While a lot is made of the use of statistics in cricket, my broad view based on presentation of statistics in the media and the odd player/coach interview is that cricket hasn’t really learnt how to use statistics as it should. A lot of so-called insights are based on small samples, and coaches such as Peter Moores have been pilloried for their excess focus on data.
In this context, I found this interview with New Zealand coach Mike Hesson in ESPNCricinfo rather interesting. From my reading of the interview, he seems to “get” data and how to use it, and helps explain the general over-performance to expectations of the New Zealand cricket team in the last few years.
You’re trying to look at trends rather than chuck a whole heap of numbers at players.
For example, if you look at someone like Shikhar Dhawan, against offspin, he’s struggled. But you’ve only really got a nine or ten-ball sample – so you’ve got to make a decision on whether it’s too small to be a pattern
Also, players take a little while to develop. You’re trying to select the player for what they are now, rather than what their stats suggest over a two or three-year period.
And there are times when you have to revise your score downwards. In our first World T20 match, in Nagpur, we knew it would slow up,
Go ahead and read the whole thing.