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International Test Cricket

 

Got a great hint or tip for International Cricket Captain 2. Developed a brilliant winning strategy for either one day games or county championship/test matches? Send me details so everyone can share. All hints will be credited.

The results of the Empire Competition which was to select best XI players in ICC 2 may prove helpful for deciding about players.

Hints from Chris Child Developer of ICC 2

Chris submitted these hints and replies to specific questions on the ICC forum.

Bowling Tactics:

Bowlers in county matches will perform at their best on medium aggression and field setting.

Use the defensive field settings if a batsman has a big score or you are going for a draw. Use the attacking field settings if you’ve got plenty of runs to play with but not much time. Attack new batsmen before they are settled.

If you can tie a batting team down in one day games they will get more aggressive and get themselves out. Bowl outside off stump and use defensive fields. If you don’t take wickets it’s often worth taking the risk to be more aggressive to stop the fast run scoring. The opposition is more aggressive the more wickets they have left.

If you are in a very strong position, declare an hour before the end of the day to give your main strike bowlers an extra spell.

Batting Tactics:

In county and test matches you should have your batsmen on two aggression bars until they are 30% settled and then move up to three. If a bad bowler comes on move up to 4. If a good bowler is taking lots of wickets be more defensive.

In one day matches try to score at about 4.5 to 5 per over for the first 15 overs (or faster if you’re chasing a big target), while the fields are restricted. The computer will use his best bowlers though so it’s sometimes a good idea to put lesser batsmen in so that you don’t loose important wickets.

Batting second in one day matches, try to keep up with the run rate all the way through the match, it is very hard to score at over seven per over. Don’t use maximum batting aggression unless you have lots of wickets to play with. Take note of bad or expensive bowlers and use extra aggression against them.

Look at the weather forecast. If conditions are very cloudy but will improve later, bat defensively until they improve. If it will be very cloudy or raining for the first day, put the opposition in to bat. In all other situations it is a good idea to bat first.

If the other team scores 600 in their first innings you are unlikely to win. Give it a go until you loose a couple of wickets and then shut up shop completely to get the draw. Try to get the maximum batting points as well.

Contract and Budget:

Youth team coaching can produce excellent young players, but not always so it’s a risk.

Extra coaching points are handy but expensive. It’s a better idea to be busy with your coaching and keep swapping it between players. Coaching has little effect on in form players.

Coaching has more long term effect on young players than older ones, so a good long term policy is to direct coaching towards them.

Physio money gets players back from injury more quickly. It does not effect fitness. Very useful if you have an injury prone star.

If you get a good young player give him a three year contract to save money.

Players will except quite a lot less than they are asking for, but never on the first offer, and not if there are other counties offering close to your offer.

There are lots of foreign players so leave these bids until last and offer less than they are asking for.

It’s a good idea to try to get a decent spinner, because they can bowl more overs, so you can play county matches with four bowlers.

Make sure that some of your star players are not regular internationals or you will have a very weak team during test matches.

Players:

Players will not be at their best until they have experience. They need to play about 15 county matches before they are good, and then improve slightly with each match after that. This can also balance the loss of ability due to age. Test match players need to get experience as well.

Cricketers need luck as well as skill. A player with a bad average may be good but unlucky. Take note of the number of near misses they get when bowling or batting (the notes section is useful for this), it will give an extra indication of ability. Give young players a good run before writing them off. Second team averages also help in deciding if a player is any good.

Don’t drop your best players just because they’ve had a couple of bad scores. An excellent player out of form is better than a poor player in form.

ICC2 Changes:

Many of the "game" parameters have changed since ICC1. Here are a few that you might not spot.

bulletOff spinners are more defensive bowling at leg stump.
bulletSpinners can bowl more overs.

Poor pitch condition effects are slightly reduced because it was too difficult to win batting second in the first game.

The computer picks specialist one day players, and AI one day tactics include extra aggression in the first 15 overs. You’ll find the extra defensive field a good idea.

Defensive batting is more effective than in ICC1. Two bars is as good as three (the magic number), but slower. Zero and one bar are for batting to intervals, going for a draw and tail-enders supporting top order batsmen.

