Tuesday 28 May 2013

Mini-session Analysis 2nd Test, England vs New Zealand, Headingley 2013

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the second test between England and New Zealand at Headingley, Leeds, England

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

2-1aEngland 32/1 off 14New Zealand
2-1bEngland 35/2 off 12New Zealand
2-2aEngland 43/0 off 16England
2-2bEngland 68/1 off 16England
2-3aEngland 70/0 off 17England
2-3bEngland 89/3 off 19New Zealand
3-1aEngland 17/3 off 5New Zealand
3-1bNew Zealand 62/2 off 18England
3-2aNew Zealand 37/4 off 14England
3-2bNew Zealand 75/4 off 11.4New Zealand
3-3aEngland 55/0 off 14England
3-3bEngland 35/1 off 14New Zealand
3-3cEngland 26/0 off 13draw
4-1aEngland 67/0 off 15England
4-1bEngland 66/2 off 14England
4-2aEngland 38/2 off 6England
4-2bNew Zealand 68/3 off 22England
4-3aNew Zealand 72/0 off 20New Zealand
4-3bNew Zealand 18/3 off 12.4England
4-1bNew Zealand 61/2 off 10.5England
4-2aNew Zealand 1/2 off 11England

Final update, click here

England win the mini-session count 13 - 7

Stumps, Day 4: England lead the mini-session count 11-7

New Zealand's lack of spin, and lack of ability against spin has shown through in this test clearly. Paul Wiseman has been taken on as New Zealand's spin coach, and it's possibly the most important cricket role in the country at the moment.

Lots of questions have been asked about Cook's decision-making and how conservative he has been in this test. However I feel that (if he had taken the wider view of looking at the series more than the match) then his decision was sensible, if a little boring. He had New Zealand in a situations where they couldn't possibly win the match, and therefore the series was secured. I personally prefer test captains to treat each match as being worth winning, but I can understand why he decided to use the tactics that he did. - Mykuhl

Lunch, Day 4: England lead the mini-session count 12-7

After some phyrric counter-punching by Southee and Bracewell, New Zealand were saved their blushes by the rain. If it stays wet for the rest of the day, then New Zealand will get a very undeserved draw. - Mykuhl

End of match, Day 4: England win the match and the mini-session count 13-7

It took 11 overs, but England managed to clean up the tail eventually. The standard New Zealand tail end tactic of not taking any singles, so that the batsmen get comfortable with one bowler worked reasonably well, so Cook was forced to change the ends of the bowlers. The decision to change ends had immediate effect with Anderson picking up the 10th wicket for the second innings in succession. - Mykuhl

Saturday 18 May 2013

The soft hands of BJ Watling

Here's two photo's of BJ Watling's defensive technique.

This picture is of his normal block shot. You can see that he  has a very loose bottom hand.  The bottom of it is so far forward of the bat that you can't see the grip.
Bottom hand is loose on the bat handle.
This next one is the ball that he edged and was dropped at slip. Here you see that his bottom hand is tightly onto the bat.
Using hard hands to defend.

I'm not really a batting coach, but this is something that young batsmen should learn.  If you are going to play a defensive shot, make sure you keep your bottom hand loose.  It means that if you edge it, then it won't carry to the slips. 

Friday 17 May 2013

Mini-session Analysis, 1st Test, England vs New Zealand, Lords, 2013

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the first test between England and New Zealand at Lord's, London, England

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aEngland 37/0 off 15England
1-1bEngland 19/1 off 14New Zealand
1-2aEngland 28/1 off 13New Zealand
1-2bEngland 29/1 off 14New Zealand
1-3aEngland 31/0 off 17draw
1-3bEngland 16/1 off 7New Zealand
2-1aEngland 26/0 off 14draw
2-1bEngland 23/4 off 10New Zealand
2-2aEngland 23/2 off 8.2New Zealand
2-2bNew Zealand 54/2 off 19England
2-3aNew Zealand 65/1 off 18New Zealand
2-3bNew Zealand 34/1 off 12.4England
3-1aNew Zealand 29/2 off 12.2England
3-1bNew Zealand 25/4 off 7England
England 12/0 off 2
3-2aEngland 46/2 off 13New Zealand
3-2bEngland 33/0 off 11England
3-3aEngland 65/0 off 22England
3-3bEngland 24/4 off 11New Zealand
4-1aEngland 33/4 off 9.3New Zealand
4-1bNew Zealand 29/6 off 11.4England
4-2aNew Zealand 39/4 off 10.5England

Final update, click here

New Zealand won the mini-session count 10 - 9, but England won the match.

First drinks, Day 1: England lead the mini-session count 1-0

A slow but safe start from England. Boult and Southee both bowled some deliveries that had the batsmen troubled, but they generally looked composed and patient. - Mykuhl

Lunch, Day 1: The mini-session count is tied up, 1-1

The first wicket came in a rather unexpected manner. First was the bowler, Bruce Martin. With all the pre-match talk about the swinging conditions, there would not have been many expecting him to be bowling over 22, let alone there to be no wickets down. Then the fact that the ball genuinely turned. It was pitched on a good length, shaping towards middle and off, and moved away towards first slip. Compton went after it, but was beaten both in flight and by the turn, and ended up just spooning it to point.

