the bat, while Naveen-Ul-Haq & Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman were effective with the ball.
  • Rahmanullah Gurbaz had a stellar debut – 127 runs with 9 blistering sixes. What Campher is to Ireland, Gurbaz is to Afghanistan. At the age of 19, he has a long career ahead of him.
  • Mohammad Nabi is currently going through the Kevin O’Brien crisis. Nabi, the stalwart of Afghanistan cricket, who has been a part of their rise since Division V cricket, needs to reinvent himself. 35 runs (2 innings) and 2 wickets (3 innings) may not be enough for the spinning all-round spot.

United Arab Emirates

  • The UAE probably got the worst of the COVID postponement. Since the UAE are in World Cricket League 2, they have to rank in the top 3 for the 2023 World Cup Qualification. They are currently at 5th and after winning the 1st ODI, at home they would have fancied their chances.
  • An impressive maiden century by Rizwan along with a wonderful partnership with Usman ensured UAE ‘upset’ Ireland in the first ODI.

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

IrelandUnited Arab EmiratesAfghanistan
Emerging PlayerCurtis CampherChundangapoyil RizwanRahmanullah Gurbaz
Surprise PackageSimi SinghMuhammad UsmanNaveen-Ul-Haq
Broken Cricket DreamKevin O’BrienPostponement of ODIsMohammad Nabi

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

If you like this content, please subscribe above for FREE and follow us on our social media accounts.

Follow us here if you are on Medium or Bloglovin‘.

Copyright (2021: 2/13/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X –

Where Do They Go From Here?

Unlike the World Test Championship, the ODI Super League is still a fairly sensible idea. Ireland has already played as many games as England and Australia so far, while Afghanistan rank 4th. With the top 8 automatically qualifying (including India), Ireland are currently at 7th and need to be careful from here on now. Points against UAE and Afghanistan was their best bet. Of course, the sample size is small so far with Sri Lanka, South Africa, Netherlands, and New Zealand yet to play a game in the Super League.

Ireland are scheduled to play South Africa, Netherlands, and Zimbabwe this year, while Afghanistan are bound to play Sri Lanka and Pakistan (according to pre-COVID FTP, so this is bound to change).

A lot more cricket still to come, and we hope that Ireland finally starts reaping its rewards from the 2007 generation, while Afghanistan breaks into the big leagues.

Where do Ireland cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

Image Courtesy: Mohammad Nabi & Hamid Hassan – Afghanistan Press Kit Uploads | Flickr via CC ND 2.0

Top 50 England Cricket Team Players: Does England Have More Reserve Depth Than India?

Today we discuss Top 50 England Cricket Team players.

England’s rotation policy is well documented. Anderson and Broad have been preserved for more than a decade, while the Woods, Stones, Archers, and Currans rotate. Their bowling depth is quite vast.

After years of mediocre cricket, England’s rise post 2015 has been nothing short of marvelous. 2016 WT20 final, 2017 Champions Trophy semi-finals, winning it all in the 2019 World Cup, and the team to beat at the upcoming 2021 T20 World Cup. Their limited overs bench strength is quite something. In Tests, they have now won a record 6 in a row overseas.

Last week, we analyzed India’s bench strength…of 75 players, which can field four complete international quality teams. England can definitely field Team Morgan Vs Team Buttler, but can this era of English cricket give India a fight in their reserves?

Today’s Twist

Build FOUR England National Cricket Teams: 2 Test teams, an ODI, and a T20I XI so that (1) each team can field a team (wicketkeeper & 5 bowling options), and (2) a player is not repeated in any of the lists.

The Catch

  • Would you pick Ben Stokes for the Test team, ODI, or the T20I? How about Jofra Archer? Is Buttler more dangerous ODI middle-order batsman or a T20I opener?
  • Can you make all 4 teams balanced? The goal is that each team is just as good and competitive on the international stage. The ODI & T20I teams should be good enough for the World Cups and the Test teams for the World Test Championship.

England Cricket Team Players

*uncapped player

Test Team 1

  1. 1. Rory Burns
  2. 2. Dom Sibley
  3. 3. Zak Crawley
  4. 4. Joe Root (C)
  5. 5. Ollie Pope
  6. 6. Ben Foakes (WK)
  7. 7. Jofra Archer
  8. 8. Stuart Broad
  9. 9. Dom Bess
  10. 10. Jack Leach
  11. 11. James Anderson

Test Team 2

  1. 1. Haseeb Hameed
  2. 2. Keaton Jennings
  3. 3. Joe Denly
  4. 4. Dan Lawrence
  5. 5. Moeen Ali (C)
  6. 6. James Bracey* (WK)
  7. 7. Sam Curran
  8. 8. Craig Overton
  9. 9. Jake Ball
  10. 10. Mason Crane
  11. 11. Olly Stone

England Cricket Limited Overs Teams


  • 1. Jason Roy
  • 2. Jonny Bairstow (WK)
  • 3. Eoin Morgan (C)
  • 4. Ben Stokes
  • 5. Jos Buttler (WK)
  • 6. Sam Billings
  • 7. Chris Woakes
  • 8. David Willey
  • 9. Adil Rashid
  • 10. Mark Wood
  • 11. Saqib Mahmood


  1. 1. Alex Hales
  2. 2. James Vince
  3. 3. Dawid Malan (C)
  4. 4. Tom Banton
  5. 5. Liam Livingstone
  6. 6. Ben Duckett (WK)
  7. 7. Lewis Gregory
  8. 8. Liam Dawson
  9. 9. Chris Jordan
  10. 10. Tom Curran
  11. 11. Reece Topley


  • I made sure Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales were in different teams (ouch).
  • David Willey narrowly missed out on that World Cup squad, but here, Archer plays for the Test team, while Willey makes the ODI XI. Best of both worlds.
  • Initially I had Sam Billings as a T20I finisher/captain, but had to fill a space in the ODIs (given Root was picked for the Test squad). Hence, Ben Duckett was added to the T20I XI.

