Every second year the once British colonized Australia is contesting their colonizers in a five-game series stretching over five days. The previous face-off took place in Aussie country, and this time around it is set for British soil. The Brits are currently still on a cloud of euphoria after winning the Cricket World Cup on home soil, but they might be brought to earth again pretty soon. The English test cricket team is rated as nothing but mediocre, featuring second-rated players. On the competing side, the picture isn’t any less dismal, with an Aussie test cricket team who can at best also only claim mediocracy.
The Results of an Algorithm
Even though it is challenging to rate teams within cricket due to a lack of annual leagues, a mathematical algorithm which was initially designed to determine game forecasts in chess is now a popular measuring tool in determining cricket performances. Well known cricket writer and researcher, Devashish Fuloria, tested this Elo algorithm on the results of any test cricket match ever played since 1877. The accuracy was astounding. The algorithm starts with giving each of the two teams a starting point of 1 500 points. Whenever the teams compete against each other, the winning team will always accumulate points which are then subtracted from the losing side. What the results determine is that both sides competing in the Ashes reached their teak roughly a decade ago. The British crickets scored then 1 670 on the scale, and the Aussies measured up to 1 805. Since then, though they both took a gradual turn for the worst and are now only measuring slightly above the initial 1 500 each. Although fans will see two teams equal in strength, or maybe weakness, in this case, they shouldn’t expect a fast-paced game filled with action.
The Main Reasons for Mediocracy
Many reasons are contributing factors to the mediocracy. One of these is due to the continually declining numbers of quality test batsmen available. These would be the ones who in general has a minimum of 40 runs before being dismissed during great games. The Aussies have about 16 such great batsmen, and usually, about ten would form part of the Ashes team, but this year there are only three included. On the British side as well, their batsmen fail to make significant scores.
Another reason can be due to the discarding of test cricket newbies. There were times when three new players would be given an opportunity in test cricket annually, and then they would last up to 40 matches. Lately, five would be given a chance, but their playtime is much shorter, and they don’t get the opportunity to develop ultimately.
A third reason can be attributed to players just merely misbehaving. Often the players are misbehaving in public, which is then followed up with their arrest. In the past, street brawls have kept more than one player from playing.