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  • #16
    Aye, the year Waite scored his low of 57 in FC bowling he averaged 19.00 with a SR of 30 but he only bowled 130 overs almost exclusively at the tail end. He was great in that role as it's what I usually aim for in my pace all-rounder, someone to be decent with the bat and be able to take wickets when the main bowlers need a rest, but I have to put his numbers in that context and remember he wasn't often going up against opening batsmen or a strong number 4. His average last year of 29 at a 49 SR when used more frequently still wasn't bad by any means but I wouldn't use him as an opening bowler.

    I've not had too much success with economy bowlers with poor SR in FC matches against proper batsmen. While they can keep the run rate ticking along a bit slower I find it leads to batsmen getting settled against them and a few too many matches ending up as draws when I should've been in position to win on the final day. That's not always a bad thing as you can still get through to Division 1 with more draws than wins if it means you haven't had any losses, but I'm trying to stick to more aggressive bowlers there for now and see if I can convert more draws into wins. Fisher in the data above is a good example; his FC bowling score is never the best as he's not the most economical but part of that is because he's my #1 opening bowler due to his strike rate and tends to operate on higher aggression. He's been my leading wicket taker in each of the last few years and has more 5i than anyone else.

    For 20 overs I do look at economy as the primary stat, as usually someone with a bad 2nd XI 20 over economy will leak the runs. I certainly agree that offline matches can make bowlers look better there, as I've often had all-rounders get good numbers even if on paper they're weaker bowlers. Part of that again is down to the context and I usually use my all-rounders at the end when they're up against lesser batsmen, using my best bowlers early to try to get their top and middle order out. I actually stopped looking to use all-rounders for T20 as a rule of thumb as I realised my wins were usually when my first 4-6 batsmen did all the work and all-rounders weren't needed. Usually if it gets to my bowlers having to bat I'm not doing very well anyway. I will use an all-rounder if I think they're still one of the better bowling options available (often needed during international absences) but I'm now happy to use 5 pure bowlers in T20 in case opposing batsmen dig in and get really settled.

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    • #17
      I let Coad go in the offseason with his age decline and didn't renew Waite either, so it'll be handing over the reigns to youth with two of my stalwarts going. Waite is 32 now so decline is about to start and with newgen players at the point where they want the salary of a regular starter I had to make the tough call to put someone else in that spot. I have hopes that my two younger all-rounders will perform similar to Waite, with Clarke from the previous chart getting the nod due to being a couple of years older and having a new more matches under his belt. Though I think this year I might play both my pace all-rounders in some cloudy matches and drop a pure bowler.

      I also signed the best youth bowler I've seen so far in this save:

      Click image for larger version

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      He was one of those who appeared mid-season for another county last year, played 1 match and took 3 wickets at an average of 45. I was surprised they didn't sign him as his 2nd XI numbers are the strongest across all formats that I've seen. It'll be very interesting to see if he fulfills that promise or if he ends up preferring red or white ball. At 21 he should be able to start having an impact immediately, though I have a feeling that with his 2nd XI numbers if he starts performing well there's a good chance he'll get an international call up half way through this season and then be contracted next year.

      He's one I'll be starting next to Fisher as the opening pair of bowlers and see if he's as good as I hope.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Chris_ View Post
        but I'm now happy to use 5 pure bowlers in T20 in case opposing batsmen dig in and get really settled.
        5 pure bowlers is strong! I look for wicket takers in LO matches since this kind of keeps the economy down on it's own but I find it tricker to find a really solid T20 batting line-up. The pattern usually goes like this:

        Take on a team with iffy T20 prospects

        Find a couple of good players in the squad to build around and sign a few promising youngsters along with an international, maybe two, to plug the gaps.

        Have a better season, maybe with one or two of the new players doing really well.

        Sign some more hopefuls because there are still a few weak spots in the team

        Do much better but most likely lose my best players to internationals.

        Now look for young players to plug those gaps, discarding those who haven't lived up to expectations.

        And so on and so forth.

        It gets to the point where I have no real idea what my ideal line-up would be because it is so disrupted by call-ups, resulting poor form and the near-constant trying out of young players.

        For example I have a batsman, average aggression, who I have had for five years and has played in T20s:

        7 matches for me at an average of 48.90
        5 for Bihar @ 22.25
        10 for Johannesburg @ 48.67
        10 for Durban @ 26.20
        7 for Paarl @ 39.86
        22 IntT20s @ 24.68

        and

        24 matches in the Hundred for Cardiff @ 34.37

        His overall strike rate is 135 so when available I chuck him in at 4 but that is usually only for the semi and final and his form might be awful. I have actually had more use of him online than off!

