Simon Hughes, aka The Analyst, gives you daily insight into the world cricket scene. Also on this site you can sample his books, podcasts, browse his video archive and post comments of your own.Read More

A NATION OF SWEEPERS!

  • Posted: March 27, 2011
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  • Author: Simon Hughes
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  • Filed under: Cricket Analyst
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That Jonathan Trott has scored more runs than anyone else in the world cup (422) but less boundaries than the next 10 in the list is an interesting statistic. He has been England’s mainstay with the bat in the competition, allowing them to post respectable, but hardly challenging scores. Therein lies the problem. England lack deceptive, mysterious bowlers, therefore defending moderate totals is very hard against good batting sides.

Sitting in the ESPN studio with Navjot Singh Sidhu, whose voice is as booming and incessant as his bat was against spinners, it becomes fairly obvious where England went wrong.  Sidhu guffaws everytime an England batsman sweeps, ‘Oh look, another SWEEP!!’ he chants, ‘you’re a nation of Sweepers!’ . He chastises the batsmen for not using their feet, either to get down the pitch, or get right back on the stumps. Read more…

CRICKET ANALYST ANDROID APP RELEASED

  • Posted: March 26, 2011
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  • Author: Simon Hughes
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  • Filed under: Cricket Analyst
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Throughout my career I have been fascinated by the range and depth of cricket.

My passion for analysing and writing started while still a player, with newspaper columns, my books and TV work as "The Analyst" as an extension of this.
Following the success of my Cricket Analyst iPhone app (available here) I have now released the Android version, my aim is still to give you tons of insight into the intricate world of international cricket and all who play it, and I hope as a result you gain a slightly better understanding of what's going on out there!

POWERPLAY WIMPS

  • Posted: March 22, 2011
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  • Author: Simon Hughes
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  • Filed under: Cricket Analyst
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PERFORMANCE IN BATTING POWERPLAY WORLD CUP 2011 (as at 22/3/11)

Team   Runs   Wkts    balls fcd      S/r
———————————————
NZ           138      7        79          174.7
Pak          157     3         96          163.5
SAF         222     8       136         163.2
SL             211     6        142        148.6
Ire           147     5        105        140.0
WI           140      6       105         133.3
Aus         121       4      100          121.0
Ind          154      9       130          118.5
Ban            90      5         80          112.5
Zim         122      7       110          110.9
Eng         180    14      170          105.9

This is the most open world cup since 1992, when West Indies dominance had begun to fade and Australia and Sri Lanka were not quite established as new one day powers (they are the only teams who’ve won it since 1992.) The main development is that Australia do not possess their two great bowlers any more (Shane Warne, and Glenn McGrath who is the leading wicket-taker and has the best strike rate in world cup history.) Consequently they have lost their extraordinary unbeaten world cup record.
Another development since the last world cup which is enhancing the tournament’s unpredictability is the batting powerplay. This batch of five overs fielding restrictions chosen by the batting team has brought unforseen confusion to many relatively calm situations. Well that was the idea – to drag the middle overs out of their boring, formulaic mundanity – but it was expected to produce a glut of runs, as five men on the boundary was compulsorily reduced to three. Read more…

Peterson steals Tendulkar’s show

  • Posted: March 13, 2011
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  • Author: Simon Hughes
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  • Filed under: Cricket Analyst
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Not chokers any more then. South Africa dug deep to sneak home by three wickets with two balls to spare but India remain top of group B after a hot night at the VCA stadium.

The match’s top billing lived up to the hype as the precariously balanced momentum shifted back and forth. But with 13 needed off the final over, South Africa’s superior fitness and muscularity finally capitalised on India’s earlier negligence with the bat.

Robin Peterson’s vital 18 from seven balls put India’s lower order batting to shame. An excellent position of 267 for one with 10 overs left was criminally squandered, as India slumped to 296 all out in a blur of ill-judged slogs. Read more…

WHAT NO YORKERS?

  • Posted: March 5, 2011
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  • Author: Simon Hughes
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  • Filed under: Cricket Analyst
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If any England players had seen last summer’s one-day international between Ireland and Australia in Dublin they might have had an inkling of what was about to happen.

Australia mustered a decent 231 for nine on a tricky pitch. They thought they had enough but William Porterfield and Paul Stirling set off at a gallop, others joined in and Ireland were favourites to win until their nerve faltered and Australia got home by 39 runs.

What England would have learnt from that game was that the worst place to bowl in the latter stages against uncomplicated hitters is a good length. On easy-paced pitches those deliveries arrive at the perfect height to be manhandled over short leg-side boundaries. The same is true in the Indian Premier League. Some of the sixes Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit in the later stages are still orbiting the planet. Read more…