Extended List of Prospects

These are just the 44 that are ready for the international level. Here is an extended list of players for the next decade. These players were either (1) selected for the 55-men ECB training squad when cricket returned from COVID, (2) have recently represented England Lions, or (3) were picked from the recent T10 League.

Fringe Players (recent standby players): 45. Jake Ball, Amar Virdi, 46. Matt Parkinson, 47. Ollie Robinson

Youngsters to Watch Out (26 or Below): 48. Jamie Overton, 49. Tom Helm, 50. Tom Moores (WK), 51. George Garton, 52. Tom Abell, 53. Alex Davies (WK), 54. Phil Salt, 55. Pat Brown, 56. Henry Brookes, 57. Tom Kohler-Cardmore, 58. Will Jacks, 59. Sam Hain, 60. Brydon Carse

Ex-International Players Out of Favor (but still dominating T20 or County Circuits): 61. Luke Wright, 62. Liam Plunkett, 63. Samit Patel, 64. Adam Lyth, 65. Ravi Bopara, 66. Gary Ballance, 67. Steven Finn

Others: 68. Ben Cox (WK), 69. Laurie Evans, 70. Richard Gleeson, 71. Sam Northeast, 72. Adam Hose, 73. Sam Wisniewski, 74. Daniel Bell-Drummond, 75. Joe Clarke*

*was named in Alex Hepburn rape trial and since been reprimanded. Doubt he will ever be selected for England

The Verdict

England’s ODI, T20I, and first string Test squad are stronger than India’s, but India’s second string Test squad AND depth of reserves is probably higher quality. I even had to pick Haseeb Hameed and Keaton Jennings for the second string Test opening (given that it has taken a decade for England to replace Strauss-Cook in their first string squad, it is no surprise I had trouble in this regard).

England has an abundance of pace bowlers, but the next generation of batsmen have not yet been groomed.

Now, a lot of India’s players (50-75) were the youngsters emerging from the recent U-19 World Cups and IPL 2020 (post-COVID). Since The Hundred was cancelled last year, the English public were robbed of watching exciting young talent. Who knows, after the 2021 edition of The Hundred, maybe England’s depth can overpower India.

What do you think of England cricket team players right now? What will your England XIs be? COMMENT BELOW!

If you like this, check out the rest of our World XIs with Twists Here – Best Fielding XI, Best Commentators XI, and much more!

Copyright (2021: 2/13/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X –

Image Courtesy: Ben StokesBen Sutherland CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

Indian Cricket Team Depth: List of Top 75 Players of Indian Cricket

Indian cricket climbed new heights at the Gabba. With a 2nd or 3rd string team. One of the greatest sporting stories of all time.

During that series, Australia announced a Test & T20I squad that would have been played at the same time (before Australia cancelled the South Africa tour of course).

These two events got me thinking—Can India field two Test XIs at the same time without overlapping players? How about an additional ODI & T20I team?

Today’s Twist

Build FOUR Indian National Cricket Teams Roster: 2 Test teams, an ODI, and a T20I XI so that (1) each team can field a team (wicketkeeper & 5 bowling options), and (2) a player is not repeated in any of the lists.

The Catch

  • Would you pick Virat Kohli for the Test team, ODI, or the T20I? Bumrah?
  • Can you make all 4 teams balanced? The goal is that each team is just as good and competitive on the international stage. The ODI & T20I teams should be good enough for the World Cups and the Test teams for the World Test Championship.
  • With so many spinners in the Indian cricket circuit and given recent history, does Kuldeep Yadav find a place in any of these XI?

India Cricket Teams

*uncapped player

Test Team 1

  1. 1. Mayank Agarwal
  2. 2. Shubman Gill
  3. 3. Cheteshwar Pujara
  4. 4. Virat Kohli (C)
  5. 5. Rishabh Pant (WK)
  6. 6. Hardik Pandya
  7. 7. Ravindra Jadeja
  8. 8. Ravichandran Ashwin
  9. 9. Ishant Sharma
  10. 10. Jasprit Bumrah
  11. 11. Kuldeep Yadav

Test Team 2

  1. 1. Prithvi Shaw
  2. 2. Abhimanyu Easwaran*
  3. 3. Hanuma Vihari
  4. 4. Ajinkya Rahane (C)
  5. 5. Karun Nair
  6. 6. Wriddhiman Saha (WK)
  7. 7. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
  8. 8. Umesh Yadav
  9. 9. Mohammed Siraj
  10. 10. Navdeep Saini
  11. 11. Shahbaz Nadeem

Indian Cricket Limited Overs Teams:


  • 1. Shikhar Dhawan
  • 2. Rohit Sharma (C)
  • 3. Sanju Samson (WK)
  • 4. Shreyas Iyer
  • 5. Kedar Jadhav
  • 6. Vijay Shankar
  • 7. Axar Patel
  • 8. Deepak Chahar
  • 9. Mohammed Shami
  • 10. Khaleel Ahmed
  • 11. Yuzvendra Chahal


  1. 1. KL Rahul (WK)
  2. 2. Ishan Kishan*
  3. 3. Suryakumar Yadav*
  4. 4. Manish Pandey
  5. 5. Shivam Dube
  6. 6. Dinesh Karthik (C)
  7. 7. Krunal Pandya
  8. 8. Shardul Thakur
  9. 9. Varun Chakravarthy
  10. 10. Washington Sundar
  11. 11. Thangarasu Natarajan

India’s most successful Test skipper and the stand-in skipper in Australia are given the Test reins, while the most successful IPL captain & captain of the victorious Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy have been given limited overs captaincy duties. We made sure the limited overs team had plenty of 6th bowling options, an area Indian selection has recently struggled with.