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Chris_ View Post
          Aye, the year Waite scored his low of 57 in FC bowling he averaged 19.00 with a SR of 30 but he only bowled 130 overs almost exclusively at the tail end. He was great in that role as it's what I usually aim for in my pace all-rounder, someone to be decent with the bat and be able to take wickets when the main bowlers need a rest, but I have to put his numbers in that context and remember he wasn't often going up against opening batsmen or a strong number 4. His average last year of 29 at a 49 SR when used more frequently still wasn't bad by any means but I wouldn't use him as an opening bowler.
          Not every bowler is at their best with the new ball, and I find in all formats that some players do better coming in at first change, death overs, ect.

          I have often come across spinners who can't buy a wicket on pitches that are turning at right angles but wipe out teams on pretty flat pitches. I haven't tried him this time out but Wadlan, who always seems to han around the initial signings screen, has always been one of those.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by cde View Post
            It gets to the point where I have no real idea what my ideal line-up would be because it is so disrupted by call-ups, resulting poor form and the near-constant trying out of young players.
            I understand the pain there. Last year I spent quite a bit of budget on two overseas batsmen with T20 in mind. One got injured right before it started and missed the entire campaign, the other got called up to international duty half way and missed all remaining matches which was unexpected as he was listed at 100% availability. In fairness the international player did at least play the first 5 and helped me win each of those, which secured my place in the knockout stage, but that felt like careful planning and coaching/physio to get them at their peak thrown out of the window Happens in real life though, I guess, so I can't complain too much.

            This year I have a bit of a mix with my batting lineup. The two players mentioned above aren't with me this year. I did sign a new overseas aggressive batsman for all formats listed at 100% and I'm hoping he stays as he should be a valuable T20 player. Then I have one very aggressive batsman signed specifically for T20 and One Day who has bad enough FC stats that he shouldn't get called up for a test during that time. Aside from that it'll all come down to who gets called off to play for England during the T20 as the rest of my batsmen are almost all Average aggression. Some have good stats for T20, others not, so no doubt I'll end up having to play a few that don't.

            I actually lost 6 batsmen in the offseason and only brought 3 replacements in as I opted to use more of the budget retaining some key players so hopefully I'm not left too thin!

            The tricky thing with youngsters is as discussed in the Internationals topic. When you sign great looking players at 21-22 and hope to get at least the first year out of them before callups, but they end up being called away when they've only played 5 matches for you. It happens, I've learnt to expect it, but I still get my hopes up every time I sign a promising youngster that maybe this time the international selection committee will opt to keep an eye on him for a year or two first

            Comment


            • #21
              To follow up on that subject I definitely left myself too thin on the batting front

              My 2 overseas batsmen both got called up for international duty and have been unavailable to use in T20. My best English batsman also got called up and two others I'd counted on using got injured for multiple weeks. That left me with one dedicated but ageing aggressive T20 batsman to open and a very aggressive T20 batsman I'd signed just for this format but then all the rest are batsmen I hadn't intended to use, including my low wage emergency backups and 3 wicket keepers. Once my couple of decent T20 batsmen get out the rest start to crumble and I've lost the first 4 matches so this year looks to be a write off.

              It's frustrating as I'd hoped to have most of the 7 'good' T20 batsmen available but I just can't compete with only 2 out of the 7.

              The overseas players keep getting me, as I go for those at 100% availability and they still get called up at the wrong time. I really should've checked the records for last year closer rather than trusting the 100%. At a combined 150,000 salary for the pair that's a lot of budget not playing. On the other hand they played 4/8 and 6/8 of my County Championship group matches and helped me secure a spot in Division 1 so they did their main job, but maybe next year I should pay closer attention to try to ensure I get at least one available for both formats; or put some budget aside for a T20 overseas contract to cover in case this happens again.

              Comment


              • #22
                Well, I had to wait until 2029 but I won the County Championship. Yay! I've been happy with more consistency there after some squad/selection tweaks, and some adjustment to selection for the Challenge Trophy has given me a run of RU-W-RU there. T20 is still hot or miss as I can win one year and finish bottom of the group the next, and it really feels a lot of that is down to luck to get off to a good start. Losing the toss when weather is varied and getting key players called up or injured at the wrong time can have a cascading effect that seems to have more impact than in other formats due to how limited the overs are.

