As you can probably tell, there are a number of factors that impact the game of cricket. As we’ve previously discussed (in both videos and posts), there is no one defining factor that plays a major role, it is more so a combination of multiple factors. So as you’re probably aware, this includes:
- The Weather – affecting both playing conditions and the strategy of the game.
- The Pitch & Outfield – different preparation methods mixed alongside various weather patterns can produce pitches and grounds that behave and play differently.
- Umpires – The talent and power (in terms of decision making ability) of each umpire can determine the course and even the result of any game.
These above mentioned areas are actually independent of the game itself, that is to say that on top of this there are a number of other factors involved in each delivery, in each run scored and each subsequent win or loss. So what else forms this great game?
- There are number of bowling forms as you would know. Off-Spin, Leg-Spin, Swing etc.
- Combining the different types of bowling and then also taking the time to consider the potential deliveries that can be bowled within each of these arts. This can form the basis on many differing strategies.
- The bounce and pace of the pitch is never the same, small adjustments are always required (as we have discussed in the understanding of the Pitch and Outfield).
- The quality of the ball will change throughout the game depending on the performance of both teams, the weather and the duration of the game.
- The tactics and strategies will need to be revised depending on the dominant hand of the players who are being focused on. For example, setting different strategies for batters and bowlers who are either right handed or left handed. This can also mean placing fielders in a position where their dominant hand comes into play more.
- From a batsman’s perspective, there are a number of shots that can be played depending on the current situation of the match, the behaviour of the ball and the tactics of the opposing team.
- Field settings also have a huge impact on the game and as you can tell from a couple of our YouTube videos, the field settings that you choose can influence the way the opposing team decides to play the game and score their runs, also hopefully increasing your chances of taking wickets. Also, it must be noted that fielding positions are never fixed, they can and must be continually monitored and changed depending on the situation, this can be within the space of balls, overs or wickets.
- Different formats of the game require different strategy. Especially with the three formats now, Twenty20, One Day Cricket and Test Cricket. Strategies and tactics used in one format may not be beneficial at all in another. Therefore you must have a good understanding of what rules and restrictions apply to each format and what you are wanting to achieve in each game.
There is also one more big factor that plays a part in cricket, and that is Luck. In cricket, winning or losing the toss can play a big role in the match. Depending on the conditions, the toss can push the game towards one side even before play has started. Weather can bring changes to the game out of nowhere, players can get fatigued or possibly injured and umpiring mistakes can cause the game to change in an instant. Some of these factors are based on pure luck and as a player and team, you have no control over these issues. That is just part of the game.
So, you should understand by now that simply grabbing a bat and ball and understanding those aspects of the game is not enough. Cricket is a complex sport and there are a number of factors you must consider when playing it. I hope you take into consideration the issues we’ve discussed here and then look to continually assess the game situation whenever you play, based on these factors that we’ve outlined. If you start doing this, you’ll learn to develop a way of thinking that can help you and your team perform better.