MARCH 14, 2015

The first batting World Cup

Anantha Narayanan: A look at how the scoring rates have seen a significant increase in this World Cup
Batsmen have clearly dominated this World Cup with the new field restrictions encouraging them to try some unorthodox ways to score © Associated Press
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MARCH 12, 2015

Data-obsessed England need reality check

Scott Oliver: They are lagging behind in ODIs because their habit of taking refuge in stats to explain defeat has lost its relevance
MARCH 04, 2015

World Cup 2015: England

Computer says...

England are obsessed by numbers, although 42.2% of the team insist they are not. In the past it helped them to much success, but that was with a more experienced team that could still think on their feet. In his latest Spin column, Andy Bull, argues that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how much to believe the computers.

England's over-reliance on the numbers has become a theme in the coverage of the team, particularly among ex-players. You can hear it when they bemoan, among other things, England's reluctance to bowl yorkers at the stumps. That's a tactic that has worked for years, one that has been honed by hard experience. But England's analysis has told them that slow bouncers and full balls sent wide of off-stump are harder to score off. The thing is, in an age when all teams are using computer analysis, a tactic isn't good or bad because it looks that way, or because it is different to what has been done before. It is simply good if it works and bad if it doesn't.

FEBRUARY 28, 2015

A potpourri of World Cup numbers - I

Anantha Narayanan: Tidbits from the 2015 World Cup
FEBRUARY 24, 2015

India v Pakistan across the eras

Kartikeya Date: The two sides' records against each other have had very little to do with their form against the other top teams
FEBRUARY 13, 2015

History and form back Australia; NZ and SA not far behind

Anantha Narayanan: A look at how teams have done in previous World Cups - their records and their win margins. Also their recent form
FEBRUARY 10, 2015

ODI cricket

Cricket and semantic satiation

In his piece for the Guardian's Spin, Andy Bull analyses how Twenty20 cricket and rule changes have made traditional ODI strategies redundant and have disempowered fielding sides.

You may say it's made the game good to watch. It's certainly more unpredictable. In the scramble onwards, who knows what a par score is, or a winning total? But as Finch said, there should be a place for the tight contests too. "From a player's point of view, I think the most exciting games are the low-scoring ones, when you're defending 180 and you've got nothing to lose, they can be really exciting games." One thing is clear: if the ICC is serious about trying to redress the balance of the game, bat-size can wait - it's its own meddling with the regulations that has tipped it out of kilter. It has chosen to disempower the fielding side at the very moment the game was already evolving in favour of the batsmen.

FEBRUARY 09, 2015

How effective are left-right batting pairs?

Kartikeya Date: Why it is a myth that left-right batting combinations have an advantage over other batting pairs in ODIs
JANUARY 24, 2015

A different ball, a different result

Anantha Narayanan: A look at the closest matches in Test history, and a Bradman surprise
JANUARY 10, 2015

A baker's dozen of 2014 vignettes and stars

Anantha Narayanan: The best of 2014, and yet another Bradman surprise
DECEMBER 21, 2014

Bowling to blame for India's poor overseas record

Kartikeya Date: The inability to build pressure by denying runs, even on pitches with sufficient help to keep batsmen honest, is India's biggest problem
DECEMBER 13, 2014

More numbers, from readers

Anantha Narayanan: Another dose of random numbers - this time from readers. Also: a tribute to Phillip Hughes, and the now-customary Bradman surprise.
DECEMBER 10, 2014

Pakistan's ODI batting a decade behind the rest

Hassan Cheema: The return to tried-and-tested underperformers for the World Cup squad will undo all the good work done over the last 14 months
NOVEMBER 29, 2014

Player Ball Difference: An interesting new concept

Anantha Narayanan: A look at the fastest and the slowest innings in cricket using a new concept - Ball Difference. And, yet another Bradman surprise
NOVEMBER 17, 2014

An irreverent look at cricket numbers

Anantha Narayanan: A 100 random numbers that tell stories - loads of fun in store. Plus, another Bradman surprise
NOVEMBER 13, 2014

Pakistan's favourite whipping boys

Hassan Cheema: Even when they were at their worst, Pakistan had no trouble beating New Zealand
NOVEMBER 11, 2014

Does the follow-on work in its current form?

Kartikeya Date: A team with a lead of any size should have the option of enforcing the follow-on in the third innings of a Test, boosting their chance of taking 20 wickets
NOVEMBER 09, 2014

How will future historians judge modern numbers?

Jonathan Wilson: Will they think there's something odd about a bowler getting a batsman out one too many times?
OCTOBER 27, 2014

A comparison of the Fletcher and Flower eras

Kartikeya Date: Though both coaches had more wins than losses, Fletcher's team competed better against top-quality opposition and were more dominant at home
OCTOBER 11, 2014

ODI overs analysis using ball-by-ball data: Part 1

Anantha Narayanan: An analysis using ball-by-ball data to identify scoring and wicket-taking patterns through the 50-over innings in ODIs
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