While England have only lost one wicket, they have only put on 56 runs. Boult has bowled 8 overs for 6 runs and Martin 4 overs for 3 runs. It's really quite an impressive feat of discipline from both teams so far. The opening is quite even, but New Zealand are probably slightly ahead. - Mykuhl

Middle drinks, Day 1: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 2-1

England are now down to two an over. There was a lot of talk that New Zealand had prepared low, slow wickets because they were scared of England's pace bowlers. Perhaps England are also scared of New Zealand's bowlers? Boult's return so far would suggest that would be sensible: 13-4-23-1. - Mykuhl

Stumps, Day 1: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 4-1

The promised rain finally arrived, just after Wagner managed to get Bell to angle one to Watling. The match position is certainly advantage New Zealand. They start tomorrow with a new ball and only 2 wickets before getting amongst the bowlers. If the ball swings tomorrow like it did today, the two left-armers could be very difficult for the English bowlers to handle. - Mykuhl

First drinks, Day 2: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 4-1

While England only scored 26 runs in the hour, they managed to survive 14 overs with the new ball without losing a wicket. The New Zealand bowlers managed to cause some problems, but it was really just more attritional cricket. - Mykuhl

Lunch, Day 2: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 5-1

Another hour to New Zealand. England will probably struggle to get to 260 now. After winning the toss and choosing to bat, that's hardly a good return. The best moment in that hour for England was in the final over, when Martin managed to get a ball to spit out of the footmarks. It was harmless coming from Martin and spinning away, but it would have be a different story from Swann. - Mykuhl

Change of Innings, Day 2: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 6-1

New Zealand managed to clean up the English tail reasonably cheaply, despite some stubborn resistance. England did manage to get their overall rpo over 2, but not by much. Despite not looking very comfortable at any point at the crease, Bairstow ended up being the top scorer with 41. - Mykuhl

Stumps, Day 2: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 7-3

Someone needed to take the attack to the bowlers in this match, and Ross Taylor was the man. It was the old Taylor, the one who smashed the ball through the covers, rather than the one we're more used to seeing recently who had put his cover drive away. He scored 10 boundaries through the off side. New Zealand are dominating the mini-session count, but the game is really much closer than 7-3 would suggest. - Mykuhl

First drinks, Day 3: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 7-4

England are well into this match now. New Zealand now really need a good partnership from Southee and Watling. Even Watling (who normally is very assured on defense) was playing away from his body with hard hands. That was a product of the pressure that the English bowlers have managed to exert on the New Zealand batsmen this morning. We are generally getting a display of quality bowling. - Mykuhl

Lunch, Day 3: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 7-5

England are now starting to take control of this match. That may prove to be the decisive hour in the course of the match. England cleaned up New Zealand's tail, and then set an aggressive platform with the bat. - Mykuhl

Middle drinks, Day 3: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 8-5

This game is turning into a great match. New Zealand have probably played the most good cricket, but England is probably in the lead by a small margin. New Zealand won't want to be chasing more than 270. - Mykuhl

Tea, Day 3: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 8-6

New Zealand slowed the game down considerably in that hour, trying to stop England's progress. It was to no avail. England have moved into a convincing lead now. - Mykuhl

Final drinks, Day 3: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 8-7

New Zealand are in some serious trouble now. The way things are going at the moment, England are looking like they are heading towards a substantial lead. Trott and Root have been magnificent. The pitch seems to be getting slightly better, but I'm not sure if it's getting better quickly enough for New Zealand to be able to chase down a score near 400. - Mykuhl

Stumps, Day 3: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 9-7

And in the space of 7 overs the game changes again. This game is now pure intrigue. With the chance of rain on Monday, all 4 results are still possible. It's hard to say who is in the lead at this point in the game. It is quite conceivable that New Zealand will bowl out England for another 40 runs, and then knock off the target. It's also not beyond the realms of possibility that 14 wickets could fall tomorrow, and England win in a canter. This is exactly why test cricket is the ultimate in sporting events. - Mykuhl

Change of Innings, Day 4: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 10-7

New Zealand will be happy with that. Southee was irresistible, picking up 10/108, the second best match figures by a New Zealander in England after Dion Nash's 11/169. New Zealand need 239 to win. The game is evenly poised, but New Zealand are probably slight favorites. - Mykuhl

Lunch, Day 4: New Zealand lead the mini-session count 10-8

And just like that the game swings totally in England's favour. Stuart Broad has treated the New Zealand batsmen like a Jack Russell terrier treats a rat. He's shaken them up, and then killed them off. It's a demonstration of cricketing virtuosity. - Mykuhl

End of match: New Zealand win the mini-session count 10-9 but England win the match.

And England clean it up. A match that was evenly balanced was completely turned on it's head in one decisive hour. Broad has threatened to do this a number of times, but today he has realised the potential that he has shown in the past. - Mykuhl

Wednesday 8 May 2013

A good problem to have.