Extended List of Prospects

These are just the 44 that are ready for the international level. Just like IPL 2020 showed, we can further create a squad just of the Emerging Players. Here is an extended list of players for the next decade.

Fringe Players: 45. Rahul Chahar, 46. KS Bharat (WK), 47. Kartik Tyagi, 48. Priyank Panchal (recent standby/India A players)

Youngsters to Watch Out: 49. Devdutt Padikkal, 50. Ruturaj Gaikwad, 51. Priyam Garg, 52. Abdul Samad, 53. Abhishek Sharma, 54. Kamlesh Nagarkoti, 55. Shivam Mavi, 56. Ravi Bishnoi, 57. Arshdeep Singh, 58. Prasidh Krishna, 59. Mayank Markande, 60. Ishan Porel, 61. Shahbaz Ahmed, 62. Riyan Parag, 63. Sarfaraz Khan, 64. Nitish Rana, 65. Harshal Patel, 66. Deepak Hooda, 67. Narayan Jagadeesan, 68. R Sai Kishore

Others: 69. Jayant Yadav, 70. Jayadev Unadkat, 71. Siddharth Kaul, 72. Dhawal Kulkarni, 73. Sandeep Sharma, 74. Mandeep Singh (India caps, have age on their side, but out of favor & unlikely to get back in anytime soon)

*Note: Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, and Amit Mishra were not considered because they are almost at the end of the careers and are out of the favor with the selectors.


Problem of plenty for Team India.

We have all criticized Indian cricket selectors at some point in time, but we can clearly see it is difficult to give every player an extended run. Gone are the days where we can find players who play 2 or 3 formats for more than a decade. Virat Kohli maybe the last of his breed in India.

Next week, we will do a similar exercise with the England cricket team. Their limited overs depth is quite something, and they are a rising force in Test cricket as well.

What will your Indian XIs be? What do you think of Indian cricket right now? COMMENT BELOW! Would love to know your thoughts!

If you like this, check out the rest of our World XIs with Twists Here – Best Fielding XI, Best Commentators XI, and much more!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Indian Cricket Team Squad Depth

How many Indian cricketers are there?

As of 2023, at least 75 Indian cricketers are fighting for a place in the national team. Today the Indian national cricket team player list is one of envy with its massive depth.

How many teams can Indian cricket team field?

At least four professional cricket side can be fielded with the talent of Indian cricket team depth. These includes a separate squad for Test matches, ODI tournaments, and T20 series.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, LLC, 2023. Contact us at Originally published on 02/03/2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Image Courtesy: lensbug.chandru, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sri Lanka Vs South Africa 2020 Test Series Review: South African Cricket Back On Its Feet Against Injury-Hit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Vs South Africa—With the Pakistan-New Zealand series and Border-Gavaskar Trophy underway, this series almost went under the radar. However, the importance of this series cannot be understated, especially after the abandonment of the England-South Africa ODI series.

Although short in nature, the series had its moments—Sri Lanka’s positive start, Faf Du Plessis’ 199, Elgar’s heroics, Temba’s hilarious/unfortunate walk, the Lankan injuries, and Nortje’s coming of age.

Here are my picks for the best moments, emerging players, and much more! COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.

Also Read: Eng-SA ODI Review, NZ-Pak Series Review, Ind-Aus Test Series Preview

Results – England Vs South Africa

Test Series: South Africa Win 2 – 0

* Player of Match

  1. South Africa won by an innings and 45 runs – Faf Du Plessis*
  2. South Africa won by 10 wickets Dean Elgar*
Player of SeriesSri Lanka
South Africa
Dean Elgar
1-50, 1-100, 127 best
Most RunsKusal Perera – 141 runs (4 innings)Dean Elgar – 253 runs (3 innings)
Most WicketsVishwa Fernando – 8 wickets (3 innings)Anrich Nortje – 11 wickets (4 innings)
Test Series Stats

The Highlights

Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka began the series with a complete team effort consisting of Chandimal’s 85, Dhananjaya de Silva’s 79, Dickwella’s 49, Shanaka’s 66* to get to 396, their highest ever in South Africa. In response, South Africa’s mammoth 621 was too much to save a match. Not even Kusal Perera could save the match with a 64, as he did with the best Test innings of all time in 2019.
  • 31.1, 2.1, 28.5, 21.1, 6.5 read Sri Lanka’s bowling card in the first Test, with injured bowlers. Even captain Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis had to contribute 13.5 overs.
  • Injuries were unfortunately the theme for Sri Lanka this tour. With 5 forced changes including Chandimal & Dhananjay de Silva (and Angelo Mathews injured pre-series), Perera’s 1st innings 60 and Karunaratne’s 103 were the only bright spots in the 2nd Test.

Honestly speaking, 0 tour matches, COVID uncertainty, and focus on Lanka Premier League was way too much for Sri Lanka’s longer format dreams.