                One thing I've done with the squad building is move a couple of openers to middle order batsmen with coaching. Sometimes a newgen opener appears with great 2nd XI stats but they prefer spin. I've found that they struggle as openers due to that, but with a little coaching to become FC middle order batsmen with only a slight spin preference (or better yet, no preference) they can rack up the runs. I was going to give up on an opener but coached him into the middle order where he's been great, and followed suit with a couple more since.

                My openers are all Slight Pace pref, with the two regular starters both Avg aggression and the backup being either Avg or Def depending on their ability (for better ability I'm happy to have an Avg backup, while for a slightly weaker backup player I like them Def).

                My middle order are still a mix of Avg and Agg with a mix of Slight Pace, Slight Spin and no preference. I do have a couple of newgen Spin Specialists I've been trying to coach down to only Slight Spin but so far no luck. They can be a bit weak against fast bowling before they're settled, especially in poor conditions, so I'm hoping the coaching kicks in soon for a bit more reliability.

                With bowlers I'm getting nice results having 4 regular seam bowlers I rotate for FC matches (with good Avg and SR stats for that) and then a few more I don't use much at all for FC but they come straight in for white ball where they have better economy. Having a few 'average' backups with reasonable One Day stats is great when the Challenge Trophy rolls around as you know they won't be off to the Hundred and they don't cost a fortune to keep on the roster.

                For the Challenge Trophy my biggest improvement came from no longer trying to make sure I had an all-rounder available and instead just using 5 pure bowlers. Slightly better bowling numbers means slightly less pressure on the batsmen. Cheaper for the roster than keeping an extra all-rounder around just for that competition too. Other than that I just paid extra attention to the 2nd XI OD stats to make sure most/all of my 100% availability players had decent numbers there.

                What I felt helped my finally claim my County Championship title was changing my template team based on the conditions, especially with bowling. Before I was almost always running the 3 pace bowlers, 1 spinner and 1 pace all-rounder but I decided it wasn't always the right thing to go with as often the spinner was barely used and sometimes the all-rounder didn't bowl either. This year I was much more varied and I'm sure that helped get wins that might've been draws or losses before. I still used that template in some matches but some of the others that were effective for me were:

                5 pure bowlers in good batting conditions. If I thought the batting surface was good enough for 6 batsmen to get the runs on the board, an extra dedicated bowler gave an extra option to help bowl the other team out. This would still be 4 pace and 1 spin, but swapping the all-rounder to a pure bowler just seemed to give an extra edge sometimes.

                3 pure pace bowlers and 2 all-rounders in mixed conditions with no turn for spin. I'd likely not use the spin bowler much anyway here so adding the extra all-rounder gave a boost to the batting along with being 5th pace option in cloudy weather.

                3 pure pace bowlers and 1 all-rounder in very cloudy weather. I used this in the final match of the season as it was 1st vs 2nd to determine the title and I needed to win. I decided to drop a bowler for an extra middle order batsman as I felt batting would be more of a problem than bowling, and again went without spin as the wicket was bouncing rather than turning. It worked out as the extra pure batsman grabbed a nice handful of runs and my 3 pure pace bowlers did most of the work, along with the pace all-rounder rotating in to give them some extra rest overs. It's probably not something I'd use too often as an injury to 1 bowler would leave me stuck with just 3 and struggling for energy but in those conditions it definitely worked out.

                I'm actually at the point where I'm questioning why I keep spinners around. They cost a lot for a good one, any spinner with good ability gets called up for internationals constantly and they return with terrible form as a result (plus getting picked for the Hundred and missing the Challenge Trophy). I guess having a spinner still made a difference in a couple of FC matches when my pace bowlers couldn't break through in good batting conditions and a spinner came in to claim a wicket to break up a partnership, but on the whole I use them a lot less.

                Comment


                • #23
                  I forgot to add, cde I followed your example a bit more with my backup players. Rather than focus on 3-Day/FC stats first I put more weight into OD stats, as they're players at 100% availability who should (hopefully) be there for the Challenge Trophy. I still look at the 3-Day stats too as I might want to use the player occasionally in FC matches if I have a horrible run of form/injuries but as 90%+ of their matches come in the OD format I've focused more on that. Specifically looking for a 30+ OD batting average with Avg/Aggr or for bowlers preferably an economy below 5 (or below 5.5 at worst) with a bowl average around 22.