New Zealand have 4 good quick bowlers at the moment. However there's only space in the team for 3.  This means that one of them has to miss out.  Here's a quick look at the 4 contenders, and their strengths and weaknesses.

Friday 3 May 2013

Concentration vs Technique revisited

Ed Cowan, often uprooted after getting in.
A couple of years ago I wrote an article looking at players who capitalised on getting a start, and at players who struggled to do so.

With the gap between test matches at the moment, it's a good time to look at the numbers again.

I looked at all players who had faced at least 250 balls in 20 or more innings in last 3 years. I also restricted it to players who had at least 7 innings of less than 20 and at least 7 innings of 20 or more in that time.

For the average from 20, I subtracted 20 from their average in innings with a total score of 20+.

Here are the players who have the biggest positive difference between their average from 0 and their average from 20.

NameInnings 20+Innings under 20AverageAverage 20+Difference
MS Wade (Aus) 71534.6196.2561.64
MG Johnson (Aus) 82317.8556.4038.55
CA Pujara (India) 121065.55101.8836.33
IR Bell (Eng) 282056.1584.3128.16
AN Cook (Eng) 322955.5982.2026.61
KC Sangakkara (SL) 322162.4884.4822.00
JH Kallis (SA) 261763.4784.6121.14
SCJ Broad (Eng) 122424.3645.0020.64
MJ Prior (Eng) 292150.8270.5219.70
MJ Clarke (Aus) 322553.7073.2719.57
M Vijay (India) 91140.2558.7718.52
KP Pietersen (Eng) 282548.5066.8018.30
RT Ponting (Aus) 202434.5252.2717.75
HMRKB Herath (SL) 102917.8535.0017.15

The two names at the top of this list were fascinating. I had no idea that those two had been so good at capitalising on a start. It suggests that early wickets down the order will be very important for England in the upcoming Ashes series.

The other end of the table is the players who have a tendency to throw away their wickets after getting a start.

NameInnings 20+Innings under 20AverageAverage 20+Difference
AN Petersen (SA) 291237.6428.17-9.47
EJM Cowan (Aus) 191132.927.78-5.12
AB de Villiers (SA) 34970.3466.00-4.34
GP Swann (Eng) 152219.1515.53-3.62
SR Watson (Aus) 271732.4829.50-2.98
DG Brownlie (NZ) 13832.829.91-2.89
HAPW Jayawardene (SL) 171530.5728.00-2.57
G Gambhir (India) 231830.5728.21-2.36
AJ Strauss (Eng) 291934.0632.67-1.39
Tamim Iqbal (Ban) 13937.8637.07-0.79
GC Smith (SA) 301744.444.07-0.33
AB Barath (WI) 111321.5821.900.32
V Kohli (India) 191241.9642.940.98
CS Baugh (WI) 91717.2518.251.00

It's surprising to see two openers at the top of this list. These two do the hard work regularly, both getting to 20 roughly twice as often as they don't, but then they don't make the most of it. In fact it was a tweet from Gary Naylor from 99.94 that made me think about redoing this analysis, as Cowan's record is quite remarkable.

It made me wonder where these two sat overall among openers. Using the same conditions, I compiled this list, looking only at innings where a batsman was opening the batting:

NameInnings 20+Innings under 20AverageAverage 20+Difference
AN Petersen (SA) 311138.3628.96-9.40
CM Spearman (NZ) 171223.9616.70-7.26
RW Barber (Eng) 221138.6231.54-7.08
BM Laird (Aus) 261435.2829.76-5.52
H Sutcliffe (Eng) 651861.1055.82-5.28
A Turner (Aus) 171029.5324.25-5.28
CJ Barnett (Eng) 14739.6534.53-5.12
BK Kunderan (India) 13841.1536.15-5.00
UC Hathurusingha (SL) 251730.7326.12-4.61
Imran Farhat (Pak) 453131.8527.25-4.60
GS Camacho (WI) 12930.3325.75-4.58
B Wood (Eng) 101121.6117.50-4.11
EJM Cowan (Aus) 181133.2029.11-4.09
RB Simpson (Aus) 521855.5152.00-3.51
JB Hobbs (Eng) 702756.3752.98-3.39
Imrul Kayes (Ban) 122017.1513.91-3.24
SM Katich (Aus) 421950.4847.46-3.02
IR Redpath (Aus) 401944.5041.57-2.93

Both batsman make this list, with Alviro Petersen again clear at the top. Interesting to note that three of the batsmen regarded as some of the greatest openers ever (Herb Sutcliffe, Jack Hobbs and Bobby Simpson) on the list.

The final batsman that I want to look at is Ross Taylor. He was near the bottom of the list last time I did this analysis, with an average of 40.21 and then 40.38 once he got to 20 (a difference of 0.17). In the past 3 years he has improved both numbers. This time he has averaged 41.79 and then 47.73 once he gets to 20 (a more respectable difference of 5.94). Perhaps he actually is the player who will disprove Martin Crowe's infamous assertion that Polynesian players didn't have the concentration required for cricket.