Around the wicket can help get batsmen out after a long innings and is effective against left handers. Causes less LBW’s against right handers. Changing to spinners also helps against settled batsmen. An occasional bowler can work if the opposition is comfortable enough to slog against them.

If you have a batsman keeping strike make sure they are aggressive or you just end up missing singles. The other batsmen should be on 1 or 2 bars of aggression so that they can score singles and get off the strike.Do this for the first 3 balls of an over only if you are playing ball by ball in a vital match.

Players now have a one day international ability as well as a test match ability. So experiment to find the good ones.

Strike rates for batsmen and runs per over for bowlers are now much more realistic. So it’s often a good idea to pick specialist one day players.

Other Features:

Batsmen’s have a tired rating so fitness is important and it may be a good idea get defensive going into a day break if they’ve played a long innings. They will be fresh next day.

Bowlers have a settled rating so bowl them in spells until they have about 3 bars of energy left. Try to do this in one day games as well.

Some players are more prone to injury than others. If you have a star player that keeps getting injured, sell him or spend lots on Physio so that they return more quickly.

Re: Chance

The game is based on chance. You may be lucky using an unusual tactic for a while (e.g. batting on full aggression in the first overs of a county match), but the key is to work out what will give you the best chance of winning if you played the same game 100 times.

Changing field settings is very important. In one day games the default field setting is a bad idea because the batsmen can score a lot of runs in the first 15 overs. I sometimes leave it on for the first couple of overs to try to get a quick wicket while the openers are settling in, but after that it's better to make the batsmen take risks to get through a defensive field.

I use the aggression bar for the bowlers as a booster to the field setting. I'd set a defensive field first and then go defensive on the aggression rating if I want to go very defensive. Remember that line effects how aggressively you bowl as well.

It is best to use the bowler tactics in conjunction. Rather than going for a medium field setting and very aggressive bowling, it's better to use a medium attacking field and up the aggression a bit.

There are no exact rules for playing the game. The opponent's tactic are good, but there is a great deal of margin for playing better. If you watch what the computer does you can get a good idea of how it plays the game and should be able to add your own ideas to beat it.

The computer can only use the default fields you are given. Moving a few fielders slightly to close gaps, or creating a field setting with all the players around the boundary to stop a 4 off the last ball can be useful. You can define your own set of field settings for every bowler and use the user section instead of default to make selecting them simple.

Re: Batsmen - Aggressive vs Defensive

Generally all batsmen perform at their best on 3 aggression bars, but should bat more defensively while getting settled, and with greater aggression against bad bowlers. The batsman's own aggression rating refers to the scoring rate of the batsman if they are on three aggression bars.

An aggressive batsman will score at a Strike Rate of 50% or above in county matches, while a defensive batsmen will score at below this, if they are both on 3 aggression bars. It's important to bear this in mind when selecting one day sides, because an aggressive batsman will find it easier to score at the required run rate even if they are a worse player. It's also useful to have an attacking batsman in at number 7 in county matches because they can score their runs before running out of partners.

There are some players who you will notice do just as well in one day games (or even better) as they do in county matches. These players will probably benefit from batting at 4 (or five notches against bad bowlers) in county matches. Other players do far worse in one day games and should bat at 2 notches in county games. No player will do well batting at six notches in a county game. This aggression should just be used for batting against very bad bowlers, run chases or making runs before the 120 overs is up in county games.

If a bowler is using an aggressive field against you it is sometimes worth taking the risk to score some quick runs to get your batsman settled. The bowlers will then go more defensive and the batsman can score more freely.

The new patch fixes the problem with Strike Rates for players, so you will now be able to compare the strike rates of all the players in your team (and the opposition) to get a better idea of specialist one day players.

Short Hints

Jonnie says - I have found that allowing younger batsmen to play in second team matches helps them to regain form, however older batsmen benefit more from first team matches and training.

I have also found that bowlers will only gain form in the second team slowly. I find that a good player will regain form in one day games, and will remain effective at this level unless he is totally lacking in form. Lesser bowlers will regain form in second team games quicker than OD and become expensive in OD games if out of form.

Edward Griggs says - When you have a good aggressive wicket taking bowler set the field to the most aggressive and leave him at 3 aggression bars, pair him with a defensive bowler with a maximum defensive field and leave him at 3 bars of aggression. you will take lots of wickets with bowler one at a low economy because the bowler at the other end has tied it up completely.

