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  • Rough guide to formats

    Thought I'd put this together, using some research;

    First Class / Test Matches:

    The toss: In 9/10 situations, you should bat first. The only times you want to bowl first is if the entire first day is very cloudy and day 2 is sunny. If both days are cloudy you'll have to make a judgement call - It is possible to bat the entire two days but you will lose 7-8 wickets on average, which will mean the opposition swan in on day 3 when it's sunny. So usually it is within your advantage to bowl first, skittle the opposition and then batten down the hatches yourself and hope to make day 3 in order to post a lead.

    Batting: A good mix of defensive and aggressive batsmen is vital to surviving in FC/Test matches, you *must* be aware of the conditions of the game. When it is cloudy or very cloudy, often a defensive batsman is better to throw in than an aggressive one as he won't play any shots unless he needs to (in theory). It isn't uncommon in the new engine for a defensive bat (think Cook) to score 20 runs off 100 balls at 3 bars of aggression. Although the modern FC/Test game is all about speed, batting at 4 an over, it is still viable to play traditionally with a batsman who 'anchors' the entire innings. Having one or two of these type of players can ruin the opposition's day.

    Generally, you want six specialist batsmen, with two of those as specialist openers.

    Opening Batsmen: Generally speaking, these guys should have a strong or slight preference to pace bowling and *usually* be happy to hit on the offside. Note: The AI doesn't generally bowl leg-stump as it's free runs, unless they have a 500+ run lead, in which case you've probably already lost the game anyway. Most teams will bowl the 'corridor of uncertainty', which is just around the off-stump.

    Batsmen 3-6: Traditionally, number 3 is often an aggressive batsman, there to hit the softening older ball (if the openers have done their job), but they may also need to come in as a third opener (when the other guys are out for first ball ducks!) Numbers 4 and 5 are usually the 'best' batsmen and should be making an absolute ton of runs. They will usually face the old ball, thus they can rack up a good score. They also usually have to face the second new ball if things are going well. This means you usually need these guys to be very well balanced at facing both spin and pace options.

    Batsman 6: The number 6 batsman (or number 7 really), is usually the wicket-keeper. Gone are the days of specialist wicket-keepers, if they can't bat, they're of dubious value to you. Thus you want a wicket keeper who has a healthy average.

    All Rounders:

    The traditional model of a line up has the number 6 (or 7) as the All-Rounder. Normally, the all rounder is the 4th seamer (think Ben Stokes for England), but sometimes they are a spinner and at County level they are usually medium pacers. Medium pacers appear to be very seldom picked for the International scene, but they are very lethal in the English county circuit with the cloudy weather. Sunny nations tend to limit their effectiveness.

    The decision you have to make is; Do you want an all round wicket-taker or batsman? Most people will pick a batsman who will bowl, not the other way round, as you should normally have four bowling options to take wickets with anyway.

    Bowling:

    A good mix of bowlers is always a handy thing to have. The most common type of bowlers are: FM, MF and Off-spin (or finger spin). The rarer types are F and Leg Spin. Fast bowlers tend to be expensive, usually going for around 5 an over, more if they have a bad over. FM/MF bowlers tend to be anywhere from 3-4 an over and spinners vary enormously, the best spinners will be extremely economical with an average economy of 3, but very often you can see it drop on a per match basis to 1-2 for long periods of time. Part time spinners and poor spinners can be extremely expensive 4-6+ an over. Generally speaking in FC matches wicket taking ability is more important than economy rate, however, you need to keep an eye on the economy rate as it usually indicates that the bowler is losing the ideal line and length and allowing the batsman to hit easy shots. - ALWAYS check your field settings before passing judgement, sometimes a bowler will go for 14 in an over, if you have all 9 outfielders in the slips it probably isn't his fault!

    Bowling is part individual flair and ability and part team-work; Bowl as a 'unit', bowl in partnerships, don't stick to the boring 'five on, five off' routine. Bowl a guy for three overs, watch how he is, if he's doing ok but the opposition have a huge partnership, swap him around, change ends, vary the bowling attack, keep the batsmen on their toes. Normally, you can get by with standard bowling schemes; That is, two bowlers bowling the 'channel' at 3 aggression.

    Here's the usual 'standard' for English County Cricket:

    3 Seam bowlers,
    1 Spin bowler (or a fourth seamer if your spinner is the all-rounder).

    Your two opening bowlers should usually open at 4-5 aggression at the off stump (middle setting). Use your judgement as to when to drop to 3 aggression, the AI usually drops to 3 around 20-30 balls faced or around 20 runs scored. As a rule of thumb, I drop a bowlers aggression level to 3 when the batsman scores 25 runs, this is mostly because the field setting is linked to aggression and the standard field templates for FC/Test matches are suitable for achieving victories. (Note; I mentioned the AI dropped aggression very early, this is why some users see the AI score in FC at a higher run rate in the early phases, the AI seems naturally defensive - That doesn't mean it won't attack, but it usually picks its moments; Usually it will attack at 4-max aggression at the start of the day, before a break and just after a break - it will bowl at max if it has a 200+ lead in the second innings in most cases, or if it forces you to follow on.)

    Bowling at the opposition weakness:

    Simply don't do this unless you know what you're doing. If a batsman favours the front foot, offside and you bowl short and legside at 4-5 aggression you're giving him free runs even if he's 'weak' in that area. The field settings do not take into account the length of the ball. Aggressive bowling has the fielders in, short balls at the body will usually provoke a hook/pull, which isn't going to caught at short leg unless you get a peach of a ball that forces an evasive block, something I don't think I've ever seen in this series (hook/edges to short legs do happen though, even if they shouldn't!)

    Bowling full during cloudy weather can entice edges to the slips/gully area, however here's another thing to take note of; Just because a batsman favours an 'area' doesn't mean that he's weak in the opposite area. I might favour the back foot, but it doesn't mean I'm uncomfortable with front foot shots. 9/10 you should be 'line and lengthing' the ball, the 'Ricky Ponting's weak area' as he freely admitted. The correct time to focus on an individual weakness is when they are getting settled; You target individual 'weaknesses' for about 5 overs when the batsman is settled at around 30-40+ runs. Don't persist forever with it though as it becomes predictable.

    Basically: Target an opposition weakness sporadically when the situation calls for it. Doing it immediately without paying attention to circumstances within the match can often cause the runs to get away from you.

    Other notes:

    Often batsman number 6 and 7 are aggressive or super-aggressive, this is because they need to score quickly before the bowlers get out. Now-a-days, bowlers need to be able to bat 10-20 runs on average, so tactically you can be a bit more varied. I wouldn't put a defensive batsman here as he may very well lack the mentality to score well before running out of partnets.

    Batting: 2 aggression is fine, 3 when 30-50% settled. Very Cloudy weather -1 aggression, favour defensive batsmen.

    Bowling: 4-max aggression to start, at the end of a session and at the start of a session. 3 throughout usually.

    Team building: 3 opening batsmen, 3-4 specialist batsmen, 2 all rounders, 2 wicketkeppers, 4-5 seamers, 2 spinners - Adjust as needed for injuries and such.

    How to develop youth: The younger, the better in my opinion as you get more time to train them up and usually have longer to tie them down. Always give youth players 15 games minimum to become 'experienced' and then give them 15 more games to 'average' out their statistics. This means that a youth prospect should be given a run of 30 fixtures (in EACH FORMAT, so 60 games = 30 FC and 30 OD). This will give you a rough analysis of his statistics with some experience. Usually a youth player will score high at first and then bottom out or vice versa. Unusually, you'll get an individual that is relatively consistent, these are the easiest to judge.

    What you're looking for: Batting - Youth batsmen need to be scoring an average of 30+ minimum over the 15-30 games, however you're also looking at strike-rate and conversion rate (how many 50's and 100's). Anyone scoring 1/2 their innings as 50's or 100's are likely to be world class players. The reason you're giving them 30 in FC and OD is to analyse their strongest format, some players are natural OD players, some are natural FC players, some can flourish in both formats. Note: There are some exceptions; A defensive batsman can usually be safely rested for the OD format (more on that later).

  • #2
    Always persist with the youth bats until 30-40 games before you cut them off the team list.

    For bowlers - The main thing to keep an eye on is average and economy rate, strike-rate is useful as well. Young bowlers tend to be inexperienced and lack control, they can often go for 5-6+ an over in FC games, be prepared to analyse *why* they're going for that amount of runs, is it because of good shots or poor balls? Switch their training as needed to fix it, bowlers need a lot more attention than batsmen do in my opinion.

    On the One Day Format:

    The Telegraph did a very good article on the one day format, I'll link it at the end of this post.

    PAR Scores: Usually the 'par' score depends on the weather and pitch. You usually want to bat first and there are some general principles to follow. But what is a 'par'? Well, a par score is the score you should be reaching to 'win' a game or keep it competetive. Statistical analysis from the Telegraph suggests that a score of 264 runs will give you 50% chance of winning the game, a score of 300 will win you the game 88% of the time and if you did badly enough to drop to 200 runs? 2.5 (that's two POINT five) % chance of a win.

    The Opening batting powerplay:

    Myth: We should be scoring 100 in the first ten. Fact: The average opening powerplay score is around 42. The ideal thing for your openers to do is score 42-0, if you do that, you should usually be pushing on to 290+ runs and a whooping 70% chance of a victory. The more wickets you lose in the first ten, the lower your total is likely to be, with one telling stat, if you lose THREE wickets in the first ten you're more likely to score 200- and rarely will you push 250+, essentially, you've lost the game, barring some miraculous effort from one of your batsmen.

    The second powerplay (if applicable)

    In some formats, there's a second powerplay, the above comments remain true here, you should be looking at 35-0 or 45+ for 2 wickets in a powerplay. If you score 25 or less, the bowlers won that power play.

    The Final 10

    Wickets in hand is the major factor of how many runs you will be likely to score, if you're lucky enough to get to the final 10 overs with 9 wickets in hand you'll be looking to hit 130+ runs minimum. 8-7 wickets in hand will get you around 90 runs, but if you're 5 down? You could have lost 20 runs here as the average is roughly 75 runs.

    Putting that all together:

    Don't be so keen to score at 5-6 an over, it is within your interest to build a platform for the first ten overs and bat with settled batsmen up until you need to score lots of runs. How does this translate to Cricket Captain's aggression settings? I would say 3-4 aggression for the first ten overs will get the players roughly 40 runs (4 is preferred), and for the rest of the time, just bat at 5 aggression. Then when the next powerplay comes along you can up it to 6 aggression and when the final '10' is there, that's when you can go maximum as you'll have wickets in hand (in an ideal world). However, you'll have to judge whether they are batting too slow for your liking, there's no excuse for plodding along at 2 an over, but don't expect them to be smashing it for 6-8 an over either!

    Comment


    • #3
      A superb write up mate.

      In particular, the most important aspect you have covered, and something I often emphasise (in real life cricket) is your section on bowling (or not, as the case may be) to opposition weaknesses:


      Originally posted by RVallant View Post
      Bowling at the opposition weakness:

      Simply don't do this unless you know what you're doing. If a batsman favours the front foot, offside and you bowl short and legside at 4-5 aggression you're giving him free runs even if he's 'weak' in that area. The field settings do not take into account the length of the ball.

      Just because a batsman favours an 'area' doesn't mean that he's weak in the opposite area. I might favour the back foot, but it doesn't mean I'm uncomfortable with front foot shots. 9/10 you should be 'line and lengthing' the ball

      Basically: Target an opposition weakness sporadically when the situation calls for it. Doing it immediately without paying attention to circumstances within the match can often cause the runs to get away from you.
      Doesn't seem to matter how many times I tell a bowler that I'm only giving him hints at an opponent's weaknesses to give him an extra string to his bow -- they will always have a habit of bowling to it waaay too much.

      These days, I tend not to even pass on that information directly. I'll just let them do their thing, and after a while, have a quick word at an appropriate time, and say "hey lad, why don't you try slipping in the occasional shorter ball at this guy's leg stump and see if you can catch him out there?".

      Give them too much info, and they focus on it too much, to the detriment of the overall stability and consistency of their spell.

      I have a general preference for playing off the front foot, cover driving, with the odd stylish square and late cut thrown in for good measure -- but if you keep bowling short ones on my legside, I'm gonna hook and pull you to the Deep Fine / Square Leg Boundaries all day long son, lol.

      Nice to see someone highlighting this often erroneous misconception regarding weaknesses.

      Good work mate.

      Comment


      • #4
        Great write up! I learnt heaps from reading this. One thing I wonder about though is whether the suggestion that wickets in hand in the last 10 overs can lead to scoring rates of 10+ per over. My experience in ICC has been that upping the aggression, even with wickets in hand just results in a collapse. Have others had different experiences?

        Comment


        • #5
          What a great couple of posts.
          Equally helpful for both experienced and newbies alike

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Raver View Post
            Great write up! I learnt heaps from reading this. One thing I wonder about though is whether the suggestion that wickets in hand in the last 10 overs can lead to scoring rates of 10+ per over. My experience in ICC has been that upping the aggression, even with wickets in hand just results in a collapse. Have others had different experiences?
            I think when you go all out attack there are a couple of key areas that affect just how effective all out aggression can be:

            How settled the batsmen are?
            When someone does get out, how attacking are the incoming batsmen? An innings won't last long if you're going 8 bars from the start, but if the batsmen has aggressive or very aggressive rating, then 10-15 balls will be more useful than a defensive or normal batsman. Might sound obvious, but it can be worth a lot of runs.

            Of course, there's also luck...

