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Calling all Batsmen - What goes through your mind?

Neil Pickup

Cricket Web Moderator
As most of you probably know, I'm trying to develop a fairly comprehensive cricket simulator right now. The idea is to simulate every ball to a fairly high level of detail and to that end properly enhance the realism.

Over the next few weeks, I'm looking to develop an early engine (set of code) that defines what happens after the ball leaves the bowler's hand. The coding to decide whereabouts the ball passes the bat isn't too difficult, but I'm a little unsure as to how to simulate the batsmens' decision making process.

I've settled on code to decide a) where the ball ends up and b) where the batsman *thinks* the ball's going to end up (dependent on his talent), however I need some pointers (ideally with some number representation) as to what goes into deciding which balls to block, which to deflect, which to leave, and which to hit seven shades out of.

I'm also looking trying to build a decent bank of descriptions that I can use for different pitch types. The variables involved will be Bounce, Movement, Turn & Erraticism (affects bounce and turn) - for example the pitch type "Green Top" would be something like 70 - 95 - 20 - 30.
 

Tom Halsey

International Coach
Very occasionally (if I’m not in slogging mood) I just concentrate on keeping it down and playing close to my body (that would be proper batsmen). I don’t think too much about which to block and which to smash, that decision just happens naturally. The only time I do that is when I’m telling myself to slog it (common).
 

Neil Pickup

Cricket Web Moderator
Tom Halsey said:
I don’t think too much about which to block and which to smash, that decision just happens naturally.
Which is why I'm a bit stuck as to how it's going to be coded.
 

age_master

Hall of Fame Member
depends on the batsman, for me, sometimes i get into a very defensive mode and block pretty much everything near the stumps, flick stuff on my pads and guide stuff outside the line of off stump.

usually however i charge the bowling (pace 2-3 times an over, spin about 4 or 5) looking to upset the rythm of the bowler, but most batsmen dont do that.
 

Mr Mxyzptlk

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A defensive batsman (like myself typically) would start his innings by playing with a leave/defend first, hit second mentality. That is, look to defend or not play unless the ball is a rank long hop. As time goes on at the crease it's less of a leave alone mentality, but still basically the defence first priority.

In limited overs cricket I've been batting late in the innings recently, so I look for the yorker and adjust to anything else.

Wear should also be a factor of the pitch as pitches in India would typically be more worn and get worn faster than those in Australia.
 

age_master

Hall of Fame Member
Mr Mxyzptlk said:
Wear should also be a factor of the pitch as pitches in India would typically be more worn and get worn faster than those in Australia.
from the start of the game at certain venues
 

Scaly piscine

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
What shot you play depends mostly on line & length of where the ball pitches, with other factors like how many balls the batsman has faced, game scenario, the batsman themself like flintoff & gilchrist would maybe go after more, richardson not so etc. If it's a length ball down the leg-side you're much more likely to deflect it or guide it, same with length ball off-side in a one-day game say (unless it's last 10 overs). Bad length balls not too wide tend to get the bat thrown at them, cuts, pulls, drives and so forth. I'd guess the easiest way to code it is to designate zones depending on the co-ordinates of where the ball pitches (or something like that) factoring in flight/deception of a spin bowler to make you believe the ball is gonna land 2 feet closer to the stumps than it really is. There are also slower balls, off-cutters, swing/reverse-swing etc. to consider.

Edit: I'm sure there should be a 'corridor of uncertainty' involved as well... which gets larger for 90+mph bowlers (Harmison for example would have a larger margin for error than G McGrath, who'd have a larger margin than A McGrath), with the length you defend against changing with the pace of the bowler.
 
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Craig

World Traveller
And I doubt you wouldn't say a similar thing Marc if England lost a Test on a similar type of pitch.
 

tooextracool

International Coach
Craig said:
And I doubt you wouldn't say a similar thing Marc if England lost a Test on a similar type of pitch.
personally i dont understand how any wicket that is constantly bowler friendly or batsman friendly is unfair for any particular team. they're both playing in exactly the same conditions arent they?
 

deeps

International 12th Man
ok i bat at number 5 for my team, and it all depends on the situation. I think this should be part of your simulation. The batsman's decision making changes depending on the situation.


for example, if i come in at 3/30, i play a very defensive knock. I leave absolutely everything i deem safe to leave (unless it's short or full and there to be hit), and i block everything on the stumps.

