So, what we have here is the start of a database that looks to identify batsmen and how they play spin, whether they're strong/weak etc., based on observations made during play.
RHB Geoff Davison - Opening batsman Hadleigh & Thundersley CC 2017. If you look him up on Play Cricket, he's no slouch with the bat and over the last 4 or 5 years has been the top-scoring for either the 3rd of 4th XI. This year he's the captain of the 4th XI and in our game was one of the openers. At our new home ground at Holy Cross in Basildon he was out for 23 trapped LBW to Ryan Davies. Ryan swings the ball, so perhaps that may be a weak element to his game?
The first 12 overs, where he faced medium and medium fast bowling the run rate was 2 an over, so he takes a cautious approach. His strongest shots were leg-side, where he had the help of a short boundary and most of the 4's were scored there through the square-leg region. Against me http://www.wristspinbowling.com/blog/13th-may-basildon-and-pitsea-v-thundersley-and-hadleigh-4th-xi on an exceptionally bad day for me, I think he scored one run, handing the strike to the other opener who was looking to target me. Whether handing the strike over to the other bloke is an indication that he'd rather not face me or not is just speculation? last year he score 279 averaging 17.44 with a high score of 37. Looking at the data over the last 3 or4 years it appears that he's on the wane and he's progressively scored less runs year on year.
I'll see him again later in the season, and hopefully I'll be bowling better.
RHB John Newnham - Opening batsman Hadleigh & Thundersley CC 2017 Again this bloke has consistently been the top scoring batsmen in the team that he's played in. Previous season's he's played in the 3rd XI. Newnham was also cautious for the first 12 overs, being the other half of the duo that scored 2 an over facing medium and medium fast. It may be the case that he's not a 4th XI regular because his data would suggest he's probably a 3rd XI player.
Better than Davison in that he's a lot more aggressive and looks more inclined to go for the big shots. Newnham took me to task and scored a number of 4's and a two sixes. He favours the on-side or is limited by technique perhaps and plays straight. As with Davison - strong off the legs - but a lot more aggressive using sweep-shots. I don't recall any decent off-side shots and where I went for dots against him these were balls outside of the off-stump.
The image below shows Newnham's primary scoring areas (A) indicates Newnham and (B) is the bowler. The 4's and 6's against me were all hit on-side in the zone indicated.
Newnham was dismissed on 54 by Sam Good, Sam's a good bowler - seam bowler, accurate and pacy and Newnham got under the ball and lofted it straight to my son Joe at Mid-on half-way. Possibly a slightly slower ball being his un-doing.
Goes well against poor leg-spin (Very poor leg-spin in this instance!) I reckon on a different day I'd have had him, Any balls on and around the off-stump are going to cause this bloke problems, I don't think he knows where his off-stump is when he's playing, If you're accurate and you can target that area, or just outside, he looks as though he's going to be vulnerable. It may be that as the season goes on he gets better? If, you've got a couple of variations, it may only take a change of pace and you're going to be in the game. Other options to consider would be to subtly move around the wicket, especially with your stock ball, bowl from close in to the stumps, so that the ball goes away from him and load up your field on the off-side. Then creep wider still turning the ball, just don't get it on his legs. A top-spinner if you've got it will be useful, especially if he's still looking to be aggressive and starts to get to the ball, just put a load of top-spin on one of your small leg-breaks or bowl a one with just over-spin and he should be a candidate for one that'll just go straight-up, If you do this move you field so you've got a deep mid off and on. Needless to say a Wrong-un, is going to be an asset if bowled sparingly.
If I meet him again I'll be looking at using a field along the lines of the illustration below...
I'd start with this field pitching it on a length to induce the drive, He didn't seem comfortable with driving on the off-side or have any shots for the off-side especially for the quicks. With me, even though I was bowling really badly he waited for the balls on the legs and wide of the legs and these were dealt with aggressively - towards the end of my 3 over spell he was dancing down the wicket hitting 4's and 6's I'd already surrendered at this point and was happy to be taken out of the attack.