            I do find playing ball-by-ball has improved my success in short formats, I hit two early boundaries and I'll turn the aggression down to preserve wickets for the last 3 balls of the over, etc.

            Great posts, guys. I might sticky this and post it on the Steam forum as well, if the thread starter is okay with that?

            Comment


            • #7
              Great post. It would be useful for a similar guide to the T20 format as I can never win consistently.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just wanted to highlight for the readers something else that was particularly important that you touched on here:


                Originally posted by RVallant View Post
                Batting:... you *must* be aware of the conditions of the game. When it is cloudy or very cloudy, often a defensive batsman is better to throw in than an aggressive one as he won't play any shots unless he needs to (in theory).
                As well as the general conditions, it is extremely important to focus on the Light Meter. This is just another instance of where playing 'ball by ball' can be a great help to your levels of performance.

                If you were not playing ball by ball, you could very well miss a vital change in circumstances.

                For example: In one match I was playing a couple of days back in The Ashes, the weather was very cloudy, yet the light was variable. At the time, I had both batsman on three agression bars. They were both completely settled, but I had toned down their aggression slightly due to the conditions. The light meter, despite the dark clouds overhead, was still showing as "very good" -- but not for long. The very next over, it dropped to "good". Then just six balls later, it dropped again to only "ok". Noticing this, I was able to drop my batting aggression further, down to just two bars, to avoid making the same mistake that the Aussies did against me, when it was their turn under the microscope:

                Because I was watching the light meter very carefully, and waiting for my opportunity, as soon as the visibility dropped from good to ok - I upped my bowling aggression by a couple of bars, and was able to capitalise by taking two key wickets in that very over.

                The point being -- pay careful attention to the conditions, and particularly to the amount of light available, knowing that this can often change on an over-by-over basis. The fluctuating light provides an astute and vigilant Captain with often very small windows of opportunity - in which you can take advantage, but only if you are prepared. This applies not only to very cloudy conditions, but all weather types. Even on a sunny day, the light meter can fluctuate either way by a couple of degrees at very short notice. Pay particular attention when the weather is "unsettled". As those wisps of cloud can pass overhead very quickly, and one minute you're batting away just fine under an azure blue sky - the next you've just lost a wicket, because you weren't paying attention, and didn't notice that the light had dropped from very good to good/ok just since the last ball of the previous over.

                The light can and will catch you out if you are not very careful -- and that well settled batsman who was flying along seemingly immovable just moments ago, can very quickly be heading back to the pavillion with his tail between his legs, leaving you cursing how he got out playing such a basic shot. The answer is simple: The light dimmed quickly, you didn't notice because you were flying through the game, and were unable to make some slight alterations to your levels of aggression in time.

                So remember -- paying close attention to the light, will both help you take and save you the loss of wickets. It is a game of very fine margins between defeat and victory, and a watchful captain increases his odds of attaining the latter, and preventing the former.

                Hope that this (probably obvious) information can be of additional help to some of you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Raver View Post
                  Great write up! I learnt heaps from reading this. One thing I wonder about though is whether the suggestion that wickets in hand in the last 10 overs can lead to scoring rates of 10+ per over. My experience in ICC has been that upping the aggression, even with wickets in hand just results in a collapse. Have others had different experiences?
                  If you do get to the final ten with fully settled batsmen, perfect sun, perfect light, perfect pitch, you should in most cases absolutely destroy the opposition on max aggression. Even if you do collapse the idea is you should be able to still post a score - however, what you need to do is look at the wickets in hand;

                  If you get to the final ten with both openers still at the crease, eh just go full whack.
                  If you get there with two or three wickets down, you may want to push aggression to 6 at over 42 and then raise to 7 at 45 and maximum at 48 - You scale the aggression as the overs progress according to how many wickets you have. Thus, the less wickets you have in hand, the less aggressive you want to be in order to bat out the final 50 and thus the less amount of overs you have available to bat at 'max'.

                  It's a tricky thing to get right, needing a lot of fine-tuning, but as you get more experience you should pick up on that.