Also Read: Lasith Malinga – The Slinga, The Slayer, The SuperStar

South Africa

  • Faf Du Plessis has been through a lot in the last few years. Waited 7 years for a debut, heartbreak in the 2015 WC Semi-Final, led South Africa admirably, with everything collapsing in the 2019 World Cup. He has stayed and become the beacon of leadership, helping the Proteas transition to the next generation. His 199 in the 1st Test—so close, yet so far. In context though, a very important statement. Another couple of years for Faf?
  • Dean Elgar had a brilliant series with a 95 & 127 in the 2 Tests. One of the best openers in tough conditions, his reputation continues to rise.
  • SA began this series with an appalling statistic – first time in a few decades that all batsman averaged below 40. Yep, you read that correctly. All, even Faf, Elgar, and captain Quinton de Kock were on the wrong side of 40. With welcome performances from Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, Rassie Van der Dussen, and even Keshav Maharaj, the batting looks decent for the near future. Still need to guide against collapses.
  • In the absence of Rabada, Nortje rose to the occasion as the leader of the attack with a blistering 6-56. The supporting cast of Sipamla, Ngidi, and Wiaan Muldur chipped in with 10, 9, and 7 wickets respectively. Not quite Steyn-Morkel-Philander-Rabada, but these four displayed some potential for the future.

Also Read: Faf & ABD De Villiers – Friendship and the Quest of the World Cup

The Awards

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

South AfricaSri Lanka
Emerging PlayerWiann Muldur Dasun Shanaka’s Workload
Surprise PackageBatting Consistency Vishwa Fernando
Broken Cricket DreamQuinton de Kock (In a series where each player had a breakthrough performance, QDK was underpar)Injuries Galore

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

Where Do They Go From Here?

England left South Africa early due to COVID concerns. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka arrived in South Africa for a Test series tour. While the SL-SA series was going on, England already reached Sri Lanka to quarantine. So England’s been in Sri Lanka before the home team, while Sri Lanka are completing the series in South Africa.

Interesting how life works.

In the next couple of weeks, England-Sri Lanka are due for a 2-match Test series, while South Africa travel to Pakistan after a decade for a historic tour. In terms of the World Test Championship, England are ranked 4th (with tours of Sri Lanka & India coming up), SA a distant 5th, and SL down at 7th. Although the WTC provides context for the teams that are still in contention, it is the opposite for teams that suffer early losses. Widens the gap for the lower teams. Things to think about for the WTC.

Finally, Brexit is complete, Kolpak deals out of the window, & Kyle Abbott back with the Titans. If talent stream does not go to other places like the USA, South Africa might be stepping in the right direction.

Anyway, where do you think Sri Lanka and South African cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! Also feel free to share/discuss on our Twitter & Facebook pages!

Copyright (2021: 1/12/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X –

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

England Vs South Africa 2020 Series Review: South Africa Need Soul Searching As England a League Apart

England Vs South Africa was one of the three series that began on November 27 along with the New Zealand-West Indies and the India-Australia.

With the Proteas coming off a stellar IPL season and England a force to reckon in today’s day and age, this was the series I was most excited about. Heck, I even predicted a resurgent South Africa to sweep the series 3-0! 3-0 did happen but in England’s favor, but the abandonment of the ODI series put a sour taste on this tour.

Here are my picks for the best moments, controversial moments, emerging players, World T20 Predicted XIs, and much more! COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.

Also Read: Eng-SA ODI Preview, Series Predictions, Ind-Aus Series Review, NZ-WI Series Review

Results – England Vs South Africa

T20I Series: England Win 3 – 0

* Player of Match

  1. England won by 5 wickets (4 balls remaining) – Jonny Bairstow*
  2. England won by 4 wickets (1 ball remaining)Dawid Malan*
  3. England won by 9 wickets (14 balls remaining)Dawid Malan*
Player of SeriesEngland
Dawid Malan
2-50s, 99* best
South Africa
Most RunsDawid Malan – 173 runsRussie Van der Dussen – 136 runs
Most WicketsSam Curran, Chris Jordan – 3 wicketsTabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi – 4 wickets
T20I Series Stats

ODI Series: Series Called Off

Although South Africa were swept apart in the T20I series, they still had some positives. After scoring their highest scores 192, I expected South Africa to take some form in the ODI series.

What actually happened? First ODI postponed hours before the toss due to COVID breaches and similar result in the 2nd attempt. The tour was abandoned and the England players were sent home.


The Highlights


  • Player of the series? Dawid Malan. Highest runs scorer? Dawid Malan. 2 Player of the Match awards in a 3 game series? Dawid Malan. Need to say more? Definitely cemented his place for the T20I World Cup. Why doesn’t Malan have an IPL contract yet?
  • Chris Jordan coming from an underwhelming IPL claimed some personal records – 50th T20I match & highest wicket-taker for England, going past Stuart Broad. Specialist death bowler for sure.
  • While Jonny Bairstow played a match-winning-come-from-behind knock of 86* in the middle order & Jos Buttler made a mark as an opener with an unbeaten 67, Jason Roy picked up only 30 runs combined. Food for thought with the likes of Tom Banton waiting?

Controversy 101

Eoin Morgan receiving coded signals from the dressing room – Yay or Nay? What do you think about this?

I think it is an interesting experiment as long as it does not influence DRS calls or causes delay in proceedings. Comment below and let us know your thoughts!

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South Africa

  • George Linde was the positive of the series for South Africa. Miserly bowling figures of 2-20 (4 overs), 0-27 (4overs), & 0-26 (4 overs) along with efficient lower order hitting with 12*(6) & 29 (20).
  • Faf Du Plessis is not going anywhere and the du Plessis-van der Dussen middle order partnership is starting to take shape. Partnership of 127* (66) in the 3rd T20I took South Africa from a precarious position to a healthy total. The top 2 highest scorers for the Proteas in the series.
  • Maybe England’s batting is too good, but still in the past 12 months, South Africa barely defended 177 (won by 1 run), failed to defend scores of 222, 179, and 191, and gave away 204 runs in the first innings (lost by 2 runs). South Africa has some soul searching to do in the bowling front – an area they are usually good at.