If he was timing the ball well and coming down the wicket, I'd go for the top-spinner and an over-spun leg-break and put 8 and 7 in the deep at mid-on and mid-off.
4 out of 10 for Bunnygraph down to the fact that he looked so weak on the off-side.
The scoring area here is primarily for Jon Newnham. (Indicated by A)
Davison as far as I recall scored all of his runs through the square-leg to fine leg region clipping the ball off the legs. Both of these blokes are potentially denied runs by just keeping the ball off of the leg-stump area, which of course is pretty obvious for batsmen of this standard.
Orsett & Thurrock Batsman 5th XI__________________________________ Paul Howlett
I've faced this bloke before and Dutton our captain has too and he knew that he was half decent. If you check him out on Playcricket the data for last year is as follows...
In 12 innings he scored 326, his high score was 104 and he had two innings of 50+. But it may be there's a collective sense amongst their team that Wrist-spin is their nemesis? See the main blog and the account of a conversation I had with one of their players.
The analysis here is somewhat flawed in that we only had 8 players, so he was able to play with a degree of freedom and scored 74 not out on what was a pretty good wicket. The observations that I made (See the illustration below) was that he had two dominant scoring areas. Primarily leg-side between mid-wicket and mid-on, so this is where you want your fastest and most agile fielders, The shots in this area were either along the ground for 4 or big 6's.
The other shot that I saw was really nice late cut, not hit aggressively, but deftly between point and slips, so a man in at Gully would negate this shot. He didn't have a good off-side shot through that region on the evidence I saw on Saturday with only one strong shot being played through that region that I cut off and kept to a single fielding at Mid-off about 1/2 way out.
I've looked back at the data on play cricket and there's little evidence to suggest that he has any on-going issues with facing wrist spin, so that idea needs to be taken with some scepticism. Having said that his scoring zones are somewhat limited albeit strong if you allow him to strike the ball in his favoured areas. With a full 11 I might go for something along the lines of the diagram below
Again as with most of these stronger batsmen it's important that you avoid getting the ball on the legs or legside unless of course the wicket is turning square and the ball is coming out of the hand with loads of revs and you're getting good seam presentation.
Personally given the evidence I saw at the weekend I'd start with this field and try and encourage him to drive the ball through the covers as this may be the weak area of his game, so the ball would be pitched up outside of off. Move around the crease, changing your angles and check to see how much turn you're able to get off the wicket and then take it from there and see how he plays the ball. See if he attempts to fetch the ball from the off-side looking to get it straight or on-side for his big shots and adapt the filed accordingly. If the ball is turning and he's got off-side shots in the locker, get your variations going - smaller leg-break and the top-spinner. A hard-spun top-spinner does for many batsmen in amongst the leg-breaks, make sure you get the field right for it - man out of the boundary and mid on and mid off and watch him loop it up in the air.
At 74 not out this bloke's not a rabbit...
Orsett & Thurrock 5th XI Steve Thomas____________________
Steve Thomas in at No.10 is a different prospect though - His 2016 season of 11 innings saw him score 47 with a high score of 14. In the game on the 27th May he scored 6 runs. He was only at the crease for a short while - 5 overs, so very limited information on him. As I recall at least 2 of the shots off of his batting were leg-side glances down to fine-leg, both with our field being so spread out he got 2 runs off of both. Having said that given more time at the crease he might have more variety in his locker?
The analysis on what I did see was that as usual, any ball that strays wide of the legs he had the ability to just flick it down to Fine leg, so on that basis alone, given a full team you'd have a bloke at 45 to keep that to a single, in this game our nearest fielder was at deep square, so both those shots went for 2. The suggested field is pretty standard as a starting point as below and then see how it goes.
I'd do the Shane Warne thing with this bloke, start close in to the stumps targeting the off-stump and then move your delivery point - getting wider on the crease, trying to drag him wider attempting to get him to drive the ball or play shots through the off-side. If you've got a straight ball - Top-Spinner or a nothing ball of some sort, having seen the ball turn I reckon you'd get him playing for the spin?