Note: I support Hampshire and usually play as them Nixon McClean and Peter Hartley are excellent at this.

Iain Rawson says - I don't know whether this is just my luck and expertise coming into the game here, but it seems that, if batting first, I declare at around 275, my bowlers all perform much better and completely trash the opposition batting line-up for less than you'd usually expect. That's usually by the end of the second session of day 2, giving you plenty of time to play for the win.

Also, if I set an amazingly high score, the opposition openers respond to this and often both get hundreds, and more than equal the score set, making a win impossible, since you get about a day left for the last two innings.

Steve Williams says - In one day matches, promote all of your quickest scoring batsmen to the top of the order and attack with four blocks for the first few overs and then go on to five and six fairly quickly. The free scoring batsmen have got less chance of getting out like this than other batsmen and will score very quickly.

Andrew Drinkwater says - Play with lots of slips and two gullies, and employ a left-arm bowler to go over the wicket, aiming to a right hander's off stump. This takes lots of wickets.

Detailed Hints

Andrew Garven says

County Championship

bulletWhen batting start batsmen on 1 aggression.
bulletWhen the are 3 bars settled put them up to 2 bars aggression, when they are fully settled put them on 3, more if they are bowling a bad bowler less if a bowler is bowling well
bulletWhen bowling bowl at leg stump around the wicket and with the most attacking field (*default*) until the batsman reaches 25, then medium field settings and over the wicket and at middle stump
bulletIf you are in a good situation declare an hour and ten minutes before the end of a game.
bulletif possible take the new ball first thing in the morning.

One Day

I have a good one day team, these tips will work if you have an ok team but are untested on bad one day teams.

Batting.

bulletBat first if possible
bulletStart openers on 5 bars aggression while the field settings are restricted.
bulletStart all other batsmen on 4 bars.
bulletOnce they are 3 bars settled put them up one and every 2 settled bars after that until they are fully settled and on full aggression.
bulletI tend to score about 6 an over against average county teams.

Bowling.

bulletWith the above batting you should have loads of runs to play with, bowl outside off stump with the 2nd most defensive field setting.
bulletDo not play leggies as most of them are useless. if you have a good one he may still work, I have two spinners, T.Samaraweera (averages 18 in OD) and G.Swann (averages 21 in OD) both are offies, I have 3 pace bowlers (any) and the batsmen are restricted from scoring and get themselves out.

Ian Lay says

(Whilst some of these tactics are specific to Somerset in the main they are useful for every team.)

The biggest problem with Somerset is that they don't have much money to play with. What worked for me was to quickly streamline the squad down to the bare minimum of 18. Jamie Cox is not a bad player but there are other better overseas players out there. I would keep him for a season or two at most then get somebody else.

Get a good spinner as that is what Somerset really lacks. Having said that I'm doing quite well without a top spinner. Get rid of the rubbish as soon as possible. Trott, Tucker, Jones, Pierson should all go. Unless Turner is making runs get another WK.

I'm now in my 5th season and I have only Bulbeck, Lathwell, Trescothick left from the original team playing regularly... I have Kerr playing occasionally. Caddick retired after about 2 seasons.

It's useful to invest in youth development if you have the spare cash. My current top run maker for the last 2 seasons had been a chap called Garside who came from the Youth Team. Also my WK is a 21 year old from the youth side, but scores more than Turner used to.

It takes a few seasons to get the side settled but having good all-rounders in your team really helps. I normally have three playing: Bulbeck, Ganguly (who I signed after leasing Cox) and another (I've actually got 4 all-rounders in my squad). IMHO you don't need a large squad. I have 18 people in my team and they seem to work fine but I want to increase that to 20 just to give me some extra cover.

Championship Matches:

Check the conditions of the pitch and the weather forecast they will help you to decide whether it's good to be batting first or not. In general you want to be batting when the weather is good, and bowling when it is cloudy and horrible.

Always play a spinner if you can, even if the pitch is not turning a good spinner will get wickets (even an average spinner will pick up some wickets and can be useful for breaking a partnership). Try to go into the game with 6 recognised bowlers. To do this you'll need some good all-rounders. This gives you opportunity to mix-up your bowlers.

