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Thread: The true value of international experience

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    The true value of international experience

    I do think experience is of real value with limited overs cricket, particularly batting. But I'm going to stick to the context of proper cricket (Tests) here.

    I'm so sick of people over-rating the importance of experience in Test cricket. Most good things that happen are attributed to experience and never anything negative. So this idea is created that experience is really important, it's not actually based on anything sensible or statistical evidence. From a common sense perspective it makes little sense. In Test cricket the vast majority of the time they're just doing the basics and playing their own game, the same things they've done 10,000s of hours in the nets, in first class cricket, junior cricket and whatever else just to a higher intensity. Now given that where does experience get to play a part? Only in particular situations and in those it can still work for OR AGAINST someone.

    One of the most irritating myths is experience really helping to halt an ongoing collapse, to see a team through on a chase. The point is in Test cricket these days, with batting being particularly pitiful lately, that you have time to just bat or just bowl. If you just simply bat instead of being concerned about being 27-4 then that is nearly always going to be more effective than trying to adapt your game to the scoreboard. You adapt your game to the conditions, making other mental changes because of the scoreboard is what makes collapses so common. It is largely HUMAN elements - some from the bowlers but I would say it more about the batsmen - that make the same teams collapse regularly, being crap batsmen doesn't help either obviously. The mantra of playing your natural game crops up a lot, so why do you need experience to tell you that? Test cricket is a simple game, not a complex one.

    Players that have experience of being involved in collapses seem to contribute towards them even more. Negative experiences generally lead to more negative performances. Positive experiences generally lead to more positive performances. These things obviously alter other human characteristics like confidence, confidence is usually good but not too much of it. Things like nerves are often confused with experience, although experience can help with nervousness it's more complicated than that and may in fact be a hindrance.

    As technology and support staff comes in more and more a lot of the value of experience is reduced. The players know what's coming, they know their opponents, they know what they're supposed to do.

    Why is experience so often treated as the holy grail in Test cricket? Pick your best players. Simple as that.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Good players in form do well. When they're out of form they don't. But if you've scored thousands of runs it's human nature the selectors will give you more chances than if you go through a bad patch early on.
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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    I don't have a view to offer on this, but the cliche that I find particularly irritating is that young players have "no fear of failure" and can "play without fear", which to me has always reeked of rancid bull**** and which also happens to run directly counter to the "experience is key" line that is also trotted out by the self-same pundits.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    Also annoys me when a young batsman shepherds the tail and he gets hailed for doing so even though he's not experienced. If you're playing at the top level, you should know that you're meant to do it FFS.
    Quote Originally Posted by flibbertyjibber View Post
    Only a bunch of convicts having been beaten 3-0 and gone 9 tests without a win and won just 1 in 11 against England could go into the home series saying they will win. England will win in Australia again this winter as they are a better side which they have shown this summer. 3-0 doesn't lie girls.


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    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Whilst experience may not be as important as it once was per se, I would say it is still rather important. Whilst I am commenting as casual player with no expertise, I would submit that claiming playing county cricket gives players the experience required for playing in tests is akin to suggesting that riding a bicycle for 5 years will give me the knowledge required for driving a motorcyle. However, extensive test match experience will not turn a poor batsman into a good one. I should have thought that Graeme Hick is an example who supports both of these analogies rather well.

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    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    I'd suggest that a player with years of experience facing a similar situation to one they have faced before should be more capable of dealing with it than a player who is in his first match. Obviously there are more things to take into account, such as the individual player's form, the playing conditions, how the opposition team is bowling, etc. Experience isn't the be-all and end-all.

    However if I was choosing between two guys of similar ability, and one of them had years of experience in test cricket while the other was playing his first match, I'd go for the guy with experience every time.

    Sure, there are some guys who come up and adapt straight away, but they're pretty rare. Generally speaking they're either players who have been around the cricket scene for some time in first class cricket, or outstanding talents at every level (like Tendulkar and Lara).

    I'd be interested in finding out why you think experience is important for one-day cricket and not for tests though...
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    Experience is invaluable. So so important, even more so in a young team.

