The first five matches of the cricket World Cup 2015 over three days in Australia and New Zealand have been a festival of runs. All the five winning teams have amassed totals of 300 and more, and on 16th March even the losing side West Indies logged up 304 for seven wickets in their 50 overs at Nelson.
This is a reflection of how much the game has changed since the showpiece event was last played in Australia and New Zealand. In the 39 matches of the 1992 World Cup, only in one game was the 300 runs mark breached. Zimbabwe hit up 312 for four wickets in their 50 overs at New Plymouth, which Sri Lanka topped by carving out 313 runs for seven wickets in 49.2 overs, which was at the time the highest total batting second in the World Cup till it was eclipsed in 2011. In 1992, totals were generally between 200 and 250, with several below 200, and the odd one not even touching three figures.
Apart from the influence of Twenty20, and the fact that bats have become far more chunky, the wickets have become a veritable batting paradise. If the trend continues, we might well see record totals in the 2015 World Cup. This, though, would be a challenge as the 350 runs mark has been passed as many as 13 times, with a high of 413 for five by India against Bermuda at Port of Spain in 2007.
(Please also see my other blog indravikramsingh.blogspot.in for more updates on the cricket World Cup 2015).