Also Read: Faf & ABD De Villiers – Friendship and the Quest of the World Cup, Charisma of Sam Curran

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We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

South AfricaEngland
Emerging PlayerGeorge LindeDressing Room Coded Signals
Surprise PackageGeorge LindeJonny Bairstow (in the middle order)
Broken Cricket Dream3rd Seamer: B. Hendricks (0-56 in 4 overs), Ngidi (2-51 in 4 overs), Sipamla (0-45 in 2.4 overs)Jason Roy

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

Where Do They Go From Here?

A lot of Sri Lanka in the near future.

Sri Lanka are on schedule to tour South Africa for a 2-match Test series. At this point all reports are showing good signs in terms of the tour being played. After this series, England tour Sri Lanka for a two match Test series. After Pakistan return from New Zealand, South Africa will tour Pakistan in a historic move for 2 Tests and 3 T20Is.

South African cricket has endured a lot in the past year – mixed Black Lives Matter messages, constant changing of administration, COVID breaches, and much more (kudos to England for getting cricket back together and hosting West Indies, Ireland, Pakistan and Australia earlier). The abandonment of the ODI series (technically just postponed) puts a light onto future hosting in South Africa as well as the loss of finances.

Where do South Africa cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

World T20 Watch:

We are doing a World T20 Watch from now till the T20I world cup next year. Here is our predicted T20 XI line up and 15-man squad as of now based on this series. Several ifs and buts at this point, but it will get clearer along the journey.

South Africa still need some tweaking, while England look all set to claim their 2nd limited overs World Cup trophy.


  1. Tom Banton, 2. Jos Buttler (WK), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan*, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood

Squad: Sam Billings, Tom Curran/Saqib Mahmood/Reece Topley, Jason Roy/Moeen Ali, Joe Root/Joe Denly/Other


South Africa

Temba Bavuma did not have a great series, so I am putting Janneman Malan ahead in the XI. Bavuma should still get a few more chances before a final decision is made on his T20I career.

  1. Quinton de Kock* (WK), 2. Janneman Malan, 3. Faf du Plessis, 4. Rassie Van der Dussen, 5. Heinrich Klassen, 6. David Miller, 7. George Linde, 8. Andile Phelukwayo, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Anrich Nortje, 11. Tabraiz Shamsi

Squad: JJ Smuts, Lungi Ngidi, Dwaine Pretorius/ Bjorn Fortuin, Temba Bavuma/ Reeza Hendricks/Aiden Markram

What did you think about the England Vs South Africa series? What are your World T20 line ups? COMMENT BELOW, and let us know what you think!

Image Courtesy: Eoin MorganBen Sutherland, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons, Getty Imates

India Vs Australia 2020 – ODI & T20I Series Review: Even Contests But Lots To Think About

India Vs Australia – a friendly evenly contested series.

India revived their 1992 jersey, and the tour started accordingly with twin defeats via the brilliance of Steven Smith. This tour will be remembered for the Australia media’s fascination for ‘King’ Kohli, international fielding of grade-school standards, emergence of Hardik Pandya, the Jadeja-Chahal concussion fiasco, and Wade’s non-review.

Australia, on the other hand, erased the poor IPL 2020 memories. Aaron Finch, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell – all came back with a bang. Good performances by youngsters and comeback kids as well.

Here are my picks for the best moments of the series, the emerging players, and where these two teams go from here? COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.

Also Read: IND-AUS ODI/T20I Preview, Series Predictions – Can You Do Better?, NZ-WI Series Review

Results – India Vs Australia

ODI Series: Australia Win 2 – 1

* Player of Match

  1. Australia won by 66 runsSteven Smith*
  2. Australia won by 51 runsSteven Smith*
  3. India won by 13 runs Hardik Pandya*
Player of SeriesSteven Smith (Australia)
– 216 runs, 2-100s
Most RunsAaron Finch – 249 runsHardik Pandya – 210 runs
Most WicketsAdam Zampa – 7 wicketsMohammad Shami – 4 wickets
ODI Series Stats

T20I Series: India Win 2 – 1

  1. India won by 11 runsYuzvendra Chahal* (concussion substitute for Ravindra Jadeja)
  2. India won by 6 wicketsHardik Pandya*
  3. Australia won by 12 runsMitchell Swepson*
Player of Series (Australia)Hardik Pandya (India)
– 78 runs at 156.00 SR
Most RunsMatthew Wade – 145 runsVirat Kohli – 134 runs
Most Wickets Mitchell Swepson – 5 wicketsT Natarajan – 6 wickets
T20I Series Stats

The Highlights



  • India still have not solved their middle muddle. Shreyas Iyer returned with scores of 2, 38, 19, 12*, and 0 across formats. None of India’s batsman bowl and none of the bowlers bat well. The #4 position and the 6th bowling option is still a major worry.
  • Chahal leaked 89 & 71 runs and was eventually dropped for the third. Although he was the man of the match in the first T20I, it is still a matter of concern in the flat ODI pitches. Time to bring Kul-Cha back together?
  • First time since 2008 that Virat Kohli has not registered a century. Came close with a 89 and 63, but 2020 has just been that kind of year.
  • Shardul Thakur has a knack of taking wickets as we can see from his 3/51 in the 3rd ODI.