Anything short, i'll either pull or cut, and anything that has a chance of getting me out, i try leave or block as much as possible. If the batsman at the other end falls, and i'm suddenly 6/50 or 7/60 and the batsman to come in aren't that prolific, i tend to open up and play more shots and basically go into an attacking mindset. (if i've been batting for a while, and am set. If i'm not, i try to take up most of the strike, until i'm set and then i open up)

In terms of what's going through my mind, it depends on whose bowling.If a spinner is bowling, i always tell myself to get to the pitch of the ball if i can, or else get on the back foot and watch the ball closely. To a fast or medium pacer, i tell myself to watch for any swing/seam and just watch the ball in general, as well as to watch out for any trick deliveries (slower or bouncer) that they may have. I tend to duck the bouncers, and almost always block the slower ones.

i almost always try to watch out the first few deliveries from a new bowler, and there's usually at least one bowler on every team that commands full respect and i tend to watch out their entire over. (its usually this bowler that has took all 3 wickets:P)
 

SJS

Hall of Fame Member
Neil Pickup said:
As most of you probably know, I'm trying to develop a fairly comprehensive cricket simulator right now. The idea is to simulate every ball to a fairly high level of detail and to that end properly enhance the realism.

Over the next few weeks, I'm looking to develop an early engine (set of code) that defines what happens after the ball leaves the bowler's hand. The coding to decide whereabouts the ball passes the bat isn't too difficult, but I'm a little unsure as to how to simulate the batsmens' decision making process.

I've settled on code to decide a) where the ball ends up and b) where the batsman *thinks* the ball's going to end up (dependent on his talent), however I need some pointers (ideally with some number representation) as to what goes into deciding which balls to block, which to deflect, which to leave, and which to hit seven shades out of.

I'm also looking trying to build a decent bank of descriptions that I can use for different pitch types. The variables involved will be Bounce, Movement, Turn & Erraticism (affects bounce and turn) - for example the pitch type "Green Top" would be something like 70 - 95 - 20 - 30.
Whats the end purpose of this that you are doing ? I mean is it in the process of developing a game of sorts or what ?
 

Son Of Coco

Hall of Fame Member
tooextracool said:
personally i dont understand how any wicket that is constantly bowler friendly or batsman friendly is unfair for any particular team. they're both playing in exactly the same conditions arent they?
yes they are! Both teams are definately playing on the same wicket. I guess one team might have a slight advantage if they've played in similar conditions (like Australia on the bouncy WACA) but it's no reason for complaint.
 

Eclipse

International Debutant
When I used to open the batting I would concerntrate on on playing as compact and tight as I could.. But I used to fancy my self as a good shot maker to so I tried to stay as aggresive as I could meaning I would more or less have a big dip at any ball I considerd in the slot no matter what my score was.
 

Mister Wright

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
As a batsman, I've experimented with a few things which will help a batsman get the best out of every delivery that is bowled to him/her. What I have come to find over my 20 odd years of playing cricket is that you have to put all thoughts of premeditation out of your mind. There is so little time to make a decision, so you have to make it as simple as possible. I like to watch the ball out of the bowlers hand from the start of their run-up, that gets me focused. Then you first have to decide front foot or back foot, then decide which side of the pitch you will play your shot. So I guess the decision is made after the ball lands (or doesn't land). Anytime after that you aren't helping your cause.
 

ash chaulk

International Captain
facing the first ball of a different bowler i would always be defensive then after i realise how hes bowling i would attack..... facing a spinner anythink short means a chance for a 6
 

vic_orthdox

Global Moderator
have you got the batsman's strengths enshrined into your simulator? if you did, then you could have him hitting the attacking shots that he hits best early in his innings, and only once he gets settled he starts to play all around the wicket?

maybe also link the shot making decisions to the field employed? if you have an off side stacked field, as soon as the ball strays on the stumps, a willingness to flick through the on side.

but the easiest would be to determine the batsman's state of mind. if he is in a positive state of mind, then he plays shots as soon as he comes in and is more likely to be on the front foot, while if in a more staid mood, would be more back foot central, looking to shape the ball through the field and use the extra time of the back stool to find gaps.

sorry, i've probably just made it heaps more complicated than your hoping for
 

SJS

Hall of Fame Member
As an opening batsman, as I first came in, if I was taking first strike, I would hope the first ball was pitched outside the off stump short of a length allowing me to go back and across to see how the wicket was behaving. and asess both speed and bounce without committing myself to a stroke.

Playing a ball off the middle of the bat firmlyand feel the 'spring' in the shot as the ball shot of the sweet spot is a big nerve sttler.

Getting a delivery early to play your favourite shot, be it a square cut or a cover drive , is a great way to feel the confidence surge.

Then , during a change of bowling, if a spinner came on to bowl, I would like to be able to drive him of the front foot at the earliest opportunity. Its great to get the feet moving and gives you the confidence to come out of the crease the next time the ball is flighted.
 

Jamee999

Hall of Fame Member
It depends on the match situation. If I come in early 3 or 4 wickets are down so I just try to create a solid base for the innings and then stepping up the pace. I like sweeping and driving so I try to keep the bat back but my weight able to go forward quickly to send the ball flying to the fence.
 

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