Tactics

Cricket Championship allows you to set various tactics that will affect the way your team approach the game as it unfolds. The majority of these options are not shown if you choose to use the basic interface.

Match tactics

Match tactics are set for specific matches. You can save your settings as the default for your team in which case these settings will be used initially when a new match is set up for your team. You can change most of the tactics during a game but they will only come in to play at the start of the next session of play.

You can edit your default match tactics on the tactics page linked from your team menu.

The toss

You can choose whether to call heads or tails at the toss and whether to bat first or field first if you win the toss.

Aggression

You can set your team's base aggression levels for batting and bowling. These base levels are the starting point for determining how aggressively your players will approach their cricket. Any modifiers from tactics or from settings for individual players are applied to these base levels.

An aggression of 1 is very defensive. For batting this would mean that the priority for the batsman is not getting out and that he is not concerned about scoring runs. For bowling it would mean that the bowling team is just trying to contain the batsmen rather than getting them out.

An aggression of 9 is very aggressive. At this level of aggression batsmen will be trying to get runs whatever the cost and bowlers will be trying to take wickets regardless of the number of runs they concede.

An aggression level of 5 is a healthy balance between scoring runs and not getting out, for batsmen, and between taking wickets and conceding runs for bowlers.

Declaring

Declaration tactics are only available for two innings matches and work differently for the first and second innings.

For the first innings you specify how many runs you will score before you declare. After your batsmen have scored this amount your captain will declare at the end of the over.

There are two options to decide when to declare your second innings closed. You can specify how quickly your opponents must score in order to win the match (their required run rate) and/or the total they will need to score to win. You can set whether your team should declare when both the required run rate and required target total have been set or when either requirement has been set.

Batsmen milestones

You can also choose not to declare when one of your batsmen is nearing a milestone. So, if one (or both) of your batsmen are within 5 runs of scoring 50 or 10 runs of scoring a century the declaration will be delayed until they have reached their milestone at which point your captain will declare at the end of the over.

Overs in session

You can choose to delay your declaration until your opponents would only have a specified number of overs to bat in the session. You could, for example, set this value to 10 to only declare with 12 overs remaining in the session. The loss of two overs for the change of innings would mean that your opponents would have to bat for 10 overs before the session break. You can leave this setting blank if you don't want to use it (or set it to a value higher than 34). NB: this declaration option won't work on its own - you still need to use either the run rate or runs options (or both).

Follow on

These tactics are only available for two innings matches.

Enforcing the follow on

You can indicate here whether you will enfore the follow on if you bat first and score sufficiently more runs than your opposition. In Cricket Championship, as in real life four day matches, the follow on can be enforced when the team who batted second trail by 150 or more runs.

You can additionally indicate that you only want to enforce the follow on if your first innings lead is sufficiently large. To use this option enter a number of runs in the "Lead to enforce follow on" field. Your captain will only enforce the follow on if you lead your opponents by more than this number of runs. This option is only available when you are using advanced tactics.

Keeping the strike

These tactics are only available for two innings matches and with advanced tactics.

Farming the strike

You can choose that, if you have a designated batsman batting with a non-designated batsman, that the batsmen will try to keep the designated batsman on strike. There are three options: your batsman can refuse runs whenever necessary to keep your designated batsmen on strike; your batsmen can take runs when they are available but refuse a second or third run to keep your designated batsmen on strike or they can take all runs and not worry about designated batsmen farming the strike.

You can set which ball of the over the designated batsman will start trying to score a single to get to the other end to face the next over. You can also set separately how many balls of an over a non-designated batsman will try to score a single to get away from the strike.

Finally, when an opposition batsman is trying to keep the strike you can set whether you want to bring the field up to try and prevent this.

Bowling

These tactics are only available for two innings matches and with advanced tactics.

Bowler choice

There are three options for chosing how the next bowler will be chosen.

The default option is to let your captain decide who shall bowl. Your captain will decide based on who they think will be the most effective given the players fitness and fatigue, the state of the pitch and the ball and who has been effective so far in this innings.

Alternatively you can choose to rotate your bowlers evenly which means that every effort will be made to ensure that each of your bowlers bowls a similar number of overs.

The first rotation option is to strictly rotate your bowlers so that each player chosen to bowl will bowl a similar amount of overs.

The second rotation option is to rotate your bowlers so that they bowl a percentage of overs depending on their spell settings. This works by averaging the players maximum and minimum spell lengths and comparing that value to other players. So, for example, if you have four bowlers with minimum spells of 2 and maximum spells of 6 (average 4) and one bowler with a minimum spell of 1 and maximum 3 (average 2) you would expect your four main bowlers to bowl 22% of your overs (4 overs each out of every 18) and your part time bowler to bowl 11% (2 out of every 18).

