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The Impact of Form

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  • The Impact of Form

    I've always assumed that the star rating for form has an impact on how a player is likely to perform, and rotated out low form players if a suitable in-form replacement is available. This has partly been based on two things being able to be used to increase form:

    1. Extra practice in training using coaching slots.
    2. Assigning the player to play for the 2nd XI (though this can also reduce form if they do badly, it seems).

    I've always tried to keep starting players at 3+ stars of form where possible, feeling that someone at 0-1 stars is a duck waiting to happen. Particularly since the advent of the Hundred this has meant a lot of changing players around in recent versions, as those who go off to play in the IPL, Internationals or the Hundred often return with no form whatsoever. I'm now wondering if I'm making too many changes for this, and would perhaps be better off just sticking with the best players when they're fit regardless of form. I know some people rotate a lot the same as me and others almost disregard it.

    One reason for making this topic is that one of my better bowlers (England contracted, great underlying stats) returned from the Hundred with 0 form. I left him out of the team at first but then thought sod it and put him back in to see how he did amongst other bowlers all at 4-5 stars. The other bowlers are decent, but not quite as much ability as him. The others were all failing against a batting side that dug in and he was mostly responsible for ending their first innings, claiming 6-117 at a SR of 39 and 19.5 runs per wicket. That got me thinking exactly what impact the displayed form has on performance, and if I've been overestimating it. I'm now wondering:
    • Does a player have a flat ability modifier based on their form?
    • Does high or low form have a chance to affect their ability, but also a chance to have no effect?
    • Is form purely representative of their past few performances, not actually having an effect on how they'll play the next match?
    • Do some players have some kind of 'hidden' reliability/consistency attribute that might see some affected massively by poor form while others only see a minor impact?
    The CC15 manual did state that "A player’s form is based on his recent performances. A good way to increase a player’s form is to give him some net practice or even a run in the 2nd XI."

    I'm curious to see what others think, but I might have to be less quick to drop my top players when they return in low form and see what difference I can actually spot. Maybe it is just a quick guide to see how they've performed recently without actually influencing their next performance? But then I'd question why you can use coaching and 2nd XI to increase it. Maybe it is just a minor influence.

  • #2
    Just adding a reply as my posts keep getting flagged for review when I make an edit.

    The next match I had another FC bowler in a similar situation. Though not quite as bad, he was at just over 1 star form after the white ball season and Hundred ended. I put him in and despite the terrible form rating (I'd almost always leave players benched with that form) he completely dominating, going 10-100 in the match as I won by an innings. Granted, it was cloudy and bouncy, but he was still the star bowler while other 'lesser' bowlers on near full form didn't perform near as well.

    Maybe with bowlers form doesn't matter so much if conditions make it easier for them anyway but they'd struggle more than in-form bowlers on flat wickets, and with batsmen if it's sunny and flat they could disregard form but likely get out early and not be able to dig in if it's not a good wicket for batting?


    • #3
      I tend to ignore form for bowlers in limited overs matches. I think it's judged on wickets taken which is much less relevant in t20 where 0-20 from 4 overs is a great performance. I've had bowlers achieving superb economies whilst not picking up many wickets and seen their form tank in terms of stars with no impact on their economy.


      • #4
        After paying closer attention over this year's matches I also noticed that it seems to affect a bowler's wicket taking ability more than economy.

        The same bowler I mentioned before went away to a test match very early in the season and returned with 0 stars, no form at all. I put him in my team and he was nowhere near the performance I expect from him, barely taking any wickets. After 4 matches he was sitting at a 34.42 average with a SR of 73.5, absolutely awful. For comparison, his previous seasons were 20.04 @ 47 SR and 21.58 @ 51 SR, but he was almost always rested when returning from Internationals with low form. That said, despite not being able to take wickets this year his economy was 2.81 which was still 2nd best out of all the bowlers I used in FC matches. So he wasn't throwing the ball all over the place, just not clinical enough to take wickets. I ended up dropping him for the rest of the season as every time I built him back close to 3 star form with training and 2nd XI matches he'd go away again and return at 0 - 0.5 in an endless cycle.

        Another bowler started my T20 campaign at 1 star form, which was disappointing as he was my top wicket taker in the format the previous year. The first couple of matches he didn't really take wickets but his economy stayed reasonable so I kept him in the team with extra training practice and after a few matches his form was picking up. Once he started taking wickets again he maintained that momentum and ended up as my top T20 wicket taker for the second season running - though not topping the competition rankings after the slow start. As the economy remained decent at low form it only seemed to need a few wickets alongside the training to get his form stars up and then regular wicket taking resumed.

