Hitting Against the Spin: How Cricket Really Works

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Hitting Against the Spin: How Cricket Really Works

Hitting Against the Spin: How Cricket Really Works

RRP: £20.00
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The editing is where this falls down, plenty of poorly-executed visuals with sub-standard labelling, or cases where two visuals could be combined for greater effect. There were a couple of things to correct like the labelling of some charts and a more intuitive naming of T20 styles but along with the Duality chapter these were very minor gripes. What are all the different sorts of ways that data can be used to play, coach and manage the game differently, and what happens when you use it in that way?

It was split into longer form cricket and T20, although the authors made a convincing case that they are very different in terms of approach and risk-taking. It's focus is on using economics-style quantitative analysis to explain trends and developments in modern cricket. Leamon may be entirely correct, and he may even be legitimately entitled to claim a little of the credit for England's victory in 2019. I did wonder if this would work, as coverage of cricket is already quite stats heavy, but I needn't have worried. But as you read the book it becomes increasingly clear that Leamon is not a great analyst--he has much more in common with the innumerate fools.For example, the chapter on left handed batsmen is brilliant but near the end, the analysis about spinners is rushed and the exclusion of leg spinners is handwavy which is funny because later leg spin gets its own chapter. The tethered cat analogy is good, but equally the question from Trevor Bayliss asking 'Do we need to change or get better at what we are already doing?

Oversimplifying a bit - the book is about analytics in the game and how data helps identify certain trends that the naked eye misses. Every book of this sort needs its quotable quirks, and this one had tethered cats and Chesterton's fences. The last chapter in particular was exceptionally interesting, with the author actually having been involved with the team, but ended abruptly.I was immediately struck by the fact that, to their credit, Leamon and Jones clearly appreciate that there will be many like me, and their introduction is very well crafted. This is really well-written; despite moving from simple to complex quickly, the explanations are good enough that you rarely have to re-read anything. They analyse the unseen hands that determine which players succeed and which fail, which tactics work and which don't, which teams win and which lose. The only cricket book they had that I didn’t already own was this one, so that meant it was the one I picked up.

As the years have passed I have become increasingly tolerant of cricket’s shortest format and, on occasion, have even been known to go out of my way to watch it, but I have to confess to not having read Part 2 at all yet, so I had better not comment any further on that. Never forgetting the fearsome struggle I had as a teenager to pass ‘O’ Level physics I have always tended to steer clear of anything scientific, and that was another factor that put me off. Some key takeaways were matchups, line and lengths for specific, bowlers and batsman it really showcases well how the stats help cricketers now optimise for success. Also, since the story of sports and evolution is relatable across different kinds of sports (and non-sports fields too), non-cricket fans could end up enjoying this book. Thoroughly enjoyed this book as a cricket fan and it revealed so much about the game that I hadn't even noticed or even considered.One way of viewing this book is as cricket's A Brief History of Time, a layman's guide to deep complexity, an act of communication as much as one of science. Eoin Morgan’s foreword confirmed my expectations about the content, but also convinced me that I would like to read on, so the decision to invest was made. They begin with a couple of salutary tales, the Taoist monks and their tethering of cars, and a GK Chesterton homily about fences and, at a stroke, I began to understand where they were coming from.

And describing the dip from Tom Curran’s back-of-the-hand slower ball is fascinating, but the unit of measurement of acceleration is ms2, not ms-2.In keeping with my age, upbringing and general nerdiness, I generally mean First class cricket and, in particular, Test cricket. I wouldn't recommend it if you didn't follow cricket or thought Geoffrey Boycott was a brilliant analyst but it started off well and kept my interest to the finish.



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  • EAN: 764486781913
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