It's ultimately a numbers game
Steve James, in the Daily Telegraph, writes of the significant role statistics play in a team's preparation.
Cricketers, despite their games being defined by statistics, are like most other sportsmen in being a little coy about numbers. Ask a batsman his average, and he will generally play it cool. But he knows. And these days he will know much more than just that figure. Recently I chanced upon a county team's crib sheet for a Twenty20 match. The statistical detail was mind-boggling. There were figures for everything from the 'dot ball limit' at a certain ground to the overall number of boundaries usually required to win there, setting such targets as scoring a minimum of seven boundaries in the first six overs.
Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo