Pitch map

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Pitch map

The pitch map is a scalar visualization method aimed at analyzing the effectiveness of a bowler’s actions in a specific match or a single game episode. It takes into account the speed with which the bowler serves the ball, the rebound from the surface of the field, the rotation of the ball in the air, the angle of deflection, the height, the exact distance that the projectile travels before it hits the pitch, and many other factors.

Even though cricket is traditionally considered a conservative game, technical progress has not spared it either: a variety of visualization systems found application in the practice of coaching staffs and quickly became part of the daily work of mentors. With the help of these systems, the analysis of the performances of players and their opponents is carried out, dynamic diagrams and pitch maps are drawn up, which are also used for television coverage of cricket matches.

The pitch map is primarily used for a detailed analysis of the bowler’s actions. It clearly demonstrates in which part (s) of the pitch the balls served by him landed and the bounce angle. Since the pitch map is, in fact, an improved simulator of the playing area, for the convenience of the audience, the balls are marked in different colors, which allows us to draw a conclusion about the quality of the serve. The projectile is displayed on the pitch map as a sphere in phi – or theta -resolution * 10. The pegs are presented in the form of cylinders with a resolution of * 25, and the pitch has the form of a volumetric texture.

Even a glance at the pitch map is enough to gauge the bowler’s performance since the playing area is visually divided into six sections, namely:

  1. Short;
  2. Short of Good Length;
  3. Good Length;
  4. Over Pitched;
  5. Yorker;
  6. Full Toss.

The short-ball is traditionally colored red. This zone coincides with the center of the pitch. It is considered potentially dangerous for the bowler. Firstly, if the projectile lands in the center of the playing court, this automatically gives the batsman more time to assess the speed and direction of his flight and plan a quality counterstrike. Secondly, the short-ball can only be dangerous for the batsman if the bowler purposefully shoots to the head. If the shot is inaccurate, then hitting the ball is quite easy, which can lead to serious trouble for the attacking team (in particular, an experienced batsman can take the ball in the right direction and execute several runs, thereby increasing the score).

The ball hitting the Short of Good length is marked in purple. The success of the serve, in this case, depends on the actions of the batsman and on whether he managed to reach the projectile. In any case, when the ball hits the Short of Good length, the chances of hitting the wicket are pretty high.

A good length is considered to be the ideal sector for bowler innings since hitting the ball in this interval not only slows down the batsman. He must make the right decision in a split second and significantly increase the likelihood of an out. Fast bowlers often practice hitting other sectors (simply because, in their case, the ball’s flight is not uncommon), and the good length is a kind of quality mark for an attacking player. Balls hitting this area are marked in green on the pitch map.

Balls hitting Over Pitched are marked in bright orange. Most batsmen call this zone ideal for organizing an effective counterattack since a radical change of position or transfer of weight from one leg to the other is not required in such a situation. Reaching the ball is not difficult, and the resulting pause allows for at least four runs, so an Over Pitched hit is almost always negative for a bowler.

Yorker balls are marked in light green. This is one of the most difficult serves for both the attacking player and the batsman. It is difficult for the first to place the ball after the ball in this zone accurately, the second can make a mistake, taking the projectile, and miss the opportunity to make injuries. As a rule, bowlers prefer to resort to yorkers at the end of the match when the batsman is in a hurry and is ready to take risks for a few quick runs.

Full toss balls are colored yellow. This type of serve is also risky since the hit can only become unbeatable if the bowler sent the ball to a level above the batsman’s hip. Any mistake, accordingly, turns against the attacking player himself and his team.

It is interesting: the pitch map is a source of invaluable clues for batsmen. It allows you to study the manner of play of the upcoming opponent and prepare for the match better, having identified potentially vulnerable zones and developing defensive tactics.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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