Decision Support and Moral Dilemma

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One of the characteristics of performance analysis is that it has the potential to inform strategic and tactical decision making.

I read with interest an observation made by Mahela Jayawardene after the fifth ODI against England this week. He made the observation in the context of the run out of Jos Buttler.

Mahela is quoted in a Cricinfo article:

We analysed our game after Lord’s. They took 22 twos in the last 12 overs. Ravi Bopara and him (Jos Buttler) ran riot. And most of the time they were taking starts that are not legal by the written laws. We just wanted to make sure we got a fair chance.

Law 42.15 of the game of Cricket states: “The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to attempt to run out the non-striker.”

However, the rules under which international cricket takes place (ICC playing conditions) differ from the Laws of the game. The ICC’s playing regulation 42.11 (which replaces Law 42.15) states: “The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to attempt to run out the non-striker. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one of the over. If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal dead ball as soon as possible.”

The Sri Lankan analysis of run scoring in the fourth ODI v England highlighted an important performance issue in the closing overs of a closely contested game.

The data give opportunities to consider how to respond if the situation arises again.

In the 44th over of game 5, Sachithra Senanayake removed the bails midway through his bowling action and appealed for the dismissal of Jos Buttler. He was given out by the umpires after they had given the Sri Lankan captain the opportunity to withdraw the appeal.

The moral dilemma here, if there is one, is the concept of ‘the Spirit of the Game’.

In the Preamble to the Laws of the Game it states “Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game”. The Preamble adds “Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains”.

When we analyse performance, and offer our data to coaches, captains and players, do we have any professional responsibility for how the data are used? Do we act as custodians of a spirit too?

Photo Credit

Cricket (Tim Welbourn, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Guest Post: Krishna Tunga on T20 World Cup Cricket

Introduction

I have great pleasure in presenting a second guest post on Clyde Street. In July, Greg Blood wrote about Human Performance, Sport Science and Technology.

Today, Krishna Tunga is sharing his work on the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

Krishna and I have been corresponding for a number of years about observing and analysing cricket.

He is the author of the allthatcricket.com blog.

T20 World Cup

In this Tournament, the team that has batted first has averaged 155 runs (162, if  the 7 over reduced game is omitted). At the last T20WC, at end of 12 games the average score was 149 for the team batting first.

When considering both innings, there have been 8 occasion when teams scored more than 170 runs.

The Scoring Rate for the Tournament is 1.70 runs per ball.

A Boundary has been scored every 6.36.

To date only Pakistan has won the toss and the game.

There have been 20 Dropped Catches. Fourteen of these missed catches were  by  lower ranked teams (including Zimbabwe and Bangaladesh). 10 of these dropped catches came before the 10th over, and 10 came after the 10th over.

Of the 134 wickets that have fallen in 12 games, spinners (including part-time spinners) have taken 45 of these (33.58%).

There have been 12Maiden overs: 3 came while batting first and 7 came between the 6-10 over period.

The Top 4 batters in each team have contributed 67.36% of the total team’s score.

Scoring more than 50 runs : out of 26  scores of more than 50, openers have scored 4 of them.  18 of the 50+ scores came while chasing.

Partnerships: there have been seventeen 50+ partnerships, 5 were for the opening stand (4 came while chasing). The average opening stand is 28.00.

Phases of the game: average runs scored at end of 6 overs is 45. This is the best in two years. The average falls to 65 at the end of the 10th over. It increases to 100 at end of 15th over. The bottleneck appears to be between the 7th and 10th overs where batsmen slow down (while chasing). 5 maiden overs were bowled in this period.

Big overs (more than 10 runs): in the first five games of the Tournament, there was very little action (especially for the team to bat first) in the first 6 overs of the innings. Very few ‘big overs’ were conceded. During these first 5 games, in the power play the first team tobat saw only 6.67% (2/30 Overs) of big overs and overall it was 16.67% (10/60 Overs ). The total big overs in all 20 overs was  23.50%(47/200 Overs).

Here is what happened after 12 games. Below is percentile of big overs (> 10runs/over) in each phase.

Phases 1st Bat 2nd Bat Total
0-6 overs26.38%25.75%26.10%
7-10overs26.66%10.81%19.50%
11-15overs30.90%23.30%27.60%
16-20 overs50.84%44.00%48.80%

Average runs scored have been:

Over

Avg runs in each over 1st Bat

Average runs in each over 2nd bat

1

5.33

5.91

2

5.92

7.82

3

6.92

7.45

4

6.5

9.82

5

11.4

7.91

6

8.92

6.45

7

6.83

5.18

8

8.09

5.7

9

8.27

6.2

10

7.09

5.9

11

6.27

5.44

12

6

7.11

13

9.73

6

14

8.64

8

15

7.91

6.63

16

7.18

9.71

17

9.55

10

18

9.45

6.5

19

13.2

10.3

20

12.7

4.5

 

Implications?

If top order batsmen can keep their heads, and not lose more than 1 wicket in the powerplay, a score above 150 can be achieved. A score of 170 will be challenging, and is an equivalent of 300 score in ODIs.

For bowlers apart from picking up early wickets, the key for them would between the 6th and 10th overs, where they can strike hard and bowl maiden overs which will elevate the asking rate to more than 10 runs per over and climbing, as they reach last phase.

Photo Credit

Waiting for 3rd umpire’s decision