By Eshan Wickrema and Lachlan James
As tournament cohosts, will Australia’s home ground advantage be enough to see it win the 2015 Cricket World Cup? Let’s see if Business Intelligence and data visualization can remove some of the guesswork.
Australia’s batting record at home during the 2015 Cricket World Cup
The signs are ominous for the Aussies, with pundits predicting the Boxing Kangaroo to regain the Cricket World Cup title from India, and add a fifth International Cricket Council (ICC) One Day International (ODI) trophy to the cabinet.
The pre-tournament favorite has scored heavily throughout the group stage of the competition in its four completed home matches. When given the opportunity to bat first and exploit the full 50 over allowance, Australia reached totals of 342, 376 and 417 against Old Enemy England, a fired-up Sri Lanka and associate cricketing nation Afghanistan. Australia has averaged well in excess of six runs per over in each of its home games.
Australia’s only loss came at the hands of the white-hot Kiwis, in New Zealand, by a solitary wicket. And, while they lost the match and scored just 151 runs, Australia did highlight its bowling firepower, pushing the well-credentialed home side to the brink.
Considering 2015 World Cup performances to date – and an explosive batting order boasting David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Michael Clarke, Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson – Australia almost seem assured of scoring at better than a run-a-ball. And, with leading tournament wicket-taker Mitchell Starc in the arsenal, it’s hard to see many teams surviving for long enough to better Australia’s 300 plus scores.
So if Australia were to make the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), could we expect them to continue their form?
Australia’s ODI record at the MCG
To get some perspective on that question, let’s take a look at all ODI matches played at the MCG that have involved Australia.
Unfortunately for most opposition teams, the MCG is a very happy hunting ground for Australia. Australia has a good record at the MCG, winning 59.17% of the ODIs it’s played at the ground.
Although it’s worth noting that South Africa have performed very strongly against Australia at the MCG, winning 85.71% of the ODIs played between the two countries (or six out of seven ODIs played). So Australia will be desperately hoping to avoid the Proteas in the final, should the home side progress that far.
But, to make the final, South Africa would first have to win their quarter-final and semi-final matches – an enormous feat considering that they have never won a World Cup elimination game.
After demonstrating the ability to master home-grown pitches throughout the tournament, the historical data also underscores how difficult Australia will be to beat if they make it to the final stanza at the MCG.
Our parochial prediction? Australia will clinch the 2015 Cricket World Cup on home soil.