                  For my (few) T20 specialists I realised that my old squad had a few Aggr / V Aggr batsmen who had too low 2nd XI numbers for 20 overs. Now I make sure my aggressive batsmen have 40+ to be a starter and 30+ for rotation. Before I had some who were aggressive but their 2nd XI batting average was only in the 20s, hence them not doing great. For bowlers I've generally found that the One Day bowlers are also my stronger T20 bowlers, with 2nd XI averages here of below 8 economy (or better yet, below 7 to be a core starter) and averages below 20.

                  I actually retrained a previous aggressive batsman who I'd signed originally as a newgen for T20 but had struggled to put up good T20 numbers. Over a few seasons his 2nd XI stats shifted and his T20 average was now only 28 (after initially being in the mid 30s). He was actually performing strongest in FC and OD matches but struggling a bit too much in cloudy weather, with his 2nd XI 3-Day average of 44 marking him as a decent player but not a star. I retrained his aggression down from Aggr to Avg and he went from being a slightly inconsistent rotation player to a core batting starter, averaging 52 in FC as my main number 3 after the change. That slight reduction in aggression seemed to suit his ability more, as he had more innings getting settled and putting a shift in when the clouds came over where before he'd likely get out a bit too early.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Chris_ View Post
                    To follow up on that subject I definitely left myself too thin on the batting front

                    My 2 overseas batsmen both got called up for international duty and have been unavailable to use in T20. My best English batsman also got called up and two others I'd counted on using got injured for multiple weeks. That left me with one dedicated but ageing aggressive T20 batsman to open and a very aggressive T20 batsman I'd signed just for this format but then all the rest are batsmen I hadn't intended to use, including my low wage emergency backups and 3 wicket keepers. Once my couple of decent T20 batsmen get out the rest start to crumble and I've lost the first 4 matches so this year looks to be a write off.

                    It's frustrating as I'd hoped to have most of the 7 'good' T20 batsmen available but I just can't compete with only 2 out of the 7.

                    The overseas players keep getting me, as I go for those at 100% availability and they still get called up at the wrong time. I really should've checked the records for last year closer rather than trusting the 100%. At a combined 150,000 salary for the pair that's a lot of budget not playing. On the other hand they played 4/8 and 6/8 of my County Championship group matches and helped me secure a spot in Division 1 so they did their main job, but maybe next year I should pay closer attention to try to ensure I get at least one available for both formats; or put some budget aside for a T20 overseas contract to cover in case this happens again.
                    While it does seem the percentage availability is a bit more accurate in this edition (and the fact it tells you why they may be missing is very useful), I still do the thing that was suggested in a thread on CC20, which is to have another save of just a T20 tournament in another region (I'm doing Australia this time), and going one season ahead of my main English save in that before doing my English contracts, which means you see the whole international calendar so you know exactly what each country is doing before you do your contracts. I then only sign my main overseas player from a country that I know will not be playing any games during the English season (and then often add a T20-only overseas player who I can see will definitely be free in June and July). You can either just skip the games in your secondary T20 save, or use them as a handy (and for me, much needed!) bit of extra T20 practice.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Jobi1K View Post

                      While it does seem the percentage availability is a bit more accurate in this edition (and the fact it tells you why they may be missing is very useful), I still do the thing that was suggested in a thread on CC20, which is to have another save of just a T20 tournament in another region (I'm doing Australia this time), and going one season ahead of my main English save in that before doing my English contracts, which means you see the whole international calendar so you know exactly what each country is doing before you do your contracts. I then only sign my main overseas player from a country that I know will not be playing any games during the English season (and then often add a T20-only overseas player who I can see will definitely be free in June and July). You can either just skip the games in your secondary T20 save, or use them as a handy (and for me, much needed!) bit of extra T20 practice.
                      Interesting, I hadn't thought of that. I guess schedules are fixed so they're the same on every save? If that's the case maybe next time I should quickly sim 10 years or so of a save to build up a quick spreadsheet with international fixtures before starting a proper save.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Chris_ View Post

                        Interesting, I hadn't thought of that. I guess schedules are fixed so they're the same on every save? If that's the case maybe next time I should quickly sim 10 years or so of a save to build up a quick spreadsheet with international fixtures before starting a proper save.
                        Yep, they're locked in a good few years ahead – maybe Sureshot can confirm exactly how far ahead, and if all saves will generate the same schedule beyond the end of the current FTP? (Without looking it up I think it was in fact Nigel who suggested the approach of skipping a season ahead on an alternate save to get definite confirmation of the following year's international calendar.)

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                        • #27
                          It was indeed Nigel and it’s a brilliant way of looking into the future International scheduling.

                          Believe that scheduling/ fixtures run for 20 game years, so plenty to go at.

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