World Cup Power Rankings

Trying to make sense of what has happened for each team so far

Welcome to the first, and maybe last, power rankings of this World Cup. I mean this entire tournament is all over the place in terms of scheduling. A first-round that is really a qualifier. A second-round where some teams can finish three games when the others haven't played their second.

I would like to say we will make sense of all this mess, but really we're going to make it much worse.  Because the entire tournament is too short for us to work out who the best team is, unless one team just goes ballistic. And we're looking at two games in some cases.

But that's why this is fun of course. Normal rules apply, this isn't a points table, as in this case, they would be near impossible across two groups. We're really trying to look at how each team is currently going based on who they have played, where, and in some cases when they have batted.

And I apologise in advance for having your team too low.

1 - England


W v WI



Destroyed West Indies, barely noticed Bangladesh, and Australia were terrible. Their forms looks incredible, though there hasn't been much of it as they've won their games so quick.

34.2 - They won't be tired after 34.2 overs of batting. I don't know if being fresh is going to be a massive help in this tournament. But they have played three games already, and almost booked a semi-final. Their batters have not sweated yet.

Bowlers on fire - Jofra Archer is England's best T20 bowler, and he isn't here. Moeen Ali is a sixth bowler, Adil Rashid hasn't cracked the IPL, and Chris Jordan is always on the verge of being dropped. Chris Woakes wasn't even supposed to be here. Tymal Mills even more so. But this attack has destroyed top orders and strangled after that.

2 - Pakistan



W v NZ


They haven't looked as dominant as England, but beat India easily enough. They kept their composure pretty well in the next two games even if they were a bit closer. The good news is they have played their three toughest opponents; if it wasn't Pakistan, you'd say they'd easily go five zip.

8&6 - The ideal T20 combo is eight batting and six bowling options. That is what this team is. From a box-ticking exercise, they do almost everything they need to.

Win the toss - like England, they have batted second every game. Although one of those was Afghanistan's choice. As their games have been closer than England, it's probably played a bigger factor. We might know more when they bat first.

3 - Afghanistan





Afghanistan could be 3-0, they destroyed Scotland, were clinical against Namibia and should have probably beaten Pakistan. At the very least, they got closer than anyone else.  They may be too high here, as their two wins are against associates, but I thought they did so well against Pakistan, and their team does look so threatening.

Best spin attack + Hamid - They already had the best spin attack in the tournament, and they just added Hamid who they had cryogenically frozen for just such an occasion. Their attack is outstanding for these conditions.

Bat first - I love that Afghanistan keep batting first. I am not sure I get it, especially in the Ames with so many spinners. But it's not about getting them, it's about strapping yourself in for the ride. I don't know who long this will last, But I'm going to enjoy it while it does.

4 - New Zealand




Putting a 1-1 team this high is a bit of a thing. But, they have played the two best teams in their group, and I thought they should have done better against Pakistan than they did. Now they have the easy bit of their schedule, it's really down to how they handle Afghanistan.

Daryl - I love that New Zealand came with a bunch of opening options but then just made Daryl Mitchell do it, and better yet, he's been real good with it. I still want to see Finn Allen, but let's rejoice in a guy opening at the World Cup after 300 professional innings without having done it once before.

Low scoring - New Zealand like to read pitches and play to the conditions. We saw that in the 2019 World Cup. Well that seems to be how this tournament is going too. They are a high intellect team, and that seems to be pretty important in what is a tough tournament to just bowl fast and slog big.

5 - Australia


W v SA

W v SL


Snuck home against South Africa, beat Sri Lanka very well and got smashed in the mouth by England. They just look like a bit of a mess, the talent is all there, but again they are turning up and hoping that all works. They're only this high because other teams look worse.

No all-rounder - There is little they can do about the fact that they don't have all rounders, or in fact, have struggled to produce them for generations. But while in ODI cricket, they used to be able to cover that, you wonder if they will win without finding at least one.

Lack of planning -  Australian players don't play the Big Bash, or many international games, and only a few are automatic IPL players. England, India and New Zealand seem to plan years in advance; Australia seem to start thinking as they get on the plane.

6 - South Africa

L v Aus

W v WI

W v SL


Lost to Australia but almost stole it. Beat the West Indies, but I didn't think they were that good, and just snuck home against Sri Lanka. I kinda think they aren't great, but they are 2-1. But they've had two close games, so it's a bit of a crapshoot.