I normally tend to bowl quite aggressively in the opening overs. Leg side line with 4 aggressive factor. If wickets fall and tend to keep this line and level of aggression. If runs start to flow I will go to a middle and off or off stump line.

Unless you are taking wickets regularly check where the batsmen are scoring from you and move your field appropriately. If you can cut out a batsmen's favourite shots they are more likely to play shots they don't like and get themselves out.

Checking and changing your field is very important and can make a big difference to the total you are facing.

Use you bowlers in short spells (usually no more than 6 overs a spell) that way they stay fresh and are less likely to get injured. With spinners it's sometimes useful to bowl them for long spells.

Batting....I think this is very much down to feel. But in general if the conditions are favouring the bowlers don't be so quick to move your batsmen up to the "normal" 3 notches of aggression so early. Let them get them selves in a little more first. Move batsmen up to 4 or 5 notch aggression if they bowlers are poor or you are chasing quick runs. But you must keep a good balance.

I normally watch the highlights when batting with 4 runs or more, and wicket & chances. I tend to step through each ball with the next button, rather than clicking on "start over". All during the highlights as soon as I know that it's going to be (a 4 or a wicket, or not out) I cancel the highlights by clicking on the X. I maybe imagining things but it seems to work for me. Probably nothing to do with it and I've just got the right combination of players... but you never know.

Bowling wise I tend to set it to wickets & chances only and again step through each ball with the next button rather than "start over".

If things aren't working out and you are struggling to win the match then don't try. Play safe and get a draw. And then try again in the next match. Young players (youth players) can be real finds. I've just signed a youth player on 15,000 a year and he's a 1st team regular taking wickets in both County and 1-day games.

I'm currently sitting 2nd in the 1st division of the County Championship, with games in hand on the top team.

1-Day:

This is definitely the harder of the two types of game.

A lot more patience is needed with 1-day but also you have to believe in your tactics even when things don't seem to be going right. If at all possible bowl first. The computer seems to be not so good at setting a total as it is at maintaining a run chase. Well that's the way it seems to me. But I suppose in general teams find it easy to chase, so it could be said that the computer AI is mirroring real life.

Bowl outside off stump, I normally use an aggression level of 3. Set a very offside field with probably no more than 2 people on the leg side.

Every few overs check your field placing and see where the batsmen are scoring their runs (if they are scoring that is). Adjust your field to cut out those quick singles or a particular shot a batsmen likes to get 4 runs.

Again 6 bowlers in one-day is a good idea. If you have a good spinner then it's normally good to play him whatever the conditions. 6 bowlers gives you the luxury of having someone spare if someone is bowling badly.

I generally don't attack new batsmen much but just keep trying to bore them to death with the a defensive field and outside off-stump line.

Batting....I always start with my openers at aggression level 5, sometimes 6 if I've bowled badly or it's a super good pitch.

When you lose a wicket the new batsman should come in at 5 aggression. Now this is the important thing to remember which took me a while to work out.....If you lose a few quick early wickets and say you are 57 for 3 for example, don't be tempted to lower your players aggression level. I found by doing that I got too far behind the run rate. Have faith. Unless your batsmen are completely useless some of your batsmen will get in and get the runs.

I was playing the other day and was chasing a total of 205 on a good pitch. I found my self at 50 odd for 4 but kept going. The next 4 batsmen did enough to win me the game with 4 overs to spare.

I use the same highlights as for county games. I step through the overs with the next button rather than "start over". And I cancel the highlights with a click of the X when I know what's going to happen.

Of course it all goes spectacularly wrong sometimes but that's what real cricket is all about.

Having started to use these tactics this season more I am now top of the 2nd division of the 1-day league and in the quarter finals of the Nat West. And only lost the super cup quarter final because I wasn't paying attention and thought I had more overs left than I did!!! ;-)

The key is to be patient. It will take a few seasons for you to refine your tactics. You've got to get the team balanced and find something that works for you but if you take all the tips that have been given out on this board you should be able to find something which will give you a chance of winning something.

Sorry this has been so long, and I hope that it's of use to some people. If there is one single piece of advise I could give it's take notice of your fielding positions and where batsmen like to play their shots. Restrict the batsmen scoring and you will find it easy to win games.

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Revised: Saturday, 16 March 2013.
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