                  Originally posted by J913R View Post
                  Great post. It would be useful for a similar guide to the T20 format as I can never win consistently.
                  T20's the best I can do is get 50% win. I don't play ball-by-ball that often, which is probably hampering me but I find either they bat well or they get skittled and there simply isn't enough time to 'settle' the bats. It may be my approach is old fashioned for that! :P

                  Anyway, I realised I forgot to put the link to the Telegraph analysis of the one day format;

                  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cri...s-exposed.html

                  That article includes a lot of statistics, including the power play and the first 10/last 10 philosophy of recent times that I used to compose the One Day tips.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well put up mate! Many hints for those who want to learn!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i really like the fc match engine for the most part, but again the limited overs engine is trying. batting on four bars in one sayers will see you dribble along at around 3/3.5 an over, anything higher will see your batsman throw their wicket away.

                      also, whilst i agree that bowling short and wide because its the opposite of the batsman's strengths with high aggression is silly, am i lead to believe that bowling at a batsman's weak points is ultimately pointless? if so what is the purpose of these weaknesses and strengths in the game?

                      one final bit, are defensive batsman worth avoiding in one dayers? just had darren bravo score the most painful 2 off 21 balls coming in at three.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by citizenerased View Post
                        i really like the fc match engine for the most part, but again the limited overs engine is trying. batting on four bars in one sayers will see you dribble along at around 3/3.5 an over, anything higher will see your batsman throw their wicket away.
                        I know what you are saying, but if you play ball by ball until a batsman is settled, you can oscillate between 3-6 stars within any given over, rather than waiting for the bad ball on 4 stars. I tend to premeditate for a ball or two, but drop down to a less risky aggression after hitting a boundary. It seems to work for me reasonably.

                        If anything, I think there could be a few more low scoring games. It is tough defending 250, but fairly often it is a winning score in real life. We all remember the memorable high scoring games, but there are an awful lot of matches where teams post and defend lower scores.

                        It is tough to be consistent in ODIs and T20s. Results vary more in the shorter formats, but that is the case in real life of course; the number 1 ranked ODI and T20 nation changes pretty regularly, as it should.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          thanks graham. will give the ball by ball strategy a shot.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by citizenerased View Post
                            i really like the fc match engine for the most part, but again the limited overs engine is trying. batting on four bars in one sayers will see you dribble along at around 3/3.5 an over, anything higher will see your batsman throw their wicket away.

                            also, whilst i agree that bowling short and wide because its the opposite of the batsman's strengths with high aggression is silly, am i lead to believe that bowling at a batsman's weak points is ultimately pointless? if so what is the purpose of these weaknesses and strengths in the game?

                            one final bit, are defensive batsman worth avoiding in one dayers? just had darren bravo score the most painful 2 off 21 balls coming in at three.
                            I don't have that problem, I can usually bat at 4-5 aggression unsettled with one rotating to 6 aggression fairly early - yes, they'll sometimes collapse but more often than not they can run away with it if the conditions are in my favour. Really it's a conditions game, sometimes you just get that bad day or that player who ruins things.

                            The thing about 'weaknesses' is they aren't strictly weak areas. A batsman with a strong legside preference may like the ball pitched at him in that area (think Ponting) but is still comfortable on the offside, often smacking off-side balls through to the legside a la Ponting's pulls and Steve Smith today of Australia. We wouldn't necessarily say 'the offside is a weak area for these batsmen' just that they predominantly look towards/eat up anything going on that leg side. I think too many people see 'strong XX' and assumes that it means the opposite is a weakpoint. Certainly, this *may* very well be true for tailenders and bowlers, though if you see you're bowling to Monty Panesar and he has a 'strong front foot' you wouldn't necessary pepper him with short balls as he's useless on that front foot anyway!

                            The purpose of 'weaknesses' is to target those areas a batsman may not quite prefer to have to deal with, maybe pushing him a bit out of his comfort zone. That still has to be managed carefully however, as if you bowl there too often then they'll get used to that sort of ball.

                            Until Cricket Captain actually implements something like scouting where a scout can say categorically: "This batsman looks suspeciable to the short ball" or "His batting technique leaves a gap our spinners could exploit" it's best to just consider the preferences as just that and stick to a standard line and length 99% of the time. Personally, I think CC should be improving in this area; like the above scouting and stuff as it would REALLY open the game up for proper cricket and bowling tactics - on top of allowing us, the player, to team build and train to eliminate weaknesses and such. Alas!

                            As for your final question - yes, I'd avoid defensive batsmen in One Day games - They *may* have their value in very cloudy, wet weather opening the batting if you are prepared to 'grind' the opening 10, but personally I stick to aggressive and higher batsmen in the one day format.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Tried attacking the weak bowler for the first time during a 50 over game.

                              So Up 2 bars when facing him, then down 2 bars for the guy who was bowling and conceding 4-5 runs an over at the other end
                              The pie bowler went from conceding 6 an over... to 7 .. Then 8 ... then 9 an over .. And bowled out his 10 overs (bug?)

                              Anyway my required run rate went from 6 with about 20 overs to go down to less than 3.... to my easily chasing down the target with 3 overs to spare.

                              Can't recommend this tactic strongly enough - cue everyone else to say they've been doing this for years

                              Comment

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