England - I am marking this in as a loss already. Unless England lose the toss, while failing with bat and ball, I can't see South Africa beating them. So they are 2-1, in the same way Australia was 2-0 before playing England. But they have Bangladesh before that, win that - and they should -they'll be 3-1 hitting that game.

Bowlers - Shamsi, Maharaj, Nortje, and Rabada are such a strong four. They are still using Pretorius for the death (which is working), and Markram will have to steal overs to help, but they can keep totals low enough for their weaker batting.

7 - India



L v NZ

Lost to Pakistan, but I do think the conditions played a big part in that. Can't really say that for the New Zealand game. They have batted first both games, but can't really blame that for the kiwi loss. They look timid, tired and are one Rashid Khan spell away from going home. And they might go anyway.

Top-order - This is where the big guns sit, and they just haven't worked. It's only two games, and perhaps they beat another team despite their start against Pakistan. But they almost always get good starts, and twice on the bounce they haven't. Could just be dumb luck, but what a time for it to happen.

Hardik - Hardik Pandya is bowling, and he got to face a few balls, albeit in a weird role. This means they are theoretically a better team now. But absolutely no one will be feeling that.

8 - West Indies



L v SA


England game was horrible. Really still think they should have beaten South Africa and beat Bangladesh. The good news is unlike SA and SL they have got their game against England away. If they roll SL they might have an interesting match against Australia at the end. The Simmons innings may end up being why they go home early.

Form - There is little you can do about a bunch of your players losing form simultaneously. In any T20 tournament, this is possible at any stage. I think not having three batters in form for a single game is probably their biggest issue for all their problems.

Reasons -  They are older. Simmons did get stuck. They have batted first three times. They left Holder and Narine on the bench. Shit happens.

9 - Sri Lanka

1-2 (4-2)



L v SA

They came out of the first group with all of us thinking maybe they could steal a finals spot in a weird group. They beat Bangladesh but then have lost to Australia and should have hung on against South Africa. They should be disappointed they had a legit chance to qualify for the finals, and now need to beat England to get to 3-2.

4-0 (0-2) - Against the qualifying teams they have been brutal, against the better teams they lost twice. I don't know if it is that simple but that is the record they currently have. England is their next game, by the way.

Inexperience - I wonder how hard it is to be consistently good at T20 when your players didn't have a high-quality league until this year, and often don't play much in the bigger leagues. Sri Lanka does play many T20Is, but it's nothing like your players getting 10/15 games at home, and then the same in an overseas league. Talent doesn't seem to be the problem here.

10 - Namibia

1-1 (3-2)



Namibia beat Scotland and then struggled against Afghanistan. Had they even held their own against Afghanistan, I might have slipped them up the list, but it was a bad loss. They are currently higher than India on the points table, so they should frame that. Their run gets awfully hard from here.

Outgunned - Namibia have the basics covered they just don't have weapons. They play a style of T20 where they wait for you to do something foolish and they capitalise on it. At the higher level, that's a harder act to follow. I thought they bowled really well against Afghanistan, but there was no way they could chase that total against an attack of that quality.

Five cricket clubs - That is the number of teams that the Namibian side is picked from. We have to be realistic, they play very good cricket, but this is still very early in their journey. They were essentially a domestic team until recently.

11 - Bangladesh

0-3 (2-4)

L v SL


L v WI

Were in the game against Sri Lanka and West Indies, but not against England. I don't know; it's maybe not as disappointing as it looks. What is their best-case scenario from here, splitting the two games against Australia and South Africa?

Conditions - These aren't quite Bangladesh conditions, but outside of a home World Cup, this was about as similar as they were going to get. And no one thought they were going to win, but they should have at least competed better; being 0-3 is a dick punch.

Slow - This is still the slow scoring World Cup, and Bangladesh score slow and win, so you would expect something from them. Nothing.

12 - Scotland

0-2 (3-2)



Left the first ground with some energy and a 3-0 record. Since then, they have been embarrassed by Afghanistan and almost stole a game against Namibia they shouldn't have. Their schedule is about to get a lot harder.

Runs - They have dominated teams with their batting at the associate level. Some of their batters have franchise experience. They have beaten England with some of these batters. And they haven't passed 120 yet. They'll be gutted.

Bowlers - Their bowlers have completely stepped up. They struggled against Afghanistan outside of Watt. But all tournament long Wheal, Davey, Sharif and Greaves have stepped up. And to almost steal that game against Namibia was all down to their bowlers.