  • Although Sanju Samson gave India impetus with innings like 23(14) and 15(9), it was just not enough. With the likes of Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav in the background, Samson may not have too long of a rope.
  • Hardik Pandya dedicated his Player of Series award to T. Natarajan and deservingly so. Although Pandya finished things off, Natarajan’s 3/30, 2/20, and 1/33 were crucial to limit India’s targets.
  • India have found a balance in the finishing power. If one of the top order batsmen fail to finish the chase, Pandya will. If Pandya fails, Jadeja will.
  • In 2016, Manish Pandey was among the rising stars scoring an unbeaten century in a 300+ run chase. Forward to 2020. Did not get a game in the ODIs and struggled in his only T20I opportunity – 2 (8).



  • Steven Smith famously said a month ago that he “found his hand.” He was not joking as he displayed with scores of 105 and 104 in just around 62 balls both innings. WOW.
  • Glenn Maxwell could not hit a fly in IPL 2020. Put the Australia jersey on and boy, was he on fire? The entire 2 months of IPL – 0 sixes. 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is – 16 sixes in total including quickfire 45(19), 63*(29), 59 (38), 54 (36), 22 (13) across formats. Australia have found their finisher.
  • Although Smith & Maxwell were the catalyst, the solid platform provided by Aaron Finch with 2-100s and 1-50. He is growing in his captaincy role as well.
  • Does Australia have a Mitchell Starc problem? 1/65, 0/82, & wide balls does not reflect the stature of Starc.


  • D’Arcy Short comes up short. Wade not so much with blistering back-to-back 50s. Also a handy commentator behind the stumps.
  • The leggie Mitchell Swepson joins the party. His 1st wicket of the series? None other than Virat Kohli.
  • Moises Henriques made a comeback with important contributions with both bat and ball. In the 2nd T20I – 3/22 in his 4 overs along with a 30(20) got Australia close to the target.

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

Emerging PlayerMitchell SwepsonT Natarajan
Surprise PackageMatthew Wade/ Moises HenriquesRavindra Jadeja + Hardik Pandya
Broken Cricket DreamD’Arcy ShortManish Pandey

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please subscribe!

Where Do They Go From Here?

Earlier I had predicted 2-1 India for the ODIs and 2-1 Australia for the T20Is. The results were reversed, but this India Vs Australia series had closed contests regardless. By no means, did these teams perform at their bests. They have a lot to ponder over, especially heading into the Border-Gavaskar Test series and the World T20 next year.

In limited overs, India have to fix their middle over phase – both in batting style and the bowling combinations. For the test series, India have an Ishant Sharma size hole along with concussion/injury issues for Jadeja and Rohit Sharma.

Australia’s injury woes are at another level. First Stoinis and Warner in the limited overs series. Then, the debutant Green and Will Pucovski with concussions during the warm-up games and now even Steven Smith has a soar back. Here is the complete list:

World T20 Watch:

We will do a World T20 Watch from now till the world cup next year. Here is our predicted T20 XI line up as of now based on this series. Several ifs and buts at this point, but it will get clearer along the journey.

So many bowling/all-round option for Australia.


  1. Wade/Warner, 2. Finch, 3. Stoinis, 4. Smith, 5. Maxwell, 6. Henriques/Green, 7. Cummins, 8. Zampa, 9. Hazlewood/Lyon, 10. Starc, 11. Andrew Tye/Sean Abbott


India’s limited overs selections need a rethink. ODIs and T20Is are now separate entities and hence, need different criteria. Gone are the days of the three format players barring a couple from each team.

Each position needs a specific role with a like-for-like understudy. Here is my World T20 XI for India as of now:

  1. KL Rahul, 2. Sharma/Kohli, 3. Pandey/Iyer/Suryakumar Yadav, 4. Sanju Samson/Ishan Kishan/Rishabh Pant, 5. Hardik Pandya, 6. Ravindra Jadeja, 7. Dinesh Karthik, 8. Thakur/Shami, 9. Bhuvi/Chahar, 10. Chahal/Kuldeep, 11. Bumrah/Natarajan

What did you think about the India Vs Australia series? What are your World T20 line ups? COMMENT BELOW, and let us know what you think!

Image Courtesy: MATTHEW WADENAPARAZZI, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Why The World Needs Sam Curran: Calm, Charismatic, Courageous

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” said someone not named Albert Einstein.

In the world of cricket, there is one player who follows this advice closely—Sam Curran. Commonly known by commentators around the world as Sam “Makes Things Happen” Curran, when results are not going England’s way, you can always find Curran around the corner—trying new things and rescuing England time and again.

In the first T20I against South Africa, he bowled a match-winning spell of 3-28 along with a crucial 7*(3) finishing punch. Another game, and yet another important contribution from Sam Curran.

He is given this title for a reason—the lad never gives up hope. And this is exactly why he is one of my favorite players in the current cricket circuit.

Ask him to salvage Test matches in the lower order? Can do. Ask him to sit out for the Andersons and the Broad? No problem sir. Operate as a swing bowler, death bowler, gun fielder, opener, pinch-hitter, finisher?

Yep, been there. Done that.

Also Read: Sam Curran IPL Predictions, Unlucky cricketers (feat Simon Jones)

The Stats

The sample size in ODIs/T20Is is relatively small with 5/7 games respectively with uninspiring numbers of combined 39 runs and 14 wickets. Hence, we will only focus on his Tests and T20 stats.


Tests: 19 matches, 728 runs, best of 78, average 26.96, 3-50s
T20s: 85 matches, 1032 runs, best of 55*, average 19.47, 130.79 SR, 5-50s


Tests: 19 matches, 41 wickets, 32.12 average, Best Match – 5/92, 2-4 fors
T20s: 85 matches, 79 wickets, 29.16 average, Best – 4/11, 2-4 fors

The numbers are not that spectacular, are they? Yet, numbers do not paint the whole picture. It his impact that is palpable.

