What’s a good World Cup score?

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< 1 minute read

England’s 327 wasn’t enough against Ireland, but 171 was enough against South Africa. It’s not a matter of different opponents, it’s different conditions. This is why between-innings analysis is so often virtually worthless.

What constitutes a good score varies because a run doesn’t have a set value – it changes depending on the match. People who rate one batsman as being better than another because he averages half a run more would do well to learn that.

On the other hand, in England’s case you could say that lower scores are better. When runs are more valuable, England have been less spendthrift in the field. With that in mind, a good World Cup score for them would be somewhere around 11 or 12 – maybe as much as 30.

Up until their last match, England had been scoring far too heavily to be realistic challengers for this World Cup, so the injury to Kevin Pietersen could prove a godsend. Calling up Eoin Morgan as his replacement would be a massive mistake. It would make far more sense to call up someone like Devon Malcolm to play as a specialist batsman.

The ‘scoring fewer runs’ tactic does fall down a bit if you’re chasing a target we’ve just realised. They say that nothing is certain in cricket, but you’d be lucky to get away with a tie if you scored 52 and the opposition scored 320.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. I read the first two paragraphs, and was ready to add something meaningful. And then I read the other paragraphs.

    Shame really. Its actually an interesting topic.

    1. Those were yesterday’s paragraphs.

      There was some more, but it was very, very boring, so we deleted it and drew up an England plan of action instead.

  2. Playing Malcolm as a batsman would have the added bonus of making him very angry when some biffkin like Sreesanth tries to bounce him.
    On the other hand he might actually make our fielding worse…

  3. Wise words KC.

    Didn’t Bangladesh try to implement your policy at Mirpur last week against the Windies?

  4. I am disappointed your majesty. I had hoped you would devote a little more time to India’s stunning upset of batting giant Ireland with 5 overs to spare no less.

  5. If you have 168 runs on the board, you realise immediately that you need 10 wickets to win. Because this realisation is so obvious, it also occurs to your opponents at the same time. So they immediately reason that all they need to do to win is not lose ten wickets. This makes them go out to bat in the mindset of a player trying not to lose his wicket, which, as everybody knows, makes it more likely that they will lose wickets. As each wicket falls, the pressure builds, they completely forget about scoring runs, concentrate only on preserving wickets (“It’s all we need to do to win, boys!”), and promptly lose by ten runs.

    Clearly, the best way of preventing this from happening is not to get in this position in the first place. Allow your opponents to score AT LEAST 290, then you know where you stand as a batsman.

    1. Clearly this astute tactical advice was read by someone in the Pakistan camp an hour or so ago.

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