Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Cricket isn't Rock

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  • Sue,

    Test cricket is Shakespeare, ODI cricket is Chekov and T20 is Everybody Loves Raymond.

    Holy crap, Dan, have you SEEN any Chekov?

    hahaha
    dan is probaly the only person here who has seen chekov
    possibly more time than he can count
    which i doubt is a good thing

    20/20 is like Britteny spears, it's fun and cheesy and just a little bit crazy lala loopy

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    oo but if 20/20 is the exponents, almost everyone can
    if forced
    admit to having owned one of their albums
    personally for me it was the limited edition yellow vinyl "Expectations"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    You all seem to have gotten too distracted by musical comparisons to note the fact that Brendon McCullum steered the ship home after some serious late innings wobbles. Last four 20/20 innings have been half centuries.

    I wish people would stop raving on about how he's wasted at the top of the order and should be coming in at 7.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    I'm late in joining this but:

    Yeah organisations like the IRB, NBA etc etc tend to have policies on illegal drugs of all kinds for situations just like this.

    Both the IRB and NBA have a policy <i>against</i> blood testing, which prevents many recreational drugs being picked up. It's not like it isn't obvious some of the S14 anf NBA guys prefer a smoldering one to a cold one after the match. But if it can't be proven...

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Naly D,

    almost everyone can if forced admit to having owned one of their albums

    I'm the exception to that rule, but then I'm probably showing my age. Someone probably got my share and he'll hand it down to me once I pass the magical 30-year-old mark and it becomes ok for me to lean on the bar in seedy nightclubs looking at all the university students and remembering 'the goold ol'' days'.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 307 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Both the IRB and NBA have a policy <i>against</i> blood testing

    But if the drugs are picked up in other tests, including police tests, then it counts

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Can I just take this opportunity to recommend that everyone begin regularly listening to the Friday Night Newsquiz

    Seconded. The BBC Friday Night Comedy podcast is a never-miss for us.

    Just listened to this week's one on the bus. Much like the Ricky Gervais podcast some years back this is a mistake. You end up looking like a grinning insane person and no one goes near you (actually it might be a good idea on the bus then)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    The thing is, in India cricket is totally rock'n'roll and these guys are loved and loathed with all the fervour of your favourite/most hated bands. That's why I love it when we play cricket against India, they are like the purest expression of the game, like Brazil in football or the All Blacks in rugby. They may not always be number 1 but they are never less than an honour to have around.

    Hey, I'm in a good mood, the Hammers won and Spurs lost last night, Mondays just don't get any better than that :-)

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I wish people would stop raving on about how he's wasted at the top of the order and should be coming in at 7.

    /rave
    I wish people would stop pretending opening a 20/20 innings has anything to do with playing cricket. Let alone opening an ODI innings.

    Field restrictions are different, bowling is different and the penalty for stuffing up is much much lower in 20/20. In 20/20 if your opener goes out in the first or second over who cares, it would take a really crap side to run out of batsmen in 20/20. In ODIs losing one of your faster scorers because he is facing bowling and a hard ball that he is not equipped to handle is just stupid.

    Brendon McCullum is a good perhaps even very good keeper/batsman who can smack the bejeesus out of the ball when the bowlers are a bit tired and the ball is a bit soft. He should not ever be wasted at the top of the innings.
    /unrave

    Obviously I could have said that with less intensity but rave mode was on :).

    Seriously, I just think McCullum is a much better batsman at 6 or 7 than he is at 1. Or more accurately he is a much better batsman at over 15-25. Someday someone will realise that in ODIs it doesn't matter what the batting order is, what is important is the number of overs, hence middle order batsmen should come in in the middle overs and maybe the number 3 shouldn't always come in third.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    I just think McCullum is a much better batsman at 6 or 7 than he is at 1. Or more accurately he is a much better batsman at over 15-25

    So you’re not expecting a lot from our top order then?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    Hey, I'm in a good mood, the Hammers won and Spurs lost last night

    Hey, you enjoy it, it's nice to see our feeder club have a good weekend every now and again :P

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 242 posts Report Reply

  • Jo S,

    Hey, I'm in a good mood, the Hammers won and Spurs lost last night

    Too busy being depressed by that embarrassment of a penalty shoot out to even bite at that one.

    Of course - it's not like I take many penalty shots for my team, but even I don't tend to shoot _quite_ that wide of the post.

    is it autumn yet? • Since May 2007 • 80 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    So you’re not expecting a lot from our top order then?

    Well I have seen the black caps do that badly, but that wasn't what I meant.

    I just think that after over 15, McCullum should be the next batsman in regardless of how many batsmen are out. And yes that means he could come in at no.3 one day and no.6 another day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Hey, you enjoy it, it's nice to see our feeder club have a good weekend every now and again :P

    I thought Spurs had become their own feeder club? :-)

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    McCullum has batted to the 45 over mark and beyond 5 times in the last 12 months, which is probably more than any other player.

    He is our best ODI batsman, and should be used at the top.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Brendon McCullum is a good perhaps even very good keeper/batsman who can smack the bejeesus out of the ball when the bowlers are a bit tired and the ball is a bit soft. He should not ever be wasted at the top of the innings.

    His last five innings in 20/20 (all opening) 14, 59, 61, 56*, 69*. A 20/20 international average of 83.3 for the summer. He's got an overall average of 34.23 (21 games, most of which he opened), higher than both his test and one day averages. He holds the world record for a high score in a 20/20 match (158, a score you couldn't get close to unless you opened).

    He hit some bad form a while ago, while opening, and the mantra came out that he should slide back down. Neither the statistics, nor the theory (I think) support it. The assumption of course was that he would score more runs if he'd come in 5 players down, of which there isn't any evidence. Bad form might just be bad form, and it could have been reflected down the order.