My First Memory of Sam Curran

I am not sure I have ever seen a more sparkling introduction to Test cricket in recent memory.

India lost the 5-match series 4-1 although the series was closer than the score line suggested. Were India ever out of the series like 2011? No, but just whenever England seemed to lose their way, Sam came into the picture.

It all started in the first test at Edgbaston, which was the second Test for Curran.

In the first innings, from 6-224, he dragged England to 287 with a valiant 24(98). Next innings, he pulled England from 6-85 to 180 with an attacking 63 (103). In between, 3 wickets in space of 8 balls at Edgbaston to reduce India from 50-0 to 59-3.

He played a couple of other knocks like 78 (136) at Southampton, a few 40s here and there, and took important wickets.

Not the highest scorer, nor the highest wicket taker, but impactful nevertheless. Ending up winning England’s Man of the Series award and was deservedly, one of the breakout stars of 2018.

What Can We Learn From Sam Curran?

Since that Test debut, he has not got too many opportunities. With a bowling line up of Broad-Anderson-Woakes in Tests and Archer-Rashid-Jordan in limited overs, it is hard to find consistent opportunities. Heck, he even has to compete with his brother Tom for a spot.

Yet, as the South Africa match showed, whatever opportunities he gets, he makes the most out of it. Recently, in the IPL, he was one of the young stars for CSK amidst a dismal campaign. He bowled at the death, opened the innings, and finished a game or two as well.

So what can we learn from him?

The Lessons

  1. Quick Learner: Give him a new role, he will take a game or two to adjust and then you see immediate results. Good skill to have for a job application.
  2. Keep Curiosity Alive: There is never an age to stop learning. Ask questions, keep on learning.
  3. Jack of All Trades, Master of None: Literally strike that out. As a rule of thumb, master two trades and the rest is bonus. Having a primary and a secondary skill is crucial in today’s day and age. Then, you can go and become the jack of the rest of the trades.
  4. Be ready: Being Sam Curran may not always be easy. You are never guaranteed a game. Your role is not defined clearly. It does not matter. When your time comes, give it your all.
  5. Courage: When things are not going your way, keep on trying new things even if it may be risky. Volunteer for the pinch-hitter opener role. Pitch the ball up hoping for some swing. How about a slow cutter with a risk of getting hit?

As one of my good friends said,

If you ain’t dying, you ain’t living.

So take risks once in a while. It is going to be okay. Try new things, but never give up.

The Legacy

Currently we can see the impact these utility players have. India’s two games against Australia exposed a problem – a sixth bowling option. None of India’s batsman bowl and none of their bowlers bat.

Yes – the Pandyas, the Cummins, the Ben Stokes – are all necessary for a team’s success, but having one all-rounder only may not be enough.

This English limited over team is built of giants – Roy, Bairstow, Root, Morgan, Buttler, Archer, Rashid, and Stokes. Their legacy is forever etched in record books and cricketing legend.

Without their star power, England could not have won the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Yet, the world also needs the Liam Plunketts, the Moeen Alis, the Joe Denlies, and most definitely the Sam Currans. Whatever the team requires of them, they adapt and deliver. With a smile and without a grudge.

He has a long career ahead of him. The stats will improve. We can just sit back and enjoy Sam Curran’s presence—conquering the world one game at a time—calm, courageous, and charismatic.

Also Read: 10 Life Lessons from IPL, Cricket’s Reflections of Passion

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Image Courtesy: “Never Ever Give Up” – Geralt Pixabay

Rethinking the ODI World Cup format

Ireland Vs England, 3rd ODI. What a game yesterday. Twin centuries by the seniors Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie with ample support from Harry Tector and the evergreen Kevin O’Brien, Ireland chased 329 against the World Cup holders, albeit without the likes of Stokes, Butler, and Archer.

That certainly does not take anything away from Ireland and breathes life into the new ODI Super League. So it is ideal to reflect on the ODI World Cup Super League (WSL) and current World Cup format now.

Does the ODI Super League and the World Cup provide enough exposure to grow cricket worldwide?

In a scathing review of the 2019 Cricket World Cup (CWC) format, the late Martin Crowe wrote an article proposing an innovate format where the teams and audience both benefit while the game still grows. The 40-over World Cup would consist of a pre-tournament qualifier, a two group conference based competition involving 18 teams, followed by a best of three semi-final and a Grand Finale. Although we provide another solution, this is a good template to reference.

ODI Super League – Good or Bad?

As a whole, I think the ODI Super League is a good idea. The top 13 teams in the world play a total of 8 three-match series (4 home/ 4 away) for a total of 24 games. The top 7 sides, along with the next World Cup hosts, qualify automatically for the World Cup, while the bottom five along with 5 associate play a qualifying tournament for the final two spots. This sounds a balanced format, unlike the World Test Championships, but the WSL still has major flaws.

Currently, the 12 test-playing nations are permanent ODI members, while the next 8 teams have temporary ODI status, with only one, the Netherlands qualifying for the ODI Super league.

In what world does this make any sense? If anything, the teams with temporary ODI status should have more exposure to the game so they can prove that they deserve the status. If only one out of the 8 teams is given a chance, it is likely that the one team will get better while the others lose their ODI status and eventually, their respective golden generations.

Finally, the qualifying tournaments in cricket do not provide any value. More often then not, the Associate Teams battle out the qualifiers, where several good teams miss out due to D/L method or a couple of tight games. Even Test-playing nations like Zimbabwe and Ireland missed out on the 2019 World Cup. Simply, the system is rigged against the Associate and lower-ranked nations.

What Should Happen

The current World Cup Super League should be expanded to all 20 teams, and the qualifying tournament should be eliminated altogether. More games should be allocated to the league so each team gets to play an equal number of opponents in each ranking tier (Tier 1: Rank 1-7, Tier 2: Rank 8-14, Tier 3: Rank 15-20). At the end of the four-year period, the top 15 teams qualify for the world cup automatically.

ODI World Cup Format

Group Stage: 3 Groups, 5 Teams Each – Top 3 from group qualify to the next round (30 games)

Super 9s: 3 groups, 3 Teams Each – Groups contain teams that have not played each other earlier (9 games)

Semis + 3rd Place Play-off: Top 3 + 4th ranked team from Super 9s (3 games)

Grand Finale: 1 game


  • Each team plays at least 4 games, so neither do we see a repeat of the 2007 World Cup where both India/Pakistan were eliminated prematurely, nor do we see several one-sided affairs.
  • 15 teams participate – the game grows
  • Each match is meaningful
  • Tournament is 43 matches long, five less than current format. Not quite Martin Crowe’s 18-team vision, but still a valid proposal.


The argument for the 2019 World Cup was that it would be competitive. At the end, only about 10 out the 48 games were close, it took Sri Lanka upsetting England 2 weeks in the tournament for the world cup to open up, and the 4-pre tournament favorites made the semi-finals. If we could just detach ourselves from that final, we could sum 2019 CWC in one word— Predictable.

Meanwhile, Ireland chased 300+ vs England (2011) and West-Indies (2015), Scotland upset England on the eve of the World Cup, and Afghanistan’s rise is a shining example. What else do the Associate nations need to do?

What is your ideal ODI world cup format? Please comment below and don’t forget to share and subscribe for more!

If you like this and more of cricket-related blogs, check out Top 100 Cricket Blogs at Feedspot.

Sources: ESPNCricinfo

Image courtesy of caribbeancricket / Ryan / CC BY creative commons license, some rights reserved.

All-Time XI Cricket – World Cup Edition

Today’s twist:

Create an All-time XI with the twist that you can pick only one player from each World Cup. Since we have 12 world cups to choose from, we will create a XI with a 12th player. There are multiple players who have shined in each of cricket’s finest ODI tournament, but who do you pick-the best batsman, bowler, player of the series, or the inspirational captain?

The catch:

How would you go about choosing between Martin Crowe and Wasim Akram in ’92, Lance Klusener and Shane Warne in ’99, or more recently between Kane Williamson, Rohit Sharma, Mitchell Starc, and the infallible Ben Stokes in 2019? Whatever it is, this is bound to be a fun ride.

Before we reveal our XI, let’s refresh our memory with relevant statistics regarding the highest run-scorer, wicket taker, player of the series, and captain of the winning team from each cricket world cup.

World Cup – YearMost runs (runs scored)Most Wickets (wickets taken)Player of the series Winning Captain
1975Glenn Turner (333)Gary Gilmour (11)N/AClive Lloyd
1979Gordon Greenidge (253)Mike Hendrick (10)N/A Clive Lloyd
1983David Gower (384)Roger Binny, Ashantha de Mel (18)N/AKapil Dev
1987Graham Gooch (471)Craig McDermott (18)N/AAllan Border
1992Martin Crowe (456)Wasim Akram (18)Martin Crowe Imran Khan
1996Sachin Tendulkar (523)Anil Kumble (15)Sanath Jayasuriya Arjuna Ranatunga
1999Rahul Dravid (461)Geoff Allott, Shane Warne (20)Lance KlusenerSteve Waugh
2003Sachin Tendulkar (461)Chaminda Vaas (23)Sachin Tendulkar Ricky Ponting
2007Matthew Hayden (659)Glenn McGrath (26)Glenn McGrath Ricky Ponting
2011Tillakarante Dilshan (500)Shahid Afridi, Zaheer Khan (21)Yuvraj SinghMahendra Singh Dhoni
2015Martin Guptill (547)Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult (22)Mitchell Starc Michael Clarke
2019Rohit Sharma (648)Mitchell Starc (27)Kane WilliamsonEoin Morgan
ODI World Cup Statistics

Our All Time XI:

  1. Graham Gooch (1987)
  2. Sachin Tendulkar (2003)
  3. Kane Williamson (2019)
  4. Martin Crowe (1992)
  5. MS Dhoni (2011) – WK
  6. Clive Lloyd (1979) – Captain
  7. Arjuna Ranatunga (1996)
  8. Lance Klusener (1999)
  9. Kapil Dev (1983)
  10. Mitchell Starc (2015)
  11. Glenn McGrath (2007)
  12. Glenn Turner (1975)

Honorable Mentions: Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Wasim Akram, Kumar Sangakkara (most World Cup dismissals and 4 centuries in 2015)

Note, we chose MS Dhoni at the expense of Yuvraj Singh in order to have a wicket-keeper in the side. We decided not to factor great finals’ innings like Ben Stokes in 2019 and Adam Gilchrist in 2017…’Great World Cup Innings’ would have to wait till a later post.

In any case, choosing from the great 1975-1983 West Indian and 1999-2015 Australian sides was always going to be a difficult task anyway…

Agree? Disagree? In any case, let us know in the comments below what your ideal Cricket World Cup XI would be.

For more articles in our series World XIs – With Twists, check this page out!

Stay tuned for new fantasy teams, and please share and subscribe below!