        On the batting side I had an overseas batsman who went off a few times for International duty. His first few FC matches he did great, with an 84 and a couple of centuries, but he also returned from the first duty with barely any stars of form. From then on he was Mr Inconsistent; one match he'd be out for 1 and 8, the next he might get a 43 and then another 1. He was out for under 10 quite a lot and his form just wouldn't pick up. If he did gain a star or so from extra coaching he'd go away for another International and return at 0 again. It was the same thing in T20 and One Day, where he just ended up getting out in his first few overs a disappointing majority of the time and end up with a terrible average. For someone with great averages across the formats and on 62,000 salary he was getting batting averages worse than some of my bowlers.

        I have had some players on around 2-star form manage to put in reasonable performances, get back up to 3 or so and then go on a run of good form and great performances but it definitely felt that being down at 0-1 was causing adverse performances overall.

        For bowlers they seemed to keep roughly the same economy but struggle to take wickets when completely out of form.

        For batsmen being on 0-1 stars seemed to make them much more likely to get out almost straight away. If they did survive the first few overs they sometimes went on to get decent scores and see a jump in form after but there was a high chance of them just getting out for a duck or 1 run.


        • #5
          I think as has been noted many a time in the threads on T20, it's batting in that format where form seems to have the biggest impact. As Lynx54321 says, bowlers on low form can often at the very least still have a very good economy rate and therefore be used to keep the opposition's score down, and batters in low form I find can often be gently managed to a reasonable score in FC games. But batters in 0-2 star form seem to be highly unlikely to get much into double figures in T20, so are often worth leaving out, even if they're supposed to be star players.


          • #6
            There needs to be a 2nd team allocation for Aus T20 season. Once someone is out of form you can't pick them again in the season


            ~I Love Lamp~


            • #7
              After another run of tests I'm definitely going to stick with rotating for form when needed.

              I have an overseas opening batsman I first signed at 20 and have continued to sign as a main overseas player due to his consistency across all formats. Now he's 26 on 91,000 salary and has had increasing call-ups for NZ over the past few years for Tests. Coming into the current season he'd averaged 46 for me as an opener in FC matches with a high last season of 75. He would've topped the batting runs for the championship but missed 4 matches due to internationals. Luckily that year every time he returned he still had decent form and picked up where he left off, though his compatriot wasn't as fortunate. This year he's been terrible in comparison. He's been away on 3 tests and 2 ODIs and each time returned at 1-2 star form. Each time I tried to put him straight back in he'd get out for single figures and lose even more form. I had to just say enough was enough and drop him, someone who'd been super consistent for 6 years and now was playing like an amateur with a 17 batting average. My 'cheap' backup opener was in 5 star form from 2nd XI matches at that point and performed better. Thankfully the overseas batsman was up to 3 stars from coaching and 2nd XI by the time the Challenge Trophy came around and he got his form back there so I was able to use him for the Division 1 FC matches. He finally performed the way I'm used to seeing and was back in the 50s and 100s again to help me claim the title.

              He was the most stark example but pretty much every time this season I used someone on 1-2 star form hoping they'd do ok and get a jump in form they simply under performed.

              My two regular England bowlers missed most of the county matches as they were called up for most formats. When they were available they had no form and played pretty rubbish, at 31 Avg / 66 SR and 29 Avg / 61 SR. For comparison, my 'lesser' bowlers maintaining high form all ended the year with averages in the low 20s (or even below 20) and SRs in the low 40s or mid 30s.

              So I'm putting my examples from early posts of bowlers who performed great despite bad form down as outliers. It can happen, and if you're lucky a low form player will get settled, score a bunch of runs or take a few wickets and see their form recover quickly. With top class players it is a possibility. But more often than not a low form player is just going to be mediocre or down right poor, and if you have a 5 star 'average' backup player waiting in the wings they can do a better job for a match or two while you use training and 2nd XI to get your starter back to 3 star form ready to play again.

              I think I've seen enough now after paying extra attention to be happy that form is important and has a high chance of affecting player performance. Not guaranteed, but more chance the worse/better the form is.


              • #8
                There are some things that don't make sense to me with form. Usually if a batsman has good innings without getting out early or a bowler takes a few wickets their form will go up after the match. Nice and simple.

                I'm currently 3 matches into a T20 campaign and I have a bowler who started on 2.5 star form after the initial County Championship matches. He's bowled 9 overs and taken 4 wickets at an average of 9.25 and an economy of 4.11. A bowler with that average and economy is doing very well in T20, yet his form has dropped to only 1 star!

                Another bowler started on 4 star form and has bowled 11 overs, taking only 2 wickets at 36.50 average and 6.64 economy. His stats are far worse, yet he's still on the exact same 4 star form he started the campaign with.

                Neither player has any kind of extra practice coaching sessions and neither has had to bat. I've won each of the first 3 matches comfortably without my bowlers having to bat.

                I'm confused why the bowler with the better performance is losing a portion of a star of form each match, while another who's been the weakest of my 5 bowlers so far remains unchanged.


                • #9
                  I love t20 matches. because it is quick and interesting. but all countries starting own cricket it is good things