    Yes he is good at the bottom of the order, last 15 overs. He's also good at the top of the order.

    The prime difference between the two, is that at the bottom of the order, he largely has one option: smack it. At the top of the order he can do that (and single-handedly win a match, as he did with that 158), but he can also play through an innings and set up his team - as he's done for both the last 20/20 matches.

    I think there's good reasons that you put your most influential player at the top of the order. NZ has done it before with Astle, now McCullum. West Indies do it with Gayle. If your most influential player hits top from for a game, you want them to do it with all the game to play with, not 10 or 15 overs. It also gives them options as to how they fit into the game. You don't get that if you come in at over 40 with 4 down.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I just think that after over 15, McCullum should be the next batsman in regardless of how many batsmen are out. And yes that means he could come in at no.3 one day and no.6 another day.

    I do agree with that theory. The piece of paper should just be a list, and the number of overs, runs scored, type of bowling left to go, etc etc should determine who goes in next, more than any pre-determined order.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Well said Kyle.

    Although I’d argue that his form slump first came about in the tests when he was batting at 5 and 7.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    The prime difference between the two, is that at the bottom of the order, he largely has one option: smack it. At the top of the order he can do that (and single-handedly win a match, as he did with that 158), but he can also play through an innings and set up his team - as he's done for both the last 20/20 matches.

    I'd add that the McCullum-Ryder partnership at the top of the innings appears to work (though it's early days yet) and if you've got that going, then you leave McCullum at the top of the order. If you had another opening partnership that worked well that didn't include him, then you might move him back down, because he's a versatile enough player to cope with that.

    If we works well in both positions then you open with him, because he wants to open. Surely if he's happy he'll produce better results.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Surely if he's happy he'll produce better results.

    On that basis everybody but Chris Martin would bat at three!

    I think McCullum is trying (and perhaps struggling a bit at times) to come to terms with the fact that in ODIs he's now the senior opener who's there to bat through a-la Astle, as opposed to the punisher a-la Gilchrist. Guptill and Ryder have the potential to fill the latter role admirably on their own right.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    So here are McCullum's stats for the last year in tests and ODIs. As you can see there is room for any theory you like. His scores are highly variable and there is no statistical support for any one theory. Unless stated otherwise he batted at 1.

    Although ... heh ... you could argue that variability is not a trait of a good opener :P.

    Surely if he's happy he'll produce better results.

    Not always.

    Seriously I don't know from the data that I'd know where to put him. It seems that it doesn't matter where he goes he will fail sometimes and succeed other times and when he succeeds he will probably entertain :).

    And when he fails as opener I will still shout at the TV "He's not an opener" and when he succeeds I'll grumble "well anyone can get lucky" :).

    The real question is, can he become a reliable batsman and push that average up into the 40s?

    In England 08
    Tests
    97 (at 5), 24 (at 5), 11 (at 5), 0 (at 5), 9 (at 3), 71 (at 3)
    ave 35
    ODIs
    36, 60, 17, 1, 23
    ave 27

    In Bangladesh 08
    ODIs
    14, 12, 6
    ave 10
    Tests (at 5)
    25, 2, 66
    ave 31

    In Aus 08
    ODIs
    8 (at 5), 30 (at 7)
    ave 19

    WI in NZ 08
    Tests
    25 (at 6), 31 (at 6), 19 (at 6)
    ave 25
    ODIs
    1, 18, 26, 41
    ave 21

    In Aus 09
    0, 43, 36 (at 9 with a stuffed shoulder), 33
    ave 28

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Oh and as for 20/20s McCullum is fine as an opener. never questioned that, or if I did I should get slapped.

    But I still don't see 20/20 as a predictor of performance in ODIs or tests.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • davesparks,

    Re: McCullum

    I'm no cricket wonk, but to me he has changed his batting approach this season specifically to target the opening role:
    - Change in shot selection, far wider range of shots including some of the classics
    - Pacing himself for a longer innings, being able to slow down as well as speed up
    - Deliberately managing the role/relationship with the guy at the other end to help them bat better to

    He's batted through, owned innings, and taken charge of opening in a way I haven't seen for a long time for us. We are sweet for guys who can come in late and light it up. Never been a problem for NZ.

    Sure he has failed sometimes, and sure the responsibility didn't sit as well with him initially as the 5/7 role did when he was at his peak there, having worked on that approach for a long time.

    It's also exciting to have the next bunch coming in that can play shots, play straight even, and construct an innings out of something other than hand-eye co-ordination and hoping for the best.

    That kind of back-up for openers almost makes me feel like we've got a top order proper, and a plan for each game. ZOMG.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    T20s aren’t a bad guide for ODIs.

    Good use of stats to form an argument there Bart.

    You don’t include the England tour to here a year ago, when he was very successful as an opener, his 2 match-winning centuries for Otago at the business end of last year’s State Championship, or his games for NZ against Gloucestershire, Scotland or the Kevvy Rudd 11.


    So when he next goes out prematurely and you yell at the TV, yell “Why can’t you do for NZ in an ODI what you do for everyone else on the planet””

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Heya Legbreak

    I could have gone back further, but got bored. Also the further you go back the more different a player is from what walks out there tomorrow.

    I deliberately excluded non international matches because from what I've seen the biggest difference is that bowling is never as good in first class as it is in internationals.

    I'm well aware that the stats can be manipulated, I was trying not to do that. I was actually quite surprised how variable his scoring has been.

    As for 20/20s being a guide for ODIs mmmm nah. Don't get me wrong I like 20/20. It's a good game, but in 20 overs you really have to be crap to lose 6 wickets and get into your lesser batsmen. So it really doesn't matter if batsmen take risks, if a batsman lasts 4 overs they've done their bit. In 50 overs that just isn't true.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

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