    Experienced players slow the game down. Hard to describe.
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    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyc View Post
    Also annoys me when a young batsman shepherds the tail and he gets hailed for doing so even though he's not experienced. If you're playing at the top level, you should know that you're meant to do it FFS.
    If it's a greenhorn batsman averaging 50 in his 10 FC matches batting with a veteran no 9 of a 150 FC matches, who should take the lead? Does the inexperienced shepherd take charge, or does the experienced sheep shepherd himself?
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaly piscine View Post
    One of the most irritating myths is experience really helping to halt an ongoing collapse, to see a team through on a chase. The point is in Test cricket these days, with batting being particularly pitiful lately, that you have time to just bat or just bowl. If you just simply bat instead of being concerned about being 27-4 then that is nearly always going to be more effective than trying to adapt your game to the scoreboard. You adapt your game to the conditions, making other mental changes because of the scoreboard is what makes collapses so common. It is largely HUMAN elements - some from the bowlers but I would say it more about the batsmen - that make the same teams collapse regularly, being crap batsmen doesn't help either obviously. The mantra of playing your natural game crops up a lot, so why do you need experience to tell you that? Test cricket is a simple game, not a complex one.
    Like.

    Commentators, especially the infuriating Ian Chappell, like to bring the match situation into batting strategy when it has no business being there. Every batsman has an optimal way of batting personal to themselves, be it aggressive, defensive, or defensive at first and aggressive when set. Adjusting to the quality of the opposition attack and conditions is absolutely crucial. But adjusting to the scorecard is why collapses happen. What do you do at 20/4? You bat the way that maximises the number of runs you'll expect to score. What do you do at 200/4? Exactly the same thing. Score runs off the bad balls and keep out the good ones.

    This is what impresses me most about the English batting lineup. I keep bringing them up, but their cricketing intelligence is just miles ahead of every other team. In a tight spot, commentators say things like "they ought to counter-attack here and knock the bowlers off their rhythm" or "they need to keep it tight for a while, it's absolutely crucial that they don't lose another wicket before lunch". But Trott or Cook don't go with either of those strategies, they just play the way that's likely to get them the most runs. Every single time they come to the crease. Someone like Brad Haddin, meanwhile, seems to overcomplicate the game. He either plays a stupid shot in an attempt to counter-attack or misses out on scoring opportunities trying to stop the rot. He hasn't quite found the secret third option of simply playing every ball on its merit.
    Last edited by Uppercut; 29-12-2011 at 09:31 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    The Filth have comfortably the better bowling. But the Gash have the batting. Might be quite good to watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Like.

    Commentators, especially the infuriating Ian Chappell, like to bring the match situation into batting strategy when it has no business being there. Every batsman has an optimal way of batting personal to themselves, be it aggressive, defensive, or defensive at first and aggressive when set. Adjusting to the quality of the opposition attack and conditions is absolutely crucial. But adjusting to the scorecard is why collapses happen. What do you do at 20/4? You bat the way that maximises the number of runs you'll expect to score. What do you do at 200/4? Exactly the same thing. Score runs off the bad balls and keep out the good ones.

    This is what impresses me most about the English batting lineup. I keep bringing them up, but their cricketing intelligence is just miles ahead of every other team. In a tight spot, commentators say things like "they ought to counter-attack here and knock the bowlers off their rhythm" or "they need to keep it tight for a while, it's absolutely crucial that they don't lose another wicket before lunch". But Trott or Cook don't go with either of those strategies, they just play the way that's likely to get them the most runs. Every single time they come to the crease. Someone like Brad Haddin, meanwhile, seems to overcomplicate the game. He either plays a stupid shot in an attempt to counter-attack or misses out on scoring opportunities trying to stop the rot. He hasn't quite found the secret third option of simply playing every ball on its merit.
    This is the most theoretical tosh I've read in quite some time.

  11. #11
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    With Bencheh on this one, as with most cricketing matters. Slowing down the game is a brilliant way to describe it.
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    Cricketer Of The Year zaremba's Avatar
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    He hasn't explained what that actually means though. Nor why he dismisses uppercut's well argued point quite so glibly.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    When I embarked on my career I was young and enthusiastic and put innumerable extra hours into preparing cases because I wanted to do the best job I possibly could - I've lost all that energy now, and half the time if I'm honest I couldn't give a tuppenny toss, but I'm still much more effective than ever I was when I started out and indeed as I concentrate on what I've learnt is important I think I actually get better - I'd be surprised if professional sport is any different

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    He hasn't explained what that actually means though. Nor why he dismisses uppercut's well argued point quite so glibly.
    It's a waste of time explaining concepts about the human element of cricket to people who view cricketers as robots.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    When I embarked on my career I was young and enthusiastic and put innumerable extra hours into preparing cases because I wanted to do the best job I possibly could - I've lost all that energy now, and half the time if I'm honest I couldn't give a tuppenny toss, but I'm still much more effective than ever I was when I started out and indeed as I concentrate on what I've learnt is important I think I actually get better - I'd be surprised if professional sport is any different
    I spoke a bit about this in the other thread. My view is that experience is what makes you better, and in that respect is underrated. Being experienced is what's overrated, because it's just a means to the end of being a better player but is quite often used as a reason to pick someone in itself.

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