Extending bowlers spells

You can choose one or more situations where you want to ignore the maximum overs per spell for your bowlers: when they have taken a wicket or a chance has been missed or a maiden has been bowled in what would normally be the last over of their spell. If this is set to 'after chance' a dropped catch, good lbw appeal, or what would have been a dismissal on a no-ball will cause the spell to be extended by at least one over. This also means that a bowler will continue bowling regardless of the run rate they have allowed during the spell. The captain will, however, change the bowler if the wicket taking or chance making bowler is too tired to continue.

Prefer seamers over spinners

You can choose how many overs you want to prefer seamers as a bowling option for. This setting is used at the start of an innings and when a new ball is taken during an innings. You could set it to zero to allow spinners to be considered on a par with seamers for the new ball or to 40 overs to prefer seamers until the ball is getting much older. It is still possible for spinners to bowl during these overs if your captain thinks they are a much better option or if you are using spell settings. You can leave it blank to use the default setting.

Taking the new ball

You can choose whether to let your captain delay taking the new ball. The old ball will be kept for the number of overs you specify whilst your captain considers that the bowling attack is more potent with the old ball instead of a new ball. To always take the new ball use the default setting of 0 overs.

You can also choose whether to prevent your captain from resting your new ball bowler for the new ball. You can enter a number of wickets - when this many wickets have fallen your captain will not try to rest bowlers for the new ball. You can enter zero for your captain to never rest bowlers for the new ball.

Nightwatchman

Nightwatchman tactics are only available for two innings matches and with advanced tactics.

When a wicket falls late in the day a nightwatchman can be sent in to protect a recognised batsman from having to bat for a few overs and then having to start their innings again in the morning.

If you want to designate one of your batsmen as a nightwatchman you can select their name in the drop down menu.

You also need to choose when your nightwatchman will be used. You must specify how many overs at the end of a days play you have your nightwatchman padded up for. For example, if you choose the last ten overs of the day, if a wicket falls with ten or less overs to go until the close of play the nightwatchman will be used.

You must also specify which of your batsmen will be protected by the nightwatchman. Typically this would be your recognised batsmen, for example number 6 and above in your batting order. When the next batsman to bat is this number or higher in the order your nightwatchman will be sent in to bat.

Batting tactics

There are numerous batting tactics which you can use. Each of the batting tactics has a short description if you place your cursor over the label for the tactic. Batting tactics modify the base level of batting aggression which you have set for your team. Any tactic that is set to 'no change' will not be saved as it will not affect the way your team play. Many tactics also have a threshold value which, when it is reached, the tactic will apply.

For example, to use the tactic 'Balls Faced'. If you want your batsmen to play more defensively early on in their innings you would select 'less than' in the first option, enter a number of balls in the second, 20 say, and choose -1 for the third option to indicate that they should play more defensively.

Batting tactics are cumulative. This means that in our example above if we set each of the three 'Balls Faced' tactics to the same setting any batsman who had faced less than twenty balls would actually bat at an aggression level 3 less than the team's.

Bowling tactics

There are numerous bowling tactics which you can use. Each of the bowling tactics has a short description if you place your cursor over the label for the tactic. Bowling tactics modify the base level of bowling aggression which you have set for your team. Any tactic that is set to 'no change' will not be saved as it will not affect the way your team play. Many tactics also have a threshold value which, when it is reached, the tactic will apply.

For example, to use the tactic 'Balls Faced'. If you want your bowlers to bowl more aggressively when a batsman has just started their innings you would select 'less than' in the first option, enter a number of balls in the second, 20 say, and choose +1 for the third option to indicate that they should attack the batsman more.

Bowling tactics are cumulative. This means that in our example above if we set each of the three 'Balls Faced' tactics to the same setting your bowlers will bowl to any batsman who had faced less than twenty balls at an aggression level 3 greater than the team's.

Targetting opposing players

Some tactics allow you to specify a player in the opposition. These tactics allow you to play more or less aggressively against that player only. So, if your opponent has a star bowler who takes the majority of their wickets you may want to bat more defensively against him only.

Team tactics

Rather than entering a lot of batting and bowling tactics each match you can set 'team tactics' which are saved for your team. You can do this using the 'Tactic sets' option in your team's Tactics left-hand menu. First choose a tactic set to modify and then batting or bowling tactics are specified in the same way as for a match and you can then save these tactics with a name of your choice.

You can save one set of batting tactics and one set of bowling tactics as your default tactics. These will be used initially for any new match involving your team.

Some tactics do not appear in the tactics set page, for example tactics targetting opposing players, because they apply only to individual matches.

Applying team tactics

To use one of your saved sets of tactics for a match you select the name of the tactic set you want and tick the Apply tactics box. When you click on Select tactics your tactics will be used. Using this option will overwrite any tactics that appear in the tactics set page regardless of